Individual Review Long-Term Test: 2016 Blizzard Cochise

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. Philpug

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

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    Welcome to Cochise 2.0, the evolution. The 2016 version marks Blizzard's first significant change to the Cochise since it was introduced 4 years ago. The changes have less to do with what the Cochise is than with how it skis. Blizzard has altered both its construction and shape, making the performance of the Cochise more obtainable. First, the addition of carbon fiber at the tip and tail gives the Cochise more personality across the hill without diminishing its strength, the main characteristic expected from the reference ski in the One-Oh-Something Charger category.

    IMG_0259.JPG

    The shape is the other significant change for 2016. Blizzard added a bit of camber but showed some smarts in its design process. “If a little is good, a lot must be better” is not the case with the Cochise: a little is enough. The original incarnation had zero camber, and the ski really needed to be bent to get a lot out of it or it could feel greasy or disconnected. This additional camber gives the Cochise a better connection to the snow, a bit more pop without losing what skiers liked about the first generation. An updated tip and tail shape also contribute to the versatility of the new Cochise. Blizzard designed some taper past the contact points, which allows the ski to enter and exit a turn without feeling so locked in, but again without losing the dynamics of what better skiers expect from a benchmark ski.

    Make no mistake, this is still a charger and performs best when it has gravity to work with. The Cochise is most at home on wind buff and the steeps, when it is being pushed. I like to call such a ski "an 11/10th ski." I am an average-sized guy at 5’11” 190 lb, and my go-to ski is about 180cm and 98-100mm underfoot; someone who is 6’ plus and over two bills is going to get the most out of the 185 Cochise at 108mm. I did find the new Cochise in a 185 to be better than the original in the 20+ inches of powder we just received at Northstar, but I had more fun on them last spring at A-Basin on Pali and the East Wall, where I was able to open them up and work the 27m turn radius.
    • Who is it for? Big boys, chargers, and those who prefer to let a ski run in wide open terrain.
    • Who is it not for? Lighter finesse skiers -- but no worries, Blizzard hasn’t forgotten you; check out the Peacemaker and the Gunsmoke.
    • Insider tip: This is a better Cochise in every aspect. If you liked your old Cochise and weren’t sure it was time to replace it, it is. Just get the new one, you won’t be disappointed.
    IMG_0227.JPG IMG_0228.JPG IMG_0250.JPG
     
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  2. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Great review. I'd like to try this one in a 170.
     
  3. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    Nice review, @Philpug. I need more time on these as well. The runs I have skied atop the new Cocishes have been most excellent. This ski is pretty much right in my wheelhouse.
     
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    Philpug

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

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    I would be happy to get these to you to continue the test process.
     
  5. Alexzn

    Alexzn Ski Squaw Skier

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    I'm curious how it compares with the Bonafide. before the Bone had a distinct advantage because it had camber. Cochise was a fun ski, but not nearly as versatile or as "normal" as the Bonafide. The new one looks almost like a wider Bonafide which may a good thing for an occasional fat winter.
     


  6. Drahtguy Kevin

    Drahtguy Kevin Après aficionado Pugski Ski Tester

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    I'm game and positive I can convince @FairToMiddlin to take 'em for a ride as well.

    As luck has it, the Bonafide is my daily driver. I have 2013 and 2016 models I could compare to the Cochise.
     
  7. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    The new one feel turnier on edge steering, on edge carving, and quicker in powder. Amazing what some camber, and more tip and longer tip rocker will make the ski do.
     
    SkiEssentials likes this.
  8. Rod9301

    Rod9301 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Phil, I ski squaw, strong skier.

    I ski the metal katana, which I like everywhere, powder, bumps, groomers.
    Of course volkl stopped making them.

    Would the cochise ski similar to the katana?

    I have the carbon katana for backcountry, and I like them a lot.
    Butt I still would prefer a metal ski inbounds.

    Thanks
     
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    Philpug

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

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    @Rod9301,
    I think the Cochise would be a great option for you. It does have some of that Volkl DNA that you like from your metal Katana and like the Katana it needs gravity to get the most out of it and Squaw provided that. The new Cochise does like to charge and the addition of camber also makes it better than the first generation wen the snow gets thin or hasn't come down in a while, conditions we are not too unfamiliar with in Tahoe of late. My test pair are in Colorado at the moment, when I get them back here, you are welcome to take them out if you haven't purchased yet.
     
  10. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    they actually ski nothing alike IMO. I have owned the 183cm Metal Katana, and 185cm first gen Cochise and have skied the 193 first gen and 185 second gen carbon Carbon

    The Katana is looser and greasy, and much easier to manage in tight places especially in weird snow. It seem to be stable enough in 3d snow, but IMO on packed snow the Katana was handful at speed(no I never tried the 190+ katana models), even the first gen cochise was easier to balance on, on packed snow. The carbon Cochise is the easiest of the 3 on packed snow, and easier in powder than the OG cochise. Its about equal in pow to the Metal Katana, but IMO the Katana does better in weird broken snow especially in tight places. In bumps at least soft bumps skiing a short turn the winner is the Katana, skiing a really smeared larger turn the OG Cochise, and for those that like edge to edge the Carbon Cochise.

    IMO the closest ski to the old metal Katana on the market today is the 4frnt Devastator it does not have metal, but is actually stiffer than the old Katana, and has the same rocker profile and mission. 4frnt knows how to make damp ski with out metal.
     
  11. Lorenzzo

    Lorenzzo Right On The Line Skier

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    I've got the original Cochise and it never gets play, It always seems as though there's a better tool each day. But if the new one is turnier in powder and carves more responsively I oughta give it a try. The original slarves quickly but carving it's at risk of hitting an iceberg.
     
  12. Rod9301

    Rod9301 Getting off the lift Skier

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    The katana is not very turny, but I find it great in powder
     
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    Philpug

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

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    The way Squaw gets skied out and the amount of wind buff that it gets is the reason the Cochise is so popular there. The 27M TR fits right in there.
     
  14. jaliebs

    jaliebs At the base lodge Skier

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    @Philpug, in the past, there have been reports that the 193 Cochise was too much ski for most everyone. Do you think that would still be the case for the new 192 Cochise? I'm 6'4"/240 and ski the 187 Bonafide and 190 Bibby, both of which I wish were a little longer when it gets steep or super chopped up. My hesitation with jumping up to the 192 is whether they'll be too much ski in trees/bumps (e.g., Grouse at the Beav) but at the same time I'm concerned the 185 will be too short.
     
  15. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

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

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    You are a big boy, a 192 should be right in your wheel house.
     
  16. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I so disagree with this. At least my full reverse camber metal one was easy to turn basically anywhere. Id go so far to say it was one of the easiest and quickest skis I have owned for all conditions.



    doesnt mean its better than the new cochise.....I would sacrifice some quickness for some grip and stability.
     
  17. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Amen. I'm 6'2" and 195, and I like skis over 190 cm when there is any significant tail rocker involved. I think it's a leverage thing brought on by the height, more than a weight issue (though both matter).

    "Quickness" can be tricky. My 193 Patrons (tail rocker) are quicker in tight stuff than my 185 Hell and Backs (flat tail). Length sure isn't the whole story.
     
  18. Rod9301

    Rod9301 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Josh, no question that the katana is an easy ski to turn, I was just responding to the comment that it has a long turning radius.
     
  19. jaliebs

    jaliebs At the base lodge Skier

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    Thanks, Phil! That's what I hoped to hear.
     
  20. Budge

    Budge Booting up Skier

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    It looks as though you were prepared to sacrifice some Ptex and edge material as well! That looks like pretty tight quarters but nice snow.
     

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