2020 Blizzard Black Pearl 78

The Black Pearl 78 is the narrowest ski in Blizzard’s popular collection of all-mountain skis. As the narrowest, it’s going to be the quickest edge to edge on firm snow out of the bunch. They all use the same construction, Blizzard’s Women’s Specific Carbon Flipcore, and they all use the same rocker/camber profile. So, essentially the only difference in performance comes from the changes in width, which allows skiers to hone in on which ski works best for the terrain they ski, the typical conditions, and their own skiing style.

Allison Ruschp tested the 163 cm length in the Black Pearl 78. She thought that was a good length for her, and awarded the Black Pearl 78 high scores (5 out of 5) for quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, and forgiveness. Alli found it to be “lightweight, forgiving, and fun!” Those are adjectives we’ve heard used to describe the Black Pearl skis plenty of times. “With no metal in the ski, it’s very forgiving and likes to turn.” Alli thought it would be “perfect for intermediate skiers that stay on the frontside.” We agree. The 78 mm waist width is going to be best on firm snow. For those that venture into off-piste terrain or ski softer snow more frequently, there are 3 wider options in the Black Pearl collection. Alli did mention it’s “not very stable at high speeds,” but given its construction, stability at high speeds isn’t its focus.

Katrine Wolfgang also tested the 163 cm length in the Black Pearl 78. Solid scores from Katrine, 4 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. “Good for an intermediate, conservative skier,” described Katrine. We expect she means a conservative skier is a less-adventurous skier who typically stays on-trail, which makes sense. Katrine also found it “held well at mid-speeds on hard-packed snow.” The carbon integrated into the ski’s construction really helps increase edge grip!

Ariel Aidala’s first comment on the Black Pearl 78 was that it’s a “great value.” Can’t disagree with that! You get the same construction and design as the wider Black Pearls, but at a cheaper cost. Ariel compared it to a “little black dress” and found it was “easy to turn and maneuver.” Ariel specifically mentioned it doesn’t “need much effort to turn.” Like Alli, Ariel did find a speed limit, commenting that “at high speeds, it did get a little floppy.”

Susan Dorn skied the 156 cm length in the Black Pearl 78 and thought it would be a “nice all-around ski for intermediate skiers.” Susan awarded the ski fairly high scores, including a 5 out of 5 for forgiveness and 4 out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and versatility. Susan described it as “easy to turn and set on edge” and she even found it felt “very stable at speed,” suggesting that different skiers may find different levels of stability in the Black Pearl 78. “Even-keeled, nothing upset this ski. Stays smooth.”

For intermediate skiers all the way up to experts who prefer narrower skis, the Black Pearl 78 is a fun, smooth ski. One of its bigger sisters, the Black Pearl 88, is the most popular women’s ski on the market. You’re essentially getting the same thing out of the Black Pearl 78, just in a width that’s 10 mm narrower throughout. It has great edge to edge performance on firm snow, a very approachable, yet high-performance feel. It’s a fantastic ski.

Testers

Allison Ruschp

Age: 32Height: 5'5"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer who's calmed herself down

Susan Dorn

Age: 61Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Deliberate, smooth, Masters ski racer

Katrine Wolfgang

Age: 49+Height: 5'5"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth carving

Ariel Aidala

Age: 27Height: 5'3"Weight: 124 lbs.

Ski Style: Adventurous and fun with a fall-line mentality

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