2018 Blizzard Brahma Ca 2018 Blizzard Brahma Ca

2018 Blizzard Brahma Ca Skis

The Brahma CA is a brand new ski from Blizzard. It is based off the ever-popular Brahma, which has also been redesigned for 2018, but removes both sheets of metal from the ski and instead uses what Blizzard refers to as Carbon Drive. They have the same shape and rocker profile, but the core of the ski gives it a distinctly different feel. The Brahma CA is much lighter thanks to the removal of metal and is a very energetic ski thanks to the abundant use of carbon in its construction.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Brahma CA is its quickness. The lighter weight ski and carbon fiber really gives it a maneuverable, snappy feel. Justin Perry, who skied the 180 cm length, picked up on this right away and scored the ski 5 out of 5 for quickness and maneuverability. Justin, who has had some time on the Brahma and other Blizzard skis with metal, thought that the Brahma CA is a “great all around ski for someone who doesn’t want metal in their ski.” He continues, “It turned on a dime and cut through all the crud. It’s very similar to the regular Brahma, except lighter and more forgiving.” We definitely agree that it’s a more forgiving ski, although that doesn’t mean it lacks energy or responsiveness.

David Marryat tested the 173 cm length and loved skiing on the Brahma CA. He gave the ski 5 out of 5 for everything except for flotation, which makes sense as the ski is only 88 mm under foot. David, who comes from an extensive snowboard background, but is still honing his ski technique thought that the ski is “great for the lightweight but strong intermediate skier looking for an upgrade. It’s more forgiving than the standard Brahma, but with all the attitude.” What David means is the Brahma CA still delivers high-end performance, just with a different feel. It takes a lot less effort to ski than the Brahma, is much less fatiguing, but still is incredibly responsive, holds an edge really well, and is versatile enough to ski the entire mountain as a true all mountain ski should. Jake Inger agreed with this sentiment, commenting that “the carbon gives the ski a forgiving feeling, yet they were able to hold an edge on many different kinds of snow (and terrain)”.

Matt McGinnis really describes the Brahma CA well. He too gave the ski high scores with it receiving 5 out of 5 for quickness, maneuverability, and even playfulness. Matt skied the 180 cm length and clearly was impressed by the Brahma CA as he also scored it 5 out of 5 for overall impression. We’re going to leave you with a series of quotes from Matt that we think anyone considering the Brahma CA will find extremely valuable:

“Here’s the thing about Blizzard skis: you know what you’re getting. There’s no ‘learning curve’ or ‘getting used to it’. You just look at the ski and ride it accordingly.”

“The Brahma CA is an excellent, playful frontside ski that’s capable at a variety of speeds. That said, it’s playful nature is most at home at moderate speeds and when the user wants to ski a variety of terrain.”

“Compared to the Brahma (non-CA) this is the more playful ski. Skiers looking for a more powerful ride at higher speeds should opt for the Brahma.”

We think those three quotes really sum things up nicely. The only comment we’d like to touch on is Matt calling it a “frontside” ski. We understand where he’s coming from: even Blizzard says these skis are developed from a “hard snow” approach, but the 88 mm waist width does give the Brahma CA enough versatility to ski off-piste, where a dedicated “frontside” ski may get bogged down.

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

Jake Inger Ski Tester Headshot Image

Jake Inger

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

Ski Style: Fast and Energetic

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

88 Comments on the “2018 Blizzard Brahma Ca Skis”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your awesome site!
    I am looking for a one-in-quiver type of ski and hope you can help me choose. I am 5’11” and 190-195 lbs advanced intermediate. I ski like 75 on-piste and 25 off-piste. I tried some two metal sheets skis in the past (like Mantra), which I found fun and high performance but definitely tiring. I want to try something lighter, less demanding and more playful. I have narrowed my choices down to 2 skis, but found also good deals on 2 others in my country.
    – Volkl Kanjo 2018/2019 (lightly used with bindings for 230 USD, prepared fully for a season)
    – Blizzard Brahma CA 2017/2018 (~250 USD without bindings)
    – Head Monster 83 2016/2017 (a good deal ~220 USD without bindings)
    – Atomic Vantage X75C 2018/2019 (a good deal:~290 USD with bindings)
    Main choices are Kanjo and Brahma. What would you call the main differences in the feel in between these two?
    How does the Head Monster compare to these?
    What kind of bindings would you suggest for Brahma if I would go with them?

    1. Hi David!
      I’d first take the Atomic off the list–much more of a on-trail cruiser than an all-mountain ski like the others. I’ve been saying lately that if all ski companies got together and decided to make one ski for everyone in the world, it would be the Brahma CA (Buswacker for 2019-2020). It’s got the shape, build, and temperment to satisfy an enormous number of skiers. It’s truly a one-ski quiver thanks to its light weight, ease of use, versatility, and stability. The Kanjo has a metal/Titanal band that runs the center of the ski, and this gives the Kanjo a bit more stable of a platform for groomer skiing, but it’s not as wide, so it isn’t as versatile. I’m not too familiar with the Monster, but I’m sure it’s on par with the other two skis. The Kanjo deal sounds like the best bang for the buck, given the bindings, but all costs being equal, I’d recommend the Brahma CA. We pair that ski with either the Marker Griffon 13 or the Tyrolia Attack 13. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hey i’m Kevin from Belgium (go skiing mainly in Austria), 177, 76kg. I’m a beginning intermediate, looking to buy my fitst pair of ski’s. Is the bushwacker worth it and in what size?

    1. Hi Kevin!
      I love the sound of the Bushwacker for your first pair! They’re fun and versatile and have room for your performance to grow. I’d say the 173 size would be good for you. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hi,
    I´m Martin from Germany (sorry for my english). First: Thanks a lot for your never ending help, tipps, comments! Awesome!
    I´m an expert skier coming from race-Skis (Atomic GS) and want to buy an allmountain Ski. Getting older, not longing for nothing but speed anymore 🙂 and I love to ski off-piste. I´m 189cm tall, 95kg, 42years old.
    So I want a ski, that can take high speed carving but also is fun off-piste and just playing around (on and off piste).
    I think i understood, that i get the most performance on piste out of the brahma, but if i want a little extra portion of fun and “easyness” (ist this a word?) I think that leads me to the Bushwacker or Rustler 9, right? Which one would still have more performance at high speeds: bushwacker (2019) or rustler 9? OR: Do I get enough fun out of the brahma, as my weight (95kg) is enough to get the stiff brahma feeling easy?
    Thanks!
    Martin

    1. Hi Martin!
      The Bushwacker/Brahma Ca is certainly more forgiving than the Brahma, so if you like that size and shape, it is an easier ski to maneuver. The Rustler 9 is awesome–it’s a bit wider than the Bushwacker and has more of an off-trail personality with its turned up tail, but also has a partial sheet of metal in it that allows it to be pretty stable at speed, especially underfoot. The Rustler is a great choice for both on and off-piste skiing, with more of a playful character. Hope that helps!
      SE

  4. I’m looking for a second ski in my quiver. Advanced skier, 5’ 10”, 180 lbs. I ski DPS Wailer A-106s at 185 length.

    Love DPS, but need a dedicated bump ski that is light, easy to initiate, and quick in the bumps – and that is more playful and easy to ski (to offset the stiff, demanding Wailers).

