2013-2014 Blizzard Bodacious

Andrew Gregovich reviews the Blizzard Bodacious, Blister Gear Review
13/14 Blizzard Bodacious

Ski: 2013-2014 Blizzard Bodacious, 196 cm

Dimensions (mm): 144-118-134

Turn Radius: 32 meters

Actual Tip-to-Tail length (straight tape pull): 193.8 cm

Weight Per Ski: one ski = 2627 grams / 5.79 lbs.; one ski = 2681 grams / 5.91 lbs.

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Supercharger Ignition / Marker Jester (DIN at 12)

Mount Location: recommended line

Test Location: Niseko, Japan; Eaglecrest and Juneau Backcountry, Alaska

Days Skied: 4

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Bodacious, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for the graphics.]

The Bodacious was introduced last season as the biggest and baddest ski in Blizzard’s “Free Mountain” lineup. It replaced the Titan Zeus, a stiff big-mountain destroyer that might have been a little too burly for most. Even ski mountaineer and Freeskiing World Tour champion Arne Backstrom used the Zeus solely for competition; it was more ski than he wanted for everyday freeskiing.

For that, Backstrom wanted a more forgiving, all-purpose ski that still charged, and the Bodacious (which would become his signature ski) was designed to fill this role. Sadly, Backstrom passed away in a ski mountaineering accident in the summer of 2010 and never saw the Bodacious released to the general public. But he would certainly be happy to know that his ski achieved some notoriety in its first year and will return unchanged for the 2012/2013 season.

When I got this ski, one of my ex-racer friends who uses the stiff Moment Garbones as his everyday ski commented that the Bodacious hand flexed “soft” in the shovel. But soft is a relative term. While the Bodacious is somewhat soft in the shovel and tail compared to 2x4s like the Garbones or the old Titan Zeus, it definitely has a burly flex. A full-length sheet of titanal helps to create this solid flex throughout, while a smaller second sheet provides an even stiffer flex underfoot.

All this translates to the Bodacious’s impressive stability at speed and in chopped up snow, conditions in which I was able to test the Bodacious during a rare break in the snowfall in Japan. The sun had come out the day before, baking Niseko Village’s south-facing slopes. Overnight it had cooled off, and 10 centimeters of fresh snow had fallen on top of icy, refrozen chunder.

Not surprisingly, I was confidently able to make downhill-sized turns down Misushiru. I felt comfortable at even the fastest speeds I could attain on this relatively mellow run. The Bodacious provided a damp and stable ride in a foot of variable chop.

What did surprise me, however, was how forgiving the Bodacious was when I laid it into untouched snow. I could feel the ski flexing and responding ever so subtly in turns, even at rather slow speeds, and I grew increasingly confident that the ski was going to be a blast once I got it onto some bigger terrain in Alaska.

And the Bodacious certainly lived up to my expectations.

Blizzard Bodacious, Blister Gear Review
Andrew Gregovich on the Blizzard Bodacious, Juneau Icefield, AK.

My first runs in AK were basically mini heli lines, 800-foot pitches of steep, foot-deep, untracked powder in the Eaglecrest slackcountry. Arcing big turns down this face, the Bodacious made smooth, stable, and surprisingly playful turns.

When I say playful, I don’t mean playful like the Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus. But for a 32-meter-turn-radius, 196cm ski, it was surprisingly easy to slash or make slarve turns. Compared with the springy Blizzard GunSmoke, the Bodacious felt less lively, but still very smooth from edge to edge.

24 comments on “2013-2014 Blizzard Bodacious”

  1. I go about 220 lbs without gear. How far would you recommend I move the binding back to achieve optimum float with untracked snow?

    • I don’t really see any need to move the binding behind recommended. There is already a lot of tip relative to tail on this ski. You could mount the bindings -1cm from the recommended mount postion if you usually use a very traditional mount postion, but like I say, I don’t think that it will be necessary.

      Hope that helps,


    • We are using demo Jesters. Marker’s demo plate doesn’t stick that high above the ski, which is very nice for shipping and traveling.

  2. OMG these skis are rockets – I have never ski’d on skis that accelerate quicker, are more stable and are able to stop quicker – peroid. Super G the groomers with complete confidence. Im 6-2 & weight 220 but and opted for the 186 – I was very concerned they’d be to short but was told the shorter length would be more usable in the trees and agree 100% – no reason to size up / still tons of float in the POW.

