2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 78 Women's Skis 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 78 Women's Skis

2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 78 Women’s Skis

The Black Pearl 78 is the narrowest ski in Blizzard’s All Mountain Freeride collection and the 78 mm waist width actually is narrower than some of their more carving-specific Alight skis. This positions the Black Pearl 78 almost as a carving ski, although it’s rocker profile is inspired and derived by a more versatile, maneuverable, and capable-off-piste shape. The result is a ski that really should be able to do a little bit of everything. The carbon flipcore construction and wood core should provide enough torsional stiffness to hold a relatively fast, powerful carving turn, while the skis tip and tail rocker and subtle early taper give it excellent maneuverability, even in soft and/or variable snow conditions.

Tami Razinger tested the 156 cm length and found the Black Pearl 78 to be quite versatile and also gave it full scores for quickness and maneuverability. Tami commented that “the Black Pearl 78 felt stable and fun in both the hard and soft snow.” She continued to describe it as “quick, responsive, and fairly playful.” Tami thought it was a great ski for “all over the resort.” She also thought that even though it doesn’t use any metal in its construction, it “held up to any speed,” which is quite a compliment coming from someone like Tami who is used to charging down the fall line in big mountain competitions. While we don’t want to segment the ski to only women who have children, Tami did make a comment that it would be a “great Mom ski!” Chase after the kids through moguls and trees, carve some high speed turns with Dad, or just enjoy the cruisers; the Black Pearl 78 can do it all!

Katrine Wolfgang was a big fan of the Black Pearl 78, and guess what? She’s a Mom! Ok, we’ll drop the Mom idea now. Katrine has a strong skiing background and has tested an inconceivable amount of skis in her day. She tested the 163 cm length and gave the Black Pearl 78 high scores across the board and being a woman of few words, simply stated that it “initiated turns great, was steady when skiing fast,” and ultimately described it as a “smooth ski” for a wide range of terrain and conditions. We wouldn’t be surprised if we see a pair of Black Pearl 78s on Katrine’s feet this coming winter.

Julia Gill skied the 156 cm length and was certainly impressed by the fun factor and versatility of the Black Pearl 78. She commented that the Black Pearl “is a great ski for anyone looking to carve turns and play around.” She thought it had a great mix of performance characteristics, saying that it “held its edge in very firm conditions, and was easy to maneuver in softer snow.” That’s the type of versatility you need for a true all mountain ski. No matter what the snow conditions are the Black Pearl 78 will handle it. Julia even thought it had decent stability and power, as she described it as “quick and easy to turn, but powerful enough to push through rougher conditions.”

The Black Pearl 78 offers all mountain performance in a more “traditional” waist width. While it’s easy to argue that the Black Pearl 88 and even 98 are more “versatile” thanks to their increased width, the ability of the Black Pearl 78 in soft and variable snow conditions is really quite impressive and it’s that much quicker edge to edge on firm snow than its wider sisters. Blizzard has been producing some impressive all mountain skis in recent years and the Black Pearl 78 most certainly continues that trend and is part of an awesome new Black Pearl collection.

Testers

Katrine Wolfgang Ski Tester Headshot Image

Katrine Wolfgang

Age: 53Height: 5'5.5"Weight: 168 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth carving

Susan Dorn Ski Tester Profile Photo

Susan Dorn

Age: 59Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Deliberate, smooth, Masters Ski Racer

Tami Razinger Ski Tester Profile Photo

Tami Razinger

Age: 23Height: 5'4"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast, aggressive, competitive big mountain skier

Julia Gill Ski Tester Headshot Image

Julia Gill

Age: 27Height: 5'7"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Developing intermediate surrounded by a bunch of ski enthusiasts

26 Comments on the “2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 78 Women’s Skis”

  1. I demo 153 Nordica First Belle in Colorado which I loved how they turned & had great control but they chattered @ higher speeds on blue trails.

    I’m 51 yrs., female, 169lbs want to ski/cruise blues out west & in Vermont (used to ski black/moguls when younger). I’m replacing Volkl Carver Xcape (very old) which are a bit tough to turn & slide around but I loved nonetheless.