    I’m leaning toward the Brahmas and perhaps the Brahma CAs. I haven’t seen many good reviews re how the CAs perform in moguls for advanced skiers looking for a bump ski.

    Thoughts on the Brahmas (regular or CA) in this context (and would you go with 173 or 180 length)? Also, do you have any experience with DPS Cassiar 85s or 79s?

    1. Hi Rick!
      The Brahma Ca (now the Bushwacker again), is a better choice for a bump ski than the regular Brahma. It’s softer and will be able to absorb the flexion and extension necessary for mogul skiing. The Cassiar skis you mentioned would be great mogul skis as well, but the carbon involved with the Alchemist construction is pretty stiff. I’d go with the 173 length if you’re interested in more of a short turner. Have fun!
      SE

  5. Good morning. I’m 5’10, 185 lbs and a lifelong skier and former racer from the east cost. I’ve skied the regular 180cm Brahma and really liked it. I was looking at the 187 Brahma CA (SP?) that is one sale. Would the 180 Brahma be comparable to a 187 Brahma CA or are they completely different skis?

    1. Hi Jack!
      Yes they are completely different skis, and yes the 180 Brahma is comparable to the 187 Brahma Ca (now the Bushwacker again for 2019). I’d peg you as more of a 180 Brahma guy with the east coast racing background, I’m assuming you like skis with metal in them. The CA/Bushwacker is a great ski, but if you’re used to stiffer skis with more dampening, you might want to look to a metal ski like the Brahma. Hope that helps!
      SE

  6. Hoping you can help with a men’s vs women’s comparison. Is the 2019 Brahma CA identical in construction to the 2019 Black Pearl 88? I would love to demo the Black Pearl 88 173 (and the Sheeva 9 172), but I am 5’9″/140# and rarely find the longer lengths in women’s skis to demo. At a recent demo the longest Black Pearl 88 they brought was the 159 – yikes.

    While I almost always prefer women’s skis, I demoed the Head Kore 93 171 at the end of last season and had a blast. I later read about the stiff tail and while I don’t recall feeling that way there wasn’t much in varied terrain that day to ski. Hoping to get back on it and put it through more paces off the groomers.

    I am looking for a ski that would perform in New England but could also join my Santa Ana 100 177 (pre-metal) on west trips and step in when conditions are less than ideal but where I may still be be going from groomers to bowls to trees during the ski day.

    1. Great question, Lisa!
      The Black Pearl 88 and Brahma CA (now the Bushwacker) are pretty much identical. Blizzard says the Pearl has a slightly lighter wood core, and I just weighed them and found the Pearl to be .2 pounds lighter, for whatever that’s worth. I think you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Bushwacker. If you already have the 100, the 88 is a great complement. Happy winter!
      SE

  7. Hi Im looking at a pair of brahma ca 180 cm. im 6-2 195 60 years old i just bought a pair of technica cochise 100 boots ive been skiing lange comp 120 boots with blizzard wc 165 slalom skis. I have been skiing for 55 years and love to rip on the slalom skis. but have not skied the last 5 years do to spouses health . She has passed and i want to start skiing again. I am a advanced skier i wont say expert as i know many great skiers, however i can ski anything well at sugarloaf . i want to just go out and have fun and ski anythingt off and on piste is the brahma ca 2018 a good fit.

    1. Hi Brian!
      The Brahma Ca has been renamed the Bushwacker for this year (it was also named the Bushwacker a few years ago, but the marketing folk changed it up on us for a few seasons). They are great east coast skis, as the 88 mm underfoot width can handle a wide variety of snow conditions and terrain. They’ll do the trees, groomers, powder, moguls, you name it. They’re light in weight, but relatively stiff, so you get a fairly high level of performance for a ski without metal. Hope that helps, and have a great winter!
      SE

  8. Looking for a second ski for the quiver. I’m 45 y.o., 6′, 175 lbs with a slim frame (relatively small boned) but athletic and in shape. Been skiing 7-12 days, going on 10 consecutive seasons. I’d say advanced on groomers but intermediate on all else (off piste, bumps– but no trees yet). I work to improve every season. Probably 80/20 to 70/30 on/off piste depending on where I am (70/30 at Alta, for example; 90/10 to 80/20 at Jackson Hole). Speed-wise, I’m moderate to fast on groomers (depending on pitch and my music) and (currently) slow to moderate off-piste and in the bumps.

    For 3 seasons I’ve skied Nordica Hell & Back (98 mm) in 177 cm (19 m turn radius, I think) with Griffon bindings set at the standard/default line. What I like about the HBs: rip groomers like oversized GS skis, really go when on edge and I press into them, stable through crud, really good edge hold including icy conditions, don’t notice much (if any) “chatter” at my speeds. The only things I “dislike” (not really the appropriate term) are: (1) as I’m just beginning to “ski” bumps (as oppposed to merely “navigating” them only when necessary), they don’t seem to swing around as easily as I’d like (of course, partially because I still suck), and (2) because of the tail shape (I guess) they “come alive” and “buck” if I get in the back seat–which certainly forced me to become a much better skier, but sometimes I’d like to ski a little lazy and “slather” turns. Overall, it seems the HB is plenty of ski for me since I have to consciously press into it to make it really perform as intended (although I can definitely get around on a Mantra, etc. if that’s what I’m given).

    So that second ski… essentially I’m looking for something even more a front-sider (with some all-mountain variability), maintaing the characteristics I like in the HBs but easier to manuever in tight spaces so as to accelerate my prgression in the bumps and start in the trees. Somewhat arbitrarily I focused on something in the 85-88 mm range and figure 180-184 cm. I like what I see about Brahma and CA/Bushwacker. Also open to whatever. I’d appreciate your thoughts and recommendation(s).

    1. Hi Roger!
      I loved that Hell and Back when it first came out. I think you’ll really like the new Navigator Series from Nordica. It comes in an 80, 85, and 90, so you pretty much choose your own adventure with this series. Same construction for all of them, just different widths. The Bushwacker is another great option, and at 88 mm underfoot will split that difference between the 85 and 90 Navigator. The regular Brahma is a bit stiff for what it sounds like you’re up to, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad ski or unworthy of future consideration. Also check out the K2 Pinnacle 88 as a similar, versatile performer. The good news is that this is a competitive category, so you have a ton of good options. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thank you for the prompt reply. Sorry for such a lengthy “question”! I’ll definitely follow up on your suggestiions. Big help!

  9. Hello there,

    I am expert skier who really enjoys the powder (usually about 40 cm deep) in all condition (fresh – trashed – crusty).
    I also love to ski highspeed curves on the slope.

    I come from a Rossignol Scratch ghetto (yeah 2008 version) and I am not sure whether to choose the brahma or the brahma CA.

    I love the scratch because I can do everything with it. The dampening is marvelous, I can shred the powder and still carve down the slope, even over 60 mph.

    I am concerned about the weight of the brahma since I weigh only 70kg for 185cm, and I’m afraid the Brahma CA won’t follow my need for speed.

    What would be your advice?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Ashe!

      Fairly easy recommendation here. An expert skier who skis 60 mph will want to have the Brahma. At speeds like that you really need the vibration damping and stability that comes along with two sheets of metal. It’s not, however, known for its performance in powder. A little more challenging in deep snow compared to your Scratch, but I expect you’ll be fine.

