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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Blizzard 8.1, how demanding/stiff is it really? Length suggestions
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Blizzard 8.1, how demanding/stiff is it really? Length suggestions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

After days of research and searching for information on epicski I've gotten various impressions of the stiffness and forgiveness of the Blizzard 8.1. I'm trying to decide which length to get but due to the varying accounts of the stiffness I can't quite make a decision.

 

I'm a Level 7 skiier, 5'6" and 155 lbs. I'm improving my carving ability and also want to improve my skills in the bumps/off-piste. I've read that you should size up for the skiier that you want to become, and not the skiier that you currently are. I'm debating between the 165 and the 172 lengths of the Blizzard 8.1. I was thinking the 165 for the bumps and if it is too stiff for my size/weight it would be afford me some more forgiveness. But if 172 is not too stiff, I wouldn't mind sizing up for the extra stability and to give me room to grow into the skis. Can anyone steer me in the right direction?

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 14

I'm 165, 6', technical skier, smaller home mountain, found the 172 about right. It's an odd ski; fairly stiff but somehow not super demanding. Dawgcatching (suggest search for reviews) seems to like the 179, apparently more of a GS lover on a bigger mountain, and he's your weight. I suspect the 165 would be great for lotsa turns and bumps, more forgiving, but maybe not as planted in crud or as smooth at speed. So depends on what you prioritize, whether you plan to take lessons, where you ski. 

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

I mostly ski in the east, VT area, Killington, Stowe, Okemo. I live in the Boston area and sometimes make day trips out to the smaller local resorts. So we're mostly talking about hardpack and ice here I guess.

 

I think I'm leaning towards the 165 now since I want a bit of forgiveness when I want to just cruise and I love carving out those short snappy turns. Only think I'm afraid of is the stability at speed, though I hear the 8.1 is relatively stiff so I'm hoping it shouldn't be too much of an issue...

post #4 of 14

Not that stiff: I would say moderately stiff for a frontside carver, not that much ski. I used to ski the 172cm, and own the 179cm these days.  Great skis....really fun all over the place, best on firm snow obviously, but fairly versatile. Probably 165 or 172 for you: 172cm will feel more like a GS ski, the 165cm quicker and more of a carver, but still plenty stable. 

post #5 of 14

I'm not so sure here.  I think a lot may depend on your level of aggressiveness. 

 

I have the 8.1 in a 172 length.  Let's just say I'm a strong skier and leave it at that. I outweigh you by 20 lbs and am 2 inches taller.  

 

If you are aggressive and skiing areas like the mid-west and/or New England and want to use this ski for groomers with hard snow conditions, I'd say perhaps, and in your case go with the shorter length.

 

If you are thinking bumps and off-piste I think they are going to ski you instead of you skiing them, in either length.  The ski has considerable energy and it does work fairly well off-piste especially cut up powder.  In deep powder the tip does rise and the ski is fun to ski but not effortless.  In bumps you would need to be on your game.

 

I think you should without question demo it and others like it before making a final decision.  My feeling is that it is a bit too much given your level 7 status. I'd be looking slightly softer in something around the 172 length.

post #6 of 14

I like the ski a lot, I have referred to these as "Volkl (AC30) with personality", while it is on the stiffer side, it is a compliant ski that is friendly with a big sweetspot. At 5'6"/155, the 165 will be a fun ski, the 172 seems like a misapplication for your size, especially in the east, add a ONE and maximize the IQ-Max system and build a quiver. 

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the suggestions, I think I'm pretty set on the 165 if I do decide to pick up the 8.1. However, after all this discussion I am now thinking that maybe the 8.1 isn't the best fit for my skill level/area of skiing.

 

Does anyone have thoughts on the new 2011 Atomic Blackeye, the old Peak 78 (the ones that were the same as the iM78), or the Salomon Tornado Ti? These were all skis I was considering as well and after reading your comments I'm starting to think they might fit me better. Or any other suggestions?

post #8 of 14

I've heard really good things about the Blackeye, ditto for the Tornado although it will be nearly as stiff as the 8.1, and the old Peak 78 is the most forgiving of the bunch, also the best in bumps, would be my call for the west, but ice isn't its strong suit. IMO, close call between the Blackeye and the 8.1. Blackeye may fit your needs better right now and probably a bit better in bumps and tight places, 8.1 will have a slightly bigger upside if you plan to improve and like to rip. I'd go with the 8.1 in 165, but I'm a big fan of Blizzards, so...

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by EraserXIV View Post

Thanks for all the suggestions, I think I'm pretty set on the 165 if I do decide to pick up the 8.1. However, after all this discussion I am now thinking that maybe the 8.1 isn't the best fit for my skill level/area of skiing.

 

Does anyone have thoughts on the new 2011 Atomic Blackeye, the old Peak 78 (the ones that were the same as the iM78), or the Salomon Tornado Ti? These were all skis I was considering as well and after reading your comments I'm starting to think they might fit me better. Or any other suggestions?

 

 



You struck oil with the Magnum 8.1 and yet you keep drilling. The 8.1 is a great ski, stop thinking and start skiing. 

post #10 of 14

I totally agree with Philpug.  The 81's are better than oil or gold!  I am 5' 10" at 175 lb and am an aggressive skier.  I ski the 81's at 172 and the 87's at 174.  The 81's are my go to ski for all over the East Slopes which are always a combo of conditions.  They are lighter than the black Volkl AC3 and AC40 I have so you can ski them longer without working as hard (i.e. MORE RUNS). The 81's are one of the most confidence building skis I have ever skied. I ski the 87's on packed and loose powder. 

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

You struck oil with the Magnum 8.1 and yet you keep drilling. The 8.1 is a great ski, stop thinking and start skiing. 



Haha I guess you do have a point there! I think it's now a toss up between 2011 Blackeyes and the Magnum 8.1, leaning a little more towards the 8.1. Whichever I can score a better deal on will probably be the one I get. Just came back from a day trip at a small local hill and had a great time carving fast short radius turns on my old K2s, but they just didn't have quite the edgehold I was thirsting for. Hopefully I can find a deal on these bad boys and get them on the slopes ASAP! Thanks for all the help.

post #12 of 14

I don't know if you have pulled the trigger or not yet, but I just skied the 8.1's today for the first time and had to weigh in.  These are awesome skis!  I was in your boat, wondering whether or not they were "too much ski" for me, but after one run with them I was able to feel confident.  By the end of the day I was tearing down runs that I previously tip toed down.  I should say that the massive improvement was likely that it's late in the season, but the new boards definitely gripped better and had a smoother feel than my old K2's.  These things are super stable, I mean I threw all I could into them and never lost an edge.  Even on the steeper stuff I was holding lines my old ski's never could.  They also bust through the icy crud that was around early on in the day, and were able to float smoothly on the couple inches of fresh stuff we just got.  They have a really nice feel to them, in that you don't get beat up by the ground too much.  I know the Blizzy's have been being beaten to death talked about on this forum, and I'm sure it's splitting hairs between similar models... but I couldn't be happier with mine.  I'm 6'3" and 180lbs, and I ski the 179 cm... these things are killer. 

post #13 of 14

I'm interested in getting this ski but not sure what size.  I'm 6'0 230 lbs and I know with those stats I should probably be getting the 179.  The reason I'm also looking at the 172 is because I do most of my skiing in Pennsylvania and the reviews I have read say the 179 is more of a GS bigger mountain ski and the 172 is more of a carver, playful ski.  I just don't know with my weight if I should go with the 172 but I think it would be a better size on a smaller mountain.  What would be your recommendation?

post #14 of 14

I skied the 8.1 in 172 in Utah last week.  I'm 5'8" and 180lbs dressed to ski.  I did not find the ski too much at all; as a matter of fact, I thought they were spot on for my ability (lvl 8) and size.  I would buy it in a heartbeat is I didn't already own a carver like it. 

So...I can't advise for someone almost 50lbs heavier.....but at 230, 172 seems short no matter where you ski.  Remember, it's less than 3" difference, and while I know the different lengths have slightly different characteristics, you're splitting hairs most of the time.

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