2018 Blizzard Brahma 2018 Blizzard Brahma

2018 Blizzard Brahma Skis

The Blizzard Brahma has been one of the most popular all mountain skis on the market for the past few seasons. It has undergone a few changes, much like its bigger brother the Bonafide. The most recent change moving into 2018 is, in our opinion, the most significant. Blizzard has decreased the turning radius very slightly, has given the ski a more abrupt tip shape, and it now has a slightly lower rise rocker. The idea was to increase responsiveness, quickness, and to smooth out turn initiation without sacrificing what has made the Brahma so popular already: its power, vibration dampening, and versatility. The new 2018 Brahma received a lot of high scores and our testers were pretty psyched about the changes to the ski.

Dave Marryat tested the 173 cm ski and went as far as calling it “a perennial favorite for a reason!” Dave also really enjoyed skiing the Brahma CA, and we think there are going to be a lot of skiers choosing between the two, but he preferred the confidence inspiring feel that metal provides. According to Dave the ski is “smooth, stable, and confidence inspiring. This ski will take any terrain with grace; it can hold an edge in the firm and smear in the soft.” He thinks it’s a fantastic east coast all mountain ski, which we certainly don’t disagree with, and he even gave it the title of “east coast quiver killer.”

Justin Perry also thoroughly enjoyed skiing the new Brahma. He tested the 180 cm length and referred to them as a “perfect all mountain ski” thanks to their ability to do a little bit of everything. Justin described the ski as being “quick to turn, and quick to cut through anything the trail puts ahead of you.” He also brought up a good point, “this isn’t one of the most popular skis on the market for nothing.”

Jake Inger, someone who competes in east coast freeride competitions and often can be found on wider skis, was blown away by the Brahma in the 180 cm length. “This ski was amazing. It handled everything well. It was able to carve and act like an all mountain freeride ski at the same time. I could see myself competing on this ski or just taking it out on a normal day. It wasn’t too stiff, but could handle really icy chunder.” The Brahma has always been known for its quiet, calm performance when skiing fast through chopped up snow and you can rest assured the new 2018 version is no different.

Matt McGinnis, per usual, had a really nice, all-encompassing response to the Brahma. He also skied the 180 cm length and gave the ski 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness, torsional stiffness, versatility, and overall impression and had this to say about the ski: “The Blizzard Brahma is what it’s always been: stable, fast, and reliable. Compared to previous years the redesigned rocker profile (lower rise tip) only amplifies the skis edge hold capabilities. Combine that with two layers of metal and you’ve got an incredibly stable platform that you can count on at speed and in choppy terrain.” The Brahma truly does have an impressive level of stability, which has made it a favorite among aggressive skiers.

Matt concluded his response to the Brahma with a nice recommendation for whom the ski is best: “This ski is probably a bit much for the beginner or intermediate skier. The metal adds stability at the cost of playfulness, resulting in a ride that might be hard to steer for skiers who aren’t yet confident. Of course, that’s what the Brahma CA is for and it handles that job well.”

Testers

Dave Marryat Ski Tester Headshot Image

David Marryat

Age: 28Height: 5'11"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Snowboarder trying to make the most of these skinny things

Matt McGinnis Ski Tester Headshot Image

Matt McGinnis

Age: 27Height: 5'7"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Surfy Freeride with a Freestyle Background

Justin Perry Ski Tester Headshot Image

Justin Perry

Age: 27Height: 5'9"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive All Mountain Freeride

Jake Inger Ski Tester Headshot Image

Jake Inger

Age: 20Height: 5'11"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and Energetic

144 Comments on the “2018 Blizzard Brahma Skis”

  1. I am 5’6” 165 lb, intermediate to advanced level and sometimes hard charging on eastern Canada (Quebec) groomers, what length should I take on the Brahma (173 or 180)? What is the effective length on 180cm ? My daily carving ski effective length is around 150 cm (165 cm – 15 cm of tip). Thanks!

    1. HI Lyman!
      About the same with the Brahma, 180-15ish made 165cm. Tip to tail, they do run a bit short, at 178.5 cm on my tape. I’d recommend the 173 in that ski anyway, for what it’s worth. Have fun!
      SE

  2. First I want to thank you for all your help, you do such a great job. I am back into skiing after many years and have been riding my old Atomic Arc Bionic SLC’s, 200cm from the 1980’s and still loving how hard charging they are. I decided to try a shaped ski for the first time this year and have been skiing the Blizzard Brahma 187cm and really love how easy they are to turn and the width and stability in the crud, slush or whatever. What I have noticed though is that they are not nearly as stable at speed on hard snow as my old Atomic’s and I get some chatter and the tails feel much softer. I don’t claim to be an expert skier and don’t have much knowledge in the newer ski’s, but just love to charge and ski hard. I am 6′ tall, 200lbs and I would like to add one more all mountain ski to my quiver that would give me the confidence of my Atomic’s. I would love any suggestions from you guys. I have been looking at the Blizzard Bonafide, but don’t know if this would give me a similar edge hold to my Atomic’s. Thank you for any help you can give me. I have been asking around a bit without much luck. I guess there are not too many old guys like me riding the old straight long boards anymore.

    1. Hi Michael!
      Have you considered a newer race ski? We have a great selection of Rossignol GS skis that will hold up to whatever you can dish out. As far as an all-mountain ski, check out the Nordica Enforcer 93, and if you like Atomic, look to their Vantage 90 Ti for a stiff-tailed charger. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. Hi.

    Curious about the Brahma. Aging Telemark skier with a competetive background previous millennium, picking up skiing again for a few days a year. Is this a ski you would recommend for me? 5’9 and 225 lbs. What length would you recommend, primarily for the slopes.

    1. Hi Jon!
      You’ll certainly get all the stability and power that you would need out of the Brahma. It’s a fairly demanding ski, so for a telemark application, you have to be on it all the time. Check out the K2 Pinnacle 88 and the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti for comparison–they’re a bit more forgiving and probably better choices for a telemark ski. I’d recommend for length, around 180 for you. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Length – 180 vs. 187? I am 6′ 2″ and 235, 48 years old, and an advanced/expert skier. I ski at Stratton mostly but want a decent all-around ski for the occasional powder day and/or trip out West, and research has led me to the Brahmas. I ski fairly aggressively, but not the straight down the mountain way, more like hard, sharp turns and small-medium moguls, and I think I am going to like the “pop” of the Brahmas. BUT I have been chasing my kids through the woods more lately and doing more moguls, so I am wondering if I would be better off with the 180s because they would be more agile and more able to follow in tracks through the woods cut mostly by kids with shorter skis. I think that’s the way to go, but I can’t find a place to demo them and I don’t want something that will feel unstable (again, not bombing straight down ice runs). A quick note of advice would be most appreciated – thanks!

    1. Hi Adam!
      I think you’re talking yourself into the 180. I’m 6/2 220 and I found the 187 to be quite a handful. If I were going to use it as a less aggressive ski, especially with kids (I use a super-light twin tip with my kids), I’d recommend the 180. I think you’ll appreciate the extra maneuverability, and since the skis themselves are quite stable, I wouldn’t worry about a lack of stability. Hope that helps!
      SE

  5. I am considering these as western hard pack ski, but I worry they are too stiff. I’m 58, 155 pounds, advanced skier. I have a 96 waist for my all mountain ski, but want something very maneuverable and somewhat forgiving for hard bumps and trees that can handle really hard, sometimes icy snow when we are between storms or having a dry spell. If not these, perhaps another recommendation. I want something that holds an edge but won’t wear me out. Thanks

    1. Hi Lee!
      The Brahma is a very stiff ski, and that’s why Blizzard also makes the Bushwacker, which is the same thing as the Brahma but without the metal. Also check out the Salomon XDR 84 or 88, the K2 Pinnacle 88, or Rossignol Experience 88 Ti. These are all high-performance skis that don’t have the dual-metal construction of the Brahma, but they do share similar shapes and rocker profiles. Have fun!
      SE

  6. I am 68 year old, 165 pounds. Live and ski in Vail. I want to replace my Kastle 94 with another all mountain ski since I have powder skis for over 8 inches. I ski crud, off piste and some front side. I tend to stay away from moguls. Expert skier. Any suggestions for new skis? I have skied Mantras and Legends in the past. I am thinking of the Brahma, Kastle 89 or Enforcer. Do you think I should stay at 180 or down a notch as I get a little slower and wiser?

