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2014-2015 Blizzard Bonafide

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Blizzard Bonafide, Blister Gear Review

14/15 Blizzard Bonafide

Ski: 2014-2015 Blizzard Bonafide, 180cm

Dimensions (mm): 133-98-118

Sidecut Radius: 21 meters

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 178.1cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2088 & 2085 grams

Mount Location: Factory Line

Boots / Bindings: Salomon X-Pro 120 / Marker Jester

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 8

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 13/14 Bonafide, which is unchanged for 14/15, except for the graphics.]

Blizzard doesn’t say a whole lot about the Bonafide on their European website (www.blizzard-ski.com), but on their US website (www.blizzardsportusa.com) they state:

“The Bonafide is the most versatile ski in Blizzard’s Free Moutain line. This ski really is the ultimate “every-day” ski regardless if you prefer to SEND IT from the East Coast or the West Coast. Make this ski your 1 ski quiver & experience the success of Flipcore Technology.”

Ok, so they’re calling it a versatile, every-day, one-ski quiver. Got it. (As for the Flip Core thing, we still don’t get that—especially in the Bonafide, a ski that has traditional camber underfoot…. But you can check out our article, What is Flip Core?, if you feel like it.)

And since it’s probably the case that most conversations about the Bonafide eventually get to questions about how it stacks up against the Volkl Mantra (another 98mm underfoot, all-mountain ski with metal), I spent the past couple of weeks at Taos Ski Valley alternating between the 180cm Bonafide and the 184cm Mantra. I’m going to reference the Mantra a lot, and you might want to read my review of the 13/14 Mantra, too.

Rocker Profile & Flex Pattern

First, a few stats:

13/14 & 14/15 Bonafide, 180cm: 133-98-118mm; Weight: 2088 & 2085 grams; Actual Length: 178.0cm; Sidecut Radius: 21.0 meters

13/14 Mantra, 184cm:    132-98-118mm; Weight: 2071 & 2058 grams; Actual Length: 182.9cm; Sidecut Radius: 25.8 meters

See why people tend to compare these two skis? Lots of similarities, but there are some distinct differences, too.

Both skis have traditional camber underfoot, but the Mantra has more. The tip rocker lines of the two skis are pretty similar, but the Bonafide has much more splay, and the shovels of the Bonafide are noticeably softer than the Mantra’s. I’d call the Mantra’s tips “very stiff,” and the forebody of the Mantra “stiff.” The tips of the Bonafide are “stiff,” while the forebody is “medium.” (And if you’re thinking that this probably means that the Bonafide will work better in deep snow than the Mantra, give yourself a gold star.)

The Bonafide’s tails are also less stiff than the Mantra’s, but the difference in stiffness in the tails is less pronounced than the difference in stiffness in their shovels. If the Mantra’s tails = “stiff,” the Bonafide’s = “medium/stiff.”

Finally, while the Mantra has no tail rocker and just a subtly upturned tail, the Bonafide’s tail is twinned up even less than the Mantra’s, but it does have a very subtle amount of tail rocker—when decambered, its rocker line starts about 19cms from the end of the ski, and there is only about 2cms of splay at the tail.

The Bonafide is also tapered more at the tail than the Mantra, so the widest portion of the Bonafide’s tail is a little farther forward than the Mantra’s. If this all sounds too subtle to matter, you’re wrong. The Bonafide definitely has a looser tail than the Mantra, and that difference is quite noticeable in certain types of terrain and snow conditions.

Speaking of various terrain and conditions…

Soft Groomers / Carving

The Bonafides are a lot of fun here. Their traditional camber underfoot produces more rebound out of turns than the Bonafide’s bigger brother, the Cochise. And its softer flex pattern makes the ski easier to bend than the Mantra, which, in combination with the Bonafide’s smaller sidecut radius, made it easier than the Mantra to carve short, tight turns. (On groomers, I personally prefer very fast, big GS turns to slalom turns at moderate speeds, but you may not.)

But just to be clear, the Bonafides did big, fast turns on soft groomers very well, too. And skiers who are lighter than me (less than 180 lbs.) might prefer the Bonafide over the Mantra even for big and fast—Will Brown, who is about 25 lbs. lighter than me, felt like the 184cm Mantra was a little tough to bend.

Finally, I will say that it was easier to lose the tail of the Bonafide than the Mantra when finishing turns. Those looser tails and softer shovels make the ski more susceptible to over-pressuring the shovels through the apex of a turn, and unweighting / releasing the tails a little bit; or, on firmer snow, over-pressuring the rockered tails and having them slide rather than bite. In sum, it mostly just means that, the firmer the snow gets, the more important it was when carving to keep my weight evenly distributed over the Bonafide. That seemed to matter a lot less on the Mantra.

Steep, Icy Groomers & End-of-the-Day, Roughed-Up Groomers

In both cases, the 184cm Mantra outperformed the 180cm Bonafide. While the tail profiles of the Bonafide and the Cochise are one of the very interesting things about those skis, on icy steeps, it is easy to wash out the tails when carving across the fall line (think Taos’ Zagava). Then again, the softer shovels and more significant tip splay of the Bonafide don’t help the cause, either.

Furthermore, on groomers like Powderhorn that had been bumped up (“de-groomed”) a bit by the end of the day, the Mantras were far better at handling those big turns at high speeds over bumpy terrain. (I’m not talking about actual mogul runs here, just roughed up groomers.) The softer shovels of the Bonafide were folding up on me a bit, and the Mantra simply offered a stabler, damper ride. No contest here. (Then again, the more you are inclined to slow things down in such circumstances, the less you’ll need the top end of the Mantra anyway…)

Moguls

I’ve skied a ton of bumps on the Bonafide, and really enjoyed them.

