Ski: 2019-2020 Folsom Blister Pro 104, 186 cm
Available Lengths: 186 cm (custom options available)
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.7 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2325 & 2352 grams
Stated Dimensions: 134-104-122 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136.4-103.4-122.5 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (186 cm): 21 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 75 mm / 27 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Core: maple/poplar/bamboo + 90% fiberglass / 10% carbon laminate (custom options available)
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.65 cm from center; 83.7 cm from tail
A couple of weeks ago on our GEAR:30 podcast, we had a conversation with Folsom’s Mike McCabe about a new ski we’ve been working on together: the Blister Pro 104.
You can listen to that conversation for the entire backstory here ….
… and the nutshell is that we were interested in developing a ski that would work as a strong, versatile, and stable daily driver for places with an abundance of steep, tight, and technical terrain (like Crested Butte), in everything from decent conditions to difficult conditions. (And just to be clear, we weren’t particularly concerned with its performance in deep / super forgiving snow.)
And now that we have the fourth iteration of this ski, we’re going to go over its specs, how it compares to other options on the current market (and a few of the models that served as reference skis during the design process), and then we’ll post a full review once we’ve spent more time on the Blister Pro 104 this season.
Shape / Rocker Profile
Again, or goal with this ski was to make something that would be quick enough to maneuver through tight lines and moguls, but with good enough suspension and stability to feel comfortable at speed in bumped-up and rough terrain. So to that end, here’s what we did.
For a modern, ~104mm-wide ski, there are lots of skis right now that have significantly more tip and tail taper than the Blister Pro 104.
Its shape is slightly more tapered than some skis like the Parlor Cardinal 100, Armada Invictus 99 Ti, and Black Crows Corvus. But compared to many skis in this class (e.g., Moment Commander 98 & 108, Dynastar Legend X96 & X106, Rossignol Soul 7 HD, etc.) the Blister Pro 104 has notably less tip and tail taper.
The Blister Pro 104 has a pretty deep tip rocker line, a moderately shallow tail rocker line, lots of tip splay, and fairly low tail splay. While its measured 75 mm of tip splay looks like a lot on paper, the skis’ tips don’t rise abruptly till near the end of the ski, which equates to more effective edge than some similarly “splayed out” skis like the ON3P Woodsman 108.
Compared to the Nordica Enforcer Free 104 and Fischer Ranger 102 FR (two skis we had in mind while developing the Blister Pro 104), the Blister Pro 104 has a bit less tip and tail taper, lower tail splay, and similarly deep rocker lines (though the Ranger 102 FR’s tip rocker line is deeper).
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Blister Pro 104:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9
Overall, the Blister Pro 104 is a very strong ski. Its tips feel accessible and are fairly easy to bend, but they’re still significantly stiffer than many skis in this class, like the Salomon QST 106, Moment Wildcat 108, and 4FRNT MSP 107. And the midsection and back-half of the Blister Pro 104 are very stiff. In fact, the tail of the Blister Pro 104 is slightly stiffer than the tail of the “Hammer Edition” of the Folsom Primary, though the Hammer’s tips are a bit stiffer than the Blister Pro 104’s.
Compared to the Nordica Enforcer Free 104, the Blister Pro 104 is a bit stiffer throughout. Compared to the Fischer Ranger 102 FR, the Blister Pro 104 has slightly softer tips, but is similarly stiff through the rest of the ski.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to frequent readers of our site that the ski we designed to be a daily resort driver in pretty good to fairly poor conditions is pretty heavy. At an average weight of ~2338 grams per ski for the 186 cm version, the Blister Pro 104 is hefty for its size. It’s one of the heaviest ~104mm-wide skis we’ve reviewed, and its weight really stands out in the current market, so many skis are getting lighter and lighter (and lighter and lighter and lighter).
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to keep things more apples-to-apples.
