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'09 Blizzard GSR/SLR

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I really like where Blizzard is going as a company. They seem to be listening to what the public wants, and actually doing it! This particular example is the new retail race skis I tried. For next season, both the GSR and the SLR will be a full sidewall, sandwich ski. The only differences between these and the race stock will be friendlier flex and shape, and the fact that they will only be available as a system ski (pretty typical nowadays).

Unfortunately, the only size he had in the GS was 174, which had a 17m radius or so?? I can't remember exactly. It carved great, but in that size and radius, it didn't really feel like a GS ski. To me it felt like a SL ski that was too long. As a side note, I HAVE tried the current GSR (which is a cap ski) in a 177/19m in a hard icy course. I was very surprised at the edge grip. (I still would have liked it a little longer) I really doubt there are going to be many better "beer league" or Nastar skis next season than this GSR.

The SLR was just plain awesome. It felt like a race stock SL, but very easy to initiate and turn. It almost turned by itself. Unbelievably good ski. The one I tried was a 167.

Blizzard is doing two other things next season that I think make a lot of sense.

1. they are discontinuing the toe piece on their system skis, and replacing it with a traditional Marker toepiece.

2. Instead of a traditional Marker heel, they will be using the new "Duke" heelpiece.

3. Many of the skis in the freeride segment will be available 3 different ways: with the integrated binding system with alpine bindings, with the integrated binding system with Duke AT bindings, or flat.

Stay tuned!
post #2 of 7

Blizzard SLR 2009

I was lucky enough to catch a demo day yesterday at Mt Sunapee (thanks to the folks at Bob Skinner ski shop for hosting this awesome day). I skied the 2009 models of:

Nordica Dobermann SL (165 13m)
Blizzard SLR Magnesium IQ (167 13.5m)
Volkl Racetiger SL (165 13m)
Blizzard GForce Sonic IQ (165 13m)
Nordica Speedmachine Mach (170 15m)

For reference, I am on a 160 cm Atomic SL9 that I love - makes great high speed short and med radius turns. Good in trees and light pow too. I am 160 lb male.

My sense is that the new SL race skis all ski similarly - very smooth, very fast, and hold like there's no tomorrow (having brand new skis with factory tune doesn't hurt, though :-) ). Totally confidence inspiring. Took about 5 seconds each to find the sweet spot on any of them. Can bang out tight radius turns as well as let em run for nice GS turns at speed. There are differences among the various SL skis, but they are much more subtle than I would have guessed.

For me, best of show was the Blizzard SLR 167, which was surprising, since I've never (ever) skied on Blizzards - I always liked Rossi and Dynastar, and now Atomics.

The Blizzard SLR was very SMOOOOTH throughout the entire turn. Nice round turns, holds on anything, very predictable, yet quick and lively.

The Volkls want to go mach speed (good). They are the most dynamic - exiting the turns it's easy to get airborne, which is alot of fun :-) , but just a bit different from the other skis. If I spent more time on these, I'd ease off on the turn completion and I'm sure I'd have no problem keeping them planted when I wanted to. But I'm guessing if you don't know how to ski slalom skis you're likely to end up in the trees on these. These are also VERY FAST :-) and stable.

The Nordicas were easiest to initiate, also a great ski, but did not seem as fast or smooth as the other two (this is really nitpicking because all three skis were awesome).

As I said in the intro, the differences between the 3 slaloms were subtle. I would happily take any of them, but for me, the best ride was the Blizzards.

I did not like the Nordica Mach 1, maybe because I spent the entire day on slaloms, and this was a 15m ski. Perhaps if I took them on a wide open trail and took a bit more time getting used to them I might have liked them.

And the Blizzard G-Force Sonic IQ were not really like the SLRs, surprisingly. I liked them least of the SLs. They were just not noteworthy compared with the other 3 SL Race skis. Not to say they're not good, but just tough for them to stand out in light of the other skis in the group.

Testing these skis for free on a blue sky bluebird day? PRICELESS!
post #3 of 7
I like the look of the Blizzard binding system for next year, reminds me of the MRR binding.

I've been skiing a pair of Hear RD SL's, wow. Extremely fun and surprisingly stable at speed. I likey.
post #4 of 7
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post

I've been skiing a pair of Hear RD SL's, wow. Extremely fun and surprisingly stable at speed. I likey.
Me likey, too.

In order to avoid making this a blatant and disgusting Head hijack of a Blizzard review, however, I do want to announce that very shortly I'll be posting a "for sale" thread for a pair of 165cm Blizzard slalom race skis. My business partner is the Blizzard rep here at Jackson Hole and he's going to be selling his pair with bindings for $300 plus shipping. They are in excellent condition. My understanding is that these are real-deal race skis with some kind of plate and Marker bindings.

They are so quick and precise that he looks like robo-surgeon when he's skiing these things (he's a former U S Ski Team World Cupper, so he knows how to turn them).

I'll post them in the for-sale forum in the next day or two.
post #5 of 7
(I included the Blizzard binding comment to avoid all out hijack).

I really like the direction Blizzard is moving, lots of sidewall skis, the Magnum 8.7 and 8.1 are Unlimited AC50/ Grizzly killers. They ski amazingly well and are adding some flat ski FR options. They are (kind of) replacing Volkl in the Tecnica Group, and will be manufacturing Nordica's skis. There are good things ahead.
post #6 of 7
I notice that this year's Blizzard SLR and next year's SLR have different dimensions, and different construction (sidewall vs. not).

Has anyone skied both and compared them? Do they ski differently? I have the opp to buy the 07/08 at a good price, and I LOVED the 08/09 ski, but if this year's ski is a different ski from the 08/09, I am kinda afraid it won't be the same.

post #7 of 7
I'm looking for a SL ski for freeskiing at my local hills in Michigan and recently started the following thread in the "Ski Gear Discussion" forum:

How versatile is the new Blizzard SLR?

As I mentioned in the other thread, I'm really intrigued by the new Rossi CS70. Has anyone had a chance to ski it?

Can you guys suggest any other 07/08 or 08/09 offerings you feel would make a great small hill carver?
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