2014-2015 Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards

 

Best Board for Firm Conditions  

 

• Burton Custom X, 164cm

Blister Gear Review's 1-Board Quiver awards
Burton Custom X

 

The Burton Custom X is a cambered, stiff board made for pointing it out of technical terrain, and it can be driven hard through chunder. The camber helps to eliminate any chatter on hardpack, and the board has great edge hold.

 

• Venture Zelix, 158cm

Blister Gear Review's 1-Board Quiver awards
Venture Zelix

 

The Venture Zelix is a solid, durable board that is stable at high speeds in firm, variable conditions. The Zelix is flat underfoot, which makes it quite versatile in a wide range of conditions, yet it still has good edge hold.

 

 

Best Board for Pow

• Gentemstick Zephyr, 160.5cm

Blister Gear Review's Best Of Awards 2014-2015
Gentemstick Zephyr

 

If you’ve been to Japan, you will know a Gentemstick by the turns it leaves on the mountain. These boards are designed specifically for the deepest pow days, and offer a super surfy feel. The Gentemstick Zephyr provides that loose feel in the tail for deep powder, great float in the nose, and flexibility to handle changes in the terrain.

 

 

Best Splitboard

• Lib Tech Travis Rice Split HP

Blister Gear Review's Best Of Awards 2014-2015
Lib Tech Travis Rice Split HP

 

The Lib Tech Travis Rice Split charges lines with the same power and speed of the un-split Travis Rice board, while still maintaining the freestyle qualities that make it so fun around the entire mountain. The board’s C2 BTX camber/rocker design helps the Travis Rice Split float in pow, yet it can still be ridden aggressively when the snow gets firmer. Karakoram clips make it quick to take apart and put together.

 

 

Best Boots

 

• Burton Ion

Blister Gear Review's Best Of Awards 2014-2015
Burton Ion

 

The Burton Ion has been a staple in Burton’s line up for about ten years, and while there have been some minor changes to it over the years, the latest Ion is one of the best boots available. The Ion is light, durable, and uses Burton’s Shrinkage Footprint Reduction Technology, which makes the boot’s footprint one size smaller to alleviate heel and toe drag.

 

28 comments on “2014-2015 Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards”

    • We haven’t reviewed the Nabu, Rob. But the stated weight of the Nabu (though Marmot doesn’t specify the size) is 592.5 grams. We weighed the size Large Apoc at ~425 grams. The Lab Coat 2.0 weighed 810 grams with its powder skirt attached. So I suspect the Apoc is still more packable and might have a thinner fabric than the Nabu, while the Lab Coat 2.0 is the more fully featured (and heavier) jacket.

  1. I’m surprised that you didn’t go with the Marmot Quarsar down over the Arcteryx. When I was searching for a down jacket, I couldn’t get over how bulky the Arcteryx was. I really enjoy the Marmot, it is so warm and so light.

  2. Wait…what?

    “There are a number of good goggles on the market, but there is nothing this good. In fact, the Anon M2 goggle might be the best product in the entire snow sports industry.”

    That is a very un-blister like comment…can you tell us more? I need new googles so that I can scratch the s**t out of the lenses on day 3.

      • Jonathan, if you ever get a chance to talk to the Anon people, tell them they need to put silicone grippers on the inside of their goggle straps. The M2 has excellent optics, fit, and by far the best lens changing system on the market… but the lack of silicone on in the inside of the strap drove me absolutely berserk last season. Every time I lifted the goggle to put it on my helmet for a few minutes it would slide up and flip back. This was made worse by the brim on my Smith Vantage helmet. This is one of those features you take for granted on Smith and Oakley goggles.

  3. Hi guys – loving your reviews and advice as always. Bit surprised not to see the Blizzard Gunsmoke in your ‘best of’ list with it sounding like a unanimous top one or two versatile powder skis in previous reviews?

    • Good question, Davyn. We spent a lot of time debating whether to include the Gunsmoke in this very stacked category. It’s a really good ski. What it came down to for us is that (and Will Brown wrote this in his review of it) the Gunsmoke feels like a fat all-mountain ski, not a full-on pow ski. The Bodacious and Blister Pro and SMB, however, are skis that we would be totally happy to take out on a very deep day. So the skis in this category have to be versatile (the Gunsmoke certainly is) but the tie breaker came down to “and also be something we’d be jonesing to ski on deep days.”

