Ski: 2016-2017 Blizzard Peacemaker, 186cm
Available Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186 cm
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 183.6cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 134-104-124
Blister’s Measured Weight: 2143 grams and 2075 grams
Sidecut Radius: 21 meters
Core Construction: Bamboo/Poplar/”ISO” (Synthetic) + Fiberglass Laminate
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 75 / 73 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3-4 mm
Mount Location: +2.5cm from Recommended (-3.5cm from true center)
Boots / Bindings: Rossignol All-track Pro 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 10)
Days Skied: 12
Skier: 6’, 160 lbs. (see bio)
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 13/14 Peacemaker which was not changed for 14/15, 15/16, or 16/17, except for the graphics.]
The Blizzard Peacemaker has been at the top of my “must-ride” list since I first laid eyes on it. With an attractive width, fairly traditional sidecut shape, moderate tip and tail rocker, full twin tip, and assumed Blizzard hardpack-and-crud-busting prowess, the ski looked like a gem for playing around Alta between storm cycles.
Soft Snow Chop
An area the Peacemaker really excels in is 2-10 inches of soft chop (i.e., resort powder day conditions) over a fairly soft base. In addition to the other design characteristics I mentioned in the first paragraph, the Peacemaker’s stiffer flex than most skis in this category gives it the ability to charge through or over most piles of snow. It’s definitely not as stout as other skis from Blizzard like the Cochise or Bonafide, but most of Blizzard’s skis have a fairly distinct feel (e.g., smooth flex, torsionally stiff, lack of sidecut in the tip, predictable in variable, above avg. swing weight for the size), and the Peacemaker falls in line.
In my review of the Rossignol Soul 7 I said that it is a strong performer in these conditions, too, but the Peacemaker and the Soul 7 take different approaches to these conditions. The Soul 7 likes light feet, smearing across the surface, and feels like it’s floating over the top of everything.
The Peacemaker feels good while floating across the surface and laying arcs down a chopped up surface.
The Peacemaker is more of a handful when the chop gets much deeper than 10”, or if the underlying snow layer is firm and bumpy. In these conditions, I actually found the Soul 7 to offer a much more predictable and smoother ride (that was less punishing when unexpectedly hitting a firm / solid base), even at speed.
Firm Snow (On-Piste and Off)
As the snow turns from soft to firm in the days after a storm, the Peacemaker continued to separate itself from other freestyle-oriented, all-mountain twins I’ve recently ridden. Whether skiing down the windscoured K5 chute on Taos’ Kachina Peak, or hauling down a chalky High Rustler at Alta, the Peacemaker has consistently felt supportive and predictable.
These skis can be pushed much harder than most other playful all-mountain twin tips, and the Peacemaker accepts a more aggressive, driving stance than most other skis in the category. I say “most” because both the 11/12 Sickle, and the unexpectedly playful 182cm Black Diamond Zealot (though it’s not a true twin) can be rallied as hard as the Peacemaker. The Peacemaker feels torsionally stiff and predictable into and out of quick, powerful speed checks in tight places, and loves to carve down basically anything you throw in front of it—classic Blizzard.
On-piste, the Peacemaker loves to carve trenches and go fast, but with a bit of effort, can also break free into turns of any shape you like. As with the other Blizzards I’ve ridden, turn initiation is a little weak compared to most skis being produced these days, so be prepared for a little slower start to turns or a little more input on your part.
Rebound out of turns is moderate; it doesn’t feel dead by any means, but definitely lacks the super playful snap of the 184cm Sir Francis Bacon.
I wouldn’t necessarily call the Peacemaker an easy ride, but of all the Blizzard skis I’ve ridden (Gunsmoke, Scout, Cochise, Kabookie, and Bonafide) the Peacemaker has been the most intuitive and least demanding. An experienced, athletic skier will find the Peacemaker rewarding, especially considering it has more tricks up its sleeve than simple right and left turns.
Rough and Really Firm Snow
Since we’ve had a few storms come in with a ton of wind, followed by a week or more of high pressure, I’ve gotten the Peacemaker out into some pretty nasty conditions. When the snow gets really firm and rippled up, where all turns are skidded for speed control, the ski feels a bit harsh, and because the tip and tail rocker have a decent amount of splay, the effective edge begins to feel short and unstable. In these type conditions, I found myself wishing for the butter-smooth feel and long effective edge of the 11/12 Sickle.
The Peacemaker does not quite provide the same ease of use, feel, or float of many recent designs, like the Rossignol Soul 7, Salomon Rocker2 108, or the Line Sir Francis Bacon, but it certainly provides a looser feel than a non tail-rockered ski, and ample float for around a foot of snow.
It’s not as though the Peacemaker can’t be skied in deeper snow, but it’s not the best tool for the job if you’re primarily looking to ski lots of pow.
(Note: Of all the 100-110mm underfoot skis I’ve ridden the past few years, the Peacemaker reminds me most of the Nordica Soul Rider while in powder. Both skis share a 134mm tip, 124mm tail, have a “traditional” full-length sidecut, and offer an all-mtn friendly rocker/camber profile. The Soul Rider is narrower underfoot, but its flex is softer throughout, giving it a slight advantage when the snow is light and consistent. As snow density rises, the Peacemaker is on par with the Soul Rider, albeit a little less playful feeling, but definitely more encouraging of skiing faster and with more power.)
The Peacemaker really shines over other skis in this category on shallow (2-6” of fresh), variable powder days. The firm flex and traditional shape make easy work of changing snow surface densities, including run-ins with wind-exposed old-snow surfaces. The exception to this is if the underlying layer has hidden, hard moguls, where the firm flex of the Peacemaker delivered a few unexpected and unwelcome bucks.