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 factory recommended line; -3.5cm from center. (See section on Mount Location)
Boots / Bindings: Fischer Ranger Pro 13 / Marker Jester & Rossignol FKS 140 (DIN at 10)
Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, NM; Telluride, CO[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.]
Days Tested: 5
Jason Hutchins has written a very good review of the Peacemaker that you ought to read before moving to this 2nd Look. His review communicates the character of the ski and orients it among others in this 100-110mm underfoot class quite well.
While I agree with almost everything Jason has said about the Peacemaker, my skiing style is a little different than Jason’s, and as an everyday, do-it-all ski, I think the Peacemaker suites my preferences a little better than his. So I’ll offer my own perspective on the ski here, but I’ve also spent some time on the Moment PB&J, which is the most direct comparison to the Peacemaker of all the skis I’ve been on.
I initially became interested in skiing the Peacemaker after reviewing the Blizzard Gunsmoke, which, at 114mm underfoot, is effectively a powder / more soft-snow oriented version of the Peacemaker. Jason and I were both impressed with the Gunsmoke’s stability in firm and variable conditions, considering the fact that it is primarily a playful, freestyle-oriented powder ski. I find the Gunsmoke too wide to use as an everyday ski, though; it’s a little heavy in the air, and it feels too cumbersome in bumps for my taste.
I knew the Peacemaker would be quicker / more appropriate in bumps than the Gunsmoke. My hope was that it would also do well in variable, cruddy conditions compared to other skis in its class (like the Gunsmoke), yet still be nimble and soft enough to serve as an all-mountain jib ski—suitable for spinning and buttering off cat tracks, doing tail press over knolls, etc. And as you’ll gather from Jason’s review, that is very much the case.
A Note on the Flex Pattern (186cm Blizzard Peacemaker vs 188cm Moment PB&J)
The Peacemaker has a relatively stiff flex compared to other skis in its class. I’d say the Peacemaker has a medium flex in the tips and tails that (very smoothly) gets quite stiff underfoot. The flex of the PB&J’s tips and tails seems about the same when hand flexing the ski, but it feels less similar on snow.
The rockered portions of the tips and tails of the PB&J seem to get stiffer more quickly / abruptly than the Peacemaker’s. In other words, less of the tips and tails have the same medium flex as the Peacemaker’s. In any case, I’ve found I’m not able to bend and load up the ends of PB&J nearly as much when doing a nose butter or a tail press compared to the Peacemaker.
This difference in flex pattern differentiates the skis in some important ways as freestyle-oriented skis, though it was less apparent / consequential when it came to their performance as all-mountain skis in general. I’ll say more about all this below.
I don’t have too much to ad here. Jason said it well:
“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.”
The Peacemaker doesn’t feel dead to me either, but of the comparable skis I’ve been on, the slightly narrower Nordica Soul Rider feels a little more lively and snappy on groomers than the Peacemaker (I haven’t yet skied the Line Sir Francis Bacon). The Soul Rider isn’t as substantial and supportive feeling when skied hard in firm, rough conditions, however.
The Peacemaker does feel very, very similar to the Moment PB&J on groomers. I skied back-to-back groomer laps on both the PB&J and Peacemaker in pretty average conditions (the snow wasn’t terribly soft, and there were some firm, slick spots to be found), and I kept changing my mind about which ski felt quicker and offered more edge hold. They are effectively the same in this department, as far as I’m concerned, and what I’ve previously written about the PB&J on groomers can be said of the Peacemaker:
“With a good amount of camber underfoot, it delivers some energy through a turn, though the skis effective edge does feel short compared to the its material length. Thus the [Peacemaker] is not the most stable at super high edge angles, but can produce a nice carve that will suffice on those days full of high speed groomer laps.”
When conditions are remotely soft, and especially when you have fresh, sharp edges underfoot, you can expect to carve turns pretty aggressively on both the Peacemaker and PB&J. And while you may be slipping an edge here and there on smooth hardpack, both skis feel more dependable and not quite as loose and slippery in firm conditions compared to the wider Salomon Rocker2 108.
Firm, Cruddy Conditions
To quote Jason again: “When the snow gets really firm and rippled up, where all turns are skidded for speed control, the Peacemaker 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.”
I agree, for the most part. A directional all-mountain ski of a similar width and more effective edge like the Moment Belafonte, or even the Line Supernatural 108 (which is considerably more playful and dynamic feeling relative to the Belafonte) will absolutely feel more stable and predictable, and can much more easily be skied hard in firm, rough conditions. But the Belafonte and Supernatural 108 are both designed for firmer, rough conditions. The Peacemaker and the PB&J are intended to be playful, freestyle-oriented skis that have been beefed up a bit to be more capable in challenging, variable conditions.
So while the Peacemaker is definitely not a “directional all-mountain charger,” as Jason has said, it “can be pushed much harder than most other playful all-mountain twin tips.” For example, the Peacemaker is more stable and can be skied more aggressively in variable, tricky conditions than the Nordica Soul Rider, the Line Sir Francis Bacon (according to Jason), and the K2 Shreditor 102. And in this respect, the Peacemaker and PB&J are again very similar.
I mentioned above that the flex of the PB&J’s tips and tails feels a little stiffer than the PB&J’s, and I noticed this most when I was trying to work the flex of the ski in those areas (during a tail press or nose butter, for example). When it came to skiing through firmer, bumpy snow, the PB&J felt a touch more damp and stable, but the difference seemed slight to me. You can’t lean into the shovels of either ski too hard, or you’ll wash the tails out. And you can’t rely too much on their rockered tails for support, but relative to other skis in their class, both are quite stable. If you stay pretty balanced over the skis, and get good at using all of their camber and effective edge underfoot, you can ski the Peacemaker & PB&J pretty damn fast and smoothly in roughed-up snow.
Now, I weigh about 160 lbs, so if you’re significantly heavier than me and your priority is to get the best possible variable / chop performance out of a ski like this, then I would probably tell you to go with the PB&J over the Peacemaker. I personally couldn’t really tell the difference between the two skis in chopped snow, but if you’re ~180 lbs or more, the PB&J might feel a bit more substantial than the Peacemaker.
Next Page: Powder and Soft Chop Performance