The Rustler 10 from Blizzard has been out for a few seasons now and continues to offer versatile all-mountain/freeride performance to a wide variety of skiers. The Rustler line was designed to complement their existing all-mountain skis, most notably the Brahma and Bonafide. Those skis are known for their power, stability, and vibration damping, but they can also be a little challenging to ski for some; they are rather heavy, and use mostly camber. The Rustler 10 uses much more rocker in the tips and tails, more early taper, and uses Carbon Flipcore DRT construction. DRT stands for Dynamic Release Technology, as these skis are designed to be able to release the edge very easily. A wood core is supported by a single layer of titanal metal that tapers and ends at it reaches the tips and tails. Uni-directional carbon fiber is found at the tip and tail, which boosts performance while also allowing for easier turn initiation and easier smearing than bi-directional carbon. The Rustler 10 is 102 mm underfoot in all lengths, except the 188, which jumps up to 104 mm.
Bob St.Pierre skied that 188 cm length and thought the Rustler 10 “checks a lot of boxes as far as a wider all-mountain ski is concerned.” Bob seemed most impressed by their maneuverability, playfulness, and easy-going nature, as those criteria were among the highest scored. “Tips and tails are light and maneuverable, so making quick turns is fun and easy.” That’s not how people typically describe a ski like the Bonafide, which is a good example of why the Rustler 10 was introduced.
Annie MacDonald hopped on a 180 cm Rustler 10 during our test and was psyched with its performance. Everything over 4 out of 5 for criteria scores from Annie, with the exception of torsional stiffness/edge grip, which received 3 out of 5. “A really playful rip stick that maneuvers easily and is lively! I imagine this would be a ball in the powder. Great in slush, pretty stable on groomers too. Rockered tips and tails that had dampness, so it didn’t feel wobbly. Overall a really fun ski for aggressive rippers to play on, but also forgiving enough to smear!” We’d also add that it’s forgiving enough for less aggressive skiers even though they identify more in the intermediate range.
Jeff Neagle’s highest score after skiing a 180 cm Rustler 10 was for playfulness, a full 5 out of 5. Like Annie, his lowest score was for torsional stiffness/edge grip, a 3 out of 5, but everything else was in the 4-5 range. Those are impressive scores! “Easy to ski, but has a performance feel. A much better ~100 mm choice than the stiffer, heavier options for the majority of skiers. More forgiveness than Enforcer 100, Bonafide, etc.” That’s good insight from Jeff, but he also added that there’s “still enough stability for bigger skiers and speed, just super-easy to maneuver.”
Michael Carroll-Sherwin thought it had the “perfect blend of a surfy feel, power, and edge grip. Michael’s scores for the Rustler 10 were mostly 5 out of 5, with only torsional stiffness/edge grip and flotation dropping down to 4. “This is the ski to have fun on and you can rely on it if you find yourself in trouble and/or on the steeps.” Michael was on the 188 cm length, which likely helped boost that stability score.
Steve Sulin tested the 180 cm Rustler 10 and gave it perhaps the best compliment of all, he owns a pair! “My go-to ski. Own it. Love it.” Like Michael, most of Steve’s scores were full 5s out of 5. A lot of people just love skiing the Rustler 10, it’s that much fun.
If you want a versatile all-mountain ski with a good mix of performance characteristics, the Rustler 10 should be on your list. Not quite as powerful as some skis out there with more metal and/or with less rocker, but hands-down more playful than those skis. It’s always fun, no matter where you take it.