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Yet another "help me pick a pair of skis"

MtnBikerChk

Diva in Training
My 2015 BP88s (166) owe me nothing. I LOVE/LOVED those skis but they are starting to feel dead.

me: 50yo 5'2", been skiing the East Coast for 40 years with annual trips out west for the last 15 or so (Mostly CO, but Tahoe & Utah too). Multiple ironman finisher after the age of 40 (I only say this to give you a better idea of my stamina).

My happy place: the trees at Keystone, CO. My home place: mount snow, VT - which has been so abysmal the last few years that I'm skiing less and less. In the absence of trees and bumps I'm a short radius turner down the groomers.

We were in Keystone last week and I demoed the Sheeva 9s because based on what I've read I thought I would love them. I did not. They were fine in the groomers and bumps but I couldn't buy a turn in the trees. I realize this is probably a ME problem but I think I'll just be happier on 88 underfoot. I thought about just getting another pair of BPs but I've read that the have made changes (and are making more changes for next season) so I don't know where they stand. Also, interesting to note, the shop told me that the BPs were a beginner/intermediate ski and I would not be happy with them.

I also demoed the Santa Ana 88 which I also liked but I was unable to get them over to the trees for a demo. They also only had a set of 158 which felt short. Berkshire East is having a demo day on February 18th so I may be able to get my hands on a pair of 165s.

I'm ready to take a leap of faith and just buy a pair. If I hate them I can resell. But I have to do something.
1. hit me with your suggestions -
One suggestion I had was to try the Brahmas because they are essentially the same as the BP but a little stiffer.
2. am I crazy? should I just get the Sheevas and learn to ski better in the trees? I mean I USED to be able to LOL

Thanks!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
You could try the Volkl Blaze 86.. they are very turny in bumps and trees.

The Sheeva 9 is too though.. if you liked those in bumps, do you think you perhaps let off the gas a little when trees are involved causing less ability to turn with the front of your ski? I only ask because that’s a confidence issue I get in the trees at times. If your weight goes back just slightly there, goodbye quick turns and the ability to switch directions easily.. which you obviously want when trees are coming at you!
 

MtnBikerChk

Diva in Training
You could try the Volkl Blaze 86.. they are very turny in bumps and trees.

The Sheeva 9 is too though.. if you liked those in bumps, do you think you perhaps let off the gas a little when trees are involved causing less ability to turn with the front of your ski? I only ask because that’s a confidence issue I get in the trees at times. If your weight goes back just slightly there, goodbye quick turns and the ability to switch directions easily.. which you obviously want when trees are coming at you!
Halfway through I purposely let off the gas to try to go back to basics. I just got frustrated and probably couldn't recover from that in the moment.
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
Halfway through I purposely let off the gas to try to go back to basics. I just got frustrated and probably couldn't recover from that in the moment.
Hopefully I didn’t say this incorrectly.. by letting off the gas I purely mean perhaps getting a little back and not keeping your weight on the front of your skis. Not at all saying to go fast or anything. :smile: You can take one turn stop, one turn stop, etc. just as long as you are keeping your weight balanced/to the tips so you can keep the skis turning. When I get nervous in the trees a little too much I get the feedback loud and clear because my skis don’t want to make a quick turn if my weight is on my tails. And it sure is scary in trees when that happens.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
I thought about just getting another pair of BPs but I've read that the have made changes (and are making more changes for next season) so I don't know where they stand. Also, interesting to note, the shop told me that the BPs were a beginner/intermediate ski and I would not be happy with them.
Welcome!

The BPs have continued to change in the last decade. I still have the original purple bull version made in 2011 as rock skis. They were pretty much done after about 3 seasons, meaning the camber was gone. These days the BPs come in multiple widths, so need to be clear when talking to someone in a shop which width is the topic. BP82, BP88, BP98 are geared to different snow conditions and target markets. Although in general, I don't worry much about whether skis are targeted at intermediate or advanced. Note that I'm petite (shorter than you) and it can take a while for a salesperson to understand that I'm an experienced advanced skier and don't want skis that come up to my chin.

The last time I checked out the BP82 and BP97 was at the Alta Demo Day in April 2022. I liked them both on the groomers. Didn't soften enough that day to go off-piste.

For skiing out west, once I tried Stöckli skis at Taos, there was no reason to buy anything else. I bought the version I demo'd after the second day. Would've bought them after the first day but couldn't talk to the person who made decisions about the level of discount and options for changing out the demo bindings. Have been skiing those skis since 2017 and been very happy. I'm averaging 25+ days out west . . . nice to be retired.
 

Verve

Certified Ski Diva
I hope you get to try the Santa Ana 88 closer to your preferred length. This has made a huge difference for me when demoing - most too short skis all feel the same to me haha. They’ve got some rise in the tips so if you were at home on your 166 you definitely didn’t get a fair shake :smile:
 

skinnyfootskis

Angel Diva
My 2015 BP88s (166) owe me nothing. I LOVE/LOVED those skis but they are starting to feel dead.

me: 50yo 5'2", been skiing the East Coast for 40 years with annual trips out west for the last 15 or so (Mostly CO, but Tahoe & Utah too). Multiple ironman finisher after the age of 40 (I only say this to give you a better idea of my stamina).