1642 & 1651 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm, (18/19)
1806 & 1862 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (19/20)
1828 & 1842 Elan Ripstick 106 Black Edition, 188 cm (19/20)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
1913 & 1943 Sego Condor Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20)
2010 & 2018 J Skis Vacation, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
2011 & 2028 Moment Wildcat 108, 184 cm (19/20)
2013 & 2013 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (18/19)
2018 & 2045 RMU North Shore 108, 185 cm (18/19–19/20)
2022 & 2047 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2046 & 2120 Black Crows Corvus, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2096 & 2100 Salomon QST 106, 181 cm (19/20)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2110 & 2119 Moment Wildcat 108, 190 cm (19/20)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2120 & 2134 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (19/20)
2143 & 2194 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20)
2165 & 2219 Icelantic Nomad 105, 191 cm (19/20)
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2188 & 2190 Prior Northwest 110, 190 cm (19/20)
2190 & 2268 Armada ARV 106Ti LTD, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2202 & 2209 Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, 186 cm (19/20)
2218 & 2244 Volkl Mantra 102, 184 cm (19/20)
2232 & 2244 ON3P Woodsman 108, 187 cm (19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20)
2241 & 2295 4FRNT Devastator, 184 cm (14/15–18/19)
2250 & 2307 Argent Badger, 184 cm (19/20)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17–18/19)
2321 & 2335 Fischer Ranger 107 Ti, 189 cm (19/20)
2325 & 2352 Folsom Blister Pro 104, 186 cm (19/20)
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
And for the record, looking at these weights? This personally makes me very happy.
Folsom Blister Pro 104 vs. Folsom Blister Primary vs. Folsom Blister Hammer
Some of you might rightly be thinking, “Isn’t this the 3rd ‘Blister’ ski from Folsom?
Answer: Yes. Sort of.
But here’s how we’d think about the three skis.
You can read our review of the “Blister edition” of Folsom’s Primary to learn more about our first take on making a ~109mm-wide variable charger. Turns out, this first iteration didn’t come out as the intentionally-one-dimensional, burly, big-mountain missile that I had in mind. What it did come out as is an extremely quick, extremely poppy, extremely versatile, and extremely fun ski that could work very well as a one-ski quiver for areas that get above-average snowfall, or as the wider ski in a 2-ski quiver. I.e., in decent conditions to very deep conditions, this “Blister edition” of the Folsom Primary is terrific.
This ski is heavy, stiff, and was purpose-built to be a big-mountain missile that would destroy variable conditions. Unlike the Primary above it, it is not particularly versatile. And it is not some ‘Happy Go Lucky / Fun Times’ ski — unless your version of “fun” involves skiing the mountain like you are mad at it. (Which, turns out, can definitely be fun.) Only physically stronger skiers who want something to rage on should consider the Hammer. But for the right skier (e.g., anyone who likes the sound of a reverse-camber Head Monster 108?), you might not want to ever go out again on anything else on a variable-conditions day.
#3: Folsom Blister Pro 104
While this ski is a bit narrower than the first two, it also kind of slots between them. It is not as quick, poppy, and pivot-y as the Primary, nor is it the one-dimensional beast that the Hammer is. You shouldn’t need to be the strongest or the most aggressive skier to have fun on it, and instead, it ought to make tricky terrain and demanding conditions more manageable and fun. Yes, you will have to provide more physical input than you would on a much lighter ski, but much lighter skis can also leave you a lot more beat up and tired than a more stable ski with better suspension will (a la the Blister Pro 104).
Bottom Line (For Now)
We’re very eager to get this most recent iteration of the Folsom Blister Pro 104 on snow here in CB, because it has a lot of the traits many of us at Blister look for in an everyday, all-mountain ski. It’s quite strong, it’s got some weight to it, and while we said we didn’t particularly care about how this ski handles deeper snow, it definitely looks like it has enough rocker to handle softer and trenched-out variable snow without giving up much edge hold on very firm conditions.
We’ll be getting on the Blister Pro 104 ASAP, so stay tuned for our full review coming this season.
Finally, if you’re a Blister Member and are interested in the Blister Pro 104, you can order it in this stock iteration for $849 (which is ~35% off Folsom’s standard pricing).