2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Women's Skis 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Women's Skis

2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Women’s Skis

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:

“Loved it.”

2018 Blizzard Black Pearl Ski Review on Chairlift Chat


Elissa DeGolyer Ski Tester Headshot Image

Elissa DeGolyer

Age: 28Height: 5'8"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Precise, aggressive, extensive ski racing background

Chloe Wexler Ski Tester Headshot Image

Chloe Wexler

Age: 26Height: 5'4"Weight: 115 lbs.

Ski Style: Ripping mogul skier, very precise, hard to keep up with

Carly Monahan Ski Tester Headshot Image

Carly Monahan

Age: 32Height: 5'4"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Athletic and active, but laid back

Katrine Wolfgang Ski Tester Headshot Image

Katrine Wolfgang

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

Ski Style: Smooth carving

Laura McLaughlin Ski Tester Headshot Image

Laura McLaughlin

Age: 36Height: 5'5"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Short radius turns on the side of the trail

236 Comments on the “2018 Blizzard Black Pearl 88 Women’s Skis”

  1. I’m 5’9″ and 145lbs, skiing mostly blues and blacks in mixed West coast conditions (groomed/powder). I would consider myself an advanced intermediate skiier who’s looking to improve to a more advanced level, would you recommend 166 or 173?

    1. Hi Vicky!
      I’d go 166 based on your stats. You’ll appreciate the maneuverability of the shorter length, while I’d guess that the longer would be a bit cumbersome. I don’t think the 166 will hold you back at all. Have fun!

  2. Hello, what ski and length do you recommend for a beginner/intermediate who prefers stability to speed. I am 58 years old, almost 5’1″ and 115 pounds.

    1. Hi Patty!
      Something like the Black Pearl would be a great choice, but I’d suggest the 78 to the 88, as I’m assuming you’re spending most of your time on groomed terrain. Also check out the Salomon QST 85 and the Rossignol Experience 84 for mid-80’s underfoot skis. Probably the high-140’s would be good for length. Have fun!

  3. Hi – I’m 56 years old, 5’2″ and 128 lbs. I’m intermediate-advanced and ski everything from groomers to powder, bumps and trees. I’m not terribly aggressive unless I need to be 🙂 I ski mostly in Colorado. I’m currently skiing a 2016 Rossignol Saffron 7, 98 underfoot and 162 length. It’s important to know that I also use Scarpa Gea boots and plan to get something like the Marker Griffon binding (I ski both backcountry and resort, but these skis would be for resort skiing only). I’m looking for an all mountain ski that can also bust through crud and am torn between the 88’s and 98’s. I’m also torn between the 152’s and 159’s. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hi Anna!
      Have you checked out the Blizzard Sheeva 9? It’s a good split between the BP 88 and 98 if you really can’t decide. But between those skis and for your application, I’d go with the 88. You’ll notice less float than your Saffron, but it sounds like you’re looking for a more versatile all-mountain ski, and to me, that means stronger groomer performance as well. This is where the 88 sets itself apart for sure. Deep days, you’d prefer the 98, but overall, I think the 88 is the way to go. But do check out that Sheeva–92 underfoot and with some metal for stability–really fun ski! I think you should be on the longer length, unless you’ve always felt the Rossi was too long.

  4. Hello,
    I am 4’11” and 120 lb. I am a pretty fast advanced skier in mid 60s, skiing both west and east coasts.
    Am I better off with 145 or 152 ski length?

    1. Hi Elena!
      Given your propensity towards speed, I think you could handle and would prefer the 152. They’re pretty light skis, so I wouldn’t worry about them being too heavy, maybe just a bit of a handful in bumps or trees from time to time. Have fun!

  5. I am looking to purchase new ski’s for my wife, she is 5ft 1″ and 101lbs, age 62. An experienced skier but not at all aggressive. She currently ski’s on the Nordica Santa Ana 161cm but struggles with the turns and finds them heavy in powder. We know they are too long for her but at the time of purchase we were struggling to find shorter skis that could do powder. We mostly ski in very local resorts in Japan and even on groomers there tends to be a covering of powder and snow is soft. She also enjoys doing some trees and off-piste where powder can get deep.
    I am thinking of either the Elan Ripstick 94W size 156cm or the Blizzard Black Pearl 152cm.
    What would your recommendation be and can you also suggest bindings given weight and age. She has had knee problems in the past so important we have high quality bindings that will do their job.

    1. Hi Nigel!
      It’s pretty hard to go wrong with the Black Pearl, and I do think the 152 is a good length. The Ripstick, being wider, is better suited for softer snow. For 2020, They’re making a Ripstick 88 which is a better comparison to the Blizzard, so that’s worth a look as well. But again, that Black Pearl 88 really checks a lot of boxes in a light and easy to use ski. As far as bindings, check out Knee Bindings, as they’re specifically designed to basically eliminate ACL tears. Other than that, anything with an 11 DIN should work well. Look to the Marker Squire or Tyrolia Attack 11 as good options. Hope that helps!

  6. Hello! I am 5’9″ and 145 pounds and looking for an all mountain ski. I do the majority of my skiing on the East coast, but try and make it out West once a year. I have done some research (arguably too much) trying to pick the best ski that will advance my skills. I am a snowboarding convert who is confident on groomed blacks on the East coast with speed, but control in my number one concern. I want to push my skills to ungroomed terrain, but also move confidently through icy and cut up snow. I was thinking about the Blizzard Black Pearl or the Salomon QST Lux 92. Do you have any thoughts on what would be best (including length)? Or, even a different ski I have overlooked? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lindsey!
      We don’t get many complaints about the Black Pearl 88–that’s an incredibly safe ski that pretty much a ton of skiers love. But if you’re looking to get more into the ungroomed, I think the QST 92 is a better choice. Something in the 160 range should work well. On the slightly more advanced side, check out the Blizzard Sheeva 9. Same basic shape as the QST 92, but has a metal plate underfoot that adds a bit of stiffness and stability. Have fun!

  7. Hi, I am a 70 year old skier 5’6” and 69 kg. I am a fairly cautious intermediate mostly blue/red runs and looking for new skis mostly for groomers. I have tried Yumi in 154 and liked them but have been told blizzard BP88 might be a little easier going. If they are more suitable what length would you suggest? I value stability over speed and usually ski around 154 these days. I have enjoyed reading your comments
    Thank you

    1. Thanks Di!
      True that the BP 88 is a little more forgiving, since it doesn’t have the Titanal band that the Yumi does. Volkl has also come out with the Kama last year, and that’s basically a Yumi without the metal, so that’s another option. But in the past five to seven years, we haven’t heard really any bad things about the BP 88. I think you’d be better off on the 152 versus the 159 at this point. Hope that helps!

  8. I really liked the comments you have written back to people, so I’ll ask my questions! I live in Colorado and skied 20+ days this past winter and want to bump it up to 30-40 this next season. I would say I am an intermediate to advanced skier. I like to go fast on groomers (45-50 mph or faster when no one is around on the weekdays), but also love the black bump powder days. I do still continue to take ski lessons and want to try out some new skis this winter, we are going to tackle more trees this coming year and focus on steeper terrain with moguls. We also do these little mogul type shoots with quick turns and “cliffs” with quick turns. However, if I am skiing by myself, I tend to stick only to groomers and some easy bumps. I went into a local shop and she told me to get the BP 98 underfoot. Right now I’m skiing on K2 Superfly 76 underfoot 153. I am only between 5’1″-5’2″. I was thinking the 88 at 151 would be a good ski for me, however, the ski shop expert at the shop kept telling me to get the 98s. I do know that I like to carve so I want a flat tail (from what I have been told). I like the reviews on the 88s as they will still allow you to ski most powder and have a turning radius that will still allow you to ski bumps. Any thoughts? Thank you so much!!

    1. Hi Leah!
      Especially coming off of the 76, the 88 will probably feel like enough width without having to bump up to the 98. Although I agree that the flatter tail is better for carving, don’t rule out something like the Blizzard Sheeva 9 as an in-between the BP 88 and 98–has metal in it so it’s stiff underfoot but playful in the tips and tails. If you’re looking to get in the trees more, that turned-up tail does come in handy–just something to keep in mind. There’s a lot of good stuff in that ~88 underfoot category, so not to over-complicate things, but check out the Rossignol Experience 88, Nordica Astral 88, and K2 Alluvit 88 as comparable models. It’s a versatile range of skis, and it sounds like that’s what you’re going for. Have fun!

  9. Hi,
    I am 59 years old, 5’4” and weigh 116. I am currently on k2 lotta luvs 163cm. I took a ten year ski break and just recently started again this year. I mostly ski at Mammoth but plan to ski some in Utah and Colorado as well. I am an advanced skier and ski mostly steep groomers but also like to ski the ungroomed areas and a few bumps now and then. I’d also like to ski more powder and some trees going forward. Do you think the Black Pearl 88 would be a good all round ski for me and do you think 159 or 166 cm? Any other skiis you think I should try as well before I buy a new pair?

    1. Hi Ellen!
      We’ve been selling the Black Pearl 88’s for years, and after hundreds of pairs sold, we have yet to hear a negative thing about them. They’re light, quick, versatile, and stable. There is a fair amount of competition in that category, however, and you should check out some other items such as the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti, Nordica Astral 88, and the K2 Alluvit 88. But overall, if you got the Black Pearl 88 in the 159, you’ll be a happy skier. Have fun!

  10. I am from the northeast and go skiing in New England most weekends in the Winter. I am around 5’6” and I have K2 152 skis. I am looking to buy new skiis and am interested in the Black Pearl. I am thinking about going with a smaller ski size, maybe around 148-150? I would say I am an intermediate skier. I typically ski with my friends and we tend to do glades. We mostly ski blues and blacks throughout the day, starting from around 9 am to 3 pm. Would these Blizzards Skis also work in the glades?
    I have also been interested in other Blizzard skis, Atomic skis, and Volkl skis. Any suggestions? What would be good for a range for all types of snow? What size would be best?

    1. Hi Kiley!
      I think you’ll love the Black Pearl in the 152. I feel like any shorter and you’ll start losing stability. At 88 underfoot, they’re great for all-mountain use, including glades, so I think you’re all set in that regard. Also in the 88 underfoot category are Rossignol Experience 88 and the K2 Alluvit 88. All are very capable and fun skis that can perform a wide variety of tasks. Hope that helps!

  11. Hi, last season I tried the 88s in 166 and loved them. I was told they were too short for me and I should be skiing the 173 but they didn’t have the demo to try. I am 5’10.5 and 138lb. I’m an intermediate skier that can do a few of the simpler black runs but am just there to have fun so usually stick on the others. I ski 30 – 35 days a year. Do you think I should go the 173? I’m looking at buying online ASAP TIA

    1. Hi Jess!
      I think you could go either way, but if you loved the 166, I’m not going to talk you into a different size. Hope that helps!

  12. Would the BP88 be appropriate for Sierra Cement and corn conditions? I also go to Utah a few times a year. Intermediate skier mostly blue groomers. 5’4. Ski on an older (12 yr?) Atomic 152 but thinking with the shape of these skis the 159 might be a better choice? Any other recommendations?

    1. Hi Kerry!
      I think the Black Pearl 98 would be a better choice for those conditions, but overall, the 88 is a more versatile all-mountain shape. Also check out the Blizzard Sheeva 9 for a middle-ground option. I think you could go with either size, based on your level of aggressiveness. If you’re faster and prefer longer turns, then size up, but if you’re more mellow and like shorter turns, the shorter size will be just fine. Have fun!

  13. I’m 5’4”, 150 pounds, and an advanced intermediate skier who frequents the Park City area. I’m trying to figure out what length would be best for me. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Allie!
      My wife is about the same size as you and she likes the 152. I try to get her to try the 159, but she likes her shorter skis! You could go either way, so if you’re more aggressive and ski fast, size up to the 159, but if you prefer mellow speeds and shorter turns, go ahead with the 152. Hope that helps!

  14. Hi! So I’ve gotten fairly good at skiing since I moved out to Colorado this past season but I would still consider myself an advanced intermediate. I usually ski at a 152 or 154 height but I want to continue getting better, so I want to buy a ski that I can still “grow” into. I also want to get an all mountain ski since I love skiing on groomers but would eventually like to ski a lot in powder as well. I’ve tested these Black Pearl’s before and they are really great but wish there was a size in between the 152 and 159 they come in. I’m 5’5. I’ve also been renting all season and have been super anxious to buy skis. Thanks for your help!!

    1. Hi Sarah!
      I ultimately think you’d grow into the 159, I don’t think that’s too long for you. In the 155-156 range, the K2 Alluvit 88 and the Volkl Kenja 88 are great choices as well. Have fun!

  15. Hello, I’m an advanced skier who feels confident on fast steep groomers. I can handle moguls as well as some expert runs, if I don’t psych myself out. I’m mainly skiing in Tahoe, and prefer Kirkwood or the backside at Northstar. Currently, I’m on a pair of Atomic Cloud 6’s, which were my first skis when I learned back in 2010. I’m finding they are not holding up at the speeds I want on blacks, and are shaking a lot. Based on my research, I’m thinking the BPs would be a good option; however, does the intermediate-advanced mean these won’t hold up while pushing myself? I wanted to figure this out before buying a pair! Also, I was looking at the 152 for length. I’m currently on 149s and I’m 5’2, 110 lbs. I hope you can offer some advice!

    1. Hi Anne!
      Pretty much everyone loves the BP 88. They have a huge range, so a lot of different skiers will like the performance and versatility. I think the 152 is the right length. Also check out the Rossignol Experience 88 and the K2 Alluvit 88 for comparison. If you can demo, it’s a great way to learn more. Have fun!

  16. Hi!
    I’m looking to upgrade my skis (I’ve had a beginner pair of Rossignols for about 13 years) and contemplating the Black Pearl 88 and the Black Crow Camox. I usually get out a handful of times a season and would describe myself as an advanced beginner/low intermediate. Skill wise I know what I’m doing, but struggle with confidence a bit. I generally am a more mellow skiier. I’m 5’6 at 200 lbs and ski in the Northeast.

    Both the BP 88 and the Black Crow Camox sound intriguing and I definitely want to demo both, but would one make more sense from the get go?

    1. Hi Kaitlyn!
      The BP 88 is a bit lighter and more maneuverable, so if you’re looking to gain confidence and have fun, it’s hard to go wrong with the Blizzard. The Camox is a bit more of a wild card, some people really like them, but they’re a bit more heavy duty than the Blizzard, so I hope they wouldn’t feel cumbersome for you. I’d recommend the BP 88 to almost anyone, they’re fantastic all-mountain skis. Hope that helps!

  17. Hi I’m a 34yr old 135lb 5’3″. I’m an intermediate skiier who lives in Minnesota. I try to ski out west (usually Colorado) once a year. I can ski almost anything. I’m not a speed lover and I like to turn. I’d like to improve my mogals exp when they aren’t icey and non groomed skiing. For out west. And I’d like something quick edge to edge and great on ice and corn for home.

    I’ve been skiing old equipment for ages. I’m debating between purchasing one ski or two. One carver and one out west.

    I’m overwhelmed with my options! I see the BP 88 has good reviews but maybe wouldn’t like it on the icey Midwest crud and it might have enough float for powder.

    Any recommendations for me? Maybe a different ski?

    1. Hi Kelly!
      Lots of options out there for sure! The good news is that they’re all good options! If you were going to have one pair, the 88 is the way to go. Other choices in that ~88 underfoot category are the K2 Alluvit 88 and the Rossignol Experience 88 Women’s. If you’re going to get two pairs, they make the Black Pearl in a 78 as well, which is a great choice for quick edge to edge and strong grip. Add to that the Blizzard Sheeva 9, and you’ve got yourself a nice two-ski quiver. I’d recommend keeping at least a centimeter of difference underfoot between your carver and your soft snow ski just to make sure they’re different enough to warrant the second pair. Have fun!

      1. Hi, this discussion is great! I’m late to the party but since you mentioned the Sheeva 9, I’m getting on this thread I wanted to ask you about the BP88 (I demo’d the 159 length in Tahoe in fresh packed powder) v the Sheeva 9 (166 because of the rocker tip) that I’m planning to demo this weekend at Kirkwood. I’m 53yo, 5’7″, 145lb and I’m getting back to skiing after 8 yrs hiatus (just life, no injuries). Fairly good shape but more cautious than 30 yrs ago. I ski the vast majority on piste, intermediate, groomed slopes, but we are getting a ton of snow in Tahoe. I also want to get better on technique and mild moguls. I rarely rarely ski deep powder however. The BP88s were sooo fun, much more than my old Volkls 724 AX3 156 that were stiff and I had to really work to get an edge. But I’m concerned that the BP88 without metal would not be as stable or carvable in much firmer packed snow on the groomers without any metal. The Sheeva 9s look more stable with the metal underfoot and the rocker tips on the Sheevas look great for moguls. Feedback? Also, why does every sales person (Any Mtn and Kirkwood demo shop) tell me the BPs have metal throughout v Sheeva only having it underfoot? Everywhere online says no metal in the BPs. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

      2. Hi Christine!

        The Sheeva 9 does feel a little more stable due to the metal. Not sure what’s up with the shops in your area, but the Black Pearl doesn’t have any metal. I assume they think it’s the same construction as the men’s skis, but it’s not. It does sound to me like the Sheeva would be a better ski for what you like to do. The Black Pearl is a great ski, but the Sheeva 9 is more fun in moguls, soft snow, etc. And you get the benefits of some metal underfoot. So, both great skis, but I’m expecting you’ll like the Sheeva 9 more.

        To reiterate, there is no metal in the Black Pearls. You can go back to the shops and tell them! Haha.

        Hope that helps,


  18. Hi, I’m debating between the 166 and 173. I’m 5’10”, 145 lbs, fairly aggressive skier and mainly in Tahoe. I have taken a few years off with young kids but a high intermediate and working back to advanced. I ski most terrain, love powder when I can get it, and mostly skiing with my husband who is fast on groomers and I want to keep up. We ski mostly blacks and some blues. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

  19. HI, I’m considering purchasing the BP 88s. I’m 5’2 weigh 115, and am an advanced intermediate level. Would you suggest the 152s or the 156s?

    1. Hi Gayle!
      Based on your stats, I’d recommend the 152. If you consider yourself fairly aggressive, you could move up, but if you’re more mellow, the 152 will work just fine!

  20. Hi, I am 58 and desperately need skis. My K-2 Burnin’ Luv 163 ‘s were stolen. 🙁 Loved their stability! I ski fast. I tried the BP88 in 159 and there were great but a bit too much ski I felt… would I like the 152? Or should I go for the BP78 at 156. (I heard they might be a bit more fun?) I like to ski groomers, fast, some bumps, and champagne powder when I am blessed. I’m an intermediate/advanced skier skiing more cautiously these days due to age but definitely like the blacks when I’m in shape. I usually ski at Tahoe.

    1. Hi Brend!
      Most people really like the BP88. Perhaps it was as easy as the sizing? The 78 is a lot quicker edge to edge and therefore more adept in the moguls. You will lose some flotation, so you have to ask if that’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make. Hope that helps!

  21. Hi i’m looking at buying some black pearl skis
    I weight almost 200lb at 5’6. Do I want the 159 or 166 so you think? Should I go longer because i’m Heavier?

    1. Hi Sally!
      I’d say it has more to do with your aggressiveness. If you are going fast and skiing aggressively, size up, but if you are more mellow and cruising, the 159 would be totally fine!

  22. Hi,

    I’m looking to buy the Blizzard Black Pearl 88s, but I can’t figure out which lenght to go for. I’m 5’10, 156lbs. I don’t get to ski very often (hoping to change that by getting my own gear). I wouldn’t say I’m a timid skier, I just need a little bit of warming up at the begining of the day. Skill wise I’m an intermediate skier, and I don’t consider myself an agressive one. I would like to get skis with the potential to “grow into” skill and confidence wise, as I have made quite a bit of progress without really downhill skiing a lot (1-2 a year the past 5 years) and I feel like I have more potential. It’s really important to me that the ski feels stable at higher speeds, and It would also be nice to be able to take short turns often for the first 1-2 runns. I will mostly ski on groomers, but want to be able to manouver powder as well.

    I’m torn between the 166cm and 173 cm ones, and would love some insight from an expert on which ones to buy.

    thanks for your answer.

    – Rebekka

    1. Hi Rebekka!
      I’d say the 166. By the stats, I’d even say the 173 is a bit long, but based on your stated levels of aggressiveness, I’d say go with the more comfortable, shorter size. Hope that helps!

      1. Hi. I’m intermediate/advanced, I ski mostly blues and blacks, mostly groomed. I am cautious but trying to push my abilities to the next level. I would like to get faster and feel more comfortable off piste, in trees and one day moguls! I’m intimidated by hard bumps and icey conditions. I mostly ski on the east coast, but try to get out west at least once a year. Love powder, but don’t get enough to have any real experience with it, but want I ski that can handle it.

        I’ve been on k2 superifics 153 for about 5 years and really have progressed and felt comfortable on them. They were my first set of nonrentals. I had been looking to upgrade, when my equipment got lost by the airline. So now I need new skis and was looking at the K2 line, maybe an endless luv/tough luv but couldn’t find much in the way of reviews. My husband pointed out the blizzards BP 88 and from all I’ve been reading, they sound great.

        How would you compare the k2 luv series with BP? Also, what size would you recommend? I’m 5’6’, about 130 lbs. I was thinking about the 159.

        Thanks for any assistance!

      2. Hi NR!
        The BP 88 is probably the most versatile and highly recommended ski we’ve ever seen. I’d go with the 159. Don’t overthink it, you’ll love it.

  23. I just want to verify the length I should get. I am 5’6 220 lbs. and an advanced beginner/intermediate skier. I am mostly on groomed Midwest trails hard packed snow. I am a slow to sometimes moderate speed skier.

  24. I am an advanced beginner/intermediate skier. I am 5’6 and 220 lbs. and ski mostly groomed runs. Currently I am skiing on 2010 Volkl Oceana’s 163 cm and hate them. For me it’s a struggle doing turns you really have to dig in to get them on edge. Would the black pearl be the right ski for me or would you recommend something else?

  25. Hi, I’m 5’2″ and 125 lbs. I’m looking to purchase a new pair of skis that will give me control, stability, and increase my confidence. I’m an intermediate skier (used to be more confident — but after dislocating my shoulder, am very timid and fearful of falling.) I ski in the northeast on groomed trails that are often icy. I don’t like to go fast, but would like a ski that I would feel confident on if my speed does increase. Thank you in advance for your recommendations!

    1. Hi Robyn!
      The Black Pearl 88 is a perfect choice. If you’re on the timid side these days, I’d recommend the 152 cm length. We’ve sold tons of these skis to people of varying ages, abilities, and levels of aggressiveness, and we do not hear negative reactions. Everyone loves them. For fun, comparative models include the K2 Alluvit 88, Nordica Astral 88, and the Volkl Yumi. All have their own attributes, but there is literally nothing wrong with the Black Pearl 88 in a 152. Happy winter!

  26. Happy New Year,
    I am so glad I found this site with many interesting comments.
    I am trying to figure out whether I would benefit from an upgrade on my skis (and ski boots if you give advise for this too)
    I am an agressive skier, my carving technique is lacking skill, I am 56yrs old, 5’5″ and 135lbs
    Currently I ski on 170cm Atomic Beta Carv 9-18 and my boots are Salomon Sensifit (in need of new liners).
    Would the Black Pearl be more difficult on icy terrain? Which length should I get?
    I would appreciate any input.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Christine!
      Of course you could benefit from an upgrade on equipment! As far as skis are concerned, we’ve sold a whole lot of Black Pearl 88’s over the years, and time after time, the skiers love the overall all-mountain performance of the skis. They simply do it all from icy hardpack to fresh powder. With the wider waist, you won’t get quite the same edge grip as your Atomics, but the sidecut and overall shape allows the skis to carve some pretty sweet turns. Other comparable ski models are the K2 Alluvit 88, Nordica Astral 88, and the Rossignol Experience 88 W. It’s a great category that you’re looking at, and nothing is bad.
      As far as boots are concerned, I’d peg you as around an 80 to 90 flex, but it’s hard making recommendations. Unless you know exactly what you need and want, you should really see a professional boot fitter. Hope that helps!

  27. Hi there – trying to decide on a length for the 88 black pearls, either 159 or 166cm. I am 5’8, 22, and 140lbs. I currently ski on 166cm old Rossi’s but they are very thin underfoot (unsure of width). I usually ski on the west coast in Whistler/ California/ Australia. I can ski pretty much everything but I am cautious at times. I trialled the 166cm 88’s last week but I found the front to be catching very occasionally, but they were amazing carving on ice. Does this mean I should go shorter or maybe I just need time to adjust to the ski?

    Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hi Kait!
      By the numbers, I’d say the 166 is the right length, but if you’re cautious, I don’t think the 159 would be too short. Perhaps the tune on the ski was off and that resulted in the catchiness of the tips? It does happen from time to time whether it’s from the factory or the shop. If you can, try the 159 and see if there’s a big difference. Hope that helps!

  28. This is my wife’s 2nd year on a pair of BP 88’s (159). She generally loves them, especially given the move up from an ancient pair of Rossi’s. She’s an advanced intermediate (50yo, 5’8″, 145lbs) and is wanting to improve her skill and confidence carving on hard pack/icy days (we ski mostly in the east). To that end, she took a lesson today (at Sugarloaf) and was told by her instructor that they could work on skill and technique, but that her equipment would always be the limiter – too wide at 88mm. Do you have any advance? Are these the right skis for her? Another recommendation? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jeff!
      For a straight-up carving ski, there are certainly better options than the BP 88. Overall as an all-mountain ski, it’s tough to beat that Black Pearl. They also make it in a 78, so that reduces the overall width while increasing the carving capabilities. Other than that, you’re looking at a system ski like the Blizzard Alight series or the Volkl Flair. These are great skis with system bindings, and are pretty much meant for on-piste carving and hard snow skiing. She can certainly keep the BP 88 as an all-mountain or softer snow ski, but also have the narrower carving ski for when the conditions allow. Hope that helps!

  29. I’ve read a lot of the comments here and you seem to give insightful comments back to help readers choose, so I’m hoping for some advice. I’m looking to purchase new skis, I’m on 20 year old Rossignol CUT skis, 170cm. (lived in the midwest for 8 years and was busy with school so didn’t ski much for a period) I now live in NH, ski a lot at Killington, Okemo, Sunapee, Stowe, etc, (where there is often hard packed/icy trails). I have been skiing since childhood and I’m an advanced skier but I don’t do moguls particularly well, and I avoid the seriously steep terrain out west. I do make it out west almost once a year to Vail, Breck, Crested Butte, etc. I love to ski fast and love trees. I’d like a ski that will help me do better in moguls, although I’m also in new boots that are 2 sizes smaller than my 20 year old boots and I think they’ll give me more control, also looking for a ski that will be more fun out west when there’s powder. Right now I’m between the Black Pearl 88, and the Volkl Yumi. I demoed the Secret as well liked them but I want to be able to turn easily in trees and moguls. I’m 35 years old, 122 lbs, 5’8″. Thoughts on skis and length would be appreciated.. thank you!

    1. Hi Jill!
      We’ve sold a ton of Black Pearl 88’s and have hardly heard one negative thing about them. The Yumi is also great–super light yet still stable thanks to a central titanal band. There’s no metal in the Black Pearl, so you’ll bet the best maneuverability out of those. A third option for you is the Nordica Astral 84–more similar than different to the other two skis. In terms of sizing, you’re kind of in the middle, especially given your ski choices. For the Volkl, I’d recommend either the 156 or the 163, and for the Black Pearl, either the 159 or 166. Chose the smaller size if you’re less aggressive and want to spend some time in the woods, or choose the longer size if you’re more aggressive and looking to stay on-trail most of the time. Happy skiing!

  30. Hi,

    I’m looking at buying this ski. I’m an advanced skiier who likes to ski aggressively. I try to ski as much as I can and have been improving quickly. I mostly ski in tahoe but occasionally ski in the rockies or the east coast.

    I like to ski in the trees, moguls, and powder. However, in Tahoe, many days are just spent cruising around groomers so I need a ski that can keep up with my group as well. On my current beginner skis (Constellation Cira 154 cm) I’m finding I don’t have as much control on steep, icy runs as I would like. I am 23 years old, 5’4 and 115 lbs.

    What would you recommend?

    1. Hi Christina!

      The Black Pearl 88 should work really well for you. It has a great mix of performance characteristics for all the terrain you ski. Handles softer snow conditions well, really fun in moguls and trees, yet can carve turns and performs really well on firm snow too. For length, you should be able to ski the 159 cm. I like that length for your size. It’s a little longer than what you’ve been on, but the Black Pearl 88 uses some slight rocker, and I’m guessing you’re a fairly athletic person, so I think that length is the way to go.

      Hope that helps!


  31. I have the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 159 cm, and love them. I mostly ski in Western Washington. I’m an advanced skier. I’m 62, 140 pounds, and ski pretty aggressively. I’ve been mostly skiing groomed blues and blacks. I just finished a four-day ski camp at Sun Peaks in British Columbia where I skied a lot of powder and choppy snow on blacks and did great. . My skis are in the shop getting tuned up and I want to ski this week. I have some Rossignal Saffron 7’s 98 underfoot and 163 cm, that I haven’t skied since I got my Black Pearls three seasons ago, and I’m a bit nervous to use them. Is there much difference between the two skis?

