Expert Review: 2023 Blizzard Bonafide 97 [with Video]Published on 11/02/2022 · 5 min readSki Expert Hayden Wright tested the 2023 Blizzard Bonafide 97 skis at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Hayden Wright demoed the 2023 Blizzard Bonafide 97 this spring at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different. If you have any questions about the 2023 Blizzard Bonafide 97 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
One final point before we dive in: It's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What's your overall impression of the ski? My overall impression with the Blizzard Bonafide 97 after we took it into some trees is that it’s gone through a big update this year. This particular model has two full sheets, all the way, tip and tail, making it burly. With those metal sheets, it's extremely stiff, which is a big update for the model this year. The smaller core helps with weight.
The skis did great. On the groomers as well, they're loaded with camber. Those two full-length sheets of metal really helped the ski hold edge. I’d say it’s definitely a resort ski that’s ready to bust through crud. If you were going into the trees, it's going to be there for you. It was fun.
How does it turn? The Blizzard Bonafide was pretty quick edge-to-edge. In my opinion, 97 millimeters underfoot is a great all-mountain ski width. It's precisely wide enough to help you off-trail and still satisfactorily swift edge-to-edge on the groomers.
How is its edge hold? The edge hold on these bad boys was great. We were here when it was still a little bit hard-packed on the slopes. So, during those early morning laps, the skis are going to be there for you. You'll be confident in laying down arcs.
How is stability in turns? For turns, these were really stable. Again, there are two full sheets of metal throughout these skis. If you haven't skied a ski that has one layer, let alone two, it is definitely different. You feel it: The ski holds edge, which helps with confidence. If you're a newer skier, this one is going to be, I'd say, intermediate-to-advanced. But to that point, this would be a great ski to push yourself maybe and grow with the ski, for sure.
How is it in terms of speed? Is it easy to control? The Bonafide 97 is for speed. We got it up a couple of runs, and there was no chatter, just a real stiff ski. So, taking it up to speed, you don't have to worry about trying to throw on the brakes and then the ski not being there for you. I will state once more that it is indeed intermediate-to-advanced. But if you’re skilled or up for it—as long as it’s safe—and you want to go fast, feel free to let this ski eat up the terrain.
What terrain is this ski ideal for? In terms of what terrain this excelled in the most, I would have to say I enjoyed it a lot on the groomers. It was great on the side stashes of the groomers as well. Being a stiff ski, if you really wanted to lay that sharp turn or change directions, it is definitely there for you to do just that.
Comparing it to a ski with less metal or no metal—like a full wood core ski—this particular ski will be more responsive and be there on the run with you. So, if I had to choose one terrain, I would rip the groomers at any resort on this bad boy.
What terrain should skiers avoid with this ski? Let's see: If you had these skis and you had to avoid any terrain, I’d say avoid super tight trees, maybe. And obviously, keep away from the terrain park and moguls. There might be a little too much ski in this 2023 model for the moguls. But other than that, if you are looking for a good resort ski, these things do great.
Who would you recommend this ski to? As I mentioned, this ski is great for intermediate-to-advanced skiers. But I would love to see a beginner skier who's willing to go out and try to progress more on it. You're going to be able to grow with this ski. It might seem like a lot when you're starting out, but having this ski with the full metal is going to give you that confidence to throw in the brakes when you need to.
Adding in the 97-millimeter underfoot and great width, the Bonafide 97 is enough to do everything. It's not the best for pow, but it's certainly not a pow ski on groomer. All in all, it’s a solid all-mountain jammer for the resorts.
Who should avoid this ski? Patrick Graham. He should avoid these. Just kidding, Pat.
If you're a new skier and you're only skiing two to three times a year, this is definitely going to be too much ski for you. But again, I don't want to intimidate new riders. If you're going to be frequently active, this ski is something to consider.
All of these skis that we test are designed for different people and work differently for different types of skiers. That's where we, the experts, come in handy. Talk to Hayden or any other Ski Expert here on Curated. We love to chat. We love to talk gear. We break it down. We’ll help you find the right skis for you.