Comparison Review Overview: 2017 Blizzard Quattro Collection

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, Jan 29, 2016.

  1. Philpug

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

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    "The Quattro is a collection of men's and women's skis that are specifically designed for groomed snow. They are the most thoroughly designed and technologically advanced skis ever built."

    That marketing statement could be said by any ski company offering a new collection of skis. Blizzard has created the Quattro series by bringing some core technology from the past -- namely, IQ and Suspension -- modernized into an all-new collection of skis. The IQ binding system has been streamlined and shortened to increase performance; the Suspension integration into the IQ is now offered in three levels with a difference that can actually be felt.

    quattro.jpg

    Blizzard has done an excellent job of consolidating this new series of skis and making the options very clear. Above the entry-level models, all skis will be offered in two widths, narrow and wide. The lower to mid levels will have some tip and tail rocker to help the skier create a proper turn. The highest-level models, RX and RS, will have little to no early rise and increased camber; they are intended for the skier who wants a technical carving instrument.

    I was able to get on five of the models, all 174 cm: the 8.0Ti ($699), the 7.2Ti and 8.4Ti ($899), and the RS and RX ($1,099). Usually when you get on this many models from the same line from the same manufacturer, it creates confusion and overlap. Blizzard did an amazing job of creating separation and distinction between these skis, something that is extremely tough to do. All of these skis could have had blank top skins and you could tell the difference.
    IMG_0452.JPG
    Quattro is based on -- you guessed it -- four points. Blizzard believes that you need four things to make a great frontside ski: Stability, Precision, Agility, and Control. I am just glad they didn’t use the acronym S.P.A.C. or S.C.A.R. as some would; Quattro, a name resurrected from the past, is indeed much better. We can get into all the rhetoric on what Blizzard says makes its skis better, but the question is, Does it?

    Yes. Blizzard is making a clear collection of frontside skis for all levels of skiers. I think the shapes are very good, from the early rise of the lower and mid levels to the full-camber top level. These all-new shapes let you carve, slarve, and skid, whichever turn you need in any situation. Where some skis in this range lock you into a turn radius in the low to mid-teens, the Quattro’s TR is more in the mid-teens, which is better for being able to work the turn. Blizzard also allows you to pick the turn you want based on the length of the ski. Stay tuned for individual reviews of a few of the key offerings. The upper-end models will be available for an early release starting February 1.

    IMG_0448.JPG IMG_0449.JPG IMG_0450.JPG IMG_0447.JPG
     
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  2. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Nice! It's getting about time to replace the venerable, loved Nordica FA 80 Pros.

    For all around carving and soft/hard packed off-piste, I love the 80 waist and 180 length, but will be looking for something a bit less "binary" in feel (hooked up, or not).

    Blizzard is always on the radar!
     
  3. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    I spy Sambas, am curious how they ski with the changes!
     
  4. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Not sure where it fits, but REI is showing the new Quattro 8.0 ti available for pre-order at $699 with binders.

    Is reason creeping back into ski prices, or is that one of the "intermediate" models?
     
  5. SkiEssentials

    SkiEssentials Slashing Turns and Prices Pugski Sponsor

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    I think a good general rule with the new Quattro skis is if it has metal (so if it has Ti in the title) it's targeted towards at least upper intermediate, probably closer to advanced skiers. After talking with Sam Cook and the rest of the Blizzard family they did their best to keep prices reasonable throughout the line.
     


  6. SkiEssentials

    SkiEssentials Slashing Turns and Prices Pugski Sponsor

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    We just released our own overview of the new Quattro line (as well as a summary of the changes to the Flipcore skis)

    We'll be rolling out a series of video review of the new Quattro skis as soon as we're able to spend some time on them and shoot a little video. In the meantime, here's another way to familiarize yourself with the new line:

    2017 Blizzard Preview
     
  7. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

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

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    Same great shape, new constructions. @Tricia and @SkiNurse both likey.
     
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  8. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    I know, but how do they SKI?
     
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    Philpug

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

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    Both likey...which means they are good.
     
  10. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    From my rough draft notes -


    The 2017 Samba comes with a fresh new look and updated construction that has taken a ski that I’ve loved for 4 years and made it better. By adding carbon to the construction Blizzard has amped up the torsional flex while adding lightness. This new construction makes the Samba a ski that can be embraced by women who are looking for a nimble option, while demanding a ski that charges the mountain.
     
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  11. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I'm bumping this thread because I did a little more time on the Quattro line for women when I was at Mammoth last week.
    The one I got on was the 7.4, which was back to back with some other skis in its class.
    It is such a fun groomer ski, seriously rips!

    I'll have more on this in my comparison of the skis in this category.
     
