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Blizzard Sheeva 9 - Women's Review

Wonderfully fun and energetic in all terrain, with enough strength and edge-hold to grip the groomers
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Blizzard Sheeva 9 - Women's Review (For a responsive ski that makes any terrain fun, look no further than the Blizzard Sheeva 9.)
For a responsive ski that makes any terrain fun, look no further than the Blizzard Sheeva 9.
Credit: Marc Rotse
Price:  $750 List
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Manufacturer:   Blizzard
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 15, 2023
76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 15
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8.0
  • Carving Ability - 20% 8.0
  • Powder Performance - 20% 7.0
  • Crud Performance - 20% 7.0
  • Terrain Playfulness - 15% 9.0
  • Bumps - 5% 5.0

Our Verdict

From our very first warm-up turns on the Blizzard Sheeva 9, our testers felt that there was something special in the flex pattern and responsiveness of this ski. The flex pattern offers an intense rebound that makes the Sheeva 9 a joy to ski, yet it is somehow also consistent and predictable. It flexes when you want it to flex and grips when you want it to grip. The best part is that the Sheeva 9's playful attitude is open to everyone, offering a balance of rebound and stability that is accessible to intermediates and exciting for experts. In moguls, the Sheeva 9 is a bit too springy to stay firmly planted in the troughs, and it doesn't perform as highly as others in powder and crud. But it still performs well above average in off-piste terrain, with a bonus penchant for pop and play that sets it apart from other models we tested in our review of the best all-mountain skis for women.
REASONS TO BUY
Superb energy
Strong yet accessible
REASONS TO AVOID
Rebound is too much in moguls
Editor's Note: We added the Blizzard Sheeva 9 to our lineup on December 13, 2023.

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Bottom Line Lively and nimble, but also stable and grippyPerfect for those looking for a single ski to rule them allFor those who love to ski fast and also want to be confident exploring away from the groomersA blast to ski in fresh snow, mogul fields, and popping around on groomersFor intermediate and advanced skiers looking for something that’s easy on the snow and on the wallet
Rating Categories Blizzard Sheeva 9 -... Nordica Santa Ana 98 Volkl Secret 96 Elan Ripstick 94 W Salomon QST Lumen 98
Stability at Speed (20%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Carving Ability (20%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
Powder Performance (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
5.0
Crud Performance (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Terrain Playfulness (15%)
9.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Bumps (5%)
5.0
7.0
3.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Blizzard Sheeva 9 -... Nordica Santa Ana 98 Volkl Secret 96 Elan Ripstick 94 W Salomon QST Lumen 98
Waist Width 96 mm 98 mm 96 mm 94 mm 98 mm
Sidecut (Tip-Waist-Tail width) 129-96-118.5 mm 132-98-120 mm 135-96-119 mm 136-94-110 mm 132-98-120 mm
Available Lengths 150, 156, 162, 168, 174 cm 151, 158, 165, 172, 179 cm 149, 156, 163, 170 cm 154, 162, 170, 178 cm 152, 160, 168, 176 cm
Length Tested 174 cm 172 cm 170 cm 178 cm 176 cm
Turn Radius 16 m 16.3 m 16 m 18 m 16 m
Camber Profile Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, cambered inside edge, Amphibio tech Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot
Weight Per Pair 7.9 lbs 8.1 lbs 8.5 lbs 7.4 lbs 8.2 lbs
Construction Type W.S.D. Fluxform Duramax sandwich full sidewall Energy Ti W Full sidewall SST sidewall Double sidewall
Core Material W.S.D. Trueblend Free Woodcore; Beech, Poplar and Paulownia Performance Wood & Metal Beech and poplar Tubelite wood Poplar
Ability Level Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Advanced-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Advanced

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Blizzard Sheeva 9 stands out for its delightful poppiness, which the manufacturer has managed to blend with predictability, stability, and edge grip on hard snow. Blizzard's FluxForm technology features layers of titanal stretching across the entire length of the ski, with an extra layer underfoot to create greater stability while keeping the tips and tails playful and softer.

