Preview: 2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious

review of the Blizzard Bodacious, Blister Gear Review
Blizzard Bodacious

Ski: 2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious, 186cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 142-118-132

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 142-117-131.5

Stated Sidecut Radius: 32 meters

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.2cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2438 & 2455 grams

Suggested Mount Point / “0” Mark: 80.65cm from tail; -11.45cm from true center

 

The new Blizzard Bodacious and Cochise recently arrived at Blister headquarters, and we’re now extremely eager to get back on snow.

As you can tell from our multiple reviews of the Cochise, it has been a favorite around here for several seasons. We’ll have more to say about the updated Cochise later, but for now, let’s talk about this latest iteration of the Bodacious.

First, just look at these things: sick, sick, sick.

The Bodacious gets our vote for being the best-looking ski of the 2014-2015 season.

Even more, we’re giving the Blister Best Graphics Award to Blizzard’s entire “Free-Mountain” lineup. While the Bodacious is our favorite, it’s hard to pick the clear winner here.

 

 

2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious, Cochise, Brahma, and Latigo, Blister Gear Review
Blister’s Best Graphics Award: the ’14/’15 Blizzard “Free-Mountain” Lineup

Clean, badass, modern.

And while the choice of font is perhaps debatable, the fact that the Bodacious is no longer covered in a whole bunch of cartoon stars and laser stripes is a very positive development of the 14/15 season.

review of the Blizzard Bodacious, Blister Gear Review
2013-2014 Blizzard Bodacious (Did not win Blister’s Best Graphics Award)

Anyway, way to right the ship, Blizzard. Your skis look phenomenal this year.

And we have other, more important reasons to be excited about the new Bodacious, too.

Last season, we mourned the discontinuation of one of the most stable, smooth, powerful big-mountain skis we’ve reviewed, the 191cm Volkl Katana.

Volkl now makes the V-Werks Katana, which is amazing in its own right, but it’s significantly different than the original Katana.

There are a number of good, ~115mm underfoot, directional “big-mountain powder skis” out there—skis that can be used in fresh snow and when conditions are chopped up and firm (e.g., the Armada Norwalk and Salomon Quest 115). But those skis are part of a new genre of lighter, more playful, more forgiving big-mountain skis. Such skis are great for a lot of skiers, but they are nothing like the old Katana.

So if you’re looking for a stiffer, big-mountain ski in the ~115mm-underfoot range that will truly annihilate chop and crud,  we don’t have much to recommend right now (aside from telling you to search around for a pair of old 191cm Katanas).

But the new Bodacious might change that.

It is far from identical to the Katana, but we can’t ignore some significant similarities between the two skis.

Like the Katana, the Bodacious’ tails are stiff and have a fat, rounded shape that isn’t heavily tapered. The tails also have just a touch of rocker—enough that they should release a little more easily when making smeary turns at slower speeds, while (hopefully) still providing support and stability when the ski is tipped on edge. That’s part of what made the Katana such an impressive ski: considering just how stable the ski was at speed, it was still relatively maneuverable in tight spots.

The shovels of the Bodacious, however, are less similar to the Katana’s.

Where the Katana’s shovels were very subtly rockered, with very little splay, the Bodacious’ shovels are more dramatically splayed out. The shovels of the Bodacious are also noticeably softer than its tails, while the flex of the Katana’s shovels was closer to that of its tails.

Thankfully, however, the Bodacious’ flex profile stiffens up gradually from the shovels towards the center of the ski, not abruptly. And the tip shapes are still quite similar.

We’ll have to get the Bodacious on snow to see whether the softer flex and more prominent tip rocker profile make the ski feel less balanced or unstable in variable conditions. The Bodacious has a 6mm-wider waist than the Katana (which is 112mm underfoot). This, combined with its more dramatic tip rocker and softer shovel point to the Bodacious as more of a powder ski than the Katana, and less of a ski geared toward firm, variable conditions.

Having said that, we’ve still got reasons to think that the Bodacious will still be very capable here, because:

(1) The Bodacious also has a tiny bit of traditional camber underfoot. Blizzard actually states that the Bodacious is fully rockered, but as you can see in our photos on the next page, there is actually a touch of traditional camber underfoot, where the Katana was flat underfoot. That touch of camber on the Bodacious could help it maintain stability on hard snow.

(2) The weight of the Bodacious. The Bodacious comes in at around ~2400 grams per ski, and weight is your friend in crud and chop. Plus, couple those 2400 grams per ski with the Bodacious’ big sidecut radius, fat tips and tails, and metal construction, and we’re ready to wager that this ski will hold up to variable conditions at speed quite well—probably a bit better than another 118mm-waisted ski,our beloved 190cm Moment Bibby, and hopefully not too far off from the 191 Katana.

It’s already safe to say that the Bodacious isn’t going to ski like those lighter, more playful directional powder skis on the market. And that’ll be good news to some skiers.

But if that’s true, how much more demanding is the Bodacious? And how closely will it resemble a full-throttle, crud-busting big mountain ski like the old Katana? And how much better will it be in pow than the Katana? And will it have any of the playfulness of the 190 Bibby Pro?

We really need to get these on snow soon.

Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement…

 

NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS

 

8 comments on “Preview: 2014-2015 Blizzard Bodacious”

  1. It moved.
    Any chance of a comparison review between this and, say, the Moment Governor? I feel like they’re both in that hatefuck and destroy everything catagory, with maybe just a bit of playfulness and treeski quickness, especially for bigger skiers. Also, I’d for sure be interested to hear about it’s hardpack and variable traits, as in can it be all-mountainy. Thanks as always!

    • Hey, Stuck – I was actually going to write a Bodacious vs. Governor part to this, but decided to hold off till I got the Bodacious on snow. As for the Governor, the key for me is that I didn’t find it to be a super gnarly, demanding ski – i.e., it can be pushed hard, but it isn’t a beast to handle. And it is impressively damp given that it weighs 200 grams less per ski than the Bodacious, and doesn’t have metal. In short, the Governor is a very good ski – maybe think of it as a slightly softer, fatter, more pow-oriented Belafonte.

      But the Governor is definitely not a 191 Katana. And the Governor has such a different shape than the Bodacious. But your question, “How all-mountain friendly is the Bodacious?” is a great one, and one we’re eager to answer. And we will definitely weigh in about Governor vs. Bodacious as an all-mountain & chop / crud tool.

      • Thanks for the instant reply and feedback.
        The thing is, it’s obvious that a big, burly, rockered ski will do will in powder, and probably cut up powder, but how it handlers the hardpack, moguls, and icy runouts on the way back to the lift is important.
        Obviously, there’s more to it than that, but you know what I mean.

  2. Been looking forward to this and and the on-snow review. Do you know if the rocker/camber profile has changed significantly since the 2012-2013 version?

  3. Looking at Bodacious, and comments about Katana, Belafonte, Governor reminds me that I’d love to see you guys getting more ON3P skis reviewed, specially the big mountain 110+ skis, recent versions of the Billy Goat, C&D, Jeffrey… also it would be great to have a nice comparison between the new Wrenegade 102 with other charger all mountain skis!

  4. I must suggest that moving the boot forward a wee bit tames a demanding charger into a gentle plaything.

    At least that is what I did with my pair of the original year full cadaver(stiff) Bodacious.

    Like Brylcreem with forward boot placement, a LITTLE dab’yll do ya.

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