Expert Review: 2024 Blizzard Black Pearl 82 Skis [with Video]Published on 10/01/2023 · 13 min readSkiing Experts Charlotte H. and Sara Beeken tested the 2024 Blizzard Black Pearl 82 Skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Experts Charlotte H. and Sara Beeken got their hands on the 2024 Blizzard Black Pearl 82 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 Blizzard Black Pearl 82 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? [Charlotte] Blizzard claims that the Black Pearls are an intermediate to advanced all-mountain ski made with a Trueblend core and a Carbon Flipcore. Blizzard’s Trueblend core is made of poplar and beech.
[Sara] Blizzard claims that this is a women's all mountain ski for intermediate to advanced level skiers.
What is your overall impression of the ski? [Charlotte] Upon testing these skis, there are certainly major pros and cons for me for this ski. Personally, I think it does really well for someone who likes to stick to the groomers and make medium and longer radius terms. I like to ski on groomers, bumps, and in trees, and I struggled to get them around through tighter areas. I also noticed they don't have a propensity for shorter turn radius turns. So, any time I was looking to be a little bit more nimble and pivot on my feet, these skis did not cater that well to it. However, they did really rail some nice carves down a groomer.
[Sara] This ski was about what I expected. It is definitely an intermediate to advanced level ski. It's really middle of the road in a lot of ways. It's definitely a front side carver. It's only 82 underfoot, so it's not going to be super stable in uneven or soft snow.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? [Charlotte] There isn't a ton of rocker in the tips of these skis, and there's almost no rocker in the tails. They're pretty flat tails, so they have a really long, effective edge.
I skied a 166 and the turn radius on these is 13.5 meters, which technically is on the shorter end of turn radii for skis. But these skis felt like they skied really long. I was really surprised at how long it took to get them up on edge and then moving into the next turn. I could really notice that they did well with medium to longer radius turns. The brand claims that they range from short/medium to medium/longer radius turns. To me, it felt a little bit longer than that. At 13.5, they feel like they should be quicker than they actually were to me.
[Sara] One of the things I noticed about this just by looking at it was that there's really not much camber visible in the ski. It is rocker - camber - rocker so it's got some rocker in the tip to help you get over some of the softer or uneven spots, but the camber underfoot is really minimal. I didn't feel like that was a problem, and I felt like it was still a pretty energetic ski.
What is the flex like? [Charlotte] Given the category that Blizzard puts these skis in (intermediate to advanced), they’re a little bit stiffer than one might guess. When I try to flex them, I have to lay into them to really get them bending. I was skiing a 166 which is about the appropriate length for me being 5’ 5” and more forward on my skis, but they felt a little bit harder to flex, less nimble, and less soft to ease into my turns. So, what ended up happening is when I took them in a bump field, I was getting bucked around a bit and back on my tails - that felt a little uncomfortable for me.
[Sara] The flex of this ski is pretty soft to middle of the road. It's going to be great for somebody who doesn't want a ski that's going to be too aggressive but does still want some stability on firm snow.
How does the ski turn? [Charlotte] They struggled a little bit in bumps and trees, but once I was able to get on to the groomer and really open it up, they were cruising and they felt really stable at a higher speed.
[Sara] The ski was most at home in long turns. It could do the shorter turns, but with a 15 meter radius, you're going to feel really nice and locked into those long fast turns.
What is the edge hold like? [Charlotte] The edge hold on the Black Pearls is really strong. For someone who wants stability underfoot and is going to be skiing softer to even the iciest of snow, these skis are going to be a great option for you.
[Sara] The edge hold on this ski was fantastic. It would be a great tool for somebody on the East Coast that’s skiing a lot of firm snow.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? [Charlotte] I didn't feel any underfoot chatter. I was expecting them to be a little less stable than they actually were. But given how stiff they are and how solid this ski is with their Trueblend core and Carbon Flipcore, they felt really sturdy underfoot. So, I felt really comfortable on them, even moving into higher speeds.
[Sara] One thing I didn't love about this ski was the lack of dampness. I felt like it was pretty chattery when I got into the trees or uneven terrain - that's kind of a sacrifice you make when you get a lightweight ski like this. It did feel like because of the weight, it was pretty maneuverable.
How does it feel in terms of speed? [Charlotte] At 82 underfoot, these skis push you to go faster and faster and faster. For an advancing intermediate skier, these skis are going to be a really nice option for you to ease into skiing and then be able to continue to grow, get a little bit faster, and make different sorts of turns. I think that they'll be a ski that you can grow with really well, and they handle speed no problem.
[Sara] This seems like a ski that likes to go fast, but it does have a speed limit. When I would get to the upper ends of those big fast turns, it felt a little chattery and unstable. But, for somebody who likes moderate speeds and also likes big turns and is maybe trying to progress into some faster turns, this would be a great tool.
How is its energy/acceleration? [Charlotte] The Black Pearls don't have a ton of camber underfoot. When I have them side by side, camber is what we're looking for in between the bases. It would be a little gap and there's almost no camber here. Camber is really going to be what gives you rebound and acceleration out of turns. Given the lack of camber, they weren't exactly propelling me into the next turn, but they weren't ultra damp where it felt like they lacked life. They kind of rode the middle ground in terms of energy and acceleration.
