Blizzard M-Power (2011) - Ski Mag

Blizzard M-Power (2011)

It’s built like a race ski in some respects—wood core, metal laminates, vertical side walls. Blizzard’s new Power System—a carbon reinforcement bar connected to an oil-filled piston underfoot—adds tip and tail pressure at speed while quieting the ski between turns. Blizzard softens the flex and adds tip rocker for manageability and soft-snow versatility, but it’s still very much a go-fast ski: No. 2 in Stability at Speed, No. 1 in Hard-Snow Grip. It’s thrilling, but it expects you to know what you’re doing. Easterners will love the tenaciousness. “Give it the gas; it gives back,” said Malone.
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Blizzard M-Power

Rating: / 5
Price: $1250.00
Year: 2011
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 128/87113
Lengths: 174

Stability at speed: 4.00 / 5
Hard snow performance: 4.15 / 5
Crud performance: 2.64 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.74 / 5

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2011 G-Power

Blizzard G-Power FSIQ (2011)

While it’s amazing what some of the wider skis in the category can do, nothing beats a narrow waist for quickness and edge-grip. Throw in a dose of exciting rebound energy and a ton of sidecut, and you’ve got one thrilling ride. The G Power is a race ski with manners—quiet, confident and obedient in high-speed arcs. Carve technicians will love it, and corduroy is its preferred medium, but its supreme Quickness (No. 1) translates well to moguls. (Hence its No. 1 ranking in Balance of Skills.) Little ski; big fun. “Super lively feel combined with superior carving performance,” said Scholey.

2011 Blizzard The Answer

Blizzard The Answer (2011)

The Answer is a rockered big-mountain twin-tip that’s as lively as a fat ski can get (No. 1 in Rebound) thanks to the subtleness of its rocker profile. In deep powder, some testers wished they had the 191-cm length for extra float, but the 184 was zippy in crud and pleasingly energetic on the groomed. The Answer comes with Blizzard’s Slider binding interface, which accepts any binding, dismounts in seconds (so you can swap in another Slider-mounted binding), and allows the ski to flex roundly fore and aft of its single mounting screw directly underfoot. “A versatile, all-around performer,” said Malone.

2011 Blizzard The Crush

Blizzard The Crush (2011)

Let’s hope the still-small, reemergent Blizzard factory is fully staffed: These skis are going to sell. The redesigned Crush blows through everything in its path. All you have to do is look down your line, and this ski will take you there. Steep, tight trees? Chuck yourself in. Chopped up crud? Ditto. Groomers? It rips. A rockered tip and tail work with its sidecut for supreme contact on hard snow, making it the most versatile in the category—tops in Hard-Snow Grip, Crud, Rebound and Stability. And yes, it smears lusciously through pow. “I couldn’t go as fast as this ski wanted to,” said Beale. “What a standout.”

Blizzard Titan Atlas

Blizzard Titan Atlas (2011)

Blizzard makes rockered skis, too, but the Atlas proudly rocks traditional camber, and its No. 3 overall ranking speaks volumes. Among the fattest in the category, it floats through crud and powder as you’d expect, but its edge-grip and carveability are faultless. The camber gives it a responsiveness and explosiveness that rockered skis lack. “Such a silken grip; surefooted in chunky snow; nice round turn finishes,” said Gleason. The Slider binding interface gives you options: Buy another Slider ($75) for a tele or AT binding, and presto: interchangeable bindings.

Blizzard Viva

Blizzard Viva 8.1 (2011)

Every ski has character traits. This ski has personality. It’s snappy, lively, bubbly—and so responsive, it seems to read your mind. Just think about turning, and you’re ripping perfect GS turns down the steeps. Powerful, yes, but polite, too—patiently skidding when you need to scrub speed. Though most at home on hardpack, its 81-mm waist is wide enough to bust crud and float though pow. Are we gushing? Absolutely: It was No. 1 in Rebound Energy, Forgiveness, Hard-Snow Grip and Balance of Skills. “This ski blew my mind,” said Humes. “Quick, stable, snappy—everything I love in a carver.”

2011 Elan Apex

Elan Apex (2011)

In a category where versatility is prized above all else, the Apex gets the job done with a pleasing blend of power and forgiveness. Testers gave it high marks for its hard-snow performance. Yet with plenty of taper (i.e., relatively narrow tail in relation to tip), it releases readily at the end of each arc, so you’ll never feel overmatched. It’s a no-gimmicks, unrockered, wood-core, vertical-sidewall, metal-reinforced construction with a smooth, supple feel—plenty of fun at speed. “Direction changes are quick, stability is super high—it does everything well,” said Preston.

Fischer Watea 94

Fischer Watea 94 (2011)

Fischer has gone to great lengths to lighten up the 94-mm Watea, milling out parallel channels in the core, then filling them with reinforcing carbon-fiber I-beams. Then it gives the tip a unique shape—a 3D prow like the hull of a speedboat—the better to slice through soft snow. The result: The Watea 94 was No. 1 for Flotation and No. 2 in Crud Performance. As testers pointed out, there are quicker and more energetic skis in the category, but the Watea loves cruising in long, fast arcs on the groomed while waiting for the next powder day. “Fun at high speeds; awesome in crud; all-mountain versatile,” said Boller.

2011 Atomic D2 VF 82

Atomic D2 VF82 (2011)

Was it the biggest, baddest carver in the test? Yes it was: No. 1 in Stability at Speed and Hard-Snow Grip. D2 stands for “double deck”: It has a primary core plus a secondary structure on top. The second core’s shearing action insulates skiers from vibrations and beefs up tip and tail stiffness when the ski is flexed at speed (hence the VF, for “vario flex”). Testers kept trying to find its speed limit, but chickened out every time. Nothing shakes its quiet stability, and yet for all its raciness, it’s wide enough for soft snow. Beware, it’s the least forgiving among winners. “As long as I was willing to go way too fast, this ski lit it up,” said Elling.