It’s hard to imagine Blizzard doing much better in the freeride domain, so in 2019 it applied its innovative energies to enhancing its prospects in the race and carving categories. The new Firebird series of race skis embellish their classic wood-and-Titanal sandwich with vertical carbon inlays dubbed C-Spine, intended to energize the end of the turn. On the SRC and WRC models, edging power underfoot is augmented by a bi-directional carbon mat in the middle that Blizzard calls C-Armor. The Firebird Competition is a combi sidecut with C-Spine (but without C-Armor) that should tickle the fancy of technical skiers with no intention of running gates.

The Rustler 10 and 11 that were introduced last season were sufficiently successful to inspire a little brother, the Rustler 9. Built with the same, softer-flexing chassis as the Big Mountain models, the 92mm Rustler 9 delivers off-trail expertise in dimensions suitable for all-mountain skiing. The new Sheeva 9 does the same for women in a segment that is the women’s market wheelhouse.

You wouldn’t know it from our results, sad to say, but Blizzard reincarnated the Bushwacker, a name we haven’t seen since the Freeride All-Mountain series was introduced about eight years ago. Essentially a Brahma without the Titanal, it’s peppy and playful, a marvelous reminder of how much fun a non-metal ski can be. While we didn’t garner enough scores to Recommend it formally, we’re lower-case “r” recommending here regardless.