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Ski Advice: Intermediate Skier in CO (Head Absolut Joy v. Blizzard Pearl 78/88)

mommylater

Diva in Training
#1
Hi everyone! I am new here and SO glad that I found this site. I have been shopping for new skis and I am overwhelmed at this point so I am hoping for some advice from you Divas!

I am a cautious intermediate skier, pretty much a blue cruiser, and I don't expect to progress much at this point due to a couple of issues. (1) I started skiing in my early thirties so I struggle with the fear factor (mainly with steeps), and (2), I've since had some injuries so while my doctor said that I am fine to ski, I am not allowed to do bumps. Obviously, I spend most of my time on groomed blue runs. I also need as light a ski as possible due to lifting restrictions caused by my injury. My current skis are 14 years old (Head Cool Thangs - 149 cm) and I know that there is better (and lighter) gear out there these days. I am 5'1" and 130 lbs and I have been looking at the Head Absolut Joy (151 cm) and the Blizzard Black Pearl, either the 78 or the 88 (153 cm). I would appreciate any guidance/advice that you can give (including that I may have chosen the wrong length, haha!)

Thanks!
 

vickie

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
Welcome! I have no experience with either ski, but others here do. I think @marzNC has been on, perhaps owned, both. She is also about your size, so her experience may be particularly relevant.

I just moved to Denver in July. I have the IKON pass and have been to Copper, Winter Park, and Eldora so far. Where do you normally ski?
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#3
Welcome! I have no experience with either ski, but others here do. I think @marzNC has been on, perhaps owned, both. She is also about your size, so her experience may be particularly relevant.

I just moved to Denver in July. I have the IKON pass and have been to Copper, Winter Park, and Eldora so far. Where do you normally ski?
Hi Vickie!

Nice to "meet" you. Welcome to CO! We will have been in Colorado Springs 10 years in July.

We have a 4 & 6 year old so we are skiing A-Basin & Keystone this year as consistency helps with the littles. We did Winter Park last year and before kids we did Copper and Beaver Creek as well. We've also done the occasional day at Monarch. Hoping to do the EPIC pass in a couple of years so that we can do more, but we need to get the 4 year old solid in her skills first (our 6 year old skis blues these days so he only needs the occasional lesson whereas she cannot even stop yet).

I am thinking that I might call a few places today to find out if I can demo next month when we are at Keystone if they have these skis and maybe some others.

Michelle
 

mustski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
Welcome to the forum. Demoing is definitely the way to go. Since you are in Colorado, I would probably eliminate the BP 78 as an option. Most folks don't seem too impressed by these compared to the 88. The Absolute Joy may also be too much of a beginner ski for you which is ok if you don't mind replacing them in a couple of years. I know that you don't feel you will process much, but my experience as a parent was that as my son progressed, I had to also to be able to keep up with him. Also, a mid fat is probably better in CO. I didn't mind buying new skis as I progressed. It was fun.
 
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mommylater

Diva in Training
#5
Welcome to the forum. Demoing is definitely the way to go. Since you are in Colorado, I would probably eliminate the BP 78 as an option. Most folks don't seem too impressed by these compared to the 88. The Absolute Joy may also be too much of a beginner ski for you which is ok if you don't mind replacing them in a couple of years. I know that you don't feel you will process much, but my experience as a parent was that as my son progressed, I had to also to be able to keep up with him. Also, a mid fat is probably better in CO. I didn't mind buying new skis as I progressed. It was fun.
I've called a few places and since the BBP 78 is only available at one of them (and they don't also have the Head), so I am going try the 88 anyhow. My only concern with that is my level and caution, as well as the and the fact that I pretty much only ski groomers, it may be too much ski for me. That said, I've also read that the BBP 88 satisfies a pretty wide range of both terrain and abilities so it who knows‍? It might be perfect.

I know that there is a Head Great Joy (next level up, I believe) but I read a great review by someone on here who sounds about my ability and style, and she raved about the Absolut Joy. Just all more reasons for me to demo I suppose. I will have a chat with the rental place when I go in about some others. As for keeping up with my son, fortunately, my husband can do that as he is an expert, haha!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
The BP 88 is really, really easy to ski. So, don't let it scare you at all! One of my favorite things about those skis is how forgiving they are, yet they are not noodles and are in general a hoot to ski!
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#7
The BP 88 is really, really easy to ski. So, don't let it scare you at all! One of my favorite things about those skis is how forgiving they are, yet they are not noodles and are in general a hoot to ski!
Thanks for the input. Good to know! I am getting excited to see how it goes when I demo.
 
#8
I absolutely loved my Absolute Joys when I started skiing again several years ago. They are great intermediate skis, very light and maneuverable, but they might a bit narrow for a Western daily driver. Good luck with your search and demo if you can!
 

captain_hug99

Certified Ski Diva
#9
Hello! I'm also in Colorado Springs, we also moved here about 10 years ago.

My daughter and I just went to Keystone but our home mountain is Monarch.

Let me know where you demo your BPs from. That is a ski I'm interested in as well.
 

hollyberry

Diva in Training
#10
Hi Michelle - I am new here, too, and really value the advice of all the divas. Home makes me an east coast skier but we got out west to ski A Basin Christmas week for the first time and will be back there in the Spring. What a great area! Enjoy! Got to ski with my 2 kids too (much older than yours, all grown up now, but we still ski as a family when time and schedules permit).

FWIW, I tried the Total Joy as a demo ski here in the east and liked it a lot but the side cut was a bit more than I prefer. I am also a blue cruiser so I thought that might be something to keep in mind when you demo. The BP 88 has a lot of fans here but I don’t have any time on that one.

Good luck and have fun skiing with your family. Good times.
 

Tvan

Angel Diva
#11
I’m an intermediate, east coast blue cruiser with no desire to ski bumps or trees. I started skiing at age 45, 12 years ago. I have the 2018 BP88s, which I got on the advice of @nopoleskier , and love them. I’m 5’7”, 150 lbs and ski the 159s. They are very stable, turn and edge easily, and have done great on east coast crud. I can’t advise on how they will ski in Colorado conditions, but I would recommend to put these on your demo list.
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#12
I absolutely loved my Absolute Joys when I started skiing again several years ago. They are great intermediate skis, very light and maneuverable, but they might a bit narrow for a Western daily driver. Good luck with your search and demo if you can!
Well, since I am mostly on groomers, and my current skis are even more narrow, I think that they will likely be OK but we shall see! Thanks for the input!
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#13
Hello! I'm also in Colorado Springs, we also moved here about 10 years ago.

My daughter and I just went to Keystone but our home mountain is Monarch.

Let me know where you demo your BPs from. That is a ski I'm interested in as well.

I found the BP 78 at the Keystone Rental Shop but most of them had the BP 88.
Hi Michelle - I am new here, too, and really value the advice of all the divas. Home makes me an east coast skier but we got out west to ski A Basin Christmas week for the first time and will be back there in the Spring. What a great area! Enjoy! Got to ski with my 2 kids too (much older than yours, all grown up now, but we still ski as a family when time and schedules permit).

FWIW, I tried the Total Joy as a demo ski here in the east and liked it a lot but the side cut was a bit more than I prefer. I am also a blue cruiser so I thought that might be something to keep in mind when you demo. The BP 88 has a lot of fans here but I don’t have any time on that one.

Good luck and have fun skiing with your family. Good times.
Thank you! I will have to compare the Total Joy to the Absolut Joy and see.
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#14
I’m an intermediate, east coast blue cruiser with no desire to ski bumps or trees. I started skiing at age 45, 12 years ago. I have the 2018 BP88s, which I got on the advice of @nopoleskier , and love them. I’m 5’7”, 150 lbs and ski the 159s. They are very stable, turn and edge easily, and have done great on east coast crud. I can’t advise on how they will ski in Colorado conditions, but I would recommend to put these on your demo list.
Thank you, this is good to hear! I am definitely planning to try these as it sounds like they may just work.
 
#15
I just took the AJs and skied Breck and Keystone. They were great on groomers (green & blue). When it snowed and 3-4” of powder on the ground, however, I had some trouble turning through the piles but it could be my technique (or lack thereof).
 
#16
Hi and welcome to the forum.. I haven't tried the "Absolute Joys" but I sure want to. they get a lot of love. I also like light weight skis.

The New BP's 88's are a nice easy going ski. They have a huge 'sweet spot' meaning you don't have to have perfect balance to ski them. Some skis want you on the center or they 'buck you off or you're fighting to stay centered' I demo'd the BP's on a soft snow day and they were great in the piles, there was no tip flap and when put on edge they do go if you want them too.
I liked the BP 78's but for western skiing I'd go with the 88's. The stability is great when you have to chase down the 4yr old or just helping pick her back up you'll have an easy turning, light weight ski.

I hope you get to try several skis.. what one person loves another may hate! I love that you have everyone skiing! Skiing as a family is a great gift to your kids and you'll have wonderful memories forever!! Have a wonderful winter!
 
