You’ve been asking, and now we can confirm: the Blister Pro is coming back for its 5th season.
We’re currently working with Moment on the graphics, but today we wanted to (1) let everyone know that the Blister Pro is indeed coming back, and (2) revisit the history of how and why this special edition of the ski came to be for those who might not know the whole backstory.
It all started with the original Moment Bibby Pro, which Jonathan Ellsworth and Joe Augusten were skiing well before Jonathan had ever thought of starting Blister. Back then, as Jonathan put it, “It’s not like we’d skied everything out there, we just knew that we loved what this ski could do.”
Will Brown had also just started skiing the Bibby right around when Jonathan started Blister, and we actually had him post our first review of the ski way back in 2011, and he also felt that this ski was special — a pow ski that was playful enough to throw tricks, maneuverable enough for tight trees, but stable through chop and sketchy runouts.
Will didn’t use the term “playful charger” in his review — we think that Jonathan coined that term at some point in the early days of Blister (though in a bit of Blister archival scholarship, the first appearance of the phrase on Blister is in Will’s 2013 reply in the comments section about the Bibby vs. the Atomic Automatic) — but everyone here agreed that “playful charger” fit the bill, and we still do.
That said, Jonathan has pointed out that, over the years, as so many skis have gotten lighter and softer, the 190 cm Blister Pro now feels, by comparison, a bit more (or even a lot) chargier than it did seven or eight years ago.
The other standout feature of the ski was that, even on hardpack (i.e., conditions where a 118 mm pow ski should not excel), the Bibby continued to impress. The ski simply performed better in a wider variety of conditions than any other pow ski we’d been on — or continued to get on, as we started to review more and more skis. (And then more and more and more and more skis over the subsequent years.)
The Bibby would come back unchanged apart from its graphics for the 11/12 and 12/13 seasons. And while Moment added a more directional “Bibby Special” during that period (which would eventually morph into the Moment Governor), the original Bibby Pro remained our favorite playful charger.
And then, for the 13/14 season, Moment changed the Bibby.
When Moment’s (now CEO) Luke Jacobson broke the news to Jonathan at SIA, he said, “We changed the Bibby. Please don’t hate the new ski before you ski it.”
Once his head stopped spinning, Jonathan agreed. But before reviewing the new ski down in New Zealand, he posted a Tribute Review of the original 190 cm Bibby as an homage to the ski that no longer was.
He then viewed the new 13/14 Bibby, and while it was by no means a bad ski, it certainly wasn’t the same ski. It didn’t have the insane versatility that the original offered, and it now seemed more pow-oriented and jibbier than before. It was a good, playful pow ski, but no longer the playful charger that we’d come to love.
So Jonathan went back to Luke and said, “Look, that’s fine that you switched up the ski, but couldn’t you keep making the original ski, too? And we could just call it the … Blister Pro. Or something.”
And in his infinite wisdom, Luke agreed.
When the 14/15 season rolled around, there was a big announcement: the original ski was back, but now as the Blister Pro, and with a new graphic. There was much rejoicing, and we had several Blister reviewers contribute to a review of the first Blister Pro.
For the 15/16 season, Moment then reverted the more powder-oriented, jibbier Bibby back to its original form, but we’ve continued to work with Moment to release a Blister Pro edition each year because we just still really, really like this ski.
Since then, Moment released a lighter version of the Bibby Pro, called the Bibby Tour, which Cy Whitling reviewed, and then published a review of how it compared it the standard Bibby / Blister Pro. Then Noah Bodman chimed in with his thoughts on the Bibby Tour vs. Bibby / Blister Pro.
In between, we launched the 15/16 Blister Pro and 16/17 Blister Pro, and then there was also a special version of the Blister Pro with our very own Cy Whitling’s artwork on it. For 17/18, we brought back the 16/17 Blister Pro’s graphics because we thought those graphics were so nice we’d run them twice.
And throughout all of that, the Bibby Pro / Blister Pro / Wildcat still remains one of our all-time favorite skis, so we’re very happy to bring back again the Blister Pro for 18/19.
So stay tuned for updates — the graphics should be revealed sometime in September, and we’re psyched about the current direction it’s headed in. And in the meantime, if you’d like to jump down the entire wormhole of this ski’s history, here’s all of our coverage of every iteration of the Bibby since the beginning of Blister:
- 10/11-12/13 Bibby Pro, 184 cm — Will Brown’s Review
- 11/12 Bibby Special, 196 cm — First Look
- 11/12 Bibby Special, 196 cm — First Impressions
- 11/12 Bibby Special, 196 cm — Update
- 10/11-12/13 Bibby Pro, 190 cm — A Tribute Review
- 13/14-14/15 Bibby, 186 cm — First Look
- 13/14-14/15 Bibby, 186 cm — Will Brown’s Review
- 13/14-14/15 Bibby, 186 cm — Jason Hutchins’ 2nd Look
- 14/15 Blister Pro, 184 & 190 cm — Announcement and Reviews
- 15/16 Bibby Pro — First Look
- 15/16 Blister Pro — Graphics
- 16/17 Blister Pro — Graphics
- 16/17 Blister Pro, Cy Whitling Edition — Graphics
- 16/17-17/18 Bibby Tour, 184 cm — Cy Whitling’s Review
- 16/17-17/18 Bibby Tour vs. Bibby Pro — Cy Whitling’s Review
- 16/17-17/18 Bibby Tour vs. Bibby Pro — Noah Bodman’s Review
- 17/18 Blister Pro — Graphics