2013/2014 Blizzard Skis Bonafide Review

(For 2013/2014 the Bonafide is still the reference ski in the 98mm category, its unchanged except for a sweet new graphic update)

 By: Jim Moore, AMGA Certified Ski Guide
13bonafide_flatLate last January I set out to find a 98mm waisted ski that was versatile enough to ski soft and cut up snow well, but could still hold an edge on ice without getting me sketched out in exposed hard snow conditions. I tried skis in this category from all the major manufacturers and found out the ski I liked the least was the brand I had been on for the last 19 years. The clear, overall winner was the 2012 Blizzard Bonafide.

The conditions were firm, as the resorts like to call it, in January, and I was skeptical about finding a wider ski that I could trust. As a backcountry guide I get into all kinds of heinous snow conditions on the same day and the same mountain as part of the job, so I need something I can trust on wind-scoured boilerplate on the peak in the morning and spring slush at the bottom by afternoon. The Bonafide kicked butt in the hard January-drought conditions, allowing me to trust it right off the bat. With its 2 sheets of metal and a real structural sidewall, it felt like a little carving ski, nimble and quick even though I was skiing it in a 187. It easily won Best in Show at the on-snow demo days.

Next came the soft snow, skiing it in powder when I wanted to keep weight down in the backcountry and not have to haul a larger ski up the hill. With its rocker and wide tip, the Bonafide felt right at home as if powder was its specialty. It was kind of funny- I didn’t even notice the rocker until I wanted and needed it.

The next concern was how a stiff ski was going to behave in ‘dust on crust’ conditions when there was just enough snow to hide the bumps and frozen coral heads lurking underneath the fresh. I remember it was my first run of the day, I was being filmed and all I could think about was getting bucked off when I hit those hidden surprises. Was this where those 2 sheets of metal were going to become my enemy? Not too worry… the Bonafide turned out to be quite forgiving with its wide tip not being easily deflected when something reached up to smack me. When I saw the film later that day, I realized that all I had to fear was fear itself- the skis (and me) looked totally solid. The Flip Core Technology really works. Thanks Blizzard.

Now its July and after spending the winter, spring, and part of summer roaming around on mountains in all types of terrain and snow conditions and a ski season pushing 200 days, I can attest to the Bonafide’s versatility. It excelled in spring corn conditions, was solid in the slush, and even surprised me in one last test- the July suncups. Once the temps rose to summer status and the snow cupped in the afternoon melt and then froze again, the smooth slopes gave way to a minefield of suncups and shark fins. Again, the wide tip and rocker came to the rescue and it allowed me to actually enjoy the mountain, in all its variable conditions, from top to bottom.

The Bonafide definitely is an All-Mountain ski. It can easily handle anything the resort can throw your way and has become my do-it-all, Swiss Army Knife ski on the backcountry peaks.

Thanks guys,

Jim Moore
Owner/guide
North Shore Adventures
AMGA certified ski guide

399 Responses to 2013/2014 Blizzard Skis Bonafide Review

  1. Jeff says:

    Is this ski appropriate for an advancing intermediate? 43 5’9″ 180lbs? Mostly VT skiing-and if so at what specs? Thanks

    • It’s a perfect ski for an advanced intermediate skier in ANY ski condition. Because of FLIPCORE, the ski is extremely versatile. It’s very easy to ski for intermediate skiers and extremely stable for advanced skiers, so it’s the perfect ski for you. Based on the info you gave, I’d go for either a 180cm or 173cm. What size are your current skis?

      • Jeff- also check out the Bushwacker. If you’re concerned about the width at all for the east, the Bushwacker offers all the benefits of Flip Core but in a little narrower profile(88mm waist). It also has no metal in it, so it’s a touch more forgiving than the Bonafide. Both skis you can’t go wrong with, it’s just a matter of picking your waist width. I’d say 180cm in the Bushwacker. Hope this helps.
        –Clem

      • ERIC says:

        Hi, I have also been reading all these reviews and am very impressed. I live in New Zealand but ski overseas every year for 2/3weeks and last year did Whistler/Blackcomb. Looking at Hokaido for early 2014 – Niseko and Ashidasi.
        I am 67 – 6.0ft and 200lbs and advanced intermediate to advanced and ski everything including double dimaonds but tend to avoid bumps as I have issue with short turns and also bumps as have had three ops on my knees and wear braces on both and need light skis as had the Phrophet 90 prior and the titanium made them heavy. At present I am on Atomic Theory’s 186 the 2011 model without the carbon layer – and love them both on groomers, crud and powder but have decided they need to be replaced and looking at the new Theory’s with the carbon or the Bonafide – what do you think?
        If the Bonafide the 180 or 187?

        Thanks again,

        Eric

      • Eric-

        180! You’ll be fired up on the Bonafide!

        -Clem

  2. Jon says:

    Hi,

    Been reading the reviews and going slightly mad! I had made my mind up to buy the 98mm Bonafide as my 1 quiver ski for skiing and touring in the French Alps.

    I am a strong skier and love to go fast and arc big gs turns off piste, love to hike to the powder and would mount the new Dynafit Radical FT.

    Past years I have skied on Stockli then Movement with less need for such stiff skis and less time spent on piste.

    Never been on a ski with rocker andd feel the time has come and most skis in the 100 waist range have an early rise in the tip to aid soft snow skiing.

    Other skis I am considering are the Line Prophet 98 or Mantra 98 have you any comparison between the 3 skis?

    Any advice would be gratefully recieved.

    Regards

    Jon

  3. Jon says:

    Think I am looking for the ski to handle best the powder and less favourable off piste snow conditions.

    Especially after last years snowfall……

    Is the Bonafide the right one? Just have reservations as buying before trying……..

  4. Mike says:

    Hi Jim,

    First of all, thanks for taking the time to post this great review. The Cochise has been getting early rave reviews as well, and I trying to decide between the two. Is the Cochise just a wider version of the Bonafide? I’m an advanced skier who lives for pow, but I also want something versatile to handle tracked and crud after big dumps. I ski Utah (mainly Alta), 55 yo, 5’10″ and 210 lb. Which would you recommend, and what length given my height and weight (I’m thinking 187)?

    Thanks and best regards,

    Mike

    • Mike-

      The Cochise is the same construction as the Bonafide, but the Cochise has a rocker tip and tail, with a flat section underneath the foot versus the Bonafide has the same tip and tail rocker but with a touch of camber underfoot. What skis do you currently own and like? Either ski you would be really stoked on. I’d start by asking where this ski fits in your quiver. If you are looking for one fat ski that does everything really well then go Cochise 185cm. If you have a really wide powder specific ski already and are looking for a mixed snow ski for the couple days after a storm then I would steer you towards the Bonafide. Thanks for reading!

      -Clem

  5. Mike says:

    Hi Clem,

    Thanks for your quick reply! I’ve been skiing the older Dynastar Legend 8800′s (178cm) for the past four years which have been a good all-mountain ski. I wouldn’t say I’m “in love” with them which is why I’m looking. Plus, I haven’t tried the new rocker skis and I’m curious how they perform in pow and crud compared to my Dynastars. Since I learned to ski pow on narrow skis when I was younger (I’m really dating myself now!) I prefer the feel of floating “through” pow and face shots verses surfing over the top. Is there a major difference between the Cochise and Bonafide in this regard? FYI – I’m also planning on buying a narrow waist ski (80mm) for hard pack days.

    Thanks again for all your help!

    Mike

    • Mike,

      Since you’re getting a hard snow ski as well I’d go with the Cochise. That way you won’t have too much overlap in your quiver. The Cochise will be perfect for pow and face shots on demand. At 108mm in the waist It’s not super wide compared to some other skis that are 125-130mm in the waist that tend to be on the “surfier” side. If your looking for a good hard snow ski check out the Blizzard Magnum 8.1as it’s garnered a ton of praise in that category the past couple of seasons. Hope that helps!

      -Clem

  6. Paul says:

    Hi Clem,
    Great review of the Bonafide. I am 49 yo, 5’8″, 180lbs, currently on 173 Blizzard Titan Atlas. Great all mtn ski and very stable at speed, but want to try the new rocker skis for better performance in the powder and crud. Also a move forgiving ski then current model. Would you recommend the Bonafide as an upgrade and what size? Also considering the Rossignol Experience 98 – thoughts? Appreciate your help.
    Paul

    • Paul,
      I’d go 173 Bonafide. You’ll feel like a character from The Matrix. The Rossi is a great ski but the Bonafide has Flip Core! Ski mag rates the Bonafide #1, I feel like its easier to ski, livelier and has better float, at the same time will give you more stability. Do you have both at your local retailer? Thanks for reading.

      -Clem

      • Paul says:

        Thanks for the quick response Clem. Both are not available locally and i will be buying online. I had been leaning towards the Blizzard, and with your insight will go that way. Any online retailers you can recommend? thanks again.
        Paul

  7. Mike says:

    Hi Clem,

    I really appreciate your guidance. The Cochise it is! Two more questions – Does the binding used with this ski make a difference (for example, swivel heel bindings such as the Look Pivot verses standard heel bindings)? Also, can you provide the name of a Blizzard dealer in my area (San Diego, CA 92024) and/or an online dealer?

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work at Storm Day!

    Mike

    • Nice One Mike! You’ll be fired up on that thing! As far as bindings go you can run whatever you want on there. I’m partial to Markers, and I really love the Jesters as they are nice and light, but with good retention. I think they compliment the light weight of the Cochise nicely.

      -Clem

  8. DP says:

    From all the positive reviews of the Bonafide I’m planning on getting a pair for my everyday resort ski. 6’1″, 195lbs, expert, Tahoe/Mammoth snow. Would you recommend the 180 or 187?

    • DP-

      100% get the 187 for your size. I’m 200 6’2″ and the 87 is sweet. Jim Moore is probably your height and a little lighter and loves the 87 too. Hope that helps! Let us know if you have trouble finding a set.

      -clem

  9. Matt says:

    Hi Clem,
    I’ve all but decided the Blizzard Bonafide is the ski for me. But I am undecided on the length. I’m 5’10.5″ 165 lbs and and intermediate skier that will be using this ski for everything in Colorado. I’m torn between the 173 and 180s… Any suggestions?

  10. Idaho Spud says:

    Jim, I am thinking about getting the blizzard black pearl skis. I am a female intermediate/advanced skier, 5’9″ and 147lbs. I was thinking the 166cm ski was the correct length but maybe I need to get the 173 – any suggestions? I will be skiing out west – locally in Idaho but also in Utah & Montana. Should I consider a men’s ski? Thanks for your help!

    • Idaho-

      I’d go with the 166 for your size and ability. I don’t think you’ll really gain anything by going with the long size. I’ve got a good friend who is your size and I’d say expert in ability and she spent the bulk of the winter here in Tahoe on that ski in the 166. She cannot stop raving about that ski. Im gonna get her to do a review of the ski for the site. If you’re in Boise I’d check em out at Greenwoods I think they are having a sale Dec 2-4 and might be able to get a good deal on em. Tell the Blizzard rep Harvey that Storm Day sent you. Hope that helps. Enjoy!

      -Clem

      • Idaho Spud says:

        Clem,
        I just wanted to update you on the Blizzard Black Pearls. I finally was able to give them a fairly good workout at our local ski hill. We don’t have much snow but no matter what I threw at them they were AWESOME! I absolutely LOVE these skis – thank you for the recommendation and I look forward to many more days on the hill!

  11. Idaho Spud says:

    Thanks so much! In fact I am headed to Boise on Monday to take a look at Greenwoods – they have one set of Black Pearls in stock and they have my name on them :) I will tell them that you sent me and maybe they will make me an awesome deal. The reviews on this ski so far have me more excited about skiing than I have been in years.

    Thanks again!!!

  12. B Westring says:

    Clem,

    Sounds like you are a big fan of the Bonafides and everything I have read suggest this is “the” one quiver ski for 2012. I am 40, 5’9″, 165lbs Type III+, I only get about 10-15 days a year (split 60/30 west/east) but when I go I try to go hard…lots of bumps in the east and trees/bumps in the west. Is the 98 width too wide, i.e. should I go fro the 88 Bushwackers? Also for length I typically trend shorter because I like to have quicker feet in the bumps and trees so was thinking 173. I am currently on Rossi B78 166cm and last year demoed the K2 Aftershocks 167cm and realized my Rossi’s were both played out (beat the heck out of the wood core on bumps in the east) and just not competitive with today’s wider ski’s w/ the rocker technology. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Any other ski you might suggest?

    • B-

      Did you like the width of the Aftershock? If yes then I’d lean towards the Bushwacker for nimble lightweight quick turns. If you want a bit more float in pow then go for the Bonafide. The 98 waist is never too wide, but if you’re into short, quick turns in the tress then Bushwacker would be a slightly better option. Let us know if you need any more guidance. Either way you win.

      –Clem

  13. Matt Smith says:

    Thanks for the review. I was leaning this way, but now I am sold.

    I am 5’10 and 205. Intermediate skier who will ski about 20 days this year. 187′s?

    Thanks.

    -Matt

    • Nice One Matt!

      As far as size goes where are you spending most of your time skiing? What area?

      Also what ski & size are you replacing with the Bonafide?

      -Clem

      • Matt Smith says:

        Clem,

        I will primarily ski a variety of Western spots starting with Snowmass and Vail next month. I ski a lot in Oregon and California as well.

        I’ve had some 10 year old Volkl’s that are 184′s, but I haven’t skied hard in 3 years due to geography and I know technology has changed a ton.

        They felt a little long, but technology has advanced and I am probably 20 lbs heavier than when I bought them

        I am now back West and able to ski a lot more so I want a versatile, quality, all-mountain ski.

        I should be down to 190lbs by spring ski season.

        Thanks for the help.

        -Matt

      • Matt-

        Go with 180s. You were probably on some vertigos. I’d say it’s better to go shorter if you’re just getting back in the game. They are really stable anyway and you’ll be able to manipulate the shorter length a little easier. I’ve got a few friends that are 5’10″ 190-200 and they both love the 180s. Hope this helps, and let us know if you have trouble finding a set.

        –Clem

      • Matt Smith says:

        Clem,

        Thanks for the help. I am in San Diego, and new to area. Do you have a good shop down here you recommend?

        I want to put together a package with skis, boots, and bindings.

        Thanks.

        -Matt

  14. Mark Pederson says:

    Jim, I just wanted to let you know that your excellent review swayed me towards purchasing a pair of Blizzard Bonafide in a 180. Your review was written in a very practicle and complete style that allowed me to understand how the ski performed in all the different performance criteria I was concerned about.

    My only concern was which length was right or me? I bought lthe Bonafide’s as an all mountain ski for a medium sized sized resort in the Pacific Northwest, to support a quiver that consists of an S7, Dynastar Contact 11, and several pairs of gs skis ranging from a 181 Rossi to a race stock Fischer RC 4 in a 193 and a couple of older slalomll skis. I’m 185lbs and 5-10 and55 years old

    • Mark-

      Thanks! You could go either way. I’ve got two friends that are your size and love the 180s for their quiver. I think you could be fine on a 187 if it was going to be your OSQ, but you’ve got plenty of bulletproof snow options, and an S7 for pow so I bet you’d really like the 180. What size S7?
      -clem

  15. Dave says:

    Another size question for you: I’m 5’7″, 140 lbs, advanced skier, 44 yo. I’ll be using the Bones as my daily driver in Whistler. Other skis I have: 178 Wailer 112s for resort powder days and 183 Katanas which I love for cat skiing (I find them long for all mtn). I’m going back and forth between the 180 and 173.

    • Dave- I’d go with the 173. If you’re running the Wailer at that length (and like it) with a lot of rocker then I think you would like the 173. With Flip Core they will be plenty stable and be more nimble in tight spots. You could go with 180 but since you find that size 183 Katana a little long I’d steer you to the shorter Bonafide as I think you would enjoy that size more. Let us know how they turn out!
      -Clem

  16. david rosania says:

    I plan to buy Bonafides prior to my trip to tahoe in a few weeks. I am an advanced skier, 5’8″, 130 lbs, 57 yrs old. I ski mostly east coast steep hardpack, no moguls, except for the occasional trip west for powder. These will be my only skis. Any advice for length of ski? How about a website for purchase since none of our local shops in Portsmouth, NH seem to carry Bonafides? Thank you!

    • David-

      Psyched you’re coming out to Tahoe! I’d say for your size, ability and where you like to ski I’d steer you towards the 173. Since your looking for pow out here and staying out of the moguls back east I see no reason the 173 wouldn’t rip for you. We will find you a set of Bonafides here in Tahoe!

      -Clem

  17. Idaho Spud's husband says:

    Clem,
    My wife picked up a pair of the Black Pearls thanks to your direction. I am considering either the Bushwacker or Bonafide in 173 or 180 length. In my mind I am a near expert skier, but in reality I am probably closer to advanced/intermediate. I ski the whole mountain, just not very pretty in the bumps. I am 50% on groomers, 50% crud. I love the powder but my schedule doesn’t allow me to hit the best snow days it seems. I want to be able to start trying some backcountry daytrips but mostly will be on my local hill here in Idaho. I am a volunteer ski patroller, 6 ft/185 lbs. I currntly ski 171 Atomic Metron 9 which I like but feel too heavy. Any advice on which ski/length? I am thinking about Marker Baron bindings.

    Thanks, Todd

    • Todd- Go with the 180. For your size it will be super easy to ski. You’ll find that size will give you a little more float and it will be still plenty nimble in tight spots and bumps thanks to Flip Core. You will love the Bonafide! Hope that helps and stoked you and your wife are on board! -Clem

      • Idaho Spud says:

        Clem, Like David we are having a hard time finding the Bonifide (we are in Idaho) – they are sold out everywhere I’ve tried. I’d love to get him a pair for Christmas. Any idea where I should try next? Thanks!

