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Reviewed by our Gear Geeks:

THE BEST BLIZZARD SKIS OF 2021

Z

Our experts at work

We gave our Gear lovers one job:

Check out different Blizzard Skis and write reviews of the best.

The result is 14 of the best Blizzard Skis  on the market today.

hunter bierce

Hunter Bierce

PSIA Ski Instructor
Hunter Bierce is a PSIA Ski Instructor and multidisciplinary outdoor professional.

Bradley Axmith boating & sailing editor

Bradley Axmith

Editor at DIVEIN.com
Vikingship building gear enthusiast and waterworld fanatic.

Blizzard skis, in my experience, have a reputation for charging. Models such as the Bonafide and the Rustler are snow plows that give skiers the most return when they’re pointed directly downhill.

This season’s impressive lineup of Blizzard skis features several new reconceptualized offerings of old favorites that open up exciting possibilities for skiers across the board. From frontside rippers to serious freeride machines, Blizzard has a ski for every skier.

Our in-depth review of the top 14 ski options from Blizzard is followed by the story of the company in brief. It’s a good story.

To see how our top picks from Blizzard stack up compared to the rest of the competition, check out our best all-mountain ski page.

Otherwise, we present today’s top 14 skis by Blizzard:

Since its initial release in 2014, the Brahma has maintained a reputation for being one of the hardest riding skis on any side of the mountain.

Traditionally, this ski has had a very high learning curve, necessitating quite a bit of speed and precision to get it to perform optimally. That is, until last season where we saw the addition of a TrueBlend core.

This new build incorporates low-density wood stringers in key areas to provide a more forgiving ride that growing experts will appreciate.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • True Blend Flipcore Construction
  • Reduced Rocker
  • Durable topfoil and ding-resistant shape
  • Also available in an 82mm waist
  • Sizes range from 165-189cm
What we like:
  • More accessible version of a justifiably famous ski
  • Delivers the same hard-charging capabilities that made it famous
  • Materials scale with the size of the ski providing a more consistent ride
What we don’t like:
  • Still a very demanding ski that novices will have a hard time keeping up with
  • Performs better on hardpack and chop than in soft snow

While the requisite skill ceiling required to ride this ski has definitely been lowered, it still works best for high level intermediate to advanced riders who spend most of their time on the front side.

A retooled core doesn’t only mean it’s an easier ski to ride, it’s also a bit more playful and versatile than previous versions of the Brahma. Blizzard has also begun to scale the dimensions and materials with the size of the ski, giving a more consistent ride regardless of your preferred length.

As much as the Brahma is a mainstay model in the men’s category, it can’t hold a candle to the Black Pearl–the absolute benchmark in advanced to expert women’s all-mountain skis.

Last year the Black Pearl alongside the Brahma saw a major overhaul of their core. Using a blended poplar and beech core, lower density wood stringers now run through the tips and tails of the ski. This allows easier turn initiation and adds a little more play to the performance of this very staunch all-mountain crusher.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • WSD (Women’s Specific Design) TrueBlend Woodcore
  • Lightweight Construction
  • Extra Wide Titanal Plate
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker Profile
  • Durable topfoil and ding-resistant shape
  • Also available in 82, 97mm waists
What we like:
  • Allows this best-selling women’s ski to reach a wider audience
  • Remains a versatile and hard-riding option despite the increased accessibility
  • Reasonably lightweight compared to many all-mountain options
What we don’t like:
  • Still too much ski for any skiers below the advanced skill range
  • There are skis with more float out there, and the 88 may be a tough sell on deep days

There seems to be a trend within the industry of making “serious” skis more accessible to intermediate skiers, and the Black Pearl is a shining example of how to do this right. Though the Black Pearl is capable on most any face, it shines the most on hardpack and groomers. Expert skiers who are looking for a dependable tool to rip up the front side of the mountain, as well as those in search of a ski that will grow with their ability levels should heavily consider the Black Pearl.