Performance Comparison


blizzard sheeva 9 for women - our testers couldn't stop smiling at the unique combination of...
Our testers couldn't stop smiling at the unique combination of stability and playfulness that the Sheeva 9's progressive flex pattern offers.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Stability at Speed


Our testers were very impressed that a ski with such a playful side could also feel so strong underfoot at speed, as these qualities are often mutually exclusive. Blizzard has managed to use just enough titanal in just the right places to make the Sheeva 9 feel damp and stiff, but not so much that it feels lumbering or heavy. We appreciated the strength we felt under our feet when we got this ski up to speed. There is still minimal tip flap, but about as little as one can hope for in a rockered ski.


The slight softness in the tips and tails is also evidence of a very progressive flex pattern. Coupled with the FluxForm tapered titanal layup, Blizzard's TrueBlend Woodcore works to create smooth transitions as pressure is directed along the length of the ski. This allows the Sheeva 9 to maintain a burly feel that instills confidence at high speeds while seamlessly blending a lively rebound into the start and finish of each turn.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - great edge grip and rebound plus a tight turn radius make the sheeva...
Great edge grip and rebound plus a tight turn radius make the Sheeva 9 a joy to carve.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Carving Ability


The Sheeva 9 offers a surprisingly solid edge grip for a ski that measures 96 millimeters underfoot. The FluxForm technology includes two titanal plates that run the entire length of each edge, and this extra metal is evident in the ski's tenacious hold on the snow. The Sheeva 9 easily engages her edge, only to release when requested. The loaded tails offer exceptional power out of the turn, making this ski a joy to carve.


As a result of the exceptional energy in this ski, the Sheeva 9 makes very quick and easy transitions between edges. Once unweighted, the camber underfoot springs back and allows for a very neat switch to the new set of edges. Especially given the 96-millimeter waist width, the Sheeva 9 is nimble edge-to-edge.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - you can clearly see the flex of the engaged outside ski (on the...
You can clearly see the flex of the engaged outside ski (on the right) in this carved turn. Once the skier releases pressure on it, the Sheeva 9 will spring back to its cambered shape.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Turn Radius


With a turning radius of 16 meters at our tested length (174 centimeters), the Sheeva 9 features one of the tighter turns in the pack. This tight turn radius allows this ski to make snappy turns in tight terrain but doesn't preclude it from opening up, either.


The liveliness of this ski is intense, launching us from one carved turn straight into the next in quick succession. Our expert testers got a kick out of this feeling. But if you're someone who shies away from quick, short-radius turns, you should probably seek out a ski with a longer turn radius and a more forgiving feel.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - fun, agile, and grippy, the sheeva 9 comes in such an array of sizes...
Fun, agile, and grippy, the Sheeva 9 comes in such an array of sizes that you're certain to find the perfect length for your preferences.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Powder Performance


The Sheeva 9 doesn't shine as brightly in powder as it does in other metrics, but it still faired relatively well, given the stiff competition. In less than 6 inches of powder, this energetic ski is still able to interact with the base and offers a fun ride. But in much more than that, the tips tended to submerge, and the ski didn't stay as buoyant as we had hoped it would.


Waist Width


At only 96 millimeters underfoot, with only the average degree of rocker in the tip, the Sheeva 9 can't quite compete with some of the more powder-oriented skis in our test group. Even with a progressively rockered shape, a mid-waisted ski like this isn't really designed to handle deep snow.


However, the nimbleness of the Sheeva 9 still helps it feel quick and responsive in trees and tight spaces, even in deeper snow. This ability showcases its versatility as a fantastic all-mountain option, even if it's not the queen of powder skiing.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - not the best flotation in powder than six inches, but the sheeva 9's...
Not the best flotation in powder than six inches, but the Sheeva 9's nimble nature make it fun in trees and tight spaces in fresh snow.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Crud Performance


In our other specifically off-piste metric, the Sheeva 9 performs similarly as it does in powder. It certainly skis well enough relative to most other options in our review, just not quite as well as it does on-piste.


