2024 Blizzard Bonafide 97

Ski Stats

Sidecut 136.5/97/118.5
Radius 17m @ 177cm
Lengths 165,171,177,183,189
Weight 2200g @ 177cm
MSRP $799.95
Power Score: 9.00

Finesse Score: 8.80

The Blizzard Bonafide has been at or near the top of our All-Mountain West rankings since it burst on the scene over a decade ago. While it’s undergone four or five tweaks since its debut, its enduring excellence is due primarily to what hasn’t changed: the original Flipcore construction that removes all stress from the rocker/camber transition.  As soon as the ski is pressured, the transition zone disappears and the full length of the ski finds the snow.  A Bonafide feels engaged from tip to tail because it is.  This is the foundational reason for its sustained success. The Bonafide came out of the chute so well made that the biggest challenge its designers face was figuring out how to fix something that wasn’t broken. But sustained stardom always attracts naysayers, so over its relatively long lifespan, the Bonafide has found a few thorns in all the roses thrown its way.  One criticism is that its brawny build is best managed by experts, and there’s something to this claim in that the Bonafide 97 performs better with some energy flowing through it, meaning it likes to be ridden fast.  Some find it boring and wonder what the big deal is. In the Bonafide’s defense, all high-performance skis perform better under an expert’s guidance and an affinity for speed is not, by itself, a demerit. Furthermore, if you want rebound energy out of a Bonafide, you have to load it.  If you just stand there looking cute, it won’t react because you haven’t told it to. While there are worse problems to have, being known as an experts-only ski is a concern nonetheless, one Blizzard addressed two years ago with the introduction of the TrueBlend core. The objective of TrueBlend was a smooth, round flex adapted for every size, married to a flex pattern and baseline likewise adapted by length.  The key to its execution was the precise location of denser strips of beech in a predominantly poplar core. Each size was treated like its own model, so the shorter skis were also softer and more accessible to lighter and lower skill skiers. In 2023, Blizzard took another remedial step towards making the Bonafide easier to bow: they made its TrueBlend core a tad thinner.  Not much mind you, but enough to make it noticeably easier to bend.  Now that it can be loaded up at lower speeds and/or less force application by the skier, the 2024 Bonafide is a more mellow, tractable ride.  The Bonafide hasn’t lost its essential character, which I would describe as complete terrain indifference, but it has improved its handling throughout the recreational speed range.
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