Blizzard’s Firebird series is home to their World Cup race skis and also more consumer-oriented versions of those race skis. The Firebird SRC falls into the latter, offering the public similar slalom performance as their FIS level skis. The SRC uses the same construction as those race skis. It has a full-length wood core with two sheets of titanal metal and utilizes Blizzard’s Carbon Armor and Carbon Spine technology. The available lengths, turn radius, and the binding plate are where we see the biggest differences. Lengths range from 155 to 170, extending past the available lengths in their FIS slalom ski. Turn radii of FIS slalom skis have to be over 13 m, but the SRC goes down to 11 in the shortest length. Blizzard’s FDT Binding plate is designed to be 10% softer flexing than the Piston plate. Add up all those differences and the performance of this ski is more geared towards public use as opposed to World Cup racing.
James Stewart tested the 165 cm length in the SRC and gave it very high scores for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. James’ first comment was that it’s a “great consumer level slalom ski,” which is exactly what we expected. “If you want to make a lot of turns and ski somewhere with a lot of groomers, this would be a great pick.” That idea of making a lot of turns is key. With a turn radius this small, you’re going to be making a lot of turns out there. James also commented that it’s “not too edgy or demanding to ski,” which is nice to know because sometimes skis at this level can feel pretty darn demanding. “If you want to really get the most grip out of it, it should be skied pretty aggressively.” That’s a nice idea, suggesting the more you give the ski, the more it gives back.
Justin Perry also skied the 165 cm length and provided similar scores as James. A full 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression, hands-down good scores for a slalom ski. “You wanna turn a lot on any hardpack? These are the skis for you.” Simple, but accurate.
Marcus Shakun also hopped on that 165 cm length and did mention that it felt a little short. Appropriate as a slalom ski, yes, but Marcus isn’t used to skiing many skis this short. That said, he still scored it 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, and torsional stiffness/edge grip. Slalom skis are short, but they can still rip. Marcus called it a “precise leg burner. Meant for the guy who wants to make the most turns possible in a day.” He also specifically noted that it “doesn’t like to run straight or make anything other than short turns.” For some skiers, that’s going to be pretty tiring. You need to be a fairly accomplished skier with good technique and good fitness in order to ski something like this all day long. Marcus felt the same way, “be ready to hit the hot tub and ice packs after a full day of skiing this ski. And maybe a cold six pack of beer too.”
The Firebird SRC is a fantastic choice for skiers looking to lay down a whole bunch of slalom turns on firm snow. If you’ve never done that, it’s an absolute blast, but it does result in a ski that’s not particularly versatile. You’d get a little more versatility out of the Firebird HRC, but nothing in the Blizzard line will allow you to make such short, precise turns as the SRC.