2-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (14/15)

Will Brown (see bio)

I.  What’s your two-ski quiver (of currently available skis) for where you ski most?

Currently, most of my days are spent between Taos Ski Valley and resorts in southwestern Colorado, like Crested Butte and Telluride. These areas don’t top the charts in terms of total annual snowfall, but the snow they do get is light, and it stays dry and soft for a long time.

In last year’s two-ski quiver selections, I picked the Blizzard Cochise to serve as my narrower, everyday more all-mountain ski for Taos. While I still really enjoy the Cochise, I’m now more interested in more playful, more jib-friendly skis, so I’m going a slightly different route this season.

Ski #1: Blizzard Peacemaker, 186cm

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Blizzard Peacemaker

To pull from Jason Hutchin’s spot-on review of the Peacemaker, it’s “an aggressive, freestyle-minded, all-mountain skier’s dream. It’s very capable of spinning and skiing switch, but it handles hard skiing in variable, firm conditions better than a lot of skis in this ~102 mm underfoot, freestyle-oriented class of skis. The Peacemaker is generally stiffer, a little heaver, and has slightly less dramatic tip and tail rocker than the K2 Shreditor 102, for example. Again, in Jason’s words: “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 can thread the Peacemaker through bumps pretty well, and throw spins and tricks on it around the mountain, but still ski relatively hard in chunky, variable conditions. In this way, the Peacemaker is extremely similar to the Moment PB&J. I’ll be posting a 2nd Look on the Peacemaker soon with comparisons to the PB&J, but for now, I’ll just say that the Peacemaker’s flex seems to work better with its camber/rocker profile than the PB&J’s. Compared to the PB&J, the Peacemaker feels a little more refined.

Ski #2: Moment Blister Pro, 190cm

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Moment Blister Pro

For the same reasons I noted in my 3-ski quiver selections.

II.  What’s your two-ski quiver for Taos?

See above.

III.  What’s your two-ski quiver for the Canterbury Club Fields, New Zealand?

Compared to Taos and areas in Colorado & Utah, the terrain at the Canterbury club fields doesn’t present as many natural features to jib on any given day, so a ski like the Peacemaker is less attractive there. As such, my everyday ski would be more directional…

Ski #1: Blizzard Cochise, 185cm

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Blizzard Cochise

If you read my three-ski quiver selections for this year, you’ll know I’m a big fan of both the new Blizzard Cochise and the Line Supernatural 108. They’re both great directional, all-mountain skis, especially if you have a lighter build like me. For skiing Taos and in Colorado, I’d pick the Supernatural 108 over the Cochise, simply because it has a bit of a snappier feel on groomers and a slightly shorter sidecut radius that’s a tiny bit better for tree skiing. However, the terrain at the Canturbury club fields has no tree skiing and few groomed runs, so there I’ll take the Cochise as the narrower of two skis in my quiver.

In short, it’s great for fast, slarvy, big-mountain style skiing that the club fields’ terrain encourages. And though you won’t find many mogul fields in Canterbury, the Cochise is nimble and forgiving enough to handle some bump lines here and there pretty well.

Ski#2: Kästle xx110, 190cm

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Kästle XX110

When the club fields get hit with some fresh snow (and landings below the cliffs and rocks that dot their terrain become more forgiving), a wider ski that’s more playful and freestyle-oriented becomes more appropriate. With this in mind, I’ve paired the Cochise with the 190cm Kästle XX110.

While the Blister Pro would be great on a Canterbury pow day, the XX110’s 110mm waist ought to provide enough float for all but the biggest storms. The XX110’s narrower waist and lighter swing weight also make it a better jib ski than the Blister Pro, which is primarily what I’m looking for in this second ski.

The 190cm Salomon Rocker2 108 is another great, playful ski that sits squarely in the same class as the XX110. However, the Rocker2 108 is even lighter in the air than the XX110, so it doesn’t fare as well in the more dense snow that the club fields often see late in the season.

IV.  What’s your two-ski quiver for skiing around the East Coast?

For skiing on the East Coast, I would look to pair a narrower, directional ski for bumps and groomers with a wider, light and playful ski for pow days.