      Now, the big caveat: we haven’t skied the 193 Gunsmoke, and that ski would seemingly close the distance on the 186 Bodacious and 190 Blister Pro. Hopefully we can get on the 193s this season…

  4. Makes sense Jonathon, thanks for your reply. I got them basically as a west coast one ski quiver that could handle Alaska so hopefully I’ve done the right thing (haven’t been on them yet).

  5. This is why I love Blister and read it religiously. Just solid info for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to test gear for a living! Jonathan if you could expand a bit on why you picked the Soul 7 for beginners I would love to know, just because it’s so easy and fun? Most places list it as an advanced ski but you’re the 2nd person I’ve heard say its great for people learning and wanting to have fun all over the mountain.

    I’m not quite a beginner, more intermediate but back to skiing at the end of last season after 15yrs snowboarding. Was about to get some Moment PB&Js but the Soul sounds so easy and fun and I’m worried about getting something too stiff while I try to get better. I don’t ski super fast and look for soft stuff whenever possible but gotta have groomer days too. I want a one ski quiver to handle both east and west around 30-40 days this year. Any advice you could provide would be great.

    • Hi, Gabe – if you haven’t already, check out our GEAR 101 article, “Best Skis for Beginners.” In short, the Rossi Soul 7 fits nearly all of our criteria, though it is slightly wider than we’d recommend for an everyday, EC ski. The narrower Rossi Sin 7 (review to come), or the Atomic Theory (see Will Brown’s review) are two other skis that you might consider

  6. Not much to say other than “keep up the good work Blister guys and gals”. I’ve been visiting the site for a few years now; you’ve worked hard for the credibility you’ve earned and it’s well deserved.
    Re: the Anon comments above, the fact that you’re willing to pick up the phone to manufacturers and pass on comments on our behalf is a boon. It’s good to know that there’s another way to get users’ views across to the larger / international manufacturers, who can sometimes be a little hard to reach. I’m sure the manufacturers will appreciate the role you play in facilitating this sort of exchange.

  7. This site is so good I’ve neglected my children… Looking for two new skis – Pow and Crud. I’m the same age and size as Jonathan, though I’m sure he’s a better skier as I’m still stuck in Chicago. I think all the reviews have convinced me that for Pow to go with the Moment Blister Pro 190. The Bodacious is also intriguing, but its bad-ass that you guys got one of your favorite skis back into production – there must be something special here. For Crud I’m leaning Cochise 185 as it’s universally liked on this site. I’m also considering tracking down a 13/14 Katana. I already have the 09/10 Katana in 183, but as you have noted the year after mine the ski was tweaked, production moved back to Germany and they won’t be around much longer. Thoughts on the crud ski choice? And if you say Katana do I man up to the 191? Thanks for the advice.

    • Ha, that opening line is my new favorite comment on the site. Thanks, Dave.

      As for the crud ski, we’ve only skied the 191 regular Katana – though I have skied the 184 V-Werks Katana. I’d say that if you never found your 183 Katanas to be too little ski, then I’d see no reason to size up.

      So I’m afraid that we can’t answer the ‘185 Cochise vs 184 Katana’ question, but if we were going to go ski crud, I can say that I would be excited to do so on either ski.

      • Thanks for the timely response Jonathan – the kids have now been fed, bathed, and put to bed. I may pull the trigger on the 191 so that it’s reasonably different than my old 183s. If it’s a poor vis day with more tree skiing I can always take out the old ones. Did you ski the 191 mounted +2CM of factory line like Will mentioned in his review and if so was this your preference as well? Thanks again.

  8. Why no review on the Westcomb Revenant Jacket? It seems like the ultimate ski touring jacket with the combination of Event and NeoShell fabrics for great breathability and waterproofness.

  9. Hi,

    Did you test the Rossignol Sin 7 ??
    I’m a very agressive skier, and I like so much off piste ski, couloirs,… But in the Pyreenes we do not have a lot of powder :-( Do you think The Ross Sin 7 could be a good option for me ?? Or better go for Soul 7 ?? Other possibilities ??
    Thans in advance

    David

  10. any chance a new 2015-2016 list is coming up? or perhaps a more relevant 2016-2017?

    thanks!

    fwiw, i read all your reviews (more than once) and if i had children i would probably neglect them, too. xD

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