Ski Industry News

2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review

2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review: // Ski Reviews

Narrower feels like it's a theme for 2020 skis. We've already looked at a new narrower Enforcer, the Kendo is narrower than ever before, and if you ask just about anyone in the ski industry what the overall trend is right now, a lot of people answer with "narrower." This ski continues that trend, and arguably takes it to a whole new level: the Brahma 82 from Blizzard. Blizzard's all mountain skis (technically referred to as All Mountain Freeride) have been making waves in the ski industry for about 10 years now. While they've undergone some changes over the course of their existence, they've become synonymous with precision, power, and performance. The Brahma and Bonafide come up in conversations and comparisons all the time, and usually sit at the powerful end of the performance spectrum. This also comes along with a fairly demanding feel, and we've talked a lot about how these skis are best on the feet of fairly accomplished skiers with good technique. If you're looking for that upper-echelon all mountain performance, it's hard to do much better than Blizzard's offerings.

Now, we've seen some narrower skis in this collection before. Remember the Latigo? So, in theory, this isn't a totally new concept, but Blizzard's really doubled-down on the concept behind this ski. Let's go over the thought process behind adding a Brahma 82 to the line. Blizzard has recognized that there are a lot of people out there that want high end groomer performance, but also want to be able to take the ski into un-groomed terrain from time to time. Sure, lots of people turned to the Brahma for this application, but there has also been a big segment of skiers turning to what we'd refer to as "wider system skis." Think Quattro 8.4, RTM 84, etc etc. These wider system skis had (have) designs that are rooted in groomer performance, but come along with the message of "hey these are wide enough for softer snow too!" While that's certainly not wrong, Blizzard's thought process is a ski like a Brahma 82 is going to retain the groomer performance that people are looking for, but because it's a flat ski, it's going to be much more fun in those un-groomed situations. System skis are typically pretty heavy because of the system binding, and often have a very stiff flex underfoot due to that same binding system (similar to a race plate.) In theory, a ski like the Brahma 82 mounted with your favorite alpine binding is going to be better suited for moguls, and really any other application where you're not just carving, compared to these system skis.

2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review: Ski Spec Image

So, because of this new theory, you're not going to find a single "system" carving ski wider than 80 mm underfoot in the Blizzard line. Also, Quattro has been significantly trimmed to just three men's skis, and the highest performing versions of those skis are gone entirely. There's more emphasis on the Firebird collection now. If you want a dedicated frontside ski and don't plan to take it off groomers much at all, Firebird is the way to go if you want the most precision and the most power. The widest ski in that collection is the new HRC, which comes in at 76 mm underfoot, and, without going into details, is a whole lot of fun. So, anyways, back to the Brahma 82. This ski is designed to compete against and offer an alternative to skis we've become accustomed to: RTM, SuperShape, Vantage X, iKonic, the list goes on and on.

2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review: Full Camber Image

If you're familiar with the construction of the Brahma and Bonafide, you're familiar with the construction of the Brahma 82. It shares the same Flipcore Carbon Drive construction. Two sheets of metal sandwich a poplar and beech wood core. Multi-directional fiberglass, bi-directional carbon fiber in the tip, and an anti-shock layer underneath the binding round out the construction. As we've talked about plenty before, this construction is a recipe for a ripping ski, and doesn't stray too far away from what we see in dedicated race ski construction. The shape of the Brahma 82 also follows the theme of the Brahma and Bonafide. Camber underfoot with subtle rocker in the tips and tails. The rocker is longer in the tip, but doesn't rise high off the snow, so you're not losing much effective edge in any scenario.

Alright, alright, you want to know about performance. The easiest way to describe this ski is that it feels like a Brahma that's quicker edge to edge, but that's probably pretty obvious. On firm snow is feels more knife-like than the wider Brahma. This ski takes precision to a whole new level, which is saying something because the Brahma is already a very precise ski. It actually has a slightly longer turn radius than the Brahma 88 too and really likes to be driven aggressively. In fact, it requires a certain amount of skier input. This isn't a Sunday-cruiser, it's a hard-charging daily driver all mountain ski that will satisfy the demands of the best and most aggressive skiers on the mountain. We've talked about this plenty before, but the Brahma is not for the feint of heart, and the Brahma 82 continues that trend. Intermediates may find it's a bit much for them, but aggressive advanced and expert skiers will really appreciate its performance and overall feel.

