Testing skis so you don't have to.
- Mar 5, 2017
Size tested: 178cm
Location tested: All over
Conditions tested in: Up to 8-10"
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.
Long term update (1/5/22): Skied my the AM85's yesterday in a mix of chalky firm snow, hardpack to firm ungroomed and bumps. The more I ski the AM85, the more I like the ski and the more I enjoy its versatility. I know this is a point of contention with some regarding the lack of rocker on this ski but im being 100% honest when I say I dont think this ski needs any. It does all it should at 85mm underfoot (my 178 measures 86mm using digital calipers BTW) off piste and arc's beautifully on piste. I think it does short radius turns especially well with the ever so slightly softer tip. it engages immediately and can be bent and steered. This flex profile also excels in the bumps
Insider tip: This is a bargain-priced alternative to the Stöckli Laser AR or Stormrider 88, depending what width you are considering.
@Mulva: Had my wife's Crosswinds/AM85 172cm out today at Pico VT. First time out on these. Now, I own the No1 RC in 170cm and AM77 in 170cm so I'm familiar with the "Blossom feel", and the AM85 did not disappoint. Tuned to 3 and 1, this ski absolutely railed groomers of all varieties, soft, firm and icy. They are capable and fun in soft bumps, can handle the east coast firm and icy bumps but that's not they're happy place. Like the AM77, this is a great do it all type ski. I even got into some mank and the tails released just fine. It was a very weird conditions day. We've had around a foot of snow since the time the Summit quad went down with mech issues and then some mixed precip and above freezing temps yesterday before freezing again overnight. That lift just came back online. So fresh snow under a light crust up top and more frozen down low. The AM85 was the perfect ski for the day. Very impressed again by Blossom Skis. I'd call these a carving focused all mountain ski; more like a Salomon Stance 90 than a Nordica Enforcer 88. If you're in the market for that ~88mm All-Mountain ski, these should get a hard look. It is really just a wider Whiteout/AM77 and that's a very, very good thing.
- 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
- Ski category
- All Mountain
- Ski attributes