Launched in 2022 with a graphic update for the 2023-24 season, the Blizzard Thunderbird R15 WB (for Wide Body) is a high performance on-piste ski that is suited for advanced and expert skiers that want to carve at medium to high speeds.
It’s a rocket fuelled flying beast of fun that can turn lightning quick at all speeds. At 76mm under foot – as opposed to 70mm for the narrower version, they hit the sweet spot for piste carving without making the rider work too hard. There’s a lot of power in the turn, with a full titanal layer (Duramax) running through the skis to the edges, but exposed by 3mm each side during the manufacturing process when the top foil is milled back.
Blizzard has built what they call ‘active carbon armour’ underneath the binding, helping to improve the skis flex, vibration and dampening.
The look is upper end quality wise, but tough and rugged too. It doesn’t feel like a race ski, and it really isn’t, but performance wise it would satisfy skiers that can get the most out of a ski on hard pack snow.
Depending on what length of ski is used, the turn radius varies from 13 to 17 metres and the shorter lengths are snappy and quick in the shorter radius turns, rebounding nicely into each edge change, with a grip that feels about as solid as you’d find on any ski. They also feel pretty stable at higher speeds, although they do tend to get a little flaky when really ramping that speed up, preferring the slower to medium pace.
They would potentially be a good ski for instructors that don’t want a piste ski that’s overly narrow and has some versatility – great at slower speeds but still perform, good at higher speeds, with an easy turn initiation with the full camber rocker.