Expert Review: 2024 Blizzard Bonafide 97 Skis [with Video]Published on 11/04/2023 · 3 min readSkiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz tested the 2024 Blizzard Bonafide 97 skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz got their hands on the 2024 Blizzard Bonafide this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different; if you have any questions about the Bonafide 97 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing 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 this ski? [Ian] Blizzard markets this as a wider but very directional carving ski. It is absolutely for an aggressive, advanced to expert skier with good technique that wants to go fast.
[Luke] The Bonafide is a staple of Blizzard's all mountain collection. It's in between the Brahma, which is narrower at 88 millimeters underfoot, and then the Cochise, which is 106 millimeters underfoot. The Blizzard Bonafide is 97 millimeters underfoot, a mid fat ski width.
What is your overall impression of the ski? [Ian] My overall impression of the ski is that it wants to go fast. It is a great carving ski. It wants to get on edge and stay on edge. You can put as much force and power into your carves as you want. I had a great time ripping some groomers.
[Luke] Overall, I had a super fun time on these skis. I was really impressed with their edge grip. I loved the fact that I could just ride them easily and they go where I want them to go. They were super confidence inspiring.
The Bonafides have always had a reputation of being super stiff and really demanding. It definitely seemed like Blizzard has toned them down a little bit and made them a little bit more approachable, and I don't think that's a bad thing at all.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? [Ian] In my opinion, it was hard to initiate quick turns. It doesn't have much rocker in the nose and it's very directional. It has a lot of camber and it's stiff. It's really a beast of a ski.
[Luke] One of the most important things to know about these guys is they are on the stiff side - no doubt about that! These are almost like a racing ski in an all mountain disguise. There is little to no rocker in these skis, and it's mainly just camber throughout. There are two sheets of titanal metal in these which really stiffens them up and then all that camber just gives them great edge grip.
How does the ski turn? [Ian] I had a really good time on it, but it only wanted to go straight. It did not want to pivot quickly.
[Luke] I really loved carving these on groomers. They were just super stable. They just locked into a turn and they just made it easy. It's almost like they're doing the work for you. So, you just set an edge, apply pressure, and the ski will just start arc smooth, very stable turns.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? [Luke] These skis are super damp and they're very stable. When you set them on edge, they just really lock into a turn. It's almost like being on railroad tracks. I had no issue with chatter on these anywhere.
How does it feel in terms of speed? [Luke] The ski feels super stable at speeds. I was getting these up into GS and even Super G turns and they just felt locked and loaded.
How is its energy/acceleration? [Luke] I didn't feel a ton of energy from turn to turn, but I was actually okay with that. In comparison to something like the Volkl M6 Mantra, which kind of propels you from one turn to the next, this felt really stable and really confident underfoot, and I could ride them easily from one turn to the next.
How is it for freestyle skiing? [Luke] This is definitely not a freestyle ski. I wouldn't be taking this into the park. With that lack of rocker, it's not a playful ski. It's meant for carving up groomers.
Is it good for skiing switch? [Luke] It’s definitely not a ski I would recommend skiing switch on. The ski has no twin tip to speak of and just a flat tail. The ski is for going forward and fast.
How is the ski with jumps? [Luke] This would be a little harsh on landings with all the metal in it and the stiffness. It’s a very unforgiving ski for terrain parks and jumps.
How is it for freeride skiing? [Ian] It is pretty wide for a dedicated carving ski so this ski can handle some off trail skiing and a little bit of fresh snow.
How is it in powder? [Luke] I was lucky enough to ski these on a powder day, so I got to take it in about a foot and a half of powder. With that 97 millimeters underfoot, you do get very good flotation. That being said, because there's so little rocker and it's mainly camber, it's a little bit more bullish to get around in deep powder. So, while it's not bad in powder, it wouldn't be my first choice for a dedicated powder ski.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? [Luke] It's designed for busting through crud and chunder. With that big, damp, stable feel, nothing stands in its way.
How is it skiing in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Ian] It didn't want to do quick turns. In the moguls and trees, you have to do a lot of work to make it go quickly back and forth.
[Luke] Having that long effective edge gives you a ton of control with the ski. That being said, the ski doesn't really like tight spaces. It prefers to be opened up and skied at higher speeds.
What terrain is this ski good for? [Luke] If I had to pick this ski for a certain day, it would be in between storms when the corduroy is fresh, there's a lot of groomed runs, and the off piste is pretty broken up and variable. These skis would plow through all that and then I would have a ton of fun carving these at really high speeds on the groomers.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Ian] This really is for the aggressive skier that wants to ski fast, open runs and have a ski that can take any speed, any force - if that's you then this is a great option.
[Luke] With the amount of metal in these skis, the overall stiffer flex, and the mostly camber profile, these are definitely skis made for an advanced or expert skier. These skis want to rip on groomers, bust through crud and chunder, and they demand a competent pilot.
I do also think these would be great for an upper intermediate who wants to start skiing at higher speeds and wants a ski that's really locked and loaded on groomers, very confident, stable, and has maximum control.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? [Ian] If you're an intermediate or want something forgiving or playful, this ski is not it.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Bonafide 97 is the right ski for you, chat with Ian, Luke, or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.