      • Jake says:

        Sorry about another size question, but everyone else is asking so what the heck… :)
        Vonteer patroller, advanced, just shy of 5′ 10″, and about 160 (180+ with all the gear). I’m in crud, powder, ice, groomers, trees, and a few narrow chutes on the north face of Alyeska in Alaska.
        173 or 180?
        Thanks!

      • Jake-
        If you’re an above average skier patrol then go with the 180. I’m jealous of the great start you guys are having up there. Make some pow turns for all of us in the lower 48!

        -clem

  18. Marcus says:

    Jim,

    I’m 6’2″ and 235 lbs. While I ski mostly in the East, I want the versitility you speak of with the Bondafide – mainly for Western trips . This year I’m trying to make some headway on the bumps. Given my current dimensions, should I be in 187′s regardless of my hope for a slightly more maneuverable length?

  19. Martin says:

    Hi Jim,
    Whilst researching my next ski purchase, I have changed my mind about 4 times now!! Having decided that I want to keep the width down to max 100mm underfoot, I feel that my best two options are either the Blizzard Bonafide 180cm or the Kastle BMX98 178cm. Do you have any thoughts on either of these skis?
    I’m 5’10”, 175lbs, and am a fairly hard charging advanced skier.
    Any advice to steer me one way or the other would be much appreciated. It’s basically a coin toss for me right now.

    Thanks,
    Martin.

    • Martin,

      Both are great. Personally I like the older MX 98 way better than the BMX version in Kaestle. I feel like the Bonafide, with it’s flip core technology, has out paced the Kastle as far as float, forgiveness and versatility while being as stable if not more than the Kastle.
      Hope that helps, good luck finding a set! Happy Holidays.

      -Clem

      -

  20. Adam Josef says:

    Clem,

    After years of resisting temptation to own, I have finally given in and will buy skis. However, I’m not sure what to do. I ski 5-10 days a year along the I-70 corridor. I’m a 50 front/50back, advanced skier and I’m usually on the AC-30′s (163). I absolutely LOVE that ski but I find I’m working too hard in the back on deeper days and would like something that still rips the front nut handles the deep stuff with less effort. I have been told to look at the Kendo, RTM 80 or the Bonafide or Bushwacker.

    Any advise?

    I’m 5’9″, 163 and have been told to get the next size up but I really like the 163.

    Thanks,

    Adam

    • Go with Bushwcker in 166. Those Volkls will be fine on hard pack but won’t help your cause in deeper snow. Bushwacker will give you much better performance in deeper and softer snow, and you won’t sacrifice anything on the frontside.

      -Clem

  21. Eric Paquette says:

    Hey Clem,

    Thanks for all of the great feedback… I’ve been searching for the right size for me but can’t find anyone else who seems to meet my “specs”… I am 5’9″ and probably 175-180 (43 yo). Expert skier who spends most of my time in the East but makes one trip out West a year. I have a pair of old Fischer GS race skis that I use on the Sugarloaf bulletproof but I’m looking to add a pair of the Bonafides for those trips out West and when (seemingly if this year) we get some decent dumps. I’m all over the mountain. Groomers, woods, etc. I was thinking 180 but wanted to be sure that it shouldn’t be 187 cm… 180′s seem to be getting hard to find so maybe my mind will be made up for me, but if I can find ‘em, which makes more sense?

    Thanks for the info.

    -Eric

    • Eric-
      You are right on the bubble for sure. I think as an all mountain ski for off piste in both the east and west I’d say go towards 180. I’ve got a good friend who is 50 yrs old, owns a great ski shop in north lake, rips at skiing and mountain biking. I hope I am skiing half as hard when I’m his age. He is about 5-10 165 and loves the 180. I think if you prefer tighter shaped turns, steeps, maneuverability then go with 180. It’s more turn shape than stability with Flip Core. I just watched Eric Schlopy put on a clinic at our sales meeting at Beaver Creek on a set of 180s. If you were saying to me I wanna make GS turns through the crud in Vails back bowls then I’d say lean toward 187. If you’re skiing woods, tight trees, eastern groomers, bumps and variable conditions on an annual western trip I’d lean more towards the 180. Hope that helps, and yes, pull the trigger asap. If youre having trouble finding a set I just was in a shop in south lake and he has got a couple 180s left.
      Let us know how you make out.

      -Clem

      • Eric Paquette says:

        Thanks for the speedy reply… How “tight” are “tight” turns? Are the 180s going to feel OK if I’m trying to do more of a GS thing on a groomer? Would one be better in harder (i.e., icy Eastern) conditions? Thanks in again.

    • Yeah the 180s will be nasty on groomers for GS turns. I was referring to more of a pivoty feel in tight trees. I’d say the 180s would be better in the east. 187 will just make an even longer arc than the 180.

      • Eric Paquette says:

        Terrific. Thanks again for the help. I do seem to be having some difficulty finding a 180 anywhere. I tried Tahoe LTD a minute ago and they are out… If you have a line on 180′s somewhere, I’d love to know. (Not sure if you can email the address that I registered with)….

        If I can’t find them anywhere, what are thoughts on 187 vs. Bushwackers?

        Thanks for all of the help.

      • Eric Paquette says:

        Hey Clem,

        I managed to get the Bonafide 180′s (with your help) and finally strapped a set of bindings on and gave them a whirl this weekend…. What a great ski. We are a bit “snow challenged” in the East right now, but the skis were spectacular in the few ungroomed (albeit chopped up) patches of snow that I was able to find this weekend. And you can carve them very nicely on the packed powder. I can’t get over how versatile they seem to be. You can arc them into (reasonably) tight little turns or you can just let them run and rip without getting squirrelly underfoot. They are really impressive so far.

        So, I just wanted to add in my “endorsement” for what it is worth and I also wanted to thank you for the recommendation on the 180 and helping to chase them down. The 180 is dead-on the right option.

        -Eric

  22. Jake says:

    180s are getting scarce, but I finally found on Friday from:
    goldsmiths Boardhouse
    909-866-2728
    GoldsmithsBoardandSki.com
    42071 Big Bear Blvd.
    Big Bear Lake, CA 9231

  23. Dr. Sean says:

    Just picked up a pair of 187 Bonafides today! First pair of skis I’ve purchased in over 10 years. Last pair was K2 Merlin IV 195s. Can’t wait to get on this new technology after a 5 year hiatus from the mountains. Thanks for all of the great reviews. Helped me make up my mind in a crowded, confusing marketplace. Dr. Sean

  24. Orin says:

    Hi Clem,

    Thanks for the great feedback and review — I live just outside of Whistler and ski 30+ days a year — I am 57 years old 5’6″ and 165 lbs without gear — add my pack and gear probably closer to 175. I classiffy myself as advanced. I looking to get a pair of Bonafides for a daily skier to replace a pair of Head Monster 82 @ 170. I have JJ’s @ 185 for resport powder days. Torn between the 173 and the 180, Your thoughts.

    Orin

    • Hi Orin,

      Again it’s all about turn shape and where you spend most of time on non pow days. Long turns and wide open crud busting you could get away with 180s but I’m thinking the 173 might be the best option. You’re a tougher call because the 85 JJ and your weight.
      If you liked that 170 monster and want better crud performance then go with the 173.
      -Clem

      • Orin says:

        Thanks Clem

        I will try to get a demo on the 173 — hard to find in a demo ski. I like the Monster 170 but need better Crud performance. As for the JJ I find they ski really short and although the 175 would have also worked the 185 give me better float. I am still very atheletic — for my age and do a lot of long distance trail running and MTB. My 165 is therefore all muscle. Not sure if that would change you thoughts. Once again thanks. Orin

      • Orin says:

        PS by the way the Monsters are 172

  25. Orin says:

    Managed to find a place had both the 173 and 180 for Demo — 180 were ok but the 173 rocked for me on any terrain. Thanks for the help.

  26. Andy says:

    Clem,

    I’m 5’7 and 168 pounds and 47 years old and an advanced skier. I live in the east but mainly ski Colorado. I’m looking for a great ski that can do it all especally in all conditionas. I’m looking at the Bonafides for crud, powder, hard pack … all mountain essentially. I love to float when there’s pow in the bowls but also like to rip on the groomers. Is the Bonafide the right ski and what size do you recommend?

    • Hi Andy,
      Sounds like you are the perfect candidate for the 180cm Bonafide. It will work great both in the EAST and in COLORADO…it’s a very versatile ski!
      Cheers,
      Dana

      • Andy says:

        Dana,

        Thank you for the reply. I know a lot of people have asked where you can purchase them becasue the company is sold out. Any adivice? Should I look at the 173′s or not compromise on the length?

        Andy

  27. Maark says:

    Hi, looking for a new ski:
    5’ 11’’, 185-190pds
    Intermediate, possibly slightly advanced
    BD Prime Boot
    Maker Duke
    Current ski is Rossi sc97 2009
    Ski in Vermont: Smuggs Mad River Glenn, Sugarbush Stowe
    Will use 30% day tours, 70% resort (about). In the future will look into getting a lightweight tour specific setup.

    Like to mosey around, not much of a hard charger, darting in and out of the woods, moguls, sidestash…not looking to straight line it down groomers but its nice to be able to get on edge.

    In the woods I am a bit of a slow to medium speed kind of guy, not to steep (but occasionally it happens) I tend to take my time starting and stopping.

    I like the Rossi seems to be about the right amount of stiffness, but I have never skied anything softer, have a hard time in 6’’+ of snow on the Rossi and seems like there could be something better for in the woods.

    What do you think about the bonefide or cochise for me based on the above?

    Thanks!

  28. Robert Ford says:

    Hello,
    HELP PLEASE. I am a pretty good skier who loves carving fast, wide turns, mostly in the Park City resorts. I’ll spend about 30% of my time on resort slopes, 40% on blacks and double blacks and 30% of my time in various bowls and back country. I had a Salomon Equipe SL 165 for a few years and liked it very much, except it got a little “nervous” at high speed downhill situations. No I just bought myself a very wrong ski. The Fischer RC4 world cup slalom is a nice ski but very limited to a very specific type of skiing – on the race track. Also I might be a hair to old for that type of ski, haha.
    I’m 45, 210lb, 5″11. What would you prescribe? 180 Bonafide? Any experience with the Salomon 24hrs?
    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR HELP!

    • Robert-
      Thanks for writing! First, Ditch all the race skis and join the rest of us on fat skis! Get a 187 Bonafide and don’t look back. The thing will be excellent on groomers and hard pack, enough so that you will put your tired race skis on Freecycle. The Flipcore makes them plenty stable and they rip in pow and crud with the help of the rocker tip and tail. Put it this way, Erik Schlopy (former USST, World Champ GS medalist & Tec Blizz rider) was at our sales meeting a few weeks ago skiing with all of us testing skis. To make a long story short, He cancelled his order of all his narrow skis after taking one run on the Bonafide. He said “This is all I need for the resort…”
      As far as Salomon 24 hrs? I have no idea. I had to spend 24 hrs once on a surf trip with my good buddy that works for Salomon , but that’s it. Do you mean the Enduros? It doesnt matter. These are the best. Its fairly unanimous at this point.

      –Clem

  29. Robert Ford says:

    Clem, I appreciate your advise. I tried the Bonafide, and you are right: They plow through pretty much anything and are a lot of fun. They ride effortlessly and are a riot off-trail as you can rip through all kinds of stuff and feel extremely secure while doing it. However, I am afraid I am enjoying my carving moments too much and that might be the only area where the Bonafides are lacking. I found my ideal ski in the Fischer Progressor 900. – After trying the Blizzards, my daughter ordered the Bonafides in 180. Thanks for your quick response

  30. John Maciel says:

    CLem,

    I’m a groomed run intermediate/advanced guy. A pretty big guy at that. I just came back from a Deer Valley day where they had 28″ the day before. So, I tried 100 wide rentals just to get through the beat up groomed runs with more confidence and had a blast. So, I’m excited to purchase the Bonafides or Cochise. I already have K2 Recons now for truly groomed, packed runs. So I was thinking Cochise to complete the package. But part of this is being cheap because I felt like if I bought the Bonafides, I’d never have to (or get to) ski the Recons again. On the flip side, I worry the Cochise may be too difficult to ski on a regular basis. Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    John

    • John,

      Glad you had a blast. I think either ski would be a great choice. However the Bonafide might be a better option. If youre coming off a 78mm recon that might be an easier transition for you. How often do you get out west? Id say go Cochise if you had been on a 85-95mm or greater ski previously and were looking for a wide ski you could use everyday. Does that make sense? As far as leaving behind your Recons, youre probably right. You will ski them all the time! Anyway glad you’re fired up!
      -Clem

      • John Maciel says:

        Thanks for the advice. to answer your question, I ski Tahoe 95% of the time with usually one or two trips to Colorado or Park City a year. Not sure if that changes your advice at all.

        Any advice if on size if I’m 6′, 230 lbs. and the recons were 170′s?

      • Nope, 180 Bonafides all the way!

  31. Bill Shaw says:

    I’m currently on Blizzard 8.1 (179) and looking for a ski that will do a bit better in powder and (if possible) bumps, but really would prefer a 1 ski fits all (call me a dreamer). I’m 67yo – 5’6″, 150# and get between 50 – 65 days in a year, mostly in Colorado. I’ve also been looking at the K2 Kung Fujas. Any thoughts?

    • Bill-

      I’d check out a 173 Bushwacker or the 173 Bonafide. If you want to make a bigger ski your everyday go Bonafide. If you like the narrower waists for groomers and bumps the Bushwacker will be great there too, but will give you better float. If you want to replace 8.1 I’d lean towards Bushwacker. Also, If youre 8.1s are in good shape and you want a nice compliment to them then go Bonafide. Hope that helps.

      –Clem

  32. Bill says:

    Thanks for you insight and prompt reply.

  33. Chris says:

    Clem,
    I regards to the Bonafide I am 5’8″ and 160 pounds. Am I big enough for the metal in the Bonafides, so that they will handle well in what you described above as dust on crust with coral heads underneath? What length would you recommend? The reason I ask is in some of the reviews they were saying they were a bit stiff for smaller guys.

    I am also considering the DPS Wailer 99′s in Pure construction. Do you have any experience with this skis and any comments in comparing them to the Bonafides?

    Thanks, Chris

    • Chris-

      The Bonafides are super easy to ski. If you’re in doubt, go 173. If there was any critique of the stiffness it was simply small guys who only got to try the 180s last season. (we hadn’t made the 173 yet.) remember METAL DOES NOT EQUAL STIFF!!!!!!! It’s a common prejudice people who do not understand ski construction have. Get a 173 for your size and enjoy. We make the best 98mm ski in the industry right now, confirmed again today at our trade fair demo. If you’re having trouble finding a set let us know and thanks for your interest!!

      -Clem

      • Chris says:

        Clem,
        Thanks for you feedback. I think I’d like to pull the trigger on a pair of 173′s. I just talked to my local dealer, Arlberg Sports in Wenatchee, WA, but there are out of stock and aren’t sure when or if they can get any more. They are checking with their I live in the sticks so is there an online presence that I could get a pair through or a dealer that will ship to me economically?
        Thanks, Chris

  34. Dan says:

    Clem,

    I would be interested in your opinion. I am 22 y/o, 6’4” and 200 lbs. I grew up skiing Utah powder, but now I live on the East Coast so I will be skiing crud, ice, and trees mostly. Should I get the Blizzard Bonafides in the 180 or 188 for my all around ski for both East and West Coast trips?

    Thanks

  35. Jake says:

    I picked up my 180 Bonafides (thanks to your advice) and absolutely love them. Fun, stable, great float, quick to turn, etc… We’ve had a banner year up here in Alaska so they have been well used. Definately my new favorite ski. Anyway, my wife tried them the other day and immediately took back the Nordica Nemesis 169 she was using on demo. She wants the Bonafide! She did great on my 180s, so what do you think about 173s for her? She is just over 5’8″ and breaks the scale at 130 lbs. Advanced skier. Any point at looking at the Black Pearls?
    Thanks in advance

  36. Matt says:

    Hi Clem
    Where do I start. I’ve been rode hard and put away wet. I’m 47 yr old 6’1″ 275lb guy that has been lying dormant for far to long. I just got back into skiing again this year after many years of dealing with old ski injury’s (I used to patrol at Park City) two acl surgery’s most of my cartilage gone I decided to get off the couch and play again man I’m glad I did. I pulled out my old Vokl 5 stars and found they were just to much ski for me. after extensive research I have settled on the Bonafide’s as my go to ski for skiing the Midwest and West, mostly Midwest. I don’t have the legs I used to have but was looking for a do all ski that would not destroy me and allow me to regain some of my old form. the question for you is size. In talking with my sons high school ski coach he flat out agreed with my choice of skis and suggested the 173′s for me because it would be easier to turn I am having a hard time with this and after talking to several ski shops I got a lot of recommendations to go with the 180 instead I have found both sizes and am ready to pull the trigger on either one your recommendation would be highly appreciated.

    Matt

    • Matt-

      Id say for your size go with the 180. Since you are on the comeback trail I’d get the skis for the skier you will become rather than the skier you are now. The 180 will be easy enough and will suit your frame much better. Hope that helps and good luck finding a set!

