2022 Blossom AM85

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Phil: Even those who are in the know are still somewhat familiar with Blossom and the AM77 (formal the White Out), the reference ski in the Turbo collection. But for those looking for a bit more off snow versatility and maybe even as the elusive one ski quiver, Blossom offers a 85mm wide version called the AM85. The tip and tail dimensions stay basically the same as the AM77, but the waist jumps from 77 to 85 mm underfoot with the tip staying at 131 mm and the tail inching up from 111 to 112 mm. These changes in shape sacrifice some edge to edge quickness for a bit more off-piste performance without the nervousness of a ski with more shape.

Two words to describe this ski...Liquid Mercury. the 18 meter sidecut really feels dead on as the built in shape, with that said, the AM85 can be bent into a shorter turn at will or be allowed to let run. If you are looking for that replacement that is a step up from the discontinued Monster 83 or 88, look no further.

Andy Mink: Very smooth and silky over the snow. Hold a good edge but don't demand that you carve every turn. These would be a great frontside Tahoe ski. At 18m and 85 underfoot it can be run back and forth across the hill while rolling over the piles or worked more along a zipper line when you can find a flow between piles. It is just a very easy ski to be on. Where it really shines, though, are effortless longer railroad tracks on the groomers. In the soft packed snow I never felt like it was going to bury the tip as long as I did my part and allowed it to follow its radius. Pushing harder into the soft snow I could feel where, if it hit a particularly soft spot, things might not work out well. There isn't a lot of tip rocker and the sidecut goes all the way to the tip. No matter where you are, the ski is very fluid and smooth. I'd like to ski it back to back with the AM77 if given the opportunity.

Ron: Finally got on the AM85 then the Crosswind while skiing with @Jwrags this was interesting because he has the 175 Stöckli Laser AX and has the same BSL as me. I was able to jump on the Stöckli while testing the Crosswind. Although the 77 is the better comparison, the Blossoms line contains a very similar feel throughout. Blossom once again applies the same winning formula to the AM85 they are using for all their other skis; superbly smooth, quiet and composed. Damp, but not as damp as a Stöckli but I don't miss that on the Blossoms, there's a great snow feel that I really enjoy. If you read my Blossom SL review, the AM85 possesses much of the same feel, responsiveness and precision but on a wider chassis. I skied the Crosswind on grippy, fast, hero snow groomers, some soft bumps and tracked out snow and loved this ski. It was superbly tuned by EdgeWerks here in steamboat and that highlighted how good this ski is. Ski it fast, slow or noodle around on it. It could make a great teaching ski. The 178 length is perfect if you are already skiing groomer skis in similar lengths. The 18m TR can be tightened considerably and the tip is just soft enough to absorb in the bumps but firm/supportive enough when putting the ski on edge and driving the tip on carved turns. The tail is firm but I wouldn't call it overly stiff, it flows very well through the turn. It can released well in crud and bumps. I would be hard-pressed however to choose between the AM85 and the AM77. It would really come down to honestly evaluating where you will use it most.

Insider tip: This is a bargain-priced alternative to the Stöckli Laser AR or Stormrider 88, depending what width you are considering.​
 
Awards
Who is it for?
A skier who appreciates the quality feel from a fully cambered ski, something rare in this segment
Who is it not for?
Those looking for slalom-ski-like performance, this one has a slightly longer turn radius.
Skier ability
  1. Advanced
  2. Expert
Ski category
  1. Frontside
  2. All Mountain
Ski attributes
  1. Groomers
  2. Moguls
  3. Trees
Segment
  1. Men
  2. Women

Specifications

Available sizes
166, 172, 178, 184
Dimensions
131-85-112
Rocker profile
  1. Full camber
Size Scaling
  1. None
Construction design
  1. New graphics
Binding options
  1. Flat
  2. System
  3. Plate
right ad
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mulva28

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I'm yet to ski these; maybe I'll get a shot next weekend. But, last year's thread had a request for pics of the non-rockered tips and I have a nice comparison with a ski we all know about not having much rocker: the Head SS i.speed. Here are the side by side tips and tails of those skis for reference not decambered:
tips.jpg
tails.jpg


Tips are really similar. The AM85/Crosswind rise starts a slight bit earlier and is slightly higher. The tip as noted by SkiTalk testers is softer in the risen section (first 10 cm) when you hand flex it. Similarly, the AM85/Crosswind has a little more tail rise and it starts a little earlier. It's still not much tip or tail rocker at all; slightly more than a 2016 i.speed.