How is it for freestyle skiing? [Charlotte] These are not skis that I would take in the park. I don't really think that the audience of these skis are major park skiers. If you hit a little side hit on the way down, a natural feature, I think that would be fine. But, they are not a great park ski option.
[Sara] I would not take this ski in the park. It's not going to be an issue, but if you're a park skier or you're somebody who wants a little more playfulness, this isn't the ski for you.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Charlotte] They weren't the most playful when I was in tighter areas where I wanted my skis to be a little more nimble - these were a little demanding in those areas. But, once I was able to get onto a wider open groomer and really lay my skis over, they were pretty playful. I would rate them as really good bang for your buck for the advancing intermediate that wants to level up their ski game.
These skis had pretty good pop exiting the turn. They're not a ski that packs the most rebound in its core, but because of the Trueblend core they have a good amount of pop that feels lively underfoot.
[Sara] Despite the lack of visible camber in this ski, I did feel some energy and pop, so I think that the core of the ski is nice and energetic. I had a good time on it.
Is it good for skiing switch? [Charlotte] I would not ski these skis switch. If you check out their tails, you can see just how flat they are. So when you're skiing switch, you're going to look for a little lip so you're not catching anything while you're riding backwards, and these don't have that. So, these would not be my top pick for skiing switch.
[Sara] I wouldn’t ski this switch.
How is the ski with jumps? [Sara] I did take it off some jumps and felt pretty stable. It's not what it's meant for, but it can handle some side hits if you're feeling like getting a little playful with your skiing.
How is it in powder? [Charlotte] I really struggled in heavier, wetter, or even deeper snow. These skis were a challenge because they're 82 underfoot and have next to no float. Now, if you are a beginner skier and you're coming off of a ski that's 76 or something like that, this could be a good step up if you're skiing East Coast and you might see a dusting but you're really sticking to groomers. But, if you're looking to be in and out of powder whenever the gods gift it to us, I would not opt for this width of the Black Pearls because they do come in wider versions.
[Sara] We didn't have a lot of powder out there today, but for this ski that's all right because this is not a powder ski. We went through some chunky, softer areas and it didn't feel the most stable. So, if you're somebody who's trying to ski off piste, this isn't going to be the ski for you. You might want to look at either a wider Black Pearl or maybe one of the Sheevas.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? [Charlotte] I felt really stable on these skis in uneven terrain and chunder. Any time there was extra snow on the ground, I felt dragged back a little bit. But, in terms of packed out uneven snow, these skis with their really strong core, felt like they could handle it.
How is it skiing in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Sara] Because of the weight, it was pretty maneuverable in the trees. They didn't have too many problems, but I wouldn't choose this as my first option if I'm skiing a lot of trees because of that longer turning radius.
What terrain is this ski good for? [Charlotte] I love these skis for a wide open groomer where you want to let your skis run, just have fun, and maybe look around and take in the scenery. [Sara] This ski is going to do really well on nicely groomed, wide open trails.
What terrain should skiers avoid with it? [Charlotte] I don't think you should be taking these skis in any extra sloppier snow, and they would not be great for somewhere like the park.
[Sara] I wouldn't take this off trail too much. It can handle a little bit, but there's really going to be some better options out there for somebody who wants to get into the trees.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Charlotte] I love these skis for the woman who is advancing in her skiing and easing out of maybe more of an entry level ski and looking to level up. These are going to last you for years and years to come. I also love them for the expert skier who’s just rippin’ groomers.
[Sara] I'd recommend this ski to exactly who they're marketing to: the intermediate to advanced frontside skier.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? [Charlotte] For someone who's just getting started, these will feel like a whole lot of ski for you.
The other thing that I want to note with these skis is that they do ski long. So I skied a 166 today - that is about my level of comfortability. I might go down to 160 or up to 170, but this is right in my sweet spot. Yet, they felt like they were skiing long for me. At times I felt a little bit uncomfortable and like I was getting bucked into the back seat. So, if you're in between sizes, my recommendation would be to go a little bit shorter - I think you'll be able to maneuver them a little bit more easily.
[Sara] If you're a beginner, I would avoid these skis. They're just going to be better options out there for you with a little bit shorter turning radius, something a little bit more maneuverable.
Expert skiers, if you're somebody who likes speed, these are probably not your best choice - you're going to be hitting that speed limit. Also, they're not going to give you the most versatility in terms of terrain, so something that's going to do better in the trees is going to be a little bit wider and have a little more rocker than this ski.
If you could pack these skis for anywhere in the world, where would you take them? [Charlotte] I would pack these skis for a wide open resort like Vail, Deer Valley, or the front side of Copper. Also, I definitely would recommend them for my skiers on the East Coast. If you wanted to take them out to resorts like Sugarbush, where there's a lot of groomed terrain and not that many tree options that you're going to want to be getting into all that much, these would be a really nice ski for you.
[Sara] If I could take this anywhere in the world, I would take it somewhere in the Northeast like Vermont that's got some nice wide open groomers ready to shred giant GS turns.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Black Pearl 82 is the right ski for you, chat with Charlotte, Sara, or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.