2022 Blizzard Thunderbird R15 WB
Radius 15m @ 174cm
Weight 3277g @ 174cm (with binding)
Power Score: 9.02
Finese Score: 8.64
Compared to other elite carvers in the Frontside genre, the R15 W stands out for its rebound energy. If you give it a little jab in the belly of the turn, it will lift you off the snow - a dual-track carving heresy - and air mail you across the fall line. The energetic response is largely due to the R15 WB’s fully cambered baseline; Blizzard alleges there’s 2mm of rocker at the tip and tail, but I defy anyone to feel it. If you want to corner like a cutting horse, get forward on the R15 WB and you can slingshot yourself cross hill to your heart’s content. One reason its grip is so secure is the T-Bird R15 WB takes it two sheets of Titanal all the way to the edge, so it never wimps out, even when the snow is adamantium hard. Three millimeters of the topsheet are exposed, to help reduce chipping and dings. Strong enough to race on and even more fun to free-ski, the R15 WB will become a daily driver for a lot of proficient skiers. BTW, while not many are likely to find rack space on American shop walls, there’s an R15 with a 70mm waist that makes a 13.5m arc in a 165cm, roughly the radius of a FIS slalom. There’s also a 4-model family of lower-energy, lower-priced Thunderbirds for all the Frontside skiers who are still developing their edging skills.