While the freeride and all mountain categories swallow up the vast majority of the ski press each season, the true test of excellence between brands is the quality of their recreational race skis.

Blizzard’s Thunderbird is their chance to show their best face–with all the bells and whistles included in the rest of their lineup. Those in search of a worthy competitor to the Firebird, look no further.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Active Carbon Armor vibration dampening
  • Duramax titanal protection
  • On-Piste TrueBlend Woodcore
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Full Camber
  • FTD Race Plate Binding System
  • Available in an alternative widebody model
What we like:
  • Blizzard’s showcase piste ski that displays all of their best technology
  • In league with all of the highest performing frontside skis
  • Reasonably affordable compared to other skis of this caliber
  • Most skis of this type come with binding packages
What we don’t like:
  • Limited usefulness based around the concept of its design
  • Still costs more than most all-mountain skis

You’ll hear comparisons drawn to luxury sports cars, given the price and barrier of entry brands never expect to sell many of these, but they definitely catch a lot of attention when a high-caliber skier absolutely destroys the mountain.

This new offering from Blizzard is a little more affordable than alternatives in the same category (like Völkl’s Racetiger), but is no less capable of turning heads and impressing your friends in the beer league.

There are frontside carving skis and then there are skis like the Phoenix. Like the Thunderbird above these are serious skis built to emulate racing skis, while still retaining some practicality on your average resort slope.

With full camber, dual titanal sheets, and a TrueBlend Woodcore, Blizzard is bringing everything they have to the table in order to produce a women’s carving ski they can be proud of.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Active Carbon Armor vibration dampening
  • Duramax titanal protection
  • On-Piste TrueBlend Woodcore
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Full Camber
  • FTD Race Plate Binding System
  • Comes in slightly less demanding variations
What we like:
  • Top-of-the-line women’s piste ski worthy of any ex-racer
  • Blizzard’s showcase build, but more affordable than many comparable models
  • The best frontside performance of any women’s ski Blizzard makes
  • Most skis of this style include bindings in packages
What we don’t like:
  • Not a very practical ski in any regard
  • More expensive than most all-mountain or frontside alternatives

To be clear, this is a ski for people who know how to ski. It’s demanding in a way that promises massive returns on your performance- provided you have the finesse and technical knowhow to keep it in control.

A race plate binding system channels every ounce of pressure that you channel into your skis more efficiently than a traditional binding system, while active Carbon Armor, now standard in all of Blizzard’s top performance models, works to dampen vibrations.

Any ex racer looking for a ski that can keep up with her has at long last found a worthy ride.

Much to the benefit of uphill enthusiasts everywhere, last season Blizzard’s acclaimed touring ski, the Zero G, saw a nearly complete redesign. The new Zero G is notably lighter than the previous version, and with a 105mm waist, it still delivers consistent results during your downhill.

It achieves this very worthwhile compromise through the use of a woodcore with carbon reinforcements, allowing you to save weight while avoiding the pingy, jarring ride full carbon skis are prone to.

Where to buy:

 

Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Partial Sidewall
  • Lightweight Woodcore
  • Carbon Drive 2.0 frame and support
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker Profile
  • Also available in 85 and 95 mm waists
  • Sizes range from 164-188 cm
What we like:
  • Lightweight ski with a wide enough waist to want to make deep snow fun
  • Balances uphill and downhill performance with a freeride attitude
What we don’t like:
  • Won’t ride as well as other freeride oriented lightweight skis like the Bent Chetler

The shape of your touring setup will always depend upon your preferences–namely how much weight you’re willing to drag uphill.

At 1320g per ski, there are certainly lighter alternatives if you’re looking to burn uphill faster, but not many of them will give you as much surface area to stand on when it counts.

