2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious

review of the Blizzard Bodacious, Blister Gear Review
Blizzard Bodacious, 186cm

Ski: 2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious, 186cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 142-118-132

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 142-117-131.5

Stated Sidecut Radius: 32 meters

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.2cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2438 & 2455 grams

Days Skied: 4

Test Locations: Temple Basin Ski AreaCraigieburn Valley Ski Area, & Broken River Ski Area, New Zealand

Boots / Bindings: Cochise Pro 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 13)

[Editor’s Note: For a summary of our initial thoughts on this ski, please see our preview of the Bodacious.]

The Bodacious has been in the Blizzard Freemountain line since the 11/12 season. At 118mm underfoot, the Bodacious has been the most powder-specific ski in their line-up, until this year’s introduction of the Spur—which we’re really looking forward to reviewing.

Like this year’s Cochise, Blizzard claims that they have softened the overall flex by 15%.

Living in Alaska and skiing at Alyeska when riding lifts, I’ve often enjoyed skis that are fat enough to float on our frequent pow days, but still damp and stable enough to be fun when our higher-density snow starts to get tracked up. In the past I’ve owned and enjoyed 195cm Line Motherships, 188cm Rossignol RC 112s, and more recently, the 194cm 4FRNT Devastator—though none of these skis really excel in fresh powder.

I’ve been able to get the 186cm Bodacious in a variety of conditions here in New Zealand, and I’m ready to weigh in with some initial impressions.

Hard Chalky Snow

The latter part of our week here in Canterbury has involved warming temps and, in some cases, snow that is not freezing at night. While earlier in our trip we spent quite a bit of time on firm, chalky, south-facing slopes, this is becoming less common here. That said, I did make a half dozen or so runs down the top of a really fun line called “The Guts” at Craigieburn, under firm chalky conditions.

I was expecting to miss the narrower waist of the Cochise in these conditions, especially since I’ve been struggling with a sore ankle for much of the summer that does not feel good while bouncing sideways down firm slopes. But to my relief, the Bodacious held an edge quite well in these conditions, eliminating the chattery feeling of skidding the ski across bumpy snow.

Just before clicking into the Bodacious, I had been skiing the Blizzard Cochise and the Armada Invictus, and it was difficult for me to discern a significant difference in the ability of the Bodacious to hold a firm edge in these conditions.

Furthermore, the Bodacious feels at least as damp as the Cochise, and did a nice job of smoothing out the ankle to boot top-sized moguls that formed throughout the firmest section of the run. While riding the rope tow at Craigieburn, I could easily distinguish my large radius railroad-like tracks down the The Guts.

The typical downside of a ski that is ~118mm underfoot is its slower edge-to-edge transitions. While some skis in this class feel quicker than others (e.g., the Salomon Quest 115), but those quicker-feeling skis typically just have shorter turn radii. However, with a big 32m radius, the Bodacious actually felt quite nimble in the hard bumps when I chose to work around them rather than carving through or airing over them. I attribute the nimble feel to the Bodacious’ relatively deep tip and tail rocker lines.

As I became more confident in my ability to toss the Bodacious around in tight places, I worked my way into Craigieburn’s “210 Chute,” which is a little narrower than it’s 210cm namesake this year due to low snow conditions. I remember when we were at Craigieburn a year ago, I was working pretty hard to make quick jump turns on the 194cm 4FRNT Devastator in this chute, but I enjoyed bouncing down the steep chute on the 186cm Bodacious, doing my best Scott Schmidt impression. Based on the tracks I saw in 210, it appears that most skiers end up sideslipping most of the chute, so it was nice to have a ski that allowed me to link turns down the whole thing, even on very firm snow.

Paul Forward reviews the Blizzard Bodacious, Blister Ger Review.
Paul Forward on the Blizzard Bodacious, Temple Basin Ski Area, New Zealand.

Recycled Powder

In the portions of faceted-out, cold, soft snow we’ve found at the club fields, the Bodacious (as expected) has provided more float than the Cochise or the DPS Wailer 105 in the same places.

I’m really looking forward to getting these out for some deeper powder skiing this winter, but I can say now that the 186cm Bodacious has felt like it strikes a nice balance of flotation (it’s not just some big lead sled) and stability (it’s not just some fat pow noodle.)