    As per binding mount position – I only ski on schizos so i can tune the position to the conditions. If you don’t have this option, mount the bindings centered / anything further back than 1cm and you’ll be sorry when you find yourself at the top of a bump run. Then again who needs to turn – these bad boys love to blast thru the crud at blistering speeds – get in, shut up, hold on – you’re in for a ride!

  3. Hi Andrew, Great review as always, I would like to ask you how would you compare the Bodacious against the cochise, I mean, do you think they could coexist in the same quiver. I have a pair of 177 cochises and have been very happy with them all winter, but I feel I’m missing something in the deeper days, and since the cochise are so versatile everywhere I was wondering wether the Bodacious would be as versatile but give that little extra on the deeper days.
    In case you think they could coexist, and considering I have a pair of cochise 177 and that I’m, 5’7″ and 160lbs, what length would be more appropriate 186? and in case I dump the cochise and stick to only one wide ski, do you think the 176 would give enough float? As said before, this winter with the cochise, I’ve struggled a bit in 15″+ pow days
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  4. I thought I’d comment back to you since I have Mantras (very similar to the cochise) and i have a pair of Bodacious. The bodacious are great above the tree line – open country / in colorado big dumps. If thats the ski you want get the bodacious – you’ll be smiling ear to ear. If you want a resort / side country float i would upsize your cochise to the 180’s – you’ll get the float you’re looking for and you’ll be happy in the trees. If must have the bodacious, look for mine on CL

  5. Hi Shread, Thanks a lot for your input, I mostly ski open terrain, so that will fit the bodacious well, my doubt is wether I will be able to enjoy them the rest of the time, like I do now with the cochise in order to get rid of them and stick to a one wide ski only.

  6. So… I wasn’t able to replace my broken pair of these this year (I was waiting for a springtime price drop that never happened and went for another wonderful ski–the Bibby Pro 190–instead), but please, lovers of stable chargers, keep on buying these. If they ever go out of production, I am going to cry big, fat baby tears.

    Working on writing up my thoughts on the differences between these two skis.

  7. I never skied the original release of these, but I skied the 17/18 196 cm version quite a bit last season. They are a ton of fun if it is even remotely soft and I find them surprisingly nimble, even in tight trees. Perhaps it is because I am 6’4″ and 230#, but these skis crush it.

    As David said previously, please keep buying these, so they keep making them!

  8. Alright… A super quick comparison of the 190 Bibby and the 196 Bodacious. (I’m at work…)

    I’ve now spent some time on the Bibby 190s – and I probably have close to 250 days on the original Bodacious 196s.

    My first day on the Bibby was in about 6″ fresh. After coming off the Bodacious, my initial impression was that they felt short and twitchy. Turns happened instantly on them, and I found that I had to dial back the amount I drove the shovel in order to avoid over-turning. (The Bodacious absolutely loves it when you load its shovel up.)

    After getting used to the Bibby in pow, though, I love them. They just require a bit more of a centered stance than the Bodacious. Once I got the hang of them, their responsiveness made skiing trees in pow a blast. So maneuverable and effortless. Foot-steerable. The Bibby is pretty stiff, too… so it plows through cut-up, soft snow easily. Like I’m on rails on groomers.

    When things firm-up a bit though, I prefer the Bodacious. It’s lack of taper makes it track exceptionally well, and its lack of camber allows me to slarve over rough snow that a cambered ski like the Bibby would tend to hook into. The Bodacious also rips turns when laid-over on edge. I find that I can do any turn radius on them, despite their stated 32-meter radius.

    One of the situations where the differences between the two skis really stood out was in steep, chalky bumpy snow. On the Bodacious, I can drive the poop out of the shovels, which dig in, hold well, and act like big shock-absorbers. It’s an out-of-this-world amazing feeling — skidding/carving the shovel — the middle and tail may as well not exist — in a good way. When I tried the same run on the Bibby, I had to stay more centered to avoid tip deflection, and I found that I could not ski nearly as aggressively.

    I love the Bibby, and I’m very happy to own them. But I only break them out when there’s at least 2″ of fresh on a soft base.

