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2016-2017 Blizzard Peacemaker

Jason Hutchins reviews the Blizzard Peacemaker for Blister Gear Review

Blizzard Peacemaker

Ski: 2016-2017 Blizzard Peacemaker, 186cm

Available Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 183.6cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 134-104-124

Blister’s Measured Weight: 2143 grams and 2075 grams

Sidecut Radius: 21 meters

Core Construction: Bamboo/Poplar/”ISO” (Synthetic) + Fiberglass Laminate

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 75 / 73 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3-4 mm

Mount Location: +2.5cm from Recommended (-3.5cm from true center)

Boots / Bindings: Rossignol All-track Pro 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 10)

Test Locations: Alta Ski Area, Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 12

Skier: 6’, 160 lbs. (see bio)

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 13/14 Peacemaker which was not changed for 14/15, 15/16, or 16/17, except for the graphics.]

The Blizzard Peacemaker has been at the top of my “must-ride” list since I first laid eyes on it. With an attractive width, fairly traditional sidecut shape, moderate tip and tail rocker, full twin tip, and assumed Blizzard hardpack-and-crud-busting prowess, the ski looked like a gem for playing around Alta between storm cycles.

Soft Snow Chop

An area the Peacemaker really excels in is 2-10 inches of soft chop (i.e., resort powder day conditions) over a fairly soft base. In addition to the other design characteristics I mentioned in the first paragraph, the Peacemaker’s stiffer flex than most skis in this category gives it the ability to charge through or over most piles of snow. It’s definitely not as stout as other skis from Blizzard like the Cochise or Bonafide, but most of Blizzard’s skis have a fairly distinct feel (e.g., smooth flex, torsionally stiff, lack of sidecut in the tip, predictable in variable, above avg. swing weight for the size), and the Peacemaker falls in line.

In my review of the Rossignol Soul 7 I said that it is a strong performer in these conditions, too, but the Peacemaker and the Soul 7 take different approaches to these conditions. The Soul 7 likes light feet, smearing across the surface, and feels like it’s floating over the top of everything.

The Peacemaker feels good while floating across the surface and laying arcs down a chopped up surface.

The Peacemaker is more of a handful when the chop gets much deeper than 10”, or if the underlying snow layer is firm and bumpy. In these conditions, I actually found the Soul 7 to offer a much more predictable and smoother ride (that was less punishing when unexpectedly hitting a firm / solid base), even at speed.

Firm Snow (On-Piste and Off)

As the snow turns from soft to firm in the days after a storm, the Peacemaker continued to separate itself from other freestyle-oriented, all-mountain twins I’ve recently ridden. Whether skiing down the windscoured K5 chute on Taos’ Kachina Peak, or hauling down a chalky High Rustler at Alta, the Peacemaker has consistently felt supportive and predictable.

These skis can be pushed much harder than most other playful all-mountain twin tips, and the Peacemaker accepts a more aggressive, driving stance than most other skis in the category. I say “most” because both the 11/12 Sickle, and the unexpectedly playful 182cm Black Diamond Zealot (though it’s not a true twin) can be rallied as hard as the Peacemaker. The Peacemaker feels torsionally stiff and predictable into and out of quick, powerful speed checks in tight places, and loves to carve down basically anything you throw in front of it—classic Blizzard.

On-piste, the Peacemaker loves to carve trenches and go fast, but with a bit of effort, can also break free into turns of any shape you like. As with the other Blizzards I’ve ridden, turn initiation is a little weak compared to most skis being produced these days, so be prepared for a little slower start to turns or a little more input on your part.

Rebound out of turns is moderate; it doesn’t feel dead by any means, but definitely lacks the super playful snap of the 184cm Sir Francis Bacon.

I wouldn’t necessarily call the Peacemaker an easy ride, but of all the Blizzard skis I’ve ridden (Gunsmoke, Scout, Cochise, Kabookie, and Bonafide) the Peacemaker has been the most intuitive and least demanding. An experienced, athletic skier will find the Peacemaker rewarding, especially considering it has more tricks up its sleeve than simple right and left turns.

Rough and Really Firm Snow

Since we’ve had a few storms come in with a ton of wind, followed by a week or more of high pressure, I’ve gotten the Peacemaker out into some pretty nasty conditions. When the snow gets really firm and rippled up, where all turns are skidded for speed control, the ski feels a bit harsh, and because the tip and tail rocker have a decent amount of splay, the effective edge begins to feel short and unstable. In these type conditions, I found myself wishing for the butter-smooth feel and long effective edge of the 11/12 Sickle.

Powder

The Peacemaker does not quite provide the same ease of use, feel, or float of many recent designs, like the Rossignol Soul 7, Salomon Rocker2 108, or the Line Sir Francis Bacon, but it certainly provides a looser feel than a non tail-rockered ski, and ample float for around a foot of snow.