Ski#1: Volkl Kendo, 184cm

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Volkl Kendo

The Kendo (review to come) doesn’t provide the same level of stability in crud and variable snow as the Mantra, but its 89mm waist and firm flex means it’s very well suited for aggressive mogul skiing, and fast, high-angle carves on firm groomers. I’ll be getting on more skis like the Kendo early this season, but when it comes to pairing quickness in bumps and edge hold on groomers, the Kendo is tough to beat.

Ski#2: Salomon Rocker2 108, 190cm

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Salomon Rocker2 108

It’s quick to pivot in trees, it’s 111mm waist provides a nice amount of float in powder, and a mount point that’s 3cm behind center makes it a whole lot of fun in the air. The 190cm Rocker2 108 works well as a more soft snow oriented, one-ski-quiver for resorts in the West, and I think it would be a nice ski to break out on any soft day on the East Coast.

V.  What’s your two-ski quiver for the next 2 years, regardless of location?

I’ll always appreciate a more directional, crud blasting, big-mountain style ski, so it’s very difficult for me to leave out either the Line Supernatural 108 or the Blizzard Cochise from this pairing. However, I’ve recently really enjoyed exploring a more playful style of skiing, and I suspect that I’ll continue to do so for the next couple of seasons. To that end, I’ve picked the more playful (but still relatively substantial) Peacemaker as my narrower, everyday ski here.

Ski#1: Blizzard Peacemaker, 186cm

Blister Gear Review's Best 2-Ski Quiver awards
Blizzard Peacemaker

Ski#2: Moment Blister Pro, 190cm

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Moment Blister Pro

VI.  What skis were most difficult to leave off your list? 

The Line Supernatural 108. I picked the Cochise for my narrower ski in Canterbury, mainly because of its slightly longer turn radius, but if I had to ski the Supernatural 108 in New Zealand, I’d be totally fine with that.

VII.  What skis do you imagine have the greatest likelihood of making your list, if and when you get to ski them, or get to ski them more? 

There are a number of skis that I think have a good chance of making this list next fall:

I’m curious to find out how the ON3P Kartel 106, Icelantic Nomad RKR, and 4FRNT Gaucho compare to the Blizzard Peacemaker as freestyle-oriented all-mountain skis in that ~104mm-waist class.

I’d like to find out how the ON3P Jeffery 114, K2 Shreditor 112, and the 190cm Line Sir Francis Bacon compare to the Salomon Rocker2 108 and Kastle XX110.

Finally, I’m hoping to see how the ON3P Jeffrey 122, the Volkl One and Two, the Faction Chapter, and the Armada JJ 2.0 stack up to the Blister Pro.

VIII. If you had to choose a single brand from which to build your 2-ski quiver, which company would you pick?

I’m more interested in jib-friendly, freestyle-oriented skis these days, and Blizzard makes two skis that are decidedly playful, but are more capable in variable conditions than most skis in their respective classes.

Ski #1: Blizzard Peacemaker, 186cm – as an everyday ski.

Ski#2: Blizard Gunsmoke, 186cm – as a powder ski.

Next: Julia Van Raalte’s Selections 

27 comments on “2-Ski Quiver: Reviewers’ Choices (14/15)”

  1. Since you asked:

    My two ski quiver includes the 12/13 Moment Belafonte 187 and the 12/13 Moment Bibby Pro 190. I have yet to encounter conditions that I can’t have fun in on one of these pairs of skis at any of Kicking Horse, Revelstoke, Lake Louise and Whistler / Blackcomb, The Belafontes are good for everything from very hard pack / moguls and refrozen death chunder to a bit of pow. I’ve had lots of fun on the Bibby Pros (Blister Pros) in any conditions that are the least bit soft and found them to be great in pow (all kinds).

    My wife’s two ski quiver is the same, actually, just shorter (she’s on the 12/13 174 Moment Bibby Pro and 12/13 174 Moment Belafonte). She started on the 172 Moment Bella and moved to the Bibby + Belafonte combo for stability / versatility in the conditions we encounter up here and has had nothing but good things to say.

    If I were going to add a 3rd ski to the line-up, it would be a dedicated pow ski (the DPS Spoon, Moment Comi, Moment Chipotle Banana and ON3P Cease and Desist all sound very interesting…) but I’m quite happy with the 2 skis above, to be honest!

      • Thanks Jonathan!

