2022 Blossom Numero Uno N*1 SL

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Ron: The Blossom SL is a non-FIS slalom ski that has the shape of an SL but comes in a user-friendly and more versatile package. I wanted a narrow ski with a high-performance build, and the Blossom SL fits the bill to a T. It isn't as stiff or demanding as a full-on FIS ski, but it is plenty for the vast majority of skiers (including me). The suggested mount point is spot-on. The build quality is excellent, and the monochromatic top sheet with graphite weave is very much to my liking. Paired with a Marker piston plate and Marker Xcomp 12 bindings, it is a great-looking ski -- and I am not known to care much about how a ski looks.

I skied the Nº1 SL over five days at Steamboat, in conditions ranging from glare ice to packed grippy snow and 3 in. of fresh over hard pack. It is composed, quiet, and damp with excellent snow feel. It has a consistent flex and a ton of camber, making it snappy and energetic. It doesn’t feel like a hyper-puppy, though; its race heritage shows through. In tightly carved turns, it has a fantastic, addictive character. It can be skied very slowly, or as fast as most will want to go. Its shape is perfect for quick turn engagement but not so much that all it wants to do is be on edge, which surprised me.

Racers coming off FIS SLs should probably look to Blossom's full-on FIS ski if they want true SL performance, as this one has a bit more flex, but it is torsionally stiff so that extra flex is more of an adjustment than a detriment. The tips engage quickly and smoothly, and the rest of the ski flexes powerfully. The flex in the shovels is just right; I never feel like I can over-flex them, but I can feel the entire ski flex underfoot when driving it through the apex of the turn. Part of that flex I attribute to the Marker piston plate and Xcomp 12 binding. Underfoot is quite stiff, but the sweet spot is huge.

I was really impressed with the way it could be finessed. The stiff tail tracks superbly and holds until you decide to release it -- and then it releases without a fight. Blossom wisely gave the tail a touch more flex than a FIS SL ski. I think this is part of its great feel as it allows the ski to flex more deeply and evenly. I wouldn’t call the ski overly forgiving, but for this level of performance, you don’t really want that.

I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun on a ski I could take just about anywhere on the mountain. Cat tracks turned into fun parks, as I pinged carved turns from edge to edge. You will discover new places to have fun and lay down that next set of railroad tracks. Edge hold is superior, and the bases are fast. As one would expect, these are a blast when making quick, snappy, short-radius turns. It is very easy to steer the ski across the fall line, release, and re-engage the edges. I was playing around with loading the ski and literally popping off the snow, feeling the tails propel me through the turn. But, surprise! You can also ski it very slowly, which makes me think it would be great for teaching.

I normally wouldn’t discuss the performance of an SL ski in off-piste conditions, but I would wholeheartedly suggest this one to those looking to build skills while getting their g-force fix. Here’s where that touch of extra flex in a non-FIS ski works exceptionally well. Heading off piste into some firm but chalky bumps, the flex in the tips worked well and the narrow waist was quick and easy. The tail has just enough flex so that it is not overly punishing. Stay over it, and you will be rewarded with a ski that slinks through moguls. In chalky, bumped-up crud with about 3 in. of fresh snow, the SL was composed and stable. I had no issues drifting and setting edges through this kind of terrain or making short-radius carved turns, and the dampness kept the ski quiet.

Insider tip: Those looking for a carver but ski bumps and tracked snow might want this over a FIS SL ski: it gives 98% of the performance but more versatility.​
 
Who is it for?
Masters racers, technique-focused skiers, or just about anyone looking to improve their skills. Those who can ski on an edge and understand how to use their edges (aka advanced skiers and above) will enjoy this ski the most. Because it can be skied very slowly, it would make a great ski for instructors.
Who is it not for?
Advanced intermediates and below. If you haven’t mastered the basics of carving and edge control, this ski will frustrate you.
Skier ability
  1. Advanced
  2. Expert
Ski category
  1. Race
  2. Frontside
Ski attributes
  1. Groomers
Segment
  1. Men
  2. Women

Specifications

Available sizes
153, 159, 165, 171
Dimensions
123-67-104
Rocker profile
  1. Full camber
Size Scaling
  1. Construction
  2. Dimensions
Construction design
  1. Carryover
Binding options
  1. Flat
  2. System
  3. Plate
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Ron

Seeking the next best ski
SkiTalk Tester
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Nov 8, 2015
Posts
9,217
Location
Steamboat Springs, Co
165. I own the ski, so I'm still on it. :). I have about 20 days on it and wouldn't change anything in my review. I don't think I would put it so far on the end of Power though, good skills are a must.
 

Ron

Seeking the next best ski
SkiTalk Tester
Joined
Nov 8, 2015
Posts
9,217
Location
Steamboat Springs, Co
Long term update

I continue to grab the SL for most days where there isn't any fresh. The ski continues to be my favorite ski and blast to ski just about anything on. Today was fast grippy groomers to tracked out, stiff snow on ungroomed areas on the mountain. the ski is so responsive yet composed and solid. They are such great learning tools while having fun. I wish more folks would get out on something like this ski.
 
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Noodler

Just call me Sir Turn-a-lot
Skier
Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Posts
4,715
Location
Denver, CO
Long term update

I continue to grab the SL for most days where there isn't any fresh. The ski continues to be my favorite ski and blast to ski just about anything on. Today was fast grippy groomers to tracked out, stiff snow on ungroomed areas on the mountain. the ski is so responsive yet composed and solid. They are such great learning tools while having fun. I wish more folks would get out on something like this ski.

I like the "learning tools" comment. I hadn't been on anything narrower than 78mm in a couple seasons, but recently spent a few weeks on an old 67mm waisted ski. It showed me that it's really easy to get lazy on wider skis when it comes to proper balance in a ski turn. Just makin' the best of the low snow season in CO...
 
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mulva28

Getting on the lift
Skier
Joined
Jan 5, 2021
Posts
149
Location
VT
Great review. It's actually very close to how I'd review my 170cm No1 RC which is right at my height. It's funny how these skis are damp and composed when ripping short to medium turns but poppy/lively at the same time and are great in bumps. Much more all-mountain than I expected. The 'learning tool' is spot on as I'm improving technique every time I'm on my RC. Anyway, I'm thinking this ski (No1 SL) in 159cm with a race plate might be my next ski as I love ripping short turns and will dive into bumps when I see them. Might even try the FIS version if a deal comes around in March.
 

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