      You could, however, consider a ski like the Rustler 9 from Blizzard or the Enforcer 93 from Nordica. Those skis retain good stability at speed, but perform better in soft snow.

      Let me know what you think or if you have any other questions.

      SE

  10. So I’m a 61 year old advanced skier. I ski mainly in the east 10-15 days a year (2019 goal – 20 days) with a trip out west every other year. I am currently skiing on a 8 year old pair of K2 Rictor’s. Although I love the way I can lay down GS type turns with these skies I’m looking to find something lighter that provides turn versatility and some off pista ability. I had demoed a pair of Head Core 93’s last year but didn’t like the way the tail performed for me also think I prefer more camber. I had been looking at the CA last year and now I see the bushwackers are back which I think are the same as the CA’s from last year. Have also seen the reviews on the new Rossignol Temptation 88 which also look interesting. I’m 6 ft 175 lbs and use Solomon Xmax 120 boots. What would be your recommendation for these 2 skies or is there something else you would recommend.

    1. Hi Fred!

      Yes, the Bushwacker is the same as the Brahma Ca from last year. You’re probably looking at the Rossignol Experience 88, right? The Temptation is essentially the same, but it’s the women’s model, so comes in shorter lengths. At your size I would say you’re probably in the Experience-length-range.

      So, let’s talk about the differences between the Bushwacker and the new Experience 88 Ti. Probably the easiest way to think of it is the Bushwacker is designed more for firm snow conditions, while the Experience 88 Ti is a little more versatile. The new version of the Experience 88 really changed the ski. If we were to compare the previous version with the Bushwacker I would’ve said the opposite, but now the Experience 88 uses quite a bit of rocker as well as early taper. It’s now much more maneuverable and performs better overall in softer snow conditions. The new construction also gives it better vibration damping and stability at speed.

      Considering part of your focus is to get a ski with more versatility and off-piste performance, I would go with the Experience 88 Ti over the Bushwacker. The Rustler 9 from Blizzard would probably be more along the lines of what you’re looking for, that’s a more versatile design. The new Experience 88 Ti is an awesome ski, can’t go wrong there. Also, I would recommend the 180 cm length.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  11. Hi there-

    Thanks for all your great, informative reviews. Its hard to buy ski gear online and you are making things easier.

    You have me curious about the Brahma SP. I’m wondering if the ski is somehow specifically built for the system binding it comes with. I don’t mind a system binding at all, but am wondering if in the long term I would be able to mount a different alpine binding, or more likely an AT binding. My current AT setup is a Fritschi binding on a lightweight downhill ski, rather than a touring ski, and its a great type of setup.

    Seeing the SP is built for durability, it would be an interesting purchase with the idea of keeping it for a long time and having AT (or other) binding options in the future. So- wondering if I could drill new holes in the future and mount a different binding?

    1. Hi Charles,

      You certainly could take the binding off and mount a different binding on it, although I can’t guarantee the existing holes wouldn’t get in the way of the new binding. Does that make sense? You’re right, it does present an interesting option for an AT ski, but I can’t guarantee your bindings won’t conflict with the existing holes.

      I don’t know if that helps, but I certainly hope it does.

      SE

      1. Hey thanks for the quick reply. I’ll consider this ski, seems like a smart purchase. I think it would make a good hard charger for skiing the east for a few seasons, and in the future I could fiddle with it to see if it could be rigged up for my west coast May/June/July backcountry corn snow missions…

        Pray for snow !!!

  12. Hi there,

    I’m currently a solid intermediate skier who wants to continue to improve and become an advanced skier in the near future. I pretty much ski the entire mountain, but mainly stay on piste 80% of the time. I like to go fast at times (especially when the trails are freshly groomed), otherwise, I’m an average speed skier. I mainly ski the the West Coast and the Andes in Chile and Argentina. I’m a 6’1, 170 lbs. young and athletic 48 y/o dude looking to buy my first pair of skis. I’ve narrowed my choices to 2 models: The regular 2018 brahma and the brahma Ca. I skied on the 2016/2017 brahma’s 2 years ago and loved them despite my limited skills at that time. However, I know that the 2016/2017 model’s construction and shape is different than the 2018. Based on my skill level, willingness to continue to improve, height and weight; which ski would you recommend for me? Also, if you think that there’s another ski out there that is better suited for me, please share.

    Thank you,

    Patrick

    1. Hi Patrick!

      If you skied the 2017 Brahma and enjoyed it you’ll be just fine on the new version. It has a slightly shorter turn radius and a more abrupt tip shape, which actually helps with turn initiation. If anything the new version is a little easier to ski than the previous version, so you should be just fine. Also, as you progress, you’ll appreciate that you have the extra stability that comes along with the Brahma with metal. I say go or it!

      Hope that helps,

      SE

  13. I’m an advanced east coast skier, can do just about anything on the east coast, spend a fair bit of time at Sugarloaf & Killington. I’m an athletic lean build at 5’8″ 155lbs. Last year, demo’d Enforcer 93’s and absolutely loved the stability at high speeds on groomers, edge hold, and felt I could push them to the limit. Problem was the maneuverability in tight spaces and versatility off-piste. These skis seemed a bit much for someone my size.

    Do you think the Brahma CA would be a nice alternative that could handle aggressive frontside but is lighter / versatility off-piste? What are your thoughts on the K2 Pinnacle 88, Exp 88 or Navigator 90’s ?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Tim!
      You’re on the right track with all of your thoughts. For 2019, the Brahma CA becomes the Bushwacker (again) and is a great choice. The Experience 88 will give you the best on-trail performance, and the Pinnacle 88 will be the most playful and best suited for all-mountain skiing. The sleeper of the group is the Navigator 90. Some people try it out with zero expectations and simply love how the ski carves and turns. They are all really nice skis, and there isn’t a wrong choice in that group. Hop on a couple of pairs and see if one speaks to you. Good luck!
      SE

  14. Hey SE,

    I am 18 years old, 187 cm’s tall and I weigh 80 kg’s. I am an advanced skier and I like both speed but also playfulness in a ski. I’ve set my mind on the Blizzard Brahma, but I’m not sure if I should get the regular one or the CA, I’m worried that the CA doesn’t quite have the stability to go at fast speeds (with the vibrations in the ski) and also should I get the 187 cm’s or the 180 cm’s?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Troels!
      Put it this way, if you get the regular Brahma, in either size, you’ll never wish for more performance. You may wish for more playfulness, especially in the 187 cm length, but not more performance. With the Brahma CA (Bushwacker for 2019), you’ll get a more versatile ski. You could go with the 187 in the CA/Bushwacker version easily and that might be your better option. The regular Brahma, especially in the 187, is a really beefy ski. If you like to ski moguls and trees, the CA/Bushwacker will be a better choice, even in the longer length. Thanks!
      SE

  15. Hi,
    I’m looking to purchase new skis for a trip to Japan later in the year.
    As I’m from Australia I’m used to skiing groomed runs but looking to venture to powder while over there.
    I’m 6’0 foot and 165lbs, intermediate to advanced skier.
    I have a pair of old stiffer fisher skies that I use for speed and wish to purchase a more playful all round ski for moguls too.
    Im thinking the 173 CAs could be the go or would you recommend the standard brahmas?