#17
I am a cautious intermediate skier, pretty much a blue cruiser, and I don't expect to progress much at this point due to a couple of issues. (1) I started skiing in my early thirties so I struggle with the fear factor (mainly with steeps), and (2), I've since had some injuries so while my doctor said that I am fine to ski, I am not allowed to do bumps. Obviously, I spend most of my time on groomed blue runs. I also need as light a ski as possible due to lifting restrictions caused by my injury. My current skis are 14 years old (Head Cool Thangs - 149 cm) and I know that there is better (and lighter) gear out there these days. I am 5'1" and 130 lbs and I have been looking at the Head Absolut Joy (151 cm) and the Blizzard Black Pearl, either the 78 or the 88 (153 cm). I would appreciate any guidance/advice that you can give (including that I may have chosen the wrong length, haha!)
Welcome! Isn't fun to ski with your kids? I started my daughter at age 4, but in the southeast she couldn't get in too much mileage given that our "home mountain" was a 4-hour drive away.

I'm petite but a bit lighter. I like the BP88 and BP98 quite a bit. Demo'd most recently in the last season at Taos. TSV believes in shorter lengths, so I was on the BP88 @145 while @santacruz skier was on the @152. She's also petite and lightweight.

As for the AJs, I've skied my AJ 148cm in all sorts of conditions in the east from frozen groomers to soft bumps. I only take them when I do ski safaris in the northeast during early and late season. I also took them to Bachelor and Mammoth during a late, late season trip in May. Mostly because I'd treated them with DPS Phantom. The glide in spring snow with sticky spots was far better than my original Black Pearls (2011). I'm an older advanced skier.
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#18
I just took the AJs and skied Breck and Keystone. They were great on groomers (green & blue). When it snowed and 3-4” of powder on the ground, however, I had some trouble turning through the piles but it could be my technique (or lack thereof).
OK, good to know. Pretty much the only time that I get powder is when it has snowed after grooming is done as I really don't go looking for it on the sides or trees. My current skis are so old (read narrow) that those seem huge to me. My technique is definitely not there for powder either, so...it's going to be hard to say for me too.
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#19
Hi and welcome to the forum.. I haven't tried the "Absolute Joys" but I sure want to. they get a lot of love. I also like light weight skis.

The New BP's 88's are a nice easy going ski. They have a huge 'sweet spot' meaning you don't have to have perfect balance to ski them. Some skis want you on the center or they 'buck you off or you're fighting to stay centered' I demo'd the BP's on a soft snow day and they were great in the piles, there was no tip flap and when put on edge they do go if you want them too.
I liked the BP 78's but for western skiing I'd go with the 88's. The stability is great when you have to chase down the 4yr old or just helping pick her back up you'll have an easy turning, light weight ski.

I hope you get to try several skis.. what one person loves another may hate! I love that you have everyone skiing! Skiing as a family is a great gift to your kids and you'll have wonderful memories forever!! Have a wonderful winter!

Aw, thanks!

Yes, I am going to be able to demo at least two skis and it looks like it is going to be the AJs & BP 88s for sure. Anything else I try will just depend on what they have and recommend.

Skiing is expensive as a family, but both my husband and I learned as adults and we wanted them to be able to do it when they were younger and that fear factor wasn't there. It really can be a lifelong sport, and for now, they LOVE doing it with us. I am completely aware that will change as the dreaded tween/teen years approach, haha!
 

mommylater

Diva in Training
#20
Welcome! Isn't fun to ski with your kids? I started my daughter at age 4, but in the southeast she couldn't get in too much mileage given that our "home mountain" was a 4-hour drive away.

I'm petite but a bit lighter. I like the BP88 and BP98 quite a bit. Demo'd most recently in the last season at Taos. TSV believes in shorter lengths, so I was on the BP88 @145 while @santacruz skier was on the @152. She's also petite and lightweight.

As for the AJs, I've skied my AJ 148cm in all sorts of conditions in the east from frozen groomers to soft bumps. I only take them when I do ski safaris in the northeast during early and late season. I also took them to Bachelor and Mammoth during a late, late season trip in May. Mostly because I'd treated them with DPS Phantom. The glide in spring snow with sticky spots was far better than my original Black Pearls (2011). I'm an older advanced skier.
Awwww, Mammoth, the mountain where I learned to ski. Miss it. We were in SoCal at the time with an 8 hour drive but we had season passes and no kids so we went for full weekends. Lots of fun memories there. I was "lighter" back then too, as I have all of these limitations since my injuries (not skiing related). I am on 149s now so it's funny you say that because these longer and wider skis sound intimidating to me, but it is what has been recommended. Thankful that I will be able to demo on the mountain!
 

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