2017 Blizzard Quattro 8.0 Ti Ski Review: When Performance Exceeds Price // Ski Reviews
The SkiEssentials.com crew recently took out a series of skis from Blizzard’s new 2017 Quattro lineup to put them to the test on snow. The Quattro line is Blizzard’s brand new frontside carving collection for 2017 and is packed full of new concepts, technologies, and results in a wide range of performance, price, and ultimately a lot of skis for us skiers to choose from. You may have seen our first 2017 Quattro review, the Quattro RX. The Quattro RX is one of Blizzard’s flagship models, boasting every one of Blizzard’s new technologies and resulting in a ski that’s packed full of performance, but also has a price tag to match. The next ski we’re going to look at is the Quattro 8.0Ti. Unlike the Quattro RX, the 8.0Ti sits right in the middle of the Quattro line. Its price tag of just $699, including bindings, suggests perhaps more of an intermediate oriented ski, but we are happy to report the Quattro 8.0Ti is a ripping frontside ski and we are now all baffled by the low price.
Three of our four testers were able to get on the Quattro 8.0Ti and all three of them came back with similar reports. The most common terms to describe the new ski were “lively, energetic, strong, and quick.” Not a single tester said anything about the ski not being powerful enough; something we’re really excited about. Often times a brand will have super high performing skis at the top of the line, only to see the performance characteristics drop off significantly as the price goes down. This is seemingly not at all true in the new Quattro line. We were all blown away by the value in the $699 price tag and it seems as though Blizzard has carried really consistent performance throughout the Quattro line, despite the significant price differences.
So let’s take a closer look at what makes up the Quattro 8.0Ti. Most obviously the ski does not use Blizzard’s new 14 DIN range extended binding plate system, designed to deliver increased down force. Rather, the 8.0Ti uses Blizzard’s proven IQ binding system, which is famous for allowing a ski to flex very naturally compared to a lot of powerful frontside skis. This hints that the ski is likely to have a smoother overall flex than the Quattro RX, something that was confirmed by all of our testers. Although the ski still retains plenty of power, on the Quattro RX you can feel the added power from the extended binding plate, while on the 8.0Ti you notice a much more even flex throughout the whole ski.
The Quattro 8.0Ti also drops carbon from its construction, but our testers still found that the ski is plenty energetic and lively. Where the Quattro RX requires at least an advanced, arguably expert, skier to really take advantage of its power, the Quattro 8.0Ti is a bit easier to ski and we think will be more enjoyable for the majority of skiers out there. It’s still very responsive, very energetic, and very quick edge to edge, but is a little more forgiving than the burlier Quattro skis. It’s a good ski for those who like to do a little bit of hard charging, but also like to take some more relaxed, cruising runs. The Quattro RX rewarded us when we were forward, engaged, and aggressive. The 8.0Ti, on the other hand, will allow the skier to relax a little bit when they want to, while still retaining plenty of power and energy when it’s time to charge.
Another thing we noticed about the Quattro 8.0TI was its ability to manipulate turn shape. We give a lot of credit to the skis rocker/camber profile. The Quattro 8.0Ti uses 4mm of tip and tail rocker, an increase over the 2mm rocker we saw on the Quattro RX. More rocker does a number of things to a ski, but perhaps most importantly, and most noticeably on the Quattro 8.0Ti, it makes turn initiation easier and also allows the tail of the ski to release more easily. This allows the ski to be manipulated into a variety of different turn shapes through different amounts of tip engagement and how heavily you weight the tail through the end of a turn. All of our testers were able to make extremely powerful carving turns on the Quattro 8.0Ti, but were also able to release the tail when they wanted to and were even able to relax a little bit and let the ski initiate turns more laterally than fully engaging the tip. Because of this we think the Quattro 8.0Ti is a much more appropriate ski for a wide range of abilities than the RX. Aggressive skiers will find it powerful and responsive enough for fast carving turns, while less aggressive and more intermediate ability levels will appreciate that you don’t have to be charging super hard to fully enjoy the ski’s performance.
What’s our overall take on the Quattro 8.0Ti? We really want to emphasize the value of this ski. None of our testers expected it to perform as well as it did for a ski that comes in at the $699 price point. This kind of performance is usually reserved for skis that hover closer to the $1000 range. That being said, all of our testers are pretty capable, experienced skiers, so that’s where our initial attention went. After taking multiple runs on the Quattro 8.0Ti, we started to look past the incredible value and started to notice that they are also extremely versatile. Not versatile in the conventional sense, perhaps, as you wouldn’t want to go shred fresh powder on them, but more versatile in that a wide range of ability levels can really enjoy this ski.
It’s not a race ski, even though some of our testers were getting it to turn like a race ski, and anyone from intermediates to ex-World Cup racers will be able to enjoy the Blizzard Quattro 8.0Ti. It’s one of those skis that’s going to be a little different for everyone. Like to ski fast and charge hard? The Quattro 8.0Ti will respond with strength and energy. Maybe you aren’t as aggressive as you used to be or prefer slower speeds? You’ll love the skis ability to make different turn shapes, initiate laterally, and the overall forgiving nature. At $699, this is truly one of the most impressive ski packages we’ve ever seen when you consider price, performance, technology, and everything else that goes in to making a new ski.