Blizzard Samba (2014)
Like the narrower, more piste-centric Blizzard Black Pearl (page 48), the Samba is a powerful ski tailor-made for hard chargers. Testers dinged it on forgiveness, but that’s OK, because this ski is aimed at experts. It’s all about bombing big GS and Super-G turns on the Samba, but with a balanced, athletic position it can be tamed just enough for trees and bumps. With its powerful engagement and plenty of oomph in the tail for strong finishes, it “lets me drive like Danica on the piste,” said one.
The 98-mm waisted Samba is the women's equivalent - lighter and livelier - of the popular men's Bonafide model, which has been a top seller for Blizzard. It's built for everyday use in softer snow, and is plenty wide for powder-day fun. Blizzard's Full Rocker profile, in this case, combines a cambered section under the binding with rocker fore and aft. (Compare to the Samba, which is rockered tip and tail but flat - or "zero camber" - underfoot for a looser, smearier feel.) Like the men's Bonafide, which is 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.
|Category||Mixed Snow Value|
|Lengths||152, 159, 166, 173|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||4.01 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||2.76 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.42 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.50 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||2.37 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||3.24 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.24 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||2.96 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.20 / 5|