    1. Hi Eric!
      If you liked that Kastle, the MX 89 is a pretty sweet ski. In terms of a carving ski, it’s probably the best on your list. In terms of the Brahma, I’d stick to the 180 if you’re going that route, you’ll appreciate the extra stability. The tips and tails of the Brahma have carbon fiber so they’re a bit lighter and that results in a lower swing weight. This increases maneuverability so I feel like the Brahma is a better all-mountain ski. But for groomers and carving, it’s tough to beat that MX 89. Have fun!
      SE

  7. Hi
    I am age 57, 5’8 and 160lbs. Ski east coast mostly Vermont Mount Snow and usually 1 trip West a year. I am looking at the 2019 Brahma skis. I am a intermediate to advanced skier mostly on groomed blue and black trails or hard packed like you have in the north east. But I would still like to advance. I have been on Elan magfire 74, 168cm for a long time. Wife has the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 skis and loves them.
    Ski shop I deal with recommends 173cm over the 166cm going by my size and ability.
    Do you believe this would be a good ski for me and what size would you recommend?
    Thanks for any information.
    George

    1. Hi George!
      The Brahma is a great ski–stable, smooth, and precise. Advanced and expert skiers will glean the best performance out of them, but intermediate skiers will also love their strength and stability. I’d agree with the shop that the 173 is probably the right size. Hope that helps!
      SE

  8. Hello I’m Francois from Quebec 6,4 and 260 pounds, 54 years. I ski everywhere in the mountains: slopes with my wife and in the wood with my friends. Volkl AC 50 was my choice since 5 years but I m looking for Volkl RTM 84 but I discovered Brahma. I ski 20-25 days in Quebec and Vermont and 10 days in western Canada. I like the stiffness of Volkl and go only in the moguls when they are soft. I’m looking for 180 cm, my Volkl are 177 cm. Thanks for the advice

      1. Looking further down the comment section, I saw that you recommend a 177 to skiers that are a lot smaller and lighter than Francois, with similar experience and preferred terrain. As a 6’2” and 220 agressive expert skier, who mostly ski “ front side” I wonder why you only recommend such a small length increment for “ Clydesdale” type skier😉?

      2. Hi Louis!

        What comment are you referring to? There is no 177 cm length in the Brahma. Just trying to understand your comment better.

        SE

  9. Would love some feedback. I’m 5’10” -165lbs. Expert snowboarder that picked up skiing last year and wants to advance from solid intermediate to advanced in the next year or two when I’m not snowboarding. I love carving on skis and not afraid of speed. My expert ski buddy suggested the 173 Brahmas. Is this too much ski for me and would the Brahma CA be more appropriate or would I be disappointed in the performance on edge control. I’m thinking it would be easier for turn initiation as an intermediate but worried that I would outgrow quickly. Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Scott!
      While we tend to refer to the Brahma as an “expert” ski, really all that means is that experts will glean the best performance out of them, not that intermediates have to stay away. If you like the stability of a stiff ski, then by all means get a Brahma! The CA (now Bushwacker for 2019) trades metal for carbon, so while they’re still stiff, they lack the damping properties of the Brahma. I agree with the 173 cm length. Have fun!
      SE

  10. Hello SkiEssentials,
    Thank you for your great comparative reviews! They really make it easier to buy skis without being able to test drive them. I am leaning strongly into buying a pair of Blizzard Brahma skis 2019, and I have two questions: 1) Are they the best pick for me?; and b) What length would you recommend, 173 or 180?
    I am 5’7″, 200 lbs, black diamond level, ski REALLY FAST, mostly on groomed runs, in California and Europe. My favorite skis were Fischer C4 Competition 185 cm (for downhill in the 1980’s), but now I am trying to “settle down”.
    Any suggestions on my two questions? Thank you.

    1. Glad to help, Enzo!
      It’s hard to say what the “best” pick for you is, but the Brahma is certainly a great ski and loves going fast! I’d go with the 180 due to your level of aggressiveness, I think you’ll appreciate the added stability. The Volkl Kendo is another option, as these skis are a similar “wide GS” type of ski that can handle all-mountain conditions. I’d recommend those in the 177. Happy skiing, and don’t settle down too quickly!
      SE

  11. Thank you for all of your comprehensive reviews! After much consideration I am still torn between 180 Brahma and 180 Rustler 9. 42 years old, 180 lbs, expert skier. I ski in Midwest and West. One of the above two skis would be my main ski for local skiing, and would accompany 188 Black Crow Atris for trips West. At home resort, usually on groomers a little off piste, and trees, but basically because off piste terrain at this “resort” is limited, often not enough snow pack for tree skiing. Any advice between the Brahma and Rustler 9? THANKS

    1. Hey Tony!
      Although the Rustler 9 performs quite well on the groomers, I’d go with the Brahma because it is more different from your Atris. If you’re spending the overwhelming majority of your time on-piste, then you should get the Brahma. Sizing sounds right to me, too! Happy winter!
      SE

  12. Hi,
    I’ve enjoyed reading all your comments. I am 65, 5’10” 185lbs, and ski Tahoe resorts in California. I have skied for over 50 years and enjoy, intermediate, advanced and some expert runs, mostly groomed, but also not, powder when possible, in the trees sometimes, and even crud, but am slowing down. I am now on some intermediate skis that were on sale – bad mistake. I am looking for an all mountain, fun ski, not overly demanding but can perform when I want to. I recently learned of the Blizzard Brahma, and that seemed like a good choice. But after reading some of your comments, the Enforcer 93 might be more appropriate. Any other thoughts and suggestions? Also on length? Thx

    1. Thanks, Steve!
      The Brahma is a great choice! I’d put it on the “more demanding” side of things, but if you have the experience and are mostly on-piste, you can easily learn to tame it. The Enforcer 93 is another great ski that has a more friendly shape and rocker profile. This makes it better for all-mountain skiing, and with the wider waist width, better at soft snow and powder. In the Brahma, you’ll either be on the 173 or the 180, depending on your level of aggressiveness. The E 93 comes in a 177 which I would recommend. Similar skis that are less demanding than the Brahma are a Nordica Navigator 90, Rossignol Experience 88 Ti, K2 Pinnacle 88, and even the Blizzard Bushwacker, which is the same as a Brahma but with no metal in it. Let me know what you think! They’re all great skis.
      SE

  13. Hey Todd,

    I’m thinking of the Brahma 180cm mainly as Im a big guy – 300lb, 6’4″ muscular frame.

    I’m an intermediate skier, really into cruising blue runs but can enjoy anything upto an easier black. Currently on 172cm Rossi Short Turn Hero Elite – which I enjoy but think I need something a little longer.

    What do you think?

    1. Hi Nick!
      I’d agree that the 180 Brahma would work well for you. Your size puts you more in line with the 187 Brahma, but that’s a pretty big and stiff expert ski. Another choice for consideration would be the 185 Nordica Enforcer 93. Let me know what you think! Happy skiing!
      SE

  14. Hi, I’m looking at getting the Brahma 180’s as an advanced fairly aggressive skier. We get a lot of hard pack and sometimes quite icy conditions. I wonder what sort of flex boot would be ideal?

    1. Hi Paul!

      Your height and weight plays into it a little bit. A heavier, taller skier can flex a boot more easily than a lighter, shorter skier. That said, without knowing your size, I would say that you’re going to want at least a 110 flex boot to get the most out of the Brahma. 120 or 130 is probably more appropriate, but if you’re lightweight 110 might be a little easier, and should still be stiff enough to drive the Brahma.

      If you’d like, let me know your size, and I’ll give you a more specific recommendation.

      SE

      1. I’m also looking at bindings, a friend suggested the Marker Griffon 13 Di. After looking at the Marker website I’m wondering if I should be looking more at the Marker Jester 16 Di.

      2. Hi again Paul!

        Yes, you’ll be best off in the 120-130 flex range for sure. The Jester uses more metal than the Griffon, which uses a fair amount of plastic. At your size, if you can swing it, I would bump up to the Jester. The Griffon would likely be just fine, but I’d feel more confident on a Jester if I were you.

        SE

      3. Hi again, I recently bought a pair of Blizzard Brahmas and a set of Marker Jester bindings here in New Zealand. The shop mounted them for me but they didn’t use any glue in the holes. I’m considering remounting the bindings into the same holes with wood glue to prevent water getting into the core. I’d like your expert advice on whether this is necessary or would the process potentially weaken the holes? I really appreciate you’re help.

      4. Hey Paul,

        Hmmm… That’s not ideal. Did they not use anything at all? Some shops will use more of an epoxy-type adhesive. As far as remounting, that might not be a bad idea, but you should probably have a professional do it, unless you have some experience mounting bindings. The important thing here is to not cross-thread the existing holes. You kind of have to back the screw off until it drops into its existing threads when you’re remounting in the same holes. I would recommend having a certified tech do it, just in case something goes wrong. I would also go back to that shop and ask them why they didn’t use anything, seems strange.

        Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns,

        SE

  15. I am 5’10” 175 lbs and live in New Hampshire. I ski primarily here in the East and an occasional Utah trip. I am an inyermediate to advanced skier trying to find the best ski for me. I am mostly on groomers and like to get into the trees some. I want to minimize chatter and have good edge hold. I will ski in the variety of conditions we have locally, from ice and hardpack to some soft days.