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  12. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Why so many models? It is kinda overwhelming. Does Blizzard want supply ski rental shops with this line of skis? I just saw that some models have a similar one but are priced lower and include bindings. That is perfect for rentals.
     
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    Philpug

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

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    Ken, it is a pretty expansive line, I cannot disagree with you there. This is a global collection for Blizzard, and they don't expect a shop to carry more than 4-5 models max depending on their clientele. What Blizzard did well was a distinction between the widths, performance levels, and price points, which is not easy. Blizzard has created a collection for all their markets, I know talking to the reps from the east and west, there is something for everyone.
     
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  14. SkiEssentials

    SkiEssentials Slashing Turns and Prices Pugski Sponsor

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    It is a big line and I agree it can be a little overwhelming at first, but I do think it's very well thought out. You can essentially pick the construction that suits you best as a skier then pick the width that suits the conditions you ski most often.
     
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  15. dawgcatching

    dawgcatching Village Bike & Ski Industry Insider

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    I skied the top 2 models at Rose. I really wish reps would pay attention to the tunes, however. Everything I was on felt very railed. As a comparison, I just mounted up a pair of S8's (Blizzard's current frontside carver that the Quattro is replacing). It took 16 passes on the stone to get it flat! Imagine if I had skied it out of the wrapper without a full grind: it would have sucked.

    My overall impressions of the RS (minus the railed feeling) was that they were quite stiff and aggressive. A little too much ski for me in the 174cm: I like more of an overall progressive initiation; a ski that I can butter into the turn as I am tipping. The S8/Power 800s carver did this VERY well. Stiff enough, not too stiff (the FA84 EDT is also similar in feel). Both Brad (who comes from a full-time race program background) and myself thought the RS was a bit too much overall in feel; very on/off, not a progressive loading like either of us like. He is a fan of skis that will skivot and make different turn shapes: his favorite pure carver at this point is the Stockli Laser SX. The RS had a "locked in" feeling that neither of us really cared for; it is what a lot of people are looking for in a carver, but not us. I was able to next get onto the 7.4ti, which is the replacement for my Power 800s (possibly my favorite carver ever). That ski was much more in line with my expectations: stiff but not too stiff, very good progressive tip engagement with grip increasing linearly as edge angle increased. The tip would bend up just enough if you really got down the fall line into the next turn; it had a great feeling of being able to vary the radius. Still felt railed, however; but I suspect that is more the tune and less of the ski's design. I liked it, and look forward to getting a dialed pair in here! Hopefully in 167cm. The energy on it felt very high in the 174cm I tried.

    Got out on my S8 3 days ago, and that is still a superb ski. It never gained traction for some reason.
     
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  16. dawgcatching

    dawgcatching Village Bike & Ski Industry Insider

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    It is, especially for a carver lineup. I would say that the 7.4ti and 8.2ti is really the bread and butter of this lineup. Even the rep told us to focus on those 2 models. I didn't ski the lower priced $699 carbon only models however, but I don't typically get technical skiers looking at a frontside ski that doesn't have metal. Most "cruisers" that would be more adaptable to a softer ski such as that aren't looking for a technical ski really; just a relaxing day on the hill, and would be better suited to a soft Brahma
     
  17. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    ^^^ Great input. Thanks, Dawg. I am leaning towards the 8.0 ti. I do not want a "binary" ski at 80 underfoot. Though I outweigh you handily, I don't ski as fast or hard as I used to, and think the ti would suit me to a tee. Ha ha.

    However, it is horrible to think of getting a new ski that requires multiple (16?!) passes to get flat.

    Being an admitted Nordica fan boy, I'm REALLY waiting to hear about the new GT in the 80 width. I know @Philpug liked the 84, but I'm not looking to go quite that wide.
     
  18. dawgcatching

    dawgcatching Village Bike & Ski Industry Insider

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    Those S8's were excessive. I can usually get a Bonafide flat in 4-6 passes. Last year at the demo, 2 people I talked to hated that S8 because they were so railed. Of course, nobody knew that at the time, till we pulled out a true bar. Turns out, a great ski out of tune is probably worse than a dialed mediocre ski.
     
  19. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    what funny is my X power 8 were perfectly flat when new.
     
  20. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    It seems odd that in the "ti" lineup, the 8.0 is priced $200 less than the 7.2 and 8.4 (per @Philpug's original post).

    I must be missing something.

    EDIT: Found it in Ski Essential's preview article. Even though still labelled "ti", the 8.0 has no carbon in its construction, which, of course, in unacceptable, since I pretty sure that even my little car-vent phone holder thingy has some carbon in its construction these days. Also, a little more tip and tail rocker, which doesn't really appeal to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016

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