    1. Hi Susan!

      You’ll have fun on the Saffron 7 too. There is a fairly significant difference between the two, but I imagine you’ll enjoy the Saffron 7 still. It uses much more pronounced rocker as well as more early taper. That shape is designed to be super maneuverable. So, if you were in terrain like moguls or trees, the Saffron 7 will let you pivot the ski more easily than the Black Pearl 88. On the other hand, the shorter effective edge might not hold an edge as well as the Black Pearl 88 for you while on firmer snow conditions.

      Hope that helps!


  32. Hi,

    I currently ski the Rossi Experience 84hd in a 170. I’m 52, 5-7, and a heavier skier @200lbs. I love my skis unless it’s a powder day when I just like them. I’ve tried the BP 88 and though I like them in the powder, they don’t perform well for me on groomers. I am looking for something a little better in fresh snow that I can take into the trees and steep, variable conditions with more confidence than my Exp 84s. I ski mostly Colorado 20+ days/year.

    Thanks, LJ

    1. Hi Lora!
      Everything’s a compromise, right? If you like the Rossignol, they now make the Experience 88 in a women’s version that is comparable to the BP 88. Maybe those will speak to you in ways that the Blizzard cannot? Also check out the K2 Alluvit 88 for another ~90 mm underfoot comparison. Hope that helps!

  33. Hi. I am an intermediate skier that skis out West 1 to 2 times a year and occasional Midwest icy small resorts. I mostly stick to blue groomers but want something that can handle the chop and bumps on powder days and end of the day skiing. I am a cautious skier and want to feel confident skiing faster, as I am always the last one down in my group. I am 5’ 6” and 140 pounds. Looking at the BP 88, Rossignol temptation, Yumi.. and leaning towards the BP 88 but unsure of length. I read about putting the binding forward as well, could you comment on this. Thank you

    1. Hi Jessie!
      We’ve sold a lot of BP 88’s over the years and haven’t really heard anything negative about them! The Yumi is a nice choice because it has a titanal band that runs through the middle of the ski to make it a bit more stout. I’d stick to the ~159 cm area based on your stats. Hope that helps!

  34. Hi,
    I’m going to buy skis for my daughter, 14 years old, 5’10” and 130 lbs. She’s intermediate, majority of time on piste but likes to play (explore) between trees etc. We live at the west coast and has been skiing a lot in Europe.
    I have been considering BP 88, length 166. With her age I don’t think she should have to long a ski ? Alternatively, I have considered Rosisignol Exp 88 TI but also BP 78 and Head Absolut Joy 78.
    Can you pls advice type of skis and length.
    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Michael!

      I think the Black Pearl 88 is a fantastic choice. I agree, at her age and her current ability level, 166 cm should do just fine. In my opinion the BP 78 and the Absolut Joy are a little too narrow for where you ski. She’ll get more versatility out of the 88. The Experience 88 Ti is a cool ski, but a little bit more demanding than the BP 88 with its Line Control Technology and vertical strip of metal. Makes it a little stiffer, and I think considering she’s still a developing skier, the Black Pearl is a better choice.

      Hope that helps!


  35. I am a 58 year old advanced/expert skier. I live in western Colorado and mostly ski at Vail, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and occasionally Park City. I’m fairly aggressive and enjoy skiing steep groomers as well as ungroomed trails and deep powder. I’m adventurous enough to try moguls when the snow is soft, and will sometime venture into the trees. I’m currently skiing on 163 Head Total Joy and really like them on the groomed stuff, but they’re not so great in the powder. I’m 5’4″ and 140lbs. Would you recommend the Black Pearl 88 or 98, or something else?

    1. Hi Laurie!

      It sounds like you might be a better candidate for the new Sheeva 9 than either the Black Pearl 88 or 98. It shape gives it fantastic performance in soft snow conditions, and it’s more forgiving and maneuverable in moguls and trees too. It also uses some metal underfoot, while the Black Pearls don’t use any metal. That gives it increased stability and vibraton damping, which I think you’ll appreciate as you’re an aggressive expert skier. For length, I’d go 164 cm.

      Hope that helps!!


  36. Hi,
    I’m a strong intermediate skiing in Ohio, upstate NY and the east coast. I ski groomers 90% of the time. I’m looking at the new Rosingnol Experience 88 or 84 (not sure if 88’s are too stiff or the 84’s not firm enough)or the BP 88’s. Im open to any suggestions besides these skis too. I’m 5’8” and around 190. What ski would you recommend and why? Also what length?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Holly!

      As a strong intermediate skier at your size, I think you can justify getting the Experience 88 Ti. You’re going to get the most stability out of that ski, which typically provides a confidence inspiring feel for skiers your size and of your ability level. The Black Pearl 88 is a great ski, but its softer flex pattern might not work as well for you. For length, I would actually go with the longest length, the 173 cm. The Experience uses pretty long tip rocker, so I don’t expect you’ll have any trouble on that length.

      Hope that helps!


  37. I’m looking to buy a pair of skis for a friend of mine and the Black Pearls are what I have my eye on. I have a couple of questions that I’m hoping you could help me out with. She’s 5’6″ and 130lbs. I would say she is an advanced beginner/intermediate skier that skis mostly groomed blue runs. She isn’t a fast or aggressive skier but wants to work to that point. She mostly makes parallel turns but does resort back to pizza on occasion. My questions are what do you think is the right length and would 78 or 88 underfoot be better? Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Shaun!

      I would go with the 88. Even though you could make an argument that it’s easier to manipulate a narrower ski, in my experience skiers in the stage of development that she’s in respond really well to a slightly wider ski. It gives you a bigger platform to stand on, which increases stability and typically provides a very confidence inspiring feel. For length, I would go 159 cm. Should be short enough that it’s relatively easy to initiate turns and maneuver, but still have the right level of stability. You don’t want her to feel unstable or unbalanced, and going too short can sometimes do that.

      Hope that helps!


  38. Hi!
    I read through most of the comments but didn’t see any similar to my situation… I think these skis would maybe be a good fit but would love some advice!
    I am an intermediate skier, used to be comfortable with groomed blacks but skied so sporadically the pst few years after a knee blowout that not I tend to stick to blues. Don’t like crud/off piste skiing much. I’m definitely cautious with turns and speed, but hoping to get out of that mindset this season! Also, I’m a heavy set skier, 5’6 and about 190-200lbs. So wondering if this ski sounds reasonable and what might be a good length that won’t require a ton of power to turn!

    1. Hi Katie!

      I think the Black Pearl 88 would be an excellent choice for you. It’s a nice stable ski, but it’s also not demanding. It’s not too stiff, so it’s not un-forgiving, yet it still performs at a high level when you want it to. You won’t need to ski it fast to enjoy it, although it might give you the confidence back to ski a little faster than you thought you would! Even though it’s about as tall as you, I think you could ski the 166 cm. I think that would work well for your size. Do you know what lengths you’ve skied in the past?


  39. Hi!
    I live in Denver, CO and am an aggressive, expert skier. I ski Colorado 20 times/year (used to ski 30 times/year). Am 64, been skiing since I was 8. Currently skiing on some old Soloman Scream10Pilot skis, 170 length. Love skiing all terrain (bumps (my forte), groomers, trees, powder, etc). Am thinking of purchasing Black Pearl 88 or Rossignol Experience 88 Ti W, or Nordica Santa Ana 93. Decided against Voekl Kenjas (too stiff in the bumps). Am 5’2″, so if I buy the Black Pearl 88s, would you recommend the 159s for length? Do you think the Black Pearls are enough ski for my ability? Can you give me the pros & cons for these 3 ski brands? What would your recommendation be for me to buy?

    I am going on a ski trip to Jackson Hole very soon, so want to buy skis before my trip. Please reply ASAP directly to my email as well. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Carolyn!

      The Black Pearl 88 is a great ski, but it’s pretty lightweight and fairly soft flexing. THe Experience 88 uses a vertical strip of metal through it, which boosts stability and gives it a stiffer flex. The Santa Ana uses 2 full sheets of metal, so is the heaviest, and arguably the most stable at speed. So, which is right for you?

      I’m leaning towards the Experience 88 Ti. I think you’ll like having a little bit of metal in your skis considering your an aggressive, expert skier. On the other hand, it’s a little lighter than the Santa Ana, so will be a little more maneuverable and less fatiguing in moguls, trees, and just about any soft snow conditions. My instincts are you’ll really enjoy the Rossignol, but if those other skis speak to you more after I’ve described them, I think you could realistically ski any of them and would probably have a lot of fun.

      For length, yeah, 159 cm will work really well for you, regardless of which ski you choose. 161 cm is you decide to go with the Santa Ana.

      Let me know what you think! Happy to chat more about it.


  40. Hi! I am currently going between the Black Pearl 88 and Atomic Vantage 90 models for a new pair of skis. Right now, I have been skiing on a pair of 10+ yr old atomic GS race skis, which are 150cm. I am looking for a bit more stability/balance and a wider all mountain ski compared to the race skis. I am predominantly an east coast skier with one trip out west per winter. I would classify myself as an advanced intermediate skier who is confident on groomed black and blue terrain. I am working on my technique getting on edge properly on steeper trails and my confidence skiing ungroomed trails and moguls. I am not particularly fast/aggressive, but looking to grow into a pair of skis as I improve and take my abilities to the next level. Are the black pearl 88s a better option than the atomic vantage 90s? I’m 5’4 and 125 lbs and leaning toward the 152cm – would that be the right choice? Thanks!

    1. Hi Alexandra!

      I think at your weight and considering your skiing style and technique, I would go with the Black Pearl 88. The Vantage is a little bit stiffer, which wouldn’t really help you progress your technique, especially the ability to get a proper edge angle on steeper terrain. The Black Pearl 88 is also going to be a little more forgiving in moguls, which I think you’ll really like. The Black Pearl 88 in general is going to help you continue to work on your technique and take your skiing to the next level much more-so than the Vantage. For length, yes, I think 152 cm is appropriate. That’s about 4 inches shorter than you, which is a good length for a skier such as yourself.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Hi, I have a very similar case as Alexandra. I’m 5’2 tall and weigh 122 lbs though. I was thinking 152 but was debating between 152 and 145 on the lenght. I normally ski on on groomed black terrains and confident, last year I spend a lot of in trees and tried to be more advance in moguls. This year I wanna focus on moguls and and powder. I normally ski in Tahoe and sometimes in Colorado. I appreciate if you can help me with this choice.

      2. Hi Maryam!

        I think the 152 cm should be just fine. That length is about 6 cm shorter than you, which should be pretty easy for you to handle. The Black Pearl 88 is a relatively forgiving ski already, so not really a ski you need to downsize on. I would worry the 145 cm would lack some stability for you, and it also would decrease float in powder fairly significantly. I’d go 152 cm.

        Hope that helps!


  41. Hi!

    I’m a intermediate skier who has been skiing on very old Rossignols that I got when I was a teenager. I was an advanced skier about 10 years back, but have only been skiing somewhat intermittently since then which has brought me down to the intermediate level. I’m trying to upgrade because I’ve really felt that my skis are holding me back these last couple of years. I’m 5’5″ and 120 lbs. I usually ski groomed blues in Tahoe (which end up being powder/crud/not groomed at all a lot of the times) and very rarely blacks as I can be timid about potential falls. I do aggressive/fast skiing on the blues and I’m hoping to improve to the point I won’t be timid about doing blacks. I end up doing moguls and off piste occasionally with friends. I’m not sure which skis/length to get but all the reviews I have been reading have seemed to have pointed me to the Black Pearl. However, I am open to any and all suggestions regarding other skis as well. Thank you!

    1. Hi Betty!

      Black Pearl 88 would be a great ski for you based on everything you’re saying here. It’s a great ski in the sense that it’s approachable and appropriate for intermediate skiers, but is also enjoyed by experts. It’s relatively lightweight and isn’t overly stiff, so isn’t unforgiving or too demanding. It’s also a great ski for someone your weight. It performs really well on groomers and should help give you the confidence to feel more comfortable on steeper slopes. Performs quite well in the moguls, too.

      For length I would recommend going with the 159 cm length. That’s about 6 cm shorter than you, which is a good length for someone in your situation. Maneuverable at slower speeds, but still stable at higher speeds.

      There are other skis that could work too, but the Black Pearl 88 really feels like a good choice for you, so I’ll leave it at that! Let us know if you have any other questions.


  42. Hello!
    I’m a 5’6″ 130lb intermidiate rider looking to get better! I am from the east coast and typically ski at white face. I am currently riding hand-me-down 163 K2 Photons, which I love how bouncy and reactive they are, but they chatter and do not allow me to go as fast as I would like to. I am looking for a little bit more of an agressive ski, but still one that allows me to navigate through the tight east coast glades. I was curious what width you would suggest, as well as, if this is a ski you would suggest for a ride like myself.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Caroline!
      I think a Black Pearl 88 would be perfect for you! If you’re comfortable with the 163 you could size up to the 166, but the 159 probably wouldn’t be too short based on the fact that you like the woods. If you’re looking for a bit more stiffness, the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti W is another great option, as is the Volkl Yumi. Happy skiing!

  43. Hey I’m looking at skis for my gf. She’s upgrading some 10 year old skis (underfoot was 75 mm ouch) and we’re looking at either the Black Pearl series or the Sheeva series.

    She’s 5′ 7″, 160 lbs (forehead around 162 cm) and we mainly ski Copper, CO. We’re usually out in meadows or the bowls (in a good season) and off the groomers. Though depending on the conditions we’d ski some groomers at the resort.

    Also considering setting her up for the once or twice a year touring.

    I’m thinking Sheeva 10 164 or Black Pearl 98 159 or 166. I read some reviews that the 10 is easier to turn than the 98.

    I’m struggling to figure out the difference between ‘tip-tail rocker’ in the Sheeva series and the ‘rocker-camber-rocker’ in the Black Pearl series. I would think those are the same thing unless maybe the Sheeva is flat underfoot and not camber.

    Any help would be great thanks! Given the W2W likely go with some Tecnica boots for the skis, but not sure about bindings yet.

    1. Hi Jon!
      Both are great choices, and I hear what you’re saying about the rocker profiles. They’re both rocker/camber/rocker but the Pearl has more camber underfoot, and is therefore better suited for on-piste carving. The other big difference is that the Sheeva series has titanium underfoot tapering towards the tips and tails, whereas the Pearl has no metal. As a result, the Sheeva has a bit better damping, especially when in a carved turn. The Sheeva is wider and has a shorter turn radius, so yes, it’s easier to turn. Again, both are great choices, and I’d stick to the 166 if you were to go with the Pearls. If you do tour, the Sheeva will float better. Any of these will be a significant upgrade! Happy winter!

  44. Hello. I am 65, 5 foot and 126lb.I have been skiing mostly in Europe for 49 years, so consider myself advanced. I am currently using Volkl Chiaras 149cm. Skiing for a number of years now in Schladming, which is a fairly low resort, the lower slopes do become cruddy and heavy, which is tiring. I have been pleased with the Chiaras, but wondered if the Black Pearl 88s 152cm would make life better. I generally ski piste, happy to take on blacks, but tend to avoid mogul fields.

    1. Hi Sue!
      We’ve been selling the Black Pearl 88 for quite some time now, and I don’t recall ever hearing a negative thing about them. You’ll love the added stability of the length, width, and overall construction of the Pearls. Your life will definitely improve!

  45. I demoed the cheyenne 78 163 last year. After demoing them, they are the first ski I absolutely loved in a long time. The guy at the ski shop mentioned the Black Pearl 88 being a better ski. I noticed they only come in 159 and 166. I realize the Pearl are a little wider. I am an aggressive skier, 5’7″ and 155 lbs. I usually end up on groomers but love powder days and some moguls. I am not sure whether to go with the cheyenne or move over to the black pearl?

    1. Hi Marisa!
      So for this year, they’ve lumped the Cheyenne into the Black Pearl series, so you can get the Black Pearl 78, 88, or 98. The advantage of the wider ski is not just versatility, but also a wider, and more stable platform to stand on. In the 78 mm width, the skis want to be on edge more so than the 88. As a result, the skis make you be on a narrower platform, requiring more balance. If you spend most or all of your time on groomers, then you’ll get better carving performance out of the 78. Sounds to me like you venture off-trail a bit though, and that makes me want to recommend the 88 due to its more versatile nature. If you were okay with the 163 that you demoed, I’d recommend the 166 to give you a bit more stability at speed. How’s that sound?

  46. Hello

    I am an intermediate resort skier. I stay on groomed trails, blue and black runs. I am not super fast or aggressive I just like to cruise, I am 5’6 130 pounds. I am trying to decide between the black pearl 78 or 88? Also what length would you recommend. My current k2s are my beginner skis that are 149cm.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Chris!
      The advantage of the wider ski is that you get a wider platform to stand on, and therefore better balance. With the 78, the ski encourages you to be on edge more of the time, and since that’s a thinner surface to put your weight on, it’s a bit more difficult to “cruise” as you say. I’d recommend the 88 in a 159. They’ll be great for cruising, and when you naturally improve, they’ll be there for you. Hope that helps!

  47. Hi there. I’m an experienced skier who has worked a couple of seasons and I’m a pretty fast and aggressive skiers. I like it all – groomed runs and moguls, but I’m also about to do a week-long off-piste course and I’m interested in doing more touring. I’ve heard great things about the versatility of the Black Pearls – do you think the 88s would be right for me, and in what length? I’m 5’7 and about 60 kg. Do you think I could put a pair of touring bindings on them? Is there anything else you would recommend?

    Sorry for all the questions – and thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Rosie!
      The Black Pearl 88 is a great all-mountain ski. We’ve done very well over the years with those models and hardly ever hear a bad word about them. There are better options out there for strictly touring skis, but if you’re looking for one pair to do everything, then you could do a lot worse than the 88. Feel free to put a pair of touring bindings on them, and I’d recommend the 159 cm length. Hope that helps!

  48. Hi- I am an intermediate/advanced skier and have been skiing K2 Miss Bakers for about 8 years. Length 160, 120/88/108. I love them but am looking at new skis this year. I’m 5’3” and weigh about 125lbs. Do you think the black pearl 88’s are similar to the Miss Bakers? I am moving into more side and back mountain skiing but still ski groomers too. Blue and black runs. Wanting to step up my game. Should I be looking at the black pearl 98’s instead or the 88’s? And what length? I’m not that aggressive and want something that I can control well but allows me to ski some harder runs with more powder and steeper slopes. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jennifer!
      You’ll find an amazing upgrade with either width of the Black Pearl. I’d recommend the 88 based upon what you like to ski. If you are planning on being off-trail the majority of the time, then the 98 might be a better fit, but if you’re both in and out of bounds, then the 88 is a more versatile shape. I’d stick to the 159 cm length, the 166 would be a big jump for your size. Hope that helps!

  49. I’m 5″7 130lbs and am an intermediate/advanced skier. I ski mostly at whistler and colorado. I’m deciding between the 159 and the 166 as I’m a new skier but have been improving alot each year. I ski mostly groomed runs with the occasional blacks. Mostly cruising but starting to learn how to handle speed. Which size do you think would be a better choice?

    1. Hey Sonia!
      If you’re improving quickly and like the stability of the longer ski, go ahead and fire up the 166. They’re light and maneuverable enough so that you won’t feel overpowered, whereas you’d probably grow out of the 159 pretty quick. Have fun!

  50. Hi! I am just getting ready to purchase a pair of Black Pearl 88’s and am trying to decide what length would be best for me. I will mostly be skiing in CO and I am an intermediate groomed blue trails skier with the hopes of advancing my skills to explore more of the mountain. I am definitely not a speedy, aggressive skier – probably more on the timid side. I am 5’4″ and 145lbs. and 58 years old and am getting back into skiing regularly after a long hiatus. Just really want a ski I can enjoy and progress with. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Julie!
      My wife is the same height and weight, and she skis that Black Pearl 88 in a 152. She likes the maneuverability and the ease of use of that length, and my bet is that you will too. If you go any longer, you may feel over-matched. Hope that helps!

  51. Hi there!

    I am 22y/o, 5’9 (174/175cm) and around 60kg. I have been skiing on and off for about 8 years, averaging a week or so a year, as I don’t live close to any resorts. I would consider myself an intermediate skier, staying on groomed blues and doing the occasional black run. I am quite a cautious and slow skier because I am not particularly fit, but I would really like to become more aggressive and start skiing faster to keep up with my snowboarder boyfriend who is tall and heavy and rides quite fast. In NZ/Aus there is often a bit of ice, especially at the resort I am most often at. I am also looking to travel more and to ski in different places, starting with Korea/Japan, and need a ski that can handle everything including the iciness and sometimes slushiness of NZ/Aus (yikes!).

    I am currently skiing the K2 Remedy 92s in 163cm, which I feel are too short for me and could be holding me back? (considering the rocker/twin tip) but I am worried about a longer length being too much for me to handle. Before buying these skis last season I had always been on standard rental skis, but always quite a lot shorter than me – I think one season I even went for 155s! because I found shorter skis easier to manoeuvre. The runs at the resort I am at most often are sometimes quite narrow with hard snow so I am definitely looking for something that would be easy to turn.

    I have been looking at both the Blizzard Black Pearl 88s and the Volkl Yumis as I feel like these are the 2 best skis that fit my criteria. I feel like 92 could be too wide for the NZ/Aus conditions which is what I primarily ski in, and I don’t have a large enough budget to have more than 1 pair of core skis. What ski would you recommend for someone like me, and in what length? In my understanding someone looking to advance from intermediate should have skis that come up to their eyebrows/forehead, although I have also heard that I should have skis the same size as my height. Thanks in advance for reading…any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    1. Hi Emma!
      I’d recommend the Black Pearl 88 in a 166. Everyone who skis them loves them, as they are very versatile and super-fun to ski. Sounds like they match up to the terrain and conditions that you find yourself in, and are probably a bit more forgiving than the Yumi. They’re both great options, and the Yumi comes in a 170 if you feel like you need to go longer, you ultimately won’t notice a huge difference in performance. Either way, whether you choose the BP 88 in a 166 or the Yumi in a 170, you’ll love them both and be able to advance. Hope that helps!

  52. Hi there,

    I am looking into buying my first pair of skis! I am 23 yo, 5’8.5″, 135lbs, and I grew up skiing (twice a year for ten years). Then I took 8 years off to run competitively and got back into skiing last season. I was fairly conservative with length and demo’d four skis throughout my 20 days of skiing. I am a fast skiier, but not confident in quick moguls yet. I usually stay on groomed blacks and blues. I do love the backside of the mountain and the occasional tree run. I’d say I am still growing into my skiing ability, so I’d like to buy a pair that I can grow into but not too out of my comfort zone.

    Last year, I demo’d the Atomic Vantage 95s (162cm), 2014 Nordica Wild Belle 84s (162cm), 2017 Black Pearl 88s (159cm??), and Rossi Temptations 80s (168cm).I didn’t feel stable in the Atomics or Wild Belles (too light and less control). On the other hand, I liked the control I had with the Black Pearls and the all-around feel of the Rossi Temptations. I am leaning towards buying the Temptations, but I need advice on width/length or an entirely different ski suggestion based on this experience.

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Courtney!
      Welcome to the wonderful world of ski purchasing! There’s a lot of options out there, but the good news is that they’re all good options. To make things simpler, the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is a wonderful all-mountain, all-around, all-encompassing ski. We’ve sold a ton of them, and I don’t recall ever hearing a bad thing about them. They also make the Temptation in an 84 (for 2019 it’s the Experience W series which is slightly changed) mm width that I’d recommend over the 80. My additional recommendation would be the Nordica Astral 84. As far as length, I’d look to the 160-165 range as a good starting point–different manufacturers have different length breaks. Ultimately, I’d recommend the Black Pearl 88 in the 166. Hope that helps!

  53. Hello. I’m in the market for my first pair of skis. I skied as a child and recently picked it up again over the past 5 years. I’ve been skiing on a pair of old 69 Head loaners that really need replacing. I’m an intermediate-advanced East Coast skier, spending most of my time between Tremblant and Vermont mountains. I am going out to Park City this year, and plan to do more traveling as I advance over the next few years. I typically ride black diamonds but am not a super fast or aggressive skier. I’ve had my eye on the Blizzard Black Pearl 88s and Salomon QST Myriad 85s for the past year but am indecisive on which is the better ski for me. I’m looking for a ski that I will feel comfortable in but will allow me to grow. I’m also open to other suggestions you may have, in addition to your thoughts on size. I’m 27 years old, 5’6″ and 125 lbs.

    1. Hi Kayla!
      The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 is pretty much the best ski for what you are describing. We’ve sold a ton of them over the years to skiers of varying ability, and I don’t think we’ve ever heard a complaint. In terms of sizing, the 159 should fit you just fine. If you wish to over-complicate things, you can add the K2 Alluvit 88, and the Nordica Astral 88 to the list of things to research/demo. At the end of the day, the Black Pearl 88 will be all you need. Hope that helps!

  54. Hello! I am seriously considering jumping on the Black Pearl 88 bandwagon, but am unsure what length I should be looking for. Can you help? I’m 5’2″ and 130 pounds. I am approaching advanced/low end of expert skier ability and am looking for a ski that will take me over that edge by giving me some more stability at higher speeds while still giving me control in turns so I can keep up with my husband in the trees. I ski groomed but prefer powder, and avoid ice when I can (although I’m wondering if a better ski will make me more confident in icier conditions). I am becoming a more aggressive skier, but don’t feel like my current skis give me the control I want at higher speeds. I currently have the Salomon E Luan in 151cm, which treated me well for 2 years, but I really think they’re holding me back at this point. Do you think the Black Pearl 88 would be a good fit? If so, should I go with the 152cm or the 159cm? Thanks!!!

    1. Kelly,
      Do not worry about jumping on the bandwagon. The Black Pearl 88 is an awesome ski. My wife is of similar ability, and she’s about 5’5″ and weighs about 145. She skied on the 152 for a number of years and really loved it. She prefers the shorter ski because of the lighter weight and maneuverability, but I think she should be on the 159. She disagrees. The bottom line is that if you’ve been happy on the 151, then don’t push it, especially with a newer, better performing ski. If you truly feel like there’s something missing as far as performance goes strictly due to the length of your current skis, then go ahead and size up. Based on my own personal experience, and your input, I’d recommend the 152. If you’re looking for something to compare it to, check out the Nordica Astral 88 and the K2 Alluvit 88. Similar skis with slightly different personalities. Hope that helps!

  55. Hi I’m looking to buy myself some skis and would like some advice on options. I’m keen on the Black Pearl 88’s based on the reviews and hope to also try out the Head Wild Joys. I’ve also got the option of trying the Atomic Vantage and Nordica Santa Anna.
    I’ve been skiing for about 20 years but only get a week or two each season (in the Alps). I mostly ski on piste, although with variable conditions (hard pack, ice, crud, powder, moguls, slush all possible). I’ve recently started exploring more off piste and had fun following the kids in between the runs. I’m not a particularly aggressive skier but do enjoy a good fast red run (I think that would be a tougher blue or a black in North America).
    I’m 5’6″ but of slight build (114lb) and in my 40s. Would like some advice on ski choice and particularly length. Many thanks!

    1. Hi Barb!

      I think the Black Pearl 88 would work really well for you. The Santa Ana uses two sheets of metal, so might feel a little heavy for you considering your weight. Are you referencing a 2018 or 2019 Vantage? The skis are changing quite a bit. 2018 versions could work, 2019 are a little stiffer and more focused on firm snow performance in my opinion. Wild Joy is a cool ski, but I think you’ll appreciate the slightly more versatile nature of the Black Pearl 88. It’s fun on piste, holds an edge really well, but also can handle off-piste terrain and snow conditions quite well too. It’s emerged as a favorite among a lot of women. For length I would probably go with the 159 cm length. That should be nice and manageable when you need to maneuver the ski, and should also provide you plenty of stability, especially because you say you’re not particularly aggressive.

      Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any other questions.


  56. Hello!

    I am trying to decide between Black Pearl 88 and 98 in the 166cm length. I am 5’8 and 150lbs and grew up skiing on the icy East Coast, so my current skis are an old pair of Dynastar 10xt 165cm and 66mm in width. I moved to Colorado last year and they’ve gotten me down most parts of the mountains but I’d like to have a little more width under me for powder days and off piste that can still carve well. I’m an advanced intermediate skier – fast down groomed blues and blacks, decent at moguls and working on bowls and trees. Any tips would be appreciated!


    1. Hi Sarah!

      Jumping up to the Black Pearl 98 could be a bit of an adjustment for you if you’re coming off 66 mm width skis. The Black Pearl 88 will be much more capable in soft snow conditions than your current skis, while performing better on groomers and on days when there isn’t fresh snow. There are definitely a fair amount of skiers that ski something as wide as the 98 every day, especially out west, but I just think the 88 will be more versatile for you. Neither is really a true powder ski, so I would grab the 88 for its all mountain versatility. Again, it will drastically outperform your current skis in powder. Someday down the road you could add a dedicated, wider powder ski for those super deep days.

      What do you think?


      1. That’s super helpful, thank you so much! I was leaning toward the 88s but wanted another opinion.

  57. Hellloo Ski Essentials!

    I am looking to buy skis that are more agile in moguls and off-piste. I currently have 163 cm Volkl Kenjas which I love most of the time, but they are a little too unforgiving in the bumps and crud. I really want the Black Pearl 88’s, but am debating between 159 cm and 166 cm. I am 5’3″ and 135 lbs, and am an advanced to expert skier. Any advice for me?


    1. Hi Christine!

      I would go with the 159 cm Black Pearl. That’s just barely shorter than your height, which isn’t too short by any means. I also think that length will give you easier performance in moguls and give you that agility you’re looking for. I would worry a little bit that, even though they’re lighter, you might not find a 166 cm Black Pearl 88 much more agile than your 163 cm Kenjas.

      Hope that helps!


  58. Hi there,
    I am currently skiing K2 Lotta Luv 163s. Want to get new skis for next season. 80% of the runs we ski are bumps and the rest are tree runs/bowls. I am 5’6 and 150 pounds.
    Many thanks for any suggestions.

    1. Hi Anne!

      I think a 166 cm Black Pearl 88 would be a nice upgrade for you from your Lotta Luvs! Or you could get a ski that’s a little wider with more tip and tail rocker, since it sounds like you spend a lot of time in ungroomed terrain. What about the Nordica Santa Ana 93? Are you familiar with that ski? It’s definitely become a favorite among women who ski a lot of off-piste terrain and snow conditions.


      1. Hi!

        I am struggling to decide between the Nordica Santa Ana 93 2018 and the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 2018 for trips to the rockies. I am looking at the Nordicas is 161 and 169 and the Black Pearls in 166. I am 5′ 4 and 145 lbs. I would say I’m an intermediate-advanced skier.

        I am looking for an all-mountain ski that can work as my go to pair of skis for anything since they will be the only ones I own for awhile besides racing skis. I am looking to ski on and off-piste, a ski that can do at least okay on a powder day (I don’t own powder skis), I really want something that could do well in tree skiing specifically, work with moguls, and something that is good at going through very choppy snow and not throwing me around.

        Please help! Which do you think would be better? And what Nordica length would be more suited for me?

        I am also open to other suggestions, but I am specifically interested in these two skis.

      2. Hi Rose!
        Both are fantastic choices, but the Santa Ana 93 is a more high-performing ski, and if you still have racing skis, The Santa Ana will provide more overall versatility. Thanks to two sheets of thin metal, the skis are incredibly damp, precise, and smooth. The tip and tail rocker profile makes them exceedingly maneuverable, so their mogul and tree performance is top-notch. From groomer carving performance to the fresh snow and everything in between, the Santa Ana 93 is a total rock star. The Black Pearl 88 is no slouch, and you would certainly be happy skiing on them, but based on your description, I recommend the Nordica. In terms of sizing, you’re the exact same size as my wife, who skis the Santa Ana 100 in a 153. She likes shorter skis, and I suggested she get the 161, but she is happy with the 153. I’ll recommend the 161 for you as well. Don’t overthink your choice, these are fantastic skis, but if you want some other suggestions, the K2 Alluvit 88 and the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti W come to mind. Hope that helps, and happy winter!

  59. Hi there, this is my first season skiing in about 30 years! I live in British Columbia, and spent this winter on our local mountain. I was renting skis all season, but I’d like to get some for next year. I have read nothing but good reviews about the black pearl 88, but I had a couple questions and you guys seem so helpful! I’m in intermediate skier, 5’4 140 pounds age 53. I am definitely not a speed demon, but I would like to learn to ski a bit faster than I comfortably do now. I ski mostly groomers, because powder and trees are unfamiliar to me, having grown up back east. But I’d really like to learn the trees and do more powder and I’m hoping a ski like this would get me there. One of my biggest question is length, I started on 142’s at the beginning of the season, went up to 150 which I liked on many days. I tried 156s but they seemed less controlled, but these are pretty low end rental skis that I was on. Reading all of your above comments it sounds like 152 is really too short for my size. I would love your thoughts! Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Tracy!

      I think anything in the mid-150 cm range should work pretty well for you. I think shorter than 150 cm is too short, and I wouldn’t go over 160 cm. Even though you found the 156 cm less controllable you likely wouldn’t feel that way on a higher quality ski. If anything, however, I would go closer to 150 than 160 cm. In the Black Pearl 88, for example, which would probably be a fantastic ski for you to learn trees and do a little more powder, I would go with the 152 cm length. I think that would be easily manageable for you, while still providing enough stability that you feel confident on them.

      Hope that helps!


  60. I’m in the market for some skis that will work for an advancing skier. I ski groomed blacks that often have patches of ice – I’m love to ski fast and am working on making nicely carved tracks. I’m 5’3 160 lbs athletic. I currently ride on Total Joys which are fun but find them a little unstable at higher speeds and don’t carve as neatly as I’d like (probably user error!). I demoed Black Pearl 98’s nice and stable but not as springy on bumps. I also tried Nordica Santa Ana 93 which I found fun, but almost too easy to turn and didn’t like the feeling of the nose chattering at speed. Do you think the BP 88’s would have a livelier feel due to having less width under foot? I was also considering trying Atomica 90’s. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. Hi Sue!

      It would definitely be worth trying the Black Pearl 88. The quicker edge to edge feel might translate to a livelier skiing experience for you. Not everyone likes the feel of a lot of rocker, and that Santa Ana 93 does have a lot of tip rocker in it. Have you ever skied the Head Wild Joy? That ski definitely takes the performance of the Total Joys to a whole new level. Much more stability at speed and more torsional stiffness as well, so they hold an edge better. The Vantage 90 W CTI would be worth getting on too if you have a chance.


      1. Thanks for the tips. I demoed the Black Pearl 88 in 166 length (that’s all they had) and the Atomic Vantage 90 W CTI in 161 length. The Atomic’s felt heavy, the Black Pearl’s at 166 felt too long for me, but felt very good going edge to edge.

        I’m 5’3 and weigh 160 lbs athletic build. I’m not sure whether to get the Black Pearl’s in 159 or 152. I’m leaning toward the 152 length because I currently ski Total Joy’s in a 153 length. I’ve really enjoyed the Total Joy’s and feel completely comfortable when chasing the kids through the trees, but they felt a little unstable at higher speeds. The Black Pearl’s feel more stable than the TJ’s. Do you think I should increase length to the 159? Or stick to 152 and let the change in skis models give me the stability. Thanks for your advice

      2. Hi Sue!

        Hmmm… That’s a toss up. On one hand you know you enjoy the 153 cm length, but on the other hand you’ve already skied the 166 cm Black Pearl and it doesn’t sound like it was exceptionally challenging for you in that length? 159 cm is a little shorter than your height, which isn’t necessarily too long. You know, the more I think about it the more I lean towards 159 cm. I wonder if in the 152 cm you’d find the same instability at higher speeds that you do on the Total Joy. I agree the Black Pearl is a more stable ski, but it’s not like it’s super stiff or has a bunch of metal, so you might find the 152 cm gets a little unstable too. Hmm… tell me more about how the 166 cm felt. Outrageously long? Just a little bit too long? Were they tiring to pivot or “smear” a turn? I want to steer you in the right direction, and I think that’s the 159 cm length, but let’s think this through together!


      3. Thanks so much for thinking this through with me! Yes, the Black Pearl 166 cm did not feel outrageously long, but it felt difficult to change the direction of the skis to turn, specifically swinging the tips to the direction that I wanted to go. I’m wondering whether this was mostly because I’m used to the lightness and shorter length of my usual skis. Is the main advantage to a longer length – stability at speed? Are there particular advantages to going with a longer length? If there are advantages to the longer lenght I’m definitely willing to learn and grow my skiing skills. I enjoy speeding down groomers, but I’m learning to do some more methodical tree skiing.

      4. Hey Sue!

        Really the only benefit to a longer length ski is stability at speed. I guess you could also say edge grip on firm snow is better in a longer ski, but that’s just because there’s more edge on the snow. Stability is really what you’re gaining going to a longer length.


  61. Hi, I am 59 yr old (167.6 cm, 160lb) advanced skier currently going for my level 2 CSIA. I ski Whistler predominately but venture to BC interior for the powder once a year. I like high speed short and medium turns, bumps if they are soft and powder. I wear a ski brace after a successful ACL surgery 20 years ago.

    Currently, I am skiing on Saloman Lady 161 skis. After advancing my skiing with lessons, I find my skis too short underfoot and not able to keep an edge in the hard pack/ice conditions.

    I tested the Blizzard BP 173 and 161 yesterday and liked their ability to turn in hard pack. The 173 seemed a little long in the bumps, however I wondered if the 166 were a little short at high speeds. I liked the stability and responsive of both lengths.

    Any suggestions on length? I think 169 is ideal.

    Also- I am open to testing other skis at the start of next season and wondered about a few recommendations before purchasing the BP.
    I assume the length of the BP won’t change.

    Is there a ski that is a little bit heavier but similar in feel to BP?

    1. Hi Deb!

      I would say 166 cm seems like the more appropriate length for you, especially since you said you liked the stability. That would be my only concern with the shorter length, whether or not it would be stable enough for you. There’s not going to be a huge difference between 166 and 169 cm. 3 cm difference in ski length translates to 1.5 cm in front of you and 1.5 cm in back of you, which to me isn’t enough to make a huge difference in performance. So, if you’re feeling like 169 cm is ideal I feel like 166 cm would be most appropriate. Stable, easier in the bumps, sounds right to me?

      There won’t be any changes to the lengths of the BP for next season. That said, I would see if you can get on the new Volkl Secret or a Nordica Astral 88. The Secret is a bit wider, but not much at 92 mm under foot. It uses a new construction from Volkl that’s pretty darn cool. We recently did a full review of it on our Chairlift Chat blog. The Astral 88 would be fun to test too if you can. It shares a lot with the Black Pearl (88 mm waist, tip rocker, etc.), but uses a metal grid just under the top sheet.

      Hope that helps!


  62. Hey there,

    I just bought the black pearl 88 159cm today and I really love them – they feel light and zippy and stable at higher speeds . I’m an intermediate/advanced skier in British Columbia that wanted an all mtn ski. I was previously skiing 165 solomon screams which felt way too long and cumbersome …which is why I chose the 159s (without trying the 166s). I’m 5’6 and 180lbs. Do you think I should try the 166s?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Jen!

      If you’re not finding the 159 cm to be unstable at higher speeds in my opinion you don’t need to bump up to the 166 cm. That’s really all you’re gaining going to a longer length, and although it might be a marginal difference that’s at the cost of some maneuverability. So, if you feel stable and confident on the 159 cm I would recommend keeping that length.


  63. I am 5’1″ advanced intermediate/advanced skier , 130 lbs and am currently looking at the BP 88 or the Black Crow vertis. I ski the east in ice, crud and occasional powder. No trees but I like to try the bumps on occasion.I like shorter turns, am not a seed demon but am not very slow. I currently ski Vokl tierras 147. Any advice on which ski and what length? I’ve tried both in a 152 and (maybe psychologically) they felt just a tad too long.

    1. Hi Michelle!

      Both are great skis, although I think the Black Pearl 88 feels a little lighter on your feet. Would you agree? On paper I feel like you should be able to handle the 152 cm Black Pearl 88 just fine because of its light swing weight from the carbon construction. Neither ski is actually available shorter than the 152 cm, so I would pick which one felt more maneuverable and go with that. Or if you really think 152 cm is going to be too long perhaps look into a different ski.

      What do you think?


  64. HI,

    I’ve been skiing on the Fischer Koa (168cm: 128-88-115) for several years, and love it. I’m high intermediate-advanced, but prefer groomed, and some bumps,widely spaced trees, and off piste. I’m not aggressive (68 years old) but like to be challenged. I’m 5’8″, 134 lbs. and live and ski mostly in the Park City area. Which ski and size would be better for me – Yumi or Black Pearl 88? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Deb!

      I think you’ll find the Black Pearl 88 is a little but more versatile and more appropriate for the range of terrain and conditions you ski. The Yumi is great, but the little bit of extra width in the Black Pearl 88 and it’s shape gives it slightly better ability in softer snow or un-groomed terrain. I think it would be a great ski for the Park City area! Retains the same width of your Fischers, but ups the performance just a little bit due to some newer construction and technology.

      Hope that helps!


  65. Hi! I Cannot take a clear decision between blizzard black pearl 88 2018 and Volkl Yumi 2018. I’m an advanced skier 140lbs. Which are the pros and cons from your experience for thèse 2 models? Thanks!

    1. Hi Christine!

      Not really many cons with either of them, they’re both great skis. The Yumi uses that strip of metal in its construction, so had slightly better vibration damping. The Black Pearl 88 doesn’t have any metal, so it’s a little bit lighter and draws its performance more from carbon fiber, so a little bit more energetic. They really are both great skis, however. What terrain do you ski mostly?


  66. Hi. I am an intermediate skier. 52 years old 5’10, 160lbs. I now ski once a year,for a week, out west in CO or UT. Typically I have been demoing the Luv Struck/K2,. I have loved that ski and always felt very confident. This year, I am at Vail with icier conditions and am demoing the Black Pearl 88 at 168 length. Oddly, I am not loving the BP like everyone expected. I miss my K2 Luv Struck. I like to mainly ski Steep blue runs and fast blue groomers. Should I go back to the K2? Or stick with BP? I am having a terrible time keeping an edge which could be a tuning issue if I read your review on BP correctly. I am looking for an opinion. Thx

    1. Hi Sue!

      I would expect the Luv Struck and the Black Pearl 88 to have pretty similar edge grip. You’re not on the Luv Sick are you? That ski uses some metal in its construction, which does provide more torsional stiffness. When you’re losing your edge are you losing it when in an aggressive carving turns, or losing it in the sense that the ski slips too much when you’re sliding or skidding turns? You might just be feeling the difference between a ski with an 88 mm waist width and an 80 mm width. The wider the ski the higher the edge angle you need to achieve to get the same edge grip, if that makes sense. Let me know a little more about when you’re feeling that edge slip and I’ll see if it changes my opinion. It could be a bad tune on the Black Pearl demo, that’s certainly a possibility.


  67. Hi…I’m currently skiing on 2015 Black Pearl 88s, 152 length, and really love them, but they’re getting worn out and I’m considering replacing them with the 2018 BPs, and am also wondering if I should stick with the 152 or go up to 159. I’m 66, pretty decent advanced intermediate, learning bumps, enjoy blue and blue-black groomers but also enjoying learning how to ski in all kinds of conditions. I’m 5’2″, 105 lbs, learning to ski faster in control and really loving that, but I’m not a huge speed demon, though I enjoy trying to keep up with my husband, who’s a better and stronger skier. I ski in Colorado, so we have all kinds of conditions to enjoy. I’ve read about the changes to the 2018 BP 88, so know it has more sidecut and shorter turn radius (my 2015 BPs have a 15 turn radius; the 2018 152 has a 12 radius and the 159 has a 13 turn radius. I wonder if that means I could handle the additional length by going to 159, or if I should stick with 152, which I have been quite happy with. Thanks for any advice and suggestions.