The Rustler series is a well-balanced collection, each model tackling a different take on all-mountain skiing. While the Rustler 9 may have a similar overall shape to the rest of the series, by far the most proficient at tearing up the frontside and pushing slush around on spring afternoons. It’s among the more playful skis in Blizzard’s lineup, but still approaches things from the same hard-charging start point Blizzard loves.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Dynamic Release Technology
  • Tip Tail All-Mountain Rocker
  • Carbon Flipcore D.R.T.
  • Partial Titanal Layer
  • Fiberglass Laminate
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker
What we like:
  • Snappy downhill feeling that shines on firmer snow
  • Plenty of rocker for play and off-piste performance
  • Great for connecting hard and short turns
  • In a word, could be described as playful
What we don’t like:
  • Stability doesn’t hold up under high speeds
  • Limited powder performance from its narrow waist
  • Not a very good trick ski for something seemingly freestyle oriented

The Rustler 9 is nimble and playful, more at home on harder snow than it is at peak season pow days. Skiers who don’t expect to see many huge storms in their area, dedicated and aggressive frontside riders, or those who want a good springtime ski should look to the Rustler 9.

The Rustler 11 is notably softer and more accessible than the other “big” skis Blizzard produces. But that doesn’t imply any shortcomings on the Rustler 11’s part–with a couple of Freeride World Tour appearances, it’s more than proven itself a viable option for the best riders out there on a global stage.

This is one of Blizzard’s skis where the waist size increases with length, and with a max size of 192cm there’s the potential to get some real boats on your feet.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Dynamic Release Technology
  • Tip and Tail Rocker with 2mm of Camber
  • Carbon Flipcore Tips and Tails
  • Fiberglass Laminate
  • Rocker/Camber/Rocker
  • Waist varies based on length (112-116mm)
What we like:
  • A “fun” oriented Blizzard ski, that still lives up the moniker
  • Tons of fun to ride and performs reasonable well outside of powder
  • Light enough to be a viable touring option
  • Can be forced into tight turns despite being a long ski
What we don’t like:
  • Still fairly directional compared to other skis in this category
  • Isn’t light enough to not have a very noticeable swing weight

Blizzard describes the Rustler 11 as “the ultimate resort powder ski.” This is quite the tagline, and while “ultimate” is usually a questionable moniker, there’s no denying that the Rustler 11 has earned its reputation. It’s a great powder ski, but performance drops notably as snow firms up.

For those interested in something with a little more punch and a true all-mountain mindset, are encouraged to investigate the more modestly waisted Rustler 10.

The Bonafide has been a long-trusted tool of aggressive and technically proficient skiers everywhere. It’s not the most forgiving ski, nor the most playful ski. But it strikes a fair balance between a competition ski and something that’s more suitable for recreational level skiers.

Those in search of something that can justifiably be brought out any day in any conditions have found their daily ride for the next few seasons.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • True Blend Flipcore Woodcore
  • High Density Wood Stringers
  • Dual Titanal Layers
  • Carbon Tips with Fiberglass Laminate
  • Rounded Tips for Impact Resistance
  • Minimal Rocker
What we like:
  • A real “single quiver” ski that feels stable in any conditions
  • One of the only skis that can turn a bad day into a good one
  • Feels closer to the older versions of the Bonafide, doubling down on weight and accuracy
  • Rides off-piste just as well as it chews up groomers
What we don’t like:
  • One of the heavier skis on the market
  • Expert level ski that demands an expert level skier
  • Not a “fun” ski by itself, very little rocker or pop

The Blizzard Bonafide has been around for just shy of a decade at this point. Though it’s been through several iterations, this most recent model is on the heavier side.

Coupled with a shallow rocker, and a fairly large turn radius, the Bonafides require quite a bit out of their rider. They need some speed to get them to turn, and good form to hook into the snow to do anything beyond survival skiing.

Getting your kids on the right pair of skis can seem like an impossible task, particularly when you reach that skill level between the bunny slope and a proper team model.

The Rustler Twin Jr. offers a means to explore the mountain without investing in something crazy that your kid will outgrow in one season.

It’s a soft yet capable twintip that will give little rippers the opportunity to stay engaged and excited about skiing the whole day.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Composite Partial Sidewall
  • Uniform Flex
  • Adjustable binding system
What we like:
  • Awesome tool to help kids grow into capable, independent skiers
  • Allows kids to learn proper without punishing learner’s techniques
What we don’t like:
  • Most kids will quickly outgrow these in terms of both size and skill

Skis like these help kids learn how to get on edge and learn proper techniques without punishing defensive beginner tactics.

You can still make your way down the hill in a power wedge just as well as you can start doing your first carves and venturing into steeper terrain.

If you were previously familiar with any other Blizzard ski, chances are it was the Cochise. Though its several reconceptualizations, the Cochise has always been known for being a heavy hard-charger that can be ridden in any conditions. It’s the heart and soul of Blizzard’s freeride skis, and this most recent version was created with the intent of getting more people riding the Cochise, without compromising on its burly charging capabilities.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Carbon Flipcore Construction Tips and Tails
  • Dual Titanal Plating
  • Rounded Tips for Durability
  • Fiberglass Laminate
What we like:
  • Deadly downhill precision and powder
  • Feels damp at speed even on bad snow
  • Capable of blasting through anything in its path
  • This version is lighter and has a shorter turn radius to make it more accessible
What we don’t like:
  • Despite considerations to make it more accessible, it’s still too much ski for entry level skiers
  • Weight is good for skis like this, but the Cochise has always been very heavy and this latest version is no exception.

The Cochise is a serious ski, and we’re excited to see it being broadcasted to a wider audience than ever before. The Cochise is a demanding ski despite the efforts Blizzard has made to make it more accessible. That being said, it’s a ski that won’t hold you back, and will return every investment that you make into it.

The Spur is a long-loved and dependable powder ski that is best saved for the deepest days. Skiers in the market for a beloved new set that will never touch the ground will find it a well-suited match, it’s built to float and not much more. The Spur is one of our favorites in the 120+ waisted category, those looking for something with a little bit more everyday skiability should look towards the asymmetrical Spur Concept.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Partial Sidewall
  • Flipcore Construction
  • Carbon Tips and Tails
  • Rocker Camber Rocker
  • Fiberglass Laminate
What we like:
  • Huge powder ski more than capable of ripping big lines
  • Active camber allows for some impressive dynamic turns
  • Stable enough for some reconsolidated snow
What we don’t like:
  • Only a ski you’ll want to ride when the snow is deep
  • Not an entry-level powder ski
  • Not as maneuverable as the Spur Concept

The Spur is a serious ski for seriously deep days. If you need something that you’re only going to break out during the biggest storm cycles than look no further. But, those in the market with something with a little more versatility would have better luck with the Spur Concept or the Rustler 11.

This asymmetrical version of the Spur is the antithesis of everything you’ve come to expect from a Blizzard ski. Between the uncommon shape of the tips and the impressively low weight, it’s definitely out of left field for Blizzard. Though the Spur has always been known as a powder ski, this latest version shifts the focus away from blasting down big mountain slopes, and instead takes a more creative and playful approach to your powder days.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Dynamic Release Technology
  • Rocker/Flat/Rocker
  • Carbon Flipcore D.R.T.
  • Titanal Plating
  • Fiberglass Laminate
  • Asymmetrical Shape
What we like:
  • Great ski for the deepest of days
  • Playful and poppy while skiing fairly soft
  • Super easy ski to ride, anyone with a little bit of background can hop on it and have a good time
  • Light enough to be a deep powder touring ski
What we don’t like:
  • It takes quite the hit on charging capabilities for the weight and the play it offers

The Spur is special in it’s wide accessibility for skiers of all skill levels, which in itself is a major departure from what we’ve come to expect from Blizzard. The Spur Concept is the perfect tool for anyone looking for a dedicated powder ski, it’s not a one-stop-shop for your whole season, but for a large-waisted romper look no further.

