The 2019 Blizzard Black Pearl 98 is the widest offering in the Black Pearl line. It takes over for the much beloved Samba, and continues the trend of totally and completely dominant women’s skis from Blizzard. They have done a fantastic job over the years creating user-friendly and high-performance skis for lady skiers at pretty much every level. The Black Pearl 98 is the flagship all-mountain ski. Coming in at 98 mm underfoot, it is capable of handling deep and fresh snow, but also at home on the groomers and eastern hard pack. With a wood core and a carbon frame, the skis are stable yet light. It’s these types of dichotomous characteristics that make a ski such as the Black Pearl 98 so successful. In general, our testers loved the versatile nature and friendly feel of the skis, with high scores pretty much all across the board in all categories.
Kristi Brown skied the 166 cm skis, which have a turn radius of 15 meters. That’s a pretty nice radius for a wider type ski, and Kristi loved the stability, quickness, and versatility of the boards. She had some pretty colorful and insightful comments about the Black Pearl 98: “Stand out blaster! Rocket in my pocket!” She noted that experts would prefer this ski over intermediates, but depending on skier weight and aggressiveness, that could be debatable. Just the fact that she called it a “stand out” ski speaks volumes as to the impression that the skis give. The “rocket” nature of the ski is a good comparison—she obviously felt that these skis would take her wherever she wanted to go.
Ariel Aidala ripped a few runs on the 166 and had some great insight as to why the ski is so popular and versatile. She gave the skis all 4’s out of 5 except for a 3 in playfulness. Perhaps at the 166 it was a bit on the long side for Ariel, but she seemed to love the ski nonetheless. Her interesting take on the ski should not go unquoted: “This ski should be called ‘little black dress’…no but really, this ski is really versatile and would be the perfect one-ski quiver.” She continued her lovely review by stating that whether the skis are in “hard, soft, bumps, powder, woods—this ski seems like it could take it all on. Easy turning and maneuverability.” Sounds to us like Ariel thinks this ski is a winner.
Also skiing the 166, Ali Berlin found the ski to be balanced, stable, and fun. She scored all 4’s for the ski with the exception of a 3 in torsional stiffness and edge hold. With that nice 15 meter turn radius, the ability to make many different turn shapes and sizes really shows through in her review. “Overall I was impressed with these skis. They held together through the choppy snow and felt stable in the turn. Response time as quick to change turn size and shape.” She loved the easy nature and intuitive feeling of the Black Pearl 98’s. “Very forgiving when balance shifted forward and back—a thumbs up from me!” Ali makes some really nice observations here—highlighting the versatile and easygoing nature of the ski.
When all else fails, the playful nature of the Black Pearl 98 really shines through. It’s nice to have something that you can lean on no matter what. Like a little black dress or an old friend that would do anything for you, the 2019 Blizzard Black Pearl 98 is reliable, trustworthy, and fun.