2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review: Action Image2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review: Action Image

Another thing we've talked about before is the relatively unforgiving feel of the Brahma at slower speeds and in un-groomed terrain. The Brahma 82 is similar, although there's something about the narrower shape that actually makes it feel easier in certain scenarios. Quicker edge to edge translates to a slightly easier time in moguls. In fact, the Brahma 82 is a fantastic mogul ski, but only if you're a pretty high level mogul skier. Slower speed skiers who prefer pivoting and washing their turns might not like it as much as a softer-flexing ski with more rocker, but those of you that can ski a down-the-fall line, zipper-line will fall in love. Also, compared to a system carving ski, it's way more fun in situations like this. So, for those skiers that want that high level feel on groomers, but more versatility than a system carving ski, the Brahma 82 is a refreshing choice. Also, going back to how demanding it is, on firm snow it actually doesn't require as high of an edge angle as the Brahma 88, and especially the Bonafide. So, while it's still a ski geared towards advanced and expert level skiers, it's a little easier to get it up on edge than its bigger brothers.

So, what's the takeaway here? For one, this is definitely a valuable addition to Blizzard's collection. We're perfectly happy to see it take the place of skis like the Quattro RX and 8.4 Ti. While those skis were a lot of fun, they were too stiff and too demanding for a lot of off-piste applications and arguably a little wide for a dedicated frontside ski. What Blizzard is doing makes sense to us, and we're interested and intrigued to see if any other companies follow suit. We expect others will, and we're already seeing some similar concepts from other brands. Nordica, for example, is offering a flat version of their Spitfire 80. That ski is a little more geared towards true frontside use, but by keeping a lower center of gravity with an alpine binding with plenty of elastic travel, it's going to flex easier underfoot than a system ski with a plate.

You've probably got an all mountain ski in your quiver. You might have a powder ski too. Do you have a ripping carving ski that you can slay moguls on too? Probably not, or if you do, it's probably in the 90-100 mm range and doesn't feel nearly as quick as a ski like the Brahma 82. Alternatively, if you spend most of your time on a system carving ski, ask yourself whether it has the versatility you'd ideally be looking for. For some, a system carving ski doesn't need versatility, it's just for carving. For others, the Brahma 82 is going to change your world.

2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review: Buy Now Image


 

Written by Jeff Neagle on 02/28/19

0 thoughts on “2020 Blizzard Brahma 82 Ski Review

  1. I regard to the Brahama being a demanding ski best suited to aggressive skiers with good tenique. A friend that use to work as a ski sales rep gave me a good way to describe skis like the Brahama . This is a ski that " the skier has to be actively involved when skiing". I like that description because it is a nice way of saying the ski is too much for you to handle if your not really good and ski aggressively. You have to be actively involved sounds less intimidating than demanding or unforgiving. Personally I got to have that Enforcer 88 you guys tested. Hope they make it their shop employees special next season.

  2. I just demo'd this today and really enjoyed it. Quick edge to edge, damp, stable, fast, fun, great carver for sure. I have the Bonafide (1st version with Carbon) so the 82 felt familiar to a degree. I am looking to add a smaller ski to my quiver and trying to decide between the Monster 83 and now the Brahma 82. I demo'd the Monster 88 and really liked it but feel there may be too much overlap with my Bonafide - so thinking the 83. 6' & 207.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or feedback.

  3. I think the length data is incorrect. I have a 173cm pair and I believe the only other option is 180cm. I've skied them for the last two weeks on Ohio ice. The faster and harder I push them, the better they do. I de-tuned mine 2" back for the contact point after my first day of skiing with the tune from the shop. This made them a bit more forgiving. The pictures you show of the rocker is bit deceiving. In my opinion, the rocker is minimal.

    1. Hi Paul!

      170 cm was a typo, it is 173 cm. But, there is also a 166 and 187 cm length. Source: Blizzard. Definitely minimal rocker, we go over it in quite detail in the video. Fairly long actually, but very low-rise, so it's not really shortening the effective edge in any situation. In the written portion we described it as camber with subtle rocker, which I think is pretty accurate.

      Have a great season!

      SE

      1. Hi Tom!

        Yeah, I agree 100%. That's a really good way of thinking about it. You really need to be actively engaged at all times when skiing the Brahma.

        SE

        1. Hi David!

          I agree that the 88 would be too close, especially if you're looking for a more different ski. Certainly check out the Monster, but if you like the Bonafide build, you'll definitely like the exactness of the 82. Have fun!
          SE

  4. Gosh dang it! I bought myself a pair of Vantage X 83 CTI at the beginning of this year to be my dedicated front side carver for Deer Valley. While I have no complaints about that ski as it completely serves its purpose, the description of the Brahama 82 sounds more enticing to me. I want my frontside carver to excel at frontside carving but I wouldn't mind having the versatility to pop off the trail from time to time while on it. The Vantage 83 is not really the best in off piste conditions, but maybe its for the best. I really lack discipline when I tell myself that "today I'm staying on the trail", so having the Vantage 83 in my quiver helps keep me to my word and I fear I'd make excuses to hop off trail in the Brahama even though I know I shouldn't!

