Expert Review: Blizzard Bonafide 97 Skis

This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in February 2018.

Skiing some early season Montana powder on the Bonafide.

Skiing some early season Montana powder on the Bonafide. Photo by Christian Gostout

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About this review This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in February 2018.

My take

The Blizzard Bonafide 97 is a good ski for a strong and advanced skier that wants to ski any inbounds terrain or condition like a racer.

Taking the Blizzard Bonafide into some steeper terrain.

Taking the Blizzard Bonafide into some steeper terrain. Photo by Christian Gostout

About the gear

  • Model: 2017 Blizzard Bonafide 97
  • Size: 173 cm

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 163 lb
  • Experience: 5 years

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: February 2018
  • Days tested: 100
  • Mount position: Factory 0
  • Boots: 2018 Scarpa F1
  • Boot Size: 28.5
  • Bindings: 2018 Dynafit ST Rotation
  • Where I’ve used it: Everywhere
  • Terrain: All terrain; icy groomers, backcountry powder, summer couloirs, etc.

How it performs

Carving
3/5
Durability
5/5
Flotation
3/5
High Speed Stability
5/5
Turn Ease
2/5
Versatility
4/5

What I was looking for

I bought these skis in college as my first skis since returning to the sport as an adult. I wanted to get one ski to mount with a touring binding that could do anything and everything.

Why I chose this gear

I was initially interested in this ski because I had heard about its versatility. But the real reason I ended up with a pair was that someone had listed a used pair for a very good price on Craigslist.

I wasn’t looking at any other particular skis because I was relying on the options provided by the local used market.

Skiing summer corn snow on the Blizzard Bonafide in Glacier National Park.

Skiing summer corn snow on the Blizzard Bonafide in Glacier National Park. Photo by Christian Gostout

A view of my mounted setup on the Blizzard Bonafide from the type of adventure I would NOT recommend the ski for.

A view of my mounted setup on the Blizzard Bonafide from the type of adventure I would NOT recommend the ski for. Photo by Christian Gostout

What I love about it

  • Speed: This is a stiff and heavy ski with a wider turn radius for an all-mountain ski, so when I want to just point ‘em downhill and go, they’ll go. This isn’t really my thing, but whenever the mood strikes, these are fun and comfortable to go fast on.
  • Edge hold: The carbon core of the ski absorbs vibrations and chatter pretty effectively. I find that while going fast on icy groomers the ski holds an edge very well.
  • Groomers: These skis want to be challenged, and are definitely more fun on steeper groomed terrain. The race ski-like design makes them fun for making big fast turns on groomers.
  • Powder: These skis float quite well for their width in powder, and become much more responsive to making shorter turns in deeper snow as well. It’s tough to ski with my weight back on the ski though, so if I get in too deep, the ski eventually wants to sink.
  • Durability: I blow through gear fast. Considering that I bought these skis used, and then used them hard as my only ski from early season to midsummer for 3.5 years, they have held up impressively. Minimal damage on the topsheet, and standard damage to the base. Nothing has changed with the profile, flex, or core of the ski to my perception.
  • Stability: Very stable at speed and good damping, with not much pop and flex. I wouldn’t butter the skis, and I would not characterize the ski as playful.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Turns: The ski makes nice wide turns at high speeds in most snow conditions, and turns easier in ungroomed fresh snow. This ski has its limitations in tight spots as the stiff and minimally rockered tail of the skis does not really want to open up to allow quick, short, or hop turns.
  • Trees: This isn’t the ski for navigating trees. It wants to move faster than is reasonably safe in that kind of terrain. Again, I find that the lower ease of turning makes this ski tough to navigate in tight trees.
  • Moguls: I really can’t speak much to this terrain, but have not found these skis to be responsive to fast directional changes, and can’t say with confidence that they would be fun mogul skis.
  • Park: This is certainly not a park ski. It’s heavy and rotates very slowly in the air, and there is no twin tip.
  • Backcountry: I personally didn’t care about the weight of the ski when I bought it because I just wanted to get out there and ski, but this ski is far heavier than any ski should be for going into the backcountry. Sometimes I still take these out for short tours where I know I will likely hit rocks, and coming from my actual touring setup, these are almost painful to haul uphill.
  • Weight: I find these skis very heavy for their size. I have a much bigger inbounds setup that probably weighs more pound for pound, but the Bonafide still feels heavier.
  • Switch riding: Switch riding is not really an option. The tail rocker is very minimal.

Favorite moment with this gear

Although I’ve moved on to others, I do feel fond of these skis. They really did allow me to do everything, regardless of whether or not they were perfect. When I think of the places I’ve gone with them, I don’t think about how they performed or failed to do so. I’m just left with the sense of reliability they’ve given me, knowing that whatever I get into, I can have fun on the ski.

Value for the money vs. other options

I think the value of this ski comes from its durability and ability to perform everywhere. Rather than spending money on a diversified quiver of skis, or replacing broken or damaged skis after a couple of seasons, this one ski can serve its owner across many seasons and trips.

Final verdict

The Blizzard Bonafide 97 skis will provide advanced skiers, especially those that like to push speed, with a go-to ski for all-mountain purposes. I think this is a great choice for East Coast snow chasers.

Selling Blizzard on Curated.com
Blizzard Bonafide 97 Skis · 2022
$749.95
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Written By
Christian G
Christian G
Ski Expert
Graduating college as an NCAA championship cross-country skier, Maine state champion, and All-East Division team athlete, I chose to pursue the opportunity to continue skiing at the professional level. I spent a year skiing for a team in Bozeman, and moved to Minneapolis afterwards to take my curren...
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