So … Which One?
This is the question that’s been on my mind since I first got on the Bibby Tour. It is so capable and powerful that I seriously wondered whether I’d like it better — even as an inbounds ski — than the Blister Pro. And the skis are similar enough and versatile enough that the answer comes with several layers of qualifications based on what you want to do with the ski.
As an Inbounds Ski…
As a purely inbounds ski, I’d personally choose the 184 cm Blister Pro every time. The only reason I could imagine putting alpine bindings on the Bibby Tour was for someone who wanted the length of the 184 (or 190) without the weight, and was going to use it as a dedicated pow-only ski. In pow, I don’t think you’ll notice nearly as much or at all the difference between skis as you do in variable conditions, and the combination of light weight and power the Bibby Tour presents is attractive, especially to lighter skiers who may be skiing tighter terrain.
As a 50 / 50 Ski
What if you’re not looking for an inbounds-only ski, but instead you want something that you can spin laps inbounds, do some slackcountry, and take on shorter tours?
Here I’d ask what bindings you’re planning on using. If you’re using frame bindings, touring adaptors, or even something like the CAST system, I’d stick with the Blister Pro. And that’s precisely why I put Salomon Guardian 13’s on the Blister Pro. It’s an incredible inbounds ski that really doesn’t weigh all that much, so you’re probably going to be held back more by the inefficiency of frame bindings than the extra 200 g a foot. And you get all of the inbounds awesomeness that Blister has raved about along with the ability to duck out the gates.
However, if your idea of a 50/50 ski skews a bit more toward backcountry use and involves tech bindings, then I’d opt for the Bibby Tour. You’ll give up some variable-snow performance, but the Bibby Tour is more suited to longer missions, and it is still a very capable touring ski. My hunch is that you’ll notice your binding’s effect on variable performance more than the difference in the weight of the skis.
Personally, if I could only have the Tour or Pro and wanted to use it as a 50/50 ski, I’d mount a pair of Blister Pros with inserts for alpine bindings and Kingpins. That would be one incredibly versatile setup. Sure, 2100 g per foot is a little heavier than I’d like for a touring ski, but it’s really not that bad, and it’s hard to imagine a setup that could handle more conditions more competently. I’d be pretty happy taking only that ski with the ability to swap bindings on just about any trip you can imagine.
As a Touring Ski
Before the Bibby Tour was introduced, there were more than a few people walking uphill on Blister Pros with tech bindings. And now that the Bibby Tour exists, I personally would never consider putting only tech bindings on the Blister Pro and treating it as a touring ski. This comes down to a couple of things, but is based mostly on this ski’s width and intentions. If I’m touring on anything wider than 110 mm, it’s because I’m expecting deep, fresh pow in interesting terrain, preferably with things to jump off of. Otherwise, I just don’t care to haul that much ski uphill; the payoff isn’t there. And in soft, fresh conditions the Bibby Tour is exceptional, and the Blister Pro’s better suspension and more damp ride aren’t needed, and so are less of a factor.
To be clear, I have no problem touring on heavier inbounds skis, and in fact, I often prefer it. But in this case (a wider pow ski) the tradeoff doesn’t make sense, especially given how versatile the Bibby Tour is compared to other touring skis.
By creating a lighter backcountry version of the much-loved Bibby / Blister Pro, Moment has simultaneously increased the options for skiers looking for a light, playful-but-chargy pow ski, while also making that decision more complicated. The choice between the Blister Pro and Bibby Tour really comes down to what you personally want to get out of the ski, and whether you want to use it as a do-it-all ski or as part of a broader quiver. Both skis are great options, and we’ve been very impressed with both, so it’s worth taking a careful look at where your priorities lie.