Jason Hutchins reviews the Blizzard Peacemaker, Blister Gear Review

Jason Hutchins on the Blizzard Peacemaker, Alta Ski Area.

It’s not as though the Peacemaker can’t be skied in deeper snow, but it’s not the best tool for the job if you’re primarily looking to ski lots of pow.

(Note: Of all the 100-110mm underfoot skis I’ve ridden the past few years, the Peacemaker reminds me most of the Nordica Soul Rider while in powder. Both skis share a 134mm tip, 124mm tail, have a “traditional” full-length sidecut, and offer an all-mtn friendly rocker/camber profile. The Soul Rider is narrower underfoot, but its flex is softer throughout, giving it a slight advantage when the snow is light and consistent. As snow density rises, the Peacemaker is on par with the Soul Rider, albeit a little less playful feeling, but definitely more encouraging of skiing faster and with more power.)

The Peacemaker really shines over other skis in this category on shallow (2-6” of fresh), variable powder days. The firm flex and traditional shape make easy work of changing snow surface densities, including run-ins with wind-exposed old-snow surfaces. The exception to this is if the underlying layer has hidden, hard moguls, where the firm flex of the Peacemaker delivered a few unexpected and unwelcome bucks.

NEXT: Playtime

24 Comments

  1. TM February 4, 2014 Reply

    Jason,

    In regards to the amount of time you have spent on the soul 7 and seem to really like the ski have you spent much time on any form of JJ’s over the years? JJ and AKJJ? Looking at possibly replacing my four year old JJ with either the soul 7 or maybe even waiting to see what updates they did to next years JJ. You spent time on SFB, soul 7’s, etc, but don’t recall you ever reporting on a JJ and your skiing style seems very similar to mine. Prefer lighter swing weight skis, playful, poppy, etc..

    • Author
      Jason February 15, 2014 Reply

      I haven’t been able to get on any version of the JJ, but it is a ski that has always been on my radar. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity soon!

  2. Adam February 4, 2014 Reply

    Jason,

    You’ve used the sickle as your reference for some time. I have a pair myself and love it. And many of these newer skis are contrasted to its performance. I appreciate your thoughts on the peacemaker as well and found it a very competent ski – though like you I found it harsh in firm bumps. Most skis you recommend seem to “jive” with my preferences so I’ve learned to really value your thoughts. One question ive always had is your opinion on the old bibby pro 184 and 190. It’s well loved my many on this site. But I don’t recall ever hearing your thoughts on it in contrast to the sickle or other skis that you like.

    Thanks in advance for the time you take to converse with us regular dudes.

    • Author
      Jason February 15, 2014 Reply

      Adam,
      I’ve been begging to ride the 184 Bibby Pro for years, but unfortunately haven’t had been able to get a pair under my feet. I have spent a little time on the 190 Bibby Pro, and although I liked it, it’s not a ski I’m dying to have in my quiver. I found it to feel very smooth rallying off-piste, as well as offering a very solid landing pad, but I found the 190 to be just a bit too “plankie” for me to have the time of my life on. I REALLY wanted to get my hands on the 184 since it has to be more playful, while still offering a great deal of stability off-piste. Maybe someday Moment will bring back the old Bibby Pro and I’ll get my chance on the 184.

  3. adam February 4, 2014 Reply

    Jason,

    Also a quick followup question regarding the peacemaker. Do you have any advise regarding tuning/detuning it? Will detuning help make it more “playful” like the soul7 in certain conditions. Like you, I found the soul7 super playful and fun in virtually ALL conditions except on firm (Not as solid as the peacemaker by a long shot) and at higher speeds. So part of my hope with the peacemaker is that by detuning it properly, I could have the its advantages (charging, power, hardpack performance, etc), but make it a bit more “playful” like the soul7. Is that wishful thinking? Or should I be looking at a different ski altogether?

    • Author
      Jason February 15, 2014 Reply

      Detuning the tails past the point where it transitions to camber will give the ski a little looser feel. I wouldn’t take much off the tips since the skis aren’t overly ambitious to initiate turns as they are. Keep in mind, performing such a detune on the tails will have a big impact on the skis hard snow charging ability, and (obviously) will not change the flex or shape of the ski. I personally wouldn’t go too crazy with the detune- I’d learn to appreciate where and when these skis rock, rather then trying to get them to ski like something they are not.

  4. mb February 4, 2014 Reply

    peacemaker vs jeffery?

  5. Patrick February 11, 2014 Reply

    Hey Jason, great review.