My happy place: the trees at Keystone, CO. My home place: mount snow, VT - which has been so abysmal the last few years that I'm skiing less and less. In the absence of trees and bumps I'm a short radius turner down the groomers.

We were in Keystone last week and I demoed the Sheeva 9s because based on what I've read I thought I would love them. I did not. They were fine in the groomers and bumps but I couldn't buy a turn in the trees. I realize this is probably a ME problem but I think I'll just be happier on 88 underfoot. I thought about just getting another pair of BPs but I've read that the have made changes (and are making more changes for next season) so I don't know where they stand. Also, interesting to note, the shop told me that the BPs were a beginner/intermediate ski and I would not be happy with them.

I also demoed the Santa Ana 88 which I also liked but I was unable to get them over to the trees for a demo. They also only had a set of 158 which felt short. Berkshire East is having a demo day on February 18th so I may be able to get my hands on a pair of 165s.

I'm ready to take a leap of faith and just buy a pair. If I hate them I can resell. But I have to do something.
1. hit me with your suggestions -
One suggestion I had was to try the Brahmas because they are essentially the same as the BP but a little stiffer.
2. am I crazy? should I just get the Sheevas and learn to ski better in the trees? I mean I USED to be able to LOL

Thanks!
Do you have any details about BE demo day? I didn't find it online.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
I demo'd the Brahma 82's in Lake Louise. Lots of packed groomers. Great ski. I was into the trees and moguls with them too. I wanted a pair when I got home. Ended up with the SA 88's and hated them.

@SnowHot - this is the last year for the Brahma??
 

kmb5662

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Black Pearls are not what I would consider just beginner/intermediate skis. Suitable for a solid intermediate but I wouldn't recommend them for a beginner and the current version of the BP 97 is a pretty burly ski that is best suited for more advanced/expert skiers in my opinion. However, if you like the shape of the BP the Brahma is essentially the same just with more metal in it. Definitely worth a demo.

One ski to look into if you like your current BP and want something sort of similar (which sadly doesn't get much attention) is the Salomon Stance 88. I spent a day skiing it all over Alta last year in the 161 length (I'm 5' 2") and really enjoyed the ski and handled a wide variety of terrain including moguls and trees as well as some deep crud really well.
 

Verve

Certified Ski Diva
the shop told me that the BPs were a beginner/intermediate ski and I would not be happy with them.

Yeah there is a really odd narrative out there about the Black Pearls - I’m hearing it mostly from Reddit bros and “shop guys”. It’s as if their ubiquity must mean they’re approachable - you know, bc there’s no way THAT many women are good skiers … so therefore BPs are a beginner intermediate ski. Wait until I start the same rumor about the Nordica Enforcer
 

leia1979

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Yeah there is a really odd narrative out there about the Black Pearls - I’m hearing it mostly from Reddit bros and “shop guys”. It’s as if their ubiquity must mean they’re approachable - you know, bc there’s no way THAT many women are good skiers … so therefore BPs are a beginner intermediate ski. Wait until I start the same rumor about the Nordica Enforcer
Agreed. I bought an older pair of BP88 (killer deal) because they’re a pre-metal model. I think the current generation would be a little too much for my beginnermediate self.

The owner of a local ski shop told me that in general, he sees women underestimate their abilities and men overestimate them.
 

kmb5662

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I see so many men on Enforcers that would be better off with a much softer ski. I've always thought that the Santa Ana/Enforcer line should be made more as a "unisex" ski with both skis coming in a wide variety of lengths so those that want the slightly softer construction can go for the Santa Ana while those that want the burlier construction can go for the Enforcer however with the newer Unleashed series that is sort of the case now, although those are more of a twin tip. Same could be said for the BP/Brahma series although there is a valid benefit and argument to be made for having "women specific" designs and marketing and we're not just an afterthought of "oh, let's just put a feminine top sheet on and make it shorter, barely market it, and hope it sells!".
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I had the 2019 (I think) BP 88's and absolutely loved them, fast forward to the 2021 model and I really didnt like them so moved them on quickly. Im a strong intermediate/advanced skier and dont get me wrong I could ski them ok but they werent as much fun as the previous model. I think they then gave them a few tweaks to make them friendlier (23/24 model ?) but I'm not sure. Now the 2025 model has had a big transformation so I'm going to give them a try this upcoming NZ season.
I replaced the 2021 BP's with the Sheeva 9's and its no secret that I totally adored that ski but due to a knee injury back in 2022 I can longer ski them due to their width hence Im having another go on the new BP's and I'm just a tiny bit excited :thumbsup:
 

Verve

Certified Ski Diva
I guess I should at least acknowledge - in the midst of my snarking ;) - that the Blizzard website shows the BP88s as an intermediate ski and I assume this is part of the education that shop reps are getting. I assume the brand wants to appear to cater to a range of ability level ski options across the spectrum and only the Phoenix and BP82 & 88 seem to fit the bill for them as an intermediate option:
Screen Shot 2024-02-01 at 4.40.28 PM.png
That same range bumps up one notch toward expert for the BP97s, as their reputation would suggest is appropriate. I guess it isn't as compelling a marketing narrative to say: many of our skis are appropriate for your ability level, it's a lot about style and preference ;)
 

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