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

Blizzard Rustler 10 Review

Fantastic all around ski that will for perform for skiers of all abilities.
Top Pick Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $700 List | $699.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great all around ski, great pop, easy to swing
Cons:  Sometimes feels soft, skis short
Manufacturer:   Blizzard
By Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
86
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 14
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8
  • Carving - 20% 8
  • Crud - 20% 8
  • Powder - 20% 10
  • Playfulness - 15% 9
  • Bumps - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Blizzard Rustler 10 is part of a fantastic line of skis from Blizzard that is meant to replace the Peacemaker and Gunsmoke and now includes several different waist widths. They were big shoes to fill, but Blizzard managed to do it. The Rustler 10 was only a handful of points shy of the winning the Editors' Choice Award but did earn one of our Top Picks for a soft snow oriented ski. It is a ski that performs best in softer snow but also holds its own when conditions firm up. It has the pop to make it quite playful and easy to transition. A few of our testers preferred the Rustler 10 above all. Because of that, and many other reasons you will read about, we gave it a Top Pick award.

Product Updates

Blizzard updated the Rustler 10's topsheet since our test period. The latest graphics are shown in the image above. A bit of weight has also been shaved from the ski by adjusting the wood core construction, but this ski remains essentially the same as the model we tested.

December 2019


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $699.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$650.00 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$799.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$1,098.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$639.96 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
100
0
86
100
0
90
100
0
88
100
0
84
100
0
80
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Great all around ski, great pop, easy to swingFast, solid, consistent, large sweet spotHard charging, fun, easy to skiSuper stable at speed, hard chargingExcellent carving ski, quick
Cons Sometimes feels soft, skis shortMinor chatterSlight chatter at high-end speedExpensive, geared towards experts only, unforgivingChatter in the tips, poor powder performance
Bottom Line Fantastic all around ski that will for perform for skiers of all abilities.The new Mantra, now called the M5, is more user friendly than previous versions but is still a powerful and consistently fun ski.The Daemon is a hard charging ski that can be tamed.A hard charging ski that likes to go straight and fastThis contender has superb edge hold and energy through turns.
Rating Categories Blizzard Rustler 10 Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Kastle FX96 HP Nordica Enforcer 93
Stability At Speed (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
Carving (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
10
Crud (20%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
Powder (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Bumps (5%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
10
0
7
Specs Blizzard Rustler 10 Volkl M5 Mantra Black Crows Daemon Kastle FX96 HP Nordica Enforcer 93
Intended Purpose All Mountain/Soft Snow All Mountain All Mountain All Mountain All Mountain/Firm Snow
Ability Level Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Expert Expert
Shape 135.5 - 104 - 125.5 mm 134 - 96 - 117 mm 132 - 99 - 120 mm 133-96-119 mm 126 - 93 - 114 mm
Available Lengths 164, 172, 180, 188 170,177,184,191 170, 177, 183, 188 172, 180, 188 169, 177, 185, 193
Waist Width 102 96 99 96 93
Radius 14.5m, 16m, 17.5m, 19m 21.2m 20m 18.1m 15.5m, 16.5m, 18.5m, 20.5m
Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker Full rocker, reverse camber Rocker/Camber/Rocker Rocker/Camber/Rocker
Weight Per Pair 4126 4252 5265 3817 4464
Core Material Multi-layer wood Beech, poplar Poplar wood Poplar/Beech/PAULOWNIA/Carbon/Fibergalss Beech and poplar wood
Tested length 188 184 183.6 180 185

Our Analysis and Test Results

Blizzard has been around since the 1940s but has only recently started to become one of our go-to companies when picking great skis to review. They're known for producing hard-charging skis that love to go fast and have recently been creating skis that are more multidimensional. The Blizzard Rustler 10 is an excellent example of the progress Blizzard has made in making a tremendous all-mountain ski that is suitable for most skill levels.

We tested the Rustler 10 in a 188cm length. That may sound long, but our testers (even the short ones) found the Rustlers to ski short. By that, we mean that although Blizzard claims they are 188cm in length, the rocker profile makes the ski feel as if its a 182cm. The 188cm has a 104mm waist, while the shorter 180cm comes in at 102mm at the waist. The different dimensions and lengths of the ski don't affect its performance much, but it could be important to know if you're considering buying a pair.

The Rustler 10 is a fantastic ski that every (yes EVERY) one of our testers raved about. It is true that the skis are more fun in soft snow, but we're confident you'll have just as much, if not more, fun when conditions firm up.

Performance Comparison


Minimal chatter on these Rustler 10s.
Minimal chatter on these Rustler 10s.

Stability at Speed


Stability at speed is the Rustler 10s worst category, but it still put up a very respectable score. That should tell you something about the all-around abilities of these skis. The main critique our testers had of the Rustlers was that they couldn't open it up with as much confidence as some of the skis we tested, and that confidence decreased as the snow began to firm up.