      -Clem

      • Matt says:

        Clem
        I got out on my new 180 Bonifide’s yesterday. I got them from Pierces Ski and Skate in Bloomington MN. the model I got were the 2012-13 model all red and just beautiful. they are one of Blizzards top dealers and got a few of next seasons models this year. What an amazing experience skiing this ski is. It did not matter what condition the slope was in from rock hard groomers in the morning to softer groomed runs in the afternoon, to Ice where the snowboarders had scraped of the two inches of fresh we had the day before. This ski is truly remarkable. I can’t remember a more pleasant experience on any piece of equipment ever. Back when I was in my teens and twenty’s I logged 100 plus days per year and I got pro pricing on most of my equipment. I tried tons of different skis from race skis when I raced to you name it when I patrolled. Ihave never experienced anything like this ski before, it does exactly what I ask it to do and with very little effort. That threw me a bit when I hit one of our states steepest runs Outer Limits at Devils Head ski resort. I found out that I did not have to lean to hard on it to make it turn on rock hard boiler plate. Just for fun I ran slalom gates on this run that my kids had been practicing on all day and I rocked. I’m still grinning like a little kid. managed to get about 30 runs in before my knees said enough. That is 20 more runs than I got the week before on my Five Stars. A friend took a few runs on them just to see why I was acting like a little gushing kid. His response was the same, “Wow this ski kicks ass, I’m getting a set of those”. What a ski can’t wait for Vail this April.

        Thanks for your help.

        Matt

  37. Matt says:

    Thanks Clem
    Just ordered a set of 180′s they can be found. I owe a big thanks to a Blizzard rep for helping me locate a pair. I had a great work out today at the gym and came home to spend 30 min on skier’s edge, I smell comeback.

    Matt

  38. Steve says:

    Clem

    Same old length advice question with a few twists.

    60yo, 5’9″, 175lbs. Once was level 9, now probably 8. good shape but tweaky knees.
    Presently on 177 Recons. 119-78-105. OSQ. Ski 10-15 dpy in Colorado. Generally I’d rather ski bumps than powder because the unpredicability of tracked up powder-crud takes a toll on my knees.

    I’m thinking that a good powder-crud ski such as the Bonafide would be a big improvement over the Recons off-piste (for my knees) but would still do OK in bumps and on hard pack.

    Early this season I had a great time working on 4 edge technique on the hard pack and felt that the Recons did pretty well, and they are also fun in bumps, but if the Bones are as good a described they should be a good replacement.

    In my 30′s I was a pretty good Colorado powder skier but moved to Reno for 10 years and pretty much gave up powder because my knees couldn’t take the heavy snow . Now that I’m back in Colorado I’m back skiing powder some, although it’s usually crud by the time I drag my LA up there. I suppose in crud I do as well as most skiers on 78 underfoot but I’ve realized that I’m not having a fun day unless I can find some skied out bumps. Sounds like the Bonafide may be the ticket.

    From your advice and that of SJ and others on epicski.com per my size and ability I think you would recommend 180′s, but considering my age and knees, and the fact that I rarely ski the big mountains, just Powderhorn here in Colorado, do you think I should go with the 173 Bones, or maybe even a different Blizzard.

    Thanks for the advice and the great review.
    Steve
    Grand Junction, CO

    • Steve,

      I think a 173 Bonafide would be fine. However, you might wanna take a look at a 180 Bushwacker. It’s nice and light, a little easier to ski and you won’t sacrifice any hard snow grip. The tip and tail rocker will give you some great float and I think the 88mm waist might be a little easier on you. It might be a nice transition off that recon. I hope that helps.

      -Clem

  39. betty says:

    I am looking to buy Bonifides for my husband. He is 58, 5’10″ and 145 lbs. He is an advanced skier. We mostly ski in Vermont often on hard pack. He will ski moguls occasionally. Do you suggest the 173 or the 180?
    Thanks
    Betty

  40. Michael Gross says:

    Hi Clem
    I am 63 yo, 162 lbs and 5’10”. I had a hip replacement 14 yrs ago. I ski Vail and got in 30 days last year. I am an advanced skiier and like the bumps, however, do not ski as aggresive as I did when I was younger because of the hip, I just got back from Vail today and had some knee pain after a particularly long and hard day on the slopes. I have had 163 AC30′s for the past 5 years but demo on powder days. I tried a pair of 163 Bonafides and loved them compared to my AC 30′s. They did not have the 173′s available. I would like to try to find a pair in stock somewhere to purchase but do not know if I should go with the 166 which I tried or if I would be better with the 173′s. What are your thoughts?
    Thanks for any help you can give.

  41. Doug says:

    I just spent about a half day on a demo pair of Bonafide 180′s and I’m sold. They were awesome. Now for the big question, what size? I’m 6′, 185lbs. and an advanced skier but don’t do real well on bumps. Am I better of on 180′s or 187′s?

  42. jeff says:

    Hey clem, im leaving for tahoe in 2 days. Im lookin to demo some bonafides. Im 5’8 153lbs advanced intermidate/advanced. Looking to get faster and stronger on the steeps. Ski abiut 90% groomers. Is the 166 the right size or should i size up to a 173?

  43. Apostolos says:

    Dear Clem

    Iam 190 lb and 5,80 ft. what length is right for me? iam an intermediate skier and i prefer moderate speed . the skiing conditions are mainly mixed snow and powder . Do you think that Chocise more appropriate for me , because of my weight

    best regards

    Apost

  44. Mark Rozman says:

    Jeff,
    I’m an intermediate goining on advance. 44 years old, 5’7″, 170lbs. Should I go with 166 or 173. Thank you.

  45. Mark Rozman says:

    Trying to become a skier I want for the last 20 years!:)

  46. Alex says:

    Hey! Great review… I demoed a pair of 180 Bonafides this past Saturday and loved them… My only hesitation is that they may be slightly on the long side for me. I’m also having a hell of a time finding a pair of 180′s available to purchase this late in the season and am toying with buying some 173′s, even though I have not demoed them. I’m 36 years old, 5’10, 190lbs and probably closer to intermediate than advanced. Any opinion? Thanks!

  47. Havel says:

    Clem –

    I have to say that this is the best and most honest review site that I have encountered. Cudos for a great site. I have a dilemma with what size I should buy for the Bushwackers. I am 44, bad knees, 6′.0”, and 175-180. I can ski just about everything, but not I’m pretty in steeps – but can get down no problem and ski steeps all the time. I am probably an advanced intermediate. Most skiing is Pacfic Northwest, with a week or two in Utah. I currently ski Salomon Sentinels in a 177 and find them to be perfect size for me. Also have the Line Prophet 100′s in a 179, which ski like a 175. I am told the Sentinels are close to the Bonafides, but want something a bit quicker for those days I ski with my 7 and 10 year old on the groomers. 173 0r 180 in the Bushwacker?

    Thanks

    • Thanks Havel! We try! I’d go with the 180. The Sentinel is a nice strong ski and if youre skiing that 180 you can handle the Bushwacker in 180 no problem. The Bushwacker will be perfect for what you’re looking for. Be sure to check out the Gunsmoke for next year too. Same Construction as the Bush but a 114mm waist Powder twin, it would fit nicely in your current quiver too. I’ll get a review up of the Gunsmoke in a little while after the orders for next year are in so be sure to check back!

      –Clem

      • Havel says:

        Clem – thanks for the quick reply. Cochise vs. Gunsmoke (my 185 cochises just arrived, but already have a seller if the Gunsmoke is better way to go)?

      • Nah, Cochise is awesome, I just thought if you didnt have anything in 105+ that Gunsmoke would be a nice add, but since you got a Cochise enjoy the most versatile fat ski on the planet!
        -Clem

  48. Nah, Cochise is awesome, I just thought if you didnt have anything in 105+ that Gunsmoke would be a nice add, but since you got a Cochise enjoy the most versatile fat ski on the planet!
    -Clem

  49. Chris says:

    Clem,

    Thank you for this awesome review. I’m 6’4″, 210 and an advanced skier who skis primarily in VT with a trip out west once a year. I will ski the bumps and powder in the trees when conditions permit. I currently ski on Volkl Mantra 177s because I wanted the ski to be nimble in the bumps/woods, but at my current level the skis might be a bit short (although they do not feel unstable). My question is, should I go with the 180 or 187 in the Bonfide?

    • Chris-

      Man, tough one. I’d say for your size you could rock the 87. You could get away with the 80, but the 87 will give you a little more float in pow and be a little more stable on firm snow in VT. You might sacrifice a little in really tight trees but I think the other benefits of the longer length will outweigh the cons. Where and what type of terrain out west? Unless its bumps in Telluride I’d still say 87. Hope that helps.

      –Clem

  50. Al says:

    Clem,

    Just wondering. I’m 5’6″ 155lb short stocky build intermediate to advanced, looking into the bonafides. 166/173? Currently on 163 Recons. PNW mostly resort, with occasional trips to Crystal, Whistler B.C., Baker with knee deep. Looking to upgrade Recon for 1 ski quiver.

  51. Al says:

    another length question, 5’6″ 155lb w/o gear. PNW with occasional trips to Whistler, Baker, Crystal. 20+ days skiing per year, intermediate to advanced, enjoy some powder days. Currently on K2 recon, looking for something wider for pow days. Tried friends P100, and enjoyed them.

  52. Jon says:

    You gave me some advice back in Nov just a few links to vids of last weeks skiing in the alps!!!!

    I LOVE MY BONFIDE’S

    http://vimeo.com/38917618

    http://vimeo.com/38798322

    • Awesome Jon! Glad you’re stoked!
      No changes just a cosmetic. Hard to improve a masterpiece!

      –Clem

      • Ninja says:

        I have decided on the bonafide , but was wondering exactly what I would give up if I went for the 173 instead of 180-( they are hard to find) 5’10 175lb agressive high intermediate / advanced skier 50% groomers 25% trees/ off piste 25% bumps ..THANKS !

  53. James says:

    Hi Clem,
    First, thanks for the detailed review.
    I am an intermediate/advanced skier, 5’6″ and 140lbs. Mostly ski in Tahoe area. Currently is 50/50 on/off piste and still learning to ski gracefully on steep and mogul. Like to go fast on groomers and do nimble turn in the trees. My current ski is 2006 K2 public enemy 159 cm. Can’t decide between bonafide and bushwacker. Length wise, I am thinking 166cm instead of 159cm.

    Other skis recommended by local shops are line prophet 90/98 and volkl kendo/bridge, any thoughts?

    One last question, which shop do you recommend for blizzard skis/tecnica boots in San Jose area?

    Thanks.
    James

    • James-

      I’d go to Any Mountain in Westgate and pick up a set of Bushwackers in 166. I think it will be nice and nimble for you and the rocker will give you better float off piste. I think its construction will allow you to go with the longer length and get the benefits of a longer platform while still being easy to manipulate.

      Hope that helps!

      -Clem

      • james says:

        Hi Clem,
        Thanks for the fast reply.
        Just checked it with Anymountain, they don’t have in westgate but in other stores. I will stop by this weekend.

        One more question, do you know where I can try for a pair of tecnica bushwacker in size 25.5? I tried demon 110 and felt a bit more room on the instep for my feet.

        Thanks again,
        James

      • They might have a 25.5 bushwacker in one of their stores too, call and see if they can transfer one!

  54. Larry says:

    I’m 54 5’7″ 160#. currently skiing Atomic REX 168. fun in trees and bumps but severely limit speed on groomers with chatter. Used to ski long slalom skis 190 and loved the stability and speed. Ski Tahoe but go an an annual ski trip to where the snow is, usually Canada, Utah, Colorado, or Wyoming. Always seeking the powder, steeps, and trees, not so much the bumps. Interested in the Bonafide and was wondering between the 173 and 180. Thanks

    • Larry,

      I’d say for your size and where you like to ski the 173 would be the call. The 180 would be killer on groomers I just think you’d sacrifice a lot off piste. If you’re turning arc to arc on groomers the 73 will be fine, I just don’t think anything modern with rocker will track like old straight race skis so just be realistic in your expectations. The 73 will give you a lot more material on snow vs your older Atomics which have less surface area than the Bonafide. I think the added width, length and flip core construction will give you plenty on groomers and way more fun off piste!! Hope that helps.

      –Clem

  55. Sfed says:

    Clem,

    It is going to be a long summer here in Indiana. I am 40 years old, 6’2″ and 215lbs. I got back into skiing about five years ago after about 15 years off. I purchased a few sets of skis over the past few years and ended up with a 2010 194 Gotama (last season was the first with them), 2009 187 Blizzard Titan Cronus (I think a 187 – not sure since they are at home); and 2010 Rossi SL World Cup. I do my local skiing here the midwest and take a couple trips out west annually. When I go out west without the family I spend all day on the backside and ski hard and fast. I found the Goats to be great in the deep wide open spaces, but they were a ton of work in tight spaces or bumps when it narrows up. If I was just skiing deep pow from a cat this would be a great ski, but I don’t have that luxury. So, I just bought a pair of 185 Cochise to be my out west/new snow ski and replaced the Goats. I went 185 for the versatility over the 193s. Hopefully that was not a mistake.

    I am also ditching the racers – they are fun but they only do one thing well and making short turns all day is more effort than I’m willing to dish out on our 300 vertical foot “mountains” in these parts. So, I am thinking about replacing the Cronus with a flip core ski. When I have these on its 80% front/20% back – I would like the ski to be fast enough for bumps and stable enough for longer fast carving turns. I will bring this ski and the Cochise out west when I go. I would appreciate your thoughts on which Blizzard and the length.

    Thanks in advance.

    Sfed

    • Sfed-

      I think youre gonna be fired up for next winter. On the Cochise length, I think thats fine. Im 6’2″ and 205lb and use the 185 Cochise as my touring set up. Its really quick, agile and floats really well for it being significantly smaller than my resort/big mtn ski, the 196cm Bodacious. We have a new ski coming out which you need to keep your eye on. Its the Magnum 8.5ti. Its a Magnum, frontside biased 85mm waist ski, now built with Flip Core. I think the 181 will be nasty for you. It will be plenty stable, responsive in bumps, and way better off piste than any previous generation “frontside all mountain skis”. That would be a great two ski quiver for you. Check back in a few weeks or “like” us on FB to stay in the loop when we post our review on this ski. Thanks again!

      -Clem

  56. Larry says:

    CLem, thanks for the quick reply and sound advice. I think the 173 makes sense for me.

  57. Sfed says:

    Clem,

    Thanks for the reply. I am psyched about the Cochise. I’ll keep my eye out here for the new Magnum – that sounds like a perfect fit.

    Sfed

  58. Marcel says:

    Looking into either the Bonafide or Prophet 98 as my one quiver ski, won`t be doing any side/backcountry. But I do go off piste as much as I can, spend most of my time outside the groomed runs, or skiing side piste. I think I`m kinda between sizes, I`m 5’5″ and 150lbs, got some recommendations to go with low 170cm so 173 Bona or 172 Prophet, but they might be too stiff for my size and skill, as much as I like to be aggressive and an intermediate skier so not really the most aggressive one. Thinking to go for 166cm Bona, do you think that`s the right call? Would the Bonafide be too stiff for my size/skill? Also wondering if I should wait for the Kabookie since it seems to be more forgiving.

    • Yeah 166 Bonafide. The Kabookie is an alpine touring ski and built for that. The Bonafide is plenty easy. People who don’t understand ski construction think the metal in skis makes them stiff. Metal helps with torsional stiffness, but really smooths things out. Fiberglass and epoxy is where skis get their stiffness from. Bonafides are super easy to ski, if you’re an intermediate I’d say just go down a size. So at 150lbs you could get a 173, but I think the 166 will help you progress a little faster. Depending on where you ski too a 173 Bushwacker is a phenomenal ski as well, a great game improvement ski for getting better at off piste and bumps, but still great grip and edge to edge quickness on firm snow/groomers. Hope that helps.

      –Clem

  59. Eric says:

    Hi Clem. Having major snow withdrawal right now. Getting stoked for the 2012-2013 season. Can’t stop watching ski movies. Maybe the summer is too hot. Anyway, I am 37 yrs old, 5’10″ 175lbs. Former racer, instructor, race coach, and ski patroller. Used to ski 205cm K2 CVC and KVC comps when I used to race. Most of my skiing consists of either skiing with my kids, or taking trips back out west ( Alta is my Mecca ) to Utah or Colorado- hoping to get to Alaska this year. I am currently down to one ski, Volkl Grizzly in 170cm. Great all around resort ski, but definitely lacks in big powder. These skis have been shredded on, and I am going to make these my “beaters” and for skiing with my kids. I had considered the Mantra and Line Prophet, but the. Bonafides really seem to be the one that is calling my name. I think 180 would do the trick, but I am also receiving advice from a few that 187 would be good for me. Once we had our first child, my avalanche beacon went on eBay. Needless to say, most of my skiing is either within resort boundaries, or occasional hikes outside of gates (Bridger Bowl’s Ridge) and maybe a few snowcat days, and a Points North Heli trip in 2 years. With all that said, should I go for the boats in 187, or stick to the fact that the 180s might be more versatile?

    • Eric-

      The Bonafide would be an awesome choice for your 1 ski quiver. If you are back east right now it should be excellent there and for your western trips you’ll be solid. If it absolutely nukes snow or you do go up to PNH you can always demo a really wide pow specific ski. As far as length goes you could go either way. That 170 Griz seems a little short given your stats and pedigree, so a 180 would be a great all around call for the east, skiing with your kids and tighter trees and crud out west (esp Alta’s steeps). It would be an easy transition from the 170 length too. I think you would love the 187 as well. If you want to crush those days out west and make GS arcs through wide open bowls in Vail and Montana I’d lean towards the 87. They are both in your size/ability range but I think you’d be slightly more stoked on the 180. You can always add a 185 Cochise to your quiver later on for the deeper days or wider terrain.

      Hope that helps. Glad you’re fired up for winter!