    1. Hi Jordan!

      Hmm… I think that’s a bit of a toss up. On one hand I do think the new version of the Black Pearl is a little more approachable in longer lengths than the version you are currently on, but 159 cm is about 2 cm taller than you, and I don’t necessarily think you need that extra length. Do you think the change in turn radius will have a big effect on you? If you’re worried that a 12 m turn radius is too small you could bump up to 159 cm, but realistically going to a 13 m radius from a 12 isn’t a huge difference. My instincts are to stick with the 152 cm. The longer length would make moguls and other tight terrain more challenging. I think 152 cm is the way to go, unless you’re really worried about the smaller radius, but I don’t really think you should be. Not drastically different, just a little quicker than what you’re used to.

      Hope that helps!


  68. Hi there,
    I’m looking for my first set of ski’s and have spent a good period researching the in’s & out’s of lots. I’ve narrowed it down to the Black Pearl 88 or Volkl Flair 78.
    So, I’m a fit and strong 37 year old, 5ft6 tall with upper intermediate/lower advanced ability that will progress quickly.
    To now I have spent 90% of my time on piste moving at speed doing quick snappy turns but also long carving ones too, however I look longingly at the off piste and mogul fields when on the chair lifts so will probably venture off at times to enjoy bits of this. I guess 70-80% will still be on piste though.
    I read the Black Pearl 88 isn’t the most energetic of skis and is good if you want to feel stable and secure. Whilst I don’t want something unstable, I like the thought of something fun, poppy and energetic, what are your thoughts on my current choices and would you recommend anything else?

    1. Hi Nicky!

      I think the Black Pearl 88 would be great for you! The Flair 78 is a fun ski too, but if you’re looking to venture off the groomers a little more I think the Black Pearl 88 is more appropriate. So, there are a lot of different reviews out there. Ski performance is a very subjective thing as all skiers are a little bit different. While I agree it’s not the most energetic ski out there, I think it has an excellent blend of energy, responsiveness, and stability for most skiers. It’s not like a heavy ski with two sheets of metal, which is really maximizing stability at the cost of energy, rather its construction focuses on a nice mix of performance characteristics. That’s really the reason why it has become so popular. So, I think you’ll really enjoy it.

      I would take a look at the Nordica Astral series before you pull the trigger just because in my opinion the Astral 84 kind of splits the difference between the Flair 78 and the Black Pearl 88 in terms of performance. I don’t necessarily think you’ll like it more than the Pearl, but I think it would be worth just taking a look at if you haven’t already. The new version of the Volkl Yumi comes to mind too; somewhat similar to the Astral 84.

      Hope that helps!


  69. Hi! I just demoed the Black Pearl 159s and liked their agility on bumps, but felt they were a little unstable at speed and not great in powder. I’m 5’7″, 165/muscular, and can ski everything on the mountain – love speed, off piste and bumps. I tried to up to 165, but they didn’t have it. Would you recommend the Nordica Astral as having similar traits? I demoed Vokhl Kenjas last year and found them a bit stiff on bumps. I haven’t bought skis in years (had K2s the first year they shaped them, skied 190s back in the 90s), and am ready to take the plunge again… would love some advice.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Kate!

      Yes, I would expect you’d find the Nordica Astral has similar performance traits. It’s perhaps a touch more stable, but not drastically different. Have you considered the Nordica Santa Ana 93? It kind of sounds like that might be the needle in the haystack for you. It’s more stable than the Black Pearl or the Astral as it uses more metal, but isn’t as stiff as the Kenja and uses more tip and tail rocker, so a bit more maneuverable and even better in powder than the Kenja. What do you think?


  70. Hi!
    I’m back on skis after a 10 year hiatus and a TKR! Wow! I have the fever again. It was just like getting back on a bike. I’m 64. 5’5” and weigh 150. Live in the Colorado mountains. I’ve skied all my life and used to be an aggressive skier. My knee surgeon wants me on groomers, small bumps ok, light powder ok. Blue/Black (bowl skiing) ok as long as there aren’t big bumps. My last pair of skis were Rossignol Bandits X. 180s. I’ve demoed the 2017 Black Pearl 88 159cms and Black Pearl 78 163cms. Both days were mixed snow. Nice light pow on trails edge. Choppy & a bit glazed mid-trail. I really enjoyed the 88s. Maybe because it was my first day back on boards. They were very responsive, fun. And preformed well in the varied conditions. But the tips seemed to chatter more than I expected. (That could be a learning curve for me on shaped skis). I tried the 78s (163) Enjoyed their carving ability but didn’t feel they were as responsive in the trails edge powder or chop. And of course I had to work a little harder. I’m going to try the 88s but a bit longer (166) next week. For my height, weight, ability what is your counsel for length on the Black Pearl 88s? Also, what is your counsel on buying demos? My local mountain ski shop will be selling off this year’s demos beginning early March. I know I’m in the market for alpine skis! And I’m pretty sure they’ll be Blizzard Black Pearls.

    1. Hi Leslie,

      I do think a 166 cm Black Pearl 88 is a more appropriate length for you. It will give you a little bit better stability and you likely won’t feel the same chatter out of the tips. You actually are probably feeling some movement in the rockered tip, it doesn’t have much to do with sidecut, more with rocker profile and the flex of the tips and tails. Anyways, yes, I would try the 166 cm and I think you’ll find that’s the ticket.

      We will also be selling the demo skis from our physical store, Pinnacle Ski and Sports, and I believe we will have new Black Pearl 88s at a discount quite soon. We offer free mounting and shipping on all ski orders, so feel free to reach out when you’re ready to buy if you’d like to work with us!

      Hope that helps


  71. Hi!
    I am a fairly basic intermediate skier currently living in Washington state but heading to Northern Cali next year. I am 5’4” 115 lbs. I have been skiing the past few years on 12 year old atomics that I grew up on and have been doing research this season on some new ones. I find myself having a bit of trouble turning unless the conditions on the mountain are perfect. I typically like to just cruise down groomed blues, occasionally fast but not really a speed demon.
    I have been looking into the black pearls but was concerned that a few of the reviews say they are for advanced intermediate. I was also looking into the Salomon QST myriads and was curious if you had a recommendation as to which?
    I plan to continue to ski and advance although I don’t think I’ll ever be too much of an aggressive skier.

    In my research I was comparing the 2017 and 2018 Black pearls, both size 152. I am debating which year to get but I saw a few negative reviews on the laminate and coating of the 2017s. A few girls had mentioned that it started peeling up after a few times on the mountain. Have you heard any feedback on this? If so,is the 2018 improved at all?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Amanda!

      Even though it’s positioned as a ski for “advanced intermediates and up” I think the Black Pearl 88 is actually very approachable for more intermediate level skiers like yourself. Thy QST Myriad would be a little bit easier to ski, but the Black Pearl 88 would likely outperform it and be the ski you like more in the long run. I don’t think it will be too challenging for you at first, and it will certainly make skiing easier than on your 12 year old Atomics!

      I wouldn’t worry about any durability issues between the two model years. We haven’t seen any significant issues with de-lamination on the 2017 version. That being said, if you can swing it, I think the 2018 would be a better ski for you. A slightly shorter turn radius and the slight changes to the rocker profile make turn initiation a little easier, which may help you progress a little quicker. Overall, however, both are great skis and if you’re getting a really good deal on the 2017 there’s certainly nothing wrong with going that direction.

      Hope that helps!


  72. Love at 1st ski?
    I’m on Year 3 learning downhill and have graduated to a solid-but-cautious blue run skier. I own a pair of 72mm K2 former rental skis and mostly ski on Cascade Concrete, crud, and slush. We had powder in the forecast and knowing my skis sink in powder I demoed Black Peal 88 159 (I’m 5’5” and 145-150# 43yrs). I was afraid it would be too much ski for me but after the 1st run I felt waaaay more stable at higher speeds and no longer worried about timing turns around the snowboard tracks as they floated thru without jostling me. I felt more confident on these skis. My friends thought my skiing improved and told me that my skinny skis are holding me back. While this was a new and liberating experience I can’t determine how much of my awesome day was due to the fresh snow and how much was due to the Black Pearls. My questions are: 1) When I’m back to icy cruddy conditions will I be able to control the Black Pearl 88, and 2) What other skis should I consider trying?
    Do I want to marry my 1st good ski date…?

    1. Hi Melanie!

      Sounds like you had a great day!! Skinny skis can definitely hold you back, especially in conditions like that. Let me provide you some answers:

      1. Yes, absolutely. The Black Pearl does really well on firm snow, icy conditions, crud snow, etc. Even though it’s lightweight, it has good stability and torsional stiffness, which translates to good control on firm snow.

      2. There are definitely a lot of other good skis in the women’s all mountain category, but I would say there’s a good chance you’d be happiest with the Black Pearl 88 (it’s the most popular women’s ski for a reason). That being said, I think the Head Wild Joy and Rossi Temptation 88 HD would be interesting skis for you to try. Even something like the Nordica Santa Ana 93 would be a fun comparison, but that’s starting to get a little wider and more rockered. There’s a good chance you’ll be happy just marrying your 1st good ski date, yes!

      Hope that helps!


  73. Hi,

    I’m 49, only in my 3rd season as a skier, moving toward being a solid intermediate. I ski mostly at Baker where conditions range from nice powder to choppy crud, ice crust, and slush. I’m still on groomed runs but like to slip through powder where possible, swoop up and over side bumps, catch a bit of air, and lots of turns. Not a fan of moguls though or real steep. Enjoy going fast in places but not a speed demon. Have been skiing on a pair of old Atomic Cool Minx picked up at a ski swap, 68 wide by 159. Terrible control in crud, no float in powder, though I’ve had some good days on them when conditions are right. Today demo’d Black Pearl 88s x 159 (looked like older version, maybe 2015 or before?), enjoyed them much more than my Minx! Thinking they’d be a good next ski for me, but looking for input on whether to stick with 159 or go up to 166 in length. My only complaint about the BP’s was the drag in some places where I used to enjoy safely picking up a little speed. That being said, it was a relief to not have to resort to snow plough stance to control speed in steeper or icy places where my Minx’s have felt out of control. I also still tend to knock my tips and tails, still building the muscle control and skill needed to overcome that, even on the BP 88’s, tho I did do much better on those. Really enjoyed turns on the 159 BP’s I skied today too. Yet wondering whether you’d recommend going up to 166 and “growing into” them, skill-wise. Speed & stability vs turn radius & tip-knocking tendencies…?

    1. Hi Cathy!

      What’s your height and weight? Tough to know for sure which length is ultimately the way to go without that information. I would say that a 166 cm Black Pearl is relatively approachable. As long as that length isn’t, say, taller than your height you should be okay, but let me know your size and I can give you a more confident suggestion.



  74. I am 65, 5′ 7″, 123 lbs, have skied all my life on the East Coast — mostly VT and ME. I am PSIA level 1 certified and consider myself advanced. These days I ski mostly groomers. I am currently skiing the Rossi Experience 88, 164. I do love the ski and did try it before I bought it. I had been on a Volkl Yumi 154. It was a good ski but was not stable at high speeds. The 88 offers the stability — but seems very heavy. Am thinking of buying Black Pearl 88s, 159. They might be more fun! Am also looking at Kenjas.

    Any thoughts? Thank you!

    1. Hi Susie!

      I wouldn’t necessarily recommend getting the Kenjas if you find the Experience 88 on the heavy side. The Kenja uses two sheets of metal, so actually an even heavier ski than the Experience. I think you’ll find a 159 cm Black Pearl 88 feels lighter, while still being stable. The Black Pearl 88 is also a little more versatile, doesn’t feel locked into turn as much as the Experience and handles soft snow really well even though it’s not any wider. I think it would be a fantastic teaching ski for you in addition to achieving what you’re looking for in terms of performance.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thank you — one more question — length? 159 vs. 166? The 166 might be more stable — but too much?

        Thanks — Susie

      2. Hi Susie!

        I worry a little bit that you would you’d find the 166 cm a little too much just based on your reaction to the 164 cm Experience 88. The Black Pearl 88 is lighter, but the Experience 88 doesn’t use any metal, so it’s not an exceptionally heavy ski. I think the 159 cm will kind of blend performance from your old Yumis and your current Experience 88s. It will definitely be more stable than your Yumis, partly because of construction, but partly because of the extra 5 cm, and I think they’ll be more maneuverable and won’t have the same heavy feel that you’re currently experiencing.

        What do you think?


  75. Hi!

    I’m an int/adv agressive skier living in the northeast. I have more icy conditions up here. I go on trips out west in more powdery conditions and want a more all around ski. Unfortunately my Volkl flairs were stolen during my last ski trip. I’m 140lbs 5 ‘8”. Should I go for the blizzard 88’s or 98’s? I’m hoping they’re slightly more agile than my flairs. But cut into hardpack like they did.

    1. Hi Finn!

      We are located in Stowe, VT, so very familiar with Northeast terrain and conditions. Both the 88 and 98 will feel more maneuverable and agile than your Flairs. I think you’ll probably prefer the 88 as it’s a little quicker edge to edge on firm snow and will feel a little bit more familiar to you on those firm, icy days. A lot of people around here do have all mountain skis around 100 mm under foot, but it does sacrifice a little bit of performance on groomers. So, if you really want to focus on soft snow performance you could pick up the 98 and it won’t feel ridiculously wide on firm snow, but I’m thinking the 88 is more appropriate for you all around.

      What do you think?


  76. Hi, I have been skiing for the past 6 years on the Volkl AC50 Unlimited. I love these skis but they are now finished. I am considering the Aura, Black Pearl and Soul 7HD. I am 67, 5’4″ and 130 lbs and an advanced skier. I ski mostly at Whistler Blackcomb. What do you think I would like best?

    1. Hi Margaret!

      What type of terrain do you ski most? If there’s fresh snow are you chasing powder or do you ski more groomers? I ask because there’s some variance between the three skis you mentioned.

      The Black Pearl (88, the one on this page) is a great ski for doing a little bit of everything. It performs well on firm snow, but is versatile enough to take it into moguls, trees, and other off-piste terrain and conditions. The Aura starts to get a little wider. Its 100 mm waist width starts leaning more towards softer snow conditions. The two sheets of metal in the Aura also make it relatively stiff and aggressive. The Soul 7 is even wider and its shape is really geared toward soft snow use. As Whistler gets a lot of annual snow, I do think one of those wider skis could definitely work, but I thought I would ask about your favorite terrain before really making a recommendation.


  77. Hi SE,

    I am an upper intermediate skiier, like the speed on the piste, and is now starting to chanllenge myself towards mogul and off piste. Usually ski in Japan 1-4 times per year, and if lucky will ski in Europe once per year.

    159cm, quite small built. Have my first pair of ski as Rossignol Unique 6 149cm a few years ago but start to find them not too stable when charging on the piste probably due to its length. Have another pair of relatively fat skis 99mm bought in a sale, still working on them with the progressiin of my skills.

    Thinking between Head Total Joy and Black Pearl 88. One of my friend who is a ski coach recommended Total Joy as my muscle may not be big and strong enough for edging with wider skis.

    Tried to browse in reviews and cannot figure out difference between Total Joy and BP 88 in terms of performance and functions. Can i seek your advice?

    1. Hi TC!

      I think both skis could potentially work for you, although I think the Black Pearl 88 is a little bit more versatile and probably outperforms the Total Joy slightly. I don’t think there’s going to be a major difference between the two in terms of your ability to get the skis on edge. In fact, the tip shape of the Black Pearl 88 makes turn initiation really smooth as it has a slight amount of early taper that works with the rocker in the tip. I think it will be a good ski for you to use to help take your ability in moguls and other off-piste terrain to the next level.

      Hope that helps!


  78. Hi, I am in the UK and ski in Europe. I am 168cm and weigh 57kg. I have some 2014 K2 Superstitious in 153cm, which are really shuddery on hard pack and I can find slip out. I think that as I have progressed I need some longer skis. I like skiing through the chop and making short turns, and my present K2s do ‘turn on a dime’ but just don’t feel very stable anymore. I have been looking at the Black Pearls, but also the Head Wild Joy. I am really confused as to the best length to go for. As you may be aware, this season in the Alps there is TONS of snow! I often ski in January, and then again at Easter, so need something that can cope with the slush and ice!

    many thanks.

    1. Hi Zoe!

      So, it’s quite a bit longer than your current skis, but the 166 cm Black Pearl 88 will give you better float and better stability in soft snow conditions and choppy terrain compared to your current skis. If that seems outrageously long you could go with the 159 cm, but I’m wondering if that wouldn’t quite have the extra performance you’re looking for. You mention your ability has improved and you think you could use longer skis, which is part of the reason why my mind first went to the 166 cm.


  79. I am looking to replace a pair of Rossignol B1W 146 cm skis which I love. I am 56 yrs old, 5′ 2″, 140 lbs and ski in CO (soft snow generally). I am an advanced skier who spends the majority of the time on moguls with some steeps, trees, and powder (when luckily enough to catch it) to round it out. I rarely ski groomed runs other than as necessary to get to/from other terrain. I ski moderately aggressively, but smoothly, and at moderate speed. The Blizzard Black Pearl 78s, Blizzard Black Pearl 88s, Nordic Astral 78, and Dynastar Legend 84 were recommended. Which of those skis (or others) would you recommend? Length? I tend to like shorter skis.

    1. Hi Kathy!

      Just based off the terrain and conditions you typically ski I think the Black Pearl 88 is the most appropriate ski out of what was recommended for you. It will give you the best float in deep snow and maneuvers quite well. For length I would go with the 152 cm. I think you’ll find it perfectly user-friendly even though it’s a little bit longer than your current skis.


      1. Thanks for the quick response. I had pretty much decided on the Black Pearls after reading all the great reviews but was torn between the 78 and 88s. My current skis are 74 underfoot. I spend most of my time on moguls (black and double black) and was worried that the 88s would be too much underfoot for me in the bumps. The 88s sound like a great all around ski so would love to take advantage of that if they’ll be good in the bumps. Thoughts?

      2. Hi again Kathy!

        88 mm isn’t crazy wide under foot. It will be a little bit of an adjustment from your current skis, but nothing drastic. I definitely don’t think it’s too wide for moguls. I personally really like skis around that width in moguls. Quick enough edge to edge, but some extra float and stability if the snow happens to be on the softer side.


  80. Hello,

    I am in the market for some new skis and the place I have been renting from highly recommends the Black Pearls. I am 5’3″ and am 125lbs and would consider myself an intermediate skier ( I can definitely do blues and am progressing to getting rid of the wedge and having my skis parallel). I want some ski’s that I can use on all terrain and something that I won’t grow out of since I will be skiing a lot over the next couple of years and will still work for me as my skill level progresses and become more aggressive. Would these be a good fit for someone like myself?

    Additionally, what boots would you recommend for someone on these ski’s at my current skill level? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Erica!

      Yeah, I think the Black Pearl 88 will work nicely for you. It’s a high performance all mountain ski, but it’s also pretty approachable for more intermediate level skiers like yourself. It should help you progress your technique and ability without feeling like too much ski, and as you start to improve you’ll unlock more and more performance out of the ski.

      Boots are a hard thing to recommend without seeing your foot, but I would look for an all mountain boot around a 80 or 90 flex rating.

      Hope that helps!


  81. Hi. I’m looking at skis for my wife. We’ve always hired but found that the selection is severly lacking for someone of her size and stature. She’s 5 foot and an experienced advanced skier under 100lbs. Style wise quite relaxed and usually on piste, but will venture off when chasing the kids. Looking at the BP88 but not sure on length. Given her size and weight should she go the 152 or the shorter ones? Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Chris!

      I think 152 cm is an appropriate length for her considering she’s an experience, advanced skier. That length will be just about exactly as tall as she is, which isn’t outrageously long by any means. The Black Pearl 88 is also pretty forgiving, so I think she’ll be just fine and it will be a drastic improvement over the skis you’ve been renting.


  82. I am 63 years old, high intermediate/advanced skier; I am 5 feet 6.5 inches, weight 125 lbs; live and ski Ontario but always have one or two weeks per season for ski trip out west. I currently ski 158 cm Volk Essenza Allura. I am getting ready for a ski trip out west and have been looking at the Volk Kenja and Blizzard Black Pearl 88. I historically have skied on Volks or Rossignols. Which would you recommend the Kenja or Black Pearl 88 and should I go longer to 166 cm or 163?

    1. Hi Leslie!

      The Black Pearl 88 is a little bit more forgiving than the Kenja. The two sheets of metal in the Kenja make it very powerful, but it’s also heavier and more challenging to maneuver. I would say considering your size and that you describe yourself as a high intermediate the Black Pearl 88 is more appropriate. How do you like the length of your current skis? The Black Pearl is offered in a 159 cm, so if you don’t find your current skis short there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the shorter length.

      Let me know what you think!


  83. Hi there,
    Growing up I alpine skiied. I have been telemark skiing for 20 years. I am an aggressive skier in bumps and on groomers. 46 year sold. I am 5’1 and 120 lbs. I have not alpine skied in 20 years, yet am now going to get a pair as my kids are getting older and can ski harder in bumps/groomers/all terrain. I am getting the Black Pearl 88 and am very undecided if I should get the 153 or 159 length.
    Thanks for the help,

    1. Hi Linda!

      The Black Pearl is a relatively stable ski and doesn’t have too much rocker in the tips and tails. I think the 153 cm would be plenty of ski and will be a little bit more maneuverable in bumps and other tight terrain. It’s still going to be almost as tall as you, which usually is a good length for most experienced advanced skiers like yourself.

      What do you think?


  84. I am 5 feet – 6,5 inches tall and my weight is 139 pound. I am an expert skier, who loves bumps, tree lines, steeps and powder. I ski mostly in an eastern part of the Alpes: the Dolomites. In that earea there is unfortunately normally not a lot of deep dry powder. Often the powder is hardpacked or even blown away by the wind or very quick warmed up by the sun. I often find myself skiing on the groomed slopes or between the threes in search for some dry powder snow.
    I ski at this moment the Völkl Mauja – 163 cm wich turns very easily but which is not very nice with higher speeds on groomed slopes. I use that ski for skeetouring. Besides that I ski K2 Shuksan – 167 cm which is nice for the steeps but on the bumps and between the trees a little more difficult than the Mauja’s but much better with higher speeds. Off-piste my speed is not very high because in the Dolomites there are many rocks which you do not want to hit and narrow couloirs. Now, I want to replace the K2 Shuksan for Blizzard Black Pearl 88. My question is: what lengh would be right for me?

    1. Hi Francis!

      I’m thinking the 166 cm Black Pearl 88 is probably the way to go for you. I think it’s going to be a great ski for what you ski. It’s nice and maneuverable for terrain like bumps and trees, but still has that solid stability that gives it a very confidence inspiring feel. Considering your height, weight, ability level, and the skis you’re currently using I think 166 cm is an easy choice. The shorter lengths I think you’d find a touch unstable even though you say you don’t ski at high speeds off-piste, while the 173 cm would just be overkill.

      Hope that helps! Have a great season,


  85. Hi SE!

    I am an intermediate skier (green and blue ok) and looking to learn and grow with my first pair of ski. I’m 165cm, 121lbs, age 38, I only ski two times a year hopefully i will do more. Could you suggest me if black pearl 88 will suit my level and make me learn easier? Should I go for 152cm or 159cm? I ski in Japan most of the time mostly groomer but sometimes curds

    1. Hi Christina!

      One of the great things about the Black Pearl 88 is that it’s appropriate for a wide range of ability levels. Intermediates like yourself don’t feel overwhelmed by it, while experts can kind of unlock some hidden performance when you really start driving the ski. I think it’s a great ski to help an intermediate progress into more confident, advanced-level skiing. I think at your height and weight the 159 cm would work really well. It’s not so long that it will feel challenging to maneuver and you’ll get a little more stability out of it than the 152 cm.

      Hope that helps!


  86. Hello my husband wants to purchase new skis for me and he is thinking either Blizzards Black Pearl or the Elan Ripstick. Could you compare the two. I am intermediate/advanced and ski in British Columbia at Apex Mount Resort where the hill is quite steep and snow pretty awesome. We do get ice however, so I need a versatile ski. Wish I could say we were in the Kootenays where the powder never ends but we do get powder days just not as many. In fact 15 cm overnight today but I gotta work!!!!
    Thanks for you advice

    1. Hi Sarah!

      They’re both great all mountain skis and overall I would say they are relatively similar. Both are designed to be lightweight while still performing at a high level. Both can handle soft snow conditions, but can also carve turns and hold an edge well on groomers. To be honest it’s kind of a toss up between those two because they are so similar. I think the Black Pearl might feel a little bit more precise. Blizzard’s skis tend to have a precise Austrian feel. The Ripstick is a slightly more freeride-influenced design, but when I say slightly I really mean slightly. It might feel a touch more maneuverable in tricky situations, where the Black Pearl 88 will have slightly better edge grip and carving performance. Honestly they’re tough skis to contrast because they’re pretty similar.

      Hope that helps!


  87. I am 60, in good shape, 140 lbs , 5’5 inches and an intermediate to advanced skier. I am on the groomed runs majority of the time but also enjoy the back areas of some bumps. some crud and powder. I demoed the pearl 88s at 152. i love them but i am not sure whether to buy the 152 or 159. I ski Colorado, where i live ,so i ski about 20 days per year. The 152s were so easy to turn and handle so i felt very confident, but just seems short from what i have read. I have been skiing for years and pretty confident, however, last year i broke my tibia plateau so I am a little tentative this year but should get passed that. I had k2 loves for 8 years 159s but sometimes feel i drag a ski around. What do you think? 152 or 159?

    1. Hi Susan!

      I think you should have no trouble handling the 159 cm. It’s going to feel quick, just like the 152 cm did, but will give you a little more stability. It’s a more maneuverable ski than your 8 y/0 K2s, so even though the 159 might have felt a little long at times there I don’t think it will in the BP 88. It will also make crud and powder conditions that much easier thanks to the extra surface area; you’ll stay on top a little bit better.

      What do you think?


  88. Hi there. I’m 54 years old/150 lbs and an aggressive advanced intermediate skier. I’ve been skiing on Nordica Cinnamon Girls (156cm) for the past several years and wanted to try out something a little more responsive and able to handle quick turns as well as carvers. I like to make a lot of turns, but also like to open it up on the groomers for some speed. I’m an east coast skier so relatively unskilled in powder and love my groomed trails, but I want to grow as a skier. I had the opportunity to demo skis over the last few weekends and liked the Volkl Kenja, the Black Pearl and the Rossi Spicy 7. I loved the light weight and playfulness of the Spicy 7 but felt that it had a lot of chatter at higher speeds. I really enjoyed the Kenja but was wondering if it was different enough from my Cinnamon Girls to fill the gap. The Black Pearl was a fun ski but seemed to lack a Wow factor. I’d love any advice you might have to steer me in one direction or another. Thanks!

    1. Hi Beth!

      I would say if you liked the feel of the Kenja that would be a great ski to compliment your Cinnamon Girls! Were you planning on keeping it or replacing it? It’s definitely more of a carving ski, frontside-specific shape than all the skis you listed. To my the Kenja is much different than the Cinnamon Girl. It’s about 15 mm wider and uses much more tip and tail rocker. A lot more versatile. You can ski it in softer snow without feeling like the ski is catching or sinking all the time, which is likely what you’re feeling on your current skis. There’s metal in the Kenja, where there isn’t any in the Black Pearl 88, so that might be what you’re feeling and where the lack of wow factor is coming from. I think the Kenja is a great ski and it has a strong following. If you liked it, I say go for it!


  89. I am 55, 5’2″ and 137 pounds. I have skied forever but have been on straight skis all this time. I am finally looking for a pair of shaped skis. My current skis are Solomon Evolution 160 cm. I am an aggressive advanced skier but only ski locally in Snowshoe, WV.I ski groomed slopes, no bumps and stay away from trees. I demoed some Volkl Yumi and Flair. I liked the Flair best. Currently, I am being urged to buy Black Pearls. I really feel I need the length longer to keep control and don’t know how much the width will affect my skiing ability. I ski “old school” with my knees together all the way down the hill. (I realize there is a learning curve to skiing with shaped skis) What brand, size and width would you suggest? I will also need bindings.


    1. Hi Tammy!

      Which Flair did you ski? There is a whole range of Flair skis across different widths and performance. That being said, it’s hard to say the Black Pearl 88 is the way to go for you because all of the Flair skis are narrower than the Yumi, and the Black Pearl 88 is even wider than the Yumi. Sounds like you’ll be best off if you stick with a narrower ski, probably something narrower than 80 mm under foot. The Black Pearl 78 would probably be a better choice than the 88. If you’re sticking to groomed slopes you don’t really need to go as wide as 88. Let me know if you remember which Flair you skied, but based off what you’re saying I would stick to all mountain or carving skis narrower than 80 mm under foot.


  90. Greetings! I demo’d the 88 BP’s in a 159 this weekend and loved them. I’m 58, no longer aggressive, but I do like to play in the bumps and crud at lower speeds. I also ski a lot of boilerplate and ice here in the mid-Atlantic. I’m 5’6, 160 and have been skiing the Head Total Joy for 4 seasons.

