The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is one of the most versatile women’s all mountain skis on the market. It’s based off the success of its predecessor, the Black Pearl, and Blizzard has taken that ski and expanded it into an entire line of skis: the 78, 88, and 98. It has a light wood core, a rocker-camber-rocker profile, and Blizzard’s women’s specific WSD Carbon Flipcore that uses uni-directional carbon fiber to increase energy and responsiveness without excessive weight.
Chloe Wexler thought the Black Pearl had a great feel and was a very versatile. She skied the 159 cm length and was impressed by the skis ability to make “all turn shapes” and thought that it gave her a “good connection to the snow”. Chloe gave the ski high scores in just about every category, with more of a moderate score for flotation as the only exception. Her scores suggest a very even mix of performance she concluded her comments by simply saying it’s an “all around” ski that can handle “everything”.
Elissa DeGolyer tested the 166 cm length and was also impressed by the ski’s ability to do just about everything. She commented, “the amazing shape of this ski makes it versatile in all types of turns.” She also enjoyed that she could get the ski to make varying radius carving turns without requiring a high edge angle. She said the ski “allows for easier turning without having to put the ski so far on edge as you would with a wider ski, yet it’s wide enough to provide stability and enough surface area.” We think Elissa’s comment about edge angle is a good one. You don’t need to lay it over like you would on a wider platform with similar torsional stiffness. The Black Pearl 88 has a smooth, relatively relaxed feel because of this.
Carly Monahan gave the ski consistently high scores that almost mirrored Chloe’s exactly, although she did ski the longer 166 cm length. She found the new Black Pearl 88 “holds and edge nicely in firm snow” and is “light enough to throw around and smear in soft snow”. You’re likely now noticing that versatility was a reoccurring theme with our testers. Just about everyone that skied it felt it gave them the comfort and confidence to take it in a wide variety of terrain and conditions. Carly also commented on how smooth the ski is by saying, “feels reliable and predictable. Not as snappy or poppy as expected, but could be good for someone who just wants to feel stable and secure.” While we agree there are more energetic all mountain skis out there, the carbon in the Black Pearl does give it some responsiveness as long as you’re getting the ski to flex into the turn. Overall the ski has a very even, smooth feel.
This new version of the Black Pearl continues to offer women a great mix of performance characteristics for all mountain skiing across a wide range of terrain and snow conditions. For many skiers the Black Pearl 88 is going to be a great “one ski quiver” as it handles all but the deepest snow conditions quite well. It’s a smooth, stable ride that will likely be a favorite among lots of women out there. Katrine Wolfgang, for example, just drew a line through the “5” column for every characteristic and her sole comment on the ski was simply: