Powder and Soft Chop
I have little to add to what Jason has already said about the Peacemaker in powder, so I’ll just refer you to his review too read about that.
I do want to underscore that a wider ski like the Rocker2 108 will provide an easier, more floaty ride in soft, fresh conditions, but that the Peacemaker still does quite well in up to a foot of fresh snow. I recently spent a day on the ski at Taos, skiing 6-8” of untracked pow and soft, lightly chopped conditions on Reforma and Winston, and was very happy with how the Peacemaker handled. Though the ski’s shovels were often submerged, I was surprised to find that I never felt like I needed to lean back much at all to keep the tips from diving or tracking cleanly. In 12” of snow of less, (unless we’re talking about really heavy, wet, mank, where a wider, heavier ski would be preferable), you can have a lot of fun on either the PB&J or Peacemaker.
When the snow got more chopped up and consolidated into firmer, denser piles, I had to think more about picking my route down each run, paying more attention to what I could blast through and what I needed to ski around or over. I was still skiing pretty fast, I just couldn’t bomb down the run, steamrolling over bumps and piles in the same way that you can on a more directional ski.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve skied the PB&J in similar, choppy conditions, but I remember it being very similar to the Peacemaker. You’ve still got to put some thought into picking your line through terrain and ski a little more dynamically than you would on a more supportive, directional ski, but the PB&J and Peacemaker are more amenable to aggressive, fall-line skiing than other lighter and softer skis in the class.
To me, the biggest difference between the Peacemaker and the PB&J has to do with the flex profile of each ski as it affects their freestyle and jib performance (I’ve already said a little about this above).
If you like a playful, tip and tail rockered ski simply because of the more smeary, looser feel it provides, then I can’t say the PB&J is clearly better than the Peacemaker, or vice versa. Both skis have nearly identical rocker profiles, they seem equally willing to pivot and smear, and when each has a good tune, their edge hold feels virtually the same to me.
But I personally like tip and tail rockered skis like these because of the more freestyle-friendly approach to the mountain that they allow; they’re easier to pivot and smear, and that makes them easier and more fun to butter, press, spin, and ski switch.
Like the PB&J, I find that the Peacemaker is plenty playful enough to spin, slash, and smear easily. It’s also stiff enough to ski relatively hard in chunky snow, but it’s also soft enough in the tips and tails that I can bend and press the ski and get a nice amount snap and rebound out of it.
While the PB&J feels equally as playful (smeary, slashy, etc) and provides effectively the same level of stability, I don’t find that I, at about 160 lbs, am able to load up and pop the tails of the ski while ollie-ing over a knoll, or bend the shovels during a nose butter much at all. The extremities of the PB&J feel pretty rigid and dead to me, so its playful camber / rocker profile isn’t as interesting, or as useful as the Peacemaker’s.
However, someone heavier than me may like the PB&J for the same reasons and in the same ways that I like the Peacemaker, and won’t find its tips and tails too stiff. I can’t say for sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that were the case.
With respect to mount location on the Peacemaker, Jason said:
“If I were mounting these skis up for myself as an all-mountain tool, I’d probably aim for 2.5cm in front of the recommended line (-3.5 from center). Here, I still found the skis provided enough float in 10-12” of new snow, I felt comfortable motoring through crud, and the skis were still playful—they felt good in the air, and I could nose and tail press with approximately the same amount of effort in either direction.
For anyone who is more freestyle-oriented and thinking they’d like to go further forward toward center, all I can say is that at +2.5 I definitely didn’t feel like I had reached the limit (besides that of the binding adjustment), so take that for what it’s worth.
I wouldn’t recommend that anyone mount much behind +2 from recommended. (If you are looking for a directional ski to charge on and want to mount the Peacemaker a mile behind center, you are looking at the wrong ski…”
Ok, some thoughts on this:
Let it be known that Jason Hutchins is the most balanced skier I (and many of us at Blister) know, and he’s not usually a fan of skis with more traditional mount points. (He once spent a whole season skiing Taos only on a pair of K2 Hellbents, with no poles. That isn’t going to be fun if you’re accustomed to and prefer to just drive skis with a forward, traditional stance.)
I’ve been skiing the Peacemaker at 2.5 cm in front of the recommended line, too, and I generally agree with what Jason says about it’s performance at that mount point. At +2.5cms, the Peacemaker feels very balanced in the air, nose butters and tail presses feel snappy and easy, and the ski still feels pretty good in bumped up, cruddy conditions. So if you are looking to throw a lot of tricks on the Peacemaker, then I think +2.5cms from the factory line works well. The ski still feels nice in cruddy, variable conditions, but it’s also very easy to set a spin or butter on when mounted at that point.
However, at +2.5, if I wasn’t skiing with a nice, balanced stance, I found that the shovels of the skis could start to feel overly twitchy and skittish in variable snow, and it was pretty easy to get too far over them and wash out the Peacemaker’s tails.
SO, if you’re not really, truly planning on throwing a LOT of spins & butters, or skiing switch often on the Peacemaker, but you still like a ski with a looser feel – mounting at +1.5cm from the recommended line makes more sense. That will let you take advantage of its playful design more easily (than when mounting on the factory line) without losing too much inherent stability. At that point, the Peacemaker isn’t optimized for spinning and tricking, but it’s still very playful while being a little more supportive when you get forward on the ski, pressuring the shovels in variable snow.
And to be clear, this isn’t to say that the Peacemaker skis badly on the factory line. If you’re notably a heavier, taller skier than I am (in which case the ski would feel quicker & more nimble to you than me in the first place) or you just want to get as much stability out of this otherwise playful / maneuverable ski as you can, there’s nothing wrong with mounting on the factory line.
I can thread the Blizzard Peacemaker through bumps, throw spins and tricks on it, cruise around in powder and chop, and still ski relatively hard in chunky, variable conditions. Heavier skiers than myself, or those of a similar weight who like a ski with stiffer tips and tails, may prefer Moment PB&J. But of all the skis I’ve been on, the Peacemaker offers me the best balance of dampness, stability, and genuine playfulness in this all-mountain, freestyle-oriented class.
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