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Bilzzard Titan Cronus

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I skied my new Blizzards for the first time yesterday, and thought y'all might be interested to hear about this rather rare and terriffic ski.
Me: 51 yo. 40 + yrs skiing. 5' 9 1/2 and 165lbs. Very fit - 3-4 days weight training forever. Maine native and Maine skier. Level 8-9. As my knees have "seasoned", I tend to favor fast runs down blue and black groomers. Recent history - coming off right knee strain after getting taken down from behind at Jay Peak one month ago. Ordered these skis just after scheduling MRI, and they arrived at my office when I got back from the test. Good karma.
My quiver: Elan M666 in 168cm (116/76/102 R 16.1)
Elan Ripsticks in 164cm (109/66/98 R 14.6)
Blizzard Cronus Titan in 173cm (123/88/109 R.18.5)
Tecnica XT17 plugs with Dobie liners

I got these skis more out of curiosity than need. I have the adrenalin stoking quick carver in the Ripstick and the solid groomer machine in the M666. But I saw all the cool kids were skiing on these fat skis so I had to try it. The Wateas in 84 were the other choise, but great reviews posted recently suggested to me that they may not fare so well on the hardpacked/icy surfaces I generally encounter. Read a few comments about Blizzard, found a pair on Backcountry for half price and pulled the trigger.

Fit/finish - Well, let's say the graphics are "understated" at least compared to the anime/manga/psychadelic/graphic tops of many skis of this ilk. A deep white irredescent finish with thin dayglow green line graphic in front,
and a bit more lively fractured moniker graphic in the back. Not exactly eye candy, but suits me fine. Well, I do like the riveted clips in the heel - is the closest I am likely to come to body piercings. The bindins are Markers but branded Blizzard. What can I say except they look kind of cheezy. I understand that some models come with Dukes - at a premium. Don't know if they work better, but they must look better. You may not but these skis for their look - and you should'nt. It is the way they ski that will capture your attention.

My first impression when carrying them to the car was how light they are. Given the dimensions, I expected them to have much more heft to them. I did a very unscientific comparison - grabbing the 164 Ripsticks in one hand and the 173 Blizzards in the other and felt they were about the same in weights. And the M666's felt like they weighed more. The first very interesting revelation. Wood core?

On the hill. Those rather cheezy looky bindings are very easy to get in and out of. So much for looks. I have never been on ski with such wide dimensions. And the Blizzards are longer than my Elans. I assumed, given the increased in size all around and large radius, that they would ski heavier and take more effort. Man, was I surprised. First run off the chair (Saddleback, Maine). By habit I headed to the trail edge to turn in recycled powder since the rest of the trail was windblown/hard packed. First revelation. Simply, I can not imagine an easier turning ski. Oddly, I found myself making shorter and shorter linked turns just to see how tight I could go. Ther was no limit. I eventually turned to a stop. I love steep and flat groomers. These are ultimate edge huggers. And the turns were very nice; scarved, even and easy to shape and bring around as far as you wanted to - all from a 18m radius ski. Next order of business was to open them up. Secon revelation. I thought, if these are that good at short linked turns, how good could they be with long, carved GS turns on hard packed. In a word, outstanding. Lay them over and they dig right in. Stand on them and they will give you the full measure of that 18 meter radius. But a very diiferent ride than either of my Elans. Utterly solid, but without the ponderous feeling of the Elans. No deflection, trepidation or insecurity. All with a feeling that they are actually riding on top of the surface with a light cut, rather than the deep groove of the Elans. As the day progressed, I discovered that these skis demand a lighter, more nuanced touch rather than the directed power transmitted to the Elans. Once I got this, I discovered several things. First, these wide boys are remarkably quick edge to edge. You can do the edge roll thing. But they are not dynamic like the Rips, and do not propell you into the next turn. But they are always there waiting for directions. You might think this requires more effort to ski them, but the opposite is true. I do not know if it is the ski design or the binding position, but I had absolutely no quad burn after four hours of straight skiing. With the Elans, I would have to stop at least once or twice on the way down a fast run becasue of quad fatigue. Part of that is a technique issue - I know I tend to get in the back seat and have been working on keep the skis under me. But here is the coolest thing of all. I must have been getting it right on these skis because for the first time ever I was able to two foot carve. With both Elans, I would park the downhill ski and the uphill would go along for the ride. On the Blizzards, I was getting this wonderful feeling of balanced carving - perhaps 60/40 to 70/30. This may account for the lack of quad pain since both legs are working equally and in a balanced way. Also, no shin bang at the end of the day. That is "objective" proof, in my mind, that they are easier to engage. These Blizzards do carve differently. On the Elans, I have really been working on pressuring the tips while pulling my skis back and under me. On the Titans, I found that the pressure to start the carve was not under the forefoot (bigtoe/little toe) but further back. And the carve did not seem to start at the shovel but, again, further back. I felt the carving pressure build under the entire foot which felt to be directly under my center of mass. It felt just right and must be right since I could two-foot the turn. Perhaps, again, that accounts for the absense of quad pain, shin bang and the ability, for the first time, to two foot carve. Is it the ski design/dimensions, or the binding configuration/placement. I do not know. All I know is that all of this made for quite a wonderful day on the groomers, my first day off a bad knee injury (and it felt great today as well). If these skis were hard to handle, my knee would have immediately told me so and that would have been the end of the day. What was not so wonderful was my attempt at a steep pitch with 8-10" of heavy broken crud. This is where these skis should excel. Well I am sure they would have if I had it together. I am still guarding that injured right knee and went onto it without the necessary confidence. Pooched the pitch - back seat, tense, off balance. Embarassing. Not the skis fault.
So bottom line is that I bought these on a whim. Broke the cardinal rule of "demo, demo, demo" and ended up with a wonderful pair of skis that are a blast to ski and, much to my surprise, let me to put together a lot of what I have been working on all season. And this is coming off a knee injury and four weeks of no training. I would not hesitate to recommend these fat skis to any eastern skier concerned that they may not cut it on hard snow. They have the torsional stiffness to hold a scapel edge on hardpack while giving you the confidence that you are on an incredibly solid platform. But when it comes time to turn, you can turn these lightfoots literally to a stop. I kept having to remind myself that I was on "fat" skis that turned easier than my Rips which are a 14m radius, 22mm narrower in the waist and 9cm shorter. I just can not wait until April when the snow base softens and I can test these in soft snow. Should be amazing. On my last trip up the chair, I remembered that my last pair of Blizzards were red and I had them when I was ten years old. And then I thought - it was worth the wait. Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 14
Recently bought my Titan Cronus' (180cm) from Mike at Skier Shop (great service I must say!). Me...53...5'11"...200lb...somewhere around level 8...don't really know fro sure. Some observations:

When I received the skis I was a little concerned about how the Marker bindings rock sideways in the rail a few millimeters. With boots clipped into the bindings it is not noticed at all.

These skis are surprisingly light.

Skied them 2 days after receiving 20cm of new snow here in the east at a hill that receives relatively little skier traffic Conditions were a combination of untracked powder and chop on narrow steep runs to 4" of cut up powder on a skier groomed base of soft pack in open areas. Soft bumps up to waist high on the narrow steeps.

The skis were an absolute delight!

In the deepest snow they sank about 6 inches under my weight and were super easy to ski.

They were remarkably agile skiing through the large bumps. Furthermore, I could ski over the tops of 2 to 3 medium sized bumps in succession and the skis acted like shock absorbers.

Were the snow was scraped down to ice between some bumps (this is the east after all) the skis tracked right across with no chatter.

At higher speed on open sections with 4" of chop over a soft base the skis were simply effortless. Roll them on edge and let them go. A little more pressure to tighten the radius, a little less results in larger, smooth, flowing turns.

These skis probably have the biggest sweet spot of any performance ski I have ever been on.

The sensation at speed in the open areas can only be described as silky smooth.

I bought these skis to replace my Salomon 1080 Guns. Simply put...no comparison. Can't wait to ski them in spring conditions and even give them a shot at some true hardpack conditions.

Overall an amazing ski!
post #3 of 14
Thanks for the review David! Glad to hear you're out skiing again.
post #4 of 14
Nice. We should start a Cronus forum.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks buds. A month ago the last thing I thought I'd be doing yesterday is just what I ended up doing yesterday.
post #6 of 14
Your last paragraph nearly caused me to go cross-eyed!! Break it up!!

But great review. This is one ski I've been interested in.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by axebiker View Post
Your last paragraph nearly caused me to go cross-eyed!! Break it up!!

