Christmas came early this year, the day the Blister Pros were delivered.
Several of us at Blister have now put time on these skis, so we figured we’d share some impressions before heading out on the mountain today.
Julia Van Raalte – 184cm Blister Pro
Since I got my Blister Pros mounted a few weeks ago, I really haven’t wanted to ski anything else, no matter the conditions. The first week or so, I was mostly skiing around Crested Butte on softer, bumped up conditions, some firmer crud, and straight groomers.
Even though they are wide to just ski groomers on, I still had a lot of fun carving them, and in choppier, off-piste conditions, the Blister Pro allowed me to point it through or over any sort of terrain or feature. I can ski them much more confidently at speed than most other skis I’ve ridden.
I finally got a chance to ski the Blister Pro in powder when I arrived in Taos last week, and they did not disappoint. Taos had just received 18″ of new snow, and ski patrol opened the Ridge for the first time all season. Only ten skiers dropped in before me, and it was deep. Let’s just say it was perfect. And the Blister Pro was the perfect ski.
I dropped in on Juarez, and was able to make some quicker, smaller turns around trees at the top, before opening it up toward the bottom. The Blister Pro easily stayed on top of the snow and just cruised straight down the fall line over any inconsistencies in the snow. The ski was easy, yet powerful enough that I didn’t need to stop. (Jonathan and Will were on some 108mm-underfoot skis, and let’s just say that they weren’t talking about how their skis were perfect. Especially Jonathan.)
On pretty much any day in Crested Butte (except maybe the iciest), I’d be happy to take out the Blister Pro, and can’t wait to get it in more powder this winter.
Jonathan Ellsworth, 190cm Blister Pro
On December 21st, I finally put aside everything I’m reviewing right now and got out on my 190s for the first time.
From skiing deep untracked pow & deep chop off of Taos’ Highline Ridge (Nino’s Heroes, Corner Chute, etc.); to hot lapping Whitefeather and airing catwalks into soft mogul fields; to ripping groomers and zipperlining bumps down Zagava and Powderhorn Bowl … it was such a great day.
In fact, it was such a great day that I’ve been selfish and have continued to ski the Blister Pros on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th. Kind of a Christmas present to myself, you could say. (But I promise, today I’ll put them away and get back to work.)
What I’ve been impressed with all over again is the versatility of these skis. No, they are definitely not as quick on groomers as the ~180cm, ~80mm-underfoot frontside carvers we’ve been reviewing. But so long as they have some room to run, I’ve been able to lay these over, hit high edge angles, and get excellent edgehold out of them.
In deep pow, these 190cm, 118mm-underfoot, tip and tail rockered skis float. They’d better, of course. These are not the surfiest ski out there (cf. the new Bibby Pro, or the fatter DPS Lotus 138 or the DPS Spoon), but they are still extremely easy to slash turns, while also being extremely confident when charging down the fall line.
In tight trees, I still find these to be quick and nimble enough, especially when you bring them up to speed.
And here, I’m very curious to A/B these against the 192cm Atomic Bent Chetler, to see which ski wins in this area (tight trees).
In big ass, steep moguls, the 190’s feel like the pretty big ski that they are. But they are manageable if you are a stronger mogul skier. I’ve been skiing these again on Taos’ Reforma, and while I’ve had to recalibrate a little bit given that I’ve been skiing a lot of really skinny skis over the past month, the 190s have been fun—I’ve been able to charge pretty hard down Reforma’s mix of windscoured big bumps and sections of soft chop, and the skis have been forgiving when I’ve screwed up, been thrown into the backseat, or missed a turn when flying too fast trying to find a line.
Finally, even though I’ve been impressed again by how well these skis have worked in all of the conditions and terrain I’ve described, I think I’ve been most impressed with the ski’s outstanding performance in deep, chopped up snow. In that respect, I think of these skis as an insanely versatile resort pow ski that, frankly, doesn’t actually require pow to have a whole lot of fun on them.