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Blizzard Bonafide, Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Blizzard Bonafide, Al’s Run, Taos Ski Valley.

As a caveat, I never break out dedicated bumps skis, because I’ll almost always be hiking Kachina Peak or West Basin in addition to bumping Al’s Run, or Longhorn, or Spencer’s. All that to say, I’m comfortable skiing bumps on 98mm-underfoot skis, and I don’t tend to mind whether the skis are stiff (Volkl Mantra) or soft (Rossignol S3).

The Bonafides are still probably on the stiffer side for skiing bumps, but the relatively short length, the easy-to-pivot tails, and the not-super-stiff shovels made bumps fun. Though if you’re newer to moguls, the Bonafide’s tails might still be too stiff to make these a great choice for you, and skis with more tapered tips will feel quicker.

Trees

If you tend to pivot rather than carve your way through trees, you’ll probably prefer the Bonafide to skis that don’t have any tail rocker. But most of all, there were no surprises here. Lighter skis with more tail rocker and more tapered tips than the Bonafide will be easier in very tight trees at slow speeds (e.g., DPS Wailer 99, Rossignol S3, etc.), but the 180cm Bonafides never felt like a chore to me in bumps or trees. Quite the opposite.

 

93 Comments

  1. Frame December 31, 2013 Reply

    Cheers for this, have both ski’s on my shortlist and at my intermediate/advanced level, sounds like the Bonafide is the better option. Interesting that you suggest skiing shorter, one of my concerns at 6′ 4″ (200lbs) is that ski’s with a bit of tip rocker are a tad short (typlically 188cm). Any ski (that I have an interest in) that seems to be over 190cm has tail rocker or twin tip (so proabably same at a 188) and I’m keen to have a daily driver 40/60 piste/off piste – Mantra being the exception. For 3cm, could well be I’m over thinking things.

    • Author

      Hi, Frame – to be clear, I’m not recommending going shorter. What I wrote was, “*IF* you are torn between two lengths, you can [probably] afford to drop down.” I don’t know how and where you ski, but at 6’4″ 200, I don’t think there ought to be much of a question about which length. 187.

      • Frame January 1, 2014 Reply

        Understood. I’m just wondering if 187 is long enough. Not many options for a ski of this type/style that is longer.
        I ski in Europe and have to fly from the UK, so looking for a one ski quiver. I’m nothing amazing on ski’s get around all pistes with out to much trouble, my technique is rubbish on moguls so tend to avoid and have a bit of a tendency to get in the back seat off piste, but love working on that and spending time off piste.

        • Wasatchback January 1, 2014 Reply

          I’m 6’2″ 210 with a ski racing background and have never wanted a longer size than the 187.

          • Frame January 2, 2014 Reply

            Well, hard to argue with that. I had a background with 205 straight ski’s but time for this bloke to catch up with the changes in ski design ;o)

  2. Blister Member
    Michael December 31, 2013 Reply

    Great review.

    I’m 5’10” 175 lbs and really like the 180 Bonafide as an all mountain ski. It’s damp and edge hold is really good on firm snow (perhaps not as much as the Mantra but plenty for me), yet it is just loose enough with the tail rocker to pivot in tight spots, bumps, and fresh. Perfect balance IMO for an all mountain ski (west coast).

  3. Matt December 31, 2013 Reply

    I am 5’9, 170. I own and love the Cochise in a 185, yet really enjoyed the Bonifide in the 180. I spent a day demo’ing it at Alta on a cold crud day and had a blast. I had no need for more length bombing down the funky snow. I thought it was a really fun ski and almost bought it.
    The ski that won me over was the Atomic Alibi. Its another really fun ski in the 98mm category and worth looking at. I would have never considered it, had it not been in a demo fleet at my local hill.

  4. JB January 3, 2014 Reply

    I seem to recall you doing a review of the Nordica Hell and Back. How would you compare it to the Bonafide?

    • Author

      Hey, JB – as I noted in my Hell & Back review, the Hell & Back feels more like a dialed back Mantra, which isn’t how I’d describe the Bonafide (as I hope my review above makes clear how & why). The Hell & Back and Mantra have similar tails, and for pure carving, I prefer that Hell & Back / Mantra tail. Our Hell & Backs are currently being tested in Vermont, and shovel stiffness between the Hell & Back and Bonafide seemed similar enough on snow that I can’t say for sure right now which is softer / stiffer. Soft snow performance between the 185 Hell & Back is probably pretty close to the 180 Bonafide, but again, I’d need to A/B them to say definitively.

      • JB January 5, 2014 Reply

        Hi Jonathan!

        Thanks for the quick response. Seems like I can’t go wrong with either the H&B and Bonafide… Just comes down to skiing preference.

  5. TM January 7, 2014 Reply

    Jason said multiple times about how he thought the swing weight of the kabookie puzzled him for such a light ski, did you find the Bonafide to have a heavier swing weight than the mantra? Little difference in length though.

    • Author

      No, TM, the 184cm Mantra has a heavier swing weight than the 180cm Bonafide. Keep in mind, I’ve got 20-25 lbs on Jason. (He’s ~160 lbs, I’m 180-185.) In his review, Jason writes, “the important caveat here is that I am a fairly light, balanced, finesse-style skier. Heavier, more aggressive skiers may not find the ski to be as much work.” I didn’t find the 180 Kabookie to be much work, I mostly just didn’t find it to be *enough* ski. I’ll be writing a 2nd look on the Kabookie shortly.

