Rating: 3.33 / 5
Waist Width: 98
Stability at speed: 3.66 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.41 / 5
Crud performance: 3.76 / 5
Flotation: 2.78 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.41 / 5
Overall: 3.33 / 5
The No. 1-ranked ski is light and playful. The No. 2, solid and edgy. The No. 3-ranked Samba achieves a balance, demonstrating both personali- ties to lesser extent in a single super-versatile package. Last year's Samba won the category. This year's, slightly lighter, still put up the top Overall Impression score, and the testers still think it's the best of the bunch in crud. It suits a hard-charging style best, but it's never overpowering. And everyone loved the graphic. Elling: "Dependable, balanced, always in the right place."
NOTES: The Samba is Blizzard's second-widest women's ski, with a 131 mm tip and 98 mm waist. It also has a long, 19 meter sidecut radius, designed for wide-open turns all over the mountain, but small enough to weave through tough-to-reach spots. These specs are perfect for charging through powder, but also practical for really any terrain, making the Samba a ski designed for everyday use.
The Samba is part of Blizzard's Women Freeride Series, which focuses on wider, big mountain skis that are designed to hold up far beyond the groomers. Flip Core technology, in which the core itself is built with rocker, rather than forced into a rockered shape during pressing, is designed to result in a chatter-free ride. Sandwich Compound Sidewalls feature durable plastics, ABS and phenol, that are built to keep edges safe and locked on the snow. Light Core Technology combines Isocore, poplar wood, and bamboo to prevent cores from being too clunky. Finally, a Rocker Camber Rocker profile features a cambered center intended for race-style turns and a rockered tip and tail for floating over varied conditions. If you're looking to huck cliffs, send chutes, and bomb down variable snow conditions on a regular basis, or just want something burlier than a strictly-groomer ski, this is the best women's series Blizzard has to offer you.
Blizzard, based in Mittersill, Austria, was founded in 1953. Its U.S. headquarters are in West Lebanon, N.H.