Featured Cage Match Comparison 2019 Völkl Secret vs 2019 Blizzard Black Pearl 88

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Tricia, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Screen Shot 2018-10-25 at 7.28.10 AM.png
    This comparison is one that will likely be brought up in ski shops around the world: the brand-new Secret from Völkl and Blizzard's longtime favorite, the Black Pearl 88. The skis are 4 mm apart in waist width with a 2m difference in turn radius, yet they will appeal to similar women.

    The Völkl Secret, all new for 2018-19, has the same Titanal Frame construction found in the new M5 Mantra, but at 92 underfoot has a friendlier turn shape for women and a slight amount of rocker in the tip and tail. This construction gives us the power we want in spring-like conditions and tremendous edge hold when groomers are the choice of the day.

    The Black Pearl hit ski shops in 2011 with a huge following as the only women's ski with Flipcore construction; it received a bit of a makeover in 2018 with Blizzard's Women to Women platform, sharing its name with big sister Samba (now the Black Pearl 98) and little sister Cheyenne (Black Pearl 78). Blizzard added carbon to the construction and slightly changed the dimensions, resulting in an easier turn shape and a little more power in chopped conditions and spring crud. It was enough of an improvement that some women took a second look, but those who already loved the Black Pearl weren't abandoned.

    The Black Pearl has a bit more rocker in the tip and tail, making it slightly better in powder and slush, while the Titanal Frame gives the Secret a bit of an edge in firm conditions.
    • Why choose the Secret? You want a slightly wider daily driver that holds an edge on groomers.
    • Why choose the Black Pearl 88? You want a nimble daily driver that you can ski in a little powder and spring slush.
    • Insider tip: Both of these skis are stable and confidence-inspiring.
     
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  2. wallyk

    wallyk Would rather be ski'n Skier

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    Great review. Have been reading here about parents purchasing the Volkl Yumi for their tweener girls. Has anyone considered or have they purchased the Black Pearl for an aggressive tween? My aunt is on a Black Pearl for her daily driver at Big Sky and raves about it.
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    @Jasmine bought the Black Pearl (now the Black Pearl 88) for her daughter to ski Squaw when she was a tweener.
     
  4. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Aaargh! I am still really torn on these two and hope to demo them back to back this season. I have the Volkl 90eights and love them. I am looking to replace my Hells Belles which are on their last legs. Do you think the Secrets have too much cross over with the 90eights? I am looking for local SoCal mountains which start out as icy, rock hard groomers and can be complete slush by noon.
     
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  5. Erik Timmerman

    Erik Timmerman Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    OK, here's my question, why isn't the Secret called the Aura?
     


  6. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    I like to think the design team was really inspired by the tag line “strong enough for a man, made for a woman”
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I don't have a real answer for that but I can imagine that the Aura didn't have the same following that it used to have and the name didn't really matter any more.
     
  8. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Does it ski similarly to the hummingbird model of the Aura?
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Nope. Its lighter and smoother.
     
  10. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Two things, this is an all new ski, where the Aura was a Mantra with different graphics, theis is a completely different mold. Second, with the men's version now being called the M5 Mantra, it is a phasing out of the Mantra name and the Secret is just a year ahead.
     
  11. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

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    Looking at both of these in the shop, it looks like the tips of the BP are wider, despite more rocker, than th Secret. That shape looks like one that engages into the turn a bit more easily

    I like the looks of the Secret. From the tip shape and the flex, it seems like a strong yet versatile ski. I like that Volkl used nice clean understated graphics with no pink.
     
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  12. BC.

    BC. NEPA ShopRat/Skier Skier

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    Both tweeter daughters were on the Yumi for a few years. This year I just bought my older daughter (18) the Sheeva 9 and next year planning on buying my other daughter (17) the BP 88 or 98. So yes, these Blizzard skis are doing very nice things for aggressive/athletic young ladies.
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    You got it.
    :thumb:
    The Black Pearl 88 does turn nicely, even better than the original version of itself, but it still holds the characteristics of off piste and a little powder that women have loved about the BP.
    The Völkl Secret has that edge grip that we've all expected from a Völkl.
     
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  14. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Pat, I know nothing about your skiing or size, but if you love the 90 eights, have you thought about something like a Volkl flair as a hard snow compliment?
     
  15. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yes, I have looked at the flair as a possibility. My first Volkl was the AC3 -which I loved on most days. The problem I had with those was that they were great in the morning on the hard conditions but were not fun at all in our post melt crud. Southern California isn't "real" skiing - we depend a lot on manmade snow and our grooming crew are pure geniuses with what they can accomplish. I am looking for something a little easier on the knees for morning carving that is still fun in heavy crud. I generally knock off for the day once it's slush. I would describe myself as a scrappy intermediate bordering on advanced, but I do struggle in 3D snow. Now that I am retired, I am hoping to chase POW some this year and get some more experience in the 3D category and some lessons!
     
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  16. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    Now I am intrigued for sure! I loved the Aura and found it light and smooth. I just replaced them with the 90eights last season.
     
  17. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

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    How about something like the Liberty VMT 82? It’s light, can carve well, but still should plow through the afternoon gunk. It will also be easier on your knees than a 92 Secret. Since you skied the Hell’s Belles, I think the Liberty might suit you.
     
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  18. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have not even heard of that ski before now. I will be researching and considering for sure. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  19. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

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  20. Pat AKA mustski

    Pat AKA mustski Out on the slopes Skier

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