NEW RUSTLER IN TOWN
Last winter Blizzard launched the Rustler family with two models, both more than 100mm underfoot. This season it introduces the thinner brother, the 94mm-waisted Rustler 9. Like the bigger sizes, the 9 uses a multi-layer wood core of poplar, beech, balsa and paulownia, and a sheet of metal underfoot that tapers toward the tip and tail. In the Rustler 9 the metal extends farther than in the wider models, adding more firm-snow performance, says Blizzard. The tip and tail are still rockered and reinforced with carbon fibre, keeping the ends of the ski soft and playful and also lightweight for reduced swingweight. The 9 also has the most camber. Add it all up and this Rustler 9 is most at home on hard snow, but it still offers plenty of play on the rest of the mountain. ($700; blizzardsports.com)
BLIZZARD RUSTLER 9
$700 * BEST FOR: If you look at the resort as a playground.
LENGTHS: 154, 172, 180, 188 * RADIUS: 17@180 * SIDECUT: 127.5/94/117
Take the freeride Rustler skis, reduce the sidecut to the mid-90s and you’ve got the Rustler 9: an all-mountain scalpel that’s got a playful edge. Where Blizzard’s Brahma, Bonafide and Cochise are designed for more technical skiers who want to ride the edge through every turn, the Rustlers are looser and more playful, ideal for slashing, smearing and popping turns from the steeps to the park. The narrower waist on the Rustler 9 adds more on-piste performance and opens up the line to lower snow areas. Brent Malysh loves a good western: “Super snappy and responsive. Quick edge-to-edge. Tons of fun with shorter-radius turns at medium speeds or zipper-lining bumps.” Like any outlaw, best keep an eye on it or it might get away from you. “I found it easy to get in the back seat if I wasn’t paying attention,” Malysh said. One interesting thing to note with the Rustler skis is that Blizzard adjusts the waist width, adding millimetres as the ski gets longer to maintain a similar feel to the ski.