I was able to borrow a new, demo pair of these race GS skis last Saturday...tried them for about 2 hours.
Weight: 145 lbs
Skiing style: Technical, racer type, blend of power and finesse; still love powder
Skier Days per Year: 50
Current equipment: Boots: Nordica Aggressor 150; Skis: Blizzard GS 185cm, Volkl GS 183cm, Volkl SL 155cm, Dynastar Legend Pro 176cm
Weather and Snow Conditions:
Clear California spring day, Sugar Bowl ski area, 26 degree overnight low, rock hard frozen corduroy at 9am and 40 degrees by 12 noon when I was done; testing was on a short (40 second) GS training course about 10 runs + 5 free ski runs
I have been skiing on the 2009 185cm GS and in January decided they were too much ski for my weight. I switched back to the 183cm Volkl GS. The Volkl seems to suit a lighter skier like myself. So, when the opportunity was available to try the 2010 Blizzard in a slightly shorter size....I said sure!
- First Touch: Flex is noticeably softer in the mid-body; balanced flex; with medium tip and tail; only slight camber and decambering takes very little pressure
- Graphics: Similar to this year with an asymetic tip logo/graphic.....red, black and white similar to 2009
- Radius: 25 meter and no tip/waist/tail dimensions indicated; this is intended to be a women's FIS full race stock ski
- Tuning: 0.5 degree base bevel and 3.0 side bevel; this felt very manageable, moderately aggressive
- Construction: Flat top and straight sidewalls with Vist plate identical to the 2009 race skis mated with Marker DIN 20 bindings; interior construction is a departure from 2009 skis. Per shop rep, the skis are a wrap/torsion box construction around a wood core and using slightly thinner metal layers on top and bottom than the 2009 skis....this apparently contributes to softer flex feel; this construction may not apply to the men's race stock 185cm GS...I could not verify.
Initiation: Similar to the 183cm 23m Volkl GS; the turn initiation seemed easy a the top of the turn with moderate to strong forward pressure and athletic stance; by comparison, the 2009 182cm and 185cm Blizzard GS are brute tanks and take extreme tip pressure to start the turn
Turn Completion: the Blizzard GS has powerful, slow release energy at the end of the turn for smooth lateral body shifts; by comparison the Volkl GS has a snappy, quick release; heavy skiers may find the Blizzard too slow or dead; however, for the intended women FIS users, or lighter weight men (<165#), this is a welcome balance of response and ski management
Edge Control: Very good edge bite response with good edge angles; equal or better than the 183cm Volkl GS
Feel: The balanced flex rewards center of ski stance but is flexible to fore/aft shifts during turns; softer flex makes it easier to get a deep counter flex in the turn; consequently the ski feels slightly quicker than a standard 25 meter radius; engaging the ski with high edge angles creates a "full ski" tip-to-tail feel; the ski feels very damp; rides very quiet (quiet on spring groomer "death cookies"), no tip deflection or wander in race track chop and ruts; point-and-go, lock-and-load confidence for athletic movements; and a confidence builder when you start pushing harder into the turn, small turn shape adjustments can still be made while in the turn; no apparent top end speed for GS