In chunky snow, the Sheeva 9 doesn't quite have the power to blast through crud like burlier skis do. While we really enjoy the little bit of softness in the tips that grants the Sheeva its quickness, it sometimes meant that this ski was easily pushed around in choppy conditions. Even though it includes a layer of titanal in its layup, there are still other skis that offer a more stable ride when the going gets tough.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - sometimes the softness in the tips and tails is a detriment in...
Sometimes the softness in the tips and tails is a detriment in chunky conditions.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Terrain Playfulness


The energy of the Sheeva 9 was apparent from the very first turn. It is stiff enough to generate ample power but not so explosive that its rebound bucks lower-level or lower-weight skiers – the fun is there for everybody to enjoy! The rebound from a progressive flex catapults the skier into the next turn, but this kick-back is predictable and shouldn't unnerve or surprise intermediate skiers. Think of it like a well-planned vacation – even though you can anticipate your next move, it doesn't mean that it's any less fun.


The energy in the Sheeva 9 results in a very quick transition between edges, allowing the ski to remain nimble in tight spaces like trees and couloirs. Our testers appreciated the responsiveness of this ski – when they said jump, the Sheeva asked, “how high?” Our testers loved getting this ski airborne, both for its natural propensity to do so as well as the confidence it inspires upon high-speed landings.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - the sheeva 9 loves to fly.
The Sheeva 9 loves to fly.
Credit: Marc Rotse

The Sheeva 9 carries its weight well and doesn't feel heavy under your feet. Our testers are especially pleased that this ski is so playful given their experience with Blizzard skis of the past, which tended to be stable, reliable, and lacking chutzpah. But the Sheeva 9 has thoroughly erased all of those brand-related assumptions.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - it doesn't take much oomph to get the sheeva 9 into the air off its...
It doesn't take much oomph to get the Sheeva 9 into the air off its rebound.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Bumps


Unfortunately, the same energy that makes the Sheeva 9 such a riot to rip all over the mountain is a bit of a hindrance specifically when skiing moguls. Although we knew it was coming, the rebound generated in the tails regularly threw our testers off balance in bumpy terrain.


This ski's 96-millimeter waist also feels a bit cumbersome in the tightest troughs. This is more of a feeling specific to the Sheeva 9 than a direct correlation to waist width because other skis of similar width performed much better in the bumps than this ski. That said, the Sheeva 9 doesn't perform poorly in the bumps, it just doesn't excel in this realm like other skis we tested.

blizzard sheeva 9 for women - sometimes the poppiness sent us into the air at inopportune moments...
Sometimes the poppiness sent us into the air at inopportune moments when we'd have preferred our skis on the snow.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Should you buy the Blizzard Sheeva 9?


The Sheeva 9 has a lot to offer as a versatile all-mountain ski. But if you particularly enjoy the sprightliness of a powerful tail and the feeling of an agile turn, then this playful ski is likely the one for you. Our testers also appreciated that Blizzard shortened the length increments between options, making it easier for folks to find that “perfect length.” This makes it even more accessible for intermediates and experts alike to enjoy the joyful Sheeva 9.

What Other Women's-All-Mountain-Skis Should You Consider?


While the Blizzard Sheeva 9 ranks very highly in our lineup, it's not necessarily the best ski for all conditions. If you like a playful ski but prefer to ski powder, we recommend the lively Elan Ripstick 94 W. Alternatively, if you prefer a ski to be powerful but more stable, the Volkl Secret 96 is a great option to consider. And if you simply want the most versatile all-mountain ski on the market, our top choice is the Nordica Santa Ana 98.

Renee McCormack