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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › 1st Impressions: Blizzard Magnum 8.1, Fischer Progressor 9+
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1st Impressions: Blizzard Magnum 8.1, Fischer Progressor 9+

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Skied Waterville Valley, NH on Saturday chaperoning a group of Boy Scouts. Getting bored after lunch, so I figured I try a couple of demos.

Me: 5'10", 185, 51 yo, Level 8

Conditions: Mostly firm & groomed, some ice, some loose snow & baby bumps on a few of the trails.

Blizzard Magnum 8.1 172 - I'm trying real hard to like these skis. A lot of other positive reviews here, but I can't say I love them as an every day east coast ski. Part of this is due to the driver I'm sure ... also the conditions were not ideal for these skis. I had a couple of runs on some very icy blues after lunch and a run or two on firm with some chopped up crud in spots. The skis were fabulous in the crud, blasted through with nary a twitch and held with a firm grip on the packed trail. Where I had a problem was on the icier terrain. If I was riding the radius and letting them run they were fine, but when I tried to bend 'em into shorter radius turns on the ice I found them a bit stiff and unwilling and found them chattering a bit. Again, this may in part be the driver.

Progressor 9+ 170 - The post lunch conditions favored a narrower ski anyway, so decided to forgo another mid-fat in favor of the Progressor. This was the perfect ski for the conditions! Had a blast on 'em. Great edge hold, easy turn initiation, handled long gee-essy turns or short-swing turns with ease. Seemed noticably more stable a speed than my old RX-8s. Not as great a crud ski as the Magnum, but much better than the RX-8, which got knocked around quite a bit.

I could easily see the Progressor becoming my daily driver on eastern runs.

I really want to try the Magnums on a better day or under conditions where I can get them off-piste a bit. I would also like to compare them with the Cold Heat from Fischer as I tend to like Fischer skis in general. I think they would be a superb crud ski or a western groomer ski, but I'm not so sure as a daily driver in the East.
post #2 of 4
hey oldeastern, thx for the review, would you sum up that the progressor was a solid ski for hold on ice, that is what Im looking for, it seems I always ski on ice, and I need to be able to cut into that stuff. I also want the ski to be very stable at high speeds, and also NOT to be one of those skis that always wants to turn, so I can just cruise too when I get lazy in the afternoon.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
I've been a Fischer fan for a while now with my last ski the well-reviewed RX-8 and my current ride the Race SC. Although the RX-8 Fire is still in their lineup, the Progressor series has replaced the RX-8/RX-9 at the top of Fischer's high-performance front-side carver line.

While not a full-blown race ski, the Progressor has great edgehold for anything you'll find in the northeast ... such as hardpack (ice), crud (chopped ice), windblown (blue ice) or packed powder (premature ice).

The Progressors use a dual-radius design with a short-radius built into the tip geometry which helps the ski engage quickly during turn initiation which inspires a lot more confidence on icier slopes. The longer radius in the mid- and tail-sections of the ski means the ski isn't as "turny" as some slalom cut skis and makes the ski quite happy in long, lazy arcs as well.

I noted that the Progressor felt more stable at speed than the RX-8 or my Race SCs (both 13m skis) and the longer 2nd radius may be part of the reason, but it also feels like the Progressor is slightly stiffer than either of those skis.

The 9+ uses 13m/17m radii which would seem to be the ideal blend (for me anyway) between short radius and gee-essy turns. The 8+ shows 12m/15m which should make it better for short turns, but I haven't had the chance to try it out.
post #4 of 4
I would agree with your observations: The 8.1 is a nice ski, but it ain't no Progressor! At least, not on hard snow. I concur with your observations. For bulletproof edgehold with a bit of versatility thrown in, the Progressor is hard to beat. Perhaps there is a ski over 80mm that holds as well, but I have yet to find one. Even the burliest skis (such as the magfire 14) just don't have that locked-in edge feel of a Progressor, 4x4, Nordica mach 3 Power, or any other "pseudo" race carver.

Out west, your opinions would probably be the other way around if you were in soft snow or bumps.
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