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GregK

Making fresh tracks
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I just wanted to add my thoughts on the Rustler 9 as I bought a pair in 180cm and spent the weekend skiing them. I'm 220# 6' tall and mounted them with a set of Solomon Shift bindings and was using Solomon S/Lab MTN boots. In all honesty I think I prolly should have gone with the 188, but whatever. I really wanted to be able to use my MTN boots more because they just work better for patrolling, keeping my feet dryer, and warmer compared to my super awesome Lange XT 130's.. I purchased the Rustlers and chose the bindings specifically because I wanted a lighter, playful, but still capable ski to use when patrolling and skiing with family. Conditions for the weekend was 2" of fresh dense snow on top of groomed that slowly went to soft crud and then to hard crud as the weekend went on.

First day on them and I have overtuned them during my first wax and tune on them.. out of the wrapper they were 1/3 and somewhat rough, so I polished and evened out the edges. Anyways on the snow that first day, the skis just don't want to release from turns, not at all what i would consider "playful" ski that everyone else has described them as. I felt just disconnected with the ski and like I was along for the ride, it could have been the boots as I have not skied them since November (I've used them for lite touring, but not for resort skiing) Anyways, I was disappointed that the skis didn't live up to my ideals that day.

Day 2, I took them home and took a stone to the edges and detuned them quite aggressively to about 2 inches beyond the rocker line towards the center of the ski. This totally changed the ski and loosened up its crazy turn lock in, I could now disengage a turn much easier and control the turn shape more. I also discovered the turn shapes and turn style that they liked, moderate speed and short to medium radius turns with just enough energy coming out of the turns that it's fun but not so much that you get kicked out. The Rustler 9 can go fast and rip large turns, but for me it felt nervous and not well planted while doing so. It didn't do so well with hardened crud, but was fine with soft crud. I've never skied a Blizzard ski before and it felt different, it felt smooth.

Who's it for: A directional skier who wants to dabble with a freeride type ski but still carve a great turn on groomers.
Who is it not for: A big skier who wants to go fast and rip long turns, get an Enforcer if you want that.
Pro tip: Mount on the line and detune those tips and tails to loosen the ski up if you want it more like a directional hard snow freeride ski.

I experienced a few of the same symptoms with my Rustler 9 that have now been eliminated with a base grind to first flatten the bases/edges and then hand tune a 1/3 tune sharp tip to tail.

Chased my tail for a few years till I learned to check edge/base flatness first, then set edge levels and detune if still needed. Kept detuning skis to make them playful then they didn’t grip well when the real issue was edge high sections of the ski.

In the case of my last few skis including the Rustler 9, I found they were a few edge high sections in the tip/tail area that I flat filed smooth before then setting base/edge levels. Found my Rustlers very playful and easy to ski but they weren’t that stable feeling over variable snow especially at speed. Like you, I thought it “must be that I’m not used to them” or something but I didn’t have the same issues on other skis I took out those days.

I did notice they were a touch base high underfoot so I got them lightly base ground flat. They just needed a mild edge touch up on my 1/3 tune and only detuned the area in front of the taper to cut down on top sheet chipping. Like a different ski now! Have LOADS of grip on hard/mixed snow yet can carve, slarve etc. and I live at 45-55mph. More stable and planted regardless of speed or snow conditions.

Really enjoying them now so I’d be curious how flat your bases and edges are because mine have been transformed with just a light grind.
 

firebanex

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I experienced a few of the same symptoms with my Rustler 9 that have now been eliminated with a base grind to first flatten the bases/edges and then hand tune a 1/3 tune sharp tip to tail.

Chased my tail for a few years till I learned to check edge/base flatness first, then set edge levels and detune if still needed. Kept detuning skis to make them playful then they didn’t grip well when the real issue was edge high sections of the ski.

In the case of my last few skis including the Rustler 9, I found they were a few edge high sections in the tip/tail area that I flat filed smooth before then setting base/edge levels. Found my Rustlers very playful and easy to ski but they weren’t that stable feeling over variable snow especially at speed. Like you, I thought it “must be that I’m not used to them” or something but I didn’t have the same issues on other skis I took out those days.

I did notice they were a touch base high underfoot so I got them lightly base ground flat. They just needed a mild edge touch up on my 1/3 tune and only detuned the area in front of the taper to cut down on top sheet chipping. Like a different ski now! Have LOADS of grip on hard/mixed snow yet can carve, slarve etc. and I live at 45-55mph. More stable and planted regardless of speed or snow conditions.

