2020 Blizzard Brahma 82

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.

Testers

Troy Dehm

Age: 29Height: 5'10"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful and precise

Benny Wax

Age: 68Height: 5'6"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and creamy, lots of turns

Kagen Dewey

Age: 27Height: 6'2"Weight: 172 lbs.

Ski Style: Tons of style

Mike Aidala

Age: 42Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: As fast as the terrain allows

David Wolfgang

Age: 67Height: 6'3"Weight: 230 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong, deliberate, and smooth

Jeff Neagle

Age: 33Height: 5'10"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

Mike Thomas

Age: 50Height: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

Justin Perry

Age: 29Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive all-mountain freeride

Chuck Waskuch

Age: 47Height: 5'8"Weight: 180 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and Controlled

Steve Sulin

Age: 44Height: 6'"Weight: 230 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

12 Comments on the “2020 Blizzard Brahma 82”

  1. Hi,

    Thank you for a very good review. What length do you think would be the right size to go with for the Brahma 82.
    I´m 5.9 and 189lb and today I use Völkl Mantra M5 @ 177cm but want something more narrow for on piste skiing.
    Would the 173 version be too short?

    1. Hi MH!

      There’s a touch less rocker in the Brahma 82 compared to the M5. if you like the M5 in the 177 cm length, I’d go 173 cm. I don’t expect that will feel short to you. Could you ski the 180 cm? I’m sure you could, but it’s probably not necessary unless you feel like you need extra stability at speed.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

    1. Hi JP!
      The 2020 V82 gets a third vertical metal strut, and as a result, becomes more stable and burly than the Brahma 82. If found the Brahma to be a lot more flickable and playful than the Liberty, for better or for worse. In pure, high-speed carving, the Liberty is unwavering and incredibly strong while the Brahma can get a little squirrely. The longer effective edge and minimal taper of the Liberty make it more demanding, so if you’re looking to relax, the Brahma is a bit better of a choice. We’d love to do a video review comparing these two skis, it’s on our list!
      SE

  2. Discovered your site recently, love the reviews.
    I’m a 53-year old male, 5’-11”/190lb, technically precise and assertive New England skier who can adapt technique to different ski types/conditions/terrain pretty well.
    I regularly cycle through a quiver consisting of Volkl Deacon 76 (fast GS groomers), Volkl Allstar (tighter turns on groomed snow), Rossignol S7 (rare powder day and soft snow) and Volkl Kendo (all-rounder tip rocker but least favorite ski).
    I’m looking to add a mogul/tree/ungroomed snow ski to this mix, with emphasis on bumps—narrower, responsive, quick turning/pivoting but still very playful.
    Options I’m considering:
    Fischer Ranger 92Ti—tail too stiff?
    Ranger Ranger 94FT—too much of an intermediate-oriented ski?
    Blizzard Brahma 82–too heavy/stiff for all-day bump skiing?
    Blizzard Rustler 9–seems like an all-around good candidate?
    Would appreciate any suggestions.

    1. Thanks, Peter!
      While the Ranger 94 is accessible for intermediate skiers, I was impressed with the high-end capabilities as well. I’m a pretty aggressive skier, and at 6’2 220 am not the smallest guy either, and I was totally cool with the upper end of the ski. It definitely fits the bill of bump emphasis, responsiveness, and quickness, not quite narrowness, but I think you’re getting what you need out of it. I’d put that and the Rustler at the top of the list, with the Rustler having a bit more energy and demand due to the metal layer. And more weight. Have fun!
      SE

  3. I’m 77 years old and have been skiing since the late ’50s. Though I’m still strong, I find myself opting for my sons Blizzard Gforce 167s rather than my older Volkl Tigersharks; the blizzards are just quicker and more fun. I’m considering getting a pair of Blizzard Bramha 82s but am not sure of the length as these are shaped differently. What’s your take?

    1. Hi Tage!
      I think you can go a bit longer with the Brahma 82 due to the shape, perhaps the 173? 166 might be too short. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks. My ski shop recommended the 173 also. I did notice, though, that while Benny tested the 173s, the rest of the testers were on 180s. I’m 6′ and 190 lbs. Would that make much of a difference?

        Ski heil.

        1. Tage,
          It’s fine either way, especially since the skis are quite stable. You sure could ski the 180, but you’ll have more maneuverability on the shorter ski. A bit of a sacrifice in the speed department, but it’s all about your priorities. Have fun!
          SE

  4. I just skied with Brahma 82 173 on heavy packed snow in Canada east, I found them to chatter at the tip and felt little unstable at higher speeds which I was surprised as none of reviews mentioned this and they have 2 sheets of metal, stuck with them now unless I try to sell, any suggestions on a alternate more stable ski. I’m 5 11″ 175Lbs Male Intermediate like to ski fast, i perfer not to go any longer than 175cm

    Thanks

    1. HI Tony!
      Do you find yourself on heavy packed snow a lot? Something wider would likely handle that situation better, but I’d say you’re on the right ski and size for firmer snow for sure. Check out a mid-90’s ski like the Volkl Mantra M5 or the Nordica Enforcer 94 for well-rounded skis that handle a lot of different conditions and terrain. Have fun!
      SE

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