Blizzard Rustler 10 Review
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Blizzard Rustler 10
|Price||$524.95 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Powerful float, stable at speed, can arc or smear turns||Stable, confidence inspiring, magnetic ride quality||Stiff, explosive, carving machine||Agile, feels light, rewards strong skiers||Playful, responsive, versatile|
|Cons||Some vibration, sometimes feels soft||Damp, heavy||Heavy||Some chatter, demanding for intermediate skiers||Vibrates at high speeds, overly soft tip|
|Bottom Line||The unique rocker/camber profile and wider 102-millimeter waist width promote versatile performance wherever your powder stash may be||With these on your feet, you'll be ready for anything the mountain has coming at you||A combination of raw explosive power and stability puts this ski well ahead of the competition for carving and is ideal for even the firmest snow days||This ski prefers a strong and athletic pilot to get the most maneuverability and reward out of it||Playful and adventurous, this ski is also manageable and forgiving. It encouraged us to explore the changing terrain over the whole mountain|
|Rating Categories||Blizzard Rustler 10||Volkl M6 Mantra||Nordica Enforcer 94||Atomic Maverick 95 Ti||Faction Dictator 2.0|
|Stability at Speed (20%)|
|Carving Ability (20%)|
|Powder Performance (20%)|
|Crud Performance (20%)|
|Terrain Playfulness (20%)|
|Specs||Blizzard Rustler 10||Volkl M6 Mantra||Nordica Enforcer 94||Atomic Maverick 95 Ti||Faction Dictator 2.0|
|Waist Width||104 mm||96 mm||94 mm||95 mm||96 mm|
|Sidecut (Tip-Waist-Tail width)||133-104-122.5 mm||135-96-119 mm||127-94-115.5 mm||129-94.5-113||127-96-117 mm|
|Available Lengths||164, 172, 180, 188 cm||163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm||165, 172, 179, 186,191 cm||172, 180, 188 cm||163, 171, 179, 187 cm|
|Length Tested||180 cm||177 cm||179 cm||180 cm||179 cm|
|Turn Radius||17.5 m||18 m||17.1 m||19.3 m||19 m|
|Camber Profile||Tip-Tail Rocker||Tip-Tail Rocker||Rocker/Camber/Rocker||Tip-Tail Rocker||Tip Rocker/Freeride Flat Tail|
|Manufacturer Claimed Weight||8.9 lbs||9.0 lbs||8.9 lbs||7.9 lbs||8.2 lbs|
|Core Material||Multi-layer Woodcore/Carbon /Fiberglass/Titanal||Poplar/Beech/Double Titanal||Wood/Double Titanium/ GR400 Carbon Glass||Poplar woodcore/fiberglass/titanium||Poplar Woodcore/Double Titanal|
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 Blizzard's progress in making an excellent all-mountain ski suitable for most skill levels.
Stability at Speed
Stability at speed is one of the Rustler 10's worst scoring metrics, but it still marked a respectable score. That should tell you something about the all-around abilities of this ski. The main critique of our testers is that the Rustler 10 couldn't open it up with as much confidence as some of the other top skis in our test fleet, and that confidence decreased as the snow began to firm up.
All that aside, the Rustler 10 can still perform well at speed and blew away similar products in this metric. At 104 millimeters underfoot, it's hard for this ski to compete with some of its skinnier competitors. Some chatter and vibrations are apparent at high speed on firm snow. Keep your expectations realistic and the Rustler 10 should impress you as it impressed us.
As one of the wider skis included in this review, the Rustler 10 has more material to move around and is reasonably going to run a bit heavier than some skinner options. Including both fiberglass and titanal in the core layup certainly has something to do with the additional weight.
Even though this trade-off doesn't exactly pay off when it comes to stability on hardpack groomers, the extra weight does have its benefits once you go off-trail. Tipping the scales at 8.9 pounds per ski (at the size tested: 180 cm), this bomber ski is just weighty enough to help you carry momentum through deep snow.
