Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 80
Lengths: 144, 150, 156, 162, 168
The 2017 Blizzard Quattro W 8.0 Ca is a mid-priced model in the new Quattro line of groomed-snow carvers. It's the same shape as the more expensive 8.0 Ti for women (deep carve-ready sidecut with tip and tail rocker for easy steering and skidding), but it lacks the metal, so its lighter and livelier than the 8.0 Ti, better suited for slower speeds. Blizzard offers a narrower version as well. That model, the 7.4 Ca, will be quicker and edgier on harder (Eastern) snow, where the 8.0 offers better flotation and soft-snow performance on softer (Western) groomers. The massive new Quattro line, comprising 10 models for men and six for women, highlights the 2017 offering from Blizzard. Where the brand has succeeded in recent years with popular wide-waisted freeriders like the Bonafide and Cochise, the Quattro line turns the focus to narrow-waisted carvers aimed at a broader, frontside-skiing public. With "street prices" ranging from $400 to $1,100 for men and $400 to $700 for women (all with binding), the broad line ranges from low-end models aimed at cautious intermediates who stick to the groomed up to racy high-performance carvers for experts who might already have a fat ski and want a pure carver for groomer-day fun. All are built for edge-to-edge quickness and secure edge grip, on narrow waists ranging from 72 to 80 mm in the women's collection. All models are vertical-sidewall laminate constructions for optimal edge grip on hardpack, with differing reinforcements according to target ability, target use, and budget. The top four women's models (the 8.0 Ti, 7.4 Ti, 8.0 Ca, and 7.4 Ca) are built on lightweight cores of bamboo and paulownia wood. All models feature Blizzard's IQ binding interface, which is integrated into the frame of the ski for enhanced power transmission to the edge and is attached with one central screw so that the ski can flex roundly, with no flat spot under the boot. Women's bindings range from a heavy-duty 12-DIN suitable for high speeds and an aggressive attack down to a lightweight and affordable 10-DIN suitable for less-aggressive intermediates. All women's models are rockered tip and tail, 4 to 6 mm, for easy steering and soft-snow pivotability. All have deep, full-length sidecut for optimized hook-up on turn entries and strong finishes. 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.