Blizzard may not be a name too familiar to the average park rider. As a brand they make good sales in the All Mnt and Freeride market but have never really cracked the twin tip crowd. The Gunsmoke, Peacemaker and Regulator, which I will look at here, are not new skis but this would be the first opportunity I had to ski them. Having skied and enjoyed other Blizzard skis in the past I was optimistic about what these skis could offer.
140 - 114 - 130
Size tested 186
The Gunsmoke was the first ski I tried and like other skis in the Blizzard range features Flip Core. Flip core essentially builds the rocker directly into the core of the ski, meaning the ski is not manipulated post manufacturing to create the rocker profile. In other skis I have tried from blizzard it gives great float while maintaining a lively ski with plenty of energy.
One thing I did question the rep on was the mount point. There is a scale on the ski with recommended being 0cm which is 6cm behind center. Speaking to the rep he said for this style of ski, the recommended point would be best so I took his advice.
At 114mm underfoot these skis were similar dimensions to a few others I had tried that day but straight away it was noticeable how well the skis carved. The skis are on the stiffer side but certainly not the stiffest I had tried but the edge hold was consistent and gave confidence that you could throw these skis into things, knowing the edge would bite.
In the softer snow I did wonder if the stiffer feel would be an issue but the rocker did an excellent job of keeping the skis on top. The Flip Core does work very well to help the ski float but maintain power for you to drive the skis.
Through the cut up, wetter snow the skis really powered through, I was not being bounced around and when I needed to, I could edge hard.
On hits the skis had a good amount of pop and although not the lightest skis I have used they were good in terms of weight. One thing I was noticing however was I was struggling with the lack of tail. I would personally have preferred the mount further forward. I could see if you were using the ski as a full on freeride ski, that the recommended mount would be good, but if you wanted to use it in a more playful manor and you are used to a close to center mount, I would move a couple of cm forward of 0.
These skis will certainly suit a more freeride type rider then a true park rat. Although I still had fun they are not the most playful of skis, but they did go fast. I was skiing sections harder and faster on the Gunsmoke then nearly any other ski and always felt in control and if anything the skis had more to give.
134 - 104 - 124
size tested 186
My favorite type of ski currently is the true all mnt twin. Most skis I like are around 100mm underfoot with some tip and tail rocker. The Peacemaker at 104mm and featuring Blizzards Flip core ticks those boxes and having been very impressed by the Gunsmoke I was excited to see what the Peacemaker could do.
One thing I want to touch on is something I don't usually mention, graphics. The current version of this ski in my opinion looks pretty bad. I know its just personal opinion but I do wonder if the graphics have held back the uptake of the brand some what. The new versions, although quite Rossi "7" in style do look good I think. You may notice one of the cows eyes is smaller then the other and according to the French designer that is because "he is taking a shit".
Anyway back to the skis. I got the rep to move the bindings forward so I was around +2cm on the scale and straightaway I found I liked the way the tails handled much better. The Peacemaker is slightly softer then the Gunsmoke and I was finding it much more playful. Its certainly not a soft ski but has a decent flex in the tip and tail if you are a stronger rider.
The edge hold was just as consistent as the Gunsmoke. There is one steep corner on the Lower Dave Murry DH and I threw the skis into it so hard I fully expected to fully blow out the other side, but no the edge hooked up and I flew round.
In the deeper snow I was finding I could maintain a fairly forward stance and could still drive the tips. On the various hits on my test run the skis got air borne with no effort and the fairly light weight made moving the skis around no problem.
I really enjoyed the Peacemaker and its skis like this that really make me enjoy testing. Blizzard were not that high on my list in terms of testing but in the peacemaker I have found a really fun All Mnt twin that can truly rip. I really hope to get back on these skis as I want to know how they handle the park and if they could be an option for my new All Mnt skis.
127 - 94 - 113
Unfortunately the second test day was a bit of a wash out. It was raining really hard at the test site and by the time I got back from testing the Peacemaker everyone was packing up which meant I could not test the Regulator.
Flexing the skis they seemed a little softer still then the Peacemaker but still had the flip core rocker profile. If they ski as well as the Peacemaker they could be an amazing All Mnt ski for a smaller rider or for somewhere which dose not often see powder.
Check back tomorrow for more new 2016 Tests and check the review system for all the new gear being added.
K2 2016 Tests
Line 2016 Tests
Volkl 2016 Tests