      -Clem

      • Eric says:

        Thanks for your thoughts Clem. I am inclined to get the 180 if I were to part wth my Grizzlies, but if I feel like I can justify keeping a second pair then I think it would make sense to get the 187. I used to have 3 sets of skis at all times, but now those years are past. Since my Grizzly is 170 and a full cambered ski, going with the Bonafides in 187 might give me almost the same amount of edge on the snow at full speed carving, or am I way off base? I feel that while I still ski at a high level, I am slowly turning the dial down.

      • Eric-
        You’re over-thinking the edge length thing. Flip Core gives you stability from the construction not the “effective edge”. That doesn’t matter either once you tip the ski up anyway. An 87 will feel like an 87. If you’re mellowing out as a skier then go 180. Hope that helps.

        -Clem

  60. Joe says:

    Clem – I demoed the Bonafides back in February up in VT when they got hit with the 2′ of snow. The skis were great in the powder – I unfortunately never had the chance to try them on groomed terrain, for those days I was given a K2 174 aftershock with the all-terrain rocker – a ski that was very stable at high speeds and as as well performed well on moguls. Still I’m thinking of getting the Bonafides – though they do seem like a big piece if lumber to have on groomed surfaces which is more common here in the East Coast. The ones I demoed were 187′s and after a long day of skiing I kind of thought maybe if I should buy them I should go with something shorter. I’m 6″ and I weigh 185lbs. What size would you recommend? I’m an Intermediate to Advanced skier who loves to ventures off trails and get into a little trouble.

  61. kiwi chick says:

    HI I am a 5’3”, 110 lb woman and am looking for a 2nd pair of skis for NZ conditions but also to enjoy on a forthcoming trip to Tahoe and then into Canada -Red Mountain, Kicking Horse area. I have a pair of Nordica Olympia Victory 162cm which I really enjoy but sadly I am gettting older, knees as well a bit creaky, and I thought something lighter on my legs and a bit more floaty for powder might be good. I am expert level, ski anything, enjoy the steep, short swing turns and moguls, no jumping or park – leave that to the kids! Keen to keep up with my teenagers, particularly in the powder and crud (where we ski in NZ has no grooming) and thinking of Blizzard Black Pearl in 166cm. Am a bit concerned about losing the feel of a carving ski so would welcome your thoughts on Black Pearl or any alternative. Cheers Kiwi chick

  62. Dave says:

    Clem – great review! These will be my first skis in 5 years and I’m sold. Hate to ask you the size question, but here it is anyway. I’m 6’2 and 190, ski in Tahoe, Colorado and Utah. I’m an expert skier, and will be taking these on and off piste. These will be my one and only ski for this season. What do you think? Thanks in advance for your time!

    DY

  63. Bob says:

    Clem–Excellent discussion. Thank you. Convinced me to get the Bonafide. Only question left is length.

    Am 68 YO, 5’9″, 180. Ski 3 trips out west per year (18 days). Advanced, off & on piste, powder, trees, bumps and way too fast for my age on groomed. Have skied Rossi B3 for about 10 years (from before they made it more like the eastern B2) @ 168cm. Instructor friend at Alta put me on them as they were an Alta favorite at the time. I rent fatties (S7 if I can) for occasional days of cat or heli & have Apache Crossfire for skiing east with grand children. Still love the B3′s but became convinced it was time for rocker while skiing S7 in 18″ of powder in fairly steep trees. I thought turn and the skis did it. It was heaven.

    Leaning slightly toward 173 rather than 180 to facilitate quickness in trees and bump and other quick turn situations. Any advice greatly appreciated.

    • Bob-

      Id say go for the 173, that will be fine for transitioning off a B3 at 168cm. No need to jump all the way up to 180. The 73 Bonafide will be nice and nimble, as well as stable and floaty in the soft stuff. Let us know if you need help finding a set. Thanks again for reading!

      -Clem

  64. Joe says:

    Clem – I was just reading Bob’s post and your reply. For me at 6′ 185 you suggested going with the 180′s. Bob is slightly shorter than I am and close to the same weight but you suggested going with the 173′s. Would it be more advisable for me to maybe think about the 173′s if I wanted the skis to be easier to handle in the trees and when I’m just kicking it though the sides of trails, or do you still advise sticking to the 180′s. My ratio is about 30% paste, 30% trees,30% bumps, 10% park. Thanks JB

    • Nah for you stick with 180. I think for him coming off a 168 the 173 would be better. I feel like with your height youre gonna be leveraging the 173 too much fore and aft. I mean both you guys could go either way, Im just suggesting what I think you guys would like the best.

      Hope that helps, but pull the trigger now if you want a 180. The company sold outa Bonafides last week….

      -Clem

  65. sandro palladino says:

    Clem-
    Great review!! Very interested in the bushwackers! im 5’6 male advanced skiier around 155lbs. Italian origin so always ski in Europe. I Demo the bushwackers at 180cm (indoor) and felt good but also feel too long for me! My last 2 skis have been race skis at 165cm. Want to improve my off-piste skills so reason why im going after all mountain ski! Whats your advice on correct ski length? 166cm or 173cm?

    Grazie

    Sandro

    • Ciao Sandro,

      I’d say 173 would be a great fit if the 180 felt just a touch too long. The 173 will give you the float and stability off piste as well and be a nice compliment to your 165 SL skis.
      Hope that helps!

      -Clem

  66. Joe says:

    Yeah Clem I screwed up, back in summer there was a pair of demo 180′s Ebay with bindings for $450 – I should have pulled the trigger but I was tight on cash. Now well who knows – had no idea they were completely sold out.

  67. Bob says:

    Joe

    Just because the manufacturer is completely sold out does not mean you can not find them in a store. I bought Bonafides today. The manager said yes the manufacturer was sold out but he had some. Act now and maybe get a preseason discount. I did.

    You can at least get them at REI on line at $700 or at several other places. Don’t pay more than that.

  68. Joe says:

    Bob – yeah I saw the REI price. When I demoed them last February at Stowe the ski shop was willing to let me walk out the door with them for $500 with the bindings – problem was we flew up and I could not fit another pair of skis. Anyhow, damn if I have not missed out twice on picking up demo pairs for @ $500 and now the prospect of spending $700 for them new w/o bindings is a bit rich for me right now.

  69. EG says:

    Hi. I’m 5’8″ and 145 lbs out of the shower and would use the Bonafide as a one-quiver ski on trips out West. I’m an advanced/expert (including double diamonds) all-mountain skier with a preference for quick short turns at slower speeds in the bumps and trees, My current 164cm X-Wing Fury skis (123-83-113) are great on hard pack and bumps but could be better in powder. Should I look at the 166cm or 173cm in the Bonafide? I’m sure I could handle the 173cm (I used to ski on 200cm back in the day), but have gotten spoiled by the 164cm Fury. Also, how would the Bonafide compare to the S7 in a 168cm (135-105-114)? I assume it would be better on hard pack with less float in the powder, but would it be better or worse in the bumps and trees? Thanks!

  70. Robert says:

    Clem- Great reviews! Have a sizing question…I am 6’4, 190 lbs. expert level looking to fill quiver. Have a 113mm and 88mm already..what length Bonafide would you suggest for Colorado trees and bumps (Mary Jane, Steamboat)?

  71. David says:

    How would the Bonafide’s ride for a telemark skier? I am a Utah resort tele skier who spends most of the time sniffing out pow in the side-country skiing. I have been skiing Fischer T-stix at 177 cm (96 mm under foot) for several years. These skis are pre-rocker. I am contemplating Bonafide’s with a Bomber Bishop (already owned) or AXL 22 Designs binding setup. I am leaning toward the 180′s to account for rocker. Your thoughts please.

    • I bet the 180s would be great. Maybe check out the Kabookie too if you want something lighter and more AT specific. I have no clue about tele or the bindings you’re talking about but it sounds like a great set up.

      -Clem

      • Dave says:

        Clem: By way of follow-up, I purchased the 180′s and mounted them with NTN tele bindings. I felt comfortable on the skis right away. There was vitually no adjustment period. They are stable at speed and a joy to turn, both on and off piste. Thanks again for your recommendation!

  72. David says:

    Thanks, Clem

  73. Matt says:

    Hey Clem. I’m 39yo 5′ 10″ 170 skiing Alberta and just got back last winter after a few years hiatus. Was on G41 Volkl 188s, sold them last winter and looking for way way less ski to be honest! Had narrowed it down to bushwackers or bonafides. Typically ski trees, bumps, pow, steeps (though not always aggressively) and groomers when needed. Looking to improve my skills and will be skiing with people who’ll challenge quite a bit so I’d like to feel confident with tighter turns. Was leaning towards the bonafides at 173? Your thoughts? Cheers

    • Hey Matt,

      I’d lean toward the 180 cm in the Bonafide, I think you will find it plenty easy to ski and maneuver and still give you great float in the pow and the ability to hang with your crew. Hope that helps.

      –Clem

      • David Scobie says:

        Hi Clem

        I am a fit 65 yo currently on 170 Volkl AX3 skis.I weigh 142 and am a bit over 5’6″. My primary ski hill is Panorama in British Columbia but I will also be doing some interiorBC time at sun Peaks and Big White. Probably 30 days with a 50/50 on off split.I ski fast groomers and am working on bumps and trees.Think I am an advanced intermediate.Am looking at Bonafides but wondering 173 or 166. Thanks for the help and I enjoy the thread. BTW best price up here around $799..

        Dave

      • Dave- I’d say 166cm would be a good choice!

        -Clem

  74. RapidRobert says:

    HI Clem,
    Got some great reply’s here. I think I destined for the bonafides 180cm but not sure.
    I am 54YO 5’11″ and 168lbs. Been skiing for 47years through all the transitions in technology. Can basically ski anything but just can’t ski all day like i used to. I ski on Atomic b5′s 165 cm because i love what they do on the groomers and powder but they fall apart in the crud and bumps and they are alot of work. I demoed the Armada tst’s 183cm last spring and loved what they did for me especially in the crud at Alta. They were a bit weak in the groomers but I could ski hard all day. I wish I had tried the Bonfides they sound even better, What size would you recommend.
    Robert

  75. Duane Karren says:

    Clem,
    I am 72 yrs old, 5’8″ and 180+ lbs. Ski 60+ days per year. Expert skiier who skis off piste a lot in trees and tight places. Still love & ski lots of bumps on my carvers. 3 ski quiver with a pair of 165 Head Monster 78′s for carvers (tuned 3′ on sides and .75′ on bottoms – they rip), older 170 Volkl Mantra (92 mm underfoot) for tweener days (absolutely love these fully cambered skis because they blow thru powder and crud and can still be railed up to haul back to the chair but on the super deep days I could use a little more flotation) and a pair of 185 Armada JJ’s for the big days. Even though I live in Utah I never even took the JJ’s out last year. Skiied them 1/2 doz times the prior year. The JJ’s are good in open areas but I feel a little overskied on them in trees, tight places and bumps and I never enjoy the trip back to the lift on them after I get off the steep and deep. My question – Would the 173 Blizzard Bonafide be a good replacement ski for my older 170 Mantras or should I consider the 180 because of the rocker?
    Duane

    • Hi Duane,

      Id say the 173 Bonafide would be a great replacement for your Mantra. With Flipcore on Blizzards, the whole point is that the construction gives you all the benefits of rocker, with none of the negatives. You don’t have to “size up” like you commonly do with other brands of rockered skis. The 173 will ski like a 173 when you need it too, and when you are rallying pow in tight trees the rockered tip and tail will give you better float than your Mantra. It still has a real solid construction so when youre smashing crud you will feel completely at ease, and the hard snow performance is simply amazing. I watched Eric Schlopy (ex USST World Cupper) knife so hard at Beaver Creek on a 180 Bonafide, he got to the bottom and canceled his order of carving skis with our product manager if that says anything. If you are looking for something a little more manageable on big days than your JJ look at the 179 Gunsmoke. I think you’d really enjoy it as it will carve better and be more stable skiing back to the lift but its playful, rockered construction will give you a lot of the same positives that your JJ has.
      Hope this helps.

      -Clem

      • Duane Karren says:

        Thank you. I was hoping your answer would be the 173 Bonafide. I just purchased them. Got the next to last pair here in one of our local shops. I will demo the Gunsmoke this winter.

  76. James says:

    Hi Clem,
    Do you have chance to ride the new Kabookie? If yes, how do you compare it to bonafide?

    Thanks,
    James

  77. Peter Detkin says:

    Clem – I’m an advanced but aging skier and am slowly coming to realize that I need to come to grips with my age. I’m currently on AC50′s, but am finding them too aggressive. If I don’t stay on top of them they get bored with me and just take off…

    I am 52, 5’11″, 185 lbs. Mostly ski in Tahoe. Ski in the trees whenever conditions allow, and will do 1 or 2 mogul runs a day (I know I shouldn’t, but I love them). I have Rossi S7′s for real powder days, so just need something for the rest of the year. The Bonafides are sounding perfect, but I’m wondering how they will do in the bumps? What size would you recomment? I was considering the Bushwhackers, but I think I’m too aggressive for those…

    Your thoughts? Many thanks,

    Peter D.

    • Peter-

      What lengths in the above mentioned skis are you using? 184 AC50 and 188 S7? On your stats alone I’d say with 90% confidence you’d like the 180 Bonafide the best.

      -Clem

  78. Mark Vera says:

    Hi Clem,

    I’ve settled on the Bonafide and will be buying very soon- I’m just torn on the size. I’m 6ft, 185lbs, Advanced skier, mostly east coast (one trip out west every year), ski about 25 days/year. Spend as much time in the trees as the east coast weather permits. Also like to mix it up in bumps/crud. If I’m stuck on groomers (basically all of last season) its high speeds and long turns. I’ve been on K2 Seth’s in 179 the past few seasons (the older 98 underfoot). I know with the rocker the Bonafide will ski a bit shorter, but I’m also a little nervous 187 might be too much ski in tight trees. I seem to fall between sizes. I’m wondering if you think 180 or 187 for me?

    Thanks

    Mark

    • Mark,

      Glad you’re stoked. The Bonafide rules. As a general rule if you’re on the fence I’d say its ok to go with the shorter one, especially is you’re spending as much time in trees, I think the 180 would rock. I’ve got a few friends your size that are good skiers that love the 180. If you were more into screaming down groomers and wide open back bowls in the west I’d say the 187 would then be the call. Sounds like 180 is the ticket though. Let us know if you have trouble finding a pair.

      –Clem

  79. James says:

    Hi Clem,
    I can’t decide between Bonafide and Kabookie just based on reviews. Do you know where in Tahoe area or San Jose bay area that I can demo these two skis?
    I checked northstar and kirkwood but didn’t hear any reply.

    Thanks,
    James

  80. Scott says:

    Hi Clem,
    Stuck on size for the bonafides. I would consider myself advanced to expert and like to go fast. I am 39 years old, 5’8″ and 168 lbs. Can I get away with 180s? Or should I stick with 173s?

    Much appreciated! –Scott

  81. Jon Stanford says:

    Hi Clem,
    Similar question. Me: 43yo, 5’11, 192, mostly ripping groomers (currently on Volkl AC3), would like freedom to ski trees and bumps. Looking for an all-mountain that will still be stiff enough to let me fly, and thinking Bones or 8.5 (or 2011 8.7). If you could give me guidance on skis and size, I would be eternally grateful.
    Cheers,
    Jon

  82. Jon Stanford says:

    Whoops – forgot to mention: 100% Colorado skier.

  83. Jon Stanford says:

    Sorry – one more thing: there’s a local shop here w some last years Bones in 180 for 500. Feels like a deal I should jump on.

  84. Jim McDougall says:

    Hi Clem.

    Considering Bonafides vs. Bushwacker, and not sure of length. I am 43, and an advanced skier. I spend most of my time in trees, steeps or moguls. I had planned on 173 Bushwackers for sake of manouverability on steeps and moguls, but it seems like you would recommend 180s for me, based on your posts. What do you think for me? Thanks in advance.

  85. Jim McDougall says:

    5’10″ 165 lbs. 50/50 east and west skiing. Only real challenge comes during icy steeps, so I felt like the 173s might be slightly easier to turn. We tend to look for mogul, steeps or tight runs, and performance on groomers or at speed are a minor consideration at best. Currently on 168 Volkl Six stars, and never really felt like they were short.

  86. Jim McDougall says:

    I should have said, reading the comments, I am now strongly leaning towards the Bonafides, just now thinking about length.

    • I’d say if you’re on the fence go to the 173. If you were on the 175cm 6Star I’d say go with the 180. Sounds like you don’t mind your skis on the shorter side. Normally I’d advise the 180 but I think that 173 length will be good. The skis are plenty stable, but the longer length just might give you a slight edge in deep powder but I think for what youre looking for performance wise the 173 will be good. Let us know if you have trouble finding a set. I’ve got a dealer out here who has some 173′s stashed away.

      -Clem

  87. Gekko says:

    Hello. After reading all the good reviews about the Blizzard Bonafide skis, I’m thinking about getting a pair. For the past 3-4 years I have been skiing the K2 Apache’s 177′s. They are ok, but I’m not in love with them. I would say I’m an upper intermediate skier who will probably only get in 10 days this year in Tahoe. I do also ski Utah and Colorado. I like the groomers, but also like to hit the open powder when mother nature allows. Not a big tree or mogul skier. I am 5’8, 220. What length do you feel is best for me? Are the Bonafides the right ski for me?

    Thanks,

    Gekko

    • Gekko-

      I’d say if you were an expert then go with the 187, but I think you’d love the 180. It will help you a ton progress to the next level.
      Let me know if you have trouble finding a set. I can direct you to a great retailer in tahoe,NV or the Bay that can take care of you.