    My question concerns mounting bindings. When I returned the skis after 4-5 runs, the “demo-guy” asked if I’d liked the more forward mount. Unfortunately, we both then got distracted by other goings on and I was never able to ask, specifically, what he meant. I did notice when he was making the original adjustment that he moved the toe piece forward rather than the heel. Is there a “range” of mounting positions available on the ski? If so, what are the resulting performance differences?

    1. Hello!

      Sometimes people choose to mount their skis a little forward or back from the recommended line. On the Black Pearl 88 there are some women who go 1 or 2 cm forward from the recommended mark. Some people feel it helps with turn initiation. There is a little bit less ski in front of you, which can translate to more control over your tips and easier turn initiation. Chances are he put you about 1 cm forward, as those are usually the increments of a demo binding. If you buy a pair you might consider going 1 cm forward from the recommended boot center point. Did you ski them at the recommended point as well? Or did you only ski them mounted forward?


      1. I only tried them with the forward mount. There were too many other women there who wanted to try the ski! That said, I loved the ski. I found it very responsive, easy to get on edge, and equally capable in softer snow and ice.

      2. Hi again Susan!

        If you liked the feel of it I think it would be smart to mount it 1 cm forward from the recommended spot if you end up buying a pair. There’s not a big chance he went much further forward than that when he was adjusting your bindings. That’s a pretty perfect description of the Black Pearl 88. It’s very user-friendly, but performs at a very high level.


  91. I am just an intermediate to advanced skier who only skiis 1 week a year. Everyone tells me I ski better than I think I do . I love fast groomers and I ski in control. I am 5’7 and weigh 200 lbs. I have skied the 2016 black pearls as a rental and loved them. What ski 88 or 98 and what length do I need.

    1. Hi Linda!

      I would stick with the Black Pearl 88 for width. If you were splitting your time evenly between groomers and ungroomed terrain that might be reason to jump up to the 98, but the 88 is quicker edge to edge and really performs better on groomers than the 98. What lengths have you skied in the past? I think you should be able to handle the 166 cm, and it will give you a little more stability on the groomers too. 173 cm could even be an option if you like skiing really fast, although keep in mind that length will be a little taller than you, which is often the cutoff point for some skiers before skis start feeling a little too long and a bit overwhelming.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thanks I have skied many years ago 173 s but recently I think 162s. I was thinking that with my weight I needed 166 for stability.

      2. I think 166 cm is the way to go for BP 88 length. The Luv Struck 80 is a little bit more targeted towards just groomer and firm snow performance. It’s narrower and uses some metal in its construction, which is more typical of a frontside carving ski than an all mountain ski like the Black Pearl 88. Definitely a fun ski, but a little bit less versatile so to speak.

      3. Thanks for your help. I bought the black pearl 88s in 166cm. I am going skiing this weekend I will let you know how they worked out.

  92. I’m trying to decide between the 159 and 166. I recently demo’d the 159 and liked them, but am curious whether the 166 would help me improve my skiing. I’m 5’7, 135 pounds and ski on the West Coast (CA, CO). I am an intermediate/advanced skier who likes to do a mix of everything, but not really a speed demon. I was leaning toward the 159s, but wondering if I might progress out of them and should instead just make the jump to the 166.

    1. Hi Kristen!

      On one hand you already know you like the 159 cm, so that seems like a safe bet. On the other hand, there are skiers your size that go with the 166 cm Black Pearl 88. Did you ever feel unstable on the 159 cm? In my opinion that would be the only reason to bump up to the longer length. I’m guessing they didn’t feel unstable as you said you’re not really a speed demon and higher speeds is when that instability would come into play. If during your testing you felt confident and balanced on them, I would stick with the 159 cm length. If they ever felt unstable or if you’re really putting emphasis on getting comfortable skiing faster that would be reason to go 166 cm instead.

      Hope that helps!


  93. Hi! I’m shopping for new skis for the first time ever. For the last few years I’ve been skiing on Rossignol Bandit 160 that were old rentals. I know anything new will be better than what I have. I’m 5’7″ 135 lbs. I like to ski all over the mountain. I would consider myself aggressive, intermediate-advanced. I love skiing through the trees in big wide-open glades, and would like to get more confident in tighter steeper terrain. On my current skis, I feel like I can’t turn quick enough when I need to. I also like to bomb down fast on groomers though. I’m on the east coast, skiing mostly in NY and VT, so I need something that will handle ice and crud, but I don’t want a big stiff ski that I can’t turn. The Blizzard Black Pearl 88 sounds good to me. I’m also looking at the K2 Oolaluv. What do you think?

    1. Hi Andrea!

      Oh boy! Going from your Bandits to a ski like the Black Pearl 88 is going to be like night and day! You’ll be blown away by the difference in performance in these new skis. I think you’ll find they’re much easier to make quick turns on thanks to the rocker profile and flex of the ski compared to your Bandits, which should help you feel more confident on steeper terrain. Lots of skiers here in Vermont on the Black Pearl 88 and everyone I’ve talked to absolutely loves them. It’s the most popular women’s ski on the market for good reason. I’d say go for it! I think the 166 cm would be an appropriate length for you.

      What do you think?


  94. I’m a PSIA instructor, age 59,130 lbs., needing new skis to replace my 2011/12 Nordica Infinite, at 154 length.
    I need new skis to teach on, but to also hold an edge on East Coast hardpack/ice, allow for more forgiveness and smoothness in bumps. Occasional frozen cookies, crud, limited trees. Recommended by my shop Bizzard 78, Nordica Astral 84, Dynastar Legend 84. All seem to “ easy” or soft snow to me?
    Also was recommended Rossi Temptation 84. Not great prior experiences with Rossi’s.

    Any thoughts? thx!

    1. Hi Maureen!

      You’ve listed some great skis! I think you could also include the Black Pearl 88 in your consideration. Of course it’s wider than the 78, but does a little better in crud snow, frozen cookies, etc thanks to the extra surface area. I actually think that ski or the Astral 84 would be the best for you out of the skis you’ve listed. The Astral 84 uses that grid of metal throughout it, which really gives it good stability and power without being excessively heavy. The Black Pearl collection doesn’t use metal, but the carbon fiber in the ski gives it good edge grip, torsional stiffness, energy, etc. I wouldn’t worry at all about either ski holding an edge on east coast conditions. I think you could also consider the new 2018 Volkl Yumi. It has a single strip of metal down the center of the ski that largely does the same thing to performance as Nordica’s torsion bridge (metal grid).

      Ski technology has improved drastically over just the past few years, which has allowed wider skis to hold an edge much better than in the past. I certainly don’t think any of these skis will be too easy or too soft snow oriented, rather will give you a nice combination of performance attributes, especially for someone teaching.

      Hope that helps!


  95. Hi there!

    I am a solid intermediate skier aspiring towards advanced. For powder skiing, I have the 164 Armada VJJs, for mixed all mountain/free ride I have the Rossignol Soul 7 with tech bindings at 164, and I want a frontside ski for predominantly groomers. Should I consider the Black Pearl 78 or 88? Which ski would aid me growing into the next level, and what size should I consider. Thank you!

    1. Hi Katy!

      Where do you ski? I think amount of snowfall and typical snow conditions should help determine which width will be right for you. Both can carve turns really well and both could definitely work for you. If the frontside conditions are often soft, I’d go 88. If they’re often firm, you could make the argument that 78 is more appropriate. You clearly can handle wider skis, so that’s not a concern at all. Judging off your current skis I’m guessing you live somewhere that gets a fair amount of fresh snow, which makes me lean towards the 88.


      1. Thanks for the feedback. I’m thinking 88 too. What are your thoughts on size. I weigh 140, height 5’6″. Solid Intermediate skier. Ski mostly northwest hills like Hood, Crystal, Baker. Thoughts and recommendations on size? Thank you!

      2. Hi Katy!

        I would say 166 cm would be an appropriate length for you, unless you feel like you prefer shorter skis. You could definitely ski the 159 cm if you want a really quick ski and aren’t worried about stability at speed and stuff like that, but I’m leaning towards the 166 cm. Considering where you ski I definitely think you’ll prefer the 88 over the 78.

        What do you think?

  96. Hi there – I am trying to determine if this is the right ski and what size. I was also looking at the Rossignol Temptation.

    I am another person who can’t decide if I need the 152 or 159 length. I am almost 5.2 and weigh 105 pounds. I find myself especially enjoying the bumps and steep slopes. I usually take two trips a year one in eastern Canada (Massif) and one in the west (Whistler) and just like the above person don’t like to ski groomers. I am an aggressive skier and usually choose single or double black runs. I recently tried a pair of Volkl Yumis 154 which I enjoyed. However, I typically skis on an old pair of Volkls 151s. What would you recommend?

    1. Hi Valerie!

      Do you consider yourself an aggressive skier? That was a big reason why I pointed Maya towards the 159 cm. If you like to ski fast in off-piste terrain the 159 cm is going to feel a little bit more stable. If you prefer skiing at slower speeds and making lots of turns, the 152 cm should be just fine. The Black Pearl 88 is a little stronger than the Yumi, so a 152 cm BP 88 and a 154 cm Yumi should feel relatively similar in terms of strength and stability. In my opinion between those two lengths for someone your size it comes down to how fast you like to ski and how aggressive you are.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Hi again Val!

        When you’re on a groomer do you really open things up and ski at high speeds? Big radius, sweeping, Super-G style turns, or lots of smaller turns to slow yourself down? If you consider yourself more of a high speed skier in all conditions you’ll probably really like the 159 cm Black Pearl. It’s just barely taller than you, so not an unreasonable length by any means if you’re a fast, aggressive skier.


  97. I’m 169.5cm intermed/ advanced skier
    I’ve trialled the black pearl 88 in the 159 size and the ooolaluv in 163 size and both felt good – I found the ooolaluvs a little livelier. About to head to Canada silver star for a couple of weeks, where they don’t sell the ooolaluvs. Currently ski atomic affinity pure 159.
    Would you recommend the black pearls? Should I try the 166 size?

    1. Hi Deb!

      I would say at your height it’s probably worth trying the 166 cm length. You might find that the extra length changes your experience on the ski. The Ooolaluv does use metal, while the Black Pearl 88 does not, so that might be what you’re feeling, but I do think it’s worth getting on a 166 cm Black Pearl if you have a chance.


  98. I need help!!
    I am debating between the Black Pearl 88, 159 (I am 164cm average/advanced skier, often on groomers, though sometimes a lot of ice at my home field) and the Kenja which . I have demo’d in 156, which seems a bit too short. I have not tried the black pearl, but it does read well and seems to be at my desired length. I am currently skiing 159 Dynastars…Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Penny!

      The big difference between the Black Pearl 88 and the Kenja is the use of metal in the ski’s construction. The Kenja uses two sheets of metal in a relatively traditional sense. This gives it great vibration damping, and a very smooth feel, but also makes it heavier. The Black Pearl 88 relies more on carbon for its energy and torsional stiffness. It feels a little bit lighter, quicker, and more responsive, although doesn’t quite have the same vibration damping as the Kenja. They’re both great skis with strong followings among all mountain skiers. I would say it comes down to how aggressive you are and how fast you like to ski.

      Hope that helps!


  99. Hello everyone,

    we are thinking about choosing the Black pearl 78 OR the 88.
    What my wife like ist the narrower radius from the 88 ski.
    She likes to make small and very often turns, so should it be really the 88 or the 78 ?

    for deep snow we have some other skis.

    thank you very much.

    1. Hello!

      I would point her towards the Black Pearl 88. It’s true that is has a narrower turn radius, but it also has an updated tip shape and rocker profile that makes turn initiation a little smoother, easier, and quicker. The Black Pearl 88 and 98 both received an updated shape, while the 78 is the same shape as the Cheyenne it’s replacing. I think getting the newest design is enough reason to go with the 88, but it genuinely is going to be quicker turning than the 78, and will be a touch more versatile as well.

      Hope that helps!


  100. Hi there – I just can’t decide if I need the 152 or 159 length. I am almost 5.2 and weigh 110 pounds. I find myself enjoying the trees, crud, and bumps (Lake Tahoe/Squaw Valley) the most and generally don’t like to ski groomers. Currently I ski the K2 Tough Luv 156. I think of myself as an aggressive skier. What would you recommend?

    Which binding would you recommend for the 2018 – 88? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Maya!

      Thanks for providing all the info about you as a skier, it makes it a lot easier to make a recommendation! I think you’re going to prefer the 159 cm ski considering your size, your ability level, the terrain you like to ski, and what you’re coming off of. The Black Pearl 88 has more rocker in its shape than the Tough Luv and is also considerably lighter, while still being quite stable. I think you’ll find it more maneuverable, so you should be just fine with an extra 3 cm of length compared to your current skis. It’s also going to give you better float and stability in off-piste terrain than the 152 cm.

      For bindings I would choose a relatively lightweight, yet performance oriented all mountain binding. The Tyrolia Attack 11 is a good one that comes to mind, or the Marker Squire. Do you know your DIN setting? I am guessing an 11 DIN binding will be plenty, although if you set it high for your size you might considering bumping up to a binding like the Attack 13 or Griffon, but that might just add unnecessary weight.

      Hope that helps!


  101. Hi! I am currently deciding between the 2018 88 Black Pearls and the 2017 Black Pearl. Could anyone who has tried both skis let me know if there is a significant difference? I loved the 2017’s when I demoed them last year but would want to get the 2018’s if they are significantly better. Thank you!

    1. Hi Irina!

      There weren’t any changes to the construction of the Black Pearl 88 from 2017 to 2018, but there was a change to the shape of the ski. The 2018 Black Pearl 88 has a slightly shorter turn radius than the previous version. The 166 cm Black Pearl had a 17 m turn radius in the 2017 ski and now has a 14 m turn radius for 2018, for example. The overall feel of the ski will be very similar in terms of weight, flex pattern, etc, but likes to make slightly smaller turn shapes now and some skiers find it to be touch more responsive as the shorter turn radius pulls you into a turn a little quicker. Both the 2017 and 2018 versions are great skis and if you prefer a longer turn radius that would actually be reason to stick with the 2017.

      Hope that helps!


      1. Thank you so much! At my current level I don’t think I feel the difference in turning radius significantly, but I will definitely consider that.

      2. Trying to decide btwn Pearl or K2 All Luv It – what do you think? Looks like you demoed both.

      3. Hi Ronnie!

        Can you tell us a little more about yourself? Ski style? Ability level? Aggressive or casual cruising? Favorite terrain? Typical snow conditions where you ski?

        The Black Pearl 88 and the AlLUVit 88 are pretty similar, but there are some subtle differences between the two. We are strong believers that ski performance is very subjective, which is why I can’t just say one is better than the other without knowing a little more about you.

        Hope that helps!


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