Tester: Ingrid Backstrom The first time I got on the Blaze 106 W, the off-piste conditions were borderline horrible (and I have low standards). I ventured slowly off the rock-hard, icy piste, expecting maximum teeth-shaking chatter. Instead, the Blazes held an edge. I could feel the hard ridges of frozen snow beneath the skis, but the edges were biting, and the skis felt soft enough. I could make hoppy, GS-style turns, and I loved how the Blazes made it almost effortless for me to finish the turn right under my foot, propelling me into the next turn. On icy groomers, I could hold an edge and go for bigger turns without chatter. I was blown away by the playfulness in this softer ski. The Blaze 106 made fun skiing instantly accessible to me on tricky snow after many months of not skiing. When I skied them for the first time in powder, they felt as light and nimble as they had been on the hard snow, while their shape and width gave them the perfect float. I was giggling with how playful they felt, and how much control I had with such minimal effort. When the sun came out and the snow got heavier, I could find my stable center position and power through the crud with a bit wider stance, the skis doing the work for me and enabling me to ski until the lifts closed—my favorite type of ski day.