    And, with regards to narrower being the key these days, I'm 100% on board with that. As a Utahn, my quiver is composed of the Vantage 83, Enforcer 93, and Backland 109 but I'm considering ditching my Backlands in favor of the new Enforcer 104. I realized that I don't ski that many truly DEEP days that would require a ski with a 108+ waist. Snow in the resorts gets chopped up too fast, especially on the Park City side of the Cottonwoods, and a narrower ski like the Enforcer 104 seems like the sweet spot for me.

    1. Hi DB!

      Thanks for chiming in with your experience! Haha, I totally know what you mean about lacking discipline about staying on trail. Good thinking, maybe it's a blessing in disguise.

      It's been really interesting watching the narrower trend catch on. I agree about 108 to 104, that feeling is probably even more emphasized here in Vermont where our terrain is super tight, and there's less of it, so it gets tracked out more quickly. Big fan of the Enforcer 104, it would be a pretty awesome addition to your quiver!

      Have a fantastic rest of the ski season! You guys are getting dumped on out there this year 🙂

      SE

  5. My old carvers are a Rossi Z9 with 74 underfoot. I found that, unless it was real wet soft leg breaker mank, I could drive them anywhere, fast super g, to bumps at slower speeds but in deeper snow and steeps where I really need speed control, I'd use my Nordica Enforcer 100's or in deep powder my 114 Rustler 11's,

    The Brahmas seem like a great step up for old snow conditions to carve with, from the very old Z9's. But I think the Brahma 88's vs the 82's might be handy for Squaw and Mammoth, where it can get deeper due to warmer temps if you decide to venture off piste. I'm also intrigued with the Fischer RC ONE GT 86 for year 2020 and wonder if they'd be better on steep chalk for me that the Brahmas. I am older now at 62 years, but still ski pretty strong mostly.

  6. How does the Brahma compare with the Fischer RC One for 2020. I'm looking for a solid frontside carver that can rip on windpack and some off piste occasionally at Squaw and Mammoth. I do need to slow down on the very steep stuff though, but can step on a turn early. Thanks, Anthony K. 62

    1. Hi Anthony!
      I feel that unless you're on groomers/hard pack 80% or more, the wider choices are better than the 82. Between the RC One 86 and the Brahma 88, the Fischer is the more dedicated carver for sure. The tails are pretty stiff and give an amazing amount of rebound while the Brahma 88 is more consistent from tip to tail and therefore makes for a better all-mountain ski versus a dedicated "carver." Sounds to me like you're looking for a Brahma 88. Hope that helps!
      SE

  7. I am trying to decide between the Brahma 82 and the 88. I am in my mid 40's. advanced intermediate, aggressive skier, 6'2" and 190lb, in Upstate NY, skiing most of my days at Bristol MT on a lot of man made snow with the occasional trip to VT or Maine. Been skiing more in that last couple of years and looking to upgrade.
    I have been skiing on an older set of RTM 81's 176cm that I bought used on craigslist a few years ago and love them for there grip and carving but they are a little short for me. I demo'd the 88's in 180cm last winter and really loved how stable they were at speed and how confident I was with them at speed. They are the widest ski I have ever been on and felt a little odd at first but I got more used to them as the day went on. Unfortunately I did nto get a chance to demo the 82's and I am wondering if I would like those as much as the 88's as they seem to be a very similar ski. Being where I am at, I spend 90% of the time on the frontside as we dont really get too many fresh snow days and even when they do come they are ski'd up pretty quickly. Wondering if you could help shed some light on how you might compare the 82 vs 88 and if you think one would be better suited for me and my situation.
    Regards.

    1. Hi Tucker!
      I think you should at least try the 82 in the 180 and see if it's a good fit. My feeling is that if you liked the 88, you'll love the carving and quickness of the 82, but as an all-mountain ski, the 88 is definitely more versatile. But, as you say, you're 90% on-trail, and that's what the 82 is made for! Hope that helps!
      SE

  8. I'm 6' 220, have demoed a pair of 177 supershape titans and was curious how these might compare to them, very similar or a bit different. Trying to think about a skinnier set of skis. Appreciate any thoughts.

    1. Hi Nap!
      The Brahma is quite a bit more nimble and quick than the Titan. The tip to tail carving prowess of the Titan makes it less versatile than the Brahma 82, which despite its width, can make a bunch of different turn shapes and styles versus the Titan, which gets locked in to a single turn shape. If that's the shape you're looking for, then it's hard to beat, but if you're interested in more all-mountain skiing, the Brahma 82 is the way to go. Have fun!
      SE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *