2020 Blizzard Rustler 10

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.

Testers

Michael Carroll-Sherwin

Age: 30Height: 6'1"Weight: 185 lbs.

Ski Style: Quick and nimble with freeride influence

Jascha Herlihy

Age: 19Height: 5'9"Weight: 195 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive and fearless with a playful soul

Annie MacDonald

Age: 56Height: 5'7"Weight: 118 lbs.

Ski Style: Lots of style, grace, and power

Evan Caha

Age: 30Height: 5'10"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and adventurous with a love for high edge angles

Bob St.Pierre

Age: 41Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Adaptable, versatile, ex-competitive mogul skier and coach

Brooks Curran

Age: 24Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer, now backcountry freerider

Steve Sulin

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

Ski Style: Smooth, precise GS turns

Jeff Neagle

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

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

61 Comments on the “2020 Blizzard Rustler 10”

    1. Hi Chris!
      The 2020 stuff is rolling in pretty much every day. Wouldn’t be surprised if they arrive sometime next week. Keep eyes out or give a call and see if you can pre-order a pair. Have fun!
      SE

  1. Hey I’m seriously considering this ski but can’t figure out what length to go for 180 or 188.
    I’m 6ft 155lb an aggressive skier that charges mostly off trail but do like to carve a bit when the snow isn’t great.
    I feel like 180 would be great for jumping and navigating tight spaces plus a bit lighter if i put a shift binding on it. But is the carving and speed limited by its shorter length?
    The 188 will be awesome for charging powder and crud but bugger and heavier?
    Your thoughts are appreciated.

    1. Hi Brendon!
      You’re right on all counts! It’s kind of a weird size break from Blizzard on the Rustler series, and we do get this question a lot. I think for your weight, the 180 is a better choice, as the 188 is a pretty long ski. I’m 6/3 220 and I skied the 180 for testing purposes and found it to be pretty impressive. If I were to buy one for myself, I’d go with the 188, but I’m 60 pounds heavier and 3 inches taller. Everything’s a compromise, and I think in your case, the shorter size is the way to go. Hope that helps!
      SE

  2. Hi there,

    I am looking to get the new ruster 10. I just a few questions about sizing, I am 5’5″ 153 lbs advanced intermediate skier and like to ski all over the mountain. I will be skiing this mostly in the western canadian rockies. Would the size 164 be too short or should I got for the 172? Also i am choosing between the black crows daemon and this ski.

    Any help would be awesome!

    1. Hi Robert!
      Based on your stats I’d recommend the 164, but if you’re skiing fast and aggressively, there’s nothing wrong with the longer length. Daemon is a sweet ski too!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the reply!

        I see that one of the testers Annie is about the same height and I am about 35 lbs heavier. It seems as though she got along with the 180s quite well. Although that being said she is most likely an expert skier. As I progress would it be more beneficial to go with a little longer ski?

      2. Hi Robert!
        She also quite prefers longer skis, and with her experience and background, it makes sense for her. I don’t think I’d go to the 180ish length, as that might inhibit your progress. Unless you really know what you’re looking for, shorter skis are simply more fun.
        SE

  3. Hi, I’ve been reading up on the blizzard rustler 10 changes from 2019 to 2020. One of the things I found is that the 2020 is a little heavier and more stable at speed than the previous model. I am wondering how large of a difference in stability there is between the 2019 and 2020 and if its large enough to invest in the new model over the 2019s.
    Thanks,
    Aaron

    1. Hi Aaron!
      It’s a pretty minimal difference from what I’ve experienced. In addition to the “slightly” denser wood used in the core, they also have a new topsheet material that is less likely to chip than the older model, if that’s worth anything to you. If you find a good deal on the 2019, I’d say go for it. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi JB!
      I’d say the 164 will be better for your size and ability. They’re pretty stable, so I think you’ll still get some great higher-speed performance. Have fun!
      SE

  4. Hello, Recently purchased a pair of Bent Chetler 100s (172), and torn between keeping those or going with the Rustler 10 (172). I’m a strong intermediate skier at 5’10”, 190lbs, and ski West Coast. I ski mostly on-piste, but I’m looking for a great ski that will allow me to advance my skills in ALL conditions/locations on the mountain. I need something playful/light, easy to control at slower speeds/in tight terrain/on crud and ice, but also stable at speed when I need it to be. Which ski do you think would be the better ‘1 ski quiver’? Am I on target with length? If I were to keep the BCs should I size up to the 180s (i’m used to skiing shorter skis, but at 172 they look like they ski very short)? I’ve narrowed my search to these two skis but open to other recommendations too. Thanks!

    1. Hi B!
      I think the BC 100 is the way to go for that supreme versatility. I’d peg the Rustler 10 as more of an exclusive soft snow ski, while the Atomic really excels all over. If you’re concerned about the length, I think the 180 is certainly an appropriate length, and will give you a bit more stability at speed. Have fun!
      SE

    2. Hey! I’m 6’1 215 and I’m on the 2020 Rustler 10 in 188. I find this ski “skis” very short. If I was your size I would go with the 180. This ski ended up being a game-changer for me. It carves almost as well as my Bonafide’s and is amazingly agile in tight trees and bumps ( still can’t figure out how this ski works so well in the bumps). It plows through chop and the end of the day crud at full speed. It’s good in powder as long as you keep the speed up. I’ve skied a lot of different skis and this is the first time I’ve had what I would call a true all mountain ski. I have no problem using this as a one quiver ski out west. For reference I also ski on the 18 Blizzard Bonafide, 20 Soul 7 and Mantra M5.. I would pick the Rustler’s over my other skis every time.

  5. Hello. Could you please tell me what is the difference between the rustler 10 and the Black crows Navis? Wich are more playful and more suited for big snow on slopes and for freeride? I have the atomic redster tr for hard snow and I’m looking for something wider for bigger snow. Thanks

    1. Hi Flavius!
      Pretty similar overall feel and character. The Navis is a bit more consistently built from tip to tail while the Rustler has a partial metal laminate. As such, the Rustler has a more stable feel underfoot while keeping the tips and tails on the light side. Additionally, the Rustler has more of a twin-tip shape while the Navis is more directionally proportioned. I’d say the Navis has more of a traditional freeride feel while they’re both very playful and maneuverable. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Flavius,
        Slightly denser wood and a different, more durable topsheet. Makes it a bit stiffer, but hardly noticeable. Have fun!
        SE

    2. What size do you think would be best for me?I’m 1,74m and 85 kg. Im a relatively aggressive skier but just starting freeride skiing. My atomic redster are 1.70 m. Are the rustler better on hard snow? Better edge grip than the Navis?

      1. Hi Flavius!
        I’d say the metal of the Rustler give it an edge in the hard snow department. Especially underfoot. At 104 mm, nothing’s really designed for hard snow, but something with metal will generally grip better than a ski of the similar shape without metal. Have fun!
        SE

      2. I’m 1,74m and 85 kg. Im a relatively aggressive skier but just starting freeride skiing. My atomic redster are 1.70 m.

      3. Thanks for your reply. I was just watching your k2 review. Pretty great ski’s. I think that they are stiffer than the rustler and the rocker is pretty big on them. What’s your opinion?

      4. Flavius!
        Yes and yes, although I’d say the flex is more consistent with the K2 versus the Rustler, which has most of its stiffness underfoot. Have fun!
        SE

      5. Flavius,
        The 9 has a longer metal laminate and less rocker. As a result of that and the narrower waist, the on-trail carving performance is much more sound. Way more edge grip and rebound out of the 9. Conversely, the 10 is a far superior floater with the deeper and longer rocker and the lighter and more flexible tips and tails. The 9 is more of a 50/50 ski while the 10 is more 70/30 for off-trail and soft snow use. Have fun!
        SE

    1. Hi Mark!
      The Rustler is lighter in the tips and tails which make it more maneuverable in shorter or tighter turns. The Enforcer has a higher speed limit and is more stable at those speeds. Other than that, they’re pretty similarly shaped and rockered, and both are crazy fun in a multitude of terrain and conditions. Have fun!
      SE

  6. I’m looking for a fun everyday ski for use out West when conditions are soft-ish. How does this compare to the Armada ARV 106? Both seem to be heavily rockered and cater towards a more playful approach vs. all out charging. There’s a bit of metal in the Rustler’s, but are they necessarily more stable?