      -Clem

  88. Vince says:

    Hi Clem,
    Great reviews and comments.
    I am an advanced skier and mostly ski in Tahoe area. Like open bowl, trees and groomers. Is bonafide in 166cm the right size for my 5’6″, 140lb frame?

    Btw, where can I find them in Bayarea?

    Thanks,
    Vince

  89. Jerry says:

    Hi Clem,
    Finally pulling the trigger and buying some skis. I’ve decided on Bonafides as a one ski quiver. Unanswered question, like a lot of the above is appropriate ski length. I’m 39, 6′ and 185-190 lbs and would classify myself as an advanced skier. I’m torn between the 180 or 187 lengths. Exclusively ski out west, looking to get off the beaten track more in the future. What do you suggest?
    Many thanks
    Jerry

  90. Jerry says:

    Sorry forgot to add. Do you recommend any particular bindings to go with them?

  91. Terry says:

    I’m currently have a pair of 170cm Atomic Metron 11B5′s that are in like new condition. They are REALLY GREAT SKIS. I’m getting the “itch” for new ones though, so I have been looking at the Bonafides. I’m really interested in your opinion for length. I ski mostly out west at Vail and the surrounding areas; although, I’m on my way to Mammoth in 2 weeks and plan on having a new pair of these skis to take with me:) I’m 6ft 1, 210lbs and 49yrs old. I typically stay on the front of the mountain 60% of the time loving fast carving on steeper runs as well as a few moguls runs ever now and then. I definitely DO love Vails back bowls, but depending who I’m skiing with (if they aren’t as strong of a skier) I’m only back there 40% of the time. I’m so debating between the 180 and the 187. I realize that’s not a drastic difference in length, but I honestly don’t want to feel like I have too long of a ski for moguls.

    BTW…I do plan on getting out to ski the NE at some point and want this ski (in the proper length) to be my one and only ski to take anywhere. I do plan on putting Marker Griffon bindings on the skis. I found some in a LTD black/silver color that makes the skis pop!!

    • Terry,

      I’d say 187 if you like longer turn shapes, Mammoth and Vail are both wide open and the 187 would give you plenty of float too. Sounds like a sick set up with the Griffons.

      -Clem

  92. Bob says:

    Thanks for the great review! I am stoked to get on some of these! I am 6′ 2″, 200 lbs, want to say I’m advanced but may be closer to advanced-intermediate, currently on Volkl 175 cm, ski at Vail most of the time, all over but in the back bowls mostly unless no snow…you think I should go 180 or 187 length?
    Thanks!!

    • Bob- YOu could go either way. I’d say the 180 if you are on the fence. I was skiing the 180 this weekend on groomers and it was plenty stable and I’m your size, ex racer. It was all I had with me, or normally I woulda been on the 187. I’d say 180 would be money for you.

      –Clem

  93. Hart says:

    Hi. Been skiing a long time (1962). I’m 54 yrs and been on a lot of different skis, but with so much changing in technology, I’ve been demoing for the last decade after my acl surgery took me down for a couple .Can’t keep an old dog down though, and I’ve been looking hard at the in time for my trip in January in Bormio with my German pals who really rock. Problem is I want a one ski quiver and I love to ski it all. Steeps, trees, powder, surf and turf (bumps with powder) and I like a nice gs carve on the piste. Back in the day I skied 205 GS Rossi’s and Atomic bionics even though I’m only 5’7″ and 155#. What to do and, of course, what length? (also looking to put a pair of salomon guardians on them for the trip up the hill). are these the skis for me?

  94. Hart says:

    Left out “the bonefides” !!

  95. Peter says:

    I am a 59 year old 6ft and 175 lb. coming. Off a 165 sl ski . I am an advanced int. and ski Vermont and a yearly trip west . I enjoy quicker turns , bumps and trees to high speed gs turns. What size Bonafide would you recommend?7

  96. Craig says:

    Clem, just decided to pick up the Bonafides. Need help with sizing since I can’t demo ahead of the purchase. Just getting off of Volkl Supersports in a 161. I am 5″4′ and about 145 lbs. expert off piste skier, and love to open them up on groomers. Before the ski revolution, skied stiff boards that were 195+ in length. So with the Bonafide, 166 or 173? Thanks for the help. Craig

  97. nate says:

    Hey clem looking at buying the bonafides for this year just torn on what size i should get..spend time out west and east 5’10″ and around 250 split time in powder and on the groomers and a inter/advanced skier, 180?

    • Nate-
      If you like longer turn shapes you could go with 187 for your weight, but the 180 would be fine as well. I was skiing the other day too on a 180cm and I’m 200 and the thing was skiing great to. When in doubt, I usually say go with the smaller size.

      -Clem

  98. Steve says:

    Great info. I am 65 years old, 5’8″ and 170-175 pounds and believe I am a solid Intermediate to Advancing skier. I try to get in 15-20 days a year primarily at Heavenly with an occasional trip to Kirkwood or Northstar. My current ski is a 166cm Rossignol Bandit B2 which I have had for 4 years. I ski mostly the Blue Groomers or Single Black Diamond if the surface is relatively smooth. I tried both the Bushwacker and Bonafide and preferred the Bonafide especially with its stability in the afternoon crud. I found it to be an amazing ski. I enjoy quick turns but also want stability as the groomed conditions deteriorate throughout the day. I am not sure if I should stick with a 166cm or go up to the 173cm because of the rocker tip and tail which my B2 does not have.

    What length do you recommend given the above.

    Thanks.

    • Steve,

      If you tried the 166 and loved it than go for it. You don’t have to “upsize” due to the rockered tip and tail. I hope this helps.

      -Clem

      • james says:

        Hi Clem,

        Do you know where can I try bonafide at 166cm in Tahoe area? Most shops/resorts I checked only carry 173cm for demo.

        Thanks,
        James

      • James did you call the demo center at Squaw Valley?
        Let me do some digging and I will get back to you.

      • Steve says:

        Thanks Clem.

        A little more information for you to consider. While at Heavenly last week, I tried both the Bonafide 166 first thing in the morning with the crust/corduroy and the 173 in the afternoon from 3:00 to 4:00 with the day’s crud. I actually felt comfortable on both lengths. I also spent several hours on a 170cm Rossi Experience 88 and had no problems with the additional length but felt the ski did not compare to the Bonafide.

        At my age, falling is a “4 letter word” but I want to be as aggressive as possible and hopefully expand my skiing ability with this new ski. I made a mistake several years ago when I purchased a 160cm Rossi Bandit B3 when I should have gone with the 168cm and want to be sure I do not go “too short” again. But I am also not trying to talk myself or you in to going longer if I should stay with the 166.

        I know it will be my personal decision but, with your expertise with this ski and given my age, height & weight and current skiing level, I want to double check if you think I should stay with the 166 or move up to the 173. Being realistic, I want this ski to last me 4-5 years and hopefully longer.

        Thank you once again for your time and recommendation.

        Steve

      • Steve,

        If you tried both and felt great on the 173 then go for it. If it was good in the afternoon in crud and after you’d been skiing all day and it didn’t feel like too much ski, then buy it. Put some griffons on it and call it a day.

        -Clem

    • james says:

      Hi Steve,

      Did you go to heavenly sports for bonafide 166 cm demo? I am having hard time finding that length for demo.

      Thanks,
      James

      • Steve says:

        Hello James

        I rented the 166cm Bonafide at the Powder House Boot and Demo store near the Gondola. The store faces South Lake Tahoe Blvd just West of the Heavenly Lift Ticket windows. I ended up going for the 173′s which I purchased from Bobby and you will find any of the staff there to be very helpful. Their phone number is 530.541.3649. A heads-up…they only have 1 pair of new 166′s left to sell if you are looking to purchase.

        Enjoy…it is an awesome ski.

        Steve

  99. james says:

    I went to Northstar and they only have 173 bonafide. Called squaw and heavenly but no one answered the phone. Kirkwood will receive their demo skis tomorrow so they don’t know what do they have for now.

    It looks like Steve found some 166 cm @ heavenly. Which rental spot did you go? heavenly sports next to Gondola?

    Thanks,
    James

  100. Tom says:

    Clem – really great site! Need some advice on length for Bonefides – am 51′ 6′ 225 pounds. Historically have stayed on piste, but the last two years our instructor at Squaw has gotten us off most days (I ski with my now 10 year old son). I’d be happy staying on, but my son follows our instructor everywhere! Been skiing for a long time , but we live in Minnesota, so only get real skiing in during our yearly spring break trips to Squaw. Should I go with a 187, or stick to a 180, if I want to use it on the ice and hard snow we have here? Thanks!

  101. Jamie says:

    Hi Clem!
    Great review man! From reading all of the previous posts, it appears my age and body type would put me in the 180 category (41 y.o, 5’10 1/2 190lbs) but I’m wondering if my current skiing level (advanced intermediate/advanced) and geographic location (Vermont/New Hampshire) would make the 173 a more suitable choice.

    I was fortunate enough to demo both ski’s this weekend (the 180 & 173) and to be honest, the 173 felt better on the day. Granted the conditions were not ideal (all machine made, sugar piles everywhere with a hard icy base) but I felt totally in control on the 173 (amazing!). Turns were quick and effortless, I felt nimble knifing through the thick crowds and the tip floated beautifully over the crud/sugar piles. I got myself cookin’ on those bastids. To my amazement both ski’s had amazing hold on the tough conditions but I felt I could get the 173 on edge better. The 180′s also felt fab but they required a little more work, were tougher to negotiate through the crowds (which are common place up here in the NE) and I also felt a little unstable on them. Not real bad but I did have to slow down on em and had a couple of “Oh dear” moments when I got pushed around a little on the crud.

    I do have room for growth as I just really started skiing a few years back (grew up playing hockey) but what do you think? The guys I talked to said go with the 180′s cause they were on them putting me on the fence but I dunno. My body says 173 now but that could change as I get better. Hate to handcuff myself. I do go out west (Crested Butte and Vail) but basically want the ski for here. Don’t necessarily need it as an all in one (as it definitely could be but I do have 2 carvers, one at 170 and the other at 168 which I feel comfortable on) but a ski that’ll be a dream on those soft packed powder corduroy days, crud days and hard to maneuver spring days. I wouldn’t mind venturing onto the bumps and into the tight glades here too so that factor’s into my length decision as well. I did roast my knee in college playing baseball so a more forgiving ski in those conditions is a must as my carvers kill my knee when the crud piles up or the packed is too soft.

    Either way, the Bonafide is an amazing ski and I can’t wait to score em (if I can find em) but just want to zero in on the size and not regret the choice. Any chance Blizzard make a 176 or 7 next year? That’d be cherry for us in betweener guys.

    Thanks for your input Clem. Cheers. Jamie.

    • Jamie-
      Thanks for reading. You know the recommendations are never universal. They are a guide, but not set in stone. If you felt awesome on the 173 then get those! You will improve faster on those than the 180. The goal (I hope) is to get better at skiing instead first vs. getting just good enough so you can ride a 180. If you progress quickly and “outgrow” the 173, sell them to a buddy, buy 180s, all is good. Think of a kid whose parents get him a pair of hockey skates that are too big, his progress has been hampered and when he finally fits in the skates they are worn out.

      -Clem

  102. Jamie says:

    Hey Clem. Great analogy. The one thing I don’t want to do is hamper my development by getting the wrong size ski. I think the 173 will allow me to grow confidently and in time allow me to graduate to the 180. The 180 didn’t feel real big, just a little unmanageable and I felt hesitant on em. I’ve been combing the net and have found a few 173′s but in the event that they get gobbled up before I can pull the trigger on them, when do the 2013/14′s come out, this Spring? Are they being conceived now and any word on the graphics yet? I do like the graphics on the current model but I’m wildly curious to know if they’ll make even more improvements. thanks man! Cheers.

  103. Jeff says:

    Hi Clem, I’m 5’5, 120lbs, advanced skier. Mostly east coast, love cruising fast with gs style turns. Currently on Volk AC4, 163cm. Love their stability at speed and ability to hold an edge. Looking for that 1 ski quiver that will let me do anything including powder when I go out West. But don’t want to lose what I love about the Volkl’s when I’m on East Coast hardpack and ice. Was thinking about the Bonafides. Will they give me what I want and should I stay in the shorter length? Thanks.

    • Jeff- The 166 Bonafide will knife on groomers. I think you will be shocked at how good they are. Then in soft snow the real fun will start. This is the OSQ you’ve been waiting for.

      -Clem

  104. Jamie says:

    Clem, I found a pair and they absolutely kill! Something is worrying me though. The tips seem to chip like craaazy! Are there any aftermarket tip guards out there? After my first day on them, the inside part of the tips are already pretty beat up. Certainly hope they don’t de-laminate (not even sure if they would) but I am starting to worry even after day one. Any suggestions?

  105. Gary says:

    Hi Clem, Thanks for all the great info on your site. After scanning through all the previous questions and your excellent responses, I decided to buy the Bonafide 180s with Griffon bindings. I’m 53, 5′ 10″, 220 lb. Advanced skier living in the East, skiing about 20 days/year, mostly at Vail but also get in 6-8 days at Stowe and Killington. I typically spend about 60% of my time in the back bowls at Vail and am working to up my game in the trees and bumps. Mostly run at moderate speed. My old skis are Vokl AC50s in 178. I was on the fence between the 180s and 187s, but after reading all your comments for similar skiers I decided on the 180s for a bit more playfullness. Thanks again for maintaining this fantastic site!

    • Sfed says:

      At long last, I finally got to try out my Bones and thought I would report back. I posted my specs previously so you can check that out above. Skiing 180 2012 Bonafides with Griffons. Hit Stowe for two days last week. I have not been out east in 20 years and it was my first two days of the season. Day one was typical eastern skiing and I was on 180 2012 Bonafides with Griffons. . Reasonable snow conditions but certainly firm. I never really ventured onto the doubles because of my skiing companions so it was mostly groomed blues and blacks, although I did take them into a couple bump runs. Bottom line is that the Bones were extremely good. I spent the majority of the day skiing fast and hard and they held up well, even into the later hours when the sun went behind the mountain and things got really firm. We got about five inches the next night and it snowed all day, so out came my 185 Cochise with Jesters for day two. All I can say is wow – what a versatile ski. Started with a couple runs with some fresh and they float like a champ. Obviously not waist deep, but I was still able to feel how well these will do with more snow. They held up great when the snow got chopped up and I was able to rip through the crud with ease. I was going to switch back to the Bones in the afternoon to compare, but I never got around to going back to the car.

      I am extremely happy with both sets. Since I will spend most of my days in Colorado, I know I will love having the Bones for everyday skiing and the Cochise for powder days. If I was out east and going with a quiver, I would go with a narrower ski (maybe the Bushwacker) instead of the Bones and keep the Cochise for powder days. For a OSQ, the Bones would work great. All I can say is that if you are on the fence, pick up a set asap.

  106. canali1 says:

    what of someone who is a short (5’6″) but a bit chunky (185lb, give or take 10 up or even down, as my weight fluxtuates)?

  107. Deej says:

    Hi

    I’m about 5’8/9, weigh about 154lbs. Ski everything, and want the Bones as my one ski. Do you think 173 is the right length? Bit concerned 180 would be too long out of the pow.

    Thanks
    D

  108. Deej says:

    Hi

    I’m about 5’8/9, weigh about 154lbs. Ski everything, and want the Bones as my one ski. Do you think 173 is the right length? Bit concerned 180 would be too long out of the pow.

    Thanks
    D

  109. Ken says:

    Hi Clem. Really enjoyed reading your blog …certainly helped alot of people on here. Like most everyone else, I’m considering buying Bonefide’s and would appreciate your advise on length. I’m 56yo, 5’9″ & 165 …an advanced to expert skiier with a bum left knee so I prefer control over speed but still always lean down the fallline. I live in the East but ski mostly in the West …on the frontside but off the groomed trails and in the trees. I think 180′s are fine for me but worry about turn radius in tight places and bumps. Any advise from your crystal ball would be appreciated! Thanks in advance for your help! Cheers, Ken

    • Ken,

      I’d say you could probably go with 173 if youre concerned on the length when its super tight, and due to your knee. Might want to consider a Bushwacker in 180cm too. Its nice and stable but a little lighter, quicker edge to edge, and it will really surprise you in soft snow even with the 88mm waist.

      -Clem

      • Ken says:

        Thank you Clem. I’m curious though. Why would you suggest a 180 Bushwacker when you think the 173 Bonefide might be right?

  110. Alden says:

    Clem,
    I’m a 5’10”, 165lb, 20 year old east coast skier. I ski at many of the VT mountains but mostly Whiteface Mountain in NY. A racer in the past I love charging groomed trails; a soul skier when the heavens dump, I love to get in the trees and off the trail. I I recently demoed the Bonafides (180). They were a blast! They made great arching turns and also when pushed were reactive and quick. To see what 98 underfoot could do I deliberately searched out the icy spots to see if it would be able to handle Whiteface’s notorious and all to common ice. They cruised through the ice reminding me slightly of my past Fischer World-cup race skis. The bottom line, as this blog confirms, is that the Bonafide’s are fantastic. Next, I demoed the Scott Venture (178). At 96 underfoot they performed similar to the Bonafides. However, with Carbon instead of a sheet of metal (I believe this is the major difference of their core), the Venture’s allowed for more varied turn shape. However, to my surprise they were also able to hold bigger turns. While they were great, I skied them on beautiful packed corduroy (hero snow as some call it). What worried me about the Venture’s is ice. With less stiffness, I question whether they could hold an edge. And so, the Bonafides were still in my mind; they seemed to have more energy and brought a bigger smile to my ski chapped face. However, I am conflicted. To add to this confusion, I recently went to a local ski shop which sells Volkl but not Blizzard skis. After hearing my wants and rave reviews of the Bonafides, they offered me a deal on a 2013 pair of Volkl’s 98 underfoot Mantras (177). I have read reviews of the Mantras and others that compare and contrast them to the Bonafides and am left pretty damn confused. Would the Bonafides be more fun than the Mantras. Many reviews praise the Mantra but as a hard charging groomer ski. With price confusing this situation would you still say go with the Bonafides or ski Mantras of even Scotts for a few years? Thanks in advance.

