The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Blizzard Bonafide Review

The Bonafide is an aggressive ski that takes a confident and powerful skier to handle it.
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Price:  $700 List | $699.95 at REI
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Pros:  Stable, stiff, relatively little tip rocker
Cons:  Tips dive in soft snow, unforgiving
Manufacturer:   Blizzard
By Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 9, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8
  • Carving - 20% 8
  • Crud - 20% 7
  • Powder - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 15% 5
  • Bumps - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The 2018-2019 Blizzard Bonafide is an all-mountain ski that handles best at high speeds. Throughout the testing process, the testers agreed that this is not a ski for the faint of heart. The Bonafide is very stiff and requires quite a bit of power to get it to respond. We tested the ski in a 187cm length, and its 20-meter turn radius was great for making large carving turns. The skis minimal rocker was not ideal for powder skiing, but the traditional sidecut did make turn initiation easy in all conditions. It tended to dive more than other skis we tested with a similar waist width and did not feel incredibly lively. It is an expert level ski that performs well for a powerful skier.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Blizzard Bonafide is a burly ski that is well suited for firmer snow conditions. While it is 98mm underfoot, it skied more like the Rossignol Experience 88 TI than the similar wasted Dynastar Legend x 96 or the Volkl Mantra M5.

Performance Comparison


Gaining speed actually improves the handling ability and performance of the Bonafide. This expert skis WANTS to go fast.
Gaining speed actually improves the handling ability and performance of the Bonafide. This expert skis WANTS to go fast.

Stability at Speed


The Bonafides handle best at high speeds. At low and moderate speeds, the ski feels slightly clunky and cumbersome, but when you have the space and pitch to pick up momentum, it handles smoothly and consistently.

Along with two full layers of titanal, the Bonafide sports a carbon frame. The combination makes for a very damp ski, even at high speeds. Even at the top end of our testers' speed limits, chatter in the tip of the ski is minimal except in truly refrozen conditions.

The Bonafide is just as stable at high speeds as the Nordica Enforcer, and both have a very similar feel when arcing smooth wide turns in firm snow. The Bonafide has an energy and level of consistency that is similar to the Dynastar Legend X 96 when you put the pedal to the metal. To truly enjoy this ski, you'll want to pick up the pace.

When you're on the Bonafides  you'll be seeking out wide open steep groomers  just like our tester did here. Don't attempt to keep this ski contained. Do yourself and the skis a favor  and let them roam in the open.
When you're on the Bonafides, you'll be seeking out wide open steep groomers, just like our tester did here. Don't attempt to keep this ski contained. Do yourself and the skis a favor, and let them roam in the open.

Carving


When the piste is wide open and steep enough to gain speed, the Bonafide carves up the slope with the best of the all-mountain skis we tested. The camber underfoot and very slight rocker in the tips allows for maximum contact when you lay the skis on edge. The Bonafide has a similar turn shape to the Blizzard Rustler 10, but feels like it has slightly better edge hold.

Where the Bonafide falls short in this category when compared to skis like the K2 Pinnacle 88 TI or even the Volkl Mantra M5, is that it's harder to initiate a proper carving turn at any speed. It feels like the Bonafide takes a little more work and speed to lay over than similar skis in this category. But, once you have enough momentum, these skis will reward you with arcing turns that will make you feel like you're on a true GS ski.

The Bonafide does a good job of busting through cruddy snow conditions. It is damp enough to absorb impacts in some of the worst snow we could find  but it is somewhat unforgiving and benefits from an experienced skier.
The Bonafide does a good job of busting through cruddy snow conditions. It is damp enough to absorb impacts in some of the worst snow we could find, but it is somewhat unforgiving and benefits from an experienced skier.

Crud


The Bonafide doesn't best the King of Crud, i.e., the Volkl Mantra M5, in this category, but it is burly enough to take on some pretty poor snow conditions. While it is unforgiving and gave our testers trouble in refrozen chicken heads and chunder, it is damp and stable enough to push through chopped up old powder and to hold an edge well on super firm windboard.

