• Blizzard Peacemaker 2015

      • Review by jamie92 on Nov 11, 2015 @ 6:15 AM
        • 0
      • Reviewed Ski Size: 186 (134-104-124) Review:

        Length – 186cm
        Measured Length – 183.5cm
        Dimensions – 134-104-124
        Turn Radius – 21m
        Weight (per ski) – 2080g (+/-50g)
        Days used - ~80 days
        Areas used – Les Trois Vallees (France), Portes du Soleil (France)
        Skier – 6’ 170lbs

        Initial Impressions

        Flex
        As an all mountain freestyle tool these skis are definitely towards the stiffer end of the spectrum. Handflexing them they are softer in the tip and tails with that stiffness progressively ramping up underfoot. However I must note that the tip and tails are by no means buttery soft and if you’re used to, or prefer softer skis these may not be for you. If you’re looking for something with a bit more backbone that you still CAN play around keep on reading.

        All mountain skis that I was able to do side by side hand flex comparisons to last winter were the Whitedot Director and the Faction Soma. For a review purposes the Peacemakers fell conveniently between the two. Compared to the Factions they were significantly stiffer throughout the ski with this being very noticeable when trying butters; the Factions required far less effort to get up onto the noses or tails but as a result struggled when going through rougher conditions at speed. The Whitedot directors however were stiffer and more suited to speed through grim snow at the trade off of jibbing around.

        Mount Position
        After much trawling through the internet I decided on mounting these skis at +2.5cm from recommended or -3.5cm from true centre. From an all mountain perspective this mount point worked really well. The skis felt stable and controlled at speed, were able to float well through shallow snow (anything less than 8”) and could handle small to medium sized drops without washing out. For jibbing around and going into the park this mount point worked but as I’ll discuss later on in the review if this is your main priority for a ski then you could mount them further forward.

        Rocker Profile
        Like the vast majority of All Mountain freestyle skis these days the Peacemaker utilises a Rocker Camber Rocker Profile. As you many know, the benefits of this are increased float and manoeuvrability around the mountain with the added bite of camber underfoot for on piste and any ice you may encounter. Blizzard utilises their very popular Flipcore rocker which supposedly enhances the float and helps increase the stability of the ski, preventing the sometimes terrifying ‘flappy tip syndrome’ of some rockered skis. While these skis do float nicely in shallow snow and are relatively stable I don’t know if this is a result of this technology or just the flex and profile of the ski. For those who want to know, the Peacemakers rocker dimensions are as follows:

        Tip Rocker Depth = 340mm
        Tip Rocker Splay = 140mm
        Camber = 10mm
        Tail Rocker Depth = 300mm
        Tail Rocker Splay = 130mm

        All Mountain
        Groomers
        On groomers these skis like to go fast. With a 21m turn radius, slightly damp, stiffer flex, GS turns are the preferred method of attack. Any conditions other than boiler plate ice you really can rail these skis. You can break them off and do shorter more slalom like shorter turns but these require more effort and don’t feel like the natural way the ski wants to run. Being slightly damp they’re not the liveliest of skis and you don’t get a huge amount of pop out of the turn but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. Compared to other skis that I’ve used on piste they aren’t as lively and poppy as the Line Chronic or the Line Opus but are more comfortable on ice and going fast. Another characteristic I noticed was these skis had much better torsional stiffness than the two line skis I’ve skied and not once did I feel like the skis was twisting under me.

        Fresh snow 1-8inches
        Moving away from groomer performance and on to the more relevant part of this review; how it performs around the mountain. The point of an all mountain ski in my opinion is to be useful in resort conditions around periods of significant snowfall. They’re not meant to be something to tackle nipple deep pow one week and then refrozen crud the other which manufacturers claim they’ll be able to do. To explain why I think this I’ve split up this section into various snow depths and conditions and will attempt to explain how the ski performs in each group to highlight what the ski is suited to.

        1-8 inches of fresh snow. At this depth the blizzards cope really nicely and have just the right amount of float to allow you to put your brain in neutral and just have fun. You don’t have to worry about them sinking or doing anything unexpected. The stiffer flex allows you to lay down some really nice medium to large sized turns on open faces but if you need to, you can shut them down with relative ease. The moderately central mount point I chose combined with the tip and tail rocker meant skiing in trees was easy and didn’t require much effort.

        Fresh snow 8-12inches
        At this depth the Peacemakers require a bit more effort to get going. Once you’d generated enough speed to get the skis planning on the surface fun was still to be had. You could still arc and slash your way down a face throwing tricks if you choose to just with a bit more effort required on your part. This isn’t to say they become difficult at this depth, it just requires a tad more thinking and effort. This effort was more noticeable when in trees where you can’t open them up as much.