I can give an impression of how it skis later this season....but, my wife has claimed these....but we have the same bsl.
Also note that I bought these very slightly used only for a day by Mike at Premier Skis so the use you see on the Crosswinds is from that. The SS i.speed is a 2016 163 cm. The Crosswind is a 2021 172 cm.
 
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Quandary

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I have to say I don't really understand the point of the design of this ski. With essentially no rocker tip or tail there really is no off piste versatility. Given this why would a skier ever go up to 85 width? The AM77 would seem to be the much better choice. Seems to me like they are trying to hit say the Fischer RC One 86GT category but miss the mark.
 

KevinF

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Based on the pictures that @mulva28 posted, they seem to have a similar rocker profile to my Stöckli Stormrider 88's. I'm not a fan of skis with significant amounts of rocker; I feel it makes them feel too vague. Lack of rocker means your movement patterns need to be more precise in variable conditions, but they can certainly be made to work.

I'm not sure what you mean by "no off piste versatility".
 
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Philpug

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I have to say I don't really understand the point of the design of this ski. With essentially no rocker tip or tail there really is no off piste versatility. Given this why would a skier ever go up to 85 width? The AM77 would seem to be the much better choice. Seems to me like they are trying to hit say the Fischer RC One 86GT category but miss the mark.
tip and tail are bout the same as the AM77, so going from a 77 to an 85 underfoot, you are also getting a longer turn radius, which can be better off piste.
Based on the pictures that @mulva28 posted, they seem to have a similar rocker profile to my Stöckli Stormrider 88's. I'm not a fan of skis with significant amounts of rocker; I feel it makes them feel too vague. Lack of rocker means your movement patterns need to be more precise in variable conditions, but they can certainly be made to work.
First inclination is to compare the AM85 to the Stöckli AR, I know I fell into that trap, but really it is more like the Stormrider 88.
 

Quandary

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tip and tail are bout the same as the AM77, so going from a 77 to an 85 underfoot, you are also getting a longer turn radius, which can be better off piste.

First inclination is to compare the AM85 to the Stöckli AR, I know I fell into that trap, but really it is more like the Stormrider 88.
I get that but it seems to me silly to design something intended to be an "all mountain" ski without rocker. We have moved beyond that. It would be like designing a car engine with a carburetor, sure you can do it but why? So that takes me back to why an essentially on piste ski with an 85mm waist. Even the Stöckli AX and AR are designed with some concept of rocker. I concede that different designs and concepts are a good thing and there may be the appropriate audience and that Blossom's are beautifully built skis. It just seems like this ski is either trying to fit a round peg in a square hole or Blossom is consciously not accepting the proven advances in ski design.

Perhaps what I read today the there is "no tip or tail rocker" is wrong? Admittedly the pictures were not decambered so that could be deceptive.
 
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David Chaus

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I don't know that rocker (or "marketing rocker" or early rise) is necessarily a proven advantage as an all-mountain ski, especially in an 85-90. The differences are sometimes barely noticeable, unless you're talking about for instance ON3P where there is a lot of rocker, such as on my Woodsman 102's. It mostly helps with off-piste in chop and crud, but more squishy to engage on edge on groomers, so not always the perfect all mountain ski either.

What I have experienced (and read) of Blossom, the take-away is build quality is more important than ski design concepts.
 

Scruffy

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I get that but it seems to me silly to design something intended to be an "all mountain" ski without rocker. We have moved beyond that. It would be like designing a car engine with a carburetor, sure you can do it but why? So that takes me back to why an essentially on piste ski with an 85mm waist. Even the Stöckli AX and AR are designed with some concept of rocker. I concede that different designs and concepts are a good thing and there may be the appropriate audience and that Blossom's are beautifully built skis. It just seems like this ski is either trying to fit a round peg in a square hole or Blossom is consciously not accepting the proven advances in ski design.

Perhaps what I read today the there is "no tip or tail rocker" is wrong? Admittedly the pictures were not decambered so that could be deceptive.

Don't get hung up on the term rocker, it can mean almost anything. The AR's profile looks very much like the Blossom's AM
 

Quandary

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I don't know that rocker (or "marketing rocker" or early rise) is necessarily a proven advantage as an all-mountain ski, especially in an 85-90. The differences are sometimes barely noticeable, unless you're talking about for instance ON3P where there is a lot of rocker, such as on my Woodsman 102's. It mostly helps with off-piste in chop and crud, but more squishy to engage on edge on groomers, so not always the perfect all mountain ski either.

