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!