        I’m definitely keen to hear your guys’ thoughts on how skis like the Invictus and the Wailer 105 compare to the 12/13 187 Belafonte when you have a chance this season…


  2. I’m an east coaster, but I try to get to the Kootenay’s once a year. I’m mostly in the park or tight tree runs. Jibbing and playful riding mostly, so I’m never way up at the speed limit. Right now my set up is a two ski quiver with Armada AR7s as my daily drivers and a pair of Rossi Sickles, which I’m really impressed with how quick I can bring them around in trees as well as press and spin. I’d probably stick with a similar set-up in the future – park ski plus a jibby 110ish ski. The Sickles are going strong, but I’m eyeing SFBs and Patrons as possible replacements.

    Adding in a third ski is interesting – it’s hard to justify a dedicated full-on powder ski given my location and travel plans. And I’m very used to riding my park skis around resorts, despite the center-mounting and dull-ish edges. It’s the funniest feeling when they slide out on east coast ice. So I could see a dedicated directional 95-100 ski getting used on too icy days where the grip of the AR7s isn’t enough. Liberty Variant 97 and Line Supernatural 100 are tempting options from the sounds of things.

    The single brand question is interesting – I could see going Line Chronic and SFB. Maybe Nordica for OMW and Patron? As much as I love the AR7s, Armada doesn’t give me an option in the playful 110. I’m eager to hear something about the Transfers from local park kids, so maybe Liberty Transfer and Helix?

  3. 185 Armada old school JJ with custom tip extenders for elimination of tip dive in bottomless
    184 Armada Declivity

    …if having to pare down from my 9 ski quiver. ;)

  4. In bounds, Mammoth:
    2013-14 Volkl Mantra and the 2013-15 Faction 3Zero
    Given Mammoth’s maching groomers/cut crud then big dumps that setup quick, these two winners are damn hard to beat.

  5. @ Jason: Man, you’re really stoked on Sickle, which I have to admit is impressive and I totally respect that. I’m sure I am not the only one noticing this… Keep up and stay away from bad trouble!

  6. Hi Brett,

    blister has an interesting review of Scott Punisher. Could you comment or someone from the redaction who have skied both Punisher and Supernatural 108 how do these two ski compare?

    Tank you Michal

    • Brett hasn’t been on the Punisher, so I’ll field this one – though I don’t have as much time on it as I’d like.

      I’d have to say that the 108 felt completely intuitive, right out of the gate, in a way that the Punisher did not. I also think that the oversized shovels of the Punisher would make me much less inclined to go rip bumps all day on it, while I had a great time skiing bumps on the 108s. I wouldn’t call the 189cm Punisher a quick ski – at all, really. Garrett’s review of the Punisher matters a whole lot more than these few comments from me, however. So I’d still put a lot more stock in his review than in what I’ve said here.

  7. FWIW, I think two and four ski quivers are a lot easier to pick than any three ski quiver. Four is probably the ideal for resort skis (so, not counting AT or tele skis in this). 1. Race/Carving ski for groomers or a park ski, depending on your preference, 2. ~90mm hard-snow all-mountain ski (E88, Kendo Steadfast/NRGy, etc…), 3. ~110mm soft-snow all-mountain ski(Cochise, Sidestash/Annex108, Zealot, etc…) and 4. 115+ powder specific ski. Any more than this, you’re either a pro or have way too much money lying around.

    Two-ski quivers are easy because you can eliminate 1 and 4 and just go with hard and soft snow all-mountain skis. Adding the third ski into the mix and you start playing with Murphys law. If you buy a pow ski, it won’t snow at all that year, but of course if you buy a race or carving ski, then you know it will be a record breaking snow year.

    I left out the ever popular ~100mm all-mountain skis like Bonafides and Mantras for a reason. They are great 1-ski quiver skis, or skis to bring if you travel a lot, but for everyday use at your home resort never going to be the best ski to chose from.

    • Interesting thoughts, Tom, and I think I’d agree in large part. Except for maybe the ~100mm ski part. There were definitely days at Taos where the now deceased Rossi Scimitar were a ton of fun. And the 13/14 Mantra was absolutely the best ski imaginable for me for a number of days. But since it no longer exists either … maybe you’re right after all….

  8. Fun and interesting read. I’d be interested to hear re this post or the one ski quiver to come, if you have suggestions for those skiers who tend to keep the ski’s on the snow and aren’t experts. Something for the intermediate/advanced keen skiers amongst us.

    • We’re going to be addressing this topic in more detail soon, Frame. But for now, I’ll say that it would be a big mistake to assume that all / many of the skis we’ve named are merely for “expert” skiers. If you read our full reviews of these skis (e.g., Line Sir Francis Bacon & Pandora & Sick Day 110 & Supernatural 100 & 108; Rossi Soul 7; Blizzard Bonafide and the new Cochise), these are not super demanding skis that will punish intermediates. We always try to make clear when skis are either on the forgiving side of things or the more demanding side of things. A truly “advanced” skier would do just fine – if the ski suited his or her style – on any of the skis I’ve just named. And a true intermediate would, too – it’s much more a matter of selecting the ski that’s best suited for the particular person, and less about whether this person is “expert” or “advanced” or “intermediate.”

  9. Anybody on blister gear’s testing panel skied one of the newer generation stockli storm riders? i am on the SR 100 in a tele set up (yeah i know, nobody cares…) and the ski rips. early rise, low camber, moderate flex, big old school tails. snake-like grip, damp and light. doesn’t flatter me when i’m feeling old and tired however; not the best for “lolly gagging about on my heels” to paraphrase somebody on the internet who caught my attention once.
    my other ski is a soul 7: not much gap between the two in waist width but an entirely different design brief.

    interested in your thoughts on this rarely reviewed ski.

      • How about some more kastle skis as well? I know you tested a couple, but curious your thought on mx88vs storm rider 88 vs kendo vs brahma. I agree with someone else’s thoughts above that around 100 is a good one ski quiver, but in a 3-4 ski quiver, it’s not neccessary. I’m going to replace by hell and back with something around 88 that rips groomers and bumps. If there’s snow my SN108 or influence 115 is all I need. Thanks for the great reviews!

  10. From this review and several others (notably Powder’s review) I’m highly tempted to get a pair of the Al Dente’s. The fun factor sounds out the roof.

    The two ski set-up I ran on last year:
    Line Sick Day 95
    Rossignol Soul 7

    I purchased a pair of Candide 4.0 at a great price towards the season’s end and I can’t wait to take it cat skiing and/or on deep resort days. It’s a bit too specialist to enter a 2 quiver conversation but might make a decent 3 quiver candidate.

  11. Jonathan – your website is the single best outdoor product review site in existence, and your staff’s product knowledge is second to none. I was hoping to tap your knowledge for my own selfish personal benefit.

    I currently ski Rossi S3 as my every day ski. In super deep I ski S7 which is great but has its own issues (tips tend to fold when going gets tough.) I’m an east coast skier but use the S3 on the west coast unless days are really deep. I’m an expert skier with a racing background. I now ski mostly all bumps, trees, etc… in Vermont and anything I can get my hands on out west. I will huck a little cliff here or there (nothing more than 10ft ever) and never ski switch. I need new skis and was wondering if you have any recommendations. The S3 is great all around, and Ok in real deal east coast bumps. Was thinking maybe one of the K2 Shreditor’s might be good or the Rossi Slat but hoping to tap some of your insight.

    I’m also looking to replace my S7’s with something that’s still sooo fun and easy to ski in pow but that when the going gets a little tough, the tips don’t give up on me. I was looking at the new Rossi Super 7’s and some others but really look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    • Thank you, David, really appreciate it.

      For someone looking for a S3 and S7 replacement, it’s awfully hard not to think of Rossi’s new iterations of both of those skis: the Sin 7 and the Super 7. While I think the S3 is excellent for the uses you describe, I will be shocked if I can’t tell a very similar story about the Sin 7. And for a directional skier, the new shape may be better. We are supposed to be getting on the Sin 7 very soon, so hopefully I can confirm these thoughts soon after Taos opens.