  6. TM January 19, 2014 Reply

    When will you guys have the hell and back review done? Very curious to know what you both think about it in comparison to kabookie. Seems super light in the stores which I love but it’s non rockered wide tail has kept me from trying it. As much as I love that setup on the groomers it’s not near as much fun in the bumps and trees once you start skiing rockered and turned up tails. I think next year they are adding rocker to the tail but that could be just a rumor.

  7. JB January 19, 2014 Reply

    Hell and Back does have a “kicked” tail. As for the review, looks like they just posted their newest Hell and Back review. U should check it out!

  8. Ian January 29, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan

    Great review as usual. I am thinking of replacing my Sickles with something a little narrower (I have the Automatics for powder days) with more edge grip for firmer conditions and am considering the Bonafides.

    I am 5 7′, 154 lbs and an advanced skier who tends to ski at medium high speeds (not a charger) in Whistler (mostly off the groomers in the bowls) and I prefer medium radius turns. Would the Bonafides be a good fit and how would you compare them to the Scimitar as well ?

    Thks
    Ian

    • TM January 29, 2014 Reply

      If I’m allowed to pipe in to this question why not look at the Kabookie? At your size and your statement saying medium speed, not a charger the Kabookie would be awesome for you. As I guy that has skied both Kabookie would be my recommendation to you.

      • Ian January 30, 2014 Reply

        Thanks for the recommendation TM, I will try and demo both skis.

  9. Correa February 4, 2014 Reply

    Tried both Bonafide / Hell&Back yesterday at Kirkwood in powder/steep groomers/bumps and Bonafide were great all around! H&B are nice but bought the Bonafide with a big smile and on sale!

  10. Blister Member
    Paul February 4, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanx for a solid review of this ski. I have seen a few, but this one is definitely the best. I have been debating for a while now between the Bonafide’s and Nordica’s – Hell and Back. I don’t have a chance to demo either one, but it looks like the H&B would be a better choice for me (Skiing Style and being metal free) according to your review and some of the comments. I skied the Mantra’s three years ago, and felt that I did not need that much of a ski all the time. With 2.5 sheets of Metal, are the Bonafide’s anything close as the Mantra’s? As well, if u can offer any other comparisons between the Bonfide and The H&B’s, that would totally be appreciated. Thanks, Paul

    • Author

      Hi, Paul – I’ve made a few direct Hell & Back vs. Bonafide comparisons in the above comments. Aside from that, I don’t think I have more to add than you could already glean from reading my Bonafide and Hell & Back (and Mantra) reviews.

  11. Blister Member
    Paul February 19, 2014 Reply

    Jonathan – all 3 reviews were solid and added that final push to stir me in the direction of H&B (They r getting mounted right now.) I got a super sweet deal because they r getting replaced by the NRGY series next year. Thanx again for the solid reviews.
    I’m looking forward to your review of the Rossi Experience 100.
    .

  12. Kyle February 20, 2014 Reply

    This is all really useful information. Been reading a lot about Mantra vs. Bona Fide. I’m wondering about length and wanted to get your view. I’m 6’2″ 200 lbs. I’m looking at Bona Fides at a good price and they’re 180 cm. Various ski length calculators put me at 180-185 cm. I noticed you recommended a 6’4″/200 lb guy should get the 187 cm length Bona Fides. I currently ski a Volkl AC50 at 177 cm. I ski mainly in CO and I do all types of terrain. I like to go fast! Just wondering about all this and would appreciate your input. Thanks!

    • Author

      Thanks, Kyle. And while I don’t know what you consider “fast,” at your height & weight, if you really mean fast, then I wouldn’t hesitate to go 187. (If you were super concerned about maneuverability and quickness, you might get me to hesitate and consider the 180. But for fast? 187.

  13. Steve February 26, 2014 Reply

    GREAT reviews and comments. I’m a Squaw guy, ready to replace my Volkl Grizzly’s for the everyday, firm, carving side of my quiver (I use a Volkl Katana for bigger softer days). Although I tend toward more traditional cambered carving boards (racing heritage), I’m on the fence between the Mantra and the Bonafide. Store dood said newer Mantra’s can be a bit “planky” and felt the Bonafide was the way to go. Your review kind of hints toward the Mantra for strong hold in tip to tail carving.

    I’m 5’10” / 160lbs. If Bonafide, I’m on the fence between 173 and 180, leaning 180 since the effective length is shortened by the tip rocker.

    All further thoughts appreciated.

    Steve

    • Demetri February 27, 2014 Reply

      I’ve skied both Mantra and Bonafide for >20 days each. I ski Squaw as well. I think you’ll enjoy both skis. My pick: Bonafide. The reason is the Bonafide is more refined. The flex pattern is better dialed and they are better behaved in more conditions.

  14. Steve February 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks. Reliable riders all seem to lean Bonafide, so that’s the decision. Just gotta get the spring deal.

    Steve

    • Author

      Hey, Steve – just to muddy the waters a bit: I agree with Demetri that you might enjoy either ski. Where I disagree with him – seriously disagree with him – is in calling the Bonafide “more refined.” The Bonafide simply has a softer shovel, which some people will like. But as I wrote in my Mantra review, it has one of the most balanced, progressive flexes (albeit a rather stiff flex) of any ski I’ve skied. I do not regard the Bonafide as being “more dialed”. All I am willing to say is that the Bonafide has a more “user-friendly” flex. So I guess that means I’m not a “reliable rider,” but I’ll stand by the differences I’ve articulated in my Mantra & Bonafide reviews. Enjoy!