        More than 12inches
        If you’re planning on skiing anything above a foot of snow I felt that you’d be better off on a wider ski. This isn’t me saying its impossible to ski in anything over this depth just a wider ski would make it much easier. To explain what I mean, last year I took the peacemakers out on a day when I thought there was less snow than there actually was. It turned out there was about 18” of fresh snow in places. Here I found that you’d have to point the skis straight down the fall line for much longer to get them up to the surface. Once on the surface if you didn’t pay attention to your stance and stay balanced on the skis, tip dive was a common and irritating occurrence. The natural reaction when this happens is to lean slightly back in your boots to quickly get the tips back up. Having to do this regularly makes for tiring skiing which usually equates to less fun. While I was able to ski the entire day and have a great time I had the constant “I wish I had my pow skis” thought in the back of my head.

        Tracked out snow
        The area where I feel the Peacemakers really excel are shallow (1-8inches) tracked out snow that you typically encounter in resort after a snowfall. In my opinion doing well in these conditions is almost essential for an all mountain ski because as we all know first tracks are short lived. Once again the stiffer than average flex of the Peacemakers really allowed me to make the most of these conditions by staying in control, and not getting deflected easily when transitioning from untouched snow to tracks. As well as this, the areas where the snow had been pushed into fledgling moguls provided perfect little launch pads for shifties, grabs and spins galore. Boosting off natural features and cat tracks into these conditions was equally as fun and landings at speed into these conditions weren’t as sketchy as when done on the Line Chronic’s or Line Opus’s. However I must note that if there is a hard, icy base underneath the fresh snow the blizzards didn’t smooth out the ride as much as I hoped and provided some rather violent bucks.

        Drops
        Small to medium drops on these skis are very fun, with the skis having a large and forgiving sweet spot to help mediate any pilot errors. However not having the flex of a burly big mountain ski meant that more attention had to be made when doing drops over 20ft. I didn’t find this to be too much of an issue though as I don’t go off drops this large in the snow conditions suited to the Peacemaker. Those skiers that do like to huck their meat shouldn’t have too much of an issue handling them on larger drops though.

        Crud and Refrozen Snow
        Being a freestyle orientated ski and not having any metal along the ski meant that these conditions were not ideal for the Peacemaker. However compared to the Chronic’s and Opus’s they handled it far, far better. I will also be willing to say that the Peacemaker will handle these conditions much better than the majority of freestyle orientated all mountain skis out there. This is once again down to the stiffer flex and relatively long effective edge compared to other rockered skis. While the ride was harsh in these conditions I was still able to grip well and maintain control without rattling numerous internal organs loose and found myself skiing faster than when on other skis.

        Park
        Being an all mountain freestyle ski the park should be a place where the Peacemaker can venture. Snapping a park ski last winter and not being able to afford a new pair meant that I was able to do just that with the Blizzards. Even if I hadn’t snapped my park ski I still would have used them in the park as when skiing round resorts a couple of park laps are always going to happen.

        Boxes and Rails
        When in the park I usually spend a large part of my time in the rail section. I mainly put this down to being from the UK where the indoor snowdome set ups are dominated by rails and boxes so that’s what I’m familiar with. I would say the rail performance of the Peacemakers was average. Being longer, wider and heavier than my park skis they were noticeably harder to get onto features especially those that require more pop. However once on the rails they were fine. I didn’t attempt any spins onto rails but 2’s onto boxes as well as surface spins were achievable but as said earlier the additional effort required is noticeable. Again front and back 2’s off of rails felt much more sluggish than on park skis and I found myself having to grip the rail and set up for the spin much more to achieve this. One benefit of these skis was the increase length in the front of the ski and flex meant that heavy forward landings when switch were easier as the skis held very well rather than washing out.

        Jumps
        Performance on jumps, as you’d expect, is similar to that on rails with the increase weight and length making them significantly slower to spin than park skis. Lighter all mountain skis and those with more extreme tip and tail taper will most likely be easier to spin. However while the Peacemakers were hard to spin, they felt nice doing smoother rotations of larger jumps. For example they felt much nicer doing a smoother 360 off a red kicker rather than a trying to whip one round on a blue. Without having any other all mountain freestyle skis to compare it too I’d be guessing when saying that within this category the Peacemaker’s swing weight is average.

