2020 Blizzard Rustler 9

The Rustler line from Blizzard was introduced and designed to complement their existing All-Mountain skis that are known for their power and precision. The Rustlers use less metal, more rocker and taper in the tips and tails, and uni-directional carbon fiber instead of bi-directional carbon. The result is a more playful, more forgiving, and lighter ski. The Rustler 9 the narrowest in the group, which means it uses the longest metal and least rocker out of all the Rustler skis (the widest Rustler has the most rocker, the narrowest the least, etc.) With its 92-94 mm waist width, depending on length, shape, and construction, it screams all-mountain versatility.

Mike Thomas tested the 180 cm Rustler 9, which he did mention felt a little short for his size. Someone like Mike should consider bumping up to the 188 cm length. That might be why Mike’s lowest scores were for stability and torsional stiffness, but that’s okay, skis like the Brahma and Bonafide are more focused on that performance, and we think Mike would have a slightly different reaction on the 188 cm. “Playful, snappy, and quick. A super-fun freeride ski that would be amazing in bumps and trees. Easy to steer. Easy to carve. Easy to ski.” Mike gave the Rustler 9 a handful of 5 out of 5 scores, including quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, versatility, and overall impression.

Brad Moskowitz is quite a bit smaller than Mike, and although he was on the shorter 172 cm length, he found much more edge grip than Mike did. In fact, he scored torsional stiffness/edge grip a full 5 out of 5, along with playfulness and versatility. The rest of our criteria? Nothing under 4 out of 5. “Just the right amount of torsional stiffness and ability to rip and rail groomers. Dimensions make it quick, enabling easy edge to edge transitions in tighter trees and bumps. I’d be stoked to try these on a pow day!” As a ski patroller, Brad knows Stowe better than most, and we’re sure he took the Rustler 9 into some tight, local spots. That versatility is what it’s all about. Rail some turns on groomers then hop into the moguls and trees. The ski does it all without a single complaint.

Annie MacDonald also tested the 172 cm Rustler 9 and was psyched with its versatile performance. Annie basically drew a line through the 4 column of our criteria, which is always a sign that a ski has a very even mix of performance characteristics. “Good all-around ski for a variety of conditions.” We’re sure Blizzard would be very happy to hear that feedback as that’s the goal of the Rustler 9. “Fairly stiff tip to tail, but still forgiving. Rockered tip has enough float for crud snow and pow, but doesn’t flap around. Good pop and playful feel. Would be good for a variety of eastern skiers in a variety of conditions.” That’s insightful feedback from Annie. You don’t need to be a high-level expert or super aggressive to enjoy the Rustler 9. Even a less aggressive intermediate can benefit from its versatile performance.

Noah Labow skied the 180 cm Rustler 9 and gave it one of the biggest compliments of the entire test, “I could ski this ski every day.” We could see Noah skiing it every day too. For someone who splits their time between groomers, backcountry terrain, terrain parks, and coaching future Olympians, it’s pretty darn perfect. “Very stable and quick edge to edge. Specialized in medium radius turns and feels very comfortable at a high edge angle.” Anyone who saw Noah on the Rustler 9 during our test could tell you he was having an absolute blast!

Not many skis can match the versatility of the Rustler 9. It doesn’t get much better than this if you’re just looking to have one pair of skis to do everything. Playful, maneuverable, but still has that Blizzard, Austria heritage so it can certainly hold its own on groomers. We also dig the new green colorway and bright sidewalls, a ski this fun should look fun too!

Testers

Brad Moskowitz

Age: 50Height: 5'4"Weight: 140 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and fun inspired by mohawks

Noah Labow

Age: 38Height: 5'10"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Acroski wannabe, versatility supreme