  15. Steve February 27, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the further comments. I’m pretty settled on the Bonafide in a 180. Another capable guy here also found the Mantra a bit “planky” and flat underfoot vs. more energy in the Bonafide. More mud in the water suggesting I consider the Brahma which is apparently virtually the same with a narrower waist at 88 vs. 98 for the Bonafide. Fun dilemma, but I’m still leaning Bonafide. Any further comments appreciated, but thanks everyone for a really fun and useful thread!

    Steve

    • Faripour March 4, 2015 Reply

      Hi All;

      I definitely agree with “planky” and I add “too Surfy” to it for 2015 Mantra that I demoed in hard Eastern snow. I asked Jonathan if going shorter on Mantra could help. He answered it will not. I did not have these problems with my own older version of Mantra.

  16. Alex March 17, 2014 Reply

    After reading the review and all the comments I’m pretty sold on the Bonafieds, but coming off a pair of 177 K2 Explorer Apache’s which were just too long and heavy for my taste I’m afraid to go with the 180 over the 173. I’m 6′ 180 and mainly ski east coast, some VT trips every year, but a lot of groomed. I usually ski pretty fast but right now don’t have the maneuverability I need. My main concern is how they will take to the ice spots that we have a decent amount of here. I like more agility and hit parks every time I ski so I feel like the 173’s would be better for that. I know they’ll be great for most of what I’ll be using them for, which is all mountain duty, but I’m concerned how well they will hold up both on a semi icy end of the day run and also in..say Jay’s glades with my height/weight if I go with the 173’s. The 170 range was what I was recommended but all the comments on here from similar height weight guys seem’s to say otherwise. Or maybe there’s something better out there even? Thanks in advance!

    • Troy March 17, 2014 Reply

      I hope I’m not jumping into this discussion uninvited but just want to throw the Kabookie into the mix for Alex. He’s saying his 177cm apache was too long and heavy, which in my opinion the 180cm Bonafide will be right there for him and depending on what binding he puts on it, worse. If you don’t want to jump all the way down to the 173 Bonafide why not consider the 180cm Kabookie? I have very good experience on both Bonafide and Kabookie in the 180cm and almost exact same size as Alex.

      Again just throwing it out there but if Alex wants to just go down a ski size then the 173 Bonafide would be hard to beat.

  17. Roger March 22, 2014 Reply

    Bought a pair of Bonafides for an off-piste week in Tignes in the French Alps. As it was there was no new snow and mainly ice, crud and slush – not what I had been aiming the skis for. However perfectly happy with their performance. Skied really well and looked after me well on some painfully steep runs. Cannot wait for some powder.

    Happily recommend as an all mountain, all purpose ski.

  18. jim gallagher March 22, 2014 Reply

    I’m an older skiier who likes to stay in the snow in the steep and the deep. The idea of floating to the top does not appeal to me. therefore, what width underfoot in these new voluptuous designs would you recommend for a pure powder ski. and also a specific ski. thanks

  19. Terry April 4, 2014 Reply

    Been trying to decide if I want a wider ski as I rented a pair for a day and felt much easier on the legs than my Blizzard Gforce Supersonic 167mm’s. The Gforce is super quick turning and a solid ski for most conditions. Powder over 6 inches makes it hard to float with my current skis. I’ve researched several skis, but have been leaning toward the Bonafide’s. I’m 5’9″, 190, in great shape, but live in Florida so only get about 10 days a year. I’m a former ski instructor in the East where I skied 50 times per season. I go pretty much everywhere on the mountain – steeps, bumps, glades, and cruisers. I’m 51 so anything that is going to make life easier on my legs so I can ski all day is much appreciated. I’m thinking 180 would be the proper length for me. Can you confirm my thought process or do you have other suggestions? Also, is there a binding or 2 you can suggest for the Bonafide’s? Thanks for your help!! Enjoy your turns!!!

  20. Sarvar April 18, 2014 Reply

    Hello,

    I am currently researching for my first pair of skis. I’m 5’7, 154 pounds and tend to be a more aggressive skier. I enjoy both GS style carved turns on soft groomers and shorter, slalom turns in the crud and icier conditions. Off-piste, I don’t have much experience in the deep pow but am looking to improve in that area. Currently, I’m torn between Nordica H&B 169cm/177cm and the Blizzard Bonafide 173cm/180cm. What would you recomment?

    • Author

      Hi, Sarvar – I don’t have much more to add beyond my 2 reviews, but I will say that (1) I think either ski could make good sense for you, and (2) the faster / harder you ski, the more I’d be inclined to have you go with the longer lengths in either ski, though I don’t think the shorter lengths would be a disaster (i.e., these are more substantial skis than, say, the Rossi Soul 7, where I am constantly trying to get people to go with the longer length when they’re on the fence about size.)

  21. Faripour May 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan; how do you compare blizzard Bonefide with Nordica Soul Rider, the same length?

    • Author

      Hi, I haven’t spent time on the Soul Rider, but these are two very different skis. The Soul Rider is a soft, playful, all-mountain / park ski that has no metal. The Bonafide is a metal, relatively stiff, directional, all-mountain ski. Both are excellent at what they do, but they are pretty apples-to-oranges. Hopefully our reviews of each will make clear which is the better fit for you.

  22. Rod July 9, 2014 Reply

    I own two pairs of 180 bonafides, one for resort and one for bc, mounted with dynafits.
    in the resort, on powder days, I ski katanas.
    I like the bonafides in the bc, in all conditions, except deep powder in narrow couloirs.
    I skied terminal cancer in 18″of settled, heavier powder and i found it hard to link turns without a lot of effort, jumping every turn.