    Best,
    Alden

  111. Sebastian L. says:

    Hi Clem,

    Great review! And splendid to see how you take time to answer all questions you get!

    Here is my situation:

    I’m 30, weigh: 78 kg and 189 cm long.
    I consider myself either an advanced/intermediate or even advanced skier. Live in Scandinavia where the runs are quite short but aim at going to the alps 1-2 times per year. I have skied for the past years on short metron 11 from 2005 (if I remember correctly as short as 163), and they have been fun but too short for larger turns at speed, and I have definitely outgrown them in skill.
    I have 3 small kids so spend time teaching them to ski but want to be able to rip the groomers, crud in the afternoons, some pow if available, which is quite rare here. And because our runs are not too long I was thinking of giving a try at a little jumping in the park.
    What would you recommend 180 or 187 Bonafide? I have also looked at the Atomic theory.

    Cheers,

    Sebastian

    • Seabass,

      I’d go with 180. It will give you the ability to vary your turn shapes and give you the most versatility between scando-alps-kids. It will still be plenty stable on the wide open runs in the alps and still be maneuverable enough for tight couloirs if you get into those as well.

      -Clem

  112. Sfed says:

    Clem,

    Well after three more days with my Bones in upper Michigan I am even more impressed. I am definitely in love with the skis. Not to hijack the thread, but I am so impressed with Flip Core that I am trying to figure out what might work for my daughter. She is 12 years old 5′ tall and 100 pounds and advanced going on expert in ability. I expect she will end up around 5′ 6″ in the next year or two. She currently skis a 138 Volkl Gem youth ski, and while it is fine for Michigan I think a bigger adult ski will help her handle off piste skiing in Colorado much better. Do you think a 151 Black Pearl would be too much ski for her? Any other thoughts?

    Thanks as always.

    SFed

  113. mark arthurs says:

    i would say you are on the payroll……except i skiied them at Snowbird last year…they are awesome….i am getting a pair…if i can find them…looking for a 180..

  114. Kenni says:

    Hi Clem

    Must say that this in an amazing thread. Great job. It has convinced me that the Bonafide is my next ski, and I also found the size that I need, as my data is similar to Sebastian L, mentioned above. I do though have two questions that I hope you can help me with. Is there any difference between the 2011/12 and 2012/13 model, other than the graphics? I found a 2012 model on the web $300 below the 2013 model; cash I would like to spend on something else.
    If I go for the Marker Griffons bindings, should it be 90 mm or 110 mm brake?

    Thanks,

    Kenni

    • Kenni-

      Either one of those bindings would be fine, the 90mm just would take a little bending by hand to fit which is super easy for your local shop ( buy local!) to be able to do.

      -Clem

  115. Harry says:

    I have skied the Bonafide and the Kabookie and liked both of them. I tend to ski in the backcountry and on steeper terrain in trees and chutes (Crystal Mtn. WA) Which ski has the edge for the type of skiing I do

    • Harry,

      If you spend more than half you time touring and were going to put a lightweight binding like a Tour 12 or Dynafits, then go Kabookie. If you’re skiing Crystal a lot track down Steve Backstrom as he has lotsa time on both.

      –Clem

  116. Michael says:

    I am debating getting the Bonafide or waiting for the Brahma. I am 39 year old 6 ft 180 lbs expert, I am 75% on the groomers. I like to go fast a carve big GS turns. I have also debated getting a pure carver (like a beer league GS ski) but want something more versital for the conditions in Tahoe. What are your thoughts? And should I go with the 180s or 187s?

    • If youre 75% on groomers the Brahma would be a great option for you, as would the Magnum 8.5 181cm (which is in stores now). The Brahma will be an excellent choice for someone thats looking for more of a freeride feel without sacrificing groomer performance. When I say Freeride feel I mean it will skid, float, handle bumps and be stable in crud while skiing off piste. The Magnum will be slightly more responsive and quicker at the top of the turn on groomers but perhaps slightly more twitchy then Brahma when skiing off piste. It wont like to smear turns as much. If you are groomers and high speed as much as you say you are, then consider Magnum. Where are you in Tahoe, I can point out a few shops that demo them and you can try for yourself. We will be demoing next years skis too in March through Village Ski Loft, Bobos, Granite Chief too.

      -Clem

      • Michael says:

        Thanks Clem,
        I mostly ski at Northstar. I just demoed the Bonafide in 187 at Northstar, and it is a great ski. I was pretty amazed at how well it did on the hard pack and ice. I will have to give the Magnum 8.5 a try, and would love to try out the Brahma in March as well.

        -Michael

  117. HEY ANYONE LOOKING FOR A 173CM BONAFIDE give Willard’s Sport Shop a call. They have 2 pr. left!!!!!!!
    530-583-3356 Ask for DAX or PK

  118. John says:

    Hi Clem,
    Great review. Been reading all the posts and not sure what length to go for on the bonafide.
    I am 5.9ft and just shy of 170lbs, would rate myself as intermediate to advanced skier. I like blasting the groomed stuff whilst also enjoying the bumps and powder. my background is mainly on carving skiis and racing skiis, and what to buy a bonafide to be able to ski all conditions. Im normally on 170′s which feel a bit bouncy at high speeds yet comfortable in the turns. Would you suggest the 73′s or the 80′s
    Thanks

  119. Jerry Randklev says:

    Hi Clem,
    First let me say thanks for writing what seems to be the most honest and concise ski advice on the web! I am a 66 year old, 180 lb, male, level 3, Idaho skier. I have skied for more than 40 years (15 as a psia ski instructor). I am currently on 177 cm Volkl AC20 skis. I recently had the opportunity to demo both the Bonafides and also Volkl Kendo. I really liked both, but maybe the Kendo more (could have been the snow day — very hard packed snow). These days I mostly prefer sking the front side groomers. What suggestions do you havt for me in terms of brand and size of ski?

    • Jerry-
      What size Kendos?
      You might wanna check out Magnum 8.5 in 174cm or wait for the Brahma…
      -Clem

      • Jerry Randklev says:

        Not sure what length I was on — maybe 177 or 180? I like to carve and these babies really held the snow. By the way I am 5 ft 10 in and have always preferred what we used to call GS type skis.

  120. Emperor_MA says:

    I’m a 50 year old male, 6′ and 225. Intermediate skier just getting back into it after a 20-year layoff. I’ll be mostly on groomers (due to both ankles are shot and so is one knee) but I live in Western Washington and will ski the North Cascades where we measure snowfall in feet rather than inches. Then, three days later, it is ice (or slush or crud or 2′ of new). I’m looking for a one quiver ski that will keep me comfortable on groomers (I’m big and strong) but will float me through all that Cascade snow. Both the Bonafide and the Bushwhacker are on my radar. My last skis were 205cm slalom race boards and 210cm GS race boards….not that they have any resemblance to today’s skis!

    What length and which ski? We might go to Montana (Big Sky) and Idaho (Sun Valley) once a year, as well.

  121. Sean says:

    Looking into buying my first new set of skis in about 7 years. I demo’ed a pair of 173 Bonafides in Park City (only size they had available) and they felt great. The demos go on sale at my local shop soon and the guy at the shop is recommending the 180s based on my height 6′ 0″ and weight 172. I’m not great ion moguls and am a bit hesitant to make the jump to the 180′s. Thoughts?? Am I overthinking this??

  122. Drew says:

    Clem,

    Hello. I just demoed the 180 Bonafide last night and loved them, but wonder if I should steer toward the 173s. I’m 5’10″ and 140 lbs, so lightweight for my height. I’m inter/advanced – advanced and ski in the Pacific NW. Last night I ripped on the groomers, but steeper mogul terrain was was a little tougher. What size would you recommend?

    Drew

  123. Nicole says:

    Okay waffling between 166 and 173 Bonafides…I am 5’5″, 150lb woman, aggressive, athletic hard skier. I have skied both of them and also the Samba in a 166 – not a fan of the Samba. Skied it on mostly a powder day (great in pow) but didn’t power the turns on the hard pack.

    So back to the Bonafides…Loved the 173′s fast, stable and agile. Day was hard pack groomers, little bit of bumps…they were just FAST! Not sure if I really need to go that fast at 40!! Hah!

    I’m pretty sure there isn’t that much difference between the two – speed is probably about it???
    Would the 166 really make a difference in the bumps, noticiebly quicker turns???
    The shop I am buying them at has both the 166 and 173…super surprised I found them in my hometown shop!

    • Hmm, tough one….
      I’d say if you skied the 173 and loved em then go for it. You would have felt if it was too much ski I think if you tried it in moguls. Hope that helps. You could go +1cm ahead on the mount and that would be perfect.

      -Clem

  124. mark arthurs says:

    Clem,
    i have a pair of the bonafied 180..how should they be tuned? Should i go with a 1degree on the base and a 3 on the sides?
    Mark

  125. paul mcmanus says:

    I’m 66, 5′ 8″.185lbs, and have always been just an OK skier, basically a strong intermediate, really, spending half time on blues and half on the one diamond blacks. I was skiing 184cm K2 ‘s and decided to get new Blizzard Bonafide 173cm…I also bought new Atomic boots. I thought that I had probably gone over my head with the high performance skis, and boots….but as it turns out, these skis & boots have almost magically elevated my ski level to WAY beyond what I had hoped or even imagined. These damn (wonderful) skis have transformed my skiing into hard advanced. Difficult to believe, but very true (also according to the other 5 skiers that I was with). After the recent snows in Summit county, Co, I had an absolute blast skiing the cornices at A-Basin with about 10 inches of new pow, and the Copper Mt bowls as well on the next day. I was able to ski just about anything and everything that you find at the typical ski resort. My only real difficulty were the large moguls on the steep runs, but that is a “skier” problem. But for PP,hard pack, ice patches, busted up powder, new powder, or crud, the skis held great. Carved turns, quick short linked turns are easy as pi, and that is coming from an intermediate skier. The only negative (but for me a very small one) is that at high speeds, the ski tips will vibrate somewhat…guess that is called chatter…but I was doing about 40-45 mph (borrowed one of those little GPS gadgets from a fellow skier). Skiing that fast made me nervous, but I wanted to know how those Bonafides would perform… I didn’t get caught by the ski patrol, and I didn’t crash. If someone were to ask me to rate the Blizzard Bonafides ( taking my non-expert status into consideration), I would definitely give them the highest rating possible with the understanding that I have not tested other skis, and I am most certainly not a seasoned ski professional.

  126. Brian says:

    Recently demo the 2013 bonafides after reviewing the entire blog. thanks for the effort as I absolutely loved them. Found 2012 bonafides on sale at a great price. what are the differences from 2012 model to 2013? thanks!!

  127. Miguel Armstrong says:

    I’m 5’11″ 185-195 pounds. Live in the East but ski out West. Want to buy the Bonafides to ski the occasional trees. powder, if there is a dump and yet able to ski hard and fast on groomed soft snow or hardpack. I’m a level 3 skier. Should I get 180 or 187?

    • I’d say pick your length based on the size of the turn you prefer to make, since you could go either way size wise. If you prefer tighter turns 180, longer arcs on groomers or big turns in back bowls go 187. Both size are plenty stable. I watched Eric Schlopy (USST & world champ medalist) make unreal turns on bulletproof at Beaver Creak on the 180…

      -Clem

      • Miguel says:

        would you say flotation is about the same in both skis? i’m coming off Atomic Beta 9.22 in 190. Great ski but 12yrs old.

      • no, floatation will be better on a 187 (more surface area) the difference will be noticeable, but not dramatic, does that make sense? When you say ski out west, where is that specifically? The back bowls of Vail or chutes at Taos? Like I said base your decision on where you are spending most of your time on an ideal day. If its trees, tight chutes- 180, if you are making GS turns down China Bowl then go for 187.

        –Clem

  128. Ryan says:

    Hey, so I’m 6’0″ ~175-180lbs. I do all of my skiing in CO, I’m moderately aggressive, and I’d say I’m somewhere between an intermediate-advanced and an advanced skier. Should I go for the 180 or the 187? I’m writing this assuming that the answer will be the 180s, but I thought I’d confirm, mostly because there’s an annoying little voice in my brain telling me that I should go bigger just because it’s bigger. Would there actually be any practical reasoning for getting the 187s? Thanks! Excellent review, by the way.

  129. George Loeb says:

    Clem, just finished a week in Tahoe, and demoed my last day on 173 Bonifieds. I’m 65, 5’5″, 155 lbs, advanced skier. My other skis are Atomic Blackeye TI, 167 cm. The rental shop tech thought that coming off the Atomics that the 173′s would be fine & they were amazing in the trees, fresh powder etc. It seems you are recommending the 166′s more for people my size? I was going to get the 173′s but they were out of stock. I don’t want to be left out next year and will need to purchase before our annual pilgrimage, so I won’t get to demo to compare the lengths. I was happy with the 173′s? Which do you recommend?

    George

    • George-

      If you liked the 173s then get them, thats the beauty of demoing. Youre right on the bubble in my opinion size wise, you could go either way. You will love them.

      -Clem

  130. Patrick says:

    I think I have narrowed it down to either the Bonafide or the Kabookie but would also like some help with sizing. I’m 5’8-5’9 and 150-155 lbs and ski aggressively. My current setup is Line Blend (172cm) with Marker Griffon bindings. I ski all over the mountain but prefer to spend most of my time in the trees and side-country and for that I hoping to get a lighter ski this time around. I ski locally in NC and take 2 trips to Snowshoe WV and 2 trips out west every year (CO & UT). I was also considering Nordica Hell and Back and the new Line Blend because they are lighter skis which I would like in the trees for their ease when things get pretty tight. Also considered the Mantras (177cm) but skied them last weekend and thought they were a bit too heavy…length was fine though. So which would you recommend and should I go with the 173 or the 180? I hope to demo both next year before purchasing but would like your opinion as well. Thanks.

  131. Nicole says:

    George I am your same stats but a 40-year old woman and advanced/expert. Love the Bonafides as my husband has the 173′s and is my same stats. I have skied on his and enjoyed them – fast/stable.
    True test this last week… I actually purchased the 173′s (after waffling for 166′s) and skied Alpine/Squaw on Friday, Alpine on Sunday and Squaw on Monday. After the 3rd run on Friday in the nice powder I thought they were great but then we went to Squaw in the afternoon and started getting in the bumps and chutes. They kept getting out from under me and I really had to focus on getting them around. It was just a lot of work and not as much fun – totally skiable but not worth the work… I am finally starting to realize I’m not 22 anymore.

    My husband told me to demo on Monday to make sure the 173′s were the right choice. The shop at home where I purchased them at had the 173′s and 166 (one each) said if I wasn’t totally happy I could come back and swap out.
    So off I go on the 166 demo and was smiling from ear to ear! Skied Chute 75 and East face of Olympic Lady and tore it up. Super fun and maneuverable in the choppy bumps, stable on groomers (not as fast but stable). Demo’d the 166 in the Samba (women’s version-no metal) same thoughts except not as stable at speed.
    So back to the home shop I went and swapped the 173′s for the 166′s…deep down I know it was the right decision…before my ego got in the way!!
    My husband is now wondering if he should sell his and go down in size as well. Wonder who will be borrowing my skis soon to test them out…
    Bottom line for me: Just depends how much you want to work the skis off-piste, longer – awesome on the groomers, shorter – more fun in the bumps/crud

  132. Brian says:

    Clem – what bindings would you recommend for bonafides (not necessarily width), but Marker Griffon? Jester? Rossi Axial? Other?. skiing is primarily trees, chutes, bumps, etc…no backcountry. Just dont know much about bindings and doesnt seem to be great places to get info online. thanks.

  133. Nona says:

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  134. Paul M says:

    A follow-up from a 2nd trip last month….Happy as a pig in you know what. After spending most of my life as a strong intermediate skier, I have finally made it to solid advanced (the ski instructor I skied with in early April said I was a level 7 bordering on level 8). For a 66 year old, that is a major accomplishment, and frankly, I owe it to my new 173 Bonefides & high performance Atomic boots that were both purchased in Feb. I would have never, ever thought that simply changing gear could have such a profound effect on my skiing, but it absolutely did. Anybody that tries to steal my skis will have to take them from my cold dead hands at 11 thousand feet…you expert skiers will look at this as ho-hum, but for you intermediate skiers, better take note. Clem is right as rain in that these skis do in fact enable you to advance to the next level…and I would never have bought these skis without the info on this blog.

  135. Andrew says:

    Hi Clem,

    I’ve read all your comments but I still haven’t decided which Bones to go for.
    I’m 30, 5’11” 165 lb, mid/advanced skier and have an old pair of Atomic beta race carvers 198cm which are pretty long for today’s standards, but I love their stability at high speeds.
    I ski in the alps 50 piste/50 off piste, no trees possibly.
    I have demoed the 187 really liked them and found them easier to control than my old pair and stable when both on hardsnow and powder.
    I don’t know whether to go for the 187 (great stability and float) or go for the 180 (which might give me even more maneuverability but less stability and probably float at higher speeds)

    Thank you for your advice!

