Blizzard Viva 8.1 (2011) - Ski Mag

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.”
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Blizzard Viva

Rating: / 5
Price: $1100.00
Year: 2011
Level: 2
Gender: Female
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 126/84/112
Lengths: 162

Stability at speed: 4.10 / 5
Hard snow performance: 4.36 / 5
Crud performance: 3.55 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.60 / 5

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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.

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.”

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.

Blizzard M-Power

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.

blizzard viva 8.1 IQ thumb 2010

Blizzard Viva 8.1 IQ Max (2010)

Category: Women's Freeride; Category ranking: No. 4 (tie); Average score: 3.31; Balance of skills: 3.23; Best for: Athletic skiers: It reacts quickly to pressure. Not for: Sunday drivers: This ski demands attention.

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.

blizzard viva 7.6 IQ thumb 2010

Blizzard Viva 7.6 IQ (2010)

Category: Women's Cruiser; Category ranking No. 1; Average score 3.96; Balance of skills: 3.83; Best for: Cranking tight turns on hardpack; Not for: The lethargic or unathletic: It’s got energy.

2011 Line Celebrity 90

Line Celebrity 90 (2011)

Remember when skiing wasn’t cool anymore? At the height of the snowboard revolution, a college kid taking woodshop helped bring our sport back. Jason Levinthal, Line’s founder, built what were arguably the first skis for the jib generation. Now, Line boasts a huge following among core skiers, for good reasons. One of which is the Celebrity 90, which stomped the category in powder and was No. 3 in Quickness/Bumps, too. It turned up its nose at hardpack, though, scoring last among winners in Hard-Snow Grip. But take a look at the price. Westerners: Buy this board. “What a ripping ski,” said Humes. “I was giddy.”