    In the resort, on katanas, in powder and narrow couloirs, I don’t have nearly as much trouble. Does this make sense to you?

    By narrow couloirs, I mean 3-4m wide.

    Should I ski a wider ski in powde in bc, or suck it up

    • Author

      Yep – in keeping with your exact experience, a wider ski will float you better and feel less stuck in deep snow. And in addition to its extra width, the Katana’s camber profile makes the ski less likely to get hung up in tight, deep conditions. No surprises here.

  23. Joe August 19, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, you are very kind to answer so many questions. I have one. I am settled on the Bonafide, and just bought 180’s. I’m 6′, 170-175, and a fairly aggressive fast skier. However, I live in New England, but ski both here and out west. 180’s better here in the East, 187 better out West. Do you have a recommendation as far as which length for me? I do like to ski moguls and have pretty good technique, but prefer Sierra/ Rockies -style big mountain with powder. Pretty much, would the 180 be sufficient length out west. I rented them at Deer Valley last winter and can’t remember if I rode 180 or 187, but they were great on fresh snow, soft moguls, groomers, and knee-deep powder. Thanks, Joe

  24. Joe August 19, 2014 Reply

    Would you ski the Mantra or the Bonofide?

  25. Craig September 6, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, have enjoyed reading your threads, We are the same weight, and seem to enjoy similar terrain. I ski 80-90 days a year in Vail. Looking for a ski or skis in the 90 to 100 mm underfoot, to supplement my powder skis (1st gen Rossi Super 7 188 cm) for those no snow firmer days, when I spend more time on-piste, but still try to keep that to a minimum. Attempting to find a nice compromise between edge hold, damp, stable, quick release tail for bumps, and crud and carving. Curious what is at the top of your list for 2015 in this category? Here are some on my short list:
    Nordica Soul Rider 185
    Salomon Rocker 2 186
    Blizzard Regulator 186
    Blizzard Peacemaker 186
    Atomic Automatic 188
    Nordica Nrgy 100 185
    Blizzard Bonafide 180

  26. Ken September 24, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks so much for the comprehensive reviews. It makes researching new planks a whole lot easier. I’m looking to size up from an pair of 2010 Volkl Bridges. I don’t have them in front of me, but I’m 95% sure they’re 163s. My short list includes the Blizzard Bonafide and Peacemaker, and the Volkl Mantra. I’ve bulked up significantly from when I bought the Bridges and so I’m in need of a bigger ski. I’m 5’8, 185lbs. I’m about 50/50 on and off piste and use the time on piste to give my legs a rest. Any suggestion on sizing? I’m leaning towards the 177 for the Mantra, 179 for the Peacemaker, and either the 172 or 180 for the Bonafide.
    Thanks,
    Ken

    • Author

      Hi, Ken (and thanks, Craig for chiming in below)

      I haven’t skied the Peacemaker, but Craig is right to say that it’s more similar to the Bridge than the Mantra and Bonafide are. But if you read our reviews of the 3 skis, you ought to be able to figure out which ski sounds best for you.

      As for sizing for you: 180cm Bonafide, 177cm Mantra, and I would be inclined to say the 186cm Peacemaker.

  27. Craig September 25, 2014 Reply

    Hi Ken, I thought I would offer my two cents. I am 180 lbs. and a bit taller than you. I just bought the 180 Bonafides, however, my primary ski is a 188 Rossi. 1st generation super 7, just purchased my 3rd set. I was looking for a second ski to be used during no snow, skied off conditions. I live in Vail, and ski primarily off piste. I am more finesse, slower speed skier. I consider the 180 length to be on the short side, but the Bonafide is a relatively stiff ski, camber underfoot, with two layers of metal, which I hope makes up for its shorter length, and should have good edge hold. You are coming from a very short, and soft ski, I think you will find the 180 Bonafide will require far more effort and lacks a twin tip to aid in the easy release you are accustomed to (more directional ski). The Peacemaker would be a comparable ski to what you are on. I would have purchased the Peacemaker in a 186, because it is a soft, twin tip, as is the Nordica Soul Rider, which is even softer in the tail, and twin tip, very easy turn initiation. The Salomon Rocker 2 is also a soft ski, more similar to what you are currently on. The Mantra is a stiffer meaty ski. My purchase last year was the light weight, no metal (springy), Rossi Soul 7 in a 188, (a favorite of many testers????) which I skied for 20 sessions and sold last Jan. I have studied the above skis in the shop, but do not have Jonathan’s on hill experience with the variety of skis, I will be interested to see his comment….. Tough to decide! Craig

  28. Cal September 29, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for your job. I don’t know how you manage to keep all your sensations in mind before putting them down on paper !

    These days I’m lost between Kabookie and Bonafide, 173, 180 or even 166.

    I’m somewhere between “intermediate” and good skiier, skiing all snows (because I can’t chose, last year it’s been 80% hard …) and looking for a genuine one pair.
    Past program : 70 % on track.
    Program up to come with new skis : 50% or even 60% off track, if we get a snow different than the hard one we got last year ;) (otherwise, chosen skis will have to be good as well for these conditions.)

    And the fact is I’m afraid being asskicked by Bonafide and even by Kabookie ! (in other words, to be below the lowest ski level required !)

    Last but not least : I’m 5’7″ and 180 lbs.

    Any advice on model and size ?
    To go further : are Bonafide from 13 really different from 15 ? Same question for Kabookie ? Is there a year (from 13 to 15) better than another, for each of these two models ?