    • Andrew- If you liked the 187 and found them easy I’d lean that way. If you told me your stats I’d say 180 right away but since you are not skiing a lot of trees the 187 might be fine. If you find yourself wanting to ski tighter couloirs etc then I’d say get the 180s. The 180s will be easier, pretty close to high speed stability (Former USST World Cup star Erik Schlopy skis 180s) but the 187 will give you a little better float as well. Also take into consideration what turn shape you prefer. Longer arcs, go 187, tighter go 180. Hope that helps.

      -Clem

      • Andrew says:

        Thank you Clem, helped a lot.

        Last thing before I make my final decision. When skiing powder, which length will make turns easier?

        Thank you again

      • The more I think about it the more I’m leaning toward 180 for you. Ive got a bunch of buddies that are your weight and rippin’ Tahoe skiers that love the 180s. I think the floatation gain you might get with the longer ski will be negligible compared to its ease of being able to vary your turn shapes in different terrain.

        -Clem

  136. Andrew says:

    So the question is what will I lose (if anything) if I go for the 180s instead of the 187s, considering they are mone maneuverable.
    Thank you so much

  137. David says:

    Hi Clem,

    I am
    - 5’6″
    - 160 lb
    - 31 years old
    - Former ski instructor
    - Strong, athletic, fit

    I am currently skiing very old pair of 177 Stockli snakes, I used to really enjoy them but they are well and truly dead. I am now looking for a one ski quiver. These days my skiing is – 70% in bounds bumps, crud, hard pack – 30% back country touring, skinning, powder etc.

    I like the bonafides, I am happy on my 177s and all other things being equal i’d probably go with the 173s but, as they have a rocker and apparently ski a bit shorter, would the 180s be better for me?

    Thanks

    • Hey david-

      I’d say 173. Rockered skis usually ski shorter, but Blizzards tend to ski ski pretty true to size due to the stability from Flip Core. The 180s ski like 180′s, you don’t have to size down. I’ve never heard of Stockli Snakes, so I guess they must be pretty old, so with the width/surface area of a 98mm ski, rocker, construction etc, I’d say go for 173.

      -Clem

  138. David says:

    Thanks Clem, much appreciated

  139. Martin says:

    Hey Clem,
    I was wondering if you could give me a quick tip. I am looking to buy an all mountain ski where I could spend 50% of my time on piste and 50% off piste. Currently I ski mostly on piste in the Alps and have never much skied in powder, although I do consider myself somewhat of an advanced skier since I can take on pretty much any black run. The reason why I would like to get an all mountain ski is because I would like to learn to ski in powder so that I could enjoy the immense off piste experience that Whistler Blackcomb provides when I will be there this winder. Also I caught your review on the Bonafide skis while I was searching for a comparison between them and the Volkl Kendo. While your review of the Bonafides did not touch on the Kendos I was wondering if you had any experience and/or knowledge on how they compare to the Bones. Also regarding my height and weight, what length of the Bonafides would you recommend for me. The 180s of the 187s. I am 180cm high (5 foot 11 inches) and I weigh 240 pounds.

    Thanks for the great review,

    Regards,
    - Martin

    • Hi Martin,

      The reason I don’t mention the Kendo when comparing the Bonafide is that ski is an 88mm waist vs the Bonafide is 98mm. The Bonafide and the Mantra have the same waist width so the comparison would be more accurate. We have a new ski coming in the fall called the the Brahma, which is 88mm, like the Kendo is, but has the rocker profile and construction of the Bonafide. This ski is incredible too, you should read my review of it on the site. The Bonafide still though is an excellent option, especially off piste. As far a Bonafide vs Brahma I would ask what ski you are coming off of? If you are coming off a narrow carving ski, and are concerned of the wider width the Brahma will be nice. Also be honest with yourself of where you like to spend time skiing, if you really are spending more and more time off piste then get Bonafide. Bonafide will be a great choice as well for your trip to Whistler. I would say get the 180cm. Hope that helps Martin.

      -Clem

  140. Michael says:

    Clem,

    I am 40 yr old 6ft 175lbs 15+ days in Tahoe. Athletic former ski instructor, expert level. After extensive research and demoing I have decided on the Bonafides and have the 2014s reserved at the Start Haus. I just need to decide on length, 180 or 187?

    Thanks,
    Michael

    • Hmm, right on the bubble..
      couple of questions:

      What length did you try, and what did you think?

      Where does the ski fit in your quiver?

      Short Turns or long?

      -Clem

      • Michael says:

        I only demoed the 180s (I could not find 187s). I definitely liked them, I thought they were extremely stable for the length. This will be my one quiver ski. I like big GS turns on the groomers, but short when needed in trees and bumps. So I guess that would depend on situation. I am just trying to find the sweet spot for me, ultra stability (no speed limit) vs agility in the narrow and tight vs float.

      • Michael-
        Go for 180cm then.

        -Clem

  141. nhzelin says:

    I’m a 65yo 150lb guy who’s loosing some strength and stamina but still likes to ski agressively and seeks out the pow and crud and shy’s away from the hard pack though will run fast on softer Tahoe groomers. My buddy who skies faster, a bit more direct fall line and less turns has loved his Mantras. My style is a bit slower, more turns, though still hold to the fall line. Trees, smaller bumps, Granite Chief, Headwall type stuff all OK. Reading the above I’m a bit excited about the Bonafides though I’ve been told I might find them a bit fatiguing so wanted your thoughts. There’s one odd ball factor here. We’re on tele gear but I love and ski both styles and aspire before I’m dead to switch seamlessly when it pleases. What are your thoughts on the Bones vs Mantras for this application. I’m thinking mid 170s as I’m on old 174 K2 Work Stinx at this time and that has worked. Thanks for your time. I’ve really have appreciate your comments to others.
    BTW: Any changes in the ’13-’14 models?

    Neil

    • Hey Neil,

      I think you’ll find that Bonafides are an amazing ski for Tahoe. To be clear you are mounting these tele? I’d say that Bonafides are only tiring if you get them too long. I’d say depending on your height probably 166 or 173cm. You will find that the Bonafides are stable like the Mantra, but a lot more forgiving when you need them to be.
      Hope that helps enjoy though, and just throwing it out there- the 166 length is hard to find and in very short supply so don’t hesitate too long if you decide that’s the size. Retailers don’t stock very many, as a result Blizzard doesn’t produce extras of that size.

      -Clem

  142. Hey Brian,

    I don’t think you’ll sacrifice much at all on the 180, especially if quicker turns are your preference.

    -Clem

  143. Richard Muncaster says:

    Hi, Clem.

    I’m a 60-year-old guy, 5’11″, 220 pounds, and a strong advanced skier. My typical winter includes one week of skiing at Jackson Hole (happiest on runs like Grand, St. John’s, or Laramie Bowl) and another week of skiing at a large Eastern ski area (like Whiteface, Stowe, or Killington.) I prefer making long-radius turns, and I only ski bump runs occasionally. No trees. My skis for the past 10 years have been Dynastar Intuitiv 71 at 175 cm, and, before that, I skied on Salomon 9000Exp at 198 cm.

    Should I buy the Blizzard Bonafide skis at 180 cm or at 187 cm?

    -Richard

  144. Kevin says:

    I am trying to decide between Cochise and Bodacious. I am currently skiing on the 8.7, but they are not fun in deep powder. I am leaning toward the Cochise but wonder if the Bodacious might not be a better tool to add to my box since my current skis are so good in most conditions. I ski most Squaw/Alpine but try to travel every year.

    Also, how are you sizing these skis? I am 5’6″, 165 and love to ski hard! We don’t spend a lot of time on the groomers.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Kevin,

      Both would be great options for you. I’d lean towards the Bodacious if you want a great powder ski that still rips in the crud. I love my Bodacious at Squaw, they are great when it gets chewed up so fast on powder days. If you want a wide, one ski quiver for when its soft then I’d lean toward the Cochise. If you’re still using your 8.7s most of the time and want to supplement that ski with a deep day ski then go 176 Bodacious. Let me know if you can’t find any there are a couple of last years around Tahoe right now on sale for some great prices.

      - Clem

      • Kevin says:

        Clem-

        That is about the same length as my 8.7s, should I go a bit longer (186) or have I been skiing on too long of skis these past few years? I do like the 8.7s, they are still fun to ski under most conditions!

        Thanks again!
        I will be looking for the bodacious.

        kevin

      • Nah I think that length will be good.

  145. Michael Chatagnier says:

    Clem,

    I just received my 2014 Bonafides from the Start Haus! I think I will mount some Salomon STH2 WTR 13s on them (I use a 10DIN setting). I went with the 180′s, thanks for the advice on the length.

    My Sister is in the market for some new skis and I wanted to see what your suggestions for her are. She is 5ft 5inch, 145lbs. Advanced skier. She lives in Brussels so she gets 10 days a year in the Tyrol region of Austria: Kitzbuhel, St Johann, Fieberbrunn, and Steinplatte. She spends her time cruising all on piste mostly on Reds (more advanced blues in Europe). Any advice on ski(s) and length?

    Thanks,
    Michael

    • Nice one Michael!

      I’d say for your sister, go with Viva Magnum 8.0, size 165cm. That will be perfect, if she wants to get better at off-piste, go for 166cm Black Pearl.

      Cheers,

      Clem

  146. Rob says:

    Hi. Great thread here. I am 6’4 195. I mainly ski mammoth here in ca. I have had last years mantra and found it a bit heavy. Loved my old Rossi zenith 9. But I really feel the bonnifide would be great for my fast gs style but as I am now 52 I like to ski everywhere and find myself all over the mountain and not just on groomers. Love it all. Not sure about the size though. Thanks for your help. Rob.

    • Rob-

      Let me ask you a couple of questions before I chime in on size.
      What size are the Mantras, 191 or 184cm? How aggressively do you ski? When skiing off piste, are you making GS turns off of Chair 23 or are you looking for hop turns in Phillipes/Paranoids?

      I know from experience that I love a longer ski at Mammoth but I’ve had people your weight be very happy on 180s, but your height is kinda a wild card.

      I think the Bonafide feels lighter and livelier than a Mantra, with better float, but just as smooth and stable. I’m getting amped just thinking about shredding Mammoth now, when you ski a Bonafide or a Cochise there you can’t help but think those skis were designed 100% with that place in mind! They are sick!

      -Clem

  147. Chris says:

    Hi,
    I am 5’9 180, 26 years old, expert. I ski Colorado and New Mexico (Taos). Love bumps, but want something to rip groomed as well. Skiing style is short quick turns. Torn between 180 & 173 Bonafides.

    Thanks.

    • Hey Chris-

      Id normally say 180, but your preference of short quick turns is telling me the 173 might be the ticket. Unless you want to make super-g turns on groomers I’d say the 173 would be good.

      -Clem

  148. johnny lau says:

    Hey Clem,
    How would you compare the kabookie to the bonafide? I demoed some 180 bonafides last year and loved them (I’m 6-1 165 40years young, expert level). The lighter weight of the kabookie has some appeal, if nothing else then for less tugging on my knees going up the lift. The kabookies I’m looking at are 187. I’m torn between them and the bonafide 180s. Advice? I like steep cascade pow and mach 10 GS turns on the groomers in the afternoon when everything is tracked out. Thanks…

  149. mc says:

    Hello Clem,
    Need some advice. I am a 46 yo 5’8″ 147 lds advanced to expert skier. I have been skiing 38 years but mostly east coast…. Now I live on the west coast mostly ski mammoth but live in southern cali so will get up there 4-8 days a month if lucky throughout the season. Chances of catching powder not good. As east coaster can ski it all well except powder. Mornings I ski more aggressive short quick turns and mogals while afternoons tend to be spent cruising steep flats and carving med to big gs turns. I am retiring my current 180 k2 merlins IV from 2000 for a new pair and cant decide between brahmas, bonafides and bushwakers. Since I dont see much powder and stay more on the groomers which would you recommend and what length based on my autobiography. I have never skied on boards as thick as these all mountains. Last year I demo’d a frontside ski like I am used to k2 rictors 174 and had a blast. Frontside ski or all mountain??

    Thanks
    Mc

    • MC

      I’d say get a 173 Brahma! They will rip on groomers, be really fun off trail, and with the Flipcore construction they’ll still be easy to ski in the afternoons.
      If you’re in SoCal in the LA area check them out at Sports LTD in Woodland Hills.

      -Clem

  150. mbonney says:

    Hi,

    Trying to decide 180 or 173 Bonafides– 5’9″, 175-185lbs depending on the weekend, advanced-expert skiier, skiing always out west, salt lake city, tahoe, etc…now on salomon 2012′s, 163′s, feel they are a bit short…I prefer trees, bumps, some jumps, and want something a bit wider waist for those gorgeous alta powder days but yet great for all-mountain playing…i could care less about high speed, large turns, or railsliding….so bonafides seem to be the ones but what size would you suggest? Thanks in advance…

  151. flynn.oleary@gmail.com says:

    Hi Clem,

    Great review on the skis.
    I’m looking to get anew all mountain / powder ski
    i’m very interested in the Bonafide. Not sure which size though.
    I mainly ski in Europe, but try and get out to Canada, RedMountain Resort, So a lot of tree skiing.
    I’m 6’6” Athletic build 210lbs
    I would say i’m an advanced skier,
    Currently skiing the Blizzard Magnum 8.5 Titanium 181

    I’m also interested in the Cochise, but feel that it might be more powder oriented?

    I don’t get to ski that much powder, so feel the Bonafide may be a better option

    Thanks in Advance

    Flynn

    • Flynn-

      I think you could step up to the 187 Bonafide and it would be sweet. YOu still have your Mag 8.5 for groomers and tighter turns, the 87 Bonafide will be a nice platform for off piste.

      Enjoy!

      -Clem

  152. Tim says:

    Hi, need a bit of advice as I’m torn between the 173 & 180 Bonafide. I’m a European skier and spend most of my time between Verbier, Courchevel and Chamonix. I’m currently skiing on some old Volkl Unlimited AC50′s around 168 and some Mantra’s around 177. I’m looking for one ski for everything. I’m 5″7 and around 185 lbs. What would you suggest? Was also thinking of setting them up with some Marker Griffon Schizo, or would you suggest the Jester’s? Thanks.

  153. Mark Rubensohn says:

    Hi Clem,
    I’m very excited about all that I read about the Bonafide ski. I am 61 yrs, 155 lbs and an advanced (not expert) skier getting out about 30 days a year. I almost only ski back bowls, glades and moguls, using groomers just to get to the “good stuff”. I currently ski 165cm long camber skis (Dynastar Sultan 85) or on powder days I like my rockered K2 Obsethed or Dynastar Slicer skis at 169cm which are perfect for me. I am a little reluctant to go longer than the 169cm . Do you think however that the 166cm Bonafide ski will be too short for me?

  154. Hi Clem,
    I am 61, 155 lbs, and an advanced (not expert) skier, getting out about 30 days a year in Western Canada. I ski preferably the back bowls, glades and moguls and mostly only use the groomers to access these “fun” areas of the mountain. My current skis are 165 cms or 169 cms when I am on my rockered skis for “powder” days. When I have previously skied on 175 cm cambered skis I found them too long for the more challenging terrain that I enjoy. So would you recommend I go with the 166cm or do you think I might find those too short and maybe I should try the 173cm Bonafide skis. Thanks, Mark

    • Hey Mark,

      How tall are you? This is a tough one because your Obseth is 169 but measures pretty long, probably close to 172? Also what are your current 165s? Lots of variables still there… Let us know and we will try and help.
      -Clem

  155. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly Clem. I am 5’8″ tall. For spring skiing and hard packed days I ski Dynastar Sultan 85′s. Powder days I am on Dynastar 6th Sense Slicer 169 or K2 Obsethed 169. When I have skied longer skis I actually love them until I get into the steeps, deeps, moguls and narrows. I have found that on a longer ski it tends to “even out the bumps” more so the ride seems less bumpy and more comfortable.

  156. Dana M says:

    Hi Clem,

    Have decided on a Blizzard purchase, but despite reading this and other reviews/posts have not been able to pick between the Bushwacker, Brahma and Bonafide. I know you can help!

    Here’s what you need to know first: 54 y.o., 5’10″ 185lbs; advanced/expert level; use is for OSQ for East Coast conditions in NH/VT/ME; like quick turns on steeps and skied off stuff on the sides of groomers, glades/trees, pow when available, NOT tight bumps, some GS turns to mix things up; I keep it moving down the hill, but age (and 2 ACLs) have lessened my aggressiveness. And I’m not getting any younger, so that trend likely to continue. It’s time to get a ski that can do some of the work for me, or if not allow me to ski more efficiently!

    Overall I’d say 70% frontside, 30% off piste but would be mostly off if conditions in the East allowed! Making the leap to today’s technology from Atomic S-9 Crosstour 170s.

    So – Bush, Bram or Bone? And what size (was leaning 173)? I seem to be getting pulled to the Bone, but my head says Bram. What’s your professional verdict?

    Thanks much!
    Dana

  157. dana4re says:

    Hi Clem,

    Have decided to purchase Blizzard, but have not been able to decide between Bushwacker, Brahma and Bonafide. Here’s my background: 54 y.o. male, 5’10″/185lbs, advanced/expert, 42 years skiing. Current skis are Atomic S-9 Crosstour 170s.

    The new Blizzards will be used for Northeast conditions in NH/VT/ME – so mostly groomed/hardpack with powder as nature sees fit. I enjoy quick turns on the steeps and in the skied off stuff on the sides of the trail, glades/trees, not really bumps – and def no tight bumps! I like to keep my pace moving downhill, but age and 2 ACLs have cut into my overall aggressiveness – and I am not getting any younger! I am looking for my new skis to be all mtn/all condition skis (OSQ), help me ski with less effort (but also have some snap for quick turns when needed) and hopefully to reduce fatigue to help to extend my ski day.