    Black Pearl & Astral 78 were suggested. Any help is appreciated.

    1. Hi Kate!
      If you’re looking to avoid chattering at higher speeds, look to the Astral as it has a metal laminate in it. Also the Volkl Yumi has a titanal band that helps reduce vibrations, so I’d put that on your list as well. The Yumi is a bit wider, but still a strong carver/performer on-piste. The Astral also comes in an 84, which might be worth a look. Maybe the next length up would help with stability as well? Have fun!
      SE

  2. I ski in the main resorts in Corado. (Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Vail,etc). I am mostly on groomers. I like the blacks that are groomed. Steep is fun. Don’t care for moguls as I don’t want anymore knees surgeries. I enjoy some of the double black high bowls at the top of Breckenridge. Again, no moguls. I demo’d a pair of the Black Pearl 88 & 78’s today. The 88 seemed a bit fat & sluggish. The 78 was a bit snappier & quicker in the turns. Would the 78 be a good all mountain ski, even on the steeper double blacks? I am 58 years old. 5’3” & 125lbs. I have been skiing the Dynastar Legend as an all mountain ski for years but feel its time to upgrade. Wondering if the BP78 is the way to go?

    1. Hi Melody!
      The BP78 is a great choice, especially if you’re mostly on groomers. They’re light, fun, and quick, as it sounds like you’ve discovered. If you were using them in an all-mountain, more off-piste scenario, I’d recommend the 88, but it sounds like your comfortable on the narrower ski. Also check out the Volkl Yumi and the Nordica Astral 78 for comparison. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Would you recommend Marker Squire 11 bindings for Black Pearl 78? How about the Saloman Warden 11 or Tyrolia attack 11?
    What are the differences? I am 105lbs 5’2-5’3 and is about an advanced intermediate skier trying to improve my skill at moguls.
    And what brake size would you recommend?

    Many thanks for the help
    Jan

    1. Hi Janet!
      There’s no real safety or performance difference between most 11 DIN bindings. Some people have brand preferences, and some companies color-coordinate some bindings to skis, so you might find a nice match within a company’s ski/binding. Brake size should be equal to waist width or about 10 mm wider. Hope that helps!
      SE

  4. Hello!

    I’m a high beginner/low intermediate skier who is looking for an all mountain ski which i can use at the Australian ski fields. Im also planning a trip to japan so would need them to be good on powder as well.

    I weigh around 165lbs and am 5″7 however i am looking for a ski that will last me so allows me room to grow. (I really don’t want to get a beginner ski as i don’t want to out grow it quickly).

    I was wondering if this ski would be good for me or if you had any other recommendations. I would also love to know what specs of ski you would recommend (i.e length, width, profile etc.)

    Thankyou,

    Jess

    1. Hi Jessica!
      If you’re planning on doing more all-mountain skiing and something that can handle powder, I’d recommend going up to the Black Pearl 88 or the Blizzard Sheeva 9. They’re a bit wider and can handle more adverse snow conditions rather than the groomer-friendly BP 78. I recommend staying in the 88-92 mm underfoot range for all-mountain performance. Most all-mountain skis have a rocker/camber/rocker profile these days, so I’d stick to that, and anything in the 159-166 size range should be appropriate. Check out Rossignol Experience 88 Ti W, K2 Alluvit 88, and the Nordica Astral 88 for comparisons. Have fun!
      SE

  5. I’m trying to settle on skis. I ski the icy East Coast and never go off groomed paths. I’m an intermediate skier, age 46, 5’10, 170 pounds, though I’m confident on blacks and am enjoying some mogul skiing. I am pretty much the slowest skier in the extended family of expert skiers because I learned as an adult and don’t want to fall. Ha! I demo’d the Volkl Flare 81 (163) today and loved them but I keep talking to Blizzard Black Pearl fans and wonder if I should demo them before settling on the Volkls. And if I try the BPs, should I go for the 78 or 88s? I want what’s best in icy conditions— we don’t get much powder here. Thank you!!!!

