2024 Blizzard Rustler 9

Ski Stats

Sidecut 131.5/96/121
Radius 17.0m @ 180cm
Lengths 162,168,174,180,186
Weight 1935g@180cm
MSRP $749.95
Power Score: 8.87

Finesse Score: 8.89

The new Rustler 9 from Blizzard isn’t a little bit better than its predecessor; it’s much, much better than its namesake.  Among its myriad changes is a slight boost in its overall width, which tipped the new Rustler 9 into the hotly competitive All-Mountain West genre.  Instead of slipping in the standings, it rose from a middle-of-the-pack position among All-Mountain East models to near the top of the All-Mountain West category. No other new ski in the 2023/24 season made as great a leap up the performance ladder as the Rustler 9. When all criteria are considered, the Rustler 9 remains a Finesse ski, but only by the slimmest of margins. It’s still a forgiving, easily steered ski, but it now has a reserve power supply accessible to any skier who can lay it on edge. A great all-terrain ski has to be able to smear or carve on command, a trick the Rustler 9 has down cold.  The tip is strong and connected enough to engage at the top of the turn, but the ski can also find the edge by smearing sideways, then tipping the ski so the edge latches onto a carve midway through the turn. This facility at finding an edge anywhere along a mid-radius arc is one of the qualities that distinguish the best all-terrain skis from the also-rans. So how did Blizzard’s design team tweak the original Rustler 9 design to increase power without compromising its sunny disposition?  Basically, they reconfigured both of its principal structural elements, a vertically laminated wood core reinforced with Titanal laminates. The change in the wood core was virtually foreordained, ever since Blizzard introduced its Trueblend core a couple of years ago. In the Trueblend iteration deployed in the Rustler 9, stringers of lightweight poplar are interspersed with denser beech underfoot, with ultralight Paulownia blended into the forebody and tail for less heft and lower swingweight.
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