    Thank you for any help!

    1. Hi Andy!

      The Brahma is an awesome ski, although it’s not the easiest in powder conditions. Its performance on firm snow, however, is extremely impressive. It’s less to do with the construction (CA vs standard) and more to do with the shape. There’s not much rocker and almost no early taper, so they’re not exceptionally maneuverable in soft snow. If you want to focus performance on groomers, while having a ski that does okay in powder, the Brahma could work. That said, have you considered the Rustler 9? It’s a new ski and essentially takes the performance of the Brahma and repackages it in a shape and construction technique that’s a little more playful and better suited for soft snow conditions. Definitely take a look if you’re unfamiliar with it, we have a full review on our Chairlift Chat blog.

      Let me know what you think!

      SE

  16. Hi Ski Essentials
    Renee from Australia here. Looking to buy my partner his first pair of skis for his 30th birthday.
    He is 185cm tall (6’0″), weights 230 pounds (100kg) and is an intermediate skier. We ski in Australia, New Zealand and Japan so far, but travel to west coast USA/Canada sometimes and would like to take our skis with us on trips.
    We ski 70% on piste and 30% off.

    I was looking at the Brahma CA, but then REI suggested the standard Brahma.. and now I’m not sure which one is best for him. We have only ever hired resort ski’s and they tend to be old used skis (wouldn’t know which models sorry).

    The reason I want Blizzard is because they ship to Australia. I am getting the Blizzard Black Pearl 88 for me 🙂

    Would love your advice on which you think might be best for my partner.

    Thanks,
    Renee

    1. Hi Renee!

      I actually agree with whoever you spoke with at REI. The Brahma uses metal in its construction, and at his weight I think he would appreciate the stability that comes along with that metal. You might read reviews that say the Brahma is a more demanding ski, which is true, but usually for skiers of his size is much less demanding as it will be easier for him to flex the ski compared to a lighter weight skier.

      We ship to Australia often and have a lot of the Brahma in stock right now. We also have it paired with a Marker Griffon right now at a discounted package price, and that would be a great ski and binding combination for him.

      Hope that helps! Happy 30th to your partner!!

      SE

  17. Hello,

    I will going my other east coast skiers here who are asking for your opinion. I ski primarily in the SouthEast (the real “Ice Coast”) so beyond a yearly trip out west I am mainly on groomers, ice and “powder” days the west coast would laugh at. I am 5-10, 200 lbs and would identify as an advanced intermediate (blues & blacks) who likes a moderate pace, but the ability to step on it as needed.

    I love my primary skis, Blizzard Latigos, but I want to add a second ski for when the ice becomes crud and slush along with a serviceable option out west.

    I am torn between the Brahmas (Ca vs Standard), Navigator 90s, Enforcers 93s. I like having minimal tip chatter so would the Brahma CAs not be a great choice? I had ruled out the Kore 93s & Ripstick 96s because some reviews said this would be an issue.

    Also do these Brahmas ski shorter (which I prefer tight control on ice) like the Nordicas? And a final note should I hold out to look at the new Blizzard Rustler 9s?

    Thank you,

    Stephen

    1. Hi Stephen!

      I think at your weight you can probably rule out the Brahma Ca. They don’t chatter a ton, but I think you can justify going with a ski with some metal in it to get the vibration damping you’re looking for. The Brahma doesn’t, in my opinion, ski short. Really it’s just the rocker profile of the Enforcer 93 that makes it ski a little bit short, but the lengths it’s available in reflects that. For example, a 180 cm Brahma is comparable to a 185 cm Enforcer 93.

      In my opinion this comes down to which ski is going to compliment your Latigos the best. The Brahma is essentially a wider Latigo, so that might be reason enough to go with a different ski. Sure, the Brahma handles soft snow better than the Latigo, but overall their performance is rather similar. I’m leaning toward either the Enforcer 93 or the Rustler 9. Neither of those skis are so wide that they’re going to feel foreign to you, but they’re really taking the performance in soft snow to the next level compared to all the other skis we’re talking about. The Rustler 9 feels strong and precise underfoot, while the tips and tails feel softer and more maneuverable. The Enforcer 93, on the other hand, has a very even flex profile throughout and is known for being exceptionally smooth. That’s how I describe the difference between them, so hopefully that helps you determine which would feel right for you.

      SE

  18. SE,

    a minor addendum to my reply post earlier. I properly weighed my 2016 (not 2015 as mentioned at first) 181 Atomic Blackeye Ti’s this morning and I’m not sure where I got the 2800g figure I mentioned previously. They came in at a whopping 3800g a piece with XTO 12 bindings!! It’s no surprise I was tiring by 2-3 PM. Having to crank almost 4 kg a foot on each turn takes its toll…

    By comparison, the 2018 184 Volkl 90Eight’s w/ Marker Griffon’s come in at 2855/2900g (left/right). A full kg less on each foot. I also mentioned the Griffon’s were 500g a piece which of course is wrong as they come in at 1020g each which makes sense as the Volkl 98’s are about 1800g a piece wo/ bindings. I actually suspect the Griffon’s are 1020g a set unmounted as I seem to recall weighing the set of 98’s while still in plastic at 3500g the pair or 1750g each.

    In short, perhaps my concern for the 2010g weight of Volkl Kendo 184’s and 2050g of Blizzard Brahma 180’s is unfounded. At ~3100g binding mounted (and I will use Griffon’s) I will still be loosing at least 700g underfoot compared to the Atomics. Of course, the most important weight loss area is in the extremities so hopefully I will feel that as I’m looking to have more fun and not just bomb down the hill.

    Based on your advice, I’m leaning toward the Brahma’s simply because they come in at 180 rather than 184 and would rather have the shorter length for the narrows and trees (can I add moguls?).

    Thanks again, David

    1. Hi David,

      Yeah, in my opinion the difference between the Kendo and Brahma is more of a shape, design difference than a width difference. Not much difference between 88 mm and 90 mm at all, especially from two different brands.

      1) Volkl Kanjo 182’s (84 underfoot, 1640g) – described as an intermediate ski by Volkl
      2) Volkl Kendo 184’s (90 underfoot, 2010g)
      3) Blizzard Brahma 180’s (88 underfoot, 2049g)

      Those three skis are an excellent selection to choose from and I think that’s the most appropriate for you out of everything we’ve talked to. I wouldn’t get too hung up on weight. Those system bindings on your Atomics make the ski very heavy. 700 g is fairly significant, so I wouldn’t worry too much about the Kendos or Brahmas being heavier than the Kanjos. They’re all going to feel quite a bit lighter than your Atomics.

      I’m with you, I’m also leaning towards the Brahma. Not necessarily because of the 180 vs 184 cm length difference, but just because I think that’s such a great compliment to the 90Eights and is such a satisfying ski. You’re right, however, in assuming the 180 cm Brahma will be a touch easier to handle in tight terrain (yeah, you can include moguls!) than the 184 cm Kendo. Some of it is swing weight, some is the actual length, and while the difference is relatively marginal, I do think the 180 cm Brahma is a little easier in that terrain.

      Let me know if you have any other question! I hope I answered everything, but if I didn’t don’t hesitate to ask follow up questions.

