2024 Blizzard Sheeva 9 Ski Review

MAY 24, 2023 | WRITTEN BY Emily Crofton

As a highly reputable name in the all-mountain/freeride arena, Blizzard has risen in the ranks after the release of the Blizzard Rustler/Sheeva line back in 2018. Fresh on the scene amidst a wealth of distinguishable competitors, the series made a name for itself quickly, and for good reason. Designed for all-mountain versatility and lively responsiveness, the Sheeva line landed itself in a well sought after position, appeasing skiers who value a dynamic combination of playful maneuverability and on-snow stability. After years of success, Blizzard has hit the Sheeva series with a refresh, applying new technology and modern design to create a more freeride focused feel without losing the Sheeva flavor.

Now, when Blizzard announced that their staple lineup was getting revamped at the start of the 23/24 season, it was easy to worry- what changes could possibly be made to such a high-performance, well-balanced ski? We’ve seen brands apply iterations to an existing ski that may not require it, resulting in changes that have us longing for the original. Well, I can confidently say that is not the case here. With so much to like about the former Sheeva, it’s impressive what Blizzard accomplished with this redesign. Fully re-engineered to approach all terrain and conditions with a freeride mentality, this new and improved Sheeva balances a powerful, reliable flex with a playful, poppy personality.

At a Glance:

2024 Blizzard Sheeva 9

150, 156, 162, 168, 174 cm16 m @ 174 cm129 / 96 / 118.5 mm1,735 g @ 164 cm$749.95

Cut from the same cloth as the Rustler line, the construction thus far has relied on a mixed wood core, delivering a predictable flex with lightweight maneuverability. Taking notes from other all-mountain and freeride skis in their product line, the use of Trueblend Freeride woodcore sets the tone for this year’s version, positioning different densities of wood at varying lengths throughout the core. The end result? Ideal levels of stiffness and stability underfoot with ample softness in the tip and tail, lending a noticeably lower swing weight as well. This special blend consists of 8 beech, 5 paulownia, and 3 poplar stringers, cohesively fusing light weight, poppy playfulness, and lively energy. It’s also worth highlighting the fact that Blizzard utilized this approach in order to control and fine-tune the flex and behavior of each model, bringing forth varying characteristics within one line of ski, which is pretty amazing. 

The next update to the construction featuresFluxForm Technology. This method reimagines the use of Titanal through the placement of two sections, placing a piece of fiberglass that overlays the binding area. Utilizing two separate pieces of titanal over the edges from tip to tail, they form a “fork” shape, tapering as they get closer to the extremities of the ski. This frame-style layering approach allows for torsional stiffness underfoot where stability is needed with smoother, more progressive flex in the tips and tails. This specific placement of titanal noticeably enhances edge grip and power along the edges of the ski, while leaving room for playfulness and forgiveness through the tips and tails. That combined with the use of Trueblend wood core not only saves weight but also allows the ski to effortlessly bend and flex without sacrificing strength.

Looking specifically at the shape, without major changes to the 10 or 11, the 9 gets the biggest refresh of them all. Starting with the width underfoot, we bump up from 92 mm to 96, which doesn’t make a dramatic difference but changes the rest of the ski’s dimensions as a result. The width in the tips change from 124 to 129, with the width in the tails going from 114 to 118.5. This alteration invites a more freeride focused personality, with better flotation in the tips and smoother turn initiation. Add in the longer rocker profile plus increased splay in the tips and tails, and you get impressive soft snow performance and ample playfulness. Still boasting a fair amount of camber underfoot, stability and edge grip is maximized with slightly more edge contact for variable conditions.

This brings us to the crux of the matter: performance. When it comes to a mid-90's underfoot waist width ski, there’s one thing that I’m looking for and that is versatility. On a typical day in Vermont, you may find yourself in a wide variety of conditions, ranging from icy, firm snow in the morning to a few inches of soft or packed powder in the afternoon. Throw in bumps, trees and wide-open groomers while you’re at it. To find that perfect daily driver for whatever will be thrown your way is not easy. Between shape, width, flex and feel, it takes a certain type of ski to master such variability and unpredictability. Thanks to Blizzard, I can confidently say that the Sheeva 9 is just that ski. I spent quite a bit of time on these skis, starting off with an early season day in the rain. With spring-like conditions, ranging between slush and firm snow, we were limited to the groomers. Within the first few carving turns that I made, it was easy to notice the intentional approach to the Trueblend wood core and metal laminate construction. Easy to initiate, carve and energetically release from a turn, the responsive, smooth flex combined with the torsional stiffness produces a lively energy and powerful rebound. Leaning into a turn and getting them high on edge, I felt incredibly stable and confident yet when I was ready to release, the level of energy and snap I felt out of each turn left a lasting impression on me. It goes to show the metal along the edges really steps the precision and control up a notch without having the ski feel too demanding.

Groomer and carving performance? Check. The next test was off-piste performance. This was where the level of versatility really shined. Taking them into the trees and tighter terrain highlighted the newly designed shape and construction, with noticeable maneuverability and quickness thanks to the frame-like placement of titanal. With the tips and tails left unencumbered, the ski is able to bend and flex naturally, with ample playfulness and forgiveness in the shovels. Though stable and grippy along the edges, it feels much less demanding than other mid-90 skis featuring metal, and with a much lower swing weight. I felt utterly in control and precise through the trees, with lots of energy out of the tails and in and out of turns. The blend between lightweight playfulness and strength/stability invites all-mountain performance with accessibility and predictability.

As the narrowest option in the new and improved Sheeva line, the 9 takes the cake for ultimate in versatility and on-piste performance. With the most amount of metal, it excels on firmer snow and allows for maximum edge grip and stability without sacrificing quickness or maneuverability. I was wildly impressed with the range of capabilities, proving its confidence-inspiring nature and consistent flex pattern. Between different turn shapes and speeds to varying snow conditions and terrain, the Sheeva 9 has it all in its wheelhouse. A range of skier types and abilities will find it accessible and forgiving yet with a high-performance ceiling. As a daily driver, this ski blends the ideal mix of characteristics that will deliver energy and quickness with stability and strength. Hats off to Blizzard for sophisticating and fine-tuning one of our favorite all-mountain series.