Before you know the ski, you have to know me. (I know it sucks, but this is my favorite part!)
21, Starving college student. Born, raised and currently live in Truckee, CA. I have been skiing for 7 years so I've just begun doing stupid stuff like jumping off cliffs. I'm a sucker for trees, moguls, powder and anything in the 'country.
My daily steed is the 08-09 Blizzard Magnum 8.7 174 (not wide enough) and my boots are heavily modified Nordica TR12's (not stiff enough). My gear may be subpar, however I am not. Oh yeah I wear a pink helmet. Can't forget that.
In the past years my home mountain has been Vail-Star-At-Tahoe (I worked in my boots on the hill) but this year I decided to switch it up. I have been exclusively skiing at the home of gnar-gnar skiing itself, Squaw-lee-ville.
This decision was probably the reason my Magnum’s edge decided to start separating from the ski (too many hard landings?). I didn’t crash over any rocks but my 170 pound self must have begun to do some damage. I took them into the shop to get repaired (apparently they aren’t under warranty anymore; screw you blizzard) and took out some demos for the next day.
Various ski-whores I trust have been trying to get me on the Answer’s so it was any easy choice.
The day at Squaw looked like an epic powder day, however it really wasn’t. Everything was really variable. I encountered every condition but corn and slush.
So finally the ski.
First impression: where the hell is the tip?!
Second impression: dang are these really 184 cm long?!
In soft, tracked-out snow the Answer’s were amazing. I have never been on such a confident and stable ski in the cut up stuff. Turned quickly without any antics, was supple and damp yet did not deflect. All I gotta say is WOW. Skiing in less than ideal visibility conditions was actually fun. I didn’t worry about getting tossed around by that bump I didn’t see. Landings of 5-6 feet were comfortably absorbed without any ridiculous backlash.
Skiing moguls was disconcerting. Easily maneuvered around the bumps, beautifully soaked them up, but the lack of a dependable tip prevented any real fun. I found it impossible to carve the backside of the bump (the best part… right?). Groomers were okay… Edge to edge speed was exceptional for its width, grip was good, but flapping tip and tail was bleh. Forward pressure didn’t provide any feedback. Lack of rebound and “snap” prevented any goofy airborne antics on the corduroy.
In untracked powder I experienced tip dive 5% of the time when aggressively charging on steep pitches. For a ski this is so outrageously confident in the tracked out snow I expected no less in more virgin conditions. This inconsistency was really annoying and prevented what is a playful ski from being tons of fun. Edge grip on hard wind crusts and firmer snow was dismal. I feel this is more a function of the rocker shape than actual torsional stiffness.
Skis really, really, really, short for its length. Like 40cm shorter. Outrageously stable. Quick. Inconsistent in fresh powder (how is that possible?). Not your variable snow ski. Would not buy...
I have not been able to ski the 191cm version of this ski but if you weigh more than 140-150 pounds I think it may solve some of the powder problems / criticisms I outlined above. Edge grip may also be better in this larger size, but I am just guessing.
I would like to see Blizzard make a normally cambered version of this ski with a rockered tip and regular tail. I think it would be the ultimate do it all tool.