    Thanks a lot ! (to anyone who could help me ;)

    Cal

    • Blister Member
      Paul September 29, 2014 Reply

      Howdy,
      The 13-15 bonafide & kabookie are the same skis, just different top sheets.
      It sounds line the kabookie would be a better choice for you.
      It’s still a rippin’ ski.

    • Blister Member
      Paul September 29, 2014 Reply

      Because you ski so much hard snow, you may want to have a look at the brahma’s (with metal) and the bushwhacker’s (no metal). They are awesome 50/50 skis that still offer descent float.
      I think you would really enjoy the 173’s brahma’s.

      • Cal September 29, 2014 Reply

        Paul,

        I did take look at some 88 (not the Brahma to tell you the truth, so thank you for the piece of advice). Bushwacker yes, I did.

        I had impression that I’d lose on flotation, quite normal, but sometimes even also on stability at speed and even … on flotation !
        For all these reasons, I thought the 98 range (and especially Bonafide) was the best on any point … but forgiveness for my inbetween intermediate and advanced level.

      • Cal September 29, 2014 Reply

        Paul,

        What about the Brahma’s forgiveness / accessibility ? In the 98mm category, for my level I’d think to the non metal version (Kabookie). In 88mm may I think differently ? Why do you think I can afford metal version in 88mm and perhaps not in 98mm ?
        Thank you so much for your time,

    • Blister Member
      Paul September 29, 2014 Reply

      Cal,
      The brahma is a totally stable ski. It’s made exactly the same as the Bonafide (2.5 sheets of Ti), but it’s narrower. You’ll loose a bit of float, but you’ll gain quickness. The brahma is killer for short radius and GS turns and stable as hell in top speeds. I recommended the brahma over the bushwhacker because the metal will help u bust through crud. I have both pairs (Brahmas and bonafides) and I enjoy the brahmas a bit more because of their quickness. They are quite awesome in bumps as well and still offer plenty of float for me.
      Hope this helps.

      • Cal September 30, 2014 Reply

        Paul are you kidding, SURE it helps !
        Because it’s pretty rare to meet someone who owns the “bash brothers” ;) (never saw this expression before so please from now, quote me as its Author :)

        I well understood your point of view concerning my ski programm, what about the level required by the Brahma ? Because Bonafide seems to be fine for advanced++ skiers.

        Since you’re able to compare them, is there one among them that is more forgiving, less “legs breaking” at the end of the day or if we are not in top physical conditions ? Of course, I want a “sport” ski because cruising at 15 mph is not my cup of tea, so I know what I expect, but sometimes there are really “tough” skis, from morning 9 am to 5 pm !

        Thanks to all of you,

        • Blister Member
          Paul September 30, 2014 Reply

          Cal,
          The Brahma’s and the Bonafide’s are both fairly stiff skis that require some effort and speed (in order to get the skis on the edge) to get the most out of them (as in keeping your weight forward and constantly driving forward). If you get lazy, they’ll be skiing you or you’ll be fighting the ski. The biggest difference for me is quickness and I find that the Brahmas have a bit stronger tail. The Brahmas are killer for all turn shapes, but the Bonafide’s prefer gs turns. I usually don’t bring out the Bonafide’s unless there is about 15cm of fresh. There is just no need (for me at-least). I did demo the Bushwackers before I bought the Brahmas and they were fun too. They are easier to turn at slower speeds and you can lay-off more and kind of cruise. They still do okay at high speeds. However, the Edge-hold is what got me hooked on the Brahmas – Outstanding, They rip shallow crud apart and are totally quiet at high speeds. I would suggest doing a demo before buying. It’s well worth it and you’ll be able to make the best choice for your ski level.

          • Cal October 1, 2014 Reply

            Thanks Paul,

            I found a great offer in a shop near my home for the 14 Bush, so I bought them. And if I’m too strong for them (always good to dream a bit), I’ll sell them next year for the Brahma ;)

            By the way thank to all of you for your help and your time.
            Have a great white winter !

        • Blister Member
          Paul October 1, 2014 Reply

          Cal,
          No Prob. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy the skis.
          Have fun****

  29. cbrown September 29, 2014 Reply

    Cal

    There is no difference between the Kabookies and Bonafides over the last few years other than the top sheets. I would recommend the 173 size in either ski. What size skis have you been skiing on? If you’re coming off something really short and narrow then maybe the 166 might be a better size.

    • Cal September 29, 2014 Reply

      25 years I’ve been skiing on 1m86, narrow and “straight” skis (Salomon F9). Reason why I’d like changing my program at the same time I change skis :)

      It’s weird to read nothing has changed from 2013 to 2015 for Bonafides or Kabookies. Some reviews don’t hesitate to change marks from a year to another though !

  30. Andy October 2, 2014 Reply

    I started to ski in 2011, self taught! I have been skiing on the 2011/2012 k2 shockwave @ 163cm. Thats what they sold me at sports chalet, so I went with it. I believe that I am a intermediate skier (fast learner). I want to upgrade my skies. My 3 choices are: 1. 2014 Blizzard Bonafides. 2. 2015 k2 Shreditor 92 3. 2015 Moment PB&J skis. Now, I don’t mind getting skis that are advanced intermediate since I am a fast learner. I am confused and stuck on which one will be a great all around ski for me. Im from California. I ski at Mammoth, Big Bear, go to Aspen once a year during season.

    I really need some good advice.

    Height 5’8
    Weight 210

    Thank You,

    • Author

      Hi, Andy – we haven’t reviewed the Shreditor 92, but I suspect that that will be the softest of the 3 skis you mention. And while the PB&J and Bonafide are very different skis (I trust you’ve figured that out from our reviews) I would be inclined to have you go with a 180 Bonafide. My second choice for you would be the 188 PB&J – given your size & the significant amount of tip and tail rocker of the PB&J, I would be reluctant to go shorter. But I think the 180 Bonafide makes the most sense.