    1. Hi Jason!
      Definitely a couple of playful skis right there. That metal in the Rustler does make a difference, but more so on firmer snow. Soft conditions favor the softer ski, but the versatility of the Rustler might outweigh the playfulness of the ARV. Depends on how much time you actually will use them in soft snow exclusive conditions. Hope that helps!
      SE

  7. Thanks for the review! I’m a 5’8, 145lb strong intermediate that’s currently skiing the 2019 K2 Pinnacle 88 in 163 at Tahoe as my only ski.

    I’m looking to add a 100mm ski to my quiver and was wondering what length you’d suggest for the Rustler 10. Am I limiting my growth with the Rustler at 164 as opposes to 172?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ess!
      How do you feel about the 163 Pinnacle? If you feel like you’re leaving something on the table in terms of performance, your size warrants the 172, although it might feel long at first. But for softer snow and higher speeds, there’s nothing wrong with a longer ski! Have fun!
      SE

  8. Hello,
    I just purchased the 2020 Rustler 10’s just by reading reviews. I am finally replacing my old Atomic Nomad Blackeye skis from 2008.

    How do I go from that old ski to this one? There is a huge difference right?

    I am hoping I can adjust since these new skis are a big change for me. I did try some wider body skis in Utah (Alta) a couple years ago and I had a hard time controlling them on groomers (felt like my legs kept slipping out from under me). Any tips on how to ride these? Any advice to ease my mind?

    I am 51 years old expert skier who likes to ski everything from deep powder to an occasional ripper and love to pop a few jumps (no park jumps) whenever I can. Tree skiing at Brighton Utah is my favorite.

    I am 6′ 0″ 200 lbs and I got the 188 size (I tend to like longer skis).
    I am hoping these will be an big upgrade from my old atomics for an all mountain application.

    Thanks!

    Charles

    1. Hi Charles!
      Ultimately, you’re going to love the Rustler. Definitely a jump, but those Nomad’s had a lot going for them as well. It’s just not the same carving, there’s no way around that. Start with shorter radius turns and work your way up. Skiers who go from narrow to wide skis tend to keep their feet too close together, so work on widening your stance as your speed increases. If you’re an expert skier, you shouldn’t have too much trouble learning a new game. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks! I will work on adopting a wider stance. Is this just for learning purposes? Should I be working toward a closed stance as I get used to the new skis?

        Charles

      2. Charles,
        I think it’ll evolve naturally. Just a trick to keep in mind if you find yourself clacking your skis together.
        SE

      3. I just watched the short video on this page…that’s what you are talking about!! Looks easy and fun. Just gotta remember that its not a fashion show haha.

        I am a skier from the 80’s and back then the people who could keep their skis closest together were the “good” skiers hah!

  9. Hi there, thanks for your review! I tried the Rustler 10 in Loveland Pass (Colorado) a few days ago and absolutely loved them. They felt like a snappy ski that could still hold at moderate speeds, especially in powder, but also in variable conditions including chopped powder and crud. Probably in the top 3 skis I ever tried to ski in the trees/tight terrain, super fun! They felt extremely easy to manoeuver, especially coming from my Salomon QSTs 99 2019, which are my daily drivers and feel stiffer.

    I was wondering how would you rate their on-piste/hardpack/ice performance? I tried them on a powder day so I think I was very lucky with the conditions – it is the only doubt that is actually holding me from buying a pair of them and making them my daily driver! I ski mostly the Pyrenees (50% days/year) and/or Alps and Rockies (25% days/year each), and need an all-round ski for the frontside and backside that could eventually handle everything but without feeling too burly or tiresome.

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi AB!
      It’s a good comparison. The Rustler 10, even with a wider waist, has that metal laminate underfoot and extending to the tips and tails, so it does hold better on firmer snow. You do lose a tad in terms of quickness and maneuverability, but not by much. It’s only a 5 mm difference at the end of the day, and I think you’ll appreciate the titanal laminate in the Rustler for stability and dampness on the hard pack. Hope that helps!
      SE

  10. How do these compare to the Salomon QST99? In what conditions is the R10 better? In what conditions is the QST99 better? Or are they really pretty similar in performance? (Yes, I know the R10s have a 102mm waist as opposed to QST’s 99mm.)

    Also, is 180cm the right length for a guy who is 5’9″, 185 pounds, 60 years old, and an advanced skier?