Don't shy away from laying this ski over because it is 104 millimeters underfoot. It is quicker edge to edge than you might expect. You may even forget you're on a mid-fat ski. Almost like a slalom ski, the Rustler 10 sports a tapered ABS sidewall that runs the length of the effective edge.
The edge hold from the Rustler 10 is quite good, and the pop when transitioning between edges gives the ski an incredibly quick and light feel. Overall the carving performance of these skis is better than the score indicates, and this ski shined on fresh soft groomers.
While not our first choice for a carving ski, the Rustler 10 is still an absolute blast to carve. The 17.5-meter radius is flexible enough for both short and long turns, making it fun to cut up groomers on the way back to the lift.
Again, some skis built specifically for on-piste performance scored higher in this metric. But this ski still wants to turn and is much more responsive than most other playful skis we tested.
"Powder day" might as well be synonymous with Rustler 10. Blizzard's Carbon Flipcore D.R.T Technology shines through and helps us feel stable and nimble even in deep and heavy powder. The Rustler 10 maintains its progressive ski flex quality even in these deep conditions, which we cannot say for other skis in this metric. Whether you are charging through blower pow in tight trees or a windswept open back bowl, this ski will keep up and urges us to keep the throttle down.
Previous versions of the Rustler 10 have been described as forgiving or poppy. This year's model is a bit more burly feeling which helps with blasting through wind drifts and heavy snow. Staying centered over this ski through the powder helped us access and maintain top speed. We think the athletic and experienced skier will easily keep this animal under control.
The Rustler 10 is made for deep and soft snow days due to its waist width and shape alone. At 104 millimeters underfoot and 133 millimeters at the tip, this ski kept us floating on top even on those white room days.
We found versatility in this ski's ability, even on days that started with dust on crust. Blizzard's Carbon Flipcore D.R.T Technology is responsible for the Rustler 10's consistent and progressive flex even at higher speeds through long powder lines. Blizzard designed the mid-fat Rustler 10 to ski powder, and you should be reaching for this ski any time your local hill gets a special delivery from mother nature.
The Rustler 10 was surprising in this metric. 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 generate lots of chatter. We were wrong.
Although you may have to ski a bit more aggressively on the Rustler 10 to make it through the crud, our testers found it easy to keep the ski on track with a bit of extra effort. Better suited for more consistently soft snow, crud is a condition that we could at least manage confidently with this ski. Plenty of big pow days involve traversing or climbing through mixed conditions, and we were happy to be strapped into the Rustler 10 for those days.
The Rustler 10 is just as playful as some other top performers in the men's all-mountain ski category. It has just the right mix of pop, flex profile, and agility that translates into a super playful ski that makes every hit and drop more fun than the next.
The energy of the Rustler 10 is most evident when taking these skis into the air and is similar to the pop we experienced with other playful skis. The soft tip is very forgiving on the takeoff and landing, while the slightly stiffer tail allows for the perfect amount of give on your landing. Although none of the skis we tested are true park skis, the Rustler 10 may give your skinny twin tips a run for their money.
Should You Buy the Rustler 10?
The Rustler 10 is truly a soft-snow-oriented ski and is a powerful option for someone lucky enough to spend most of their time skiing powder. Once again, Blizzard has done a great job of combining high-quality materials and proven technologies to create a truly impressive ski. The Rustler 10 is more than capable of taking you outside your comfort zone and is a better option for more experienced big-mountain skiers than near-groomer novices.
What Other All-Mountain Skis Should You Consider?
The Blizzard Rustler 10 is an amazing all-mountain ski that is capable of pushing its own—as well as your—limits. For less experienced skiers looking for a comparably fun pair of powder skis, the award-winning Volkl M6 Mantra is a more predictable pair. The Rustler 10 can feel a bit unstable at the highest speeds, so our top pick for those dedicated to ripping groomers is the Nordica Enforcer 94.
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