An Expert Guide to Blizzard Skis

Published on 09/13/2023 · 12 min readUnlock the world of Blizzard Skis with expert guidance. Find the perfect pair to conquer the slopes and elevate your skiing experience!
Luke H., Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Luke H.

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Skis

TL;DR: Blizzard is one of the foremost ski manufacturers in the world. They offer various ski models that cater to all skier types, such as all-mountain, carving, freeride, racing, and beginner-oriented skis, and their innovative technologies enhance performance and longevity. This article breaks down the features that define different Blizzard products to help skiers find the right Blizzard ski for their needs.

Over the past few decades, Blizzard has established itself as one of the top ski manufacturers in the world. Today, Blizzard skis can be found attached to the feet of almost anyone: brand-new skiers looking to make their first turns, World Cup racers, ski instructors, and Big Mountain Freeride champions, to name a few. In this article, I’ll break down the different Blizzard models and which types of skiers they appeal to.

So how do I know so much about Blizzard skis? Because I’ve skied on them for a long time. I grew up alpine racing in the Midwest, then moved west and cut my teeth competing in Big Mountain Freeride competitions and exploring the best resorts that the Rockies, Tetons, Sierras, and Wasatch Range have to offer. Most recently, I’ve taken my ski skills into the backcountry and ski mountaineering, and I’ve now used Blizzard skis to ski from the summit of Grand Teton, Mount Rainier, and Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America. Blizzard skis have taken me to some amazing places, and they can do the same for you.

Why Blizzard?

Photo By Chris Hudak

Blizzard is one of the most storied ski brands in the world, starting from its humble beginnings under the auspices of Anton Arnsteiner, who started Blizzard in Mittersill, Austria, in 1945. Celebrated for their high-quality skis, Blizzard revolutionized winter sports with cutting-edge designs and technology. They were the first to introduce skis built with polyethylene bases, and they pioneered the use of metal and fiberglass in ski construction. Blizzard skis have stood atop numerous podiums over the decades, from the dominant Franz Klammer’s five World Cup overall titles, to Mario Matt’s gold-winning run in the Sochi Olympics slalom, all the way to Leo Slemett claiming the Freeride World Tour overall title in 2017. Renowned for reliability and performance, Blizzard's product portfolio ranges from beginner-friendly to professional-grade skis, including their award-winning Black Pearl line of women’s skis and their versatile, all-mountain Rustler and Sheeva lines. Blizzard's focus on innovation and attention to detail, as well as their dominant reputation, makes them a first choice for skiers worldwide.

What to Consider When Buying Blizzard Skis

Navigating the world of different Blizzard skis may seem daunting at first, but establishing your goals as a skier can go a long way toward streamlining the process. The following questions will help you gain an understanding of your skiing preferences and physical attributes to choose the perfect pair of Blizzard skis.

1. What Is Your Skill Level?

Blizzard produces such a diverse range of skis, they are sure to have at least one line that matches your needs. For the most part, beginners may opt for more forgiving skis with a narrower waist and softer flex to ensure easier turns, while advanced skiers will be drawn to heavier and stiffer skis for stability. Blizzard skis run the full gamut, from beginner to all-mountain to freeride to racing.

2. What's Your Preferred Skiing Style?

Whether you prefer aggressive, high-speed skiing or a more relaxed, leisurely pace, Blizzard has skis to suit any style. For example, Blizzard's Thunderbird and Phoenix lines appeal to more novice skiers looking to learn at their own pace, the Brahma and Black Pearl models are all-mountain options for skiers wanting to up their skills on groomed runs, and the Rustler and Sheeva lines are versatile freeride options for advanced and expert skiers.

3. Where Do You Plan to Ski Most Often?

It’s best to ask yourself what types of terrain you tend to ski. Do you prefer to stick to cut, groomed runs with more uniform snow conditions? Or do you prefer to venture off-piste into uncut, ungroomed runs with moguls and trees or more technical steeps? For example, Blizzard’s Brahma and Black Pearl lines of skis are best on groomed runs, while the Rustler and Sheeva lines are better for all-mountain options and are designed to tackle more varied snow and terrain.

4. What Size Blizzard Skis Do You Need?

Ski length is critical for stability, control, and performance. Ski length and width significantly depend on your physical attributes. Taller and/or heavier skiers generally need longer and wider skis for stability and control, while shorter and/or lighter skiers might prefer shorter, narrower skis. Consult Blizzard's sizing chart and with a Curated Expert to determine the ideal length for you.

5. How Much Should Blizzard Skis Cost?

Blizzard's ski prices vary widely based on model and performance level. Beginner skis may start around $400-$500, while high-end models for advanced skiers can cost $800-$1,000. Typically, higher-priced skis incorporate advanced materials and technologies for superior performance, durability, and responsiveness. Therefore, understanding your needs and budget can help you find the best Blizzard skis for you.

What Are the Different Types of Blizzard Skis?

Blizzard offers a variety of skis to meet every rider's needs. I have listed the different types and their strengths and weaknesses below.

1. All-Mountain

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Skis

These versatile skis are perfect for skiing on groomed runs, crud, and occasionally powder. They're designed to handle a bit of everything, making them an ideal choice for anything from a beginner skier to advanced andf experts just hoping to cruise the frontside of the mountain. Blizzard all-mountain skis include the beginner-focused Thunderbird to the ever-popular Brahma and Bonafide lines of skis.

Benefits

  • Versatile performance across varied snow conditions and terrains, ideal for skiers who want one ski for everything
  • Typically balanced flex and responsiveness, making them a great choice for improving skills
  • Emphasis on control and strong edge grip. Tend to be more groomer-focused skis

Keep in Mind

  • Although versatile, they may not excel in any one specific condition, as compared to specialized skis
  • Certain skis are suited for different skiers, e.g., the Thunderbird is more for novice and intermediate skiers, whereas the Bonafide appeals more to advanced and expert skiers

Examples

2. Freeride

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Skis

Aimed at skiers who prefer to venture off-piste and search for softer snow, Blizzard's Rustler and Sheeva series offers excellent float in powder while maintaining maneuverability, versatility, and stability.

Benefits

  • Excels in deep, soft snow conditions, providing excellent floatation
  • Often designed with a wider waist combined with a rocker profile for maneuverability in powder

Keep in Mind

  • May be harder to control on groomed runs because of their wider design and less effective edge than Blizzard’s all-mountain skis
  • Might not offer the same edge grip as all-mountain or racing skis on hard snow or ice

Examples

3. Touring

Blizzard’s Zero G and Hustle lines of skis are built specifically for backcountry and touring, aimed at skiers who want to earn their turns beyond the boundaries of a ski resort. They focus on lightweight constructions for an easier time on the uphill, while still maximizing downhill performance.

Benefits

  • Lightweight design makes uphill climbs more manageable during backcountry adventures
  • Some models provide a good balance of uphill and downhill performance

Keep in Mind

  • May lack the stability and edge grip of heavier, resort-oriented skis when descending
  • The focus on lightness might compromise durability over time

Examples

  1. Race

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Skis

These skis, including the Firebird series, are designed for speed and precision on groomed runs. They are typically stiffer and narrower than other types of skis.

Benefits

  • Superior precision, edge hold, and speed on groomed runs because of stiff flex and narrow design
  • Ideal for expert skiers who prioritize performance and speed

Keep in Mind

  • Less forgiving and harder to control for beginners and some intermediate skiers
  • Not ideal for off-piste or mixed snow conditions because of their narrow waists and stiff flex

Examples

5. Women's Specific

Photo courtesy of Blizzard Skis

Blizzard is well known for their best-selling women’s skis, the Black Pearl lineup. These skis are designed with a lighter weight and adjusted balance points to cater to women’s typically lower center of gravity.

Benefits

  • Designed specifically to cater to women’s anatomy and weight distribution, enhancing control and comfort
  • Often lighter in weight and more maneuverable, making them easier to handle

Keep in Mind

  • Can be less stiff compared to unisex skis, which might affect performance for advanced female skiers seeking aggressive, high-speed skiing
  • May not accommodate taller or heavier women who might benefit from unisex models

Examples

Remember, each type of ski is available in various lengths and widths to accommodate different skier sizes and preferences. Consult with a Curated Expert today to determine which length and width is best for you and your skiing style.