    1. Hi RCH!
      The Rustler has a titanal laminate that extends from full width underfoot and tapers to the tips and tails. This gives the ski more stability underfoot while keeping the ends of the skis light and maneuverable. This is more effective in deep snow as well as groomed trails. The QST is more consistently built so is generally more versatile and well-rounded. They’ll give you a better overall feel while the Rustler excels in deep snow as well as icy groomers. But that’s nitpicking–overall they’re very similar skis, with the Rustler having a lighter swing weight. I’d say the 180 is on the long side, but if you’re skiing aggressively, you’ll appreciate the extra stability. Have fun!
      SE

  11. Thanks very much. Given that, back in the day, I used to ski on 200cm skis, I cannot imagine going shorter than 180. 😉 Also, my eastern ski is a 180cm Brahma and that works great for me. I used to own the original QST99s, and was not totally happy with them. I know the new model is improved. But, “Excels in deep snow are well as icy groomers” sounds like pretty much what I wanted to hear–I think that seals the deal for me on the R10s. I’m going to demo some this weekend to confirm. Thanks again. I love the reviews on this site, by the way. Very informative and helpful.

  12. Hi, I’m 191cm, 80kg, 62 yo, reasonably advanced but not expert on Kastle MX 88 178 in the French Alps. The MX 88 is fairly stiff and heavy and on-piste it’s precise and responsive for an all-mountain ski but doesn’t have rocker so the front tips dig in easily in soft snow making it difficult to balance lengthways. If the powder is thin the rear tips drag on the ice underneath. I want more fore-aft stability and a little more float in powder and an easier ski in heavy/crusty off-piste snow for my less than perfect technique but I also enjoy hard pack piste grip and moguls. I enjoy short to medium turns more than high speed and like a lively ski. I’m also toying with trying touring so am considering Salomon/Atomic Shift MNC bindings to give me the option but it would just be an occasional use.
    – My reading of reviews including yours, thank you, leads me to the Rustler 10. Do you think it is suitable?
    – If so is there another ski that does everything the R 10 does but even better?
    – Does having rocker mean you need more length because the cambered section is shorter or does the lift of the rocker compensate?
    – For the R 10 would you recommend 180 or 188 for me?
    – Do you think the Shift bindings would be a good match?
    Cheers, Hal

    1. Hi Hal!
      You’ll definitely get the float and playfulness that you’re looking for in the Rustler 10. The rocker profile isn’t really dramatic enough to affect the length of the ski or how it feels, but for your stats, I’d go 188. Great ski for a shift, just make sure you use it in a touring capacity as well as downhill, otherwise I’d just get an alpine binding. Have fun!
      SE

  13. Would you use it as a touring ski? And I am 6,1 I weight 210 i am a high intermidiate rider would you take the 188 long ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Marc-Olivier!
      Yes on both counts, I’d say. Very light in the tips and tails, so keeps the overall weight down. Still stable underfoot thanks to the metal laminate, so the downhill performance will still be high-quality. Have fun!
      SE

  14. I demoed the Rustler 10 and really had fun. I was amazed at how well it carved on firm groomers. I did not get to try it in any soft snow. I assume it would excel there. Compared to my frontside ski (RTM 81) I found it to carve almost as well and released the edge way easier. I may need more time with it, but It may simply displace my RTM 81. I also have a cheater slalom ski that I use for our short firm hills in the midwest. Originally the Rustler 9 was on my short list, not the 10. But I could not find the 9 to demo. I want his ski for when we get dumps of snow in the midwest or when I take trips out west. I mainly ski groomers, but want to start exploring trees and softer snow. Is the Rustler 9 significantly better on groomers or more maneuverable in the trees? I am 58yo, 5’10” ,175lbs. I demoed the Rustler 10 180cm. At the moderate speeds I wanted to go it was plenty stable for me, so I think I am happy with that length. What do you think about the 10 vs the 9 for me?

    1. HI Jim!
      The only time I’d say the 10 would be better is in fresh snow above 6 inches. How often do you find yourself in those conditions? If it’s the majority of the time (lucky), I’d go 10, but you’ll find that the 9 will likely replace the 81 for your all-mountain and carving ski. It’s just incredibly versatile, and everything that you liked about the 10 will filter down to the 9, just with more energy and edge grip (at the cost of flotation). 180 sounds great! Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the recommendation. What would you recommend for bindings on the Rustler 9? I was leaning toward the Tyrollia Attack2 13 GW (95mm brake) because I have read that it is easier to click in/out than the Marker Griffin that I have on my other skis. I haven’t really had any issues with the Griffin, but I imagine an easier click in would be nice in soft snow. Is it a bad idea to consider demo bindings for flexibility? Do you give up significant performance?