        Butters
        For those of you who like to do butters the Peacemaker may not be the best ski for you. As said earlier when discussing the flex, they can be buttered but the stiffer flex means they require much more effort. The tip rocker helps to a degree but I found good heel hold in your boots is a must as you really need to lean in and push all your weight into the tongues of your boots. Tail butters I found easier. Buttering off cat tracks, rollers and knuckles is still possible and fun on the Peacemakers but you just need to go into them a bit faster which can be a tad nerve wracking. Once round however landings are very stable, as I’d grown to expect with these skis.

        Switch
        Switch skiing isn’t much of an issue on these skis with the tail rocker smoothing out any small bumps in the snow you may encounter as well as making turn initiation that little bit easier. As with most twins good technique was rewarded with a fun, predictable ride. The main difference I found was due to them being wider underfoot than park skis getting them onto and edge to carve is slightly harder.

        Mount Position
        Having spent a fair bit of time on the Peacemakers in the park and jibbing around the mountain I would say that the ski could be mounted 1cm further forward (-2.5cm from centre) to improve their performance spinning. I can’t imagine it would have a drastic effect on how they perform around the mountain with the only changes I could see being slightly less stable at speed and not as good in softer snow. However I can imagine this would be a trade off some people would be willing to make.

        Durability
        Bases
        While I can’t find any information on what ptex bases these skis use I’ll hazard a guess that they are sintered Durasurf 4001 base or a similar type as they run very nicely even after prolonged periods without being waxed. I would class the durability of the bases as average. By this I mean that the bases are by no means butter soft but when you think you’ve given yourself a coreshot you most likely will have. I rarely had any pleasant surprises like I’ve had with Lines Fatty Base.

        Topsheet
        Again with the top sheets I would say their durability is on par with the majority of skis out there. Over an entire season of use they are covered in light surface scratches but this is what I would expect from any ski. I have put a couple of chips in the topsheet that were a good 2-3mm deep but they haven’t gone through to any wood so I’m not fussed. The only thing I did was fill them in with a bit of epoxy to stop them catching on my gloves occasionally.

        Edges
        Edges have held out surprisingly well. Measuring them they come out at 2mm thick, which seems to be the norm. Over the course of a season I could only find about 3 edge cracks, which is pretty good in my opinion considering their regular use on boxes and rails as well as the odd encounter with rocks.

        Sidewalls
        I was very impressed with the durability of the sidewalls after a particular incident at the beginning of the season. Conditions were very sharky and I optimistically took them off piste after some light snowfall. The area I was skiing required you to straight line it to make it over a large flat section and back onto the piste. When travelling at pretty much terminal velocity I hit a rock with tremendous force that put the mother of all coreshots in the base while simultaneously bending the edge and cracking the topsheet directly under my boot where I hit it. The sidewalls seemed to do a sterling job at absorbing the majority of the impact and according to the guy who repaired them ‘prevented the ski from exploding’. Top marks there for ski build quality.

        Conclusion
        As a ski in the vast all mountain freestyle category I can confidently say the Blizzard Peacemaker can hold its own as a capable and fun all mountain tool. It shouldn’t be at the top of your list if youre wanting a soft, buttery ski or something to spend the majority of your time in the park with. However if you’re looking for a ski with more backbone that you can still muck around on all over the mountain for the days after the snow has been tracked out then the Peacemaker should definitely be high on your list.

        Ratings:
        • Terrain
          Park
          Pow
        • Design
          Clean
          Busy
        • Durability
          Fragile
          Durable
        • Weight
          Light
          Heavy
        • Style
          Uncool
          Cool
        • Flex
          Soft
          Stiff
        • Camber
          Cambered
          Rockered
        • Pop
          No Pop
          Poppy
        • Stability
          Jittery
          Stable
    • Social Media
    • Product Information
    • Name:
    • Peacemaker
    • Manufacturer:
    • Blizzard
    • Year:
    • 2015
    • Gender:
    • Male
    • At A Glance
    • Terrain
    • Park
      Pow
    • Design
    • Clean
      Busy
    • Durability
    • Fragile
      Durable
    • Weight
    • Light
      Heavy
    • Style
    • Uncool
      Cool
    • Flex
    • Soft
      Stiff
    • Camber
    • Cambered
      Rockered
    • Pop
    • No Pop
      Poppy
    • Stability
    • Jittery
      Stable
    • Product Options
    • Your Wishlist Your Gear
    • Ski Size
    • 186 ( 134-104-124 )
    • Add New Ski Size
    • Review Ratings
       
       
      Score: 2