Blizzard Bonafide (2014)
This Blizzard's bona fides are well established - for the last two years, it was the men's top scorer in the entire test. The love affair continues this year, with testers raving about its combination of muscular carveability and playful smeariness. On edge, it's all business, arcing with metal-laminated, full-sidewall authority. But flatten it across the fall line and it releases instantly, smearing with ease. It gave up points in Flotation - a 98-millimeter waist doesn't cut it like it used to in this category - but everywhere else it's money. Rogan: "Gives you confidence to try new lines."
The Bonafide, with its 98 mm waist, still offers the most all-conditions versatility of all the bull-themed Free Mountain skis from Blizzard, and it's a perennial tester favorite. (It was the top scorer of all skis, across categories, in the 2012 test and returns unchanged for 2013-14.) Blizzard's Full Rocker profile, in this case, combines a cambered section under the binding with rocker fore and aft. (The fatter models in the series are flat underfoot.) All Free Mountain skis are built with Blizzard's Flipcore construction method: The ski mold is built with rocker in it, and the wood core is flipped so that it fits the rockered mold (arched surface down). Blizzard says no extra pressure is needed tip and tail to bend the ski into a rockered shape, so there's no material-memory tendency to spring back to an unrockered shape, and pressure distribution is even along the ski's length. It's a metal-reinforced (two sheets), wood-core construction with vertical sidewalls, built for maximum stability and edge-grip. Each ski in the successful "bull" series is named for a different legendary bull on the professional rodeo circuit. All Blizzard skis are built in the company's Mittersill, Austria, factory headquarters, near Kitzbuhel and the Kitzsteinhorn.
|Level||Advanced, Expert, Hi-Expert|
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||166, 173, 180, 187|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||4.00 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.48 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.83 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.69 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.06 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.04 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.53 / 5|