      2. HI Jim!
        I’d stick to the Attack as that easy entry/exit does make a difference. The Demo is heavier and has a higher stand height, so I wouldn’t go that route on my personal skis. They’re also expensive. Have fun!
        SE

  15. I am a 5’11’ 185 lb advanced/expert skier. I like to go fast and huck cliffs when possible. I already have a pair of blizzard straight carvers and a set of armada JJ’s for powder days. I am looking for something in-between when the snow is a little harder and theres some crud to get through on say the bowls of big sky or jackson hole. I probably ski 50/50 on and off piste, and this ski may be a touring set up in the future. I have been doing research on the fischer 99ti in 181 and I have really liked what I have been reading and am probably leaning in this direction. However, a lot of guys in the area I ski are on blizzard rustler 10 s and really like them. I am wonder how these skis compare and what your advice would be. TIA

    1. Hi Tyson!
      You’ll get better piste performance from the Fischer for sure, mostly due to the narrower waist and the more responsive tail, but they feel pretty similar in the tips–a bit better engagement out of the Fischer, but not by much. If you’re looking to double up as a touring ski, I’d lean to the Rustler for lighter weight and playfulness. You’ll likely enjoy them both immensely, just depends on your application. Have fun!
      SE

  16. Hey All,
    Demoed the Rustler 10 172(FUN), Nordica Enforcer 100 177 (stable but a lot heavier and more work to ski) and the Black Crows Daemon 177.4 ( very maneuverable, but a bit squirrelly) . Ended up really liking the Rustlers 10. I’m in my third season sking and have mostly been on the BD route 105 175 with Tectons as 50/50 set up, but have found I’m spending a lot of time inbounds and wanted something slightly more damp/stable on hard snow/curd and quicker to turn in tight spots/bumps. I also would’nt mind keeping the mileage off the more expensive touring set up. I also wanted to see how big of a difference a traditional alpine bindings/boots set up felt and figured its technically safer. I’m 5’10” 175lbs and am a solid intermediate skier that likes to cruise with about 25 days in this season before all the resorts just closed for Covid19. Mostly skiing Mammoth, Tahoe and at least 5-10 days each season in Utah and Colorado. Really enjoyed how the 172 performed in the bumps, but didn’t really get a chance to open them up due to really poor visibility. The tech said that due to the rocker the Rustlers ski shorter than the length suggests. I assume the 180’s would be more stable at speed and have better float, but how much would I be giving up in maneuverability? On my Route 105 I feel like I go plenty fast enough inbounds as much as those skis care to do, but if I had something more stable, might enjoy charging like 11% harder. That said the bumps and the tight spots are where my skiing needs the most help. So…. 172 vs 180?

    Also saw your guys review of the Fischer Ranger 102 FR and DPS Wailer Alchemist 100 RP. Both seem to be in the same ballpark as the Rustler 10. Have you had any time on the other Wailer 100 RP builds that might be a better comparison?

    1. HI Scotty!
      We’ve just gotten on the Alchemist in the 100–pretty sweet ski, but probably not quite the stability at speed you seem to be looking for. Ranger 102 has a bit higher of a gear, and yes, is more similar to the Rustler–maybe even a bit more stable, even with the metal of the Rustler. I found the Rustler skis to be very stable underfoot, but a bit chatty in the tips and tails, while I did not get that sense from the Ranger. If it helps, that Ranger does come in a 177, so splitting the difference in your sizing issue with the Rustler. I’d go 180 in the Rustler anyway, for what it’s worth. Take care!
      SE

  17. Hello,
    I am currently debating purchasing the rustler 10 or the black crow atris. I am looking for a playful ski that is great all over the mountain on the east coast from steep trees to carving on groomers. I am also planning to put shifts on them to ski the backcountry. Which ski would you recommend?

    1. Hi David!
      I think the Rustler is going to give you more versatility for use on the east and general resort skiing. The Atris I thought was a better choice for soft snow only while the Rustler has a hard/soft capability that the Atris doesn’t quite have. Take care!
      SE

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