    1. Hi JD!
      Certainly worth a try. The main difference being that the Black Pearl is a flat ski (no bindings) whereas the Flair is a system ski, so you might notice a difference in the quickness and maneuverability. The Black Pearl will feel lighter and quicker whereas the Flair will be a bit more stable and carvy. Both are great choices, and if you’re never really off the groomers, there’s not much reason to go to the 88. Hope that helps!
      SE

  6. Hi

    I’m 55 and an advanced intermediate who is really working at getting better at moguls. I’m in California and those narrow trough like moguls are killing me. I am not real technical about skis but I just want something that is good for those quick turns. I currently have black pearl 88s 159cm. I am 5-4, 120 lbs and love them on hard pack but I think I need something narrower under foot, and shorter for moguls. Rossignol 84 ? BP 78? Volkl flair carbon? K2s? I would really appreciate some good suggestions for a dedicated mogul ski.

    1. Hi Mari!

      There are essentially two ways you can make moguls skiing a little easier for you. A ski that’s narrower, as you identified, and also a ski with more tip and tail rocker. Skis with lots of rocker are easier to pivot, which tends to help in moguls for those that are still learning. You also don’t want to get something too stiff. The Flairs feel like they would be a little too stiff. The Experience 84 could work, although it’s fairly close to what you already own. The Black Pearl 78 is definitely quicker edge to edge than the 88, so that would help, especially if you also went with a shorter length. I just spent some time looking through all our women’s skis and that Black Pearl 78 is probably the way to for a dedicated mogul ski.

      SE

      SE

  7. I’m 64 years old, 5’4”/145 lbs and have been skiing on Rossignol Temptation 80s for several years and loved them. Have improved as a skier and now looking for a ski that will take me to the next level. I need excellent edge grip in firm New England conditions, quick edge to edge that won’t tax my aging knees, and stability through the crud. I don’t ski woods. Enjoyed demo runs on the Vokyl Yumi and loved the edge hold, and the Black Pearl for quick edge to edge turns. Any other skies I should try? Which ski do you recommend for me? Thank you for your input!

    1. Hi Mary Jane!
      We’ve done really well with the whole Black Pearl series, and people really love them. The 78 is great if you’re on the groomers all day, and they offer great edge grip and control. Also check out the Nordica Astral 78 for a strong comparison to the BP 78. Have fun!
      SE

  8. I’m in my 5th year of skiing and consider myself to be an Intermediate skier. I also know very little when it comes to buying skis – but that didn’t stop me from buying the Dynastar Glory 89 skis last year. They’re a fun ski and I like the speed, but they are a bit difficult for me to handle in packed snow or on moguls which I’m trying to get better at. So I want to get a ski with a narrower width under the foot that will be easier to turn. I’m 5′ 6″ 140 pounds and fairly athletic and ski mostly California/Colorado/Utah. I’m looking at the Blizzard Black Pearl 78, the Head Super Joy, or the Atomic Cloud 9. Any feedback / insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Daniela!
      I think you’re right on track with the BP 78. They’re a great set of skis for harder snow and moguls. The other two on your list are a bit lighter, so you may overpower them. Hope you have a great winter!
      SE

  9. I’m considering the Black Pearl 78s for my daughter who is 15, about 120lbs and 5’8″ but has probably not finished growing yet. We ski about ~15 times/year. For ability, she’s been skiing for 12 years and is pretty aggressive/fast, I’d put her in the ‘expert’ camp but doesn’t she do the ‘double blacks’ or steep bumps just yet. I’m looking for a ski for her that can handle speed/hold a line on firm snow, but yet can pull off quick turns also and/or won’t be awful in the bumps. From reviews, it seems like the Black Pearl 78’s fit the versatility requirement, but given the comment to Lauren above, I’m concerned it will quickly become too little ski for her (not stiff enough). Also, do you have a binding recommendation for her weight/ability? Thanks for any thoughts!!

