Groomer, off-piste, or all-mountain freeride? Eastern or Western? Blizzard Brahma handles all common types of skiing well. No matter what type of skiing you prefer, these top-rated skis have you covered. Or, at least they do in theory, that is.
I’m the kind of skier who likes a solid, versatile ski. But many jack-of-all-trades skis tend to disappoint. This is why it’s so important to analyze and compare different skis before you buy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be eager to find out just how Blizzard Brahma skis perform and whether or not they stand up to the competition.
2018 Blizzard Brahma Skis
Blizzard’s Brahma skis have secured a place among the top all-mountain skis for a few seasons. Like others, these skis have seen a few upgrades, and the 2018 version is a significant step up.
It has a lower rise rocker and a different tip shape, and there’s a lower turning radius. These changes serve to increase speed, responsiveness and turn initiation smoothness. All the signature qualities such as power, versatility, and vibration reduction are as good as ever.
The design features progressive rockered tips and tails with a camber in the middle. This keeps edge pressure low at the tips and edges, which improves handling and soft snow flotation. The grip is good on hardpack as well, thanks to the camber.
The traditional sidecut with an 88mm waist provides good carving and a trusty all-mountain feel. An abrupt tip design helps with turn initiations, while the flatter tail ends ensure stability.
The core consists of poplar and beechwood. The frame is uni-directional carbon fiber. Then there are two Titanal layers, an anti-shock layer, and binding reinforcement. So the Blizzard Brahma is both light and agile. The thick TPU foil top sheet makes it more durable.
On the snow
It handles a lot like a giant slalom ski with great grip and precise carving. However, it’s more versatile and works better on fresh snow. Blizzard Brahma is one of your best options for all-mountain skis.
The skis are stable at all speeds with a firm edge grip that will feel very familiar if you’ve used other Blizzard skis. Blizzard Brahma is one of their finest creations and a popular choice for skiers who like groomed slopes but also like to explore powdery expanses after a storm.
The skis are easy to maneuver, carving hard on the slopes but also floating and weaving off-piste. They can take you down those bumpy, steep passages with ease. Sliding turns are easy to recover, and the skis don’t stick in dense snow. However, that’s not to say it’s a reliable off-piste ski. Something this narrow can’t provide enough flotation in deep powder or deal with that really grabby, freezing wet snow. Of course, you can head off-piste with them, but they’re not ideal for it.
Blizzard Brahma sets are perfect as all-mountain skis though because they can handle most things well. I wouldn’t choose a ski this thin for steep, icy slopes, but they’re built to handle it as long as you slow it down and feather your turns. You shouldn’t have to worry about the loss of control.
In general, they did well on ice and chopped up snow at all common speeds. They flex just the right amount, and the grip is good.
Where you’ll feel the most at home with a pair of Blizzard Brahma skis, however, is on the groomed slopes. Where the narrow groomer cutters would sometimes knife through softer groomers, Blizzard Brahma will stay on top. It smears the soft almost as well as it carves the firm. Almost like a race ski with extra flotation.
This versatility makes it a great all-mountain ski for traveling skiers who want a robust yet light pair for varied conditions. Although it is true that the skis do seem to perform better in eastern locales.
I like the feel of skis that have a bit of metal, and the Blizzard Brahma fits that category. The added stability and confident feeling make it ideal for aggressive skiers.
It’s not an optimal choice for beginners or casual skiers though. Although it’s very stable, it’s not as forgiving or playful as a typical beginner or intermediate ski. It’s made for riding hard with confidence. If you’re not to that level yet, the Blizzard Brahma CA is a better option.
But if you’re a more advanced or intermediate skier in progress, you’ll love the versatility and reliability a pair of Brahmas provide. They’re great for directional skiers who like to head off the beaten path once in a while. They’re quick, stiff in the turns, and maneuverable.
A flat pair of Blizzard Brahma 2018 skis cost around fivehundred to seven hundred dollars, and you can get them on Amazon. The upgraded 2019 version is more expensive.
You can also find them in a variety of sports stores both online and in most major cities. Use their official store locator to find dealers near you.
How Blizzard Brahma Skis Compare
To get a better idea of how these skis perform, we will now provide comparisons against relevant competitor skis. The three other models we’ve picked out are the Völkl Kendo 2018, the Nordica Enforcer 93, and the Blizzard Bonafide. The following comparisons take you through the differences in build, performance, and affordability.
How We Reviewed
For these comparisons, we’ve analyzed and compared some reviews by both professionals and average users to get a proper idea of how they stand against each other.
Real user reviews from sources like Amazon, Reddit, and skis.com make up the main bulk of the conclusions provided. The technical specs come from the manufacturers themselves.
Völkl Kendo 2018
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The Kendos are some of Völkl’s most popular freeride skis. And they were the first ones to enjoy the return of camber in freeride ski design. Much like the Blizzard Brahma, Völkl Kendo is a frontside ski that also does a good job off-piste.
The Kendo has a similar multi-layer composite wood core made of beech and poplar. The former is most prevalent toward the ends, while the latter resides in the middle. The strength differences in the wood make it very durable and stiff yet able to flex.