      • Andy November 24, 2014 Reply

        Thanx for the reply,

        One last question : How about the 2015 Atomic Theory 177cm skies compared to the 180cm Bonafide?
        Which one will better fit me?

        Thank You,

  31. Blister Member
    Fred October 11, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    great site, even greater reviews! thanks sooo much, guys, you´re the best!

    quick one: I´m getting hands on a pair of 12/13 Bonafides in 187cm mounted with Salomon STH bindings, seemingly in a good shape, at a very good price. I was not really looking for new skis and stumbled across this offer.

    Anyway, I just bought a Rossi Soul 7 last season with Plum bindings for touring (love them!) on powder days. And I have a lighter and narrower set-up for classic ski touring. However, I was always thinking about buying a used pair of all mountain skis for the couple of days in the season when I´m not touring but skiing in a resort on or of piste. I took the Rossi there last season but at higher speeds on icy groomers it felt a little chattery and not super confidence inspiring.

    I´m 6’1″ and 176 lbs. I would say I´m an intermediate to good skier but never really skied stiff or more race oriented skis in my life. But also I was always looking for skis that would give me more confidence to go faster on the edges on piste or through some chopped-up stuff in the side country. I´m a bit worried about the length. If I could choose i would definitely pick the 180 version, after all your suggestions in this thread.

    Do you think the 187 will kill me?

    thanks for your help!

    Fred

    • Author

      Thanks, Fred. And no, I have no reason to think that the 187 will kill you. While I think the 180s would probably work well for you, I think you ought to be able to get pretty comfortable on the (merely) 2.5 inches longer 187s. While there are some people who regard the Bonafide as a stiff, demanding ski, I am not one of them, and I hope my review reflects that.

  32. Bo October 19, 2014 Reply

    Any comments on the Bonafide vs.Nordica NRGy 100?Any thoughts on the two skis in terms of short radius turns?Thanks

  33. Nick November 23, 2014 Reply

    I am basically asking the same question, but Bonafide in 173/180? 5’10 165lbs aggresive skier. Live in Pacific NW, have a set of Rossi S7 in 188 so I am looking for something to use whenever their is less than a foot of new snow. I want something I gan go 60 down a groomer but I mostly ski trees/steeps/bumps.

    Note: I demo’d the 180 and loved them, I should have switched the length but tried other skis instead. Really wondering if the performance in the bumps/trees at 173 will outweigh the loss on the hard stuff.

    • Author

      Nick, given everything you’ve written, I kind of think you have no good reason to be wondering about the 173s. An “aggressive” skier of your size will have zero difficulty skiing the 180s in bumps and trees, and you will almost certainly lose some stability by dropping down. So if you loved the 180s … stick with them. I only weigh 10-15 pounds more than you, and I have no interest at all in the 173s, but a lot of interest in the 187s….

  34. Sean January 2, 2015 Reply

    Jonathan–

    Have you happened to try the Head Venturi 95s? I am sort of stuck between them and the Bonafides. I am about 50/50 on and off piste. I am generally a pretty aggressive and fast skier, and I love steep faces and open bowls where I can really cruise. But pretty often I find myself drawn to the singletrack through trees, which requires a bit more manueverability, which is why I’m looking at the Bonafide and Venturi over other options in the class. Any advice?

    Thanks,
    Sean

  35. darren February 22, 2015 Reply

    Hi,
    I am looking at this ski but am concerned about the skill level of the ski. I’m a smack dab in the middle skier. I ski all blues and most single diamonds and I have dabble in dbl blacks and trees, but I’m not quite ready for that yet.

    I’m 5’8″ 155 lbs looking at 173. Do think this is too much ski for me at my current lvl?

    • Wasatchback February 22, 2015 Reply

      It just depends on what characteristics you’re looking for in a ski. Ian recommeded softer more “playful” skis that yes are easy to use for some. But for others those “playful” skis can also feel unstable and unnerving to some. A 173 Bonafide is by no means too much ski for you. They are not stiff skis. Hand flex them compared to a lot of others 95-100 wasted skis in a store and you’ll find that longitudinally they’re actually some of the softer skis in their category. However they do have metal and are torsionally stiff. This makes the ski more calm and damp especially in firmer conditions. For some people this is a reassuring feeling that gives them confidence. For others who like more light and playful skis they might feel “heavy of slow”. It all depends on what you prefer. If you want to stay with Blizzard and are looking for a softer more playful ski check out the Regulator. A 94mm ski with no metal and more sidecut, and at a great price.

  36. Ian February 22, 2015 Reply

    I am almost exactly the same height and weight and ski double blacks (but not quickly). I demo’ed the Bonafide in the 173cm last winter and found them too much like hard work. The ski felt heavy and slow to initiate, coming alive only at pretty high speeds. For your height, weight and ability, I think there are much better choices out there IMHO, the Head Rev 98, the Atomic Automatic 102 (a really easy, intuitive ski to ski), the Salomon Rocker2 100, the Atomic Alibi (more playful but less substantial) or Ritual (more substantial).

  37. Omar March 3, 2015 Reply

    Hello Jonathan,

    Thanks a lot for the review. As everyone else on here, I am looking to purchase a pair of bonfide but struggling with the size. I’m 190lbs and 6″. I was going to go for the 180 but a retailer told me that I have a choice between the 173 and the 180, ‘depends on what I want out of the skis’. What are your thoughts on the suitable size?

    Thanks again!