What I have experienced (and read) of Blossom, the take-away is build quality is more important than ski design concepts.

To me that's the whole point of an "all mountain" ski, is to have a ski that is reasonably well suited in design for groomers as well as unconsolidated snow as you would find in the bowls at Breck or Vail. The best design to that going to have some tip and tail rocker, early rise or whatever you want to call it. Blossom's design concept for what they call "all mountain" and "freeride" to me don't make sense. Maybe its a Euro thing.

I will acknowledge that my comparison to the Stöckli AR was a stretch as I view that as an "on piste" ski as well.
 

Dakine

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To me that's the whole point of an "all mountain" ski, is to have a ski that is reasonably well suited in design for groomers as well as unconsolidated snow as you would find in the bowls at Breck or Vail. The best design to that going to have some tip and tail rocker, early rise or whatever you want to call it. Blossom's design concept for what they call "all mountain" and "freeride" to me don't make sense. Maybe its a Euro thing.

I will acknowledge that my comparison to the Stöckli AR was a stretch as I view that as an "on piste" ski as well.
In my experience, the European market is focused on more traditional ski designs.
That means narrower and with less rocker or rise.
It is not that cambered skis can't be skied in any conditions, it's just easier on off piste focused skis.
Take the old Kastle FX94 for example, nothing but camber but it was designed by one of the best off piste skiers in the world to go anywhere.
You just have to know how to drive them and Blossoms are as Euro as skis get.
 

Philpug

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This is where everything lies, "to you". Not every ski is going to be for you, for me or for every person, if that was the case, there would only be one ski. The beauty of AM85 is that is not for everyone and this is one of the reasons I wrote The needs of the few, outweigh the needs of the many. This is a case where you are not a part of the few that this ski is a part of and that is not bad or wrong, it is just not the ski for you.
 

Dakine

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This is where everything lies, "to you". Not every ski is going to be for you, for me or for every person, if that was the case, there would only be one ski. The beauty of AM85 is that is not for everyone and this is one of the reasons I wrote The needs of the few, outweigh the needs of the many. This is a case where you are not a part of the few that this ski is a part of and that is not bad or wrong, it is just not the ski for you.
Somebody once said
"The good is the enemy of the excellent."
Damn if I can remember who?
But someone else said
"The perfect is the enemy of the good."
Ya pays yer money and takes your chances.....
 

Quandary

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This is where everything lies, "to you". Not every ski is going to be for you, for me or for every person, if that was the case, there would only be one ski. The beauty of AM85 is that is not for everyone and this is one of the reasons I wrote The needs of the few, outweigh the needs of the many. This is a case where you are not a part of the few that this ski is a part of and that is not bad or wrong, it is just not the ski for you.

I couldn't agree with this more. Its still fun to debate and discuss ski design philosophy!
 

Noodler

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And note that not all "rocker" is created equal. Sometimes it's best to just leave it out of the equation if it's not in your design team's expertise. Otherwise we end up with skis that are literally "broken"; they have bent tips without having the rocker profile and sidecut married up to work correctly.

My first experiences with early tip rise/rocker were not good. I then drew the incorrect blanket opinion that all rocker must suck. Then I experienced "rocker done right" and learned the truth, but it takes expertise to design these aspects of a ski correctly.
 

Ron

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I get that but it seems to me silly to design something intended to be an "all mountain" ski without rocker. We have moved beyond that. It would be like designing a car engine with a carburetor, sure you can do it but why? So that takes me back to why an essentially on piste ski with an 85mm waist. Even the Stöckli AX and AR are designed with some concept of rocker. I concede that different designs and concepts are a good thing and there may be the appropriate audience and that Blossom's are beautifully built skis. It just seems like this ski is either trying to fit a round peg in a square hole or Blossom is consciously not accepting the proven advances in ski design.

