Individual Review J Skis The Masterblaster "Survivor"


Booting up
Dec 31, 2019
Alameda, California
The skis:
Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings

About me: I'm 5'8" and 152 lbs. I am a speed demon on groomed runs and do a little off-piste just to remind me that my 50 year-old legs can still do it.

I was an avid and aggressive skier in my teens and then took a 30-year break. I came back to it and it was just like riding a bike. After a custom boot fit, I did a lot of online research. I demoed many all mountain skis, including Elan Ripstick 96s, Blizzard Brahmas, Blizzard Bonafides, Head Kore 93s, and K2 Mindbender 99tis.

I liked the Bonafides. They were the girl I knew I should marry. But I wanted to date the Mindbenders first because they had no apparent upward speed limit on the groomers. I hesitated though because I didn't like them in the moguls and I was waiting for the sales.

Some people recommended I look at The Masterblasters so when J Skis had a blemish sale and I had the chance to get a new pair and bindings for $499 I jumped on it. I was a little hesitant to get the 168s but they were all out of 175s. I figured with the 3-day money-back guarantee how could I go wrong? I even posted about it here looking for advice.

Review: I had the chance to put 8 days on them this season at Northstar, Dodge Ridge, and Vail. All together, it equaled 96 runs. 129 miles, and 113,000 vertical feet.

I think SKI Magazine had it right when they said, "If 'fun' was a test category, The Masterblaster would top the chart."

I skied them on everything from groomers to moguls to trails, front side, back side, corduroy, corn, crust on dust, crud, chopped up snow, and mashed potatoes. I didn't get to try them on fresh stuff. The skis are fast, fun, and encouraged me to explore and roam wherever I wanted to go with total confidence. I felt like the whole mountain was my playground. As soon as I hit the moguls, I knew I made the right choice as it was easy to flick and release the tails.

What really surprised how fast these skis were even in 168s. My top speed on the Mindbenders was 46mph. On the Masterblasters, I hit 50mph and decided to slow it down. I figure 50 at 50 was plenty.

The skis are stable at speed with no chatter. They are almost as good on the chop as the Mindbenders. So if you like speed these are your friends.

Want to do large GS turns? Check. Or do you want to carve? Check. Lean into the skis and dig those edges in? Check. The edges will hold.

My only complaint about them? They are slow on the cat walks. This is where I would like the 175s.
  • Who is it for? Anyone who wants a fun and fast all mountain ski.
  • Who is not for? Nobody that I can think of.
  • Insider tip: Make sure to read the Blister review before you mount the bindings so you get it right. And be prepared to have people come up and talk to you about your skis.


Putting on skis
Feb 3, 2016
DC and PC
Nice review DougB. You put some serious miles on those very quickly and it sounds as if they were everything you hoped for. These will generally be my low/no-snow ski because I have wider options when there's more fresh snow available. I want them for my all mountain bombers to include, bumps, crud, groomers and if it snows unexpectedly. Based on your description, it sounds as if they perfectly fit that description. I'm bigger than you at 6 ' 3" and 190 pounds, so I will likely go with the 181s since I want to be able use them in the moguls as well. You sound positively giddy about them...which is consistent with other reviews I've read. I may try to get some on sale as well over the off-season. Thanks for sharing!


Booting up
Mar 27, 2020
I have had the Masterblasters for a couple of seasons. They are my low tide ski. 6' and 170#. I have the 181, which is actually about 179 measured with a straight tape pull. At 181 they are quick and fun. However if I were to order again I would go with the 187s, which is actually 184.5. The added length would provide the stability and edge hold that the 181 is just a tad short on.


Booting up
Feb 11, 2016
Great review. Myself (6'1 - 185) rocking 179 MBs and loving them on the groomed and in up to 20" of fresh.

Never wished for a longer ski. My MBs were a replacement for 184 Völkl M5 Mantras which were OK but not great. Try before you buy.