It’s no secret that Blizzard’s Rustler 11 has earned top honors from multiple magazines and gear review sites. Our gear reviewers aren’t afraid to go against the status quo, but after our freeride tester pushed this powder ski to its limits, he was quick to agree: the Rustler 11 is deserving of its accolades.
From the first run, our tester was loving the turning chops of these skis. The 180cm Rustler 11 sports a 19m turn radius, and our tester loved arcing medium- and large-radius turns at high velocity on these skis.
A few construction elements help keep the Rustler 11 light, namely the wood Lite Core and Carbon Flipcore D.R.T. Construction. The latter is a construction technique that integrates a stiff section of Titanal underfoot while simultaneously boosting flexibility in the tip and tail. Our tester offered both positive and negative feedback on the subsequent flex pattern. Let’s start with the good stuff: he felt the ski was torsionally stiff enough to hold even the most aggressive of lines. When he mounted them with a pair of Pivot 18s, he commented that he was unsurprised that so many Freeride World Tour athletes throw down on the Rustler 11s in competition.
The construction—combined with a floaty yet versatile rocker-camber-rocker profile and wider waist—creates a ski that can both bounce playfully through chopped up moguls and charge through corridor-tight couloirs.
Our tester’s main concern was in the softness of the tails. He had mixed sentiments on the subject, noting that the softness was ideal for some applications (smooth turns, playful bounce, butters, etc.), but could be a concern in consequential freeride-meets-freestyle applications. To that point, he commented, “Sometimes, the tails would hang the wheelie out a little too long before eventually snapping back under you.” Keep in mind: this tester is a bona fide charger and has no problems keeping up with Freeride World Tour athletes or throwing flips and spins off of 35-foot cliffs.
Speaking of which, after one such cliff-hucking session, he got back on the tram only to discern that he’d bent the nