The Brahma 82 from Blizzard is brand new for the 2019/20 ski season and follows the same path that’s made the wider Brahma (now the Brahma 88) so successful. Blizzard’s all-mountain freeride skis are known for their precise, powerful feel. This new Brahma 82 is now the narrowest ski in the line and utilizes the same construction as its bigger brothers. A wood core is sandwiched between two full sheets of metal and bi-directional carbon fiber is used in the tips and tails of the ski, intended to increase torsional stiffness and thus edge grip throughout the whole ski. Not much rocker in these skis, although technically you’ll find a little in the tips and tails. We don’t see much early taper either, unlike the more freeski-oriented Rustler line. A narrower Brahma you say? We’re into it, Blizzard.
Benny Wax was too after he tested the 173 cm length. “Fun, fun, fun! A beefy and turny ski. Loved this on fast corduroy and non-groomed, icy Liftline.” The wider Brahma has always been known for its powerful, “beefy” feel and it’s nice to know that characteristic carries over into the Brahma 82. “Whether short, quick turns or smooth, long arcing turns, this ski was stable and quiet. It finishes a turn really well and sets you into motion in the next. Really a pleasure to ski.” The Brahma 88 has always rivaled some frontside-carving-specific skis in terms of its power, edge grip, and responsiveness. This new 82 width should take that to a new level with its quicker edge to edge performance.
Mike Aidala, who tested the 180 cm length, referred to the Brahma 82 as “quick edge to edge and stable.” We saw high scores from both Benny and Mike, including lots of 4’s and 5’s out of 5, most notably for stability and torsional stiffness/edge grip. Mike commented that it gave him “the confidence to attack any turn at any speed,” which is often how the wider Brahma has been described over its existence. “This ski is a great option for high-end frontside skiers looking for a variety of powerful turns.” We agree that it’s frontside performance is a highlight, but we’d also feel perfectly comfortable taking it into bumps where that edge to edge quickness is really going to shine. Stiff, however, so it won’t be a forgiving bump ski, especially at slower speeds.
David Wolfgang also tested the 180 cm length and he felt that agile, quick nature. “This ski was quick and nimble.” The narrower waist width compared to the traditional Brahma width has noticeably increased quickness. “You could let it run with confidence. Long arcing turns transition to short radius turns with ease.” That’s very similar to Benny’s reaction and is a valuable performance characteristic.
Justin Perry first compared it to the wider Brahma after he too skied the 180 cm length. “Much quicker edge to edge with amazing edge hold.” Justin gave the Brahma 82 high scores, including 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, and torsional stiffness/edge grip. “I felt that I could easily maneuver this ski in any terrain. Loved them in bumps too.” In designing the Brahma 82, Blizzard was trying to retain high levels of frontside performance, while boosting versatility compared to system-binding frontside skis, which they certainly seem to have accomplished.
Kagen Dewey had a really nice reaction to the Brahma 82 after he finished his test runs on a 180 cm length. “A great alternative to the Brahma 88. Quicker transition from edge to edge makes this ski nimbler than its 88 counterpart, but slightly less appealing of a ski when there are fresh powder turns to be had.” That’s valuable feedback. Think about the conditions you typically ski when choosing your width in the Brahma.
There’s a trend in the ski industry right now of going narrower, and the Brahma 82 is a perfect example. It’s a super versatile all-mountain ski considering the power and performance it achieves on firm snow and its abilities in off-piste terrain. We found it more forgiving than often-heavier system frontside skis, and more playful as well. It’s still relatively heavy and stiff, so intermediates will likely find it to be too much ski, but if you’re an advanced to expert level skier, you’ll love its feel and performance around the whole mountain.