Noah Bodman, 184cm Blister Pro
I had never skied the original Bibby Pro, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into here. Sure, I’d heard Jonathan and Will say that these were supposedly a “playful charger,” but I’ve heard similar things about some other skis that I never quite got along with (or at least never fell in love with).
But, not wanting to miss out on such a highly-touted instrument of pow destruction, I ordered myself a pair.
I hemmed and hawed over length for quite some time with the usual internal monologue: “These have lots of rocker, so I should go longer. But they’re fairly stiff and I ski a lot of tight trees. I should go shorter. Some guy on some internet forum said I should go longer. But the last pair of long skis I bought were overkill for my home resort….”
Ultimately, after talking about it with Will and Jonathan, I ended up going with the 184’s, since I do ski a lot of tight trees.
I have a few days on them at Whitefish Mountain Resort, all of which have been in heavy-ish snow, ranging from pleasantly untracked to skied off icy crap. For a ski that hand flexes reasonably stiff, the Blister Pro is absurdly easy to ski. In the tight trees where I spend so much time, the 184’s are perfect. With minimal input they’ll turn on a dime, but they still have just enough stability to be comfortable when things open up a bit, and the flex is stout enough to keep them composed when I smash the tips into something that isn’t as soft as it looks. Preliminary forays into jumping off of stuff have gone well; while there’s plenty of tail rocker back there, the skis are stiff enough to not feel like they’re folding up on impact.
Knowing what I know now, would I go with the 184’s again? Definitely maybe. For tight trees, I’ve found the 184’s to be the bee’s knees. (Editor’s Note: The actual email I got from Noah stated, “These @!*$#%& things are stupid fun.”) But at higher speeds, there’s no question I’d be happy to have a bit of extra length, and I think the 190’s would still work their way through tight terrain easier than other skis in this category.
Will Brown, 190cm Blister Pro
I’m not sure I can say much here that Julia, Jonathan, and Noah haven’t said already (or that I haven’t said about the Bibby Pro around the site over the last few years). However, it’s actually been a while (a whole season, maybe) since I’d skied the OG 190cm Bibby Pro, and I’ve had a great time getting back on this ski again. So forgive me as I reiterate some of the points that I also find most impressive about this ski.
We’ve now thrown the “playful charger” label on other skis (well, I think only one other ski, the Line Supernatural 108), but I still think the Blister Pro fits that description better than any ski I’ve been on.
I spent a few laps skiing ~8-10″ of fresh pow in some relatively tight glades yesterday, and was again surprised how quickly the ski can pivot, even the 190cm length. When it comes to noodling through trees, there are a few quicker, more nimble pow skis out there, but those skis can’t keep up with the Blister Pro when it comes to skiing hard and fast through deep chop.
Skiing fast through more demanding lines, the ski feels impressively stable – “more stable than it should,” I thought to myself – given how easy it is to pivot at lower speeds. It’s honestly a little strange.
The only other ski I’ve been on that comes close to being this “two-faced” (and I mean that in a very good way), might be the Line Supernatural 108, though it’s a different sort of ski; it’s not the most stable in chop and chunder, and it’s not the quickest and lightest in trees. But its stability—given how quick it is—is eerie.
I like taking aggressive, fall-line routes down runs on a pow day. But I also like to slow things up, make a lot of slash turns, blow up pockets of untouched pow, press the ski’s tails into a knoll and ollie off of it, etc. The Blister Pro lets me do both without much compromise. It is, as Jonathan said above, “insanely versatile.” I don’t think I find it quite as tolerable in bumps as Jonathan does; if I’m going to be skiing a lot of big, firm bumps, at least, I’d like to be on something narrower. (And having just discussed this point with Jonathan, he’d prefer to have something narrower, too.)
But outside of big, firm bumps, on any day when there’s 2 inches or 2 feet of snow to ski, whether untracked or chopped up, it’s extremely easy to have fun on this ski.
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