    Given the typical conditions in my area, I’d say 70% frontside, 30% off piste. These numbers would flip if nature is more generous with powder conditions! As I get older, my interest in finding the powder/softer snow increases, however the Northeast has its limitations.

    My heart says Bonafide, my head says Brahma. I am leaning 173s. What do you think?

    Thanks in advance!
    Dana

    • Dana-

      Go for the 173 Brahma. Same power as the Bonafide but for where you are skiing I think you will love Brahma. Will still work great on hard snow but have just enough freeride DNA so that you will really enjoy it if/when you get off trail. Let me know if you have trouble finding a set. Enjoy!

      -Clem

      • dana4re says:

        Perfect! I had reached the same conclusion on ski, but was struggling with length. My local shop has 180s, but said they can get the 173. Thank you for your advice!

  158. Magnus Hammarsal says:

    Hi Clem
    I haven’t had a chance to try the Blizzard, but like what I’ve been reading. I currently ski Line Prophet 100, 179cm (about three seasons old) and like them, but find I get poor edge hold and lots of chatter on harder surfaces. I like to go touring and ski mountaineering so want a ski for all conditions, not so bothered about performance on piste. Also like to climb up steeper stuff boot packing, so would like to keep skis short for the way up, but not so short that they don’t perform the way down.
    I’m more of a short, controlled turns kind of skier, than a Mach speed blaster. I’m 6’1″, but a very lightweight 155 pounds. How short do you think I could go looking at Bonafide or Kabookie?
    Magnus

  159. Chris says:

    Hi Clem
    I am looking to get a pair of the Bonafides. I am 41 , 5′ 10″ ,160lbs advanced skier and ski about 15 – 30 days a year in Europe . I can’t decide between the 173 and 180 . I am looking for a ski to ski the whole mountain , on , off , bumps and trees . I have seen bigger guys than me on 173 and smaller on 180 and am not sure what to get . I don’t want to get too big a ski that I am not going to be able to handle .
    Thanks Chris

  160. Bradenvlp says:

    Hi Clem – I have narrowed my choice down to the bonafide. 6’1″ 235lb 42 year old ex-advanced skier who can only make it up 10-15 days a year nowadays. Ski almost exclusively in the Pac NW. Coming off Rossingnol Bandit B3 176cm and trying to decide between 180 and 187. Thanks I. Advance for your help!

    • Brad-

      Initially I’d say 187 for your weight but seeing as youre coming off a 176 bandit which I’m assuming was good (or you would have gotten rid of it a few years ago) I’d go 180.

      -Clem

  161. Nick says:

    Looking at the Bonafide and Brahma as a couple possible choices and would love your input. I ski mostly East Coast (Ontario where I live, Quebec, NY) and try to make at least one trip West each season. I’m 6’1″, 170lbs advanced skier and hoping to keep building my skills. Given where I ski most of the time, I am carving on a lot of groomed trails but I try and get off into “the fun stuff” as much as possible. Currently on 168 Elan Magfire 10. I like the idea of the wider Bonafides especially for those West Coast trips, but wonder if the more sensible choice would be the Brahmas to get the most out of the East Coast groomed stuff? Also, is 180 my best bet lengthwise?

    Cheers!

  162. Sam says:

    Hi Clem,

    Rented the Bonafides last year in Tahoe and after couple runs, I figured them out and was like I’m getting these!! Both for home and everywhere else I go. So now the time has come and I’m ready to make the purchase but I can’t remember if I was riding the 180 or 187 knifes.? I’m 27, 6′ 1”, 200 lbs. ski in VT every weekend during the winter and make 2-3 trips out west/year. When in VT on the groomers I charge hard and fast, like the best of them. But ski trees and bumps as much as possible if the conditions permit it. Been in ski shops both in Boston and VT and have been getting mixed recommendations, but the general consensus has been the 180s. I’ve also read all the above answers and now feel uncertain and debating the 187′s due my weight and ability you’d recommend 187 on the groomers and back bowls. But I’d hate be overwhelmed with too much ski this coming winter as I attack the the bumps and weave through the, what can be rather dense, trees of Magic Mtn,Stratton & where every else I ski in New England. Help! Thank you in advance.

    Regards,
    Sam

    • Sam-

      This is a toughy, I think the 187 for your size, they’re pretty quick and snappy, and you’ll be stoked on your trips out west with those. That being said do you remember the shop or where you rented them? The shop might have a sophisticated tracking system and if you called them they might have a record of the length you tried. If you can’t remember the exact name I can help out there.

      -Clem

  163. Sam says:

    Yep, Tahoe Dave’s, they emailed me about a labor day sale in August so I emailed them back with this same question. They were leaning toward the 187s too, but this was before the most recent 180 recommendations from the local reps, must be they’re east coast bias, rightfully so, as things are a lot diff around these parts. But I know, when on groomers out West is when it clicked and I was sold on these as a go anywhere ski. I will reach out to them and see if they have that data though. Great idea!!!! Whether they do or don’t, I think I’m just going just go with big boys and rock’em!!! Like they say, go big or go home!

  164. Peter says:

    Clem,
    I have skied 184 Mantra comfortably for years. What length Bonafide would you recommend?

    Thanks,
    Peter

  165. Alex Toth says:

    Hi, I am looking for some advice on ski/ ski length for me. I currently ski an 08/09 K2 Apache Recon 174cm I am 50y/o guy, 5’10.5″ 180lbs body weight (no cloths). I ski blue runs and single blacks in Vail, Breck, Snowmass pretty quickly (Ski Tracks App & Garmin GPS track me @ 40 to 52mph ) and feel like I am about a strong level 6 or medium level 7 skier but certainly not an expert, just somewhat bored with the front side runs and want to venture into powder and bowls. I am looking for a ski which gives me more float than my current Recon to allow exploring the powder but still get me around the groomed stuff quickly as I ski with my family. The Blizzard Bonafide caught my attention but am torn between sizes 180cm or 187cm any advice would help?

    Thanks alot,

  166. James says:

    Clem,
    Hi, James here. I am interested in the Bonifide but need help with the length. I am a solid advanced intermediate and I like to ski hard and aggresive. I am progressing each time I go out. I’m 43, 6′ 1″ 215 with gear. Ski mostly Tahoe and Mammoth. I get out about 10 times a season hopefully more this year. I ski a rossingnal 168 and I overpower them pretty bad. Bought them 5 years ago when I didn’t know what I was doing. I think what is keeping me from stepping up to the next level is my ski’s. I love carving on grommers and hitting the bumps on diamonds. Would you recommend a 173 or 180?

    • James-

      First pass at this says you should get 180s, the fact that you’re 215 6-1, and like to ski aggressively is what’s leading me here. It might be a little long in moguls to start but I think you’d be really stoked on the length once you get them in crud and softer snow and you got a few days under your belt to get used to them. It’s gonna be a bit of an adjustment coming off of a 168 but I think you’ll be fired up after a few days. Just go into it with an open mind and also with the expectations that it’s going to take a little time to adjust but I think long term this is the key for your size and the fact that like to ski more aggressively.

      -Clem

  167. Tim says:

    Interesting. Some advice pls. I am currently skiing on 2010 K2 crossfire. I’m 53 and 134 lbs. I ski on a 163 and 5’6″. I am a aggressive piste carver and love to shred iced runs. I often clock over 50 mph.

    I would like to take the fun off the pise but do not won’t to loose the ability to have fun on pise. Would the bonfide be good for me. If so what length should I go for?

    Many thanks
    Tim.

  168. David Balsam says:

    Clem:

    Looking at Brahmas for my area. Midwest intermediate/advanced skier that is skiing more each year as my kids get older to ski with me. 6’2″ and weigh 170lbs. Ski 70% Groomers and 30% off-piste. Want a good carver but something I can take in some powder and trails or one trip out west a year. Think the Brahmas fit the bill for all of this. Question is length. Thinking 180 vs 173. You agree?

    • David,

      You could go either way for your ability and weight. I’d initially say 180 would be fine especially for the trip out west, unless you really really like making short, quick turns. The 180 will be a bit more balanced off trail and still be plenty easy to turn quickly.

      -Clem

  169. Scott says:

    Clem,

    I have a pair of 180 Bones that I use as my everyday all mountain ski (in both the midwest and out west) and a pair of 185 Cochise that I only use on powder days. What would you recommend for base and side bevels for each?

    Thanks.

    Scott

    • Scott,

      1 degree base, 2 side. If possible have the base bevel tuned at a shop that has the Wintersteiger Trim Jet edge finish machine. That thing will put the nice diagonal finish on the edge that is identical to the factory tune. I highly recommend this. It will give the skis a nice, easy feeling at slow speeds but still give you the excellent edge grip once up on edge. For maintenance just use a super fine stone on the base and only use the file on side edges. Gummi stone 4-6″ of the tip and tail depending on conditions. Btw nice quiver!

      -clem

  170. David says:

    Clem:

    I am torn… Trying to decide Brahma 180cm or Bushwacker 180cm. I am 6’2″ and 170lbs. and ski primarily Midwest. An occasional trip out West a year. Want a good groomer but also something that can crush some crud and go off-piste some as well. I have a read a lot of reviews on both of these skis as they are very similar. Brahma though has two layers of metal where Bushwacker doesn’t. Brahma stiffer/stronger and Bush more playful and flexible. Seems like the Brahma may be better for the more powerful/heavier skier and the Bush for someone a little lighter? I am intermediate/advanced and play around with my 9 & 12 year-olds and then go crush it with friends too on the blacks in the same day. Which ski? Push me off the fence!

    • Get a Brahma. No question. Metal does not make skis stiffer! The bushwhacker is more playful because the non metal is very lively, but don’t mistake metal for making skis stiffer. They’re just a bit more damp. The Brahma is an unbelievable ski. Easy but it rips when you need it to.

      -Clem

  171. David says:

    Thanks Clem. I was just reiterating comments I have been reading. You are correct metal does not make it stiffer. I have not ridden the 8.5ti. Should I cross that off my list and just go straight for a Brahma?

  172. Bill Thompson says:

    Hi Clem,
    I’m 66 yrs old, 5’10″ 185 lb Advanced expert back skiing Quebc & North-East after a 10 yr hiatus. So far been skiing hard-pack/ice mostly on piste. So far, I’m on Atomic Varioflex 166s (126-75-111) which are great on the groomers. As I gain strength and technique returns, finding I can pretty much get the radius I want out of them, and if skiing groomers with my Level 3 instructor friends was all I want to do, I’d stay with them. As speed goes up, they dampen down, andf will carve on anything, at any speed and radius I’m strong enough, and quick enough to hold.

    However, I’m getting really bored with stylish groomer skiing. I’m nuts about the tight, bumpy trees we get up here, and not quick enough to drive the Atomics through this stuff. I find tips and tails very hooky, and no smear potential (I can only relate this to my former Salomon Superforce 178s from the “old days” which had torsionally soft shovels and were forgiving enough for an old guy (then in his 50s) to still get through the bumps with the younger crowd, if only for a couple of hours.

    So enough preamble.I’m looking hard at Bonafide 173s as the answer, maybe even to a 1 quiver ski. Though I can always keep the Atomics and have a pair for groomer/instructor days, and a pair for the real stuff, I’d be happier if the !73s would do it all for me. Your thoughts will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • I think you would love a 173 Bonafide! You might wanna consider a 173 Brahma though too if youre looking to replace the Atomics. Might be a good choice for firm eastern days and still be plenty fun in the softer snow and off piste terrain. My brother just had a blast at Mt. rose on some Brahmas on a nice spring corn snow day, and he’s usually on Cochise.

      -Clem

      • Bill Thompson says:

        Thanks Clem! Buying them! Really excited about tryiing the Bonafides next week in the trees at Jay! I’ll keep the Atomics for the 30% front side days with my piste-only instructor friends. .

        Bill

  173. Easton says:

    Hey. Great advice here. I’m in need of some guidance. I live in the NW. 6′ 200lbs. Can (and do) ski anything, but usually hit the bumps and trees, on piste, pow when it’s there. Currently on 174 m-power FS 8.7. Love ‘em, but Looking for a ski for all conditions (including pow). Bonifides or Cochise? Not sure about the camber vs flat on each, but want one I can maneuver in tight spots. Thanks for the advice!

    • You could go either way, I think if you want a complement to the M power for soft snow days to powder get a 185 Cochise. If you want one ski to do everything I’d say 180 Bonafide, it will be quick enough and still fun on groomers, you could go 187 but bumps and trees you might like the 80 better.

      -Clem

      • Easton says:

        Thanks for the advice. Sounds like the bonafides are the way to go…although I just read up on the new peacemakers and they sound great. Are they a softer version of the bonafides? Thanks again!

      • No they are not. Its more of an all mountain twin. Its 104mm underfoot. A bit more playful than Bonafide in soft snow but wont be as versatile as a bonafide.

  174. Kevin the old guy says:

    Clem – Thanks excellent information in your replies. In my case I’m really interested in the Bonafide but unfortunately have not been able to demo them. I’ve considered the Cochise as well. So I’m relying on yours and other reviews. I’m 6’2′ 195lbs and old – 58. I’ve been skiing forever and still consider myself an aggressive advance skier :-) Only ski 10-15 days a year now (both west and east). Don’t do bumps as often as I once did. Since all of my western skiing is advanced planned ski trips I don’t get to pick the snow conditions. I get what I get. When I can get it I love powder but typically I’m skiing the variable snow an crud on the edges and trees. In the east, groomers and some bumps. Currently ski on an old pair of Salomon Foils 183cc, 87 under foot. I really like that they are quick edge to edge, short turns and preform great on soft snow. My only complaint is that on groomer with hard snow or ice and even high speed turns they don’t hold like I need. For example, when arcing a high speed GS turn I can often feel them skipping as they struggle to hold. This is understandable since they weren’t designed for that type of skiing. I’m hoping the Bonafide or Cochise will do it all…

    Several question:
    Based on the description above would you recommend the Bonafide, Cochise or other?
    Given my size and skiing style what size?
    Would you recommend a hybrid AT Binding for your recommended ski?

    Thanks!!!

    • I’d say get a 180 Bonafide. It will do everything you ask it too and be excellent for whatever conditions you throw at it. It will be great on hard snow and soft, if you go out west and it absolutely nukes snow then rent a pair of gunsmokes or something for the day. I wouldnt get a hybrid binding. If you want to get into touring, get some Cochise boots (you CAN have one boot to do everything- mine do anyway), tech soles for them, and put some Dynafit bindings on the Foils. Hybrid bindings I feel are great in theory but not in practice. They ski ok at the resort and then touring they are kinda heavy. It doesnt make sense to get something like that for you to use 1-2 days a year (maybe) and compromise performance. I like Griffons from Marker. If you want to go uphill jump in with both feet, but dont be one of those guys who gets a hybrid binding that they never actually use.

      • Kevin the old guy says:

        Thanks! Really appreciate the quick reply. I go back and forth on the size. One minute I think my 183 Foils don’t hold an edge as well as I’d like on hard snow because they are too short for my size and I need something longer; then on the other hand, I don’t want to have some massive planks that are heavy, long and hard to get around in tight spots. So, you think 180′s will hold work well, that’s what I’ll go with. Also, like the idea of putting on the AT bindings on the Foils. Thanks again. K

  175. jwill3113 says:

    Tons of great info here! Thanks everybody and most certainly Clem.
    I am in a place where I’m stuck on making a final decision. I am 5’6”, 168lb, athletic/muscular build. Would be rated as a “low” 8 skier. I live and ski primarily in Michigan but do spend several days a year out west.. I like to ski bowls, bumps, light pow, trees and rough groomers while out west but am limited to what I available in Michigan. Which bull would you recommend, Brahma or Bone? And at what length would you suggest?

  176. Kevin the old guy says:

    With your great review and advice I picked up some new boards (Bonafide 180′s) and Griffon bindings this weekend. Can’t wait to try them out.

  177. jwill3113 says:

    Tons of great info here! Thanks everybody and most certainly Clem.
    I am in a place where I’m stuck on making a final decision. I am 5’6”, 168lb, athletic/muscular build. Would be rated as a “low” 8 skier. I live and ski primarily in Michigan but do spend several days a year out west.. I like to ski bowls, light pow, trees and rough groomers while out west but am limited to what I available in Michigan. Which bull would you recommend, Brahma or Bone? And at what length would you suggest? Additionally, I’m 28 years old and ski pretty aggresively in most situations/conditions.

    • I’d say Brahma would your best bet, I would say 173cm unless you only like short turns then you could go 166, but I’d say you’d like the little extra length especially when you get to take em out west.
      -Clem

  178. David says:

    In regards to Jwill3113, I agree with Clem. I am also a Michigan skier with some days out west and scenario is almost identical to jwill3113. I went with Brahma’s late in the season and skied 5 days on them in March in MI. They rip groomers and hold edge on ice and crushed the spring corn snow and crud. Buy them!

  179. woofcyn says:

    I’m 5’8″ 140-150 lbs advanced, aggressive skier. Ski a few days in VT periodically, but mostly ski French Alps. Want one ski to ski every style in every condition (tough, I know). Mostly off piste, sometimes backcountry. Own 2007 170 red Mantras, but getting old. Versatile, light, stable and maneuverable, but want more speed. An extra 5 cm would help. Owned and sold the 2009 Kuros (132 underfoot). HATED the out-of-control bouncing. I hope it is not due to rockers and also that Bonafides are not even remotely similar to the Kuros! Which size Bonafides do you recommend as my Mantra replacement?

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