Blizzard’s Flipcore baseline, the heart and soul of the Black Pearl 98, has probably been the most commercially successful execution of a double-rockered baseline since rocker first reared its ugly head (and tail) over a decade ago. Flipcore certainly has left a mark on the women’s market, where the Black Pearl franchise is a well-oiled sales machine. The Black Pearl 98 isn’t the sales phenom that it’s little sister is, but then nothing can match the records being set by the Black Pearl 88. The reason for the sales imbalance is simple: the BP 88 is an everyday ski, the proverbial one-ski quiver if ever there was one. While the BP 98 could be the regular ride if the pilot is a strong skier, both physically and technically, but more often than not it’s going to a second pair reserved for powder and powder-ish days. Whether or not the Black Pearl 98 is right for you is answered by a simple equation. If you spend half your ski day (or more) as far from groomers as you can get, the Black Pearl 98 is your ideal mate. If you’re spending more than half your time on prepared slopes, hook up with its little sister.
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.