Testing skis so you don't have to.
- Mar 5, 2017
Updated from previous season ...
Philpug: Like many of Blossoms other offerings the Pure 99’s numbers and specs are really pretty average when you look at them on paper. Nothing with the Pure 99 really stands out as special and definitely not progressive…even the name “Pure 99” does not get your blood a pumpin'. But we have come to learn with Blossom skis that we cannot judge their skis just on looks, numbers, and specs alone. It’s how Blossoms perform in the real world that we judge them.
This is the first time that we had a chance to ski Blossoms other than their frontside biased skis. The tactile feel of the Pure has Blossoms typical balanced flex with a shape that is very traditional, bordering on dated in this category. The tip is rounded like the popular White Out and the tail seems right from the same mold…in fact, other than an ever so slight early rise and a tip shape that is also a bit more gradual than the other skis, the Namaste could easily be included in the Turbo series...if say there was a 90 mm do bridge the gap. Hint Blossom, hint.
On snow feel is what sets Blossoms apart from the other skis. Like the other Blossoms in our test fleet, the Pure just flowed down the hill as if they are attached to the snow. I always come back to two words when I am skiing a Blossom: liquid mercury, and the Pure 99 no different. For some reason, Blossom does not publish the turn radius on the Pure 99, or at least that I could find. All I could find from Google was “20m@178cm” which, after skiing the Namaste, feels about right.
Long term update: These are like an old friend in snow. If you have skied any of the narrower Blossoms and you like that feel, you will love these. There is no special gimics with the Pure 99, just a simple shape and design proving again and again that there is rarely a substitute for quality.
I took these out at Squaw after a 3" dump and they did just as I would have expected and they passed the Steadfast Rule test, there was no ski I thought that I would have rather been on today. They did well on the groomers, in the bumps and were confidence inspiring when the visability was nill at at the top of Siberia.
Long term update (1/13/22): Buttah. We were out with @Stephen, @Andy Mink, @Tricia and @WadeHoliday at Squ .. Palisades , dammit ... and skied all over in the "Wade Way" the mountain should be skied, not on the trails but in-between them as Wade would say. In a perfect world I would have rather have been on something narrower, in the mid 80 mm range but I made due with the Pure 99 to expend on the Long term update. As I started this review, like buttah. The Pure 99 ate up the chalky cut up snow like it was its job and in reality that is the skis job. The Pure 99 was nimble in the big Squaw (yes I said it) bumps on Granite Chief and under the Slot and where ever there where bumps. On the groomers back the lift it made some smoooooth (note the extra o's) big GS turns. Oh so nice and quiet.
Andy Mink: First, let me get this out of the way: To each their own. Personally I'm not a fan of wide skis on hard snow. I can recognize that some folks love them and that's fine. Choices are why there are approximately 8 jillion different models of skis out there. Unfortunately, wide on hard make my knees hurt. I find there are other tools that suit my needs better when on hard snow. However, in the interest of science or, more likely, ski reviews, I took the Pure 99s out to Mt. Rose this morning knowing that everything is month old left over hard pack from the big Christmas storm. We have received absolutely ZERO snow in January to freshen things up. I wanted to see what a 99mm wide ski with a fair amount of low rise tip rocker would do on the super packed chalk. I was on the 178 length at 5'10"/200ish#. Long story short, they work great.
The Pures are light enough to flick around yet when put up on edge with the entire edge making contact they carve a very nice longer radius turn. The harder you push, the more they dig in though they can be skied from the center without having to drive them hard. They engage with no excitement or argument; almost a boring "OK if we must" feel. You won't be fooled into thinking these are slalom skis. Patience is a virtue as you go edge to edge, flowing from one turn to the next. The flat tail can be loaded to PATIENTLY move into the next turn or just let it release on its own as the turn comes to an end. Running flat on the hard snow produced almost no tip flap or vibrations; the skis are just incredibly smooth and quiet. On steeper slope angles the 99s hold well and allow the pilot to either carve or slip turns as desired. I didn't take them into the bumps today, though I finally did find some that don't have the downhill sides chopped off. Those will be another day.
I don't know that I'd call the Pures a "charger" ski but they aren't as playful as some of the more rockered offerings in the 99ish range. The Pure 99 is a directional ski with a pretty traditional mount point; you won't be spinning on these from the middle of the ski. On a day with just a bit of snow to ski in they'd be rock stars. In standing piles and chopped up after-the-storm conditions, they'd kill. If you like wider skis capable of carving 20ish meter turns on hard pack with the capability to handle the above mentioned conditions look no further.
- Insider Tip:The Pure 99 skis it's full length and then some, the 178 could easily be a 180-181…but at the skier that normally skis a 178 cm will not be overwhelmed. With the Pure 99’s 10 cm size increments means that you might fall between sizes, so err on the shorter of the two sizes.
- Who is it for?
- Skiers who miss the original (pre 2014) Enforcer, welcome home. A great one ski quiver for Mammoth.
- Who is it not for?
- Those expecting a powder ski. Even at 99 mm underfoot, powder is not this skis forte.
- Skier ability
- Ski category
- All Mountain
- Ski attributes
- Off Piste