2022 Blizzard Rustler 9

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lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm
radius: 18.5 m at 188 cm
sidecut: 127/94/117 mm at 188 cm

What more can be said about the omni-present Blizzard Rustler 9? It’s got a fantastic shape, build, and profile for the pure all-mountain skier, and it has an incredible range for a variety of conditions, terrain, and even skier ability levels. At 92 mm underfoot in the 172 and below, and 94 in 180 and 188, the Rustler 9 is right in that sweet spot for skiers looking for true all-mountain versatility. Built with a wood core and a partial metal laminate, the Rustler 9 has that mid-weight build that’s perfect for skiers who are looking for stability and edge grip, but not at the cost of quickness and maneuverability. In this light, the partial twin tip also stands out, making the ski more playful and agile, especially in tighter spots. These skis hold a fantastic edge, mostly because the metal is full-width underfoot, placing a lot of power right under the sidewall of the ski. If you’re in the market for the low to mid-90's underfoot ski, the Rustler 9 is as good of a choice as it’s been for the past five or so years.

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Poplar, Beech, Balsa, Paulownia
D.R.T. Titanal Laminate
Carbon, Fiberglass
All Mountain, Powder, Groomers

J.T. Vise was on the 180 and found it to be a bit long for him. One of the few knocks against this ski is the 8 cm size gap, so J.T. would have to go down to the 172, and that might end up being too short for him. That aside, he still noted that the ski felt true to size in the 180. For scores, J.T. gave the Rustler 9 3’s out of 5 for flotation, torsional stiffness, and edge grip, with the rest of the scores as 4’s out of 5. This is exactly the type of scoring we’re accustomed to seeing with the well-rounded Rustler 9, and we’re stoked that J.T. found it to be the case as well. Like most testers have said all along, J.T. states that the Rustler 9 is the “Perfect all mountain ski, really checks all the boxes. Strong underfoot with playability in the tip and tail. Makes for a truly maneuverable ski that you can take anywhere.” That’s pretty much what we’re all looking for in our all-mountain skis, and it’s nice when the theory and the practice line up. With absolutely identical scores, Noah Labow also noted the high-end versatility of the Rustler 9. He too was on the 180 and found it to be true to size and a good one for him. Noah notes that “I really liked the ski, it felt stable underfoot, nimble, but wanted to go fast as well. It’s comfortable with a variety of turn shapes and has a nice, nice flex pattern. Best for advanced skier looking for a precision tool.”

First-time Rustler 9 skier Matt Testa noted that his 180 felt a bit short and he may want to size up, but again, we run into that 8 cm gap, so his next choice would be the 188, which he might find to be long. If you’re a true 180 skier, you’re stoked, but for all others, there could be a bit of an issue with getting caught between lengths. Either way, Matt had a top score of 5 out of 5 for quickness and maneuverability, with 4’s given for playfulness, forgiveness, and overall impression. Surprisingly, versatility got a 3, but we’re not going to hold it against him. Matt states that “This was my first time on any Rustler and my first impression was how easy this ski is to ski. Coming down the Nosedive "S" turns, I was easily able to bounce from mogul to mogul. This ski is very forgiving and would be great for intermediate to advanced skiers. I can see my 73-year-old father-in-law really liking these skis because they are pretty forgiving and make a great smeary turn. Coming from the high-performance skis like the Stockli SR, the Rustler is so easy to throw around and was a lot of fun in the soft bumps. This ski will be at home skiing on-trail but is also nimble enough to fly through the trees and bumps.” That’s really what it’s all about in the all-mountain category, is having something stable, forgiving, quick, and agile that can truly handle anything and everything that the mountain can throw at it.

Ever-present in this all-mountain category, the 2022 Blizzard Rustler 9 is returning to develop an even deeper following in the ski world. Because of its well-rounded shape, energetic build, and lighter and quicker weight, the Rustler 9 occupies a stronghold in this category, even up against very stiff competition. We’ll see what the future holds for the Rustler line, but for next year at the least, the skis return in all of their glory.

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