      SE

  19. SE,

    thanks for your informative and helpful reply. I admit I’m eager to get on a pair of Brahma’s not having skied Blizzard’s since my V20’s of the 1990’s. More so, having demo’d the Kendo’s, a direct comparison seems in order. From all indications, the Brahma’s are probably even more piste oriented. I’m wondering if the 88 underfoot of the Brahma’s will reveal itself compared to the 90 of the Kendo’s or whether it’ll be more of a design (and to some extent, length) difference. I do like the fact that the Blizzard’s would put me in 180’s (a tad less swing momentum) vs 184’s on the Kendo’s. That said, Blizzard’s seem to be roughly 20% more expensive than Volkl’s – much to my surprise.

    To answer your question re the 90Eight’s, yes, a pair of 184’s sit patiently in the basement awaiting the next winter solstice. Nice boards! Though I’m really keen on getting on them as well, I’m not sure how much use they’ll see so long as I’m heading to colder Eastern resorts with the kids (I’ll come and visit you guys in Stowe next winter and maybe pickup a pair of skis!). However, they’ll go on the roof rack and on days that seem appropriate, I’ll put them on the slopes.

    Returning to my primary Eastern ski, based on your advice, it seems safe to discard the Brahma CA’s (2019 Bushwackers? Nice top sheet on those!) and, yes, the Kore 93’s (my mistake). I had included these skis alongside the Kanjo’s because they were lighter than double layer Ti boards and admittedly, I feel a little fatigued by 3 PM at the end of the day with the higher swing weight underfoot all day. This was one of the main driving forces behind moving away from the Atomic’s and the purchase of the wider and much lighter (yet longer) 90Eight’s. I wanted to follow in the same vein with the primary skis and the Kanjo’s came to mind as they split the difference in weight between carbon super light skis (Bushwacker’s and Kore’s) and the double layer heavy boards. Perhaps the Rustler 9’s would have been a better set to add to the list as they are single layer like the Kanjo’s. However, from your comments it sounds like the R9’s (94 underfoot at 180) are too “close” to the 90Eight’s to be a good complementary pair.

    So please correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like I’m down to three sensible choices and in order of increasing weight:

    1) Volkl Kanjo 182’s (84 underfoot, 1640g) – described as an intermediate ski by Volkl
    2) Volkl Kendo 184’s (90 underfoot, 2010g)
    3) Blizzard Brahma 180’s (88 underfoot, 2049g)

    Whatever the choice made, it sounds like I’d be loosing weight underfoot compared to the Atomic’s as I weighed them to 2800g with its XTO12 binding and I would only be adding 500g (so max 2550g on Brahma’s) per ski with Marker Griffon’s or similar. I admit, the Kanjo’s do seem tempting given the loss of almost 700g compared to the Atomic’s. But perhaps this is not such a good thing and I’ll just find them sloppy and imprecise when energized and skiing at speed. Maybe loosing some weight in the boot is an option though not quite the same when it comes to swing weight. I’ll probably address that in a boot review as I’ll also be in need of some Alpine touring (tech insert) boots for the Salomon/Atomic shifts I plan to use on the 90Eight’s. I’m thinking of Atomic Hawx Ultra XTD, Dalbello Lupo’s, Salomon QST Pro’s and the like (I currently ski in 100 mm last Hawx and love them). But that’s another topic.

    Thanks again for your ongoing advice!

    David

  20. Hi Jeff and SE,

    firstly, thanks for all your useful reviews and feedback on the latest crop of gear. Much appreciated!

    I’m an East Coast skier (Tremblant is my “local” mountain), 6’0″, 210 lbs (though I’m aiming for 190-200 for next season) and have skied since I was 5. I don’t think of myself as “middle aged” but have entered my 50’s though I feel like I’m still 30 or 40, especially on the mountain. I have been skiing on 2015 Atomic Blackeye Ti’s (181’s) for the last two seasons which I have enjoyed but have also had the opportunity to demo various other skis. The Volkl Kendo among them. Being on the East coast (alas no longer in BC) and often on piste, I like to let the boards rip and in any case often don’t have a choice as I have to keep up with my 15 year old son who careens down the mountain regardless of incline. I admit that I still miss the stability at GS speed we had back when I skied for my university ski team on 200’s back in the early 90’s. However, I certainly wouldn’t trade the performance and versatility of today’s ski’s with the 2×4’s of yesteryear. I find the Atomic’s great when carving but dislike their nervousness when I’m trying to “prevent” them from turning. Then I tried the Kendo’s and I was blown away (in soft snow I might add). I also tried skis like Fisher Ranger’s (no Ti in the set I tried I believe) and thought they were like Ramen soup noodles. But the Kendo’s to me are an amazing set of boards! Ripped when carving 20 m turns like a locomotive yet still playful in the trees (I was testing 184’s in Sutton, QC over 3 weekends) and remarkably stable when traversing in a straight line. In other words, I didn’t have to worry about them wiping me out if I lost focus momentarily (I have kids…) which the Atomic’s can do though I’m now used to it so better equipped.

    Fast forward 2019 season. I am thinking of being done with the 81 cm underfoot of the Atomic’s in favor of a two pair quiver. I didn’t feel the Kendo’s were particularly harder to turn than the Blackeye’s on the steeps but I have come to realize they are still both rather heavy when one considers what is being made today. One of the two pairs I have added is a set of 184 Volkl 90Eight’s (probably with Salomon Shift’s) primarily intended for a 50/50 piste/BC trip to Europe I plan to do next March (and the occasional powder day in the East). I suspect these ski’s, while light and playful, won’t deliver what I’m looking for on piste here in QC so I’m thinking of a complementary set of boards. With the goal of loosing some weight on the skis to add agility but without loosing too much control (hopefully), three sets came to mind:

    1) Blizzard Brahma CA/SP’s 180’s
    2) Volkl Kanjo 182’s
    3) Head Kore 88’s 180’s

    Other skis that have made it on to the radar are regular Brahma’s, Bonafide’s, even Rustler 9’s, the new Mantra’s, obviously Kendo’s and, probably out of my desirable spend, Kastle FX85’s. I believe most, if not all, of these are double metal layered which is why I have focused on the lighter sets listed.

    Of the three listed, which do you think would be the best suited to complement the 90Eight’s and to deliver what I’m looking for (including length) as my go to skis for the EC? Also, am I going to be disappointed with any of them given my experience on double metal layered boards (Blackeye’s and Kendo’s) in the last couple of years? Last but not least, is there perhaps a better set of boards than these three you’d recommend?

    Many TIA, David

    1. Hi David!

      Thanks for all the info! You’ve already bought the 90Eight, right? Or at least set on a pair of those as your softer snow/touring setup? Just want to make sure I’m understanding correctly.

      I think the regular Brahma or the Kanjo would be a great choice to compliment your 90Eights. Based off your experience on the Kendo it seems that you like the feel of having some metal in your skis, which isn’t surprising at all considering your size and skiing background. Because of that I think you can probably rule out the Brahma Ca. I think you can also rule out the Kore too (I think you mean Kore 93?). In my opinion the Kore starts to get a little too close to the 90Eight in terms of performance to really be a complimenting ski. The regular Brahma, however, essentially takes the performance of the Kanjo to the next level on firm snow. Slightly more responsive, super good edge grip, I think you’d like it. The Kanjo could be an option too, but keep in mind it only has a single strip of metal down the center of the ski, while the Kendo you tested uses two full sheets of metal like the Brahma.

      Heck, a Kendo could also be a complimenting ski to the 90Eight too! The Brahma, in my opinion, is a little more firm snow oriented, which is why my mind went to it initially, but you already know how much you like the Kendo and realistically it’s quite a bit different than the 90Eight. Bonafides, Rustler 9, and Mantras in my opinion are also getting a little too wide to really be a compliment to the 90Eight if you’re going to have a two ski quiver. The Kendo or Brahma feel much more appropriate.

      To answer your last question, although I think I have already, I do get the feeling a ski without two sheets of metal would leave a little to be desired for you. Of course, I might be wrong, but judging off what you’ve said I think it’s safer to stick in that two sheets of metal category for your “resort” or “firm snow” ski.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  21. Hi,
    I really like the idea that the Brahma CA has a ‘snappier’ feel that the regular Brahma, but does that affect it’s performance and ability in handling icy conditions? I live on the east coast and while at times we can get a lot of snow, that can often be followed by rain. I really need a ski that doesn’t slip out on the ice.
    Thanks, James

    1. Hi James!

      You do lose a touch of torsional stiffness without the metal, but the biggest benefit from that metal is vibration damping and stability. The Brahma Ca doesn’t have that same super-smooth, quiet feel, but on the other hand it feels super energetic, which it sounds like you might like. I would say you should only worry about edge grip on the Brahma Ca is you’re a REALLY aggressive skier, fairly heavy, and like to drive a ski with a lot of power. If you read that and thought, “yes, yes, yes,” I would stick with the metal Brahma, but otherwise I think the Brahma Ca is probably right up your alley.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  22. Hi,

    I currently ski on Brahma 173’s. I’m 6’1, 195 lbs and I’m an intermediate to advanced skier. I ski 70% on and 30% off piste. I find that my Brahmas are stiff and heavy in off piste conditions but love them on the groomers and skiing through crud. I am considering changing to the Brahma CA’s to capitalize on the lighter more flexible traits to improve the off piste experience. However, I am an east coast skier and so I often am skiing on hard packed snow and ice. I don’t want to give up the edge grip that I have with my current Brahmas. Will I find much of a difference in edge grip between the “regular” Brahmas and the CA’s? DP

    1. Hi DP!

      I would say as a general rule you’re really only going to notice a big difference in edge grip between the Brahma and Brahma Ca if you’re a pretty aggressive skier. If you’re skiing at high speeds you might find you push the Brahma Ca past its limits. I also don’t necessarily think just changing construction will give you what you’re looking for. Have you considered a different shape? Maybe the Rustler 9 would work better for you than the Brahma Ca? You’re not giving up a ton of edge grip there, but gain a whole bunch of ability in off piste terrain. Just a thought as the Brahma and Brahma Ca are exactly the same shape.

      SE

  23. Hi,
    I’m in the market for a new all mountain ski and am torn between the 2018 Blizzard Brahma and Heads Kore 93. Having read many reviews, the Head best describes what I’m looking for but may be too light for me. I’m an advanced skier, 6’-2” weighing 218 pounds and usually ski a 180-184 length. I have an Atomic Automatic ski for powder days but am looking for a solid groomer ski that will also handle crud and off piste conditions. Got any advise on these choices?

    1. Hi Larry!

      The Brahma definitely has the edge on groomers, so if you’re really looking for groomer performance that might be the way to go. The Kore 93 is very maneuverable and is the better ski for off-piste conditions just because of the increased tip and tail rocker and lighter swing weight. That being said, in my opinion the Brahma is a better compliment to your existing skis since you already have something that handles softer snow conditions really well. If I were you I’d be psyched adding a ripping, super stable, powerful ski like the Brahma to my quiver.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  24. So I’ve got a convoluted story to tell her ….. I ski the 2016 Brahma at 173 cm, but I’ve always suspected I bought them too short. I’m 5’9”, 200 lbs and am an aggressive advanced to expert lifelong Eastern skier, like to rip it up on groomer and on steeps, and occasional moguls, get in about 10 days a year. I’ve always felt a bit unstable at high speeds and through crud on these skis but just chalked it up to getting older (I’m 47). On a whim this weekend, I went into the Cannon rental shop and asked to demo the new Brahmas at 180, and I immediately felt the difference. Could go much faster and felt more stable, and found more edge control on hard pack/ice. I even tried the 188 just for kicks and felt at home on these as well as a I liked the stability but maybe they weren’t as responsive to turn. … Anyway, I realized after researching when I got home that what I actually demoed was the Brahma CA (it was a grey ski that I tried). If I were buying skis just on research, I’d say I’d profile into regular Brahma 180s, but I did enjoy myself on the Brahma CAs that I tried. I wonder my reaction to the Brahma CA is more about the better length than the carbon, but I”m not sure. I likely won’t have time to test to regular Brahmas this year and I want to take advantage of end of season deals so I can get to a more appropriately sized ski. Which do you think would be better for me, the regular Brahma or the CA? And is it crazy to consider the regular Brahma at 187 if I was good with that size on the CA version, or should I stick to 180 for my profile?

    This is a great forum, thanks so much for the thoughtful answers!

    1. Hi Sean!

      I would expect you were benefiting more from the increased length of the skis you demoed than from the different construction. I agree that on paper your skier profile matches up better with the normal Brahma because you’re relatively aggressive, not exceptionally lightweight, and value stability at high speeds. I would imagine that a 180 cm Brahma (metal version) would be perfect. You’ll get that extra stability out of the longer length, but the construction is also more stable as I’m sure you know. The vibration damping out of the metal Brahma far surpasses that of the Brahma Ca, which most skiers your size, level of aggressiveness, ability level, etc really appreciate. The 187 cm length is fun to ski sometimes, but I bet if you bought that length you’d be wishing you had the 180 cm when you were trying to make quicker moved in tighter terrain and other similar situations. Based off everything you’ve said 180 cm Brahma with metal feels like the way to go.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Thanks SE! Seems like Brahma 180 is the way to go. Recommendation on the best binding for that ski?

        LOLed at “you’re not exceptionally lightweight” … agreed.

      2. We mount a lot of Tyrolia Attack 13s and Marker Griffons on the Brahma. Low stand height, consistent release, a nice wide platform; they work quite well. Do you know what your DIN setting is? Having a really high DIN would really be the only reason to get a heavier binding.

        SE

  25. Hi Ski Essentials,

    I’m a 5’9, 155lbs, advanced skier who skies about 25 days out West (mostly Tahoe but also a week in Utah or Colorado). I love the bumps, trees, and powder and don’t really care much about speed. I currently ski 178 cm Dynastar Cham 97 with Look bindings. I love these skis, especially with fresh powder. I have no plans to stop using them but I do find them to be very heavy. I’m thinking of adding a more versatile / front side ski; something a little smaller under foot and lighter. In Tahoe we do get the big powder days, but also there are weeks with nothing where the slopes well worn and icy. I’m intrigued by the Brahma CA because of its lighter weight and size under foot. I’m concerned it might be too loose without the metal, but the regular Brahma might be too much like my Cham 97s. Thoughts? Any other recommendations? I love my Dynastar skies but don’t know their comparable to the Brahma CA.

