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Question: Volkl Blaze 86?

MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Well I've finally decided it's time to get a ski that's under 100mm underfoot for those days when it hasn't snowed in a while so I don't have to stay home or go sideways down the firmer bits. Especially since I've signed up for weekly lessons and that means probably having to ski whatever the conditions.

I'm after a thinner all-mountain ski that'll handle firm groomers and hold an edge, but will also work for off-piste bumps and trees. I tend to prefer short to medium size turns - I'm working on making longer turns, but I'd rather have something fun and nimble than a charger that demands to be skied fast. The ideal would be something that allows me to improve my technique but isn't just a groomer ski.

From what I've read here, the Volkl Blaze sounds like a good option - ie nimble, holds an edge, forgiving compared to something like the Secret - does that ring true for those of you who've skied it? I'm looking at the men's version in either 166 or 173 - leaning towards the 166, but would that be too short? For reference, I ski the Rustler 10 in a 172 and I'd say I'm advanced unless it's icy! It's been years since I skied anything much below 100 underfoot so don't have a reference point.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Well I've finally decided it's time to get a ski that's under 100mm underfoot for those days when it hasn't snowed in a while so I don't have to stay home or go sideways down the firmer bits. Especially since I've signed up for weekly lessons and that means probably having to ski whatever the conditions.

I'm after a thinner all-mountain ski that'll handle firm groomers and hold an edge, but will also work for off-piste bumps and trees. I tend to prefer short to medium size turns - I'm working on making longer turns, but I'd rather have something fun and nimble than a charger that demands to be skied fast. The ideal would be something that allows me to improve my technique but isn't just a groomer ski.

From what I've read here, the Volkl Blaze sounds like a good option - ie nimble, holds an edge, forgiving compared to something like the Secret - does that ring true for those of you who've skied it? I'm looking at the men's version in either 166 or 173 - leaning towards the 166, but would that be too short? For reference, I ski the Rustler 10 in a 172 and I'd say I'm advanced unless it's icy! It's been years since I skied anything much below 100 underfoot so don't have a reference point.
I think it does check all of the boxes you are looking for! I personally sized down in them, and so did @lisamamot and @ride_ski. Lisa and I also tried our regular sizes and those were great too, just not quite as nimble.. and it seems our little grouping were all more wanting the maneuverability to be the top consideration for working on bumps and trees. All to say, I don’t think you can go wrong but you might give up a little stability if you size down and a bit of the nimbleness if you go with the longer size. Depends what you want. Also, the men’s and women’s are the same construction outside of color I believe.
 

MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I think it does check all of the boxes you are looking for! I personally sized down in them, and so did @lisamamot and @ride_ski. Lisa and I also tried our regular sizes and those were great too, just not quite as nimble.. and it seems our little grouping were all more wanting the maneuverability to be the top consideration for working on bumps and trees. All to say, I don’t think you can go wrong but you might give up a little stability if you size down and a bit of the nimbleness if you go with the longer size. Depends what you want. Also, the men’s and women’s are the same construction outside of color I believe.
Thanks that's very helpful. I was wondering what the difference between the men's and women's was, always good when it's just the top-sheet!
 

lisamamot

Angel Diva
From what I've read here, the Volkl Blaze sounds like a good option - ie nimble, holds an edge, forgiving compared to something like the Secret - does that ring true for those of you who've skied it? I'm looking at the men's version in either 166 or 173 - leaning towards the 166, but would that be too short? For reference, I ski the Rustler 10 in a 172 and I'd say I'm advanced unless it's icy! It's been years since I skied anything much below 100 underfoot so don't have a reference point.
I ski the Sheeva 9 172 (have demoed the Rustler 9 172 and that would be my size), Santa Ana 93 172, Stockli Stormrider Motion 85 168, and the Blaze 88 166. When I initially demoed the Blaze, I was surprised how zippy and stable the Blaze felt in the 166. It has proved to be a blast in bumps/trees and holds a nice edge on groomers.

While I brought both my Santa Ana 93 and my Blaze 88 to Diva West 2023 in Taos, I could easily have only brought the Blaze 88. I was kicking myself when I chose to ski the Santa Ana 93 on the 2nd day we hiked and went to Yuarez - the Blaze was so much easier to carry on the previous hike - every gram counts, lol.
 

floridakeysskibum

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I agree with Lisa, the blaze are zippy!! I ended up with the kenja 88 in 163 ( I’m 5’1”) because I like a stiffer ski to plow thru the crud in the spring. I demoed both width blaze and was happier with kenja
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
I ski the Sheeva 9 172 (have demoed the Rustler 9 172 and that would be my size), Santa Ana 93 172, Stockli Stormrider Motion 85 168, and the Blaze 88 166. When I initially demoed the Blaze, I was surprised how zippy and stable the Blaze felt in the 166. It has proved to be a blast in bumps/trees and holds a nice edge on groomers.