Annie MacDonald

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

Ski Style: Lots of style, grace, and power

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

44 Comments on the “2020 Blizzard Rustler 9”

  1. Hi guys, what would you recommend between the 2020 versions of the Rustler 9 and the QST 92?
    My level is intermediate/advanced, and I ski only in Europe, somewhere from 70-30% to 50-50% on/off-piste, pretty much in all kind of snow and weather. I like a lot fast and sometimes aggressive carving on groomed snow, as well as off-piste and powder fun. My last skis for a couple of years were the Head Supershape i.Rally 177cm, which I enjoyed mostly on piste, but off-piste as well on many occasions, with some limitations in deeper snow.
    Now I’m looking for that elusive one pair of all-mountain skis, that will allow me to go and have fun pretty much everywhere, from high speed skiing on corduroy or hard-packed snow without having to worry about chattering, to chopped snow, to floating on powder. 🙂
    I am 182cm and 85+kg (w/o gear) and in terms of ski size, for the Rustler 9 I’m thinking that 180cm should be fine, but for the QST 92 I’m not sure between 177 and 185, it seems like I’m exactly in between the sizes. What would you suggest in terms of model and size?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hi Costin!
      Great comparison!
      I found the 2020 QST to be a bit more stable at speed than the Rustler, whose tips and tails are lighter and more maneuverable than the Salomon. It sounds like you’re looking for more stability, and the powder and soft snow performance is roughly equal. In terms of length, I think you’re a 177 in the QST. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hello SkiEssentials,
    Could the Rustler 9 be the ski for me? What length would you think? Are there others I should try if I get the chance?

    Uses (this will be a 1-ski quiver):
    – 60% – mix of crud and powder in the trees, including tight trees trying to hunt down the remaining pow until i run out of space. prefer to go straight down aside from bouncing around the trees as needed
    – 25% – mix of icy crud, crud, and powder on open runs/bowls/chutes. prefer a nice medium-fast float, but also need to sometimes nuke it through shallow rocky sections and then slam off some speed afterwards.
    – 14% – groomers. prefer to get going fast and then carve as wide as possible (given the run and other people around) without scrubbing any speed away. lower priority on how it performs here, but if it can feel good in this element and get going 60 mph without getting all flappy that would be a nice bonus.
    – 1% – bi-annual mogul runs

    About me: 5’11”, 148 lb, expert

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Clifster!
      The Rustler 9 is a great ski for a lot of skiers, and it sounds like you’re one of them. They’re pretty stable for their weight, and have a high-performance ceiling. I’d go with the 180 in that ski. Also check out the Salomon QST 92 and the Rossignol Experience 94 if you get the chance, but in reality, all are great choices. Have fun!
      SE

  3. Hi
    I’m comparing Nordica Navigator 85 and Blizzard Rustler 9. I’m a intermediate skier that are 70-30% on/off pist. I’m 6’1″ (185cm) weight 125 lbs (55kg)

    1. Hi Sam!
      I think the Navigator is the way to go. You get much better and more precise on-trail performance versus the Rustler, which is not only a bit wider, but also more rockered and shaped for all-mountain/off-trail skiing and conditions. If you’re 70% on-piste, I’d go with the Navigator–it also is versatile enough for adventures, just not in the same way as the Rustler. Hope that helps!
      SE

  4. How do you compare Rustler 9 and Bent Chetler 100 as one ski quiver for variable conditions both on and off piste, except 6inch+ powder (I like snowboarding on deep days). I’m advanced skier, but still need to improve my mogul and tight tree skills. I’m 5’10” 170lb w/o gear. I’m looking at 180 BC100 or 180/172 R9. Which one would you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Hi Rossi!
      The Atomic has a more consistent feel from tip to tail while the Rustler has a lot more beef underfoot with the metal laminate located there. For an all-wood ski, the BC 100 is a great carver, and has a ton of pop and snap because of the positive camber underfoot. It is wider than the Rustler, so you’ll lose a bit of quickness and edge hold. I’d go 180 in either model. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi Ovi!
      The Pinnacle has longer tip rocker, so is a better floater for the width. The metal over the edges in the K2 give it a good amount of precision, just as the partial metal laminate in the Rustler. The tail of the Pinnacle is stiffer, so I’d rather take the Rustler into the trees and bumps, but for high speed cruising on soft snow, the Pinnacle is pretty sweet. Have fun!
      SE

      1. And between k2 pinnacle 95 and line supernatural 100? Wich is more forgiving and manovreble? Easier for your knees. Thanks

      2. Hi Ovi!
        I’m not too familiar with Supernatural 100, but I did love that Pinnacle 95! I have a 105 for my snow day ski, so I’m very familiar with the Pinnacle line. They’re not that forgiving, especially with the stiffer tail, but they’re easy to initiate. Have fun!
        SE

  5. Hey guys,

    Looking for my first pair of skis (been renting/borrowing for about 8 years now because I lived in a tropical country) and I would say I’m an intermediate-advanced skier. I ski only about 10-20 days a year, therefore looking for a 1-ski quiver type of thing. I ski about 60/40 – 50/50 on/off piste depending on the conditions in Europe. I’m 5’9″/175cm and about 75-77kg/165-170lbs. I do like to ski slightly more aggressive on groomers, but definitely prefer the soft snow.