    1. Hi Charlie!

      I think the Brahma Ca would be a nice compliment to your Cham 97. The shape is much different; definitely more tailored to firm snow performance. While they don’t use metal, they still feel very precise, so I wouldn’t worry about them feeling loose. They don’t have quite the power and vibration damping as the Brahma with metal, but arguably more responsiveness and energy when linking turns, so they’re still very satisfying to ski on firm snow. I don’t consider it very similar to the Cham 97 at all because Dynastar uses so much rocker and early taper in that design. The Brahma’s shape is basically full width tips and tails, so longer effective edge and increased responsiveness. It should accomplish what you’re looking for.

      SE

  26. Hi Ski Essentials,

    I’m 27 y/o 5’7, 130lbs looking at the Brahma CA and wanted your opinion on sizing. I’m currently skiing on the 2004 Salomon scream hot in size 155cm and do mostly moguls and trees in California. What size would you recommend? Do you think the size up to 166 would be too big of a jump compared to what I’m skiing now? Seems like everyone skis long now.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jeremy!

      Yeah I think you’ll be just fine on a 166 cm Brahma Ca. I don’t think that’s too long for you by any means. Ski sizing has gotten a little longer since those early 2000s years. It’s mostly due to more pronounced rocker profiles, but it also has to do with the fact that manufacturers are making skis lighter weight now too. 166 cm is perfectly appropriate for your size.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  27. Hi, I am a newer skier (I’ve skied about 10 times total) and am good with blue runs now. I’m 27 years old, 6’3″ and 210 lbs, and decently athletic (think D3 college sports who gained a few pounds and mostly sits at a desk). I’ve skied the regular Brahma, some Ross Soul 7HD powder skis, and Ross Experience 88 skis. The regular Brahmas were definitely my favorite as they seemed stiffer and more precise/turned better than the Experience 88s. I skied all of them in the 173 cm range. I was considering the Brahma CA as they seem to be more geared towards intermediate skiers, but what I liked about the regular Brahma’s was how they didn’t flex as much and powered through whatever was underfoot. This being said, I’m a little nervous this may be too much ski for me despite loving how they felt when I tried them. Any advice?

    1. Hi Zephyr!

      I wouldn’t be nervous if I were you. I think you’d find the Brahma Ca, even though it’s a little different shape, feels somewhat similar to the Experience 88. It sounds like you really enjoyed the feel of metal in the normal Brahma, which isn’t surprising at all considering you’re a larger guy and pretty athletic. Lightweight, timid skiers are usually the ones who don’t like the feel of metal and I wouldn’t say it sounds like you fall into that category. On paper the Brahma is a lot of ski for a new skier, but I wouldn’t let that deter you. At your weight and level of athleticism I think it’s a great choice.

      SE

  28. Hey Chris,

    I’m a big guy, 6′ 3″ and 245lbs that skis fairly agressively and fairly fast. I like going into the trees in search of powder and spend most of my days skiing in the interior of British Columbia. I like a ski with a stiff tail to keep me in line when I get lazy and sit back too much.

    I was looking seriously at the 2017 Brahma last season and the two new styles intrigue me. I also think the Rossie Sky 7 may be a good alternative…

    Any guidance?

    Thanks
    Brian

    1. Hey Brian!

      My first thought here is that if I were living in British Columbia and was always seeking out powder I would probably want something wider than the Brahma Ca. To me a ski like the Rustler 10 is more appropriate, although you did mention you like a stiffer tail and I wouldn’t describe that ski as particularly stiff in the tail. I wouldn’t, however, describe the Sky 7 HD that way either. It’s quite lightweight and not exceptionally stiff. You’re not a small guy, so I’m wondering if maybe something with more metal or a burlier construction in general is the way to go? The Nordica Enforcer 100 comes to mind. Stiffer tail than the Sky 7 and definitely outperforms the Brahma (either version) in powder.

      What do you think? Are you open to other skis? There are others out there I think could work too, but the Enforcer 100 is a good example of where my mind is.

      SE

  29. I’ve got a pair of Atomic Nomads (Crimson Ti) which I really like. I’m an advanced 6’2 / 240lb skier, but after long days in anything but firm snow the Atomics feel so heavy. I’m looking for a lighter ski would the Brahma CA offer any real advantage or are the skis so similar that the lighter CA would not make a difference. From what I can tell the CA is about 500g lighter.

    Thanks in advance,

    KB

    1. Hi KB!

      Yeah I think the Brahma Ca is probably just what you’re looking for. While it’s not drastically lighter on the scale, it feels quite light on your feet, and definitely lighter than your Nomads. Plus, thanks to the carbon in their construction they still rip turns when you want to, just don’t have that same fatiguing feel over a long day of skiing.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  30. I’ve been giving serious thought to getting the ‘regular’ Brahma, and am curious what difference I’d find between it and the CA version? I’m 5′-11″, weigh 170 lbs and an expert skier. I currently ski the Blizzard Magnum 8.0ti at 173cm and love the ski. I like fast GS cruising, and really enjoy the Magnum’s ability for quick turns when I need them. Thinking the Brahma’s 88mm underfoot will provide more float on the occasional powder days here in the east, that the 80mm Magnums barely get by with. I also want to increase length to the 180cm in the Brahma for a bit more stability. I’d appreciate your thoughts, thanks!

    1. Hey Chris!

      I would probably stick with the “regular” Brahma. It sounds like you’re the type of skier that likes some stability and power in your skis for that high speed GS cruising. The Brahma Ca doesn’t use any metal. It makes it lighter, and gives it a more responsive, energetic feel, but it doesn’t have the same vibration damping or stability at speed as the normal Brahma. I think you’ll have a blast on a 180 cm Brahma. It will definitely give you a little easier time on those occasional east coast powder days, and still absolutely rips on firm snow when you want to.

      Enjoy!

      SE

  31. I am an advanced skier typically making short quck turns to stay in control all over the mountain but occaisionally like to ski fast GS turns on intermediate slopes. I ski a Vogle RTM 81 on eastern hard pack and love it. Im looking for a ski for the west, for groomers and non groomers all over the mountain, small occaisional bumps and light powder. 70-30 on off piste. Undecided between Nordica E93, Blizzard Brahma CA and a demo Stockli Stormrider Vario. I chose the latter 2 for their lite weight and quickness from edge to edge but I am not sure of the stability for full all mountain skiing. I would appreciate your comments.

    I am 5’8″ 160 pounds, athletic but getting old with old knee. Most sites recommend a ski around 167 cm. I see you seem to recommend longer, say 177cm. Again please comment for these skis.

    1. Hi Steve!

      Are you going to be keeping your Volkl RTM 81? If yes, I think going with the Enforcer 93 could be fun as it would give you more of a compliment to your current skis. The Vario is almost more of a touring ski, so I personally wouldn’t go that route, partly because of the lack of stability that you pointed out. So, between the Enforcer 93 and the Brahma Ca the Enforcer is definitely more versatile. A little wider, more rocker, a little bit more early taper. Definitely better performance in soft snow and plenty of stability from the metal in the ski. The Brahma Ca is quicker edge to edge and arguably a little bit more responsive, but not quite as versatile in soft snow and not quite as stable as it has no metal.