Because of the lack of tip rocker, the front of the ski tends to dive into the crud instead of float above it like the Blizzard Rustler 10. Although the tail of this ski is relatively flat, our testers were able to release out of turns, even in horrible snow conditions. The Bonafide's best character trait in crud is its dampness. We credit its sheets of titanal. It clearly outperforms skis without metal, like the Icelantic Pioneer 96 or Rossignol Soul 7 HD, in this area.

This tester is obviously having fun laying fresh powder tracks on the Bonafides  but they do not perform as well as expected in fresh snow. Other all-mountain skis do it better.
This tester is obviously having fun laying fresh powder tracks on the Bonafides, but they do not perform as well as expected in fresh snow. Other all-mountain skis do it better.

Powder


This ski does not feel incredibly lively when bouncing between turns in powder. When compared to skis of a similar waist width like the Black Crows Daemon, Volkl Mantra, or even the Dynastar Legend X 96, the Bonafide falls short. These three skis have an aggressive tip rocker — the Bonafide does not. That causes its tips to sink into any soft snow.

What the Bonafide does have in its favor when the natural flakes fly is that it measures 135mm at the tip, 98mm underfoot, and 119mm in the tail. That is a lot of surface area compared to the Line Sick Day 94 or the Rossignol Experience 88 TI. All this is not to say that the Bonafide can't be fun in your average storm, but it prefers firm snow.

It's not an especially playful ski  but our testers tried anyway. Here it is getting air off a cornice at Kirkwood.
It's not an especially playful ski, but our testers tried anyway. Here it is getting air off a cornice at Kirkwood.

Playfulness


The Bonafide is all business up front and a little party in the back. It is stiff and sometimes unforgiving. Some of our testers even labeled it as not lively like the Line Sick Day 94.

The ski is remarkably light considering how much metal it has in it. It also has some pop stemming from the popular beech wood found in the core. Our testers aren't scared to send any of the skis in our all-mountain category, and the Bonafide is no exception. But if you want to take a couple of park laps on your tour of the resort, this isn't your best option.

The Bonafide is a long  stiff  wide ski...none of which translate to a great bump ski. Regardless  our testers still made sure to put it through the wringer in our favorite bump line.
The Bonafide is a long, stiff, wide ski...none of which translate to a great bump ski. Regardless, our testers still made sure to put it through the wringer in our favorite bump line.

Bumps


The Bonafides ski long and stiff, and those traits do not make for a great bump ski. This ski requires too much speed and work to feel entirely comfortable mashing bumps. Our testers preferred a softer ski like the Rustler 10 or a ski with more rocker like the Head Kore 93.

When the moguls are small or you take them two or three at a time, it's easier to control the Bonafide and it's even fun. But it takes a strong and powerful skier to tame the beast. Make sure to size down if you do pick up a pair of Bonafide skis and intend to spend time on your favorite bump line.

This is one pair of fantastic groomer ripping skis! It belongs on edge and on a groomer.
This is one pair of fantastic groomer ripping skis! It belongs on edge and on a groomer.

Best Application


Our expert testers all agree that the Bonafide is well suited for an expert level skier who wants nothing more than to open it up and arc big GS turns on their favorite groomer. We still consider this an all mountain ski, because it can handle all terrain and conditions, but it does take a skilled user to do so.

Value


This ski isn't the best value as it runs in the middle of the pack in terms of cost but doesn't outperform any ski in our testing categories. However, Blizzard is known for its long lasting, durable products, and that's worth a lot. Some of our testers have pairs that have 4 or 5 ski patrol season on them and still have life.

Here is one of our testers pushing the Blizzard Bonafide to its limits. While it does not perform as well as some of the other skis we tested in the men's all-mountain ski category  it can still be fun in the right conditions and with the right skier.
Here is one of our testers pushing the Blizzard Bonafide to its limits. While it does not perform as well as some of the other skis we tested in the men's all-mountain ski category, it can still be fun in the right conditions and with the right skier.

Conclusion


The Bonafide is a ski designed for experts with speed in mind. It prefers a wide-open steep groomer to tightly packed bumps. It takes a bit more work to get the ski to top performance, but once there, it offers a very consistent and rewarding ride. It lacks soft snow performance and pales in comparison to skis of the same general shape and width. The Bonafide has its place — on firm and predictable conditions under a confident and powerful skier.


Andrew Pierce