    Been looking at the Rustler 9 in 172/180 and the K2 Mindbender 90 in 170/177. Not sure which ski/which length to go for. Would love to hear your opinion! Thanks!

    1. Hi Hazim!
      Of those two fantastic options, the Rustler is the more versatile with lighter swing weight and more flotation, while the K2 is a stronger carver and hard-snow performer. I’d look to the 170/172 in either of those models. Have fun!
      SE

  6. Is there any difference between 2020 and 2019 Rustler 9?
    I’m intermediate/advanced, although closer to intermediate after hiatus, until I spend some time getting it back. Realistically will be riding groomers with my kid. Once in a while having a little fun with the grownups. Need something comfortable and easy but can push once in a while. 90% on piste east coast. I’m 5’9, 185. Inclined to 172 for control, but wondering if too short, or if 180 will make me work harder than I want before I get my skills back.

    1. Hi Nick!
      Same ski, different graphic! A great choice for your application. I’d go with the 172 based on your stats and ski style–they’re pretty stable for how light they are. Have fun!
      SE

  7. Hey i am looking at the Blizzard rustler 9, i have skiet on Atomic vantage theory 128/95/118 168 cm from start off my ski expirience. 11/2
    Week at year. Like carving turns at semi High speeds manuvrebility, not at fan off moguls bute wont to have posebilety offpist and som pleyfullnes on pist.
    I am 187cm 75 kg age 53 knees have Bin better
    Whift lenght shut i go fore 172-180

  8. I’m looking for a twin-tip carving ski with a width in the range of 80-95mm. I’m an advanced skier, skiing primarily on groomers, not an aggressive skier or an ex-ski racer. I’m 6’0″ tall and weight 165 pounds. My search has yielded the K2 Mindbender TI or C and also the Blizzard Rustler 9. What would you recommend? Any others to consider? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jim!
      I think you’ll find the carving and playfulness out of the Rustler 9. The K2 is more of a directional ski with stronger carving, but if you’re looking for that fun-factor, the Blizzard is the way to go. Have fun!
      SE

  9. Hello, thanks for your quality reviews.
    I narrowed down my ski selection down to two models: blizzard bushwacker or rustler 9.
    My profil: 35 years old, 1.87cm and 76kg. 70% groomer 30 off piste. Looking for something fun and very forgiving and easy to ski. Advanced intermediate skier and ski mainly with my Kids, not a hard charger but should perform well on groomers.
    Thanks for your help

    1. Hi Helsi!
      It sounds like you’re describing the Bushwacker, as the metal laminate of the Rustler puts it into a higher performance category for sure. More edge grip and energy coming out of the Rustler, but the Buswhacker has a ton of positives, and they’re all on your list. Hope that helps!
      SE

  10. To start, I am a dude in his late 40s, size 5’11” weight 170 lbs, skiing for 15 yrs (advanced not expert), Northeast US exclusively, usually S Vermont. Most recently skiing Fischer Ranger 90 2016/17 179 cm which have been my favorite skis to date. Value light weight and maneuverable and less fatiguing ski, but still spend more time on piste and can go fast when allowed to (not skiing with my 7 yr old).

    So I am thinking about the Rustler 9, DPS Cassiar F94, Salomon QST 92, Fischer Ranger Ti 92 or 94 FR. Best fit? Other models I should consider like Liberty Origin 96?

    Before quitting here I want to commend you guys on the brilliant written reviews and videos. Super helpful

    1. Thanks, DL!
      I’m thinking you might really enjoy the Ranger 94–same overall feel of the 90, but with a bit more width and a friendlier attitude. The 92 is going to be very similar to your current ski, which doesn’t do much for your desire to have more maneuverability. I think the 94 slides right into that spot. QST and Rustler are great choices as well, but if you like the Fischer’s feel, the 94 isn’t a far cry. Have fun!
      SE