Not all of Blizzards skis are built to blow up the mountain, the Quattro series is for frontside devotees and progressing skiers who want something that will grow with them. This lightweight, carbon piste ski is a forgiving, turnable, option for that feels more like a reliable carver than it does a beginner ski. It’s a perfect option for those coming into their own as skiers, and something that will grow with you as you get your technique dialed.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • IQ Sandwich Compound Partial Sidewall
  • Quattro Technology
  • Partial Titanium Plate
  • 80mm Underfoot
What we like:
  • Piste ski targeted at developing skiers
  • Very easy to turn, without punishing form
  • Can be pushed like a performance ski when you want to
  • Bindings included
What we don’t like:
  • Only for use on-piste
  • Expert level skiers will quickly want something with more power

This lighter carbon-enhanced version of the Quattro has an edge on the rest of the series because it’s a little lighter, and for the vibration dampening qualities of its construction. For piste skiers looking for a little more driving power, check out the Firebird or one of the full Ti versions of the Quattro.

The Firebird is Blizzard’s professional-grade race series, and the HRC is the fan favorite out of the line. It’s Blizzard’s attempt to bring some liveliness back into piste skiing, the HRC achieves this through a fast-yet forgiving feel while headed downhill. You can feel the force beneath your feet, without having to worry about being eaten alive like with comparable race options.

Where to buy:
Specs & Features:
  • Sandwich Compound Sidewall
  • Racing Construction C-Armor
  • C-Spine Core
  • FDT Race Plate Pro
  • Full Camber
  • 76mm Underfoot
What we like:
  • Aggressive GS style ski with a more forgiving side
  • Still skiable on soft snow
  • Absolute rocketship when you reach the hardpack
  • Bindings included
What we don’t like:
  • Doesn’t have an all-mountain applicability
  • Expensive for a one-trick pony, even with the bindings included

Whether you’re looking for something to give you the edge in your casual league, or simply enjoy making the kinds of turns that the Firebird likes to make, Blizzard has delivered on one of the more reasonable recreational racers currently available. For a less-aggressive version of a frontside ski, the Quattro line also has some interesting options.

A Quick History of Blizzard Skis

Blizzard officially came into existence in 1953, but the first skis that would later become Blizzards were made by Anton Arnsteiner in 1945. Shortly after their official incorporation, Blizzard forever changed the ski world with the first factory-produced polyetheramine bases. They went on to be early adopters of modern materials such as metal and fiberglass in their manufacturing.

Still based in Austria–like Atomic–Blizzard has solidified themselves within the race circuits with numerous podium appearances throughout the decades. More recently Blizzard has earned themselves a win at the Freeride World Tour in 2014, and their first ever Olympic gold in the slalom. 

Blizzard as a corporation, like so many of these major ski manufacturers, is in the odd position of having changed hands many times over, while retaining a slice of the ethic and culture that they were inspired by. Currently Blizzard is owned entirely by the Technica Group, the parent company of the eponymous boot manufacturer.

Blizzard Ski Tech

No two skis are built the same, and no two ski companies tackle common issues on the slopes in the exact same way. Blizzard skis are packed full of their proprietary technology, here we’ll dig a little deeper into what all of those words under their tech specs actually mean.

Sandwich Compound Sidewall

Most Blizzard skis are made with a “Sandwich Compound Sidewall”. This is Blizzard’s in-house language for a full ABS sidewall, backed up by a strip of titanal reinforcement for extra longitudinal rigidity. ABS sidewalls like those featured in Blizzard skis are, as a whole, further proof of the care and craftsmanship that goes into their production. Skis with this style of construction are more durable, and have notable performance benefits.