It’s rockered in the tip and tail with a camber in the middle. With a waist width of 90mm, it’s a tiny bit wider than the Blizzard Brahma. The moderate taper of the tip with only the shovel area rockered produces a versatile all-mountain ski. This design makes it precise on groomers yet easy to steer off-piste. The sidewalls are full-length and strong, and the construction has a full titanal design for better dampening and stability.
On the snow
It’s a solid all-rounder that shines. Customers report that it handles like a race ski or sports car on the slopes. The new camber makes it turn with more ease and makes this a reliable ski for those who love to speed across a bit of powder and ice in addition to balanced groomers.
It’s built to provide excellent grip and precision for both long and short turn radii. With its titanal layup, it’s a stable ski at all sensible speeds and induces the confidence to push boundaries.
You will need to keep the speed up when you’re dealing with a lot of powder though because it doesn’t float like a proper off-piste ski. The deep powder will give you a bit of trouble, just like it would with the Blizzard Brahma.
These skis offer a nice, powerful rebound on piste and allow for wild, dynamic turns. It’s grippy, stable, and precise. Off-piste, it lets you feather and slide as needed and it can cut through choppy snow without deformation.
This is a demanding ski that’s best for people with more skill and confidence. It’s a great choice for athletes and passionate recreational skiers. Given its design, it’s most suitable for people with a bit more muscle mass. Lighter skiers are likely to prefer the Blizzard Brahma or an even thinner ski.
In most regards, Kendo and Brahma are very similar. Kendo may be a little better for freeriding, and Brahma a little better for grooming.
Nordica Enforcer 93
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If you’re more the type of skier who loves slashing and laying edges in all conditions but also likes to hit the groomers in between, the Nordica Enforcer 93 is worth a closer look. It boasts a similar versatility to the Blizzard Brahma and Völkl Kendo, but with a slightly different focus.
The Energy 2 titanium construction makes for a strong, speedy ski with playful flex. It uses a full wood core sandwich design with a metal sheet on top and bottom for optimal stability and edge grip.
Its gentle early-rise all-mountain rocker tip offers easy turn initiations and edge setting. The tail is turned up gently to provide better control and easier turn release.
The Enforcer has full ABS sidewalls on a sintered graphite base with two prepreg carbon sheets and polyamide top foil. Overall, it’s sturdy, versatile, and fast.
On the snow
Enforcers are more freeski-oriented and more versatile off-piste. One advantage over the Blizzard Brahma and Völkl Kendo is that the Enforcer lets you cruise the powder at a leisurely pace. They’re floaty enough for casual smearing, at the expense of some speed on harder slopes.
You’ll find them easy to maneuver and quick to respond at all sane speeds. They don’t handle speed quite as well as the Brahmas though. Both top speed and handling at speed are lesser with a design like this. On the other hand, it’s more versatile in most terrains.
If you love having fun off the beaten path, the Nordica Enforcer 93 is a better choice. It will take you down wild lines with stability and confidence while allowing you to play.
Blizzard Bonafide 2018
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Blizzard Bonafide is an all-mountain classic that seems impossible to knock down from the top. This is a wider ski for those who love to carve perfect turns without unwanted skidding even off-piste.
The construction is similar to both the Blizzard Brahma and the Nordica Enforcer. It uses the Carbon Flipcore technology, which features a uni-directional carbon fiber frame around the beech and poplar core.
The main profile is a rocker-camber-rocker design with a 98mm waist. This makes it floaty on powder while providing enough grip on hardpack.
Progressive rockers and easy turning sidecuts enhance the way it carves on groomed slopes as well as turn control off-piste. Other than that, it’s just like the Blizzard Brahma.
On the snow
When it comes to performance in powder, Bonafide is the winner on this list. The extra width and overall powder-friendly design make it float and fly across the now at a pace of your choosing. These skis are smoother than the Enforcers when you head off the slopes.
They work on groomers too, but both speed and handling suffer a bit in that area in exchange for better off-piste performance. Blizzard Bonafides are the skis you’ll want if you plan to spend as much time off-piste as on-piste, while Blizzard Brahma skis are more suitable if you spend more time on-piste.
Of course, this is more true for Western locales. If you ski the ice coast, Blizzard Brahma can be the better ski for mountain exploration.
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Pros and Cons
To summarize the qualities of Blizzard Brahma skis, let’s break it down into pros and cons.
When compared to the other skis in this article, Blizzard Brahma is the option for those who prioritize high speed and smooth carving over easy exploring on the wild side of the mountain.
The competition against the Völkl Kendo is very close as the two are very similar. I’d still call Brahma the winner, on eastern pistes in particular.
The Brahmas and the other skis on this list for that matter aren’t beginner-oriented skis. They’re for more advanced skiers who love to have fun with a pair of high-performing all-mountain skis.
The only real downside of the Blizzard Brahma is that it doesn’t float too well in deep powder. If this is something you need, the Bonafide is the better choice, with the Enforcer in second place.
All in all, Blizzard Brahma skis are an excellent choice for those who love to zoom down the snow both on and off the groomed slopes. I like how they are capable of great speed and handling on hard surfaces and even ice. This is the kind of ski you could have a lot of fun with, both racing down the piste and slashing through the natural sides of the mountain.
We’ll have to agree with both the pro reviewers and Amazon customers and give these skis 4.3 out of 5 stars. If you have the skill and the money it requires, it’s a worthy purchase.