    1. Hi Keith!

      Are you considering the Brahma? Sometimes the Brahma can be a bit much for an intermediate level skier as it’s fairly stiff and heavy. It’s more suited for aggressive skiing on firm snow than skiing the trees. Have you considered the Nordica Enforcer 93, Head Kore 93, or Blizzard Rustler 9? All three of those skis have become favorites for someone like yourself. The Enforcer uses two sheets of metal like the Brahma, but the metal is thinner and the ski uses more rocker, so it’s a bit more user-friendly. The Kore 93 is the lightest of the bunch, and the Rustler 9 almost feels like the Brahma right under foot, but then the tips and tails have more rocker, are lighter, softer flexing, etc. Something to consider for sure.

      Let me know what you think!

      SE

      1. Thanks. I was looking mostly at the Brahma and Kore. Had not considered the other skis, but will now. I did ski the Renoun z-90 last year.

      2. Which of the skis do you feel will hold edge best and limit chatter on the New England ice?

      3. The Brahma has the best edge grip on firm snow and probably the best vibration damping too. The Enforcer 93 is really close for stability and vibration damping, but uses more rocker so doesn’t quite have the edge grip as the Brahma. The Rustler 9 has similar edge grip to the Enforcer, but a little bit less stability as the tips and tails will vibrate just a touch at high speeds through firm, choppy snow. It’s all about finding that combination of maneuverability, edge grip, and stability that’s right for you. Just because a ski has superior edge grip, doesn’t mean it will be the most fun as an all mountain ski.

        Does that make sense?

        SE

  16. Hey guys!!! I have a question for you on skis. Im looking at the Blizzard Brahma’s and the Nordica Enforcer 93 and need a recommendation. I’m an East Coast skier who wants a good all mountain ski for out here that can handle all condition, including ice, but will still be a great ski to take on 1 or 2 trips to the West Coast. I’m an advanced/expert skier who will ski anything the East coast has to offer. I’ve been skiing on some old (late 90’s early 00’s) K2 racing skis with a 78mm underfoot. I’m 5’10” 155lbs and I like to ski aggressively. What would you recommend for me?

    1. Hi Brian!
      You’ll be blown away with the Enforcer 93. The Brahma is a great ski, and loves going fast on-trail, but the versatility and soft snow performance of the Enforcer 93 is pretty amazing. That being said, the Brahma will more closely mirror what you are currently skiing. Based on your height and weight, I’d recommend you ski the 177 Enforcer 93–they’ll do the best out west, too. Thanks!
      SE

  17. Hello, Ski Essential. New season is slowly coming. I had 2012 Salomon suspect and learned how to carve. (weird but that park ski carve well)
    I like the easy to carve and limited max speed due to 161cm length with camber only profile. I was split between Kore 93 and Brahma, went with Kore 93 – 171cm first. liked it on powder but bit chattery on groom. (I think non metal ski thing….) then I also bought Brahma – 173 and love it, carving groomed nice speed.

    Here is the issue(?) I have. Sometimes Brahma scares me with maximum speed, too fast and makes me tired carving at max speed.
    I am 170cm 70kg and If I go with 166 Brahma, will it be easier to ride? Will max speed reduced?
    Once I rode ski with rocker/camber/rock with 163cm??? and It did not stop well…..

    If brahma is not my ski, then here is what I want.
    groomed/ice run
    all mountain/carving (Not looking for dedicated carver or head champion like that. wink wink)
    ski with metal / lightweight is nice but optional
    easy to ride, carve, not too tiring.

    I really appropriate your experties and recommendation.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi jwkjwk!
      New season coming fast! Based on your information and the fact that you like the Brahma, you should check out the 2019 Blizzard Bushwacker. It’s the same shape as the Brahma, just with carbon instead of metal. It doesn’t hit your metal requirement, but is a similar ride with less weight. Another great option is the Nordica Navigator series. This comes in a 90 and an 85 mm underfoot width and has a great combination of wood/metal core and carving ability. The K2 Pinnacle 88Ti does have metal, but also tip rocker, so this way you can get the good carving performance but also a versatile feel. In response to the length issue of the Brahma, I think the 166 would be a bit short. The above listed skis are slightly more forgiving, so you could get an appropriate length for your height, weight, and ski ability. Hope that helps!
      SE

  18. Just upgraded to the 2018 Brahma from the original. The original was a tough ski, stiffer and with more rocker it required a combination of power and finesse to get the most out of it.
    The new ski is much more forgiving and playful, due to the lighter weight, slightly greater side cut,less rocker and softer flex.
    Because of this find it quicker edge to edge and more tighter turning than the last ski yet with no speed limit that I could find (and I tried).
    I feel I ski better on the new ski in all areas except for really hard packed or icy conditions where the old ski has a bit more edge hold.
    Overall for me the Brahma has greater appeal and remains one of the best front side all mountain skis out there.

  19. Thank you again, your ideas make a lot of sense and I’m grateful for your expertise. It’s a long summer! I think it might be time for a drive up to Stowe.

  20. Thanks so much, I really appreciate your taking the time for such a detailed response, and I feel that you heard my concerns. You mentioned that there are some other skis that could be included in the conversation, I’d like to know what they are, but the Enforcer 93 and Mantra M5 sound good, and you think they are better choices than the Brahma? I’ll try to demo in the fall but it’s difficult to find the longer lengths in demos, understandably. Thank you again!

    1. Hi again Joe!

      I do think the Enforcer 93 or M5 Mantra are both a better choice than the Brahma, just because the Brahma can be a bit difficult to maneuver in softer snow. It’s just a slightly more demanding ski, and I don’t think it would be as much of a benefit to your progression as the other two. To be completely honest I think the Enforcer 93 or Mantra are probably the way to go, although the Dynastar Legend X 96 comes to mind (relatively playful shape, but uses metal). The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti could work too, although I don’t think you can go wrong with Nordica or Volkl.

      SE

  21. These reviews are very comprehensive and helpful, thanks so much. I’m 68, 6’7″, 275 lbs, ski about 30+ days a year in ME and NH. My skis are Volkl AC30 and AC50 from 2010, I tend to use them on hard snow/ soft snow respectively. Both 184cm. I ski fairly aggressively on the groomed, really enjoy fresh snow, easier bumps and glades, but have no clue at all on steep tight bumps and trees, or deep powder. I get around pretty well on the AC30’s, but they feel scary short at speed. On groomers, my turns are probably 70/30 carved/skidded, I don’t believe Ive ever laid pure railroad tracks!! I also have an old pair of K2 Mach GS skis 187 cm which I use when the snow is really “firm,” but I wish these were 192’s. So, like many others, I’m looking for a blend of maneuverability and stability, but the width and length of newer skis is confusing to me. The AC50’s waist width is 85mm, and they feel too wide for hard snow, there’s a feeling of wanting to flatten out underfoot. So I’m surprised to read the many review of the Brahma, Enforcer 93, and even the new Mantra M5 that tout what great carvers they are. And I understand that the longer lengths of these skis will ski shorter due to the rockered tip. Are there other skis that I could be looking at? Any suggestions will be much appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Big Joe!

      I can understand why you’re confused by width and descriptions of these skis’ performance. The simplest way to describe it is ski technology has actually improved quite a bit since 2010. Those three skis, especially the Brahma, are arguably more powerful carving skis and hold an edge better than either your AC30 or AC50. Manufacturers are building wide skis with impressive amounts of torsional stiffness these days. So, while these skis are wider than what you’re on, they’re going to have less of that “flatten out” feel. When that happens the ski is essentially not holding up torsionally and twisting, thus not holding an edge well.

      So, to get to your blend of maneuverability and stability and to focus on the three skis you’ve listed I would say the Enforcer 93 and M5 Mantra are going to be the best choices. There are some other skis that we could include in this conversation, but I think the most important thing for you is to get a ski with quite a bit of metal. Two full sheets, or a construction like the M5 Mantra that almost uses two full sheets of metal is going to be the way to go. They’ll be more stable than what you’re used to and the shapes of these all mountain skis are going to also make it feel more maneuverable. I actually think a 193 cm Enforcer 93 would be a great choice. It’s nice and long, should be plenty stable for your size, but is still very maneuverable. I think it also initiates a carve easier than the Mantra because it has more tip rocker, so in theory will help you progress to those railroad track turns.

      What do you think?

      SE

  22. Hi there –
    I am 5’10” 160 lbs and rented the Blizzard Brahma in Snowbasin UT this past spring and loved them. They felt so stable. I am an intermediate-advanced skier but looking to keep progressing. We ski mostly East Coast and an occasional trip out west. I ski mostly groomers but like to go ini the trees every now and then. Can you recommend which ski length I should buy. I left Snowbasin and can’t remember which size they had me on 173cm or 180cm?

    1. Hi Erin!

      Both those lengths could potentially work for you, but I would imagine they had you on the 173 cm length. I would say skiers your size are somewhat split between the 173 and 180 cm lengths, depending on weight, level of aggressiveness, etc. At your weight and ability level I think the 173 cm will be plenty of ski, and will be a little quicker and more maneuverable when you feel like hopping into the woods. I also think the 173 cm will allow for easier continued progression, the 180 cm would be a little more demanding.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  23. Hello,

    Like others on this thread, I want to thank you for your detailed, thoughtful responses. They are extremely helpful when shopping for skis. I am a 51-year-old, 5’7″ 150-pound skier who is looking for a primarily frontside-oriented ski that can handle the occasional forays off-piste, and powder when lucky enough to encounter it. I spend most of my time on the groomers, and like to ski fast, aggressively, and rip a variety of turn shapes. I ski primarily in the Midwest, and head out West about once a year. I have pretty much narrowed my search to the Brahma and the Enforcer 93, but the Navigator 85 and the Brahma CA also pique my interest. Which ski would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jaime!

      So, that’s pretty much exactly how I would describe the Brahma: it’s primarily a frontside-oriented ski that can still handle the occasional off piste skiing. As an aggressive skier that likes to ski fast I think you’ll really enjoy it. The Navigator 85 and Brahma CA probably don’t quite have the power and stability you want for skiing fast. The Enforcer 93 leans a little more towards off piste use than the Brahma, at the expense of some firm snow performance, so since you spend most of the time on groomers I think the Brahma is the way to go.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  24. 5′ 10′”, 170 lbs, intermediate skier. Rented 2017 Brahmas, 166cm for a recent trip in Big Sky. Over five days got to try them on groomers as well some powder days.Had an absolute blast on them. I don’t have much technical knowledge about skiing, and have always rented. I tell them my height, weight, and level and they give me skis.
    They gave me 166’s; buying a pair, would you recommend 166 or a size up? Skiing is in Oregon and annual trip to Big Sky.

    1. Hi Dennis!

      You could probably bump up to the 173 cm length without any trouble. At your size the 173 cm isn’t too long by any means. It might take you a few runs to get used to the longer length, but overall I think that’s actually a more appropriate size for you. On paper 166 cm is a little short for your size, even at the intermediate ability level.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  25. Hi I just returned to skiing this past winter after 20+ years off. Got my daughters into it and they are chomping at the bit for more. I’ve been renting rather than dusting off my old 210 straight skis but am starting to look at making a purchase. I’m came back pretty much where I left off as an intermediate. I do like to go fast but tend to stick to the trails. I’m primarily going to be skiing PA and NY with an occasional trip north. I’m a big guy at 6’3″ and 250 lbs. I was thinking that I needed something on the stiffer side but was wondering if the Brahmas would be too much ski this soon? If not should I be considering the 187s or the 180s? Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike!

      At your size I don’t think the Brahma will be too much ski. It’s pretty demanding for a lighter weight intermediate level skier, but you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the ski to flex. It’s also going to give you really nice stability, where a lighter, softer ski might feel a bit unstable for you. That said, you should be just fine on the 180 cm. I think the 187 cm might start leaning towards being somewhat difficult to handle just in terms of maneuverability, and I don’t think the 180 cm will feel too short for you.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  26. Day 5 on new 2018 Brahmas. The dampening coupled with spring response out of the turns is like a new pair gym shoes!

    5’11” 225 and you need to power thru this ski…rewards you in leg endurance amid performance!

    1. what size? 180? or 187? I’m about your same size and considering these skis. I’m having a hard time deciding between 180 and 187

      1. Hey Brandon,

        Without knowing what Fasteddie is skiing, I would point you towards the 180 cm. Should be plenty of ski for your size. The 187 cm is quite a lot of ski.

        SE

  27. Very helpfull to hear your toughts. I think i enjoyed the Kore that much because it was mostly on fresh snow when i tried them and there wasn’t enough of hard surface like we mostly have here during our winters. Maybe i will hit their limits fast on hard packed snow or groomed, so i think it will be a better bet to go with the Brahma. For the navigator, my friend told me they were chattering a bit when pushing them on hard surface. At 225 pounds, i think the Brahma will make a good one-ski quiver to replace may Hero and my Rev85. At least it should be less demanding than my Hero…lol.

    Thanks again!

    1. Sounds like you’ve thought this one through very well! I think you’ll be excited with the performance of the Brahma.

  28. Hi and thanks for your answer. It’s making sense, mostly if i want a playfull ski to go off piste. As i tried the Kore during a good snow fall with only a few spots of hard packed here and there, i’m not very safe it will be enough for carving on groomed or icy hard packed we mostly have around here. Not that i’m looking for a real carver, but it must handle when i push it on groomers, at least like my Rev85 do. I already tried the enforcer 93 in 177cm, but i found it had to much rocker that i would have need a longer ski, and at 185 it’s getting a bit long for playing around trees off piste… I wanted to try the Navigator 90 in 179cm, but didnt have time before the demo day finished. It’s well rated to…
    For the Brahma, will it be very demanding on groomers? I heard that the 2018 model is more freindly user, versatile and forgiving because of the new sidecut and rockers. Many testers are saying it don’t feel heavy for a 2 titanium sheets ski… When i read the reviews, i have the feeling it should fit me and my use well, but buying without a try its always a bet…

    1. Hey Vincent,

      The Brahma isn’t exceptionally demanding on groomers, no. It’s definitely more user friendly on firm snow than it is in soft snow, and yes the 2018 version is a little easier to ski with the slightly shorter turn radius, etc. There are other skis with two sheets of metal that feel heavier and stiffer, but the Brahma is certainly no slouch. If you found the Enforcer 93 had too much rocker I’m guessing you felt the same on the Kore because they’re pretty similar. If you’re worried about the Brahma being a little too much ski the Navigator 90 does have a lot of similar performance characteristics, but is a little lighter and a little less fatiguing.

      SE

  29. Hi. I’m 6’0 and 225 pounds. I live in Quebec Canada and and we are often on groomed or hard packed, if not icy… However, as soon as i have the chance because of a good snow fall (a few pounds of fresh snow, not a lot of powder here), i like to go play off piste, around trees and discover the mountain. I consider myself an advanced skier and i like to carve and go fast when i’m on piste. I have a Rossi Hero ST Elite in 172cm and a Head Rev 85 in 170cm. I find this one to be too short and i’m looking to change it for a new pair of all mountain ski in 180cm. I’m also a bit tired of the short turn radius if my Hero and the fatigue i can feel in legs after a few hours on them.
    Last week i tried the Head Kore 93 in 180cm and i was very impressed by their versatility, playfulness, lightweight and torsional rigidity for a that light ski!!! Awesome in 4-6 inches of fresh snow, stable and solid in the crud and great hold on edge when i hit some spot of hard icy snow. It was simply hard to believe how it performs for a light ski and no pain in legs after few hours of pushing them.
    I’m also interested by the new 2018 Brahma because of it’s specs that seems to fit me well and also for all the good reviews it gets around the web. I’m wondering what would be the differences between the Brahma and the Kore 93. Will they have some similarities? At 225Lbs, do you think i’d rather stick to a ski with metal?

    Thanks for your time,

    Vince

    1. Hi Vince!

      The Brahma doesn’t have the same playful, lightweight feel as the Kore 93. It’s definitely heavier, stiffer, and because it uses less rocker it’s quite a bit more demanding in soft snow. It absolutely rips when you’re linking carving turns at high speeds, and is somewhat versatile compared to more carving oriented skis, but the Kore is definitely more playful. If you really enjoyed the blend of performance in the Kore 93 the shape of the Brahma probably isn’t right for you. You could, however, consider an Enforcer 93, which shares a lot of performance characteristics with the Kore 93, but uses metal, so it’s more stable at speed and has slightly better vibration damping. That said, if you found the Kore 93 to be stable and solid there might not be a reason to get a ski that’s heavier.

      does that make sense? Let me know what you think.

      SE

  30. Hi, I am interested in your comments regarding a new set of skis. I have been using 172 cm Scott Punishers from 2009 (still love these graphics) but they are getting a bit old and I would like to trade up. I prefer the all mountain/ free ride style although I do spend more time on piste than off but do like to step out and ski off piste/bumps. I am 5’10 and 165 lbs so a fairly light skier. I am intermediate/low advanced and enjoy long carving turns as well as short fast turns. I’m also just about to turn 50 and want something fairly forgiving in the future although I am still fairly aggressive.

    There is so much choice but have been looking at the likes of Salomon QST 99 or Blizzard Brahma or Back Crowes Orb.

    Any advice would be very gratefully received!

    1. Hi Neal!

      My first thought is that among the skis you listed the QST 99 definitely has the most freeride-oriented style in my opinion. The Brahma is a great ski, but leans a little more toward firm snow use than true freeride performance. The new Rustler 9 would likely be a more appropriate option from Blizzard. The Brahma can be a bit of a handful in moguls, trees, and other tight terrain. The Rustler 9 is much more maneuverable off piste, but still has solid edge grip underfoot for ripping turns on firm snow. The shape of the Orb gives it a more maneuverable feel than the Brahma, but its two sheets of metal make it pretty stiff and relatively demanding too. In my opinion the QST 99 seems like the best option out of what you’ve listed, but I would take a look at that Rustler 9 too.

