Ski: 2016-2017 Blizzard Spur, 189cm
Available Lengths: 189 cm
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 187.9cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 146-125-134
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 144.5-124.5-132.5
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2391 & 2386 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius: 28 meters
Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): ~67mm / ~21mm
Core Construction: Bamboo/Poplar/”ISO” + Carbon Fiber Tip/Tail + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Line: -10.5cm from center; ~83.4cms from tail
Mount Location: Recommended Line
Boots / Bindings: Fischer Vacuum RC4 130 / Marker Jester (DIN-11)
Test Location: Taos Ski Valley
Days Skied: 7
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Spur, which was not changed for 16/17. In addition to my review of the Spur from Taos, we’ve also added (pg. 3) Paul Forward’s review of the Spur, conducted while heli & resort skiing in Alaska. ]
Once again, February did what February tends to do in Taos: Go Off.
And as a bonus, we’ve still been getting very good snow in March, too. Which means that we’ve been in a perfect (and pretty enviable) position to be reviewing a number of fat skis in fresh snow.
The Blizzard Spur has been one of those skis, and it has proven to be a very capable ski.
Blizzard’s own description of the Spur isn’t modest:
“Meet the latest athlete inspired, POW slaying machine and the most futuristic offering from Blizzard to date. Combining the revolutionary Flipcore process with the most progressive construction materials – carbon tips and tails – you get a ski that revolutionizes what is possible in powder snow! The top end stability in tracked out snow defies logic, yet the ease at which you can smear, surf or carve your turns in powder is mind blowing.”
If we decaffeinate this description a bit, a couple of things stand out: pow slayer; progressive construction; high speed stability in tracked snow; easy ski to smear, surf, or carve in pow. That all sounds pretty good.
The Spur is Blizzard’s fattest, most pow-specific ski, so we went and put it in some pow. All kinds of pow, actually, and all kinds of terrain, and a bunch of non-pow, too, for good measure.
My very first run on the Spur began on the traverse over to Taos’ Castor, which begins with a short, tight bumps section at the top of Pollux, then a luge-like section over to the top of Castor that we normally ski too fast just for kicks.
By the time I was standing at the top of Castor, I was already impressed by how predictable and intuitive the Spur felt. Zero learning curve. Point and Shoot.
And that feeling of predictability and intuitiveness has not diminished since.
Flex Pattern and Design
Flex pattern = solid.
The Spur’s tails are stiff (not extremely stiff, but stiff), and while the tips of the ski are more of a solid medium flex, the ski does ramp up to that stiffer flex (a la the tails) as you move deeper into the shovel, toward the binding. So if you’re looking for a lightweight, softer, jibby pow ski (e.g., Line Magnum Opus, Moment Ghost Train), the Spur isn’t it. This is a weighty directional ski with a traditional mount point.
But while this is a big ski that definitely looks big and straight and has some heft to it, it doesn’t ski all that heavy (credit the tapered tips) and it is still quite easy to pivot around bases flat—because the ski is flat underfoot and the rocker line on this ski is deep (see the rocker pics on page 3).
It’s not too hard to make a ~125mm-wide ski with a set back mount point and a lot of tip rocker work well in pow, and the Spur certainly does.
If you want a ski to noodle around at very low speeds in low-angle terrain, then there are probably better options out there (DPS Lotus 138, 185cm Atomic Bent Chetler, etc.). The Spur can do slow, but its weight + sidecut radius + flat, non-twinned tail shape all favor more of a fall-line approach to the mountain.
Having said that, I have not had any issues drifting these skis. They aren’t as drifty as the lighter Ghost Train, the more heavily tail-rockered Bent Chetler, or the DPS Lotus 138 & Spoon, but I have yet to have these feel grabby or get hung up in deep snow. So slash or slide a couple of turns where you need to, then get back to your fall line skiing. The Spur gives you options.
Low Angle Pow / Tight Terrain
Lighter skis with more tail rocker and a more centered mount point will be even easier here, but if I was willing to work a bit, the Spur never felt out of place in the deep snow and tight trees of Taos’s Wild West Glade, or in the steeper trees of Taos’ Pollux. If you tend to get along with beefier all-mountain skis like the Blizzard Cochise or Volkl Mantra in tighter terrain in variable conditions, I think you’ll get along really well with the Spur in the same terrain in fresh powder.
On March 20th, Taos turned into Alaska.
On the 19th and 2oth, Taos experienced very warm temps and a lot of precipitation, and I actually got to ski in the rain on the 19th, bumping up my coastal ski cred.
Then that rain turned into a big storm of wet, heavy snow, and all the fresh snow was basically plaster, coating the entire mountain in a thick coated of white. This wasn’t the 5% (moisture content) snow that we often see around here, it was straight up coastal. And it was pretty great, because (1) it opened up access to some rather sketchy, rocky entrances around West Basin, and (2) it was like I’d flown west (or east) to see how the Spurs handled not just deeper, lighter pow, but heavy, dense, fresh snowfall.
Answer: Quite Well.
In fresh, untracked Coastal Cream (does anybody call it that? Any reason not to?), the Spurs are fantastic.
If you are a directional skier who likes a little weight under your boots and who perks up when you learn that a given ski has a 25+ meter sidecut radius …. then for the life of me, I cannot imagine what about the Spur’s performance in these conditions you could possibly complain about.
(And if you want a lighter pow ski with a 25+ meter sidecut and a more forward mount point, consider the Moment Ghost Train.)
But the Spurs never got bogged down in the thick snow, never felt twitchy, and tip dive was never, ever an issue.
NEXT: Crud, Chop, The Reforma Test, Groomers, & Comparisons