    1. Hi Rob!
      The BP 78 sounds great for her! I wouldn’t worry about the stiffness of the ski, it might even help to have a softer fore/aft ski for the moguls. Torsionally, due to their width, they are quite stiff. Check out the Nordica Astral 78 for comparison–these skis have a (not quite) full sheet of metal that will make them stiffer and more responsive. We pair them with a Marker 11.0 or a Tyrolia Attack 11 binding, and these seem to work well for a wide variety of skiers. Have a great winter!
      SE

  10. Hi,
    I’m looking into Blizzard Black Pearl 78 skis for my daughter but am having a hard time finding bindings for this width. She is a light adult (112 lbs) and an advanced skier. What would you suggest?

    Thanks.
    Gary

    1. Hi Gary!

      Check out the Marker 10.0 TP. It’s a lightweight binding that’s inspired by the Royal Family binding collection. There’s an 85 mm brake width option, which will fit the Black Pearl 78 nicely. It also just works really well for lighter weight skiers like your daughter.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  11. Looking for some new skies for my wife who is 5″3″ 120 lbs, she very athletic but is transitioning back from years of snowboarding to skiing as all our kids now ski. She is a classic resort skier who skis blue’s and some blacks but is not overly aggressive. she will follow me and our boy into the trees and into softer powder but is not a powder hound. I do see that changing as she gains confidence in skiing again. We have been looking at the black pearl 88 and 78 I see the 88 as having a greater potential to expend skills but the 78 as a more enjoyable ski for her to use now. I would love your advise on which ski or perhaps another suggestion. also I expect her to be in the 156 range do you agree?

    1. Hey Nate!
      If she’s spending any amount of time off-trail, I’d recommend the 88 over the 78. There’s no real difference in the ability level between the two, but rather the versatility. The 78 is definitely better suited for on-trail skiing, while the 88 can really handle the whole mountain. They also will give her more of a stable platform to stand on with the extra 10 mm underfoot. My wife is 5/4 140 and she skis the Black Pearl 88 in a 152, but she prefers shorter skis. The 159 is the next size up, and will not be as maneuverable as the 152. If you’re looking for another suggestions, the Nordica Astral 88, K2 Alluvit 88, and Rossignol Experience W 88 are worth checking out. She’s right in the sweet spot of skis in her ability, so there won’t be any issue finding a great ski. Happy Skiing!
      SE

  12. I’m looking at the black pearl 78s for my daughter who is an advanced eastern skier but weighs only 110 lbs at 5’ 4”. She’d benefit from a ski that can hold a solid edge at speed, but at her weight, she won’t be able to load a ski that’s too stiff. Does the 78 fit the bill?

    1. Hi Steve!

      Black Pearl 78 should be a great ski for your daughter. They have good torsional stiffness and hold an edge really well, but the overall flex pattern isn’t exceptionally stiff. They’re also impressively lightweight considering the performance they achieve, which is nice for a lighter weight skier like your daughter. What length are you thinking? I would expect 156 cm would feel best to her, unless she’s growing rapidly.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  13. These were recommended by a few friends when I sent out an APB that I need a frontside ski that holds an edge in hard-packed/icy conditions.

    I ski in Colorado and have a pair of Volkl Auras for all mountain but want a pair of stiff frontside skis that can rip on non-powder days. Versatility is not a concern – I want to be able to get an edge and keep it and be able to charge through terrain when it gets chopped up. I skied on some Kastle RX12 SLs in Austria which had the heft I liked but were a smidge turney – if there’s something that can go between GS & Super G turns, that would be ideal.

    I didn’t do much ski racing as a kid but I’m really wanting to work on my turns/speed/technique on front side conditions and my demo budget is about done. Any help is much appreciated!

    1. Hi Lauren!

      The Black Pearl 78 is a really fun ski, although if you’re concerned about edge grip at speed on firm snow I don’t know if the Black Pearl 78 will have the power you’re looking for. My mind immediately went to the Blizzard Alight 8.2 Ti (2019 ski). I think something like that would work a lot better for you than the Black Pearl 78. I don’t want to take anything away from the Pearl, because it’s great, but it’s quite lightweight and focuses a little bit more on overall user-friendliness than real edge grip on firm snow. Also, considering you ski Auras I know you can handle a ski with metal, which is another reason why I don’t think the BP 78 would be quite enough for you.

      Does that make sense?

      SE

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