I think we can all agree that the success of Blizzard's Free Mountain category is exploding! Their flip-core technology has changed the game with skis like the Bushwacker, Bonafide and Cochise. The Blizzard Bulls are the buzz of the ski world. From local shop kids to weekend warriors, the Bulls have raised stoke levels well beyond what the Austrian ski builders had forecasted. Even with all the high praise, I still felt like something was missing in the Free Mountain line.
If you wanted a Flip-Core ski with a sub 90 mm waist width, you were forced to go with the Bushwacker (wood core, no metal, 88 mm). If you wanted a stiffer feeling ski with more torsional stability, you had to jump to the Bonafide (wood core, full metal, 98 mm waist). Luckily for Flip-Core lovers everywhere, Blizzard also recognized the absence of a happy medium and the Blizzard Brahma Skis were born.
The Blizzard Brahma Skis were designed with idea of combining two of their best skiing models into one. The Brahma has the waist width and quick-turning of the Bushwacker, with the torsional stability of the Bonafide. I was fortunate to demo the Brahma multiple times this winter, taking the skis through various snow conditions and across a multitude of terrain.
On groomed snow, the skis performed much better than their identical dimensioned counter-part (the Bushwacker). The Brahma's held an excellent edge on hard pack and consistently provided a snappy "camber-like" feeling (a feeling that has been missing from Flip-core since it's conception). Even though the skis were built with Flip-core rocker, Blizzard gave the Brahma 3 mm of camber underfoot. This gives the skis a surprising amount of energy and power. The Brahma really exceeded my expectations on the frontside of the mountain. Its energy and liveliness really created an exciting experience on resort corduroy. As my internal speedometer inched close to Mach speed, I let out a few, "Yee-Haws!", which I think may have turned a few heads on the chairlift (always sick).
As I explored the road less traveled, the Blizzard Brahmas put up a good showing. The Flip-Core rocker allowed the 88 mm underfoot to feel relaxed through resort-type glades and choppy snow. Tricky bumps and tight trees leave the skis untroubled. The rockered tail combined with the ski's stability, gave me a tremendous amount of confidence on more challenging terrain.
The Brahma really began to show its talent, while attacking wide-open bump runs. The snappiness and energy integrated with Blizzard's unique rocker, allowed them to dominate the most treacherous bump lines I could find.
Pros: Hooks-up like a slalom ski. Front side carvers will be stoked on the high level of groomed snow performance. Bump aficionados will notice the Brahma's playful nature through showcase bump runs and softer snow.
Cons: It's not wide enough... I understand the skis are suppose to be the Blizzard Bushwacker with metal, but they ski more energeticly than every other Blizzard free mountain ski. The Brahma's powerful snappy feel should of been introduced with more millimeters underfoot.
Bottom Line: A large number of skiers are going to be trading-up to Blizzard's newest Bull. Embrace the Brahma Bull this winter, you're in for a fantastic ride.