Perhaps what I read today the there is "no tip or tail rocker" is wrong? Admittedly the pictures were not decambered so that could be deceptive.

you're not wrong or right, (you are right for you!) "All Mountain" comes in different bias's, In this case, the AM85 sits far on the on-piste bias scale but its not a one trick pony that only wants to be on edge. its design is more on the end of the on-piste scale but its quite versatile. Personally, I like it right where it is. I want a 85 ski to engage well and have more carving groomed chops than a true off-piste focused ski. It does have a very small amount of rise, virtually none, and that's all I want. At 18m, its not too turny (can be easily skied much tighter) so it adds to the stability in tracked or loose snow This ski is the one mid-80 something ski I would own (again, for me). I really enjoyed the feel of this ski and its versatility for front side skiing on non-powder days. Here's my thinking (doesnt mean its what you should agree) I ski my Blossom SL now for almost any day Im skiing at Steamboat,Copper or LL on the groomed with some bumps thrown in for fun, If it snows more than 4" over a soft base, Im in the trees on my Stance 96's or even my Moment Wildcat 108's (depending how soft it is underneath) So having a ski like the AM85 is great for a soft, loose day or even a 2-3" of soft powder bumps, jumping into some trees and skiing a mix of terrain including a good amount of groomers. for those days, I dont need any rocker, as it really doesnt add anything. I do think that Blossom could expand their appeal by adding a touch of early rise ala' Stöckli however, with softer flex at the furthest end of the tip, it absorbs and flexes well. I enjoy the early engagement and a more precise ski. As a side note: I really didnt think I wanted a 80 something ski but this AM85 was one I kept thinking about. If I didnt have the No.1 SL, I would buy the Whiteout/AM77 and call it a day :).

EDIT TO TO CLARIFY.
 
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Dougb

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you're not wrong or right, (you are right for you!) "all mountain" comes in different bias's, In this case, the AM85 sits far on the on-piste bias scale. Personally, I like it right where it is. I want a 85 ski to engage well and have more carving groomed chops than a true off-piste focused ski. It does have a very small amount of rise, virtually none, and that's all I want. At 18m, its not too turny (can be easily skied much tighter) so it adds to the stability of tracked or loose snow This ski is the one mid-80 something ski I would own (again, for me). I really enjoyed the feel of this ski and its versatility for front side skiing on non-powder days. Here's my thinking (doesnt mean its what you should agree) I ski my Blossom SL now for almost any day Im skiing at Steamboat,Copper or LL on the groomed with some bumps thrown in for fun, If it snows more than 4" over a soft base, Im in the trees on my Stance 96's or even my Moment Wildcat 108's (depending how soft it is underneath) So having a ski like the AM85 is great for a soft, loose day or even a 2-3" of soft powder bumps, jumping into some trees and skiing a mix of terrain including a good amount of groomers. for those days, I dont need any rocker, as it really doesnt add anything. I do think that Blossom could expand their appeal by adding a touch of early rise ala' Stöckli however, with softer flex at the furthest end of the tip, it absorbs and flexes well. I enjoy the early engagement and a more precise ski. As a side note: I really didnt think I wanted a 80 something ski but this AM85 was one I kept thinking about. If I didnt have the No.1 SL, I would buy the Whiteout/AM77 and call it a day :).
Thanks for (unintentionally) running the No. 1 SL in my face again, @Ron.
 
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Ron

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I have to say I don't really understand the point of the design of this ski. With essentially no rocker tip or tail there really is no off piste versatility. Given this why would a skier ever go up to 85 width? The AM77 would seem to be the much better choice. Seems to me like they are trying to hit say the Fischer RC One 86GT category but miss the mark

I agree, the AM77 is a superb ski and covers a decent bandwidth of conditions. There is a good % of the market that feels a 77 ski is too narrow. Its a shame because if you ski the front side, something like the Laser AX, Blossom AM77, Kastle MX 78 or others in that mid to upper 70's are superb skis that are purposely built. I totally understand that some might only want 1 or 2 skis in a quiver though. I'd take a step further though and wonder why more people aren't on a SL ski or similar? then the jump from 65mm to 85mm makes more sense.
 
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Ron

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So since I do ski the SL as my front side ski, I decided after far too much consideration to go with a new AM85. Well, actually, the decision was really easy. I am fortunate to ski enough that I can justify a mid 80's and a mid 90's especially when each ski fills a unique purpose. The AM85 will fill a need for days when im skiing mostly bumps, jumping into some soft trees and still ripping around on the groomed once it gets soft. So I ordered up a pair and here they are! I was pleasantly surprised to open the box and see that they are actually Pink and Black. I love em' and they look awesome. Done very well.

45FC9DD3-B8F1-43C8-959A-CE026E370FDB_1_201_a.jpeg
 
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