Featured Image: by Guy Fattal
Lengths: 162, 168, 174, 180, 186, 192 cm
DIM: 134-102-123 mm
Radius: 17.5 m @ 180 cm
To completely redesign the Rustler and Sheeva models, introduce a new shape, construction, and profile, and usher in a new freeride collection, Blizzard turned to its athletes. Even if they charge harder than the rest of us, Caite Zeliff, Marcus Caston and Connery Lundin know the difference between a good ski and a great ski. “The Blizzard Rustler 10,” says Lundin, “is a great one. “
The original Rustler 10 launched in 2016 and quickly gained a following as one of the best all-mountain skis on the market.
“The Rustler 10 is a different ski, but the favorable traits of the old ski have carried forward and improved in a few departments, like predictability and consistent flex,” says Lundin. “It feels more balanced and hasn’t lost that chargey, all-mountain feeling. It’s even more chargey now.”
Lundin says the redesigned ski required some fine tuning—some three to four rounds of prototypes over a year and a half, one of the companies longest testing processes in a decade.
“We fussed with different points where the weights of wood and metal differed by ski,” he says. “The Austrians took a lot of athlete feedback.”
Testers proved invaluable throughout the process, too. They noted its ability to float through soft snow without losing its integrity on a groomer.
At the heart of the Rustler 10 is a Freeride Trueblend wood core, which blends three different densities of wood to provide the perfect recipe of playfulness and power. The technology places stringers of beech underfoot for added strength (along with FluxForm Titanal), while stringers of poplar and paulownia stretch towards the tip and tail to reduce swing weight down and allow for a smooth flex from tip to tail.
“As soon as you slap this ski down, even in the lift line, you can tell it’s balanced and predictable,” says Lundin. “It’s not throwing you for a wild ride.”
Christian Avery, Blizzard Tecnica Product Manager, says the ski delivers the same playfulness, ease of use and versatility as before, but with more stability and more control, even on steep terrain. That’s partly due to the FluxForm technology, which increases the strength and stability of the ski without compromising on weight or maneuverability. That stability underfoot maximizes edgehold and performance in variable conditions. “It’s performance you can feel, in a lightweight package,” says Avery.
Blizzard doesn’t just increase the Rustler’s technology, it adjusts sidecut and rocker profile to each length of Rustler and Sheeva, meaning the lengthier the ski, the wider the waist.
“The Rustler 10 went from being the cherry on top to a central tenant of the line,” says Avery. “The three-year process allowed us to incorporate feedback and refine an already great ski.”