Kara Williard (see Bio)
I. What’s your 1-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?
Blizzard Rustler 10, 180 cm
I ski almost exclusively at Taos Ski Valley, NM, except for a few late-season days in Colorado, and some pretty easy-going spring touring around Santa Fe and Taos. What this means for my 1-ski quiver is that I’m looking for a ski that has a quick, stable, damp feel, that will also give me a bit of freedom to open up and play around when the soft snow comes, when I am seeking fluidity in the bumps, or when I am trying to expand my skills. I generally spend my days skiing the chutes and hiking the ridges of TSV, which I find to be pretty consistently chalky and grippy due to the abundance of north-facing terrain. I prefer to make quick, fall-line turns, and tend to make quite a few more small turns than most of the guys I ski with. I have no opposition to the many long bump runs at Taos, and often find myself lapping these when it has been a few weeks without snow. Groomers are only approached when I am getting back to the lift, but when they are, I enjoy laying out carves and picking up speed.
So, with all that in mind, I’d go with the 180 cm Blizzard Rustler 10 for my 1-ski quiver. I’ve found it to be an adaptable, versatile ski that gives me everything I’m looking for, and I don’t find it to have a major weakness in any area.
Particularly with the Rustler 10, coming in at ~102mm underfoot, it is well-suited ski for me. I need to be realistic when it comes to width because most of my days at Taos are on firm, chalky, steep terrain, or on long, steep mogul runs. I seriously benefit from that type of width underfoot for a majority of the season, yet with the rocker profile of the Rustler 10, I am able to get the float I need when it snows. I also appreciate the Rustler 10 because, once on edge, it feels stable and smooth.
The Rustler 10 is also a blast in the bumps, with a very responsive and forgiving feel. And at higher speeds, it doesn’t lose its composure or feel too soft.
I decided against going with a ski that has two sheets of titanium for my one-quiver so that I can experience a bit more of the mountain in a playful manner. It also gives me the option of putting a touring binding on, and being able to accomplish a lighter touring setup than sticking to a full metal topsheet. In this way, the Rustler 10 really can be the multifaceted tool that I am looking for in a one-quiver set up.
II. What’s your 1-ski quiver for the next 3 years, regardless of location?
I would stick with the Rustler 10, except I tend to want to look a bit wider when it comes to skiing outside of New Mexico. In this scenario, I would be very tempted to go with the Nordica Enforcer 110. And if not the Enforcer 110, the Blizzard Cochise would work if I decided to ditch the touring aspect and look more for stability, weight, and a big top end for when it comes to in-bounds skiing only.
III. What ski was the most difficult to leave off your list?
The Nordica Enforcer 100 and the Blizzard Bonafide were both difficult to leave off the list. The reason I chose to go with slightly less metal and a little more rocker is for the reasons I listed above: I can get a more playful feel in soft conditions, I can set up the Rustler 10 as a lighter touring setup, and I benefit from a touch more surface area underfoot.
IV. What ski do you imagine has the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski it, or get to ski it more?
I really hope to spend more time on the Kastle BMX 105, as well as the Dynastar Legend X106. I feel as if these skis may provide some of what I am looking for in a one-quiver ski, and will (I think) lean on the side of stable and a bit more stiff.
NEXT: Jonathan Ellsworth’s 1-Ski Quiver Selections