2023 Blizzard Rustler 9 Skis
Blizzard Rustler 9 Skis
The Blizzard Rustler 9 is the narrowest and most front side-oriented ski of the Rustler series. Depending on length, the skis have either a 92 or a 94 mm waist width, and either of these is perfect for both carving, floating, and all-mountain conditions and terrain. The 9s are super-quick from edge to edge and have a ton of versatility in bumps, trees, or other tight and technical areas of the mountain. If you find yourself in tight, tricky spots like chutes or tight trees, the Rustler has a confident and strong feel about it, mostly due to the build. Starting with a wood core, they have their Titanal laminate that extends the length of the cambered portion of the ski. This puts power and precision over the carving parts of the ski, so it rips on groomers. And when the going gets tricky, you'll have the ability to control the ski no matter what the mountain throws at you. The uni-directional carbon in the tips and tails keeps the ski light and maneuverable, keeping the swing weight down and making short, quick turns easier. What makes the 9 stand out more than anything is its versatility and all-mountain capabilities. The Blizzard Rustler 9 is a true one ski quiver for both east and West and will inspire confidence and performance in whatever the mountain throws at you.
- Side cut: 127.5/94/117 mm at 180 cm length
- Turn Radius: 17 meters at 180 cm length
- Multi-Layer Wood Core
- Carbon Flipcore DRT Technology
- Tip and Tail Rocker
- Ability Level: Advanced Skiers
All-Mountain • Groomers
There's a few skis that we fall back on for skiers like you. The Rustler 9 and Salomon QST 92 are two of them. If you like to do it all, and don't really know what to get, those two will get you where you need to go. Rustler is a bit grippier and more energetic than the QST, while the Salomon has a bit quieter feel to it. The K2 90Ti is stiff like the 99, but not quite as heavy, and the Declivity is a good choice that leans more to front side carving versus all-mountain versatility. I love the Kore 93, but I'd say that's a demo-required ski as it's just not for everyone given how stiff it is. I'd narrow focus to Rustler and QST, with price and availability likely being a determining factor. Have fun!
Just a graphics update for 2023--same great ski!
Escaper is energetic and snappy and light. Rustler is grippier and a bit heavier, and does have a higher-performance ceiling as a result. If you want the feel of metal underfoot, but not overbearing, the Rustler is the way to go. For lighter and quicker skis, go Escaper. Elan Ripstick 96 green should also be in the conversation.
For a playful, ski that also has great edge grip and is stable at speeds, I would go for the Fischer 96. Gives you the best of all worlds.
We have 164, 172, and 180 to be purchased now.
However, I am currently on the 2021 Volkl Kendo 88s as my everyday east coast ski but am looking to replace them. While I love Kendos and appreciate their bite on icy days in PA and VT, I feel like they need to be at full speed, all the time. The problem is that I now ski with my kids most often (8 and 11), and they certainly don't go the speed of the Kendos. Accordingly, I am looking for something more forgiving/useful at lower speeds, and think the Rustlers might be the option. I am 6 foot and 225 pounds, love the trees and bumps but appreciate the groomers more now that I am getting older (I raced in college, but those days are long gone). Because of their stiffness, I sized down on the Kendos to 170 to make them more nimble in the trees and bumps and more responsive at lower speeds, and while that has worked in the trees and bumps, they do feel too short when trying to push it. Do you think the Rustler 9s are the right fit for what I'm looking for, if not, what other recommendations do you have, and if so, what size would you recommend?
If you want to stay in that 88 zone, I'd check out Stockli Stormrider 88. I know its pricey, but the quality and precision and range are off the charts. the Rustler is great, and I'm not going to talk you out of that ski, but it is wider. Head Kore 87 is also worth a look for lighter, yet grippy and fun performance. Aside from the Rustler, either of the stormrider and Kore are available in the next width up as well. Have fun!
I had the opportunity to demo these skis recently along with the Volkl Kendo 88 and was impressed with both. I didn’t get as much time on the Blizzard as I did on the Volkl and wondered how you’d compare these 2 skis as far as handling characteristics, conditions where one outshines the other, handling at higher speeds, etc. Reading your responses to other questions, you seem to have good insights about pros and cons of one ski vs. another and wanted to pick your brains.
The Kendo is a lot happier on groomed trails and firmer snow while the Rustler operates well in more variable conditions and terrain. The Kendo is one of the best-carving 88's out there--smooth, damp, stable and strong. The Rustler maintains good edge grip underfoot due to the metal, but leaves the tips and tails more forgiving and flexible, and that translates to good soft snow performance and flotation. If you're mainly in the east and on groomed trails of any level, I think there's more upside to the Kendo. Have fun!
The only difference between this and next years Rustler 9 is going to be the topsheet graphic. The general construction of the ski is being carried over from 2022 to 2023.
The thing that I like about the Rustler is the edge grip. Not that QST doesn't have it, but the metal in the Rustler does make a difference, especially underfoot. That said, the QST is a better floater and soft snow ski. If you're in VT most of the time, I feel the Rustler, especially in the 164 with the 92 mm waist makes the most sense. Have fun!
The Marker Griffon brakes don't offer a lot of wiggle room like some other bindings on the market so the 90mm would not fit the Rustler. You would either need to move up to the 100mm brake or go with the Tyrolia. My recommendation would be to go with the Tyrolia since the 95mm brake width they offer fits the Rustler perfectly.
The Rustler is a bit more polished overall but has big gaps in sizing that the Blade Optic seems to fill. Both skis are extremely similar in shape but with slightly different applications for the metal laminates used. The Rustler has less metal in the tips and tails making it more compliant overall and better in the trees and bumps. The Optic on the other hand really excels at short sweeping turns and is overall a very wiggly ski compared to the more composed rustler. A big thing in my opinion is the sizing differences. The Rustler has large jumps in sizing that make it difficult to justify for people that sit in between those sizes. If you want to ski a 184 or an upper 170 Rustler, you simply can't because they don't make it. The Optic on the other hand fills these gaps and might be a great option for people who want a Rustler but don't fall into the Rustler size ranges. Hope this answers your question!
Thanks for reaching out!
The new Nordica Enforcer 94 Unlimited has a lot that the original Nordica enforcer had (awesome all mountain capability) and it also has a lot less (two heavy sheets of metal). This ski is focused at someone who loved the original but wished it was a bit lighter. Originally designed with the backcountry touring community in mind. This ski could be a great ski for someone like yourself who is looking for something a bit more maneuverable and light.
As for the Rustler 9 you cant go wrong with this ski. It truly is an all mountain ski that will offer security on those icy days and the freedom to explore the trees and deep snow with great carving on everything in between. The titanal that extends over the tails will translate to power and stability on groomers.
Both skis are a home run but if I had to choose between the two II would go with the Rustler 9 for its overall versatility and just how fun it is to ski.
The Rustler 9 is a ski that will offer you great versatility in bumps and trees. It is quick and maneuverable in tight spots and can excel on the groomers when you want to open up and make some fun wide turns. The 188 would definitely be a lot more ski to move around the moguls and trees. I think since you mentioned things like playful, lighter, less fatiguing then I would recommend going shorter like 180. Which is not short by any means but will allow you to make those quick and effortless turns.
There are always other skis that fit the bill but to be honest the Rustler 9 is a homerun.
I hope this helped you,