      SE

  31. I really enjoy reading all the responses to everyone’s questions, very informative. Now, I’d like to ask some questions of my own. I’m in the market for a new pair of skis. I live in the Boston area so I only ski New England. I prefer groomed, hard pack, even a little ice. Hate anything more than a dusting of powder. I am 5’11 198 pounds. As far as my ski ability if I’m on a smaller mountain like Pat’s Peek or Mt Sunapee I can rip blue’s and single blacks charging fast, maneuvering in and out of traffic, and last min turns. On bigger mountains like loon or Cannon I have the most fun on blue trails but ski single blacks not as aggressive. If conditions are not favorable I stay off black diamonds and stick to only blues sometimes being more cautious. After doing research online I was considering Nordica Navigator 85, Ross Experience 84, and (after reading these reviews) either Brahma. Which one would be good for my skiing style and ability. Also if this helps, I had a chance to demo the Volkl line at Canon. I hated the Kendo and out of the different RTM’s I preferred the 81 and 76 elite. Does this mean the skis I listed above I won’t like because the width is bigger? Also, local ski shop recommended Fisher Pro Mountain 80Ti, is this ski to advanced for me or does it match my style and ability? I’d love to hear your input and recommendations for these skis along with suggestion for length (I prefer shorter side of range)? Thanks

    1. Hi Michael!

      From the sounds of it you’re reacting more to the stiffness of these skis more than their waist width. Stiffness and weight. The Kendo, RTM 84, and RTM 86 are all relatively stiff, pretty demanding skis. In order to get the most out of them you do need to ski fairly aggressively. They definitely have a preference for being skied pretty fast. In my opinion you can put the Brahma (non-Ca) in that category too. Two sheets of metal, fairly stiff, fairly demanding.

      So, that being said, I think you’re on the right track with the Navigator 85 and Experience 84. I consider both of those to be high performing skis, but they are definitely less demanding than the Kendo, Brahma, wider RTMs, etc. I’m sure you could ski the Brahma, but I think you’d have a similar reaction as you did on the Kendo. The Navigator 85 and Experience 84, on the other hand, will rip turns on groomed snow and are a little bit lighter and softer flexing than all those skis. I think you could include the Brahma Ca too as a ski to consider, although since you tend to stay on firm snow I don’t necessarily think you need to go that wide. No, 88 isn’t much wider than 85, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

      The Navigator feels like a great choice because it uses some metal, but not two full sheets of metal. I would imagine that at your size you’ll appreciate the smoothness and vibration damping of some metal in your skis. I also think the Navigator 85 is great in less desirable conditions, so you may find yourself wanting to ski that trickier terrain more often. For some reason that ski feels really appropriate. The Pro Mountain 80 Ti is a cool ski too, but a little bit more demanding than the Navi 85 in my opinion. I don’t think you’d want to go shorter than 172 cm, even if you prefer shorter skis. Anything much shorter I think would start to feel unstable.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Yes, that definitely helps me a lot. I was leaning towards the Navi 85 myself but now I have an expert that confirms this with the reasons why. I will also give the 172’s a try. I like options when I make a purchase. Are there any other skis that you can recommend that would work for me? Also what are some good binding options for the Navi 85 and the other skis skis you may recommend if any? Thanks again

      2. Great! Happy to help. I would say the Salomon XDR 84 would be another interesting one to take a look at. It uses a partial metal laminate, which is similar in theory but different in design than the Navigator 85. It’s probably a tiny bit more demanding, but definitely falls into that category and would at lease be worth familiarizing yourself with.

        SE

  32. We are grateful for your graciousness in replying to all these questions. I’m 5’10”..weigh 200. I’m guessing the 180 size is right. My question is why does Blizzard describe on their website this Brahma ski is ideal for moguls with the tails not getting caught up and reasons like this but when I read your replies it does not seem like its the ideal off trail or mogul ski. Skis like the Head Core 93 or Nordica Enforcer 93 may be better for me. Somewhat aggressive on packed powder east coast downhill groomed trails which I like. But when conditions are right and the bumps are symmetrical and soft, thats all I like to do until my knees hurt. Can you recommend the best ski for me? Thank you.

    1. Hi Sal!

      Because ski manufacturers like to make bold claims about their skis. The Brahma is an awesome ski. It absolutely rips, don’t get me wrong, but the tail is on the stiffer side so it can be a little bit more challenging to maneuver in moguls. It somewhat depends on your ability. If you’re a World Cup level mogul skier or ski really fast, direct lines you’ll have no problem on them, but if you ski a little slower it’s somewhat challenging to get the ski to smear and pivot. I’m guessing you’d find both the Enforcer 93 and the Kore 93 easier to handle in the moguls. Both those skis are probably a little bit more appropriate if you spend a significant amount of time in un-groomed terrain. I would guess that you’ll prefer the Enforcer with its metal. At your weight and considering you’re pretty aggressive I think you’ll appreciate its power and stability.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  33. Hi, I’ve been skiing on my Atomic SX B5 supercross skies for years and have generally loved them for the responsive “pop” they provided in quick turns down steep terrain. However I decided to try some skies out at a demo at a local hill and quickly realized that I probably could use some new planks! I tried a pair of Kendos and was amazed at the stability and responsiveness. These are the fattest skies I’ve ever tried and was impressed. The demo guy suggested trying the Brahmas as a good comparable but unfortunately I wasn’t able to. I’m a fairly advanced and aggressive skier (170 lbs, 6’1) and live in Ottawa ON and mostly ski eastern groomed hills (in Quebec and the eastern US). Wondering your thoughts on the Kendo vs Brahma and if there are any other similar skies that I should try.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Chris!

      The Brahma and the Kendo are definitely similar skis. Both use two sheets of metal, both have similar waist widths. In my opinion the Brahma leans a little more towards firm snow and carving performance while the shape of the Kendo lends itself to being a little bit more versatile. Both are high performance all mountain skis that can handle a wide range of conditions, however, so that difference isn’t drastic. Both are definitely great east coast skis. Sounds like you enjoy that feeling of having two sheets of metal in your skis. I would also try the Nordica Enforcer 93 if you can. Between the Brahma, Kendo, and Enforcer 93 you’re testing a nice range of all mountain skis with slightly different shapes that all use two sheets of metal.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  34. Hi ski essentials, I flip-flop CONSTANTLY, so maybe you can help.

    5’5 165LBS

    Aggressive. Southern California based. 35 years old, won’t be jumping as much. Still dip off into any woods whenever possible and will purchase the ikon pass and travel, would like to have an all around ski that can handle my carving. I seem to be honing in on this one, but should i, and what size?

    1. Hey Dan!

      I think the Brahma could be a great ski for you! I will say, however, that among all mountain skis it leans more towards carving performance than soft snow, variable snow, and un-groomed terrain performance compared to some other skis out there. You mention you like to dip off trail into the woods whenever possible. How often is that? Half your time? 25% of your time? Something else? To me the Brahma is a good “50/50” ski. If half of your time is spent on groomers and half of your time is spent in softer snow it’s a fantastic ski. Carves like an absolute dream. On the other hand, if you’re spending MORE time in un-groomed snow than on groomers you could consider something with a little more rocker and a little wider like the Enforcer 93, Kore 93, new Rustler 9, etc. Those skis are a little better in soft snow, but do sacrifice some carving performance to get there.

      In the Brahma I think you’d probably enjoy the 166 cm length. What do you think?

      SE

  35. Hi! I’m 57 years old, just getting back into skiing after 35 years off. I’m a solid intermediate, enjoy going slower now, rarely ski anything other than groomers (totally fine on blue…mixed in with a black diamond on a few runs). I’m fairly athletic (run multiple halves and one marathon a year)…but not an aggressive skier like the old days. I’m 6’1″, 200 pounds. I’m interested in a ski that works with me… I skied on 2016 K2 iKonic 80, 170cm…I would have thought they’d be a little short…but I liked them on good to a little icy groomed trails. I’m thinking about your 173 Brahma’s. Too short? Would you recommend an entirely different ski? Many thanks!!

    1. Hi Pete!

      I think a 173 cm Brahma could potentially work for you. Remember that it’s a relatively stiff, relatively demanding ski, however, so I wonder if maybe it’s a little bit overkill for you. You can probably handle it just fine, but I’m wondering if maybe a slightly softer flexing ski in a slightly longer length would be more appropriate. The K2 Pinnacle 88 comes to mind. It’s a very smooth ski that I think would match your skiing nicely and in that ski I think you could go 177 cm. I also thought of the Nordica Navigator 85 in a 179 cm. Similar intended use and performance to the Brahma, but less demanding overall.

  36. Obviously, there are many factors that go into a shop recommending a ski for a customer (ability, height, weight, where they ski, etc) but is there a magic number in regards to weight when you go from recommending the Brahma CA to when you recommend the Brahma?

    1. Hi CWH,

      No, not really, because as you mentioned so much more goes into it than just skier weight. You could have a 130 lbs skier that’s really aggressive, with great technique, and they could really overpower a Brahma Ca if they know how to drive a ski properly, or on the other hand you could have someone who’s 200 lbs or more who is still developing their technique and the Brahma would be a little bit overwhelming. So, I can’t really just say a weight as a cutoff between the two.

      SE

  37. Comparing these to the the Nforcer 93, the volk kanjo, and the kastle, what would you recommend? I’m 5′ 10 and 250 lbs. I like grooms and go fast but not too fast. I’m trying to get into bumps and trees, and seems as though the Kanjoy or the Kastle fx85hd would work better. But I do like the two metals and for stability. Your recommendations are greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Thaibinh!

      In my opinion at your weight you’re going to really benefit from having two sheets of metal in your skis, which would rule out the Kanjo. Even though the Kastle could potentially work, I’m leaning towards the Brahma or the Enforcer 93. The Brahma feels a little bit more responsive on groomers, a little quicker edge to edge, but the Enforcer 93 is more maneuverable and forgiving, especially in bumps and trees, so you can kind of pick which performance suits you best.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  38. Coming from a Dynastar Legend 80 (probably from 2012), actually dying, i’m looking for a reactive all moutain ski, a bit more oriented on-piste than off.
    I’m having thoughts on this brahma or the FX85 HP from Kastle. I had the opportunity to try the kastle for a few days and really liked it, even though it was a bit short, only 165. I’m more looking for the 173 or 180 as i measure 1m82.
    What do you think are the main differences between those 2 skis and which size would you recommend me?

    Thanks a lot for your reviews and sorry for my bad english. I’m from the french alps 🙂

    1. Hi Antoine!

      The Brahma and the FX 85 HP are both awesome skis, that’s for sure. I would say the Brahma is a little bit more powerful and has slightly better edge grip on firm snow. The FX 85 HP has a lighter swing weight and feels a little bit more maneuverable in variable snow conditions. Overall, however, they’re quite similar in performance. What did you like about the Kastle specifically when you tried it? Was it its maneuverability, its power, or something else? That would help me have a better sense of whether you might like the Brahma more.

      SE

      1. I loved the power and versatility it has! it was also pretty easy to maneuver but i put it on the small size i tried. I also tried the MX84 in 176 and liked it even more on piste, his short-turns with lot of reactivity but still really easy to make it take the curves i wanted on the slope. But i don’t want to own it because it’s quite harder to ski decently in powder with it.
        I’d like a good mix of the qualities i found in this mx84 176 with better possibilities to go out of groomed snow.
        I hope that my english makes sense.
        Thanks a lot for you answer.

      2. Hi again Antoine!

        In that case I’d probably stick with the Kastle. It’s a little bit more versatile than the Brahma in my opinion because of the lighter swing weight and slight early taper. The Brahma is a blast on firm snow, but can be a little bit demanding in softer snow conditions (Rustler 9 for next season is a cool new option for more of a firm snow/soft snow mix). Since you’re the type of skier that likes to ski a little bit of everything and go everywhere on the mountain, I think the Kastle is the more appropriate choice.

        Hope that helps you make a decision!

        SE

      3. Forgot to say, i’m 182 for 67kgs, and i like to go really fast anywhere in the mountain, going over rocks and landing in poder or passing people on the groomed slopes. Only place i don’t go is the freestyle area.

  39. Hi, I’m a 6′, 225 lb east coast skier (patroller) looking for a ski I can ski fast on groomers with but also play in the bumps with a bit. Brahma sounds like a fit, but what length? I was thinking to go a little shorter (180), to help in the bumps, but I’m a little worried how it will hold on hard groomers? What do you think?

    1. Hi Eric!

      I think you’ll be fine on a 180 cm Brahma. It will definitely be more maneuverable and a little bit more forgiving in bumps, and the Brahma is a really stable ski on groomers that holds an edge really well, so I don’t think you’ll have an issue there. The 187 cm might feel more comfortable when you’re really charging, but overall I think 180 cm should work well for you and will be that much easier in bumps.

      SE

  40. I am interested in these skis. I just got done skiing Jackson Hole for three days on a pair of Rossi soul 7s, which was the first time I’d been on skis that were post-2000. I know. They were siiiick, but I did notice high speeds weren’t always that great. And I can get a good deal on these. My concern is that I’m lean as hell, at 170, 6’4”. Are the Blizzards a little on the stiff side? I tend to prefer the steeps, especially when the snow is a bit chopped up, but I also love hauling ass on groomers. While I am hoping to get back into powder skiing, I live in the Pacific NW, so I need to be able to deal with heavy snow. I would be considered an expert.

    1. Hi PEC!

      The Brahma is quite a bit different than the Soul 7. Much more stable at speed and more powerful due to the two sheets of metal. It’s also quite a bit narrower, about 20 mm narrower. They’re a blast for going fast on groomers, and can handle chopped up snow pretty well too, but you won’t get the same float as you did on the Soul 7s. You could consider going with a ski like the Blizzard Bonafide, which is 10 mm wider than the Brahma, but still has most of the same performance benefits on groomers, just a little slower edge to edge.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  41. Am 5’8″ and 165 pounds advanced/expert skier who needs to replace the original Rossi Experience 88 because the ski is on its last leg. Liked the Rossi but would prefer something with metal this time around for speed at high speeds and for a daily driver on a month long western trip I have coming up. Since my plan is to drive, I have the ability to take two skis on the trip. Have an old Soul 7 in a 180 for powder days and was thinking of the Brahma in a 173 for most days. Thoughts on that two ski quiver for out west? The trip will include almost every place from Telluride to Jackson Hole and both on and off piste.

    1. Hello!

      The Brahma will be a great choice, and I agree that 173 cm is the way to go for length. It performs similarly to the Experience 88 in reference to turn shape, turn initiation, etc., but definitely has better stability, power, and vibration damping and is more comfortable at higher speeds. I think the Brahma and a Soul 7 is a fantastic two ski quiver! Really should allow you to enjoy any snow conditions you encounter on your trip. Have fun!!

      SE

  42. I recently bought Blizzard Brahmas.
    They ski just like advertised, stabile and flexible.

    One issue though. After only 3 days of skiing, the top cap lamination
    is showing excessive wear along the top steel plate.
    I’m concerned what they will look like at the end of the season.
    Anyone else have this issue?

    1. Are you seeing actual chips in the metal laminate or just in the top sheet? Wear and tear like that is fairly normal, it happens when your skis hit each other, which actually happens more often than most skiers realize. If you think it’s showing more damage than it should send our customer service staff an email with some pictures and we can give you our opinion.

      SE

  43. morning, love your reviews! The 2018s seem to be sold out a lot of places, but the 2017 model is available at significant discounts. Would I be doing myself a real disservice by getting the 2017s? You said they made some solid changes, but enough to continue to search for the 18 models?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Justin!

      The 2017 Brahma is a great ski. It has a longer turn radius than the 2018 so prefers a slightly longer turn shape when you’re skiing it. Because of the shorter turn radius the 2018 ski does feel a touch quicker and the tip shape has made it a little more responsive (enters a turn quicker), but they’re still largely the same ski. Same construction, same smooth, damp, powerful feel. A discounted 2017 Brahma certainly wouldn’t be a bad decision by any means.

      Hope that helps,

      SE

  44. Hi,
    I´m a Swed that skis in the Italian, Austria and French Alps but also in sweden.

    Looking for a new pair of skis – have a old Brahma (180) 2014 that i like.
    Is it a big different between the new ones and the 2014?
    Like Brahma for its stability and dampness in high speeds but finds it a little bit stiff when skiing in slow speeds with the family, to old!?

    I´m 5´10 and 174lbs like mostly groomers and hardback both aggressive carving turns but also smeering in slower speeds.

    Is the New Brahma the right choice for me or are they to heavy like the old ones or are there any other ski to recommend?
    Line Supernatural 86 or 92?

    Thanks for your answer

    MS

    1. Hi Marcus!

      The new Brahma isn’t noticeably lighter than previous versions just in terms of weight. It does, however, feel a little quicker, more responsive, and engages a turn a little easier at slower speeds. It has a shorter turn radius, a more turned up tip, and a lower rise rocker, so engages the tip quicker and a little easier. It doesn’t smear turns drastically easier, but it does feel quicker at slower speeds. You might consider going with something like the Enforcer 93. It’s overall pretty similar to the Brahma, but the tips and tails have more rocker and are also a little softer, so it pivots and smears a little easier. I don’t have too much personal experience on the Supernatural, although it doesn’t use as much metal and might not have the stability and damping you’re looking for.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  45. Howdy guys,

    I’m looking for a new par of skis. My old pair was a set of Rossingnol Bandit XX’s. I’ve skied on other skis and always came back to the XX’s. I’m 5 foot 10 and about 250 pounds, advanced/ expert level skier- used to ski every day at pats peak. I have a relaxed stance but use a lot of power when I ski. I like bombing down runs with as much speed as I can muster. I favor short quick turns, just so I can keep my speed in check. I like steep runs (groomed and ungroomed), I’ll ski off ledges and hit up big air jumps (the mountain is my playground, right?), especially if its a pow day, so I can land in some plush snow. I’ll do trees once in a blue moon, pow if we have it and I hate moguls. I’m looking for a fast & powerful all-mountain-ski that is good for quick turns and cuts through crud with ease and is on the stiff side of things due to my power and weight. I’l also do big air jumps and don’t want something that’s going to shatter on impact. I’m a big guy and what I can’t finesse, I just power through. comparing the Bramah’s to the Enforcer 93 to the Kore 93? What’s better for someone like me?

