2023 Blizzard Hustle 10 Review
This year’s most exciting new backcountry ski charges like a downhill ski
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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Crud Performance: 8.45
- Responsiveness: 8.45
- Stability at Speed: 8.64
- Flotation: 8.45
- Playfulness: 7.36
- Forgiveness: 7.55
- Versatility: 8.64
- Quickness: 8
- Price: $800
- Lengths: 156, 164, 172, 180, 188
- Dimensions: 1133-102-122.5
- Radius: 17.5
- Weight: 1,780 g (180cm)
- Level: Advanced, Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Stability at Speed, Versatility
- Cons: Playfulness, Forgiveness
The most talked-about offering in this year’s test lived up to the hype as a one-ski quiver for the backcountry that more than holds up in the resort. It is light enough to charge uphill, but stable in all downhill conditions, giving testers the confidence to rail this ski in any terrain. Within the Backcountry category, the Hustle 10 topped the list for Crud Performance, Responsiveness, Stability at Speed, and Flotation, with high marks for Versatility and Quickness.
Related: Ski straps have many unexpected uses in the backcountry. Here are a few of them.
“I don’t think there’s a skier who wouldn’t like this ski,” said Jackson Hole, Wyoming, backcountry hound Lily Krass. “It’s strong, reliable, and chews through crud. This would be a great choice for an intermediate to advanced backcountry skier who isn’t super weight conscious.”
The Hustle 10 has the same shape as its notoriously hard-charging cousin, the Blizzard Rustler, but its lighter and more playful construction serves a distinct niche. TrueBlend Free technology includes a mix of three different densities of wood to balance out the feel—beech and poplar concentrated underfoot for added strength, and some paulownia to cut weight—with three unique flex zones that get progressively softer toward the tip and tail. The ski is exceptionally well-balanced and agile, though a few testers noted a slight lack of pop and pizazz in and out of turns at high speed.
“The Hustle 10 is bread to any kind of snowy butter,” said Drew Schulte, who got some bonus time on the ski during Colorado’s spring storm cycle. “It will not disappoint.”
Related: See how the Blizzard Hustle 10 ski stacked up against its competition
Testers appreciated that it was light enough to save their strength on the uphill so they still had enough energy left for the fun part (that’s the downhill, for you cardio freaks). In fact, the Hustle 10 performs so well that you’re likely to forget that you’re skiing on a lightweight setup during the descent.
Carbon fiber and fiberglass are married with six carbon stringers of varying densities laid at different lengths in the wood core to give the Hustle added maneuverability in the nimble tips and tails. It’s what we enjoyed most when skiing this model in fresh spring powder, corn, and windbuff. While it’s not a resort ski that wants to smash manufactured snow, it is a suitable one-ski-fits-all for backcountry touring missions that can also handle a few days on-piste on either end of a trip. And if you’re trying to sneak a few laps out of the resort’s backcountry gate before work, like us, it’s a good idea to get your Hustle on.
“This is a ski I would trust with my life, and no one paid me to say that,” boasted Krass. “It’s maneuverable and stable, but knows how to have a good time. It excels in a variety of conditions and provides security in chunder and steep, firm snow. Confidence-inspiring for intermediate and advanced skiers alike, this is an amazing ski.”