      Ski length isn’t so cut and dry, but in certain models I often recommend going longer than one might think. The Enforcer 93 is a good example, as I would say 177 cm is probably the best length for you, but that’s because it uses a fair amount of tip rocker and is relatively forgiving. Some might say it even skis a little “short,” if you’re familiar with that term.

      What do you think?

      SE

      1. I now have had the opportunity to try both the CA and E93 at keystone mostly on groomed trails. Both are good but the CA is much easier to ski. With the E93 I have to focus on clean turns. While the CA also carves nice it’s just so easy to turn wih less fatigue. For pure ease and fun I like the CA. For any speed I might want it’s stable.

  32. Hi Which ski would be best if. Wanted to ski switch every now and then? Would I have to look for a full twin tip or would a high rocker tail be ok. Thanks

    1. Hi David!

      A real twin tip is best for skiing switch, but there are some “non-twin-tip” skis out there that can handle the occasional switch skiing. To me the Brahma CA doesn’t have enough tail rocker, but something like the Rustler 10, or a ski with a similar shape, can do some switch skiing on firm, groomed snow. In deeper snow it will catch and dive.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  33. Hello,
    Looking at the Brahma Ca now over the stiffer non Ca model. Intermediate-advanced skier who goes medium to fast pace all over the mountain. Mainly on trial with Woods mixed in. I’m 5’7 and about 175-180 lbs. leaning toward 173cm. I see recommendations of 180Cm + for skiers who weigh less but are slightly taller. 180 seems tall for my height. Thoughts ?

    1. I think 173 cm is the way to go. I mentioned that in my other response as well.

      Let us know what you think!

      SE

  34. similar question at 6’4″, 165lbs would you go for the 180 or 187. I ski on a 15 year old pair of K2’s that are 190’s today. (First generation of parabolic)

    1. Hi Jeff!

      I think just because of your height and the leverage you have over your skis the 187 cm is probably the best length. For comparison I (Jeff) am about 5’10” ~150 lbs and think the 180 cm feels just about perfect, so I would expect you’d have a similar reaction to the 187 cm. It’s also obvious you can handle skis of that length considering what you’re coming off of.

      Have a great season!

      SE

  35. How much do these skis weigh?

    PS. It’s annoying when manufacturers don’t put the full numbers on the spec sheet just like length/tip/waist/tail.

    1. Hey Al!

      A single 173 cm Brahma Ca weighs 3.55 pounds. It actually kept going back and forth between 3.55 and 3.60 on the scale, but right around there. Albeit this ski is wrapped in plastic, but I don’t expect the plastic weighs anything at all really.

      I understand your annoyance. We try to include weight whenever possible in our product descriptions, but we also find that some manufacturers don’t necessarily provide it.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  36. I currently ski the 2017 Brahama in 173cm length and am looking at moving to 180cm but in a lighter more playful ski. I am 5’9″, 140-145lbs and a level 8 skier. I am considering the Brahama Ca or the Head Kore 93. I live on the east coast but ski at least two weeks a year out west. I’d greatly appreciate your input on my inclination in moving up in length and on the two skis I am considering. Thanks-

    1. Hi Claude!

      I don’t think it’s strange for you to want to size up by any means, and I think you picked two skis on which that would make a lot of sense. Keep in mind the Brahma Ca shares the same shape as the normal Brahma (although they are both slightly updated for 2018). It is a shorter turn radius now, and the Ca construction is definitely lighter and livelier, but the shape largely stays the same. Do you think if you took your current Brahma and make them lighter and a little easier to throw around that would be what you’re looking for? The Kore 93 leans a little more towards off-piste use, has more early taper, etc. I would say if you want to retain a similar performance on groomers, but in a lighter ski, go Brahma Ca. If you want a whole different feel I would go with the Kore 93. Honestly, both are tremendous skis.

      SE

      1. Thanks for the response and you pose a very good question…the answer is a qualified probably. I ski 50/50 on and off piste and am looking to ski more in trees, bumps and ungroomed terrain. One review I read about the Kore 93 stated the tail was very stiff. While this would be appreciated at higher speed arcing turns, not so much so in trees and bumps. I think I’ve convinced myself to stay in the 170 to 177 size (given my weight of 140-145). I’ve also added one more ski to the mix, Volk 90eight. I would greatly appreciated your opinion of these three given my terrain preferences and the differences I might expect in going from 88 under foot to 98. Thanks again, CA

      2. Hi again Claude!

        Our testers didn’t find the tail of the Kore 93 exceptionally stiff. I actually think the Kore 93 is going to be the better ski in bumps and trees between the two. The Brahma (both normal and Ca) finishes a turn really well on firm snow; it’s shape is more geared towards that terrain. The Kore 93 is designed to be a bit more versatile. I wouldn’t let that review that said the tail was stiff deter you, it’s a pretty forgiving ski overall.

        The 90Eight is essentially going to take that difference a step further. If the Kore 93 leans more towards off-piste use than the Brahma, the 90Eight leans even further in that direction. It’s a very light, responsive ski, but isn’t as quick as either the Brahma or the Kore 93 edge to edge on firm snow. As an every day ski for predominantly the east coast I would probably go with the Brahma Ca or Kore 93 over the 90Eight, simply because they perform better and are a little easier to ski on firm snow. The 90Eight requires that much more edge angle. There are a lot of people that like skis that wide for all conditions, but there is a noticeable difference in quickness edge to edge and the required edge angle to hold a carving turn.

        Hope that helps!

        SE

  37. I was interested in 2016-17 Brahma, but was concerned that it would be too much ski for me so this new metal-free version has really piqued my interested. I am an advanced-intermediate skier, 5’10” 215lbs who prefers moderate speeds. I live on the East coast, but take at least one major trip out West a year. Would the CA be a good fit for me, or should I be looking at a different ski at my size and abilities?

    1. Hi Rob!

      The Brahma Ca was essentially designed for skiers just like yourself: someone who has been interested in the Brahma in the past, but concerned about the two sheets of metal. It’s a really cool ski that retains much of what makes the Brahma so great, but is more approachable and more user-friendly for less aggressive skiers. While the Brahma likes to be skied fast and aggressively, this new Brahma Ca performs better at more moderate speeds. It’s definitely a good ski for an eastern skier who takes a trip or two out west each season as it’s responsive and performs well on firm snow, but can also handle light powder conditions if you’re treated to a western powder day.

      I think it could be a great ski for you. What length are you leaning towards?

      SE

      1. Thanks for the quick reply!

        I think at my height I am in between lengths. At my weight/skill level what would you suggest?

      2. Hey Rob!

        I think at your size you’re going to find the 180 cm ski works well for you. In theory you could ski the 173 cm, but I would worry that it wouldn’t provide enough stability and on the other end of the spectrum the 187 cm feels like it would just be unnecessarily long and hinder maneuverability.

        Really the only reason to go with the CA over the SP is if you didn’t want the integrated binding. Some skiers have very specific binding preferences, or want a specific DIN range. The construction and performance of the actual skis is going to essentially be identical; it really just comes down to bindings preference.

        SE

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