    1. Hi Ross!

      At your size and considering you like to ski fast I would say you’ll benefit from having those two sheets of metal in your ski, which essentially narrows it down to either the Brahma or the Enforcer 93. The shape and overall performance of the Brahma is a little more suited to groomers and firm snow than the Enforcer. The Enforcer feels a little bit more playful, a little more maneuverable, and a little more forgiving at the expense of not finishing a carving turn which quite the same amount of power as the Brahma. Both are high performing, pretty burly all mountain skis, but that’s where the difference lies in my opinion. The Enforcer also has a slightly shorter turn radius, so considering you’re looking to make shorter, quicker turns I think that’s probably the way to go.

      Let me know what you think. Hope that helps!

      SE

  46. I’m a Colorado skier from the Midwest. I’m 5′ 10″, 180 lbs and 65 years old. I’ve been skiing Volkl RTM 80’s the last couple years (hand me downs from my son!). Was skiing last week at Copper Mnt when we got 8-10 inches of powder so I demo’d the Brahma 173’s and loved the experience. I found the Brahma’s very responsive and they handled the powder much better than the old Volkl’s. I mostly ski (groomer) blues and the occasional black and rarely get off trail. I occasionally ski aggressively (usually with my sons) but I normally ski with my wife who prefers to stay away from the moguls and double blacks. I’d really like to try the Brahma Ca’s to compare, but I haven’t found any ski shops who carry them. While I had no trouble handling the Brahma’s, I’m thinking the Ca’s might be a better choice, just because I’m bound to slow down over the next few years and the lighter (slower?} skis should be easier to handle. Will I notice much difference between the Brahma and the Ca version? Also, should I consider the Volkl Kendo’s? Those are fairly easy to find and demo. Let me know what you think. Thanks,

    EG

    1. Hi Ed!

      There definitely is a noticeable difference between the Brahma and Brahma Ca. The two sheets of metal in the Brahma give it a very smooth feel as it has excellent vibration damping and stability. While the Ca has the same shape, the construction makes it feel more energetic and arguably even more responsive, but not as quiet and smooth. They are lighter, and are easier to handle in a sense, but they do feel different. If part of what you loved about the Brahma was it’s smooth, stable feel it’s probably best to stick with the non-Ca version. The Kendo is relatively similar to the Brahma. It’s maybe a touch more demanding (slightly stiffer), but overall they’re pretty similar. If it’s easy to get on a pair it would be interesting to demo as certain skiers do have a preference between the Brahma and Kendo.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  47. Mostly east coaster with west trips in the mix. I’m a short 5’7 and about 175-180 lbs and will slim down once I stop the beer intake. I’d say intermediate-advanced skier. Mostly on trial but like the woods and off trail out west. Torn between the Brahma in 166 or 173. Returning to skiing after a long break snowboarding. Last few seasons been an older set of 173 Bonafides which I wasn’t thrilled with. Had to get them going really fast to carve the turns I wanted. Just looked at the Brahmas in the shop today and 173s are taller than I am with the 166 about nose height. Is rule of thumb for skill level about mid face height for intermediate? Plan to ski more and be somewhat aggressive. Is 166 just right or shade on the short side? Thanks

    1. Hi Scott!

      Have you considered the Brahma Ca? The Brahma and the Bonafide share the exact same construction materials, so ultimately the flex profile is pretty much exactly the same. I would say a 173 cm Brahma is going to feel relatively similar to your Bonafides in the sense that they do prefer to be skied at a certain speed before they really come alive. I do think a 166 cm Brahma would be more manageable for you, but realistically both the Brahma and the Bonafide are kind of a lot of ski for an intermediate. The Brahma Ca doesn’t require the same speed to unlock its performance, and will give you relatively similar performance outside of that. For some reason I’m leaning toward a 173 cm Brahma Ca… what do you think?

      SE

      1. I’ll check out the Brahma CAs. So you would go toward the 173s still? Any adantage or disadvantage to the 166?

      2. I’d stick with 173 cm. In my opinion that length matches your size and ability level more than the 166 cm. It will also give you a more direct comparison to what you’ve already tried if you’re able to find a Brahma Ca demo. Only real advantage to the 166 would be more maneuverability, but I think it would be at the cost of some significant stability.

        SE

  48. Very interested in the 18 Bizzards. I’m 6’4″ about 218. Hit the slopes pretty hard, speed and shred. Currently using Rossi 88’s. I’m intermediate to advanced in terms of skiing, dont care for mogels much. What size would you recommend. Thanks!

    1. Hi Josh!

      Considering your size and the fact that you like to ski hard and fast I think you should definitely go with the 187 cm Brahma. Really the only reason not to would be maneuverability in tighter terrain, and since you’re not much for moguls I think that makes the decision pretty easy.

      What do you think?

      SE

  49. I recently demo’d the Dynastar Legend 88 and LOVED them!! Very easy and quick turning, and held the firmer snow extremely well. My husband keeps trying to get me to try the Blizzard Brahma which he has. Can you help me compare the two? I’m a moderately aggressive skier who skis mostly firmer snow but wants a good (easy!) ski for powder and all-mountain that can also handle crud. Thanks.

    1. Hi Mary!

      So the big difference between those two skis is the amount of early taper. Basically the widest point of the Legend X 88 is closer to the middle of the ski, where on the Brahma they’re near the ends of the ski. It changes a few things, really. The early taper helps make the ski feel really maneuverable, likely why you found them so easy and quick turning. The Brahma has longer edge contact with the snow, or a longer effective edge in other words. The benefits of that is you get slightly better edge grip, but it does make it harder to release the tail edge and get the ski to pivot, smear, slarve, whatever you want to call it. In my opinion if you skied the Legend X 88 and didn’t have any issue with it holding an edge that’s probably the better ski for you. Both skis use metal, both are pretty burly and strong, but the shape is different, which is where the slightly different feel comes from.

      Does that make sense?

      SE

  50. How does this ski compare to the Enforcer 93? I recently bought a pair of E93’s but find them to be a bit heavy for my size at 5’8″ 150lbs. I’m an athletic, advanced east coast skier, can do just about anything out here. Enjoy hard-charging on groomers @60mph and occasionally jump off-piste. After skiing these a few times they’re super stable at high speeds and hold an exceptional edge but are slow in the trees and require some work in moggles. Would you recommend something lighter like the Brahman CA? How does the CA hold an edge/chatter at high speeds compared to the E93’s & Brahma? Thanks!

    1. Hey Tim!

      I would actually say the Brahma is more demanding in the terrain you’re describing than the Enforcer 93. It’s not lighter, and doesn’t use as much rocker as the Enforcer 93. It definitely requires some skier input to maneuver it in tighter terrain. It rips on groomers, though. I’m sure you’d really like it on groomers, but if you’re looking for something that’s more forgiving and maneuverable than your Enforcer 93s it’s probably not the right choice. The Brahma Ca is quicker in the sense that it’s lighter, but the shape is the same so it doesn’t feel tremendously smeary or easy to pivot. What about a ski like the Salomon XDR 88 Ti? Still has metal for ripping groomers, but the tips and tails are a little softer, which makes moguls and trees and little easier. At 60 mph on firm snow you might be pushing the Ca past its limits a little bit. It’s a great ski, but without metal at those speeds you’ll feel some vibrations and a bit of instability in my opinion.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  51. I’m torn between the Brahma and the Brahma CA. I’m 6ft 2 190 lbs. I live in PA so mostly make shorter terms to avoid crowds and make the most out of smaller space, but still like to lay it down when the mountain opens up. I will venture into the trees / bumps when snow demands usually taking a few trips to NE a year. Historically I’ve skied either a Line Prophet 90, or a Chronic, finding the Chronic too unstable at speeds, and the Prophet (2011) heavy and life less. Is the CA stable enough to truly charge through the crud and variable snow I see down here in PA, or is the new shorter radius Brahma nimble enough to bring into the trees. How does length play a role, traditionally i’ve skied 180 cm, and if i went standard Brahma would stay there, but thought about going with a 187 CA for extra stability. Any Help is appreciated.

    Thanks,

    1. Hey Ryan!

      Great questions. I actually think the non-Ca Brahma in the 180 cm may be the way to go. The new version with the shorter turn radius definitely does feel nimble enough to use in the trees. I think that was one of the major improvements over the 2017 version. I don’t even think Blizzard really intended to do it, but they made a ski that does feel more maneuverable in the trees. Same can be said about the Bonafide. Also, with the shorter length Brahma you’re going to get a shorter turn radius than the 187 Ca, so you’ll be able to link shorter radius carving turns on those busy days, instead of skidding, sliding, or smearing shorter radius turns on the longer length. It sounds like you have plenty of skiing experience and ability to handle the metal in the Brahma, so I’m thinking that would be best.

      What do you think?

