The Black Pearl 82 is the newest addition to the popular collection of all-mountain skis from Blizzard. It more-or-less splits the difference between the Black Pearl 88 and 78 and is designed to provide versatile performance for resort-based skiers. Blizzard uses their Women’s Specific Carbon Flipcore construction, which results in an impressively lightweight ski. A poplar and beech wood core is used in a traditional sandwich construction, then Blizzard adds in a uni-directional carbon frame to boost torsional stiffness, stability, and edge grip without the weight that comes along with metal laminates. The Black Pearl 88 has been the most popular women’s ski in the world over the past few seasons, and we were excited to see how this new width option lives up to our and our testers’ expectations.
Sam Purnell “thoroughly enjoyed this ski.” Sam gave it high scores, including 5 out of 5 for quickness/maneuverability and 4 out of 5 for stability and overall impression. She tested the 159 cm length, which she thought was a good length for her size. “Loved the edge to edge transition!” By dropping 6 mm out of the waist width of the ski, the 82 is going to be noticeably quicker edge to edge than the 88. Sam did find it was “a little lighter than I’m used to so I couldn’t ski as aggressively as I normally would,” but the Black Pearl skis have never been designed for raw power, but rather versatility, responsiveness, and a fun, energetic feel. Sam thought it would be “great for intermediates, groomers, and icy conditions.”
Susan Dorn was impressed by the Black Pearl 82 after testing the 159 cm length. Lots of 4s out of 5 from Susan, with stability actually earning a full 5 out of 5. The only score to drop below 4 was for flotation, coming in at 3 out of 5. At 82 mm underfoot, that’s not tremendously surprising. Susan described the Black Pearl 82 as a “peppy and strong ski.” She thought it “carved really well. Easy to initiate turns. Good in bumps, too. Quick, light. Nice!” Mogul performance is something Blizzard has in mind when designing and introducing the Black Pearl 82. The quicker edge to edge performance compared to the 88 gives it a nimbler feel when maneuvering through moguls, while still maintaining more stability in variable snow than the 78.
Elise Magnant also tested that 159 cm length. Solid scores from Elise as well, with stability, quickness/maneuverability, versatility, and overall impression all earning 4 out of 5. Elise actually found it felt fairly stiff, but added that it “is maneuverable enough to still feel friendly. A good carver for someone willing to give it some gas.” It might not be as powerful as skis with metal, but the Black Pearl 82 can still lay down some impressive carves.
Kelly Carroll tested the 166 cm Black Pearl 82 and really enjoyed their performance. “The Black Pearls were incredibly easy to balance on with a great amount of versatility. You could rip large carves across groomers, but I had more fun in short radius turns.” That 166 cm length has a 15.5 m turn radius, which is a very versatile radius. You can ride it in long radius turns, or drive the tip into shorter turns. Kelly did mention that she’s been on more powerful skis, “but if you’re not trying to rip high performance turns, they’re a really fun, great ski to rip around on.”
This new 82 mm width is a great addition to the Black Pearl line. It carries forward the performance and feel we’ve come to expect from the Black Pearls (performance feel, ease of use, lightweight, etc), and this new width option feels really versatile. Quicker edge to edge than the 88, so arguably a better choice if you spend most of your time on groomers.