Blizzard Bonafide (2017)

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Blizzard Bonafide

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Rating: 3.65 / 5
Price: $840.00
Year: 2017
Level: 2
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 98
Tip/Tail/Waist: 133-98-18
Lengths: 166, 173, 180, 187

Stability at speed: 4.20 / 5
Hard snow performance: 4.09 / 5
Crud performance: 3.85 / 5
Flotation: 3.03 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.96 / 5
Overall: 3.65 / 5

With its 98-mm waist-width, the 2017 Blizzard Bonafide is built to spend equal time between hardpack and powder. That makes it an appropriate everyday freeride model for skiers who ski in the West (or Eastern freeriders who aren't afraid of a little width). It's a perennial champ in the SKI Magazine ski tests. Quicker edge-to-edge than the 108-waisted Cochise, it's similarly metal-reinforced, with a deeper sidecut radius (18 meters) that hooks up and carves readily on hardpack. The Bonafide's core is a blend of poplar and beech.

It's part of Blizzard's highly successful Free Mountain Series, which includes its bull-themed models (each named for a famous rodeo bull). The series, which returns unchanged for 2017 (including graphic), comprises five men's models ranging in width from 125 mm (Spur) down to 88 mm (Brahma), with MSRPs ranging from $960 down to $780 (all are sold flat, without a binding). All are sturdy laminate constructions built on wood cores (including light, rugged bamboo with weight-saving foam stringers in the widest models, Spur and Bodacious). All are built with edgy, full-length/full-height vertical sidewalls. All are rockered in the tip in tail, for soft-snow flotation and easy-to-pivot steering; the widest models (Spur, Bodacious) are flat through the midsection, for maximum looseness in deep snow, while the narrower ones (Cochise, Bonafide and Brahma) have positive camber underfoot for enhanced edge grip and rebound energy on hardpack. Tapered tips (where the widest part of the ski is moved toward the binding) give all models an added measure of slashy surfiness in deep snow. All Freeride All Mountain skis are built with Blizzard's Flipcore construction method: The ski mold is built with rocker in it, and the wood core is flipped so that it fits the rockered mold (arched surface down; flat surface up). Blizzard says no extra pressure is needed tip and tail to bend the ski into a rockered shape, so there's no material-memory tendency to spring back to an unrockered shape, and pressure distribution is even along the ski's length. The newer Carbon Flipcore, in all models, has a layer of strong, light carbon-fiber reinforcement through the rocker area in the tip to save weight, increase stability, and reduce the tip-flap that plagues some rockered skis. 

Blizzard, founded in 1945, is based in Mittersill, Austria, about 15 minutes from Kitzbuehel. It's part of the Tecnica Group, which includes Tecnica and Nordica (also Rollerblade, Lowa, and Moon Boot). The Mittersill factory produces both Blizzard and Nordica skis, as well as some

Blizzard launches a new line of narrow- waisted carvers this year, called Quattro (see Groomed Snow). But it’s hard to imagine needing better hardpack performance than that offered by the Bonafide, which remains the test team’s favorite Blizzard. A longtime multitool contender and former winner of the Mixed Snow West category, the Bonafide could easily meet the needs of Eastern rippers as well, thanks to its sturdy construction, unshakable edge grip,

and speed-loving personality. Testers warn that it’s not the most forgiving or buoyant ski in the category, but guys who know how to set an edge will love its power and security. Schiller: “Not too stiff, not too soft; exceptional stability and edge hold at speed.”

 skis for other brands. -J.C.

Notes: With its 98-mm waist-width, the 2017 Blizzard Bonafide is built to spend equal time between hardpack and powder. That makes it an appropriate everyday freeride model for skiers who ski in the West (or Eastern freeriders who aren't afraid of a little width). It's a perennial champ in the SKI Magazine ski tests. Quicker edge-to-edge than the 108-waisted Cochise, it's similarly metal-reinforced, with a deeper sidecut radius (18 meters) that hooks up and carves readily on hardpack. The Bonafide's core is a blend of poplar and beech.

It's part of Blizzard's highly successful Free Mountain Series, which includes its bull-themed models (each named for a famous rodeo bull). The series, which returns unchanged for 2017 (including graphic), comprises five men's models ranging in width from 125 mm (Spur) down to 88 mm (Brahma), with MSRPs ranging from $960 down to $780 (all are sold flat, without a binding). All are sturdy laminate constructions built on wood cores (including light, rugged bamboo with weight-saving foam stringers in the widest models, Spur and Bodacious). All are built with edgy, full-length/full-height vertical sidewalls. All are rockered in the tip in tail, for soft-snow flotation and easy-to-pivot steering; the widest models (Spur, Bodacious) are flat through the midsection, for maximum looseness in deep snow, while the narrower ones (Cochise, Bonafide and Brahma) have positive camber underfoot for enhanced edge grip and rebound energy on hardpack. Tapered tips (where the widest part of the ski is moved toward the binding) give all models an added measure of slashy surfiness in deep snow. All Freeride All Mountain skis are built with Blizzard's Flipcore construction method: The ski mold is built with rocker in it, and the wood core is flipped so that it fits the rockered mold (arched surface down; flat surface up). Blizzard says no extra pressure is needed tip and tail to bend the ski into a rockered shape, so there's no material-memory tendency to spring back to an unrockered shape, and pressure distribution is even along the ski's length. The newer Carbon Flipcore, in all models, has a layer of strong, light carbon-fiber reinforcement through the rocker area in the tip to save weight, increase stability, and reduce the tip-flap that plagues some rockered skis. 

Blizzard, founded in 1945, is based in Mittersill, Austria, about 15 minutes from Kitzbuehel. It's part of the Tecnica Group, which includes Tecnica and Nordica (also Rollerblade, Lowa, and Moon Boot). The Mittersill factory produces both Blizzard and Nordica skis, as well as some skis for other brands. -J.C.

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