Carbon Flipcore

During the process of production, most blizzard skis have optimally placed pockets of carbon included in their bases. This manufacturing choice not only saves weight, but adds to the dampening properties of the ski. These elements of design also help add some shape to the rocker in the tips and tails of Blizzard skis.

Dynamic Release Technology

Dynamic Release Technology is featured in all of Blizzard’s rockered skis. It’s a method of combining a specifically shaped strip of titanal plating near the tips and tails of the ski, with the dampening aspects of Blizzard’s Carbon Flipcore.

Skis built with Dynamic Release Technology are easier to twist the nearer you move towards either end. The end result is a turn that is much easier to release or smear, and a damper, more stable ride than you would expect from skis with so much rocker.

TrueBlend Woodcore

Last season Blizzard overhauled two of their most popular all-mountain models with a brand new core. Both the Black Pearl and the Brahma were rebuilt based around a more flexible and adaptable baseline concept.

The TrueBlend Woodcore mixes high-density wood core with lighter wood stringers in strategic points in order to make the skis more versatile and easier to turn. TrueBlend has also been employed in a special piste variation in Blizzard’s new Phoenix and Thunderbird carvers. But in the case of the aforementioned all-mountain examples, lower-density wood is primarily added around the shovel and tail of the ski, making them a bit more flexible while ensuring you still have support where you need it most.

Active Carbon Armor

New in Blizzard’s race-approximate skis, the Thunderbird and the Phoenix- Active Carbon Armor is a sophisticated vibration dampening technology situated under the binding. Essentially this carbon plate is separate from the main body of the ski, and flexes independently along a fixed track.

The performance result is much less chatter under foot, making the skis easier to ride at high speeds and edge angles.

FAQ – Frequently asked questions about Blizzard Skis

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    Are Blizzard skis any good?

    Blizzard has been a long time big name in the industry, and they have earned enough titles across multiple ski disciplines to earn their extended stay. Blizzard’s reputation is mainly for their hard-charging skis most tailored to skilled skiers who want to dominate the mountain. But they also make a wide selection of playful powder skis, dedicated frontside skis, and a few other varieties. 

    To see how Blizzard stacks up against the competition, check out our best all-mountain skis article from this season’s top picks. For more on Blizzard, see our best of brand page to see model-to-model comparisons. 

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    Where are Blizzard skis made?

    Blizzard, despite changing hands several times throughout the course of the decades, still does all of its manufacturing just outside of the Austrian Alps. Nordica skis are also produced in this factory. The Mittersill factory is nearly as legendary as the skis that it’s produced. For more on Blizzard and our favorite skis in their current lineup, take a look at our brand overview page.

  • image/svg+xmlimage/svg+xml
    How to pronounce Blizzard skis?

    Blizzard’s brand name doesn’t have any tricks in its pronunciation, it’s just like the snowstorm. Despite what you’ll hear people tossing around base areas it’s definitely not pronounced with a hard “-ard” like “chard.” But there’s more to Blizzard than just a name. For a look at their history and our favorite skis in their current lineup, take a look at our brand overview page.

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    What is the best ski company?

    You can always count on some brands to consistently deliver on exciting new skis on a season-to-season basis. Who makes the best overall ski will vary, and brands have their particular followings within different disciplines. To see what our favorites are across the industry, be sure to check out our top ten all mountain skis list. Otherwise, here are some brands that have built a name for themselves in the modern ski industry.

    Best Ski Brands

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    What are the best Blizzard skis?

    Blizzard has a reputation for making high-performance skis for hard-charging riders. But this isn’t the whole story. While there’s no doubt that Blizzard’s catalogue has some of the staunchest all-mountain options available, they’ve kept up with the crowds and make finely tuned options for skiers of all skill levels and intentions. Head over to our brand overview page for a detailed look at our favorites in all categories. 

    Best Blizzard Skis:

If you already have a pair of Blizzard Skis or you just bought one, leave a comment in the comment section below and share your experience with them.

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