• Advertisement

2017/18 Blizzard Rustler 11 Review

Read reviews and tests of all the newest gear courtesy of Eric Fey and Telemarkdown.
Got some skis you like and want to share the vibe? Tried some skis at a demo and hated them? Cool boots that have a great flex? Share it here. Questions about mounting bindings, waxing and sharpening skis? Ask away...and here is a chance for all the shop geeks out there to show us what they know.

Moderators: flyingcow, Dirk

2017/18 Blizzard Rustler 11 Review

Postby Go Fish » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:24 am

After lots and lots of surfing around on the internet, haunting ski shops and soliciting advice from fellow skiers, I pulled the trigger on a pair of Blizzard Rustler 11. This is, by far, the widest ski that I have ever ridden and I was pleasantly surprised by how light and quick it skis. More on that later. First the ski nerd stuff.

I ended up with a pair at 188 cm long which go 114 mm underfoot. Blizzard states the turn radius at 21 meters. The ski has rocker-camber-rocker profile. The camber section is pretty subtle and spans about 3 boot lengths, about 1.5 boot lengths fore and aft of the ski center mark. The tip rocker is not subtle, with the camber pressed flat against a table, the tips are up there. The tail rocker is less pronounced but it is definitely there. Unlike many of the other skis in Blizzard's Freeride Series, the Rustler only has a single layer of titanium that essentially spans the distance of the camber section. The tips and tails are relatively soft compared to the camber section. I mounted a pair of 22 Designs Outlaw NTN bindings with boot center aligned with the ski center mark. I'm driving them with a pair of Crispi World Cup (a beast of a boot).

Conditions for my first outing with them were not ideal for this type of ski. It was a mix of soft ice and slushy broken up snow. However the ski really surprised me. It takes more effort to get them on edge than my 180 cm Brahamas but once they start gaining purchase they gracefully flex and make their way through the turn in a very civilized, very Austrian, sort of way. They will carve and had no trouble keeping an edge in the harder stuff but they really like to get you through a turn with a very composed skid. They plowed through the slop like a freight train. The rocker and relatively soft tip kept the ski up on top and the camber underfoot provided a very stable platform. The more broken up the snow got, the more I realized how rock solid the ski was.

The very surprising thing was how playful the ski is. It is really easy to swing, short skidded turns or big long arcs. The ski doesn't care. It is happy doing anything especially if it is at mach schnell. The faster I went the easier the ski handled. Again, very Austrian. I think they are going to be a hoot in the trees.

The Rustler isn't going to be a daily driver for me but I'm definitely going to get it out when spring arrives in earnest.

I'm going to be up at Jay Peak for school vacation week so hopefully I'll be able to file another report about performance in the powder.
Go Fish
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Bolton, MA

Re: 2017/18 Blizzard Rustler 11 Review

Postby Go Fish » Mon Jan 29, 2018 7:22 pm

rockdaletj got a ride on these skis as well. Hopefully he will add some thoughts.
Go Fish
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Bolton, MA

Re: 2017/18 Blizzard Rustler 11 Review

Postby rockdaletj » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:21 am

First I want to thank Go Fish for trusting me with his fresh new skis, I think at this point we both have equal time on them. Secondly, this was my first time skiing an NTN setup, so i have a few comments on boots, bindings, as well as the skis. My initial response to the Crispi world cup boot was, "Wow these are completely different". I am currently on Scott synergy 75mm boots paired with either Axl or Vices on the stiffest setting with stiffy springs, so not really a mellow setup by any means. The Crispis and Outlaws were a totally different ballgame. I was a bit tentative at first, but after a few turns found the sweet spot of the binding and was amazed at the immediate power to the ski. Which finally brings me to the Blizzard Rustler 11. Simply put, it rips. Even in the 188, I found it to be very versatile even in these conditions. This would be a great big mountain charger, but still quick and nimble to zip through some trees. If I was skiing super tight stuff all the time, the 180 MAY be a slightly better choice, but I think i would feel under gunned in bigger terrain. Super smooth, carvy , slarvy , fast, slow, whatever it seemed to respond well.
http://www.parlorskis.com
Instagram: @d.gilbo
rockdaletj
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Grafton, MA

Re: 2017/18 Blizzard Rustler 11 Review

Postby Go Fish » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:51 pm

I've been at Jay Peak the last five days and I have been able to ride these skis on conditions ranging from shin deep powder to bed rock ice. I am in love with the Rustler 11!

Granted, 7" isn't a ton of pow but the skis were effortless. It did not matter if I was going mach schnell down an open pitch or wiggling through the trees, the skis wanted to be on top and that was that. I could get them to bottom out if I was heavy handed while loading them up but, what I think is more impressive, I was able to float them in 7" of pow. While floating, the ski is completely different than when on firmer surfaces. Initiating a turn takes just a little bit more than a thought...hey, I'd like to be over there...and that is where I ended up. Little changes in angulation or steering got the rockered tip engaged and the ski just politely conveyed me to where I was pointing it. Even better, direction changes were really quick. In soft snow the rocker reigns supreme. The camber doesn't even play into how the ski responds to input. Once it started getting cut up the rocker came into play. it was really nice to have something solid underfoot when the soft went away and the crud and hard was what I was on.

For the sake of experimenting, I started out with the Rustler on a firm day. They are very capable and will hold an edge on slab but it takes work. In one instance I got into trouble on a steep, icy, pitch and I stomped my heels down and worked some alpine turns. The Rustler 11 really gets its edge hold on when the entire camber section is pressured. They were still more work than I wanted so after a couple of runs I turned them in for my Brahamas and everything was right in the world.

Corn was another snow condition that these skis really shine in. Was not a big fan of spring conditions until I got a pair of skis 95 underfoot. 114 underfoot is better. My big ass coupled with this ski mowed everything down.

A ski that really shines in loose snow but can hold an edge was my unicorn...I've got my own personal rainbow
Go Fish
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:15 am
Location: Bolton, MA


Return to The Gear Shop

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron