I wasn’t biggest fan of the Blizzard Bonafide of the past, and maybe I was the only one (given all the praise it received). I just found it a bit too demanding, and I honestly felt like the reward really didn’t match the effort. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very capable ski, and I knew plenty of hard chargers that loved it, but it just never felt overly exciting for me. I’m sure there were plenty of people that were sad to hear that Blizzard was making changes to the Bonafide for 2016, but I was intrigued to see if the changes would really make any difference in my opinion. Man, am I glad that I gave the Bonafide a second chance. I love the new iteration of the Bonafide, and it’s a ski that was very close to making our favorites list for 2016. The biggest change Blizzard made was adding carbon to tip and tail. Although it didn’t really reduce overall weight, it did noticeably decrease swing weight while increasing structural integrity. The end result feels easier to ski than previous Bonafides, while retaining the knife like precision, hard charging power and stability, and speed loving dampness of the old Bones.
2016 Blizzard Bonafide On-Mountain Ski Review
Video Outerwear: Trew Cosmic Jacket – North Face Freedom Pant
Conditions: Hard pack, soft groomers, crud, bumps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Salomon Z12
Ski Personality: The Bonafide is a fun, exciting, and powerful carver that likes speed and has good all-mountain versatility.
On the Snow Feel: The new Blizzard Bonafide feels slightly more maneuverable and easier to ski than past, but is still a beefy ski that feels stable on a wide variety of terrain. Adding carbon to the tip helped to reduce swing weight, but increased the structural integrity. This helps make the ski feel maneuverable, while retaining a very damp and stable feel.
Powder: The new Blizzard Bonafide still isn’t a powder specialist, but with tip and tail rocker, and a 98mm waist width, the Bonafide isn’t totally out of place either. I found it perfectly capable in moderate amounts of snow, even as it began to firm up. The tip dive of past versions doesn’t seem as big an issue in the new Bones, but it still doesn’t have great flotation thanks to a more traditional tip shape and stiff construction. The carbon tips seem to help a bit, but a touch more taper could go a long ways.
Turn Initiation and Carving: One of my biggest complaints with the previous Blizzard Bonafide was that the reward didn’t seem to match the effort. What I mean by this is that the Bonafide felt underwhelming for the amount of effort it took to ski it. It was a ski that felt sluggish and slightly unresponsive at slower speeds, and it took a lot of speed for it to come alive. It took a lot of work to swing the ski around, and for a small guy like me, it didn’t seem to reward the effort with as much rebound energy as I would have hoped for. The ski was also quite unforgiving, and required you to be on your game at all times. The new Bonafide seems much more maneuverable at slower speeds, and seems much more approachable to lighter skiers. At the same time, the new Bonafide can still rip. It was so much fun getting the ski on a high edge angle and laying deep trenches. The ski was very powerful and energetic, but I didn’t feel like I had to work as hard to make it come alive. The added maneuverability also seems to lend a sort of “playfulness” the old Bones never had. I wouldn’t necessarily call the Bonafide a playful ski, but the 2015/2016 was much more fun when add-libbing in the softer snow just off piste. At the same time, the new Bones seems to have better “grip” on piste even with a bigger sweat spot. I didn’t notice the tails washing out like I did when I got too far forward on the old Bones even if I found myself getting a bit lazy during a turn. It feels like Blizzard somehow made the new Bonafide more approachable and maneuverable while increasing it’s grip and precision. It’s still a powerful beast that will reward good skiers, but doesn’t require the same effort as past versions. I think Blizzard took a great ski, and made it even better.
Speed: The Blizzard Bonafide has always seemed to shine at speed, and the new Bonafide is no exception. Actually, the new bones might even be slightly better. The ski is still heavy and moderately stiff with a pretty burly construction. However, the new carbon Flipcore construction helps to increase the torsional stiffness of tip and tail while reducing the swing weight. This helps to keep the tips from chattering at high speeds. At the same time, the core is still quite heavy and damp with two metal inserts helping to reduce any negative vibrations and smooth out terrain.
Uneven Terrain: The Blizzard Bonafide is a beefy ski with a full wood core and 2.5 sheets of titanal laminates. This helps to increase the dampness and help crush anything in your way. Of all the all-mountain skis I’ve tested, the Bonafide was one of the most stable in the crud and chopped up snow. While I found I couldn’t open it up completely, I found that even at high speeds the Bonafide remained pretty damp in the chop. It’s not a forgiving ski, however, and you need to stay on top of your game to be sure you’re not thrown around too much.
Edge Hold: While the 2014/2015 Blizzard Bonafide was good on hard snow, I found it came up short on steep hard packed terrain. This years Bonafide sticks to hard snow better than before and helps to inspire confidence when speeding down hard packed runs. This is definitely one of the best hard snow skis in the 95-100mm waist category, and even better than some sub 95mm skis.
Moguls: I actually really enjoyed the new Blizzard Bonafide in the moguls. The reduced swing weight makes it feels quicker than before, and any moderately good skier should have no problem skiing quick enough in bumps. Sure it’s still demanding, but it was a really fun ski to push myself on in the bumps.
Flex: The 2015/2016 Bonafide has a moderately stiff flex that doesn’t feel all that different from last seasons. It is slightly more forgiving than the past, but doesn’t give up any of that hard charging attitude.
I absolutely loved the new Blizzard Bonafide, and i think it would make a great everyday ski for aggressive all-mountain chargers that want a precision carver that is also very capable off piste. It carves better than some all-mountain frontside skis, and yet can handle speed, chop, and powder better than almost all other all-mountian skis in this waist width. It’s easy to see why the Blizzard Bonafide was one of the best selling skis of the past few years, and with the new improvements that trend should stop anytime soon. If you’re a relatively aggressive skier looking for a quiver of one ski to dominate on hard pack, blast through crud, and inspire confidence at speed, the Bonafide is your ski. The best part of the new and improved version is that it’s for more approachable for intermediate skiers than in the past.