20/21 Blister Buyer’s Guide + Your Questions (Ep.121)

Luke Koppa and I discuss some of the highlights and big takeaways from our new Winter Buyer’s Guide. We’ll talk about some of our Best Of award winners; whether or not the 20/21 crop of ski gear represents a step forward; and more. Then we answer a lot of the questions you submitted.


  • Luke’s soap (2:49)
  • Our 20/21 BLISTER Buyer’s Guide (5:47)
  • “Rounded” Flex pattern (8:50)
  • Volkl Mantra 102 & Katana 108 (15:24)
  • Majesty Superwolf (21:35)
  • Salomon QST 99 (22:35)
  • Dynastar Menace 98 (27:00)
  • Your questions (33:49)
  • Where did the name Blister come from? (44:59)
  • What do I need to do to work for Blister? (50:28)
  • Coffee makers! (1:00:45)
  • What We’re Celebrating (1:20:33)


7 comments on “20/21 Blister Buyer’s Guide + Your Questions (Ep.121)”

  1. Interesting observation about Volkl not thickening the core underfoot as much as other brands. I’ve found that current Volkl Free ride skis have low, soft camber but didn’t put it together with the thinner core. Makes perfect sense now. I am a big fan of this as it allows the skier to bend the ski more in the center, rather than just at the tips and tails. Thanks for noticing that.

    Volk’s path is kind of wacky. The older Volkls had huge stiff camber lines, they went to flat then to the full rocker and now to minimal soft camber.

  2. Does volkl have the widest mount point range right now (largest cross sectional standard deviation so to speak). It seems you either get -11 or like -2. I love it, but it does seem to disagree with other companies making lots of semi-directional middle ground mount point skis (as far as I can tell Luke mounts every ski -6 – kidding sort of).

  3. Interesting comment from one of the readers during the podcast, that gear should be demoed before buying it. It could easily be argued that most buyers are not skilled enough to tell the difference between what they currently ski (or bike-ride) and what would be the best choice for them.
    As an avid mountain biker the last 30 years, I observe that when people demo bikes they will choose a bike which is most like the ride they currently have. Also with the major jump, especially in biking rides, that most users are not technically in a position to perceive the full advantages of one platform over another. I recently heard a Santa Cruz sales rep saying that 90% of Megatower buyers should should have bought a Hightower. Those 90% of buyers should have read more reviews.
    I ride a transition scout with 130mm up front and I know that by then speeds I pass out most enduro riders at, that there is no way that they are even in the active section of their suspension.
    I have also experienced that with a new bike it takes about a 1-3 months of hard riding before the true nature a bike along with the limitations, reveals itself to me. It’s not something I could flush out even in a 2-3 day bike tour.
    The same goes for skis. So many other variables such as boots and snow conditions impact a tester’s impressions of a ski that most of us will fail to gauge in a ski during a short test period.
    I fell into this trap myself last year with the Line Sakana, which I loved for about the first week, but then started to discover the limitations of the ski over the coming months as I rode in different situations.

    For sure demo a product, to dial in the sizing but you won’t figure out if it will be the product that you will love in 2 months or 2 years time.

  4. One last thing. Hopefully Sam does come back from time to time. His Gear 30 podcasts were good, and Blister is a natural forum for his talents.

  5. Awesome job on the buyers guide and the follow-up podcast. There is one piece of gear that I was surprised was not included the new Salomon Shift Pro 130 boot.
    Was it released too late for a review or is it so bad , you did not even want to discuss.
    I am very close to pulling trigger and would love to hear what your thoughts are on this boot as they try to compete with Lange and Atomic similar models

  6. Would you guys care to elaborate a bit more on why you guys seem not rate ON3P’s Billy Goat whenever you do the next podcast on the Buyer’a Guide, or debate that part of the guide a bit more wrt performance in variable? It would be greatly appreciated :)

    Sure, BGs need to be skied from a centered stance, they are uninspiring groomer skis and crap at ice, but put any kind of soft snow from chop to untracked in front of you and they are a hoot. They are probably the best variable skis I’ve been on, and the best soft snow ski I know of when you want to ski unknown terrain fast – you can dump speed soooo easily, which makes them extremely confidence inspiring. Sure, they are not great if you want to drive through the tips, but from a centered stance they sure ski well.

    For reference, I’ve owned and skied both the Koala and BG – both 184s – and I find the spectrum in the Buyer’s Guide just plain odd. Don’t get me wrong, I quite enjoyed the Koalas as well – they are great skis. I have not tried Wildcats, but do have a fair time on Wildcat108s 184 – which again makes me scratch my head, how can a a regular Wildcat – a ski that is a cm shorter, has a wider tail and a more forward mount outski the BG 189 in variable?

    And just to be clear – this is not meant as a critique, I am just trying to understand where you guys are coming from a bit better. It is in debating the minutia the most valuable insights can be found at times.

    And as always, the Buyer’s Guide is simply amazing. That it is offered for free is just… well, my hat is off and head bowed in appreciation!

Leave a Comment