    I’m now the proud owner of 3 pairs of Bodacious 196s: A thoroughly trashed set of ’12s that I skin on, a nice set of ’14’s that I’m skiing, and a set of ’13s that I’m saving for when I eventually destroy the pair I’m skiing now. Yep. I’m a bit of a freak about them.

    I also own some Atomic Atlas 192s that I love — being able to drive the shovel hard in pow is amazing, and they’re nice and bouncy with their camber and lack of tail rocker. Super nimble.

    Other skis I’m interested in: the 194 Devastator, Praxis Protest, DPS 138 (I ski in Spokane… who am I kidding.)

    Oh yeah… about me. I’m a directional skier who dreams of being able to spin and flip. 6’5″, 220 lbs. Half Muppet. 48 years old going on 12. ~65 days is an average year for me.

    Back to work. Feel free to hit me up with questions about these lovely beasts. I’m on the site a lot.

  9. ^ A note about my comments above: “Twitchy” was probably the wrong word to use to describe the Bibby. It’s not — it just responds much, much more quickly than the Bodacious and takes a lighter touch. Coming off the Bodacious, it took a little getting used to.

    Also, the construction on the Bibby is beautiful and tough. I like that the edges use T-flanges to bond to the core. The Bodacious uses a flat flange, which I’ve managed to bust loose with sidewall hits that didn’t seem that hard.

  10. Great Review!
    Does anybody has experience compared to the metal Völkl Katana Versions? Is it a similar ski (Speed stability, stiffness, flex pattern)? How is flex pattern especially in the tail (current version 18/19)? The Katana is very stiff at the end; this helps sometimes dropping cliffs with a non optimal position … .

  11. How does this year’s version of the ski compare to this review? Currently riding a pair of 203cm Shiro’s but thinking this might be a nice complement given it’s sounds like it’s got a bit more stiffness to the ski. The Shiro’s are ok in a tracked out powder day but I’m thinking this ski might work better.

    • Short answer, it should be the same ski. Your Shiros will be a *much* better pow ski, but these will be better crud and chop destroyers. The Bodacious is still one of the best variable-conditions chargers out there. Selfishly, I think you should get them and then report back. :)

    • I haven’t skied the Shiro, so I can’t speak to that comparison, but I’ve been on the current black topsheet Bodacious in a 186 as my main resort ski for the last couple of seasons. I just re-read Andrew’s original review, and it definitely sounds like he’s talking about the same ski. Jonathan also has the right idea when he characterized them as a middling powder ski, but an excellent variable conditions charger. They’re 118mm underfoot and technically reverse camber, but they’ve got relatively little tip splay, even less tail tail splay, and a fairly stout flex pattern throughout (though Andrew is right to say that they’re not complete 2x4s either). All of that adds up to a ski that doesn’t float especially well for its size, but is very stable and composed in chopped up conditions, while still being easy to manage speed and shut down when you need to. There are any number of looser, float-ier skis I’d rather be on of things are super deep – and to that end I also own 192cm Praxis Protests – but for most days in the resort if conditions are anywhere from vaguely softish to a foot or so of fresh, I’m quite happy on the Bodacious.

  12. Best ski ever. It’s getting so I have a hard time skiing on anything else. (I was writing Bodacious love notes & Bibby comparisons as “David” before I knew I could do dorky usernames.). For big dudes, the 196 is a phenomenal pow/all-mtn/tree/mogul/carve/make 11’s ski. Super fun for big, open fields of chop. Large GS turns through anything, and the flat base means you can surf & smear like no tomorrow.

    Make more please, Blizzard!

  13. BEST ski ever.

    Love story: Was on the rustler 192 for 3 years and had a pair of 196s mounted at rec. I like them but didn’t love them. Moved the mount point up to +2 and boy did I fall in love. They are super fast and stable and playful in their own way for a strong skier. Just broke that pair and luckily have a brand new pair at the shop. Thinking of playing with mount point a bit more and going +4 for spinning and flipping! any one experience a forward mount point on these as well. Was a game changer for me.

  14. FYI: 6 ft, 220 with gear. Ski fast and like big drops, this ski is the ski for that. Would not go back to a rustler or anima for resort and even sled access ripping. Those skis are for the trees!

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