Wet, Heavy Snow

While at Craigieburn this week, the slightly more north-facing aspects yielded some very soft snow down the Hamilton Face, and throughout the Middle Basin Chutes. On Hamilton Face, it was possible to make high speed turns, locking into the Bodacious’ 32-meter sidecut radius, making for some of my favorite skiing of our trip.

While this was also possible with some of the ~105mm skis we have with us, the Bodacious’ 118mm waist provided a more solid, confidence-inspiring platform while on edge, yet the tails were still very easy to break loose to drift or skid to control speed, or to slash turns on little rollovers or wall features. For such scenarios, the Bodacious was my favorite ski of the trip.

186cm Blizzard Bodacious vs. 188cm Line Magnum Opus

I skied some of the same runs in the same conditions on the Line Magnum Opus, which I found to be significantly easier to break free into drifts and slashes, but substantially less stable on edge and at high speeds in the heavy, wet snow.

While the Magnum Opus and the Bodacious are pretty different fatter skis (a metal laminate, directional Bodacious vs the lighter, very freestyle-oriented Magnum Opus), my time on the Magnum Opus made clear that my enjoyment of the Bodacious in these conditions was not just related to being on a fatter ski, but because it is a damp, stable ski that provides a bit more flotation than many other skis of similar construction.

Wind Crust / Breakable Crust / Variable

I wrote in my review of the Cochise that the most unpredictable snow conditions favor predictable skis, and I would certainly classify the Bodacious as a predictable and stable tool for the most challenging snow conditions.

In the past, I have generally preferred an overall wider ski in weird snow, particularly when skiing on / in breakable crusts. On the days when temperatures rose and the snow was softer and more prone to punching through to deeper, faceted layers, I was very happy to have the extra width of the Bodacious compared to the DPS Wailer 105 or the Cochise.

On the days when conditions were overall firmer, the narrower skis took the edge off a little bit when transitioning from breakable snow to firm, refrozen sections.

Overall, the Bodacious is a great ski for weird, tricky snow and would be a top choice for a day of resort or sled skiing in which I knew I’d be encountering everything from pow to breakable crust to supportable crust—or anything in between.

Old Bodacious vs. New Bodacious?

I haven’t skied previous iterations of the Bodacious, but based on my experience with the Cochise, I doubt that the softer flex and the slight bit of camber (that our pair has) has seriously affected the performance of the ski. I am pretty optimistic that the width, rocker profile, and the overall flex of the 186cm Bodacious will make this a ski I enjoy riding in true powder conditions, in addition to all of the conditions discussed above.

31 comments on “2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious”

  1. a bit unrelated, but did you ski the vwerks katana?

    would the katana be easy to throw sideways in powder to scrub speed, lets say when entering a tight chute?

    as a matter of fact how do you think the vwerks katana would ski a tight chute in powder?

      • I’ve skied both. Bodacious is much easier to throw sideways. Both are easily skiable in tight steep chutes, but you have to be a bit more on your game for the katana.

  2. Spot on review, I have skied the Bo twice(last years model) Great variable condition ski and very good in skiing Pow fast and directional, turning radius feels tighter than 32 most likely due to rocker profile. I skied it at Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain Washington in late March. Fresh Pow in the morning that quickly got skied out. In skied out soft snow it dominated as you describe, you can mash variable snow like your on fresh corduroy. I own the 13/14 Cochise which I love, the Bo feels like a wider and bad ass Cochise. If you are a directional skier with some power you will love these skis, both of them. Note: one of the best features of both skis is the ability to scrub speed effortlessly and almost instantly turn that speed back on, Great design, great skis.

  3. To any/all:
    I’m 5’9 150 advanced. I ski Tahoe. I’m interested in the 186 bodacious as a touring ski. Currently have 190 Bibby Pro 2013 (blue/orange w bird version, not the “new” bibby) which i haven’t skied yet due to crappy Tahoe for the last 3 years. It will replace the Nighttrain, which I like in powder but it feels soft and has too much tail rocker for firm/variable conditions. I have been playing with the idea of buying the 185 Cochise as my non-soft snow ski for the inevitable crappy conditions Tahoe will have this year. So 190 Bibby pro for pow and “good” days. 185 cochise for firm/variable.