But great review. This is one ski I've been interested in.
Come to Maine and you can try mine.
Cheers, David.
PS: Know what you mean - I do go on....
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Come to Maine and you can try mine.
Cheers, David.
PS: Know what you mean - I do go on....
Careful - I may take you up on it. My wife and I had our honeymoon there - we went to Kennebunkport. Beautiful place in October!
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by axebiker View Post
Careful - I may take you up on it. My wife and I had our honeymoon there - we went to Kennebunkport. Beautiful place in October!
Kennebunkport was beautiful - until the Bushes moved in. There goes the neighborhood. As for the skiing part, sping skiing in Maine is a joy. We have tons of snow - over 250" total this season at my favorite hill - Saddleback, which is open for another month. Sugarloaf, maybe longer. You got any snow in Minn?
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1 View Post
Kennebunkport was beautiful - until the Bushes moved in. There goes the neighborhood.
I knew that was coming...

I love the Shipyard's PumpkinHead Ale - I ran across some here this fall and snapped it up! We enjoyed our trip, but wished we could have stayed longer.

Snow was pretty sparse in MN this year - the Twin Cities area only ended up with about 34" all winter, and about 8" of that was in the last week. but it was COLD, so what we did get, we held on to. It was mostly a man-made winter here. Right now, most places are in their death throes for this winter. The fact that a lot of areas were open through Easter is a good sign though.

I'd LOVE to get out east at least once to ski before I die. I have a feeling it's a lot like the skiing here, but on a mcuh grander scale.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Oh, ya, love that Shipyard. In fact, come out to ski at Sugarloaf and you can visit the brew haus. I went to school in Wisconsin for a short time. The best part of it was Point Beer. Maine is sometimes blessed with amazing snow, and always blessed with wonderful microbrews.
You know how Warren Miller always says "if you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do." In this case, you be one year thirstier.... And this has nothing to do with vampire stuff.
post #12 of 14
Saddleback looks like a pretty nice place. Didn't one of the big ski mags rank it as an up and coming place to live/ski? My dad grew up somewhere in that area.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
Saddleback looks like a pretty nice place.
I basically learned to ski there between the mid-70s and early 80s. When there was snow, it was a fantastic place to ski, and when there wasn't, well, it was a fantastic place to learn how to ski ice. Big enough to have interesting and varied terrain, but small enough that my parents were willing to let us explore on our own. Great ski school back then, too.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
I basically learned to ski there between the mid-70s and early 80s. When there was snow, it was a fantastic place to ski, and when there wasn't, well, it was a fantastic place to learn how to ski ice. Big enough to have interesting and varied terrain, but small enough that my parents were willing to let us explore on our own. Great ski school back then, too.
Alpinedad and Skier219, not sure about the ski mag profile, but it is a comer. I grew up skiing at Sunday River in the mid 60's and the Sugarloaf in the early 70's all well before the American Ski Company turned them into Killington clones. I know my Mainer snobbery may be showing, but there was something very special about those two areas before the advent of big money. I skied Saddleback a few times as a kid. Alpindad, know what you mean about the snow, or lack of it. I remember how scary the top looked as a kid - all windblown and rocky. Well fast forward. Mountain almost went under and was ultimately bought by a family who have big money and a sensible touch. They have put millions into one of the nicest lodges you will ever see, and into grooming and snow making. The big plans are for an 8000' chair which will open an entire bowl to the east of the main mountain. A total of nine lifts are planned. What is nice is how the character of the mountain has not changed. At least not yet. Real nice people. Lots of kids, straight skis and rear entry boots mix with the latest fat skis. Terriffic soup and $40 lift tickets and $400 passes. Not the most challenging terrain in the world, but a great place to get in just about as many runs as the knees can handle. I see the cost of real estate as an issue. The Rangley area has the mountain but also lakes as well. Prices are large notwithstanding the rural area. Don't know how many folks would drop up to $350k for a condo there - or more to build a stand alone place. Frankly, as much as I love this hill, I am looking at Jay Peak as part of my retirement plan. Land is cheaper, the mountain in its present state is superior and maybe, just maybe, they got fewer black flies over there. Anyway, if someone wants to get a sense of what a ski hill in Maine used to feel like, a trip to Saddleback will be just the ticket. Alpinedad, you may be suprised at how different it looks but how similar it feels.
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