Expert Review: 2023 Blizzard Rustler 10 [with Video]Published on 11/02/2022 · 12 min readSki Experts Daryl and Theo tested the 2023 Blizzard Rustler 10 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Experts Daryl and Theo spent the day testing the Blizzard Rustler 10 at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out their overall impressions of the ski and how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories. Curated Experts are not sponsored and have no ties to any particular brand, so these are honest and unbiased opinions of the gear. Keep in mind that every skier is unique, so be sure to talk to a Ski Expert here on Curated for more information and personalized ski recommendations.
What does Blizzard claim about this ski? [Daryl] Blizzard claims that the Rustler 10 is a great all-around ski for someone who’s looking for a ski to dabble in powder and ski on a daily basis. It can stand up to hard charging but is still nimble in trees and bumps.
[Theo] Blizzard markets the Rustler 10 as their main all-mountain freestyle-adjacent but not exclusive option in a mid-waist width around 100mm.
What was your overall impression of the ski? [Daryl] I had a really good time on the Rustler 10s even though they were not the best ski for the conditions today. They can charge really hard but require a more confident driver. There are better options available for more timid skiers, but these will reward someone who likes to stay forward and ski aggressively. They’re fun skis with a ton of energy, and I had a great time on them.
[Theo] I found the Rustler 10 to be a medium option in terms of flex. The tips and the tails are pretty loose compared to other skis in the class that have metal. There wasn't a lot of chatter underfoot, and It held pretty strong.
There's a titanal layer that goes the entire cambered portion of the ski and extends a little bit beyond it to about halfway between the top of the binding and the tip. That layer definitely helps keep the ski fairly stiff underfoot and eliminate any underfoot chatter.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? [Daryl] The Rustler 10 is a fairly straight ski without a ton of sidecut for 102mm underfoot. They carve well but have a good amount of tip and tail rocker. Even with the tip rocker, I didn’t feel any chatter, and they didn’t get pushed around in suboptimal chunky and icy conditions.
I was skiing the 180cm length and wished that I had tried the 188cm. I tend to ski very forward and felt like I was pushing the ski to its limit. With the rocker in the tip and tail they feel shorter than the listed length. While they require a strong skier, I could size up and still be happy on them.
[Theo] The Rustler 10 features a good amount of rocker. When the ski is decambered it begins about three fifths of the way from the top of the binding to the tip of the ski. It's a little lower down on the tail, but the tail also features a significant amount of rocker. It's not a particularly cambered ski. It is a wider option with these early rise tips being nice, strong, large shovels for powder skiing.
How well does the ski hold an edge? [Daryl] The Rustler 10 was stiffer than I was expecting and held an edge well. The stiffness underfoot requires a confident skier to really drive them, and they like laying into a carve and finishing a turn. They’re damp underfoot with softer tips and tails and good at scrubbing skis.
I felt like I was getting shot out of a lot of my turns. The ski stores a lot of energy in the apex of the turn, so as it rolls into a new turn it accelerates and pushes the skier out and through the middle of the turn and into the next.
[Theo] The Rustler 10 is an extremely stable sk. I would almost say it's dead underfoot, it's so damp. When ripping down steep groomed terrain, which I did a lot of on these, it was fairly difficult to initiate short and medium radius turns. I was able to by flexing into my boots and my skis, but it definitely takes some force. They're not particularly short radius prone skis based on the side cut and the flex profile, but that does mean they are exceptionally stable.
They have good edge hold, and I think that is because of the titanal layer. The weight of that metal in the ski provides a really strong and stable platform. When you're ripping down groomed steep terrain, you're almost never worried about losing it. At least I was not.
Does the ski feel stable? [Daryl] They are stable for what they are, but I think that someone who’s lookin for a deep carving ski should go to the Rustler 9. I would pick these as a spring ski that I could take all over the mountain when conditions are more variable. I did see the tips flopping, but the vibration was dampened really well and did not get transferred to my foot.
[Theo] The tips and the tails chatter more than your average metal laminate all-mountain ski. I didn't find that extended underfoot, but at high speeds down groomed and icy terrain and off trail on icier terrain I did find that the tips were flapping around a medium amount. It was noticeable, but It didn't affect the ride. Off-trail, when the snow gets a bit softer, if there's a little fresh snow, these are actually exceptionally stable and damp skis. You don't experience a ton of chatter at all off trail.
How does the ski handle high speeds? [Daryl] They handled super well at high speeds. I straight-lined on the Rustler 10s and used them for filming, and I never felt like I had to watch out on them. They will do whatever an expert skier tells them to.
[Theo] This is a great ski at high speeds. That's because it's heavy and has a metal layer, so you're not worried you're going to lose it. If you're attempting slalom turns at high speeds, you're going to want something more nimble like a ski with a narrower waist that'll be quicker edge to edge. If you're ripping large radius GS turns on these, then you'll be happy, especially in crud or fresh spring snow that has gotten a little wet and soft.
In ice, chunky, choppy snow, these are a great charger. They're damp and they'll allow you to bust through that crud with little to no issue, especially at high speed.
How does the ski handle low speeds? [Daryl] Low speeds were fine. They’re very maneuverable for 102mm underfoot. The rocker definitely helps with that. They take a little more work than something narrower or softer, but they’re maneuverable at low speeds, and I had no problems doing anything.