    • Craig March 3, 2015 Reply

      Hi Omar, check out my review on “Yellow Gentian Ski Reviews”. We are similar in size, may help you confirm your ski length. I have 35-40 days on the 2014-15 180 cm. Craig

  38. Couchsending March 3, 2015 Reply

    At 6′ 190 173 would be way too short!

    180 all day

  39. Shane March 3, 2015 Reply

    I just grabbed the ski in a 180 (i’m 6’1 190) – what are your thoughts on mount position? Was thinking about mounting 0 or +1….. Thanks!!

  40. Cal March 4, 2015 Reply

    Hi there,

    few months ago I bothered you again and again with my questions and thoughts about Bonafide vs Kabookie vs Brahma vs Bushwackers (I eventually bought them, 173).

    This year I could try them most of the time on tracks and ice packs. Even if they don’t get the metal layer, I found them absolutely stable (even at my highest speed) and very easy to ski. Sometimes they want to ski faster than me but taking over control is always possible.
    On “spring” snow, they cut it as well, no problem.

    They are so light : it’s impressive. Yesterday while I was carrying my skibag, I thought I had forgotten them at my house ! But no, they were in the bag ! (I’m not kidding !). I think this weight aspect is very helpful to ski better and during a long time.

    I’m totally satisfied with these skis. I was really affraid no to find a ski stable on hard snow. I found them ! Now I’ll have to wait next year to try them on powder !

    Thanks to all for your help last autumn,

  41. Blister Member
    DD March 9, 2015 Reply

    Great review, as always.

    I’m looking for a daily driver to augment by DPS Wailer 112s (177 wt Dynafit Bindings) and BD Megawats (177 wt Look P14).

    The daily driver will be used on the east coast on days when the Megawatts and Wailers are overkill, which will be often.

    I’m looking at the Mantras and the 2016 Bonafides which I found online: http://theskimonster.com/store/ski-gear/skis/blizzard-bonafide-2016/

    Questions:
    1) Have you skied the 2016 Bonafides and what’s your take on the usage of carbon for an every day alpine ski?

    2) I’ve been skiing 177s for what feels like forever. Considering that I’m 5’5 and weigh 145lbs, but ski strong, should I go 174 or 180? I’m leaning towards 174 as I’m getting older (36) and it’s going to be an everyday ski.

    Thanks!
    DD

  42. Faripour March 16, 2015 Reply

    Hi All;

    Just got back from Cham, had an “expert” level guide for 6 days and noticed most guides and many Chamonix locals and Europeans were using Dynastar 97. It has a wide rocker shovel and flat tail, 97mm underfoot. Any comment on this ski?

  43. Dan March 25, 2015 Reply

    I am 5’8″ 160lb, advanced skiier…will I be to light for these skis?

    • Blister Member
      DD March 25, 2015 Reply

      Dan, I picked up the 15/16 Bonfides a few weeks back in the 174. I’ve spent three days on them in varied conditions and have had no issues flexing them. I’m 5’5 and 145 lbs. Part of me wishes I sized up to the 180, but I guess it’s nice to have a shorter ski in my line-up. Hope this helps!

      • Dan March 25, 2015 Reply

        Do you find that the new tip design on the 15/16 make much of a difference?

  44. Joe April 15, 2015 Reply

    Looking for help with Bonafide length decision. Torn between the 166 and 173 lengths. I’m 62, 5′-8″, 162lbs and haver been skiing for 40+ years. Want to upgrade from my old Salomon F9 195cm straight skis. Mostly ski Bachelor, Hood and Whistler and am moderately aggressive. Like to ski most everything – groomed, powder and trees, but not crazy about moguls.

    I demoed a pair of 166cm and they were so much fun, I was sold (no 173cm available to try). Wondering if I should stay with the 166 or upsize to the 173. I’m sure I candle handle them, but wonder if it will take some of the fun factor out.

    Appreciate the advice!

    • Author

      Hi, Joe – I’ll give you my stock answer: any time you ski a ski and love it – while having experienced no downside – I think you’d be foolish to then go with a different length.

      Sounds to me like you found your match in the 166. So get em and enjoy em!

  45. Wes October 8, 2015 Reply

    I can’t decide between the bonified 173 or the 180, I am an advanced skier wouldn’t say expert. I’m a lengthy skinny guy at 5’11 145. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  46. Blister Member
    Steve Morrical November 11, 2015 Reply

    Hey Jonathon,
    Knowing your intimate knowledge of the Bibby Pros how would you compare the slow speed maneuverability (in steep, tight spots) of a 180 Bonafide to the 184 and 190 BP. I know that this is not an apples to apples comparison but just looking for a “relative” answer.

    Thanks,
    Steve

    • Author

      Hmmm, are we talking firm / windscoured snow, or punchy / grabby snow? Given how tail rockered the Bibby is (and how much wider it is than the Bonafide, I’d rather be on it in steep, punchy / grabby conditions—in those conditions, tip and tail rocker and width are your friends—especially at slow speeds. On firm steeps, either ski will be maneuverable at slow speeds, but I’d typically prefer a narrower ski with less tail rocker than the Bibby, and the current 15/16 Bonafide would be one of my top personal choices for such conditions.

  47. Shane November 14, 2015 Reply

    Hey there! Looking for a bit of advice here. I have a chance to buy last years Bonafides in a 180 from a buddy for cheap – the problem is, we wear different size boots and I would have to have the Ski mounted @ +1. I’m 6’1 200 and have skied this ski center and loved it… will +1 make much of a noticeable difference? How might it feel different? Easier initiation and less stability?

    Many thanks!

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