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  1. #1
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    Blizzard Black Pearl Help

    Yes I searched, yes this is another thread about wife's skis, and no, I don't have any pictures of her naked.

    I am looking for advice (other then go demo skis) on width for new skis for the wife. She is 5'6", 120lbs, 33 yo. Grew up skiing at Copper, stopped for 20 years, last year we moved to Basalt (near Aspen) and she skied maybe 5 times. She is on day 20 this year, has been going to locals clinics, taking lessons, and now has a ski gang.

    Last year she was fitted in some Lange RS 110sc's and she has been loving them. Someone local gave he a pair of K2 Tough Luv skis (88 underfoot, 156 long, track binding).

    They have worked good for her, but they are pretty damn heavy and she wants some new sticks. It sounds like the Blizzard Black Pearl series is a giant success. Would you advise the 88 or 98? 166 length?

    She is primarily skiing blue groomers at Highlands and Snowmass. Has started to do some small bumps like Longshot run at Snowmass. I do not envision she will ski any ungroomed black runs in the next couple seasons.

    Yes, I will go find some to demo, but don't want to waste her time and I am not sure she will be able to give meaningful feedback to determine if it is the right ski. Looking for something safe. She does like skiing a couple inches of fresh powder the most, but she isn't going to be launching cliffs or ripping zipper line moguls or hiking the bowl and skiing deep powder.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by gretch6364; 02-12-2020 at 02:29 PM.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  2. #2
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    Also, she is still in a bit of the pivot and skid mode, so am hoping for something that will help her learn to lay the ski on its side and arc a turn. She has progressed crazy fast from where she started, just needs to reach more and attack the turn. It has been a wonderful experience watching her make strides.

    Lastly, any thoughts on bindings? I really like the Tyrolia Attacks I have been on this year. Is the Attack 11 too much binding for her? Looking for something lighter and easy for her to carry around.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  3. #3
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    I should probably refer you to Ski Divas but my wife has almost the same set up--BP's, Lange 110W and Attack 13. She more of a charger than your wife from the sounds of it and likes her Kenja's a bit better, but I'm getting tired of fixing their delaminations, so she's on the BP's.

    It's a solid platform that your wife will like now and can grow into.

    I can't comment on wider waist width as she's on 88 @166 and has a set of 102's for EC powder days. The 88's do fine in up to 6".
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  4. #4
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    Thanks Timber. In thinking and reading more (on Ski Divas, haha), sounds like the 98 would tire her out more then she would get any benefit from it. It seemed a bit wide for her weight in my initial thinking.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  5. #5
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    You should take her to a demo event and let her pick what she likes.

  6. #6
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    my wife is 135/53 and skis the 98@159 she loves it! started on a samba and I recently got a bp 98 for her, she also mostly skiing piste and groomers but I could not convince her on getting the 88 which Id say would be better!

    seems like tour wife could do either on either size as well 98/88 166/159, but she must decide by herself if you can find a demo!

    Regarding the 98 I dont think they are too much work or would get her tired, at least based on feedback from my wife

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    You should take her to a demo event and let her pick what she likes.
    Great idea. Why didn't I think of that!
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  8. #8
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    My wife has the 88 in 166 and the 78 (which is now the 82) in 163. You can't really go wrong with the 88 especially if you are only on groomers. The 78 gets to be a bit of hassle when the snow gets soft but it rips hard ice like a champ but loses a lot of versatility in exchange...which is probably one of the reasons why they bumped it to 82. I know me and my 88 Brahmas can go anywhere really and essentially they are the same ski as the Black Pearl and my #1 daily driver by far, even when I was in Aspen this year.

    I'd give height and weight on the wife but no clue. Lighter and shorter than me but definitely a strong girl with shape and strength.

    No experience with the 98 but in Aspen 98 underfoot seems like the magic number if you're ripping steeps and trees off piste and then cord part of the day but for your wife 88 is probably a no brainer. If you really want to get her a ski that encourages her to move on to full edging the 82 deserves a look. I skied on the male equivalent (Latigo 78 pre 82 Brahma) and they rail.
    Last edited by uglymoney; 02-12-2020 at 01:52 PM.

  9. #9
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    I think the 88 would be a better choice especially if she's still trying to master the turn. Could also look at the Mindbender 90C which I've heard great things about but she might over power it soon. If she's progressing that rapidly though I still think the Black Pearl would be a better choice. Next year it's getting the new core and some titanal added. Find a demo place at the base of the mountain, a lot of places will let you switch mid day without charging you. She might be able to ski the 88 and 98 just to make sure.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone. I ordered her some of the 2020 Black Pearl 88s in a 159cm length. She isn't ready for anything longer, and this length will turn quicker for her in moguls and trees as she progresses, plus they are slightly longer then her current ski and are a flat ski for 2020. Her current skis are about 10 years old, and have served her well, but need replaced. They were perfect for a free ski up to this point. She didn't want to go through the demo process...I think another season of experience will help her know more what she likes.

    Maybe next year she will be ready for a powder ski!
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Artist Formerly Known as Leavenworth Skier View Post
    You should take her to a demo event and let her pick what she likes.
    This

    And yet, do not let her pick the easy ski. We all get better when we step up to a more demanding ski, if we are willing

    Black pearl is Brahma lite.
    I love Brahma for hardpack and have seen dozens of chicks rip the pearl
    Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
    Hunter S. Thompson

  12. #12
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    Blizzard Black Pearl Help

    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    Thanks everyone. I ordered her some of the 2020 Black Pearl 88s in a 159cm length. She isn't ready for anything longer, and this length will turn quicker for her in moguls and trees as she progresses, plus they are slightly longer then her current ski and are a flat ski for 2020. Her current skis are about 10 years old, and have served her well, but need replaced. They were perfect for a free ski up to this point. She didn't want to go through the demo process...I think another season of experience will help her know more what she likes.

    Maybe next year she will be ready for a powder ski!
    That was quick.

    Was gonna chime in and suggest the 166 might be a bit much. My wife is a competent skier, on and off piste, 58, 130# and has been in the 162-170 range, depending on skis and conditions. If she charged harder and faster she might want a longer ski, but has never felt her skis are too short for what she does. For what is it worth, she picked up skiing as an adult around age 35, and has skied regularly for a decade.

    As for demos, they work better the ore ski experience you have. After she has been on the pearls a bit, see if she can try out a shiva. Totally different ski style. Once she can feel the difference between the two, she is ready to demo.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottime View Post
    As for demos, they work better the more ski experience you have.
    Exactly.

    Demoing skis seems to be the standard answer for most TGR'rs. But I'll break with that consensus for middle of the road skis which get good reviews from all the magazines (skis like Kendo, Brahma, Experience, etc.). I put the Black Pearl in that group. It's kinda hard for the average skier to differentiate by taking a half dozen runs on a particular day in particular snow conditions. And one ski may be tuned better than another. I've hated some demo skis on a first run and after taking a gummi to the tips and tails found them quite good afterward.

    If you made me choose between the Kendo, Brahma and Experience after a demo day, I'd just choose the one that matched my outfit.
    "timberridge is terminally vapid" -- a fortune cookie in Yueyang

  14. #14
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    Blizzard Black Pearl Help

    Ill just chime in and say that 110 Langes seem pretty stiff for someone learning to carve blue groomers. Keep an eye on this. If shes having trouble setting edges you might need to reconsider.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by beece View Post
    I’ll just chime in and say that 110 Langes seem pretty stiff for someone learning to carve blue groomers. Keep an eye on this. If she’s having trouble setting edges you might need to reconsider.
    Thanks for the input. I think the boot was driven by her foot shape, first and foremost, and she has made a ton of comments about how much better she feels in them and more in control then the seasonal rentals we did last year. Seems like the softer women's boots are much wider and designed purely for comfort at the bar. She happens to have a very narrow foot. I think them being the short cuff model helps. Jim at Boottech was her fitter and he definitely knows his stuff. I will watch for this for sure though and I did ask that specific question when he was fitting her. It is a JR/Women's specific boot.

    The main thing holding her back is she has not fully figured out how to put the skis further on their sides and shift her hips/weight (yes we could dig deeper into modern skiing technique versus the hip wiggle, blah blah blah). She is small, but strong and very coordinated, which seems to of helped her so far. I honestly can complain about how quickly she has picked it up and the fun she is having. New skis will be fun more then anything. And lighter for her to carry to and from the car.

    As the last couple posters said, I fully get the whole "you need to demo skis," but with a female intermediate skier that is light and not pushing skis to their limits, I just don't see the benefit for a general carving ski. The Black Pearl seemed like a good conservative pick that anyone would enjoy and is probably not the absolute best at anything, but not bad at much. Heck, she was happy they were blue and were going to match her boots.

    I am sure many others have gone through this, but I just want her to have fun and be comfortable. Get out with her girlfriends (who are are generally at her level and locals that moved here in the last couple seasons). We have a 4 year old and 2 year old, so being able to ski as family/with them is what is driving her.

    I appreciate the help, I was definitely out of my element. Its hard not to want her to ski a 98 in 170 and be lapping Highlands Bowl...however, that just isn't the reality of skiing with the wife...for many of us.
    "We had nice 3 days in your autonomous mountain realm last weekend." - Tom from Austria (the Rax ski guy)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch6364 View Post
    Thanks for the input. I think the boot was driven by her foot shape, first and foremost, and she has made a ton of comments about how much better she feels in them and more in control then the seasonal rentals we did last year. Seems like the softer women's boots are much wider and designed purely for comfort at the bar. She happens to have a very narrow foot. I think them being the short cuff model helps. Jim at Boottech was her fitter and he definitely knows his stuff. I will watch for this for sure though and I did ask that specific question when he was fitting her. It is a JR/Women's specific boot.
    Not to second guess Jim, but they make the RS SC in a 90 and 70 flex as well. Same 97mm fit.

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