All that aside, the Rustler can still perform at speed, and blew away similar soft snow oriented competition in this category. The ski excels more at short and quick turns, but some of the elements of its construction helped it earn a relatively high score. First, it has a partial titanal layer which helps keep chatter down, and the poplar/beech core dampens much of the vibration from snow variations. Having a little more length than most of the other skis we tested also helped increase the stability as we pushed it to its limit. Don't be deterred by this single category, even if you ski mostly firm snow, as the Rustler consistently continued to impress us.

Carving on the Rustlers is a blast.
Carving on the Rustlers is a blast.

Carving Performance


Don't shy away from laying this ski over just because it is 104mm underfoot. It is so quick in its edge to edge transition while carving, you'll forget you're on a mid-fat ski. The Rustlers are an absolute blast to carve, and despite the 19m turn radius, you'll be carving quick sharp turns like you're on your favorite race skis.


Again, some skis that were built specifically with the on-piste in mind scored higher in this category, but not by much. The edge hold from the Rustlers is fantastic, and the pop when transitioning between edges gives the ski an incredibly quick and light feel. This ski WANTS to turn and is much more responsive than most of the other playful skis we tested. The relatively stiffer tails also power that is felt when in a deep carve on the Rustlers. Overall, the carving performance of these skis is fantastic and shined on fresh soft groomers.

Crud at Kirkwood on the Rustlers.
Crud at Kirkwood on the Rustlers.

Crud


The Rustlers were most surprising in this category. After feeling the relatively soft flex in the tips and noticing quite a bit of rocker up front, most of our testers predicted that the tips would deflect off the crud and generate lots of chatter. We were stoked to be proven wrong!


Although you may have to ski a bit more aggressively on the Rustlers compared to our top performer to make it through the crud, all of our testers found it easy to keep the ski on track with a little bit of work. Though it takes less effort than the Line Sick Days. The titanal layer, again, dampens the vibrations enough that your teeth and knees will be thanking you for buying the Rustler 10s.

Powder


This is the Rustlers best category by far. Once you get onto some soft fresh snow, it is easy to tell what Blizzard had in mind when designing this ski. At 104mm underfoot and 135mm in the tip, this ski has plenty of float, even on those days where you end up finding the white room. The width of these skis makes them much more desirable in soft snow than it's skinnier competitors. The dimensions of this ski are similar to certain narrow powder specific skis, and they performed just as well on powder days.


You'll appreciate the longer-feeling tip rocker when you drop into your favorite powder stash, and the ultimately forgiving nature of the Rustler will keep you feeling like a hero all day long. The overall poppy feel of this ski will have you bouncing between turns like a snowshoe hare. Blizzard's Carbon Flipcore D.R.T. claims to make the ski less demanding in the soft snow because of a decrease in torsional rigidity. Our testers found this to be true, and we translate that into layman's terms by saying the tip of the ski is allowed to flex side to side, which in turn creates a feeling of nimbleness while turning in soft snow.

The Rustler 10 was made for this category, and you should be reaching for this ski any time your local hill gets a delivery from mother nature.

Drop!
Drop!

Playfulness


The Rustlers are just as playful as some other top performers in the men's all-mountain ski category. They have just the right mix of pop, flex profile, and forgiveness that translates into a super playful ski that makes every hit and drop more fun than the next.


The pop we've seen from these skis in other categories is most evident when taking these skis into the air, and it reminds us of the pop we feel with some others. The soft tip is very forgiving on the takeoff and landing, while the tail, which is slightly stiffer, allows for the perfect amount of give on your landing. Although none of the skis we tested are true park skis, the Rustlers may give your skinny twin tips a run for their money.

The soft and flexible Rustlers are excellent in most bumps.
The soft and flexible Rustlers are excellent in most bumps.

Bumps


Bumps are yet another category where the Rustler 10s standout. Their soft flex and overall forgiving nature come into play again and make navigating moguls a blast. If you happen to get in the back seat, the ski will give you a fighting chance to get forward, unlike some of the most unforgiving skis we tested.


The only genuinely noticeable flaw in the Rustler is the length we tested them in. Despite being relatively light, at 188cm, they were a bit too long for steep, tight bumps. If you enjoy skiing bumps, you could sacrifice some stability for better bump ski by purchasing the 180cm Rustler. Whatever length you end up buying, we're sure you'll end up searching out that perfect bump line each time you take them out.

Exploring the terrain at Kirkwood is super fun on the Rustlers.
Exploring the terrain at Kirkwood is super fun on the Rustlers.

Value


The Rustlers are an extraordinary ski at an average price. This ski is in high demand, so you won't likely be seeing any big sales on them. Don't worry, the Rustler 10s are worth every penny.

Conclusion


The Rustler 10 is an amazing all-mountain ski that is very user-friendly. It is light and soft enough to swing around in the air or between bumps. The skis pop off side hits and out of a hard carve with tons of energy. It can feel a bit unstable at the highest of speeds but generally holds together well, even in poor conditions. Our testers fell in love with the Rustlers, and we often found ourselves arguing over whose turn it was to ride them! Don't let these skis tear your crew apart — go ahead and buy a pair for each of you.


Andrew Pierce