Expert Review: 2023 Blizzard Brahma 88 [with Video]
Ski Expert Rob G. tested the 2023 Blizzard Brahma skis at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Rob G. got his hands on the 2023 Blizzard Brahma 88 this spring and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed, but consider the fact that each and every rider is different; if you have any questions about the Brahma 88 or need recommendations on which board would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Blizzard claim about these skis?
So Blizzard calls this a narrow all-mountain ski that would be great for an Eastern skier or maybe firm snow ski for a Western skier, and I really feel this ski lives up to those claims. If you're a hard charger and you like skiing through the tip of the ski with a lot of forward pressure on your boots, you will really like this ski.
What are your first impressions of the Blizzards?
I skied the Blizzards yesterday in conditions that could be best described as pea soup. I couldn't see 3ft in front of me, and in those conditions where I had to make slow turns and tight turns at a moderate pace, they were a lot of ski and not that much fun to be on. But today, it was beautiful out with the sunshine. I could see for miles. It was a fantastic day to open it up on groomed terrain. They just felt super stable on firm groomer snow. I arced huge turns. It was really stable in the tip, and I felt secure on this ski.
How is it for carving?
I wouldn't call the Blizzard Brahma 88 a pure carver. It doesn't have much energy from one turn into the next, but it's a fantastic choice for arcing medium to large turns where you don't mind giving the ski direction.
Could you freeride or freestyle?
The Brahma is definitely not a freestyle ski. It's a heavy charger built for bigger, stronger skiers. It's a heavier ski than you would want to take through the terrain park. And you can definitely get some air on this. It'll feel stable on the landing, but it's not as poppy as more freestyle, playful-oriented skis.
What does a charger mean? Like what is it?
The Blizzard ski has a lot of camber underfoot and very little rocker in the tip with minimal early rise. It's got two layers of Titanal going throughout the entire ski, making it very stiff. But it also makes the ski very stable in firmer conditions. You must push the ski to bend it, so you need leg power or speed.
But a ski that's got a lighter construction and has wood with a little bit more rebound will be poppier and easier to jump off of, but it won't have the stability at speed that the Blizzard has. Racing skis—which are true pure carving skis—are very heavy skis that bounce back hard. The Brahma is a damper ski, so it's really designed to absorb vibration, and the skier has to give the ski a little bit more direction.
How is it going through trees or powder?
At 88 underfoot, this is nobody’s idea of a deep powder ski, but this would be great for anything from firm snow to boot top pow. If you're a strong skier, these could be a lot of fun in the moguls. They're going to handle really well and be very composed on groomers in all kinds of conditions. And they'll be fine in the trees, in anything from spring corn to boot top powder. I wouldn't want to take these out on a day where there had been 1 to 2ft of fresh snow. They do like to get on edge.
Is there anything you don't like about this ski?
This ski has a specific skill set. It's a great Western groomer ski and an all-mountain ski in the East. It is stiff, so it will not be the most playful ski in thicker, heavier, deep snow. It's not going to be great in the park. So if you want something that's super poppy and playful, other skis are going to do that job better, but if you want to charge down the fall line, especially when there's firm snow on a spring morning when the sun hasn't softened up the groomers yet, this is a great choice for that.
If you could ski anywhere in the world, where would you ski with these skis?
I would ski anywhere I am where there's snow. But I would not want to take these on a heli trip or cat skiing. If I knew I wasn't going to be skiing a single groomer, I would probably not take these skis as my first choice, but for all mountain skiing in the East or a mix of off-and-on piste skiing out West, these would be a great choice for a directional charger.
Who would you recommend this ski to?
The Blizzard would be a great ski for someone who splits their time between all-mountain skiing in the East and trips out West. There are many days I would have a lot of fun skiing this ski on the vast majority of Western mountains, and maybe if I had a huge powder day where I got 2 to 3 ft and I wanted to go and get a surfy ski, I would demo a ski if this was the only ski I had with me.
Is this an intermediate or advanced kind of ski?
This is definitely a ski for strong advanced to expert skiers. It really wants to be driven hard and doesn't like to be skied at slow to moderate paces.
Would East Coast skiers benefit from these skis?
The Blizzard Brahma would be a great ski for an East Coast skier who likes to carve big turns and dive into the fall line. It's the kind of ski if you like to put a ski on edge, ride down the fall line, and then at the end of a steep pitch, say to yourself, “I am Batman.”
Is this the best ski for you?
It's a good ski for me, but there's no one best ski. If I own this ski out West, I'd also want to have a wider ski for those deep powder days. If I own this ski in the East, I might also want a pure carver to make tighter turns at a shorter turn radius when it's firm out or crowded. But, I would be really happy to have this ski in my quiver of skis.
Different skis have different characteristics and no ski is the perfect ski for everyone, but every skier can find the right ski or skis. If you'd like help finding the right ski for you so that you can have a great time out on the snow, chat with Rob or another Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. See you on the snow!