Features to Look for in Blizzard Skis

Blizzard's advanced technologies and design features set their skis apart in the market. Whether you're a seasoned skier or just starting out, understanding these unique features can make it easier to choose the best ski for you. Let's explore what makes Blizzard skis truly exceptional:

  1. Carbon Flipcore Technology: This is a revolutionary rocker technology that Blizzard introduced. The core of the ski is built with a natural rocker shape during the manufacturing process, resulting in better balance and stability. This technology also enhances the responsiveness of the skis, making them feel more natural underfoot.
  2. Sandwich Compound Sidewall (Titanium, Carbon, + Ti Binding Interface): Blizzard's high-performance skis are built using a sandwich compound sidewall. This construction integrates a layer of Titanal (a form of aluminum alloy) and carbon, resulting in superior torsional rigidity and power transmission, while also reducing vibrations. It's like strapping a sports car to your feet!
  3. Trueblend Woodcore: A unique feature where the woodcore is composed of different types of woods strategically placed through the core of the ski, with denser wood used in the middle of the ski and lower-density wood used near the tip and tail of the ski. This results in a smooth, consistent flex throughout the length of the ski, and a slightly softer tip and tail while maintaining a strong, stiff midsection.
  4. Dura-Tec: Dura-Tec is Blizzard's answer to improving the durability of their skis. It includes thicker top sheet designs to reduce scratching and chipping, stronger edges, and improved binding retention. So, if you're hard on your gear, Blizzard skis are designed to last, no matter what.
  5. C-Spine and C-Armor: Exclusive to the high-end Firebird race line, these technologies use bi-directional carbon layers to improve rebound and stability at high speeds. If you're into competitive skiing or just love going fast, these technologies produce unparalleled stability and dampness in the skis.

Each of these features contributes to the unique feel and performance of Blizzard skis. As always, the right choice depends on your ski style, ability level, and the specific conditions you'll be tackling. But with this list, you're one step closer to finding your perfect Blizzard pair.

How to Choose the Right Blizzard Skis

Photo by Noah Kuhns

Ambitious Intermediate

Needs

  • Stability and control
  • Strong edge grip
  • Easy-turn initiation

Features to look for

  • Carbon Flipcore
  • Trueblend Woodcore

Skis to consider

  • Phoenix Thunderbird 7.7: a narrow ski and binding package designed for novice skiers looking to learn the fundamentals or work on their carving skills but don’t want to break the bank
  • Brahma 82: An intermediate ski built for carving on groomers runs with some all-mountain character thrown in
  • Rustler 9: A softer all-mountain ski with a wider waist and rockered tip and tail, this ski is for skiers who want to go beyond the groomed runs

Aggressive, Grizzled Veteran

Needs

  • More camber for edge grip and control
  • Stability at high speeds
  • Agility

Features to look for

  • Dura-Tec
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Trueblend Woodcore

Skis to consider

  • Black Pearl 97: A stiff, damp, and stable option for lady skiers wanting to tackle steep groomers
  • Brahma 88: A groomer-oriented ski for skiers wanting a confident ski capable of impeccable edge grip at very high speeds
  • Bonafide 97: A confident, stable, and crud-busting ski built for advanced and expert skiers

The Powderhound

Needs

  • Wide waist
  • Rockered tip and tail
  • Playful ski

Features to look for

  • Flipcore Technology
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Trueblend Woodcore

Skis to consider

  • Hustle 11: With a 112 mm waist and rockered tip and tail, the Rustler is built for days when the snow is deep and plentiful but is also light enough to explore beyond the lifts
  • Sheeva 10: The Sheeva is a mid-fat freeride ski, designed for intermediate to expert lady skiers who want a versatile ski that can carve on groomers but play off-piste
  • Zero G 105: The Zero G 105 is the widest of the touring-specific Zero G line; it’s best for backcountry skiers who don’t mind a bit more weight on the uphill to surf all the way on the downhill

Find the Best Ski for You

Whether you are a brand-new skier or a veteran ripper, Blizzard makes some of the most trusted and most approachable skis in the world, and even the most experienced snow enthusiasts would be hard-pressed not to find at least one line that works for them. Their primary focus on ground-breaking ski technology and user-friendly skis make skiing more fun and approachable to a wider range of skiers. If you would like help picking out the right Blizzard ski for you, don’t hesitate to contact me or any of my fellow Curated Skiing Experts today.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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