sick ski, it will take you where ever you need to good. great float in pow and holds a great edge on groomers and park. tracks great through crud and it a amazing all mountain, all around ski! super fun to ski and would buy again.
I have these blends as a part of my Alpine Touring setup because I love their all mountain performance. For park skiers, this is my favorite all mountain ski, it performs adequately in all snow conditions. It handles crud better than you would expect for how soft and playful the ski is, and the early rise in the tip gives them nice float for a 100mm waist ski. They also feel at home in the park, the thin tip and tail make for a pretty low swing weight even in the 183cm length, and the extra width underfoot only makes them more stable on rails and jumps.
Giving a ten is tough, because that would mean the ski would have to be absolutely perfect all over. The Blend compromises tiny amounts of performance everywhere to have huge amounts of performance anywhere. If you're looking for one ski to use everywhere, this is probably yours. If you like a wider, playful park ski, its also a fantastic choice.
I've dabbled in a lot of skis over the years, and it's always a struggle to find a ski that I'm comfortable on everywhere on the mountain. Obviously no ski will be as good on a 50cm pow day as it is on an icy park day, but the Blend is very close. My go to park/all-mountain ski, the Blend has yet to feel out of place.
In pow, the ski gives enough float with the early rise tips to keep your weight centered, but it doesn't have a massive girth that won't let you experience the depth of the snow. Get in there, get knee deep and get smiling on the pow days. If park is more your gig, the Blend is an amazing tool. Early rise tip/tail makes surface switchups easy and knuckle tricks a pleasure. The graphics are poppy and appealing, but don't scare anyone away with something offensive or too loud.
Line has been known for relatively reasonable prices over the years, and that continues through 2012. The Blend runs for 600$ on Backcountry, and might be a bit more expensive locally but everyone likes a local buy. Compared to some of the competitors offerings, the Blend is a steal.
I rock the Blend in a 183 and I'm 6'1. All of my skis run in the 180-190 range, and for my primary park ski the Blend is the perfect length. Also, at 100mm underfoot, the Blend is comfortable all over the mountain.
Ohhhh the flex. The Blend is derives its namesake from its "blend" of all mountain playfulness and park ski shred-ness. The tips and tails of the ski are quite soft, enabling butters and taps, while the underfoot portion of the ski holds quite stiff. Backseat landings on park jumps are not a worry if you can keep your side/side balance as the ski will hold, but the ski remains playful. The only knock on the flex is that in the event of a miscue, the tips/tails won't save you from washing out as well as stiffer skis. With every benefit though, there comes a tradeoff.
No complaints! Topsheets have been fine, no delaminating or edge separation and the bases have proven to be tough enough.