  11. I would fall in the upper end of the advanced category by your descriptions, am 85 years old, 5’9,152# . We ski mostly groomed runs at Whistler with medium radius carved turns at good speeds. I am considering the Rustler 9 as a second pair to better enjoy the NW powder and cut up junk while still not having to work too hard on the rest of the packed out mountain On a traditional frontside carving ski I go with 170-175 but with the Rustler design I am unsure whether to go 172 or 180? At my age and with a wider ski I don’t want to put any more stress on the aged knees than necessary. What do you think?
    Peter

    1. Hi Peter!
      I’d say the 172 is the way to go. They’re pretty stable with that metal layer, so I don’t think you’ll miss the extra length of the 180. Have fun!
      SE

  12. Hi There!

    Quick question on recommendation of length as well…I feel i’m sort of inbetween 172 and 180. I’m 181cm and 76kg. Out west 🙂 I was on an Enforcer 104 at 179 which I did enjoy, but I think those had way more rocker than the rustler 9 right?

    1. Hi Eric!
      A bit more rocker, but not enough to really affect the running length of the ski. I think the 180 is the way to go. The Rustler is lighter than the Enforcer, so if you liked the 179 in that ski, I’d say the 180 Rustler is just about right. Have fun!
      SE

  13. Hi, thank you for your great review. 15 days after switching from snowboard to ski, I think that I am a good intermediate skier/ aspiring to get better. I am 175cm, 73kg (5’9″, 163lbs) and my boots are some Dalbello Panterra 90. I learned with a 166cm Blizzard Brahma CA that I just sold because felt too short after improving my ski. I carve on blue and I am at ease on black even if I still need to correct some upper body rotation. I am looking for a ski to continue to improve in moguls, tree and groomed/ungroomed trails (50/50). I am interested in the Rustler 9 180cm (seems to be a big gap from my previous skis but they have a different shape) and the Nordica Navigator 85 in 172cm. What are your thoughts? I ski in the Tahoe area (mostly Kirkwood and Northstar). Thank you very much.

    1. HI Flo!
      The Rustler is a better choice as a true 50/50 ski while the Navigator has more of a preference for on-trail performance. That said, the Nav is also a better mogul ski due to the narrower waist. Likely you’ll prefer the extra width of the Rustler, as it’s not prohibitive for mogul skiing. I’d go Rustler. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Flo,
        I think it depends on your level of aggressiveness. You’re in the middle, so base your choice off of how fast you’re going and how long your turns are. The faster and longer, I’d go 180, but if you’re more mellow and prefer shorter turns, go with the 172.
        SE

  14. Hi,

    I’m looking for a new pair of skis. I’m 6’4” and 200lb. I ski 85% of the time on groomers, sometimes finding icy patches, etc. I love to go fast and aggressive. However, I really want something to make easy turns at the same time. Of course I would go for the 188. Is this ski for me? Any other suggestion?

    Also wondering if the Rustler 10 would be a good alternative?

    1. HI Alvaro!
      I’d stick to the mid-90’s like the 9. Also check out the Rossignol Experience 94 Ti for a burlier ski that will be better for your speed and aggressiveness level. Have fun!
      SE

  15. Hi,
    I am 189 cm tall, and my weight is 80kg. I consider myself an advanced skier and looking to progress even more. I ski 50/50 on and of piste. Should I go for 180 or 188cm version?

    1. HI Gregor!
      I’d go 188. They’re pretty light and maneuverable, and there’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve left performance on the table by going with the shorter size. Room to grow as well! Take care!
      SE

  16. Hi!!

    I’m look to get a one ski quiver. I am between Bliazzard Rustler 9, Head Kore 93, Fischer Ranger 94 FR, and Salomon QTS 92. I am 5’9″ 175 lb, intermediate to advanced skier who skis both East Coast and West Coast. I do a pretty even split between on and off piste. I enjoy skiing through trees, skiing powder and craving on groomers. Im not too much of a hard charger. Which ski do you think best fits me?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. HI Mike!
      I’ve found that skiers like yourself who aren’t necessarily hard chargers will gravitate to the QST first and the Ranger second. The Rustler has metal so it’s on the stiffer side, and the Kore is just really stiff due to the graphene and carbon construction. The QST is just about as automatic as it gets, with a super-friendly personality, but still has a high end. Same can be said for the Ranger, just a bit lighter and quicker. If you’re looking for something a bit more stable and damp, go QST, but for quickness and maneuverability, the Ranger has a bit of an edge. Have fun!
      SE

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