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Frontside Skis

2023 Blizzard Brahma 88 Review

This year’s No. 2 ski is a wider waisted frontside ski that can crush groomers as well as the crud

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Brand: Blizzard

Model: Brahma 88

Overall Ranking: #2

Overall Score: 7.88 / 10



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

128-88-110

Lengths (cm)

165, 171, 177, 183, 189

Radius (m)

16 (177cm)

Waist Width (mm)

88

Gender

Unisex

Level

Advanced, Expert

Strengths

Stability at Speed (#4), Crud Performance (#1)

Weaknesses

Forgiveness (#4), Hard Snow Integrity (#9)

Stability at Speed

8.0 / 10

Quickness / Maneuverability

7.83 / 10

Playfulness

7.83 / 10

Forgiveness

7.33 / 10

Hard Snow Performance

7.67 / 10

Crud Performance

8.17 / 10

Versatility

8.17 / 10

Responsiveness

7.83 / 10

Carving

8.0 / 10

The Blizzard Brahma 88 has consistently been a top performer at SKI’s gear test over the years, so it comes as no surprise that it once again landed at the top of the pile. Despite its wider 88mm waist, the Brahma 88 outperformed many of the narrower skis in the frontside category.

Related: Carving vs. frontside skis—what’s the difference?

It may not have a carving ski’s traditional build, but testers were stoked as soon as they hit that first turn off the Sun Valley chairlift when they felt it attack turns like a giant slalom ski. It holds an edge like a dream and has a ton of power. That power comes from the Brahma 88’s construction. It has two sheets of metal, which makes it stiff and burly. Its dampness makes it confidence-inspiring when you’re arcing down the fall line, whether on groomed snow or off trail. But it also makes this ski a touch intimidating at first.

It takes more pressure to get it to bend and engage an edge. Blizzard’s TrueBlend wood core, where the wood is densest underfoot and less dense in the tip and tail, attempts to soften up the areas of ski responsible for easier turn initiation and release. But don’t let that mislead you: The Brahma 88 is not a soft or forgiving ski. It skews toward advanced intermediate to expert riders. “Skiers must have the ability to access the edge and flex patterns,” notes tester Matt Schiller, a professional ski bootfitter in Utah. “Larger and powerful skiers will rejoice—and those who do not mind higher speeds and aggressive styles.”

Skier testing 2023 Blizzard ski in Sun Valley
Tester Tommy Flitton takes the Blizzard Brahma 88 into the slop in Sun Valley to test its versatility. (Photo: Ray J Gadd)

If you’ve got the skill and gumption to harness this ski’s power, you’ll be most impressed with its versatility. The Brahma 88 is a frontside ski that can crush short swing turns, but it can also bust through crud on the side of the trail with ease. As a result, many testers said it was the perfect one-ski quiver for those who ski on and off trail.. “I would love to ski this as a daily driver and hammer it on a low tide day,” said tester Tommy Flitton, a freeride coach who generally skis Snowbird in Utah. “Great ski for anyone looking to lay big, fast turns on and off-piste.”

See how the 2023 Blizzard Brahma 88 stacks up against the rest in the frontside category

Beginners might be a little overpowered by this ski’s stiffness, but if you consider yourself a strong skier with some even stronger legs, the Brahma 88 would be a great daily driver that can rip the whole mountain—from groomers to chunder. “Test history has proved it,” said Schiller. “Not a surprise, but more a long appreciation for quality brand development. Follow the hype, resist the negative perceptions and go enjoy.”


Courtney Harkins grew up ski racing, starting on the icy slopes of New England and finishing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She now lives in Park City, Utah and works as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team. She also freelance writes and consults in the skiing and Olympic industry. When she’s not traveling with the team, her home mountain is Deer Valley Resort, where she loves to arc turns on groomers, but also knows all of the secret spots for days-old powder. Harkins has been testing skis since 2016 and has been a SKI gear tester for three seasons. 

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