Really enjoying them now so I’d be curious how flat your bases and edges are because mine have been transformed with just a light grind.
In a weird way, i think I like my skis a bit base high. My Fischer Ranger 102fr are definitely a bit base high and I love how they ski. I did check the flatness and it wasn't anything out of the ordinary, they definitly were not perfectly flat but it wasn't off enough that I thought I should be concerned. I did take an actual file to the base edge when I was setting it because I didn't feel like the out of wrapper turn had done a very good job on the base edge to start with. I'll have to double check next time. That said I can't do too much about it if the base needs to be ground, I do not trust any of the shops locally to actually be able to do it right, most of them are nordic focused and don't do much with downhill skis and stone grinding.
 

GregK

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In a weird way, i think I like my skis a bit base high. My Fischer Ranger 102fr are definitely a bit base high and I love how they ski. I did check the flatness and it wasn't anything out of the ordinary, they definitly were not perfectly flat but it wasn't off enough that I thought I should be concerned. I did take an actual file to the base edge when I was setting it because I didn't feel like the out of wrapper turn had done a very good job on the base edge to start with. I'll have to double check next time. That said I can't do too much about it if the base needs to be ground, I do not trust any of the shops locally to actually be able to do it right, most of them are nordic focused and don't do much with downhill skis and stone grinding.

Didn’t think my last few pairs of skis looked too bad but all were transformed with a few light passes on a stone grinder with a guy I trust at one of my local hills.
Skiing them as we speak on very hard snow that thawed and firmed up over night and they are nice and stable. Even made the point of running them flat at almost 60mph and they weren’t scary at all.
 

Yo Momma

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GF is LOVIN' her BP's. Both her 88's and 98's. Her response to your reviews... " WHOOP WHOOP :yahoo:". She has the Attack 13's on her 98's. Nice binding...... very little ramp (2mm I think I measured w/ caliper). I need to try a pair on my next setup. I'm still loving the Bones. The new design when it's softer and deeper, the old are now rock skis for when it's hardpack, light speed, and dicey, ptex gouging terrain! The new Bones (both @ 180cm DEF NO need for more at my level) turn on a dime (me 6', 210lbs)......... If my life depended on it........I'm going w/ the older Bones, for anything else the new ones. Just easier to ski and easier on these old bones!:beercheer:
 

Daves not here

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GF is LOVIN' her BP's. Both her 88's and 98's. Her response to your reviews... " WHOOP WHOOP :yahoo:". She has the Attack 13's on her 98's. Nice binding...... very little ramp (2mm I think I measured w/ caliper). I need to try a pair on my next setup. I'm still loving the Bones. The new design when it's softer and deeper, the old are now rock skis for when it's hardpack, light speed, and dicey, ptex gouging terrain! The new Bones (both @ 180cm DEF NO need for more at my level) turn on a dime (me 6', 210lbs)......... If my life depended on it........I'm going w/ the older Bones, for anything else the new ones. Just easier to ski and easier on these old bones!:beercheer:

I hear ya. My wife loves her BP 88 and she still loves her Blizz Viva from a few years ago as her carver. I am still loving my Bones (1st iteration with carbon). Demanding - yes - but cannot find anything to replace it that is significantly better. Some day - probably sooner than I want - my knees will tell me I need a less demanding ski.
 

Yo Momma

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I hear ya. My wife loves her BP 88 and she still loves her Blizz Viva from a few years ago as her carver. I am still loving my Bones (1st iteration with carbon). Demanding - yes - but cannot find anything to replace it that is significantly better. Some day - probably sooner than I want - my knees will tell me I need a less demanding ski.
Too funny! My GF also has the Viva's!! I guess that's a popular combo w/ the ladies. I picked up some new Line Sick Day 104's/186cm cheap earlier in the year ($275). For that same reason, to go easier on the knees and I love my SD110's when it get's deep. Nice reviews on Blister but not feeling the 104 love yet. Hard to go from super stable Bones to a lighter platform. Still some testing to do before I weigh in on the 104's.
 
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Daves not here

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Too funny! My GF also has the Viva's!! I guess that's a popular combo w/ the ladies. I picked up some new Line Sick Day 104's/186cm cheap earlier in the year ($275). For that same reason, to go easier on the knees and I love my SD110's when it get's deep. Nice reviews on Blister but not feeling the 104 love yet. Hard to go from super stable Bones to a lighter platform. Still some testing to do before I weigh in on the 104's.

I have some Patrons for those cat skiing powder days. I have been looking for a One-Oh-Something for resort deeper days that still has a bit of a backbone for the chop that inevitably shows up. Cochise in 185 was a bit much for me as well. Great ski though. I liked the Dynastar 106 and the QST 106 was ok as well. But like you said - hard to go from stability and crud busting of Bones to a lighter platform.
 

