Expert Review: Blizzard Brahma 82 Skis · 2022Published on 08/23/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
Tree skiing with the Brahma 82s at Belleayre. All photos courtesy of Rob G.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2019.
The Blizzard Brahma 82 is an excellent choice for an advanced to expert Eastern skier who wants a narrow, all-mountain, freeride ski that performs well in bumps, off piste, and on groomers.
About the skis I own
- Model: Blizzard Brahma 82
- Size: 180cm
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 215 lbs
- Experience: 43 years of skiing; teaching for over 20 years
- When I bought these: October 2019
- Days tested: 100+
- Mount position: On the line
- Boots: 2020 Tecnica Mach1 LV 130
- Boot Size: 27.5
- Bindings: 2020 Marker Griffons
- Where I’ve used it: The Brahma 82 has been my daily driver in the Catskills for the last few years. I’ll bring them out anytime I want a ski that can go from groomers to boot-top powder in the trees
- Terrain On groomers, in the bumps, in the trees—in conditions ranging from hardpack to deep powder to spring slush
How they perform
What I was looking for
I wanted a ski that I could use as my daily driver teaching ski in the Northeast. I teach in an upper-level seasonal program in the Catskills, so I wanted a ski that would be maneuverable in early-level lessons in the bumps and trees. But, I still wanted a ski that would still hold up under the aggressive input of my freeskiing.
Why I chose this gear
I was focused on all-mountain performance—bumps, trees, and I wanted a ski that would be quick edge-to-edge. I also wanted a “flat” (without an integrated binding) ski, because, in my experience, integrated bindings are great for carving but are not the ideal solution for off-piste skiing. Not a deal-breaker, but I already had a system/carving ski. Most other skis this width are “system skis” that come with integrated bindings, which arguably offer advantages for carving, but are not as good for bump/tree/all-mountain skiing. I considered getting the 187cm length, but I decided that my wedge-teaching duties would be much more pleasant on a shorter ski without much of a tradeoff for the kind of turns I like to make in the Catskills.
What I love about them
- Speed: Even at an arguably undersized 180cm (for me), the Brahma 82s are very stable at speed. This is thanks largely to the very moderate rocker profile and titianal layers that dampen vibration.
- Edge hold: The stiffness of the Brahma 82 contributes to very solid edge hold, especially when tuned consistent with the factory tune of a 3° side edge.
- Turns: Other carving-focused skis (like the Blizzard Thunderbird line or the Volkl Deacon Vwerks) will show more energy in carved turns on firm groomers, but the Brama 82s are very predictable, precise, and respond very well to aggressive skier input. They are ideal for a skier who prefers medium- to longer-radius turns.
- Groomers: The Brahma 82s are damp skis that are effective on firmer Eastern groomers. For pure carving, there are skis with a shorter turn radius and more energy out of the turn. But skiers who like a mix of groomed and ungroomed terrain (think Eastern trees and bumps) will not be disappointed with the Brahma’s groomer performance.
- Powder: For their width, these skis are great in powder: the tip and tail rocker, relatively wide turning radius and flat mount make them a much better choice for Eastern powder than most skis with a comparable waist size. That said, 82mm is narrower than ideal for a powder ski, and on deep pow days—we get some of those in the Catskills—I will usually reach for a wider ski (like the Blizzard Rustler 9).
- Trees: I absolutely love these skis in the tight trees I ski in the East. The easy-releasing tail, stable and predictable flex, and solid bases make the Brahma 82 a fantastic choice for an Eastern tree skier.
- Moguls: The Brahma 82 is not a dedicated bump ski, but it is a fantastic all-mountain ski for a dedicated bump skier—especially compared to carving-specific skis with integrated bindings. The relatively stiff tips and tails mean that it is not the most forgiving bump ski, but it rewards aggressive, confident bump skiing.
- Durability: At well over 100 days of skiing on these, the bases have held up incredibly well. I have seen some topsheet chipping, but that’s what happens when I ski into rocks occasionally. That said, these skis have endured multiple seasons of aggressive input.
- Weight: At just under 2kg per ski, the Brahma 82s are on the heavier side for their width. This is due in large part to the two titinal layers underfoot; however, it’s also great for carving predictability and dampness.
- Stability: The Brahma 82s are very stable and damp. I have not encountered a speed limit so far.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Park: The Brahma 82 is definitely a directional free-ride ski. It is heavier than any park ski—although there’s no reason not to take them on the occasional park lap. That said, for skiers looking to get flippy spinny, there are better choices out there.__ Backcountry: These skis are heavier and narrower than I would want for uphill travel or deep-powder skiing. They are very much designed for in-bounds, lift-assisted skiing. There are much better choices for uphill travel and deep powder.
- Switch riding: The Brahma 92 is not a twin-tip, and a mounting point closer to center would be ideal for extensive switch skiing. That said, I have skied these backwards during ski lessons and landed 180° jumps on them without issue.
Favorite moment with this gear
Finding fresh snow in the Catskills can be challenging. As an instructor, my free-skiing day often does not start until 1pm (or later). On many Saturdays when it looked at first glance like the mountain was skied off, I’d take the Brahma 82’s out hoping to find a single soft bump line on the side of a trail, or even off the berm. And, if I could find them, the Bramah 82s had the versatility to be fun on the “firm” groomers and in the softer snow off the edges. Here my ski buddies would either struggle to get to the soft snow or have a tough time once they got there on their pure carving skis.
Value for the money vs. other options
It is difficult to find other stout, directional freeride skis that are this narrow. I think the Brahma 82 is a great value for Eastern skiers or Midwestern skiers. It also comes at a discount relative to wider, all-mountain skis that offer more float, but not necessarily better firm-snow performance (like the Brahma 88). Volkl does offer the Kanjo, a softer 84mm ski that is roughly comparable, and perhaps more suitable for lighter, less aggressive skiers.
The Brahma 82 is a fantastic choice for advanced to expert skiers seeking a ski that is narrow, quick edge-to-edge, and excels beyond groomers in the trees and in moguls. It would make a great one-ski quiver for a skier who mostly skis in the East or Midwest. And it could be a solid, low-tide ski for a skier out West.