Can you speak to the ski’s playfulness and pop? [Daryl] There are better playful options on the market. It’s definitely a hard-charging ski and operates more like a wide all-mountain carving ski. It’s very poppy turn to turn. The energy that gets stored during a carve pops the ski out of a turn and into the next one.
[Theo] I would say they are fairly playful due to the loose flexible tips. They aren't as flexible as a park ski, but compared to other skis in this class, which is a metal laminate, all-mountain ski they are more flexible.
How does the ski feel in the air? [Theo] If you are a committed, verging on park, freestyle skier you should not consider the Rustler 10. It has too much metal, and the flex profile isn't consistent enough. It's just not designed for park riding. And the swing weight is a little too high to be really fun, spinning off side hits.
That said, if you spend a lot of time in the side country, in the woods, in powder, and you're just looking to stomp big cliffs, this is a great ski. It's super stable on landings and has a nice wide platform, especially for the East Coast. You could go wider and up to the Rustler 11 here at Weston Utah or in Colorado, but for lower snow areas this is all you need.
How does the ski feel skiing switch? [Daryl] These could ski switch and be fine, but I did not do any switch skiing on them.
How do you think the ski would feel in powder? [Daryl] If I were looking to go out on a powder day where we got 12 inches to 24 inches or so of snow, I think that these would be a really fun option. Unfortunately, the conditions this season have not been favorable in terms of snow, particularly for this week, so I didn't get to fresh snow at all, but I do think that this would be a really fun ski in a couple feet of snow. If I were skiing anything more than probably 24 inches, I would want something wider underfoot, but these are great in deep snow. I think that these would require a strong skier, even more so than on the frontside of the mountain. Because these are stiffer underfoot and have a lot of energy from turn to turn, adding in the extra snow is just going to make them more liable to putting you in the back seat because you're going to have to drive through all of that snow, so they would perform well as long as a strong skier was on them and able to control them.
[Theo] I would have no hesitation skiing this on a powder day if it was my only option. I think due to the really large shovels and the nice twin tip of the tail features, it would be a good option. It would provide a lot of float with the rocker that begins about halfway up towards the tip.
It's only 104 millimeters underfoot [@ 188cm], which certainly is not firmly entrenched in the powder category. If I was out here in Utah looking for something to be my dedicated powder ski, I'd move up to 110 millimeters. The Rustler 11 would be a great option with the same construction, stable performance, and really damp turning off trail.
How is its maneuverability? [Daryl] This ski is definitely maneuverable. As I mentioned at the beginning, they were skied by me in a 180. If I had sized up to a 180, I definitely would've felt more comfortable carving them and more comfortable at speed. That being said, what I sacrificed in my comfort level at speed was gained in maneuverability, so these definitely pivot very quickly, are able to jump around in the trees no problem at all.
The other thing to keep in mind when you're considering changing lengths is that the radius of the turn is going to also change. The more you increase the length of a ski, the higher the turn radius is going to be, so maneuverability is definitely impacted by that. The longer the turn radius, the less the ski is going to want to come out of a turn and jump into another one lower than its marketed turn radius, so keep that in mind with these skis. I did do short radius turns, long radius turns, and had no issues switching between the two, but the ski was certainly more reluctant to lay over and it took more work to make it do shorter turns.
If you could go skiing anywhere and had this ski with you, where would you want to go? [Daryl] If I were going anywhere in the world tomorrow, I would want to take these to Tahoe in the spring. I would go to Tahoe tomorrow and bring these for sure.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Daryl] I'd definitely recommend these skis to an advanced to expert skier who's looking for something that's a bit more versatile, but that they want to charge on and ski really hard. These are going to hold up really well. The other thing I really actually like about these skis is that they're very durable. That's definitely something to keep in mind when you are an expert skier, looking for a ski that can stand up to abuse. These are definitely a really good option. I'd recommend these to someone who's skiing more out here in the west, so Colorado would be a great place for these skis, Utah is a pretty great place for these skis, Pacific Northwest, California area. These skis would be great as a daily driver in all of those regions. I would not recommend these for the east coast just because there is a narrower waist width that would be much more appropriate for skiing back there.
[Theo] Skiers on the East Coast, who are looking for the widest ski in their quiver and find that they're often seeing spring snow or tracked out, post-storm snow in the woods. Skiers on the west coast, who are looking for a daily driver and aren't spending time in the park, they're really going to appreciate the performance of the Rustler 10 on lower snow days and the trees and all across the mountain.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options for them out there? [Theo] A skier who wouldn't necessarily be the best fit for the Rustler 10 is someone who is a real lover of carve turns on groomed terrain and spends most of their time doing that. Or who mainly skis at a resort like Deer Valley that specializes in groomed terrain. A park skier wouldn't be great for the Rustler 10, don't buy the ski. Despite what Blizzard says, this is not a primarily freestyle option. They don't make a park ski. I used to own the old Blizzard Peacemaker. Although it was a stiff metal ski, that was a ski you could take in the park and hit rails with. This is not that.
Keep in mind that every skier is unique. You can chat with Daryl or Theo to determine if the Rustler 10 is the right ski for you, or any other Ski Experts here on Curated can put together personalized ski recommendations tailored to your needs.