USCskibum

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Too much overlap to add; if the Brahma is already in, the Cochise (and Rustler 10) are more interesting.

Looking to add to the Brahma quiver...any feedback between adding Enforcer 100 vs. Rustler 10? 6’-2” - 230lb, intermediate..Brahma’s are 180cm trying to decide between 185 Enforcer 100 or 188 Rustler 10.

So far, it seems like the Enforcer is “easier” than the Bonafide and seems like the Rustler 10 gets mixed reviews? Blister Reviews seemed to be “Good, but not great”, while other reviews seem to be “Great”...trying to decipher between real world thoughts reviews vs. marketing paid reviews.
 

Slim

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Anyone (@Ron , @Philpug ?), have a comparison between the Rustler 9 and the Pinnacle 95Ti?

I realy liked the Pinnacle 95Ti:
  • Liked the loose, surfy feel, espcecailly in the tips
  • Like the quick, easy feel in the bumps(I ski them slow and pivoty)
  • Liked carving medium turns (at my moderate speeds) on the groomers, either quick left-right or longer arcs.
  • Liked that the tail was just forgiving enough for me
  • Liked that the tail was just loose enough for me in deeper snow
  • Would wish for more edge hold on icy groomers(but not if it means giving up on the above)
  • Not sure about crud, didn’t really get to try much.
I’m looking for some more stabilty through cut up powder in steep open bowls, than my Marksmen give. even though I don’t ski fast, you simply pick up some speed from turn to turn when it’s steep.
The other place where I would enjoy more stabilty is on groomers with fresh snow getting pushed into small piles.
 

GregK

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Looking to add to the Brahma quiver...any feedback between adding Enforcer 100 vs. Rustler 10? 6’-2” - 230lb, intermediate..Brahma’s are 180cm trying to decide between 185 Enforcer 100 or 188 Rustler 10.

So far, it seems like the Enforcer is “easier” than the Bonafide and seems like the Rustler 10 gets mixed reviews? Blister Reviews seemed to be “Good, but not great”, while other reviews seem to be “Great”...trying to decipher between real world thoughts reviews vs. marketing paid reviews.

Agree that the Enforcer is “easier” than the Bonifide and the “issue” with the Rustler 10 causing the mixed reviews on the Rustler 10 is due to it’s light weight. Very fun and playful ski but lacks the heft to charge through crud and high speeds. It’s better in crud and more stable in longer(188cm) lengths but then it might become long for some in tighter areas.

The Enforcer 100 has more weight but a forgiving flex so it’s easy to ski by a wide range of abilities but has the heft to be stable at speed and fly through crud. Not going to be as fun and playful as the Rustler 10 so some skiers will prefer one or the other.

Another option kinda in-between the 2 is the new Enforcer Free 104 in 186cm which I own myself. I’m 6’2”/175 Expert and own the Rustler 9 in 180cm too.
The Enforcer Free 104 has a similar feel and weight to the Enforcer 100 but with a slightly more forgiving flex and more turned up(twin tip) tail. More fun and playful than the Enforcer 100 but more backbone than the Rustler 10. I’m loving mine!

K2 Mindbender 99Ti or even Mindbender 108Ti if you wanted a wider ski would be similar skis to the Enforcer/Enforcer Free lines. Similar weights and flex to the Enforcers with a fun, playful vibe. I’d happily own any of the new Mindbenders and will make traditional skiers or “free ride” skiers happy by binding position as they have a very large mount sweet spot.
 

GregK

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Anyone (@Ron , @Philpug ?), have a comparison between the Rustler 9 and the Pinnacle 95Ti?

I realy liked the Pinnacle 95Ti:
  • Liked the loose, surfy feel, espcecailly in the tips
  • Like the quick, easy feel in the bumps(I ski them slow and pivoty)
  • Liked carving medium turns (at my moderate speeds) on the groomers, either quick left-right or longer arcs.
  • Liked that the tail was just forgiving enough for me
  • Liked that the tail was just loose enough for me in deeper snow
  • Would wish for more edge hold on icy groomers(but not if it means giving up on the above)
  • Not sure about crud, didn’t really get to try much.
I’m looking for some more stabilty through cut up powder in steep open bowls, than my Marksmen give. even though I don’t ski fast, you simply pick up some speed from turn to turn when it’s steep.
The other place where I would enjoy more stabilty is on groomers with fresh snow getting pushed into small piles.

Own the Rustler 9 myself and it’s a great ski. Quick, precise but still has a playful side. I wouldn’t say it’s a super forgiving ski like the wider Rustlers are. The 9 is the most serious and stiff of that line and might not be what you’re wanting in a ski.

