Well, I have finally gotten time on the 8.7's in "real" conditions. Still stuck mostly to groomers (still have pain on the fracture line on the tounge of the boot) but can ski closer to full speed on the groomers, as long as visibility is good and they aren't too hooky. Me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, ski 40-60 days/year normally (been skiing for a month this season) and am probably somewhere in the huge gulf of level 9 categorization.
Ski: Blizzard 8.7 Magnum binding, 174cm length.
Review: this ski really comes alive at speed. It is one of the most stable ~175cm skis I have tried; extremely solid and confidence inspiring. Needs a bit of edge angle to come alive on groomers, and you can ski it like a race ski with lots of pressure on the inside ski early and big edge angles and have total confidence it will be there for you. At my weight, not a lot of energy: more of stable, powerful GS feel. This is a slow ski edge-to-edge, and comes around slowly: at nearly 19m radius, it isn't a short-turn, fall line carver, but will do shorter turns, just hard to get pure carves in a steep fall line situation. Rolls flat very predictably, releases smoothly, not overly agressive, but with tons of horsepower under the hood. No real speed limit that I found: I was skiing as fast as traffic on the hill would allow in big GS arcs, and having a blast. Only took it into moderate bumps, but seemed to absorb them pretty well. Perhaps a little stiff for the big ones. I was doing some inside-leg skiing (trying to get my COM moving down the hill, as I have been very tentative after breaking my leg) and it tipped onto edge very easily. You could probably ski this slower, but at this length and with a ski that is fairly stiff, it likes to run.
I would probably classify it as more of a all-around midfat than an AC50-type wider carver. The bigger turn radius and damper feel doesn't really have the carver feel to it, instead it has more of an iM88 all-around feel to it. The ski isn't lacking energy, but isn't popping me from turn to turn. Then again, I really don't have the leg power (with only a month's skiing and riding my bike since surgery) to really, really bend up in the arc. I really liked it for a do-it-all tool, true 50/50 ski. I could see getting something wider for deeper snow and narrower for mostly groomer use around here, but could easily live with this as the 1 ski. Comparisons to follow when I am at the demo even next week.