    I have narrowed down my search for skis I believe (and it was no easy task, but thanks to you guys’ reviews, its been much easier that it would have been), and I have concluded that I would like to go with either the 183 TST or the Peacemaker. But I am not sure what size to go for the peacemaker……179 or 186. I am 5’8″ and weigh 155-160 and am a fairly aggressive skier.
    I like your comments regarding this skis “chargeability” but am kind of concerned about your thoughts on its hard, off pist, snow performance.
    I would really like a ski for just an everyday ride at the Bird/Alta when the snow isnt fresh (potentially quite hard this season), something that can charge if need be and still stay playful in all the everyday, “NON Powder Day” conditions. What are your thoughts on these two rides and what size should I maybe shoot for if I were to pic the Peacemaker?

    Thanks again, and as always, keep up the solid reviews!!

    -P

    • Author
      Jason February 15, 2014 Reply

      Patrick,
      Although I haven’t ridden the TST, it does seem like you have picked out a couple skis that are fairly different from one another. After reading the reviews of the TST by Will and Brett, I would guess you would find the TST to be a bit more forgiving and soft snow oriented than the Peacemaker. At your weight, which is nearly identical to mine, you may find the Peacemaker a bit harsh if you’re trying to charge over rough hardpack, but if it’s relatively smooth (or you can see the random bump coming) they are super fun.

      Length will depend on what’s important to you: The 186 will be perfect for skiing aggressively at the Bird and Alta, and the 179 will be perfect for playing in the tight trees or on the jump lines at each resort. I wouldn’t say the Peacemaker feels/skis super short, like many skis today, because of the swing weight and traditional sidecut shape.

      Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Patrick February 16, 2014 Reply

        Hey Thanks Jason!

        I guess in regards to your comment, I would like to do both with the ski.
        My only concerns are in regards to stability/maneuverability of the skis at both those lenghts. Im not really a tall guy, and at 160Lbs I wouldnt want the 186 to feel to long and sluggish to maneuver. But I also wouldnt want the 179 to feel to short and squirly. Any advice on a choice to make the best of both worlds?

  6. Vail February 19, 2014 Reply

    Jason how many 186 sickles do you have in your garage? Me and my buddies were wondering why there are no 186 sickles left online, on ebay or any retailers, and why you couldnt find them all last year either? Do you have like 600 pairs in your garage, because Rossi is never going to bring them back? Lemme get a pair.

  7. Mike March 1, 2014 Reply

    I am having a difficult time choosing length as well. I am 5’10 165 advanced skier and I prefer skiing off trail, jumps, and moguls. I live in the northeast so concerned about bad conditions and the 179 feeling too short to hold an edge when I need too. However, I am concerned the 186 will feel too sluggish in the trees and in the park. I am very conflicted. Any advice you can give me would be most appreciated. Thanks!

  8. randy verdieck May 12, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the great reviews. I’m trying to chose between the 186 Peacemaker and the 185 Cochise for next season. I have been skiing the Blizzard Answer for the last few years and love them, but it’s time to reload. Any comments on the main differences between the Peacemaker and Cochise would be appreciated. I like an all mounting do everything ski, to concerned with deep powder.

  9. Charles Flaum August 28, 2014 Reply

    Hey Jason – could you do a quick compare and contrast with the Peacemaker and the Mantra? They sound like they have similar characteristics.
    Thanks,
    Charles

  10. Blister Member
    Jamie August 29, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jason,

    Big fan of the reviews you guys do and figured i’d go ahead and ask for your advice! I’m currently very torn between both the Line Sir Francis Bacon 190cm and the Blizzard Peacemakers 186cm. I know you rate them both highly and i was wondering if you could point me towards one of the two. I’m 6ft 165lbs with a background in racing but over the last several years have had much more of a freestyle focus. What I’m looking for is the best blend of playfulness across the mountain and stability for skiing fast in the chopped up, firm conditions often found over here in Europe.

    I currently own the Line Opus and love how much fun it is around the mountain but my only niggle with it is the width and the lack of backbone for when snow conditions deteriorate. Out of the two which do you reckon has the best blend of charging in all conditions while still being fun everywhere?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

    • Alex December 29, 2015 Reply

      Bump!

      Apart from that I’m slightly shorter, I’m in the exact same situation, and facing the same choice between the Blizzard Peacemakers and Line SFBs. I suppose it will come down to AB-ing them, but it won’t be easy to hold of both skis throughout most of Europe.. Have you tried them both in the meanwhile, or decided on either of them?

      Thank you in advance, especially to the Blister Gear Review team. I only recently found this website and its incredibly helpful, without a doubt the best ski-related review site I’ve come across!

      Best regards,

      Alex

  11. Dave P. September 8, 2014 Reply

    I just received a pair of 2015 Blizzard Regulator, the little brother to the Peacemaker. At 94mm underfoot. I got the 186. I’m 5’11” and 170lbs. I like to ski aggressively. Speed is my friend. I don’t make too many short turns. I like to be playful in all terrains. That said, I read your piece on the mounting location more times than I can count. I’ve got the 2015 Marker Griffon bindings ready to be mounted but reading your review makes me think I should do the same — mount them at +2.5cm from the recommended line. I know these are not the same skis, but aside from the underfoot width being slightly narrower, my 186 Regulator is the same build and construction as your Peacemaker you reviewed. Your thoughts on where I should mount my bindings?

