2023 Blizzard Rustler 10 Review
It’s hard to find a wide all-mountain ski that’s this stable at speed
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.32/10
- Rank: #7
- Versatility: 7.6
- Crud Performance: 7.6
- Flotation: 7
- Playfulness: 6.6
- Responsiveness: 7.4
- Quickness: 6.8
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 7
- Stability at Speed: 8.6
- Forgiveness: 6.6
- Price: $750
- Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188
- Dimensions: 133-102-122.5
- Radius: 17.5
- Level: Advanced, Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Stability at Speed (#2), Versatility (#6)
- Cons: Playfulness (#13), Quickness (#9)
Some of us love to ski for the thrill of speed. If skiing fast in any conditions is your priority, we think the Blizzard Rustler 10 could be for you. Most skis can hang on at speed, but what sets the Rustler 10 apart is that it comes alive at speed. The faster you go, the better this ski will perform. That’s not to say that the Rustler 10 is strictly for those who ski like their hair is on fire. Tester Tommy Flitton, a freeski coach at Snowbird, was convinced that “this would be a great ski for anyone and everyone. You can ski it all over the mountain.”
Blizzard built the Rustler 10 with a unique combination of carbon fiber and fiberglass to provide maximum edge hold underfoot while retaining lightweight tips and tails that can easily engage and release from the turn due to the rocker profile built into the skis. That combination of rocker profile and edge hold allows the Rustler 10 to engage in what tester Peter Nestor described as “catch and release edging,” where the skier can confidently set the edge to initiate the turn and then instantly break free to pivot the ski. This makes slashing off the side of a groomer or shimmying through bump lines off-piste easier and opens up the possibility for skiing creatively all over the hill.
Some testers found the rocker profile a little too pronounced, making the ski feel soft in the tail and a little too eager to exit the turn, discouraging testers from driving it more aggressively. Other testers approved of the ski’s rocker profile because it provides extra float in soft and variable snow while allowing for playful and energetic transitions from turn to turn in the form of slashes and slarves. The lesson here: Rocker profile is a double-edged sword since there’s a gain in crud-performance and flotation, but the trade-off is a loss of edge hold and stability. But most testers agreed that Blizzard found a healthy balance of edge hold that increases hard-snow integrity and strength at speed while the rocker profile maximizes versatility and crud performance.
That balance means the Rustler 10 is at home everywhere on the mountain and in most snow conditions, though testers found it thrives in vast open terrain. With the Rustler 10 so willing to maximize speed, Bridger Bowl local and smokejumper Sam Cox noted it takes a lot of energy to fire off short-swing turns once the skis are up to speed. However, for more aggressive skiers who are used to actively driving and putting energy into their skis, the Rustler 10 is a lot of fun in suitable terrain. “Take it into the back bowls, and arc super g turns, go straight-line a chute, or wiggle through bumps and trees,” said tester Jon Sexauer.
A self-proclaimed gear nerd when it comes to skis and mountain bikes, Jon Sexauer grew up skiing in Northern California, spending the majority of his time getting loose and sendy in terrain parks. He now lives in Colorado and calls Copper Mountain his home hill. Though he still gravitates towards playful and wide all-mountain skis, he’s developed a more open mind when it comes to skis since joining SKI’s official gear test crew five seasons ago. These days, you’ll find him ripping around Copper on his trusty Nordica Enforcer 100s.