2020 Blizzard Firebird WRC

The Firebird WRC is a consumer GS race ski. When talking about race skis, “consumer” just means it’s using a turn radius that doesn’t meet FIS standards, and is more fun for normal day to day use. This ski gets the same high-level construction that Blizzard’s World Cup race skis receive. It has a full wood core, two full-length sheets of metal, and Blizzard’s Carbon Amor and Carbon Spine technology. It’s squarely positioned in the frontside carving category with its 68 mm waist width. Blizzard pays close attention to the small details in their skis, and especially the Firebird skis as they rely so much on precision. Their technology and construction are intended to mark the difference between a good run and a great run.

Justin Perry skied the 175 cm length, which he thought was a good fit for his size, and really enjoyed his test runs on the Firebird WRC. 5 out of 5 scores from Justin for stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. Some low scores from Justin too, however, with flotation and forgiveness receiving 1 out of 5 and 2 out of 5 respectively. We don’t expect much flotation out of a 68 mm waist ski, and a ski that can hit this level of performance rarely has much forgiveness at all. “Great ski for expert skiers. Great edge hold and little to no chatter. Open up the speed and have fun!”

Mike Thomas found the Firebird WRC had “grip for days!” He tested the 180 cm length, which worked well for him. Similar scores from Mike, with stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression all earning 5 out of 5. Again, low scores for flotation and forgiveness from Mike, but we’re perfectly okay with that. Mike did, however, seem to find a touch more forgiveness than some other carving skis he’s been on. “Smooth and fast. Locked in and ripped, but with a bit of forgiveness. They were easy to dump speed on, they didn’t mid making a steered brushed carve.” It’s nice to know that Mike found that performance in the Firebird WRC. Sometimes on these high-level carving skis you can feel too locked into a turn, which is sometimes a scary experience. Being able to release the tail edge of your ski is a valuable performance characteristic on such a powerful, precise ski.

Marcus Shakun also skied the 180 cm length. Marcus and Mike are both big guys, but neither mentioned they felt they needed the longest 185 cm length. Again, similar scores from Marcus with 5 out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, overall impression, and also quickness/maneuverability. “For the skier who seeks out fresh corduroy, looking to make fast medium to long radius turns. Holds an amazing edge with quick edge transfer.” Marcus loved the performance of the Firebird WRC on firm snow. He did, however, mention that it’s “not versatile in off-piste” and thought that was “the only downside… if any.” In our opinion, that’s not really a downside. No skis in this width range are going to be particularly good in soft snow. “Grips into firm hard snow and gives you great rebound into each turn. Lively, energetic, and fun.”

The Firebird WRC rips. That’s obvious from the feedback our testers gave us. It also seems to be a little bit more friendly than some race-level consumer GS skis, even if just by a small margin. Blizzard does use their FDT race plate on these skis instead of their Piston plate, which is designed to be 10% softer. That could be where some of the smoothness and the little bit of extra forgiveness is coming from that some of our testers noticed. Wherever it’s coming from, we like it.

Testers

Marcus Shakun

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

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

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

Justin Perry

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

Ski Style: Aggressive all-mountain freeride

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