    1.Thoughts on the 186 Bodacious for touring/and lift-access backcountry? I’m not doing long trips so I’m not overly concerned with the weight. Most tours would be for boot/thigh powder and spring corn as I ski the resort until things in the backcountry bond…and in Tahoe our 3ft dumps turn into boot-deep quickly.

    2. How would you compare the 186 Bodacious to the 190 bibby/blister pro? How does the Bodacious handle firm conditions and pow vs the Bibby?

    3. Friends and Blister seem to love the Bibby because of its versatility…could I go 2 ski quiver with the 190 Bibby as a resort ski and the 185 Cochise as a firm in-bounds ski and touring set-up?

    Thanks! Best review site in the world.

    • 1) If you’re not concerned about weight, the Bodacious is a great soft and variable conditions ski as we’ve described. It would not be my choice to drag around all day or for super deep pow days but, overall, it would be a great ski for backcountry conditions.

      2) I haven’t skied the production version of the Blister Pro so can’t compare directly. Based on my time on a version of the Exit World, I would say that the Bodacious will be damper and smoother but less poppy and playful. I haven’t spent enough time on either of them in true powder conditions but suspect they will be similar, maybe with a slight advantage in floatation to the Blister Pro.

      3) Totally agree. That would be a great 2 ski quiver!

  4. I’m 6’5″, 210 lb and on the 196cm 11/12 version — basically the same ski as the 14/15 with different wood and a slightly stiffer front end. I agree with what Matt said — the 32m radius combined with the flat-bottomed, rockered shape makes this a a ski that’s really easy to pivot and bend into a wide variety of turn shapes. So easy.

    Its straight shape means it’s not grabby. To paraphrase an earlier Cochise review, “It only does what you tell it to do.” Holds true with the Bodacious.

    The traditional mount point, moderate stiffness and long, low rocker makes for some extremely supportive shovels, too: I can keep my weight on the balls of my feet and pressure on my shins and never feel like I’m going to go over the handlebars. Don’t get on the tails except except to recover, though.

    Effortless in pow. A little lumbering on groomers, but who cares. Super stable as fast as I took it ~65-ish mph. Skied it this weekend on Mt. Spokane’s February spring-corn bumps and had a ball. I have mine mounted with Barons and when the lifts aren’t running, I use them for sidecountry and pre/post season trips up the Kan.

    Coming off of a pair of 194cm Surface New Lifes, which I loved. I love these much, much more.

  5. How does the bodacious compare to the moment blister pro as a resort powder ski in a maritime climate? Everyone seems to love the blister Pro on here but most people have been testing it in drier Utah pow. Would you recommend the bodacious over the blister pro for a 200 lb advanced PNW skier?

    • I wrote this above in response to a similar question: “I haven’t skied the production version of the Blister Pro so can’t compare directly. Based on my time on a version of the Exit World, I would say that the Bodacious will be damper and smoother but less poppy and playful. I haven’t spent enough time on either of them in true powder conditions but suspect they will be similar, maybe with a slight advantage in floatation to the Blister Pro.”

      As a long-time AK/PNW skier, I tend to prefer damper skis and would lean toward the Blizzard.
      Depending on your preferences, ability and terrain, you might prefer the 196 at your size but I haven’t tried them yet. Personally, I am really looking forward to checking out the 193cm 2015/2016 Bodacious, although I hope the lack of metal doesn’t decrease the dampness that I love so much.

      Good luck with your decision and let us know how it works out for you.

      • Thanks for the response it was helpful. We finally got some new snow on Mt Hood last week and I was able to demo the 186 bodacious and it was awesome. It was one of the most stable skis I have been on and did fantastic in some very heavy chopped up snow. I will try and demo the 196 before the season ends but i most likely will get the 186 as it provided plenty of stability.

        I will wait until April when the prices are reasonable and pickup a pair.

        The 2016 version will probably be a good ski but with it having a more tapered tip, lighter tip, and no metal I doubt it will be what I am looking for.

      • I picked up the bodscious at the end of the season and got a couple new snow days on it. It is awesome and skied great in Oregon powder even after it got chopped up.