What you are discribing is the new Mindbender series though and could pretty much guarantee it’s your dream ski to replace a Pinnacle. Less rocker for better hard snow performance but still surfy when you need to pivot. Perfect weight that doesn’t feel heavy yet doesn’t get deflected in crud. Flex is stiff enough to charge if you wanted but forgiving enough for bumps skied by a non expert. I’m pondering switching my Rustler 9 in 180cm for a Mindbender 90Ti 184cm as I liked the fact the Mindbender was more damp, better through crud and available in lengths closer to my “target lengths”.

So Mindbender 90Ti if you wanted a more groomer biased ski or a 99Ti if you wanted more all mountain performance.
 

Tom K.

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The Enforcer 100 has more weight but a forgiving flex so it’s easy to ski by a wide range of abilities but has the heft to be stable at speed and fly through crud.

This is the best one sentence summary of the Enforcer 100 I've seen.

I've never had a ski that covers such a broad spectrum of snow conditions and speeds. And it is SO non-fatiguing to ski.

It's at home on a slow-ish soft groomer day with my wife, as well as chasing my fastest friend through cut up chop at Mach Looney speeds.

Sorta soft and sorta damp. Turns out to be a great combo for me, and the more I ski it, the more I appreciate it.
 

GregK

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This is the best one sentence summary of the Enforcer 100 I've seen.

I've never had a ski that covers such a broad spectrum of snow conditions and speeds. And it is SO non-fatiguing to ski.

It's at home on a slow-ish soft groomer day with my wife, as well as chasing my fastest friend through cut up chop at Mach Looney speeds.

Sorta soft and sorta damp. Turns out to be a great combo for me, and the more I ski it, the more I appreciate it.

Yes, perfect combo of qualities in the Enforcers and they spoil you when you’re on other skis. Now wish for more dampness and weight on my Rustler 9 after skiing the Enforcer Free 104 so much lately.

Like @Philpug and other testers have mentioned in their tests of the new K2 Mindbenders and I’ve experienced myself is how the K2 MB have very similar attributes. Another fantastic option for skiers looking for skis that seem to do everything very well.
 

Lindahl

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Is the Rustler 10 the same ski (different topsheet) as the Sheeva 10 in the 164cm length?
 

textrovert

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I have a question for a friend of mine (no, really! :D)

He's been on a Blizzard Brahma side last season and it's definitely too stiff for him. He's 5'6" and 145lbs and on the smallest size 166cm Brahma.

I suggested he demo a Bushwhacker. But even those don't go below 166. I was thinking he should also demo the women's Black Pearl 88 in 159 (which as far as I understand, is the Bushwhacker shrinked & pinked). Any thoughts of this? Alternate suggestions for him?

Thanks!
 
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Josh Matta

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Get better....my slow but component 5'5 125lb wife vastly prefers the 166cm Brahma over the 166cm Bushwacker or 166cm Black Pearl. The ski can nt buck you if you in the center of it. 166cm Bushwacker if you must, but no way he should be on anything less than 160......
 

Wilhelmson

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Jr skis are half the price, just saying. If you're ripping it up why the need for such a short ski anyways?
 

lisamamot

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I am one of the few that find the Black Pearl 88 just ok - I get a yawn rather than a yippee feeling on them. I do however own and love the Sheeva 9 172. I also own the 2015 Blizzard Viva 810ti IQ 167. I have skied the Sheeva 9 in everything from firm groomers to boot top new snow and they do it all really well. Heavy and tracked-out makes me yearn for something wider and a bit more fierce, and on bullet proof days I am on the Viva. Overall the Sheeva 9 is a great New England daily driver.
 

Tricia

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I have a question for a friend of mine (no, really! :D)

He's been on a Blizzard Brahma side last season and it's definitely too stiff for him. He's 5'6" and 145lbs and on the smallest size 166cm Brahma.

I suggested he demo a Bushwhacker. But even those don't go below 166. I was thinking he should also demo the women's Black Pearl 88 in 159 (which as far as I understand, is the Bushwhacker shrinked & pinked). Any thoughts of this? Alternate suggestions for him?

Thanks!
I'd say stay with 166 but go softer. He may also like the Rossignol Experience 88, the new version.
 

textrovert

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Thanks for the suggestions.
He demoed a few, including the 166 Bushwacker. But eventually ended up going with an Atomic Bent Chetler 100 (164cm). Spoke with him today- he seems pretty happy with it so far. He's keeping the Brahma as an something to work to get better at.:thumb:
 

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