The Blizzard Bushwacker is an important ski in Blizzard’s All-Mountain collection of skis. It shares the same shape with the Brahma 88, but doesn’t use any metal, making it the lightest ski in the collection and the only one that doesn’t use any metal. All too often, this turns people off from the Bushwacker. As skiers, we’re accustomed to looking for the “best” ski, which, in our minds, typically means the most expensive or highest rated in a magazine test. Sometimes, however, the result of that is a skier choosing a ski that’s too much for their ability level, level of aggressiveness, etc. The Bushwacker is a ski that can be enjoyed by an expert skier, even the best of the best, but is much more appropriate for the masses than some heavier, stiffer skis.
Bob St.Pierre tested the 180 cm Bushwacker and scored it 5 out of 5 for quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, and also forgiveness. The Brahma 88, for example, has never been given 5 out of 5 for forgiveness in our tests. “Awesome ski that will satisfy a huge range of skiers. Extremely quick edge to edge with nice and supportive tips and tails.” Just because the Bushwacker doesn’t use any metal, doesn’t mean it’s a flimsy, unstable ski. Blizzard uses carbon in the Bushwacker, a full wood core, and vertical sidewalls throughout; it’s still a high-end construction. “After skiing a few runs on this, I couldn’t help but to think that there are so many skiers out there that would love the playfulness and ease of use of this ski. It’s remarkably well-rounded and fun.” That sounds pretty darn good to us, Bob.
Dave Carter tested the 180 cm length as well and, like Bob, his highest scores were for quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, and forgiveness. Dave thought it was an “agile ski that turns quickly and is predictable.” Dave also tested the Brahma 88 during our ski test, and he did add a comment that the Bushwacker was “a bit soft for aggressive skiing,” but that’s okay, that’s what the Brahma 88 is for.
Jeff Neagle was also on the 180 cm Bushwacker and his reaction was very similar to Bob’s, although we saw more consistent scores from Jeff, including 4 out of 5 for torsional stiffness/edge grip. “I’ve always been a big fan of this ski. I don’t necessarily need a pair for myself, but I think it’s a fantastic choice for a lot of skiers. I see too many people on skis that are too heavy, stiff, wide, rockered, etc. for how they ski. For the average weekend warrior, these are perfect.” That’s insightful feedback from Jeff, and something that we often come back to at SkiEssentials.com. Buy the ski for how you ski and the conditions you ski, not how you want to ski and the conditions you want to ski. It can be an exercise in self-reflection, but it’s really going to help you get a ski that complements your skiing style. “Can carve, can maneuver through trees and bumps, can handle some fresh snow, but these are far easier and less-fatiguing than heavier skis like the Brahma, Enforcers, etc.”
If you want a fun all-mountain ski and you’re not a speed demon or a really aggressive skier, the Bushwacker presents an excellent option. It doesn’t have as much rocker as some all-mountain skis, so is arguably best for a skier who spends most of their time on trail and/or has a relatively traditional style, but it can still be taken into the trees and bumps without feeling out of place. One of our favorite aspects about it is it’s much less fatiguing than heavier skis, which means you can stay out on the slopes longer!