  12. Adam October 2, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jason,

    Just wondered if you have skied the regulator and what your thoughts of it were? Also if you had any thoughts on the mounting position like Dave P’s comment??

  13. Jake November 12, 2014 Reply

    I have suggested this ski to a friend of mine. Skis Bridger Bowl and Big Ski. He is 6’4″ and 200 pounds. He is an expert skier. He does not do any jibbing or tricks. What line would you recommend him mounting the bindings?

  14. c.brown November 12, 2014 Reply

    -2

    I’m 6’2″ 210 and keep things facing down the hill at all times and I like the 186 best at
    -2 from recommended

  15. Adam February 3, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jason/ or Will,

    I am going to be buying a pair of Peacemakers in the next couple of days (waiting to pick them up)

    I currently ski Salomon Twenty Twelve with the bindings mounted centre as per Mike Douglas Advice for all mountain and park. I have no problem skiing them mounted centre.

    I just wondered if you have skied the Peacemaker any more since your review and if you have tried the mounting point any further forward than your review?

    I would like to know if you have experienced any loss of performance in powder or anywhere else by mounting them further forward and what is the maximum you would go with?

    Many Thanks

    Adam

  16. Jake May 30, 2015 Reply

    In need of help!
    Jason I am looking to get my 13 year old son some new skis. His park skis from this year will work next year but he needs a new all-mountain ski. He loves to play and throw tricks and he is an expert skier with 40+ days on the mountain each year. I am thinking by this winter he will be 5’6″ and 140 pounds. So I am trying to figure out if I should get him the 179 Peacemakers or the 178 Bacons. Keystone is his home mountain but he gets plenty of days at the rest of Summit County and Vail. Open to other suggestions as well.

  17. Jake September 14, 2015 Reply

    I am looking to add a fourth ski to my closet and thinking of the Peacemaker. I currently have the 189 Scott Punisher a ski I love but it is sometimes a bit much in the bumps. I have a pair of 186 Moment Tahoe that I am not sure how much I love them at this point even after several days on them. I also have a pair of Megawatts that I enjoy on deep days. I am looking for ski that will be easier to ski in tight places and the bumps and thinking the Blizzard Peacemaker might fit the bill. At 6’4″ and 230 pounds and a excellent skier will I over whelm the Peacemaker? Need help with finding a ski for 1 to 6 inches of powder and chop without getting bucked around and one I can ski the bumps. Something in the 102 to 106 range with shovels that are not to big.
    Thanks!!!!

  18. Jake February 4, 2016 Reply

    I have skied the Peacemaker for several days from groomers, bumps, crud, and powder. I have the ski mounted on the recommended line. I am 6’4″ and 250 pounds and an advanced skier. I took the ski to Breckenridge and skied the entire top of the mountain from imperial chair all the way over to hiking to the top of Peak 6 for those of you who don’t know this is steep above the tree line skiing. The ski performed OK in a bunch of different snow conditions and on Peak 6 I was able to get it in some old untracked snow. Granted I am big, The ski did OK without to much tip dive but I did have to really stay centered in the snow. I would have really preferred to have been skiing on my 189 Scott Punishers on all of the runs I took from Imperial to Peak 6. I then skied off the E Chair On Tom’s Baby, Tom’s Mom, Nuggets, and Devils Crouch. E Chair offers some steep narrow bump runs that are alleys through the trees. The skied performed OK but I found myself fighting often not to be thrown into the back seat. I have had a lot of trouble with this ski throwing me into the back seat in the bumps and when navigating steep off piste terrain. I would have preferred my narrower Moment Tahoe’s in the bumps and even my much larger Scott Punishers. I don’t find the ski to be any quicker than my Scott Punishers either. The Peacemaker definitely has a speed limit on and off Piste. Because the Peacemaker always wants to throw me into the back seat I will admit I have a hard time really pushing the ski with confidence. I really wanted to like Peacemaker so this past weekend I skied my Scott Punishers at Keystone with 9 inches of fresh snow and hit the bumps and the trees hard and had a great time. The next day with 6 more inches of fresh snow I skied the Peacemaker on the same runs and did not find the ski any quicker and was always getting thrown into the back seat in the bumps. Right now I am at a loss of what to do with the Peacemaker should I move the mount position forward? or just give up on them . I have a buddy in Crested Butte who has the Peacemaker mounted on the recommended line who is 6’2″ and 180 pounds who likes the ski but also has had issues with getting thrown in the back seat.

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