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Review: 2010 Blizzard Magnum 8.1 Max 172cm

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

 About me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, fairly athletic skier, 50-60 days/year on the hill, can ski most anything


Ski: Blizzard Magnum 8.1 Max 172cm, 2010 model. This ski is changed for 2010: a bit softer tip, 2 sheets of metal (laterally stiffer supposedly), same dimensions (17m radius, 122/81/108?)


Conditions: dust on crust, fast groomers, death cookies off-piste, aggressive conditions.


The conditions were pretty challenging for testing these skis.  I had skied these a few weeks ago and had a very favorable impression. Today, I got around 3 hours on them. I haven't skied the 8.1's from this year to make much of a comparison, but I can say that this is a very, very good ski. Even on the crust, it held like a race ski, and had the power and lateral stiffness close to what I expect from my Dynastar 4x4's. Just a real power carver.  Somewhat demanding, not the biggest sweet spot, but tons of energy from the tail, and considering the level of performance, a pretty easy ride to get hold of.  It just explodes you across the fall line when it hooks up, and made me feel like a "hero" on groomers, due to the edge angles I was getting and the grip this ski was giving me. Turn radius is about right for a carver: feels quicker than 17m, more like a 15m feel, and has the same stability as the 4x4.  This ski is all horsepower, but due to the softer flex, I could bend it up easily. Perhaps the raciest 80mm+ ski I have yet tried, and feels beefier and more stable than the Supersonic IQ.  Off piste, it was workable: not really a soft, forgiving off-piste ski, but more of a mid-width carver. I did take it into a few bumps and it was fun and predictable, but in the death cookies off-piste, it was a bit too stiff laterally and would toss you around.  


Conclusion: this will be a big winner for those looking for a powerhouse frontside carver with zero speed limit, and a bit of versatility. Not the last word in off-piste performance, but OK if you venture off the groomed, and a true thoroughbred on hard snow and groomers.  As thrilling of a ski as I have tried in this width. I do think that more of the race-carver style ski does hook up a little quicker, but this is every bit as powerful once on edge, and stable, as the Blizzard GSR IQ.  You may notice the narrower skis have the edge on really bulletproof Eastern ice, but for out West, a skier would be wanting very little if they had one of these in their quiver.  I do think that some of the race carvers (like a Progressor 9+ or GSR IQ, Elan Waveflex GSX) do give you a bit more GS-like ride; whereas this one is a bit snappier, more carver-like feel to it.  This is a really, really exciting ski that will put grins on alot of faces. 

post #2 of 8

I spent a full day on the 2010 Blizzard 8.1 Magnum IQ Max as well as a full day on 2010 Dynastar Legend Sultan 80, 172 cm. Both have similar dimensions, and to me, feel very similar even though they have different construction.  These were my favorite 2 skis that I tried at a local demo day along with several others, and thanks to the local Blizzard and Dynastar factory reps, had the privilege to spend an additional  full day on each of these skis. It was late season spring conditions, very soft, when I tried these skis.  I absolutely loved both of these skis and found them to definitely improve my performance. Unlike many people reviewing the new skis, whether in magazines or blogs, I'm unfortunately not a level 9 skier. I'm 46, and I skied 30 days this past season - that's twice as much as the total days I've skied in the past 45 years.  For someone who is a solid intermediate, but desperately wanting to be considered 'expert' (if only in my mind), I found both of these skis to be very stable, easy to engage, and frankly, quite forgiving. The Legends were a little softer, and slightly more forgiving.  I felt as if I could drive these from the back seat or sitting on the hood. The Magnums were also forgiving, and I felt  - a little more 'precise'.  In the bumps I felt that I could place these skis on edge, precisely where I wanted to.  Both have great stability at speed, and compared to my 'intermediate' level crap skis, I found myself comfortable skiing twice as fast as I normally did - still not fast compared to you level 9's out there. I would strongly recommend either of these skis to an intermediate skier looking for game improvement. I'm planning to plunk down the cash to buy a pair for this next season - most likely I'll get the Blizzard 8.1's, but would be happy with either. Neither of these skis are 'inexpensive'. For someone like me to release my death grip on my hard earned cash - says something about these skis - they're definitely worth the price.  They'll improve your performance and help you enjoy your days on the mountain much more. And this is from someone so cheap that I'll drive 200 miles (and spend $25 in gas) just to save $5 on a purchase. Who knows, by this time next year on these new skis, maybe I can believe that I can be an 'expert' skier.

post #3 of 8

After all the skis I tested this season.........the (2009) 8.1 is the one I pulled the trigger on. 


Dawg's review is right on the nose.


It's one very fun ski.

post #4 of 8

 I am still torn between the 8.1 and 8.7 for next season. I demoed the new (widetrack) 8.1 in a 171 at Stratton then I skied it for half a day at  A-Basin over Mothers Day in the 179. I do really like this ski a lot, but for me, I like it a bit longer. The JEster style binding is a better set up than the narrower binding allowing the 8.1 to be more responsive on hard snow. I do think Blizzard could have just come out with a new 8400 as the 8.4 instead of the 8.1 and 8.7. 

post #5 of 8

Just wanted to add that I bought the 8.7 and I got them from Dawg.


He is a great guy with a great deal of knowledge- always shoots straight.


Thanks Dawg!

post #6 of 8
For those with experience on the 2009 8.1's, what length recommendation would you have for a 47 y.o. level 7/8 skier primarily in the east?

post #7 of 8
Forgot to add that I weigh 165 lbs.
post #8 of 8
hobbes429 - Don't know if this helps, but I'm a 47 yr old (one thing we have in common), approximately Level 7 skier, grew up and skied the east coast a few times, but now a Pacific Northwest  skier, and - although  I wish I could forget - am 225 lbs.  I demoed the 2010 8.1s at 172 CM and they felt perfect.
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