      And I absolutely prefer the shape of the new Super 7 to the old S7. It is not a burly ski, but I expect it to exhibit less folding up than the kinked-up tips of the old S7. The other skis that come to mind are the Atomic Automatic and the (narrower) DPS Wailer 112RP. These are quick, softer skis like the old S7, so they will not charge harder than your S7s, but that doesn’t really sound like what you’re looking for. I think you’re looking for a better shape, and I think the new Super 7, the Automatic, or Wailer 112RP would all provide that. That’s about as specific as I can be for now – I really need to get on the updated versions of all of these skis before I can be more helpful.

  12. Hi Jonathan…I must reiterate much that has been said about your reviews and your site in general: well written, well researched and incredibly helpful. I have a question that I hope you might have time to answer.

    I live in Nelson BC and ski Whitewater. It’s amazing. 40 feet of snow a year…well not this year but we have more white than most places. I currently own tow pairs of skis. I purchased a pair of 2012/13 195 Super 7’s based on way too many “one run and done” reviews…then I got last years PB and J’s in 188. I am 6’3″ and 195 to 200 pounds…I am an advanced/expert skier. I ski everything and like to mess around a lot…I’m not much of a top to bottom charger which is why I’m not super stoked on my Super 7’s…they’re great in deep pow and not much fun the rest of the time. What I want is a dump day/deep day ski that’s just a blast to mess around in tight trees, drops, just messing about. I don’t need a lot of speed but I want float and fun. I have been looking at the Bibby and Blister Pros and…well…I don’t really know what else to look at. I’m very lucky in that our gear shops carry everything except some of the more esoteric microbrews. If you can give me a few options to check out I’d be eternally grateful.

    Cheers and keep up Ullr’s work amigo!!!

  13. Hey All,

    First of all, thank you guys. This site is a blessing and a curse. On one hand I’m so happy to find a website that provides such thoughtful, in-depth reviews that don’t seem like corporate quid-quo-pro puff pieces. On the other, I’ve never studied something so intensely and obsessively in my life. It’s literally keeping me up at night. My every day driver is a Kastle FX94 which I absolutely love, but want to pick up a ski that will really shine in fresh deep snow. Ideally this new ski, is one I would take out in the morning to charge a bit in un-tracked bowls, but could also finish the rest of the day in the trees. Currently considering Moment Bibby’s, Blizzard Gunsmokes, Atomic Backland FR117, or the ON3P Billygoat. I suppose I’m looking more for a hard charger that would be manageable in the trees than the other way around. The terrain will vary as I will be road tripping 11 resorts on the mountain collective pass this January :D Thanks again!

  14. David …
    … Funny you say that, my wife woke up this morning and said

    ” what time did you come to bed last night?”

    I said laughing “midnight” – she’d seen me on the iPad before she went to bed at 8:30pm ….. truth be told it was more like 4am… now it’s 9:30am and I’m back searching again

    I’ve been looking for about 12 months now for my next ski quiver to satisfy the thirst ( I get 6 weeks holidays a year – blow it all at once in WY and I don’t want to waste a day on the wrong gear).

    I got the lib wreckreate 100 and 115 last year but they ended up being too burly for me. – ( bumbed – I had the libtech fully functional five 2014 and loved it )

    I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find blister- I found it this week .. what a site..

    I live on the Gold Coast Australia with some of the best waves going, and am lucky enough to be buffed out with a garage full of boards – it wasn’t until then… that I realised a surfboard is not just a surfboard…. and you can’t just have 1

    … look at the conditions.. grab the best board .., throw it in the ute, and hit it.

    It does have a down side thou…. skiing is exactly the same…

    and Unfortunately….I’m not as fortunate on the ski front as I am on the surfboard front….. (I’m restricted to 2 skis)

    which brings me to the point….

    you got to be on the right gear and it takes a long time to work that out… hole lotta of time…. $ ….. trial and error

    Jonathan …. This site is an absolute cracker, the info is all there, eveything you want to know, its honest, unbiased, detailed and straight to the point….. something that I have not found anywhere else….. it cuts thru the shit of the free skier “editors pick” and other gear guides which I’ve been blindly following for the last few years… can’t believe it took me that long to work it out….

    Love the site, its awesome …. I’ll be supporting it for sure and can’t wait to get my hands on your guide in october keep it up

    Looking forward to see what I can replace my 2014 lib FF5 (185) / sick day 95 (185)… didn’t have any luck last year with the wreckreate and I’ve been trying to find info on the lib wunderstick but no ones got anything for me


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