Blizzard Black Pearl (2014)
The Black Pearl is a type-A ride for skilled women who appreciate a strong, bossy ski. It appealed most to testers with racing backgrounds, and most of them noted that, while it’s less steady off-trail, it shines on hardpack if you’re careful to ski from a balanced center position. Our tallest lady (at six feet) liked it best, calling it “effortless” and “infinitely stable on edge”—perhaps because she was able to gain leverage over it in ways shorter women could not.
The Black Pearl is the narrowest and least expensive ski in Blizzard's Free Mountain line, with an 88 mm waist designed to suit everyday conditions for frontside skiers who don't need a specialty powder ski. Blizzard's Full Rocker profile combines a flat section under the binding with rocker fore and aft. Like the men's Brahma, with which it shares the same geometry, it's a wood-core, laminate construction with sturdy, grippy vertical sidewalls, but it's a significantly lighter, livelier construction than the men's version, with a strip of lightweight foam down the middle of the core and no metal laminates. 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. All Blizzard skis are built in the company's Mittersill, Austria, factory headquarters, near Kitzbuhel and the Kitzsteinhorn.
|Lengths||152, 159, 166, 173|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.63 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||2.96 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.52 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||2.74 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||2.96 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||2.83 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||3.12 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.11 / 5|