  6. Hello all,

    I can’t find last year’s Volkl Katana 191 as mine was warrantied but they had no more left and can’t find them online anywhere. I really want to love and add the Bodacious for powder/deeper snow/cut up after the storm days. My one concern with this ski is the 32m turn radius – it seems perfect for Alaska where you could let it run all day BUT in Summit County and Steamboat Springs, I don’t see this ski being a good choice.

    Am I thinking about this wrong? Moment Blister Pro is gone in a 190 so that’s not an option. And want this ski to complement a Katana 184 as my everyday ski and the X-Drive 8.8.

    Thanks all – great review and great feedback from everybody here!

  7. Steve – In my opinion, the 32m radius isn’t limiting. You can still make shorter turns — you’ll just be scrubbing them. The flatness underfoot and the tip/tail rocker makes it easy to scrub/pivot. Feels like riding a hovercraft. (Which is a good thing.)

  8. I also had a chance to try them on sheet ice that looked like it came straight from the freezer (all that’s left of some runs during what’s turned out to be a cruel winter in eastern Washington). I was having a whole lot more fun than my buddy who was on fully-cambered Atomic REXs.

  9. Paul, thanks for an awesome review. Have you guys had a chance to try the 15/16 Bodacious yet? Any reviews in the works? I’m looking for a more directional pow ski (compared to my Praxis Protests) with better hard/variable snow performace and think the Bo’ might be the ticket. The lighter weight of the 15/16 is attractive as I do tour a good bit, but I’m worried they may have softened it too much. I’d love to hear what you guys think.

    • Hi John Karl,

      Thanks for writing. We just wrapped in New Zealand and I’ve been on the 15/16 Bodacious quite a bit. Please stay tuned. We’ll get that review up soon.

      Best, Paul

  10. In the flash review of the 15/16 Bodacious, Jonathan mentioned that the 14/15 wasn’t a phenomenal pow ski. I haven’t seen pow characteristics mentioned in a review, and I’m curious about this comment. I haven’t had the chance to ski them in more than 6″ of fresh.

    • Hi David, Thanks for your question. I have skied them in powder and agree with Jonathan that they are not exceptional given the width. Part of that may be due to be being 190lbs and on a 186cm ski but I think it’s also related to the flex and rocker profile. I will try to touch on that in more detail in our upcoming review of the new Bodacious. Best, Paul

  11. Hi Paul, what’s been your mounting reference point for the Bodacious. If I missed it in the body of the email, forgive me…

    • Hi Geoff, On both the 14/15 186cm and the 15/16 185cm Bodacious I was quite happy with them at the Recommended mark. I’ve been wanting to ski the 196cm or the new 193cm but haven’t had the chance yet. Best, Paul

    • Scott, I’ve had 5 or so pair of the Pre 15-16 Bo’s and have mounted all of them at -1 (that went for the 186’s and 196’s). Maybe it’s psychological as much as anything else, but it has worked for me. I’ll add that I have felt less variance in forward and backward mount point shifts with flat & fully-rockered skis…there’s more leeway than with cambered skis. Hope this helps…just my experience.

  12. Hi I’ve just moved back to Canada from Europe where I’ve been skiing the last 15yrs. Will be spending most of my time skiing revy and kicking horse. Looking for a new all conditions potential day touring ski. I like the bodacious but they seem to have taken the metal out so stability and dampness would be a concern. Am I right about this? Normally I prefer directional hard charging type of skis but I suspect the terrain in bc will be a lot different to what I am used to. Your thought on the bodacious are much appreciated

    • I have the old version of the bodacious and it is a great ski but I would not use it for touring. The ski is on the heavy side so while short tours from the resort may be okay but nothing very long. The old version is a very good ski and can still be found online at a good price. The new ski does go without metal and I would not recommend it, There are other skis that are better than the new version of the bodacious. The blizzard spur and moment bibby pro are well liked on this site although I would recommend looking online for the old version of the bodacious.

  13. Just picked up pair #5. All bought lightly used.
    -11/12 – Edges falling out and getting unusable even for rock skis.
    -12/13 – Current Pair
    -13/14 – Tore out heel piece. Mounting with Barons as new skinning/rock skis.
    -14/15 – For future fun.
    -No 15/16 or 16/17. Atomic Atlas 192 is my tapered pow ski. Bouncy fun in fresh snow. Sucks in chop.
    -17/18 – For fun even further into the future.

Leave a Comment