      SE

      1. Thanks for your response. I actually decided on going a different route, After talking with the guys at my local shop I ended up in a Nordica Enforcer 93 in 185 length (6ft2 190) just felt like the Nordica offered a little less rigidity than the Brahma but more stability than the CA. So far the results haven’t disappointed, first big test will be next week when i get them out to Utah to hopefully really see how these things open up. I still have the Chronics in my quiver for crowded days here in PA when it calls for slower speeds, or on New England days when the only place to ski are tracked out trees and i need to make quicker pivots and turns. I appreciate all the insights and reviews. Keep them up.

      2. Cool! I agree the Enforcer 93 does offer slightly less rigidity than the Brahma. It’s a little bit more versatile and forgiving in softer snow and variable conditions as well. I think you’ll have a blast on them. Thanks for sharing!

    1. At that size I would probably go with the 173 cm length. You could bump up to 180 cm if you really like to ski fast and like to maximize stability, but I think 173 cm should work just fine.

      SE

  52. HI there. East coast cold skier here….mostly Wildcat. I consider myself an advanced intermediate skier. I’ve got an old pair of Volkl’s that I have skied for years but am finally ready to step up to some new skis. I tend to ski old school (keep my feet close together and ski the powder stashes on the sides of the trails) My brother just got some new Volkl Kendos (163) which I tried and found myself constantly crossing the tips. I obviously need to carve my turns differently with all the new skis being much wider. I have done a lot of research lately but everyone seems to have their favorites. Volkl kendos, Nordica Enforcer 93, Rossi 88, Blizzard Brahma, etc. It seems that the Blizzard Brahma might be a good choice for me. What are your thoughts? Any other skis you might recommend if not? I am 5’7 and 195. Ski mostly groomers and hardpack as you can expect. Also, the charts all seem to recommend a ski between 160-170. My brother is the same size and ability and they recommended a 162 for his Volkl Kendos. What are your thoughts on that?
    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hey Rick!

      Yeah, current ski design does perform better with a slightly wider stance. You’ll find most instructors and coaches are teaching a shoulder-width stance these days. It allows your inside leg to bend and flex more naturally, which delivers more power to that inside ski and the inside edge, resulting in better edge grip, power, control over your skis, etc.

      The Brahma is a great ski, although all the skis you listed are good too. Do you consider yourself pretty aggressive? 3 of the 4 skis you listed use two full sheets of metal in their construction. Not everyone needs that much metal in their skis. If you’re a pretty aggressive skier and like to ski fast you’ll probably enjoy it, but if not don’t feel like you need to go with a ski with two sheets of metal. I would actually point you towards a 173 cm Brahma if you decide to go with that ski. What charts are you looking at for length? A 163 cm Kendo seems pretty short for someone your size, especially considering it’s an expert-level ski.

      Let me know a little bit more about yourself as a skier. Aggressive, fast, down the fall line charger? Are you laying down rail road track carves or are you skidding and sliding most of your turns?

      I’d definitely like to help guide you towards the right ski for you, and as a skier who grew up in Maine and now lives in Vermont I’m very familiar with the type of terrain available at Wildcat.

      Let me know what you think and we’ll go from there!

      SE

  53. Hi guys reading your review and then the comments I am debating what length of ski I should get. I’m 6’2″ 205 and an advanced to expert skier. I am back to alpine skiing after almost 20 years of telemark. I’m comfortable skiing all terrain that the east coast provides. Also I can get a pretty sweet deal on the 2017 model. I was thinking 187 but I am open to your suggestions. Thanks.

    1. Hi Allan!

      I think at your size and ability level you should be able to handle the 187 cm. The Brahma is a pretty demanding ski, but I can imagine the 180 cm would feel a little bit short at your size, especially considering your an advanced-expert skier. I say go for it! You’ll likely appreciate the edge grip and stability of that length.

      SE

  54. Hi
    I am an advanced intermediate, ski primarily NE and mostly groomers
    Occasionally ski the bumps
    5’8 ish 165 lbs have been skiing 165 length to 173
    Interested in the Brahma, Nordica enforcer 93
    And the Head Kore 93
    Help me decide

    1. Hey Roy!

      Three great skis to choose from! All three skis perform well on groomers. The Brahma probably has the edge in terms of true groomer performance. It has the best edge grip and the most powerful feel out of those skis. Less tail rocker too, so it finishes a carve with some power and feels very responsive.

      On the other hand the shape of both the Enforcer 93 and Kore 93 are a little more appropriate for moguls. They both use some early taper in the tips and tails, which makes them feel less catchy in ungroomed terrain. They’re a little easier to smear and pivot than the Brahma, which makes them a little more user-friendly in the bumps.

      I would say if you want to focus on groomer performance go with the Brahma. It can still handle moguls, just requires a little more skier input. If you want to give yourself an easier time in the bumps, while still retaining solid ability on the groomers, go with either the Kore or the Enforcer. At that point it comes down to construction. DO you ski fast and aggressively? You’ll probably like the 2 sheets of metal in the Enforcer and the stability it gives the ski. Do you prefer shorter radius turns at slower speeds? The Kore 93 is definitely the quickest and lightest of the bunch and is a blast for that type of skiing.

      What do you think? Hope that helps.

      SE

  55. I’m a midwestern skier (yes, that’s a thing in WI) primarily with a trip or two west each season, 5’ 10”, 215 lbs, intermediate-advanced, looking for a good one quiver all mountain ski that I can keep and continue to develop skills with but not be too much for what I will be using them for 95% of the season. Can you comment on this ski for me and I’m also trying to figure out the best length for me? Also considering Salomon XDR 84 ti? Thanks!

    – Ryan

    1. Hi Ryan!

      I think the Brahma could be an excellent choice. You could consider the Brahma Ca too, but I think at your weight you’ll appreciate having the metal in the ski. It makes it a little bit more stable and I don’t expect you’ll have trouble flexing it. The Brahma is an awesome ski; it’s great on groomers, but versatile enough to take into ungroomed terrain. The Salomon XDR 84 (and 88 also) is similar, although it uses less metal, feels a little lighter, and its shape is more inspired from soft snow skis. That makes it a little bit more user-friendly, a little easier to maneuver in ungroomed snow and tight terrain, while on the other hand it doesn’t have quite the power and vibration damping as the Brahma with its two sheets of metal.

      What lengths have you skied in the past? I think 179 cm would be the way to go with the XDR 84 or 88 as it has a lighter swing weight. I’m kind of on the fence about the Brahma. On paper I think the 180 cm is the right length, but if you’re at all worried about maneuverability on that ski you could justify going with the 173 cm.

      Hope that helps! Let us know if you want to chat more about it.

      SE

  56. Looking for skis for an East Coast skier. Mostly skis groomers and frontside of mountain and is an advanced skiers. Do you recommend these and if so what size for 5’10” 150lbs. Thx!

    1. Hi Lynn!

      The Brahma is a fantastic east coast ski! We’re located in Stowe, so have had plenty of time testing the Brahma in eastern conditions. A skier that size will likely want to go with either the 173 or 180 cm, depending on how fast they ski and how aggressive they are. I (Jeff) am just about that size exactly and prefer the 180 cm length, but I do consider myself a pretty aggressive skier and like having the extra stability and power that comes along with the longer length.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  57. Hey guys, looking to replace my dynastar speed sx 178cm from 1999(yes `99). I`m 5` 4″, 150 lb.,ski the east coast, pretty aggressive. What would be the better length for me? Also 2017 or better off with the 2018?

    1. Hi Fran!

      At your height and weight I think the 173 cm Brahma would be best for you. I think you’ll find it drastically outperforms your Dynastars even though it’s a little bit shorter. The 2018 Brahma feels a little bit more responsive on groomers as it enters a turn a little quicker and has a slightly shorter turn radius, but they are both great skis. Just a slightly longer turn on the 2017 Brahma and a slight difference in turn initiation, but they’re more similar than different if that makes sense.

      SE

    1. Hi Bob!

      Unless you’re relatively new to the sport or consider yourself a pretty timid, not aggressive skier I think 187 cm is the way to go. I think at your size you’ll appreciate having the extra stability that comes along with the longest length. What skis and in what lengths have you skied in the past?

      SE

  58. Hi, can you compare this to the Head Monster 88 in similar length (i.e. Brahma 180 vs Monster 177)? Edge grip on hard groomers, performance in bumps, trees and crud? This would be my narrow ski of a 2 ski quiver (other is 105).

    1. Hi Todd!

      You know, they’re really quite similar. Similar turn radii, similar construction, similar intended use, but of course there are some differences as well. The new 2018 Brahma feels more responsive due to the more abrupt tip shape, lower rise rocker, and slightly shorter turn radii. The Monster is a touch lighter, so arguably more maneuverable as it has a lighter swing weight, but they perform pretty similarly in off piste terrain. I would say the Brahma has the edge on groomers and has slightly better vibration dampening as well, while the Monster is lighter and easier to throw around. Ultimately they’d both be a good choice as a compliment to your 105 mm ski.

      SE

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