While I brought both my Santa Ana 93 and my Blaze 88 to Diva West 2023 in Taos, I could easily have only brought the Blaze 88. I was kicking myself when I chose to ski the Santa Ana 93 on the 2nd day we hiked and went to Yuarez - the Blaze was so much easier to carry on the previous hike - every gram counts, lol.

@lisamamot, So funny that our quivers almost match! Well, partially, sort of. I have the Santa Ana (though mine is the 84) and the Sheeva 9. However, I've been extremely interested in the Blaze. I demoed it this past season and thought it was the bomb! I just couldn't justify getting another ski last season, though I have to say, I was severely tempted.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
@lisamamot, So funny that our quivers almost match! Well, partially, sort of. I have the Santa Ana (though mine is the 84) and the Sheeva 9. However, I've been extremely interested in the Blaze. I demoed it this past season and thought it was the bomb! I just couldn't justify getting another ski last season, though I have to say, I was severely tempted.
It’s at least one that can usually be had pretty cheaply..

*Diva enabling alert! :rotf:
 

MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I agree with Lisa, the blaze are zippy!! I ended up with the kenja 88 in 163 ( I’m 5’1”) because I like a stiffer ski to plow thru the crud in the spring. I demoed both width blaze and was happier with kenja
This is the only thing that gives me pause - my other half has a pair of Mantras and ploughs through spring crud like a tank on those. But he finds them much less fun than his other, more playful skis in other conditions.
 

BlizzardBabe

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
This will be my 3rd season on the Blaze 86. Loved them from day one. I fell a tiny bit less in love when I first tried the Stockli Nela 80, but then got into some more sketchy conditions and discovered that the Blaze handled them with greater aplomb. I'm sticking with them. I may even buy a second pair (lots of store credit!!) in fear that Volkl could try to "improve" them next year . . .

FYI, we have "spring crud" nearly all season in the mid-Atlantic and I never had an issue w/the Blaze. I've skied them in all conditions east and west, barring super deep powder. They've never given me a moment's hesitation. I do like my Stockli Stormrider 85's for spring slush - they are TANKS, but I've also had my Blaze's in the same conditions and felt perfectly comfortable (to the extent that anyone can feel comfy in the stuff).
 
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tinymoose

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
That's an incredibly tempting price, although I absolutely do not need them since I have my Factions
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Should we get 152?
I'd say you'd be fine on the 152 but it might be a bit short for me (5'5') I'd probably need the 159 BUT I loved my K2 Mindbender 85's in 156 so maybe I would be ok on the 152's :noidea:

I say hit that buy now button !!

I'm still a bit torn on what to do next season as I loved the K2s and I have to ask myself is the Blaze going to bring anything to the table that the K2's cant do ???? They performed in all the conditions and terrain that I usually ski and I dont want to end up buying ski's just for the sake of having something new :laughter:
I've had this conversation with the girls in our local ski shop and we think its probably better for me to wait till next season and demo so I can make a more strategic decision.

I'm being awfully sensible but I'm more than capable of enabling others !!
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva
I'd say you'd be fine on the 152 but it might be a bit short for me (5'5') I'd probably need the 159 BUT I loved my K2 Mindbender 85's in 156 so maybe I would be ok on the 152's :noidea:

I say hit that buy now button !!

I'm still a bit torn on what to do next season as I loved the K2s and I have to ask myself is the Blaze going to bring anything to the table that the K2's cant do ???? They performed in all the conditions and terrain that I usually ski and I dont want to end up buying ski's just for the sake of having something new :laughter:
I've had this conversation with the girls in our local ski shop and we think its probably better for me to wait till next season and demo so I can make a more strategic decision.

I'm being awfully sensible but I'm more than capable of enabling others !!
Oh you're 5'5 - well then the 159 for you.
@ski diva , @tinymoose , me are all around 5'1
 
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MissySki

Angel Diva
This is the only thing that gives me pause - my other half has a pair of Mantras and ploughs through spring crud like a tank on those. But he finds them much less fun than his other, more playful skis in other conditions.
I skied all last spring with mine without issue. I wouldn’t say they plowed through, but I didn’t have any issues either.
 

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