2020 Blizzard Firebird HRC

The Firebird HRC is one of the newest additions to Blizzard’s top-of-the-line carving ski collection. Its turn radius splits the difference between the SRC and WRC coming in at 15 m in the 174 cm length. It also uses a multi-radius sidecut design, allowing for different turn shapes easier than with a single-radius sidecut. It’s also wider than the SRC and WRC at 76 mm underfoot. This wider width and its multi-radius dimensions make it arguably the most versatile ski amongst all the Firebird options. It still boasts the same race construction as the WRC and SRC, utilizing two sheets of titanal sandwiched around a full wood core. Blizzard also uses Carbon Armor and Carbon Spine, two different carbon applications designed to enhance difference parts of the turn.

Mike Thomas thought it was a “really fun ski!” He tested the 182 cm Firebird HRC, which is the longest length available. Mike gave it high scores: 5 out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. Quickness/maneuverability and playfulness both came in with 4s out of 5. “This is kind of versatile for a race-like ski. I really enjoy the feel Blizzard gets from their skis. Torsionally strong, but smooth and buttery in longitudinal flex. This would be a great ski for a hard snow addict who likes technically sound turns. Perfect for an upper-level ski instructor.” That’s great feedback from Mike. He clearly noticed the more versatile nature compared to traditional carving skis, and we like the concept of it being a good choice for a ski instructor. You can make a lot of different turns on it, which would allow an instructor to demonstrate different turn techniques on firm snow.

Justin Perry was a huge fan of the Firebird HRC after some test runs on the 174 cm length. “This ski blew my mind!” That was the first comment from Justin, which was reflected in his high scores of 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. Justin noticed the smaller turn shape compared to the WRC and commented that he “felt more confident on ice than ever before.” Blizzard achieves fantastic torsional stiffness and edge grip in their skis, something that Justin really benefitted from. We also know from our video footage that Justin got to test this on a really firm morning, perfect conditions to test edge grip.

Marcus Shakun scored the Firebird HRC 5 out of 5 for every single criterion except forgiveness after testing the 182 cm length. A ski with a full wood core, two sheets of metal, and carbon isn’t going to be very forgiving, so that’s not surprising. “One ski to do it all on the frontside. Can do a variety of turn shapes. Not quite a slalom turn nor a full GS turn. Snappy and energetic in and out of every turn. The more you push it, the better it gets.” Marcus recommended it for an “advanced to expert skier that wants it all.”

Steve Sulin found his new beer-league race ski in the Firebird HRC. Steve skied the 174 cm length and scored it 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge hold, and overall impression. Steve described it as “powerful, smooth, and damp” with “no speed limit.”

The Firebird HRC is clearly a valuable addition to the Firebird collection. Our testers had an absolute blast on it and it’s nice having a wider width option with the same level of performance. Slightly more appropriate in softer snow conditions than the SRC and WRC and the multi-radius sidecut allows for a whole bunch of different turns. Bottom line: it absolutely rips and is a little more versatile than most frontside carving skis this powerful.

Testers

Mike Thomas

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

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

Jeff Neagle

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

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

Josh Wolfgang

Age: 23/24Height: 6'1"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and carvy with a love for the fall line

Justin Perry

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

Ski Style: Aggressive all-mountain freeride

Marcus Shakun

Age: 39Height: 6'5"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

Steve Sulin

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

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

12 Comments on the “2020 Blizzard Firebird HRC”

    1. Stig,
      It feels lighter and quicker for sure! It’s easier to manipulate the turn shape on the HRC versus the Magnum which is more like a freight train. Definite personality differences. Have fun!
      SE

  1. Great review…
    Interested in the HRC and wondering what your thoughts are when comparing the HRC to the Salomon Blast?
    Thank you.
    Steve

    1. Hi Steve!
      The HRC has more of a true race construction, and while the Blast is right up there, it’s a bit more plasticky to save weight. There’s nothing wrong with the blast, and it makes some of the smoothest and roundest turns, but it doesn’t quite have the high gear that the HRC has. Hope that helps!
      SE

      1. Definitely happy with your work, my question is how would you compare hrc to quatro 8.4 ti and would they give sufficient support for 280lb skier.
        I ski on quatro love them, I’m looking to add something that is quicker edge to edge so far I like what I see from hrc and also head rebel i race pro any thoughts on rebel.?

      2. Hi Mensud!
        I think you’d like the extra width of the 8.4 versus the HRC or the Rebel race skis. At 84 mm underfoot, you’re getting a wider platform to stand on so a better balance point. The narrower skis can be twitchy. The 8.4 Ti is certainly enough ski for you–I’d check on the bindings, though, as the system is a 12 DIN. Not sure where you chart out, but just something to consider. Have fun!
        SE

  2. Hi,

    I’m debating between this ski and the Blizzard Firebird WRC. I’m also debating between sizes. I want a ski for east coast days to really rip groomers and lay down carves. I usually ski nordica enforcer 93s in size 185. Which ski would be more fun overall between the HRC and the WRC, and if the WRC should I go with size 180 or 185?

    Also I assume that 182 would be the correct size for the HRC?

    I’m 6’1 225 lbs and an aggressive skier.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Bryan!
      The wider shape of the HRC gives it a better balance point versus the WC shape of the WRC. If you don’t spend any time in the racecourse, I think the HRC is the better option–still a TON of performance, just not as twitch as the WRC. Same build, just different shapes to accommodate different radii. The WRC is shaped more like the FIS ski, just a tad softer, while the HRC has a shorter turn than those. I’d go with the 182 in the HRC and the 180 in the WRC. Take care!
      SE

    1. Hi John!
      Pretty darn similar. I found the HRC to feel a bit lighter while the Deacon 74 is more comfortable in short-swing turns. But that’s about it. Both race-level type of skis with generous waists for high-speed cruising. I was also a pretty big fan of the slight tip and tail rocker of the Deacon skis, as it makes them easier to get from turn to turn. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hi. I am a big fan of Blizzard skis. For hard snow days I have been using the R-Power 6.8 174cm ski for a number of years – fantastic ski. I weigh 140lbs, 5′-9″, and am a strong technical skier. The R-Power set the bar pretty high; I have yet to find a better ski for arcing turns on firm surfaces, whatever the speed or radius. What length would you suggest for me for the HRC? I would think 174 again, but although 166 sounds tiny to me (my Zero G 108 backcountry skis are 178), I would appreciate your insight.
    Thanks in advance.
    David Langley

    1. HI David!
      I don’t think the 174 sounds too long given your history. They’re not terribly heavy for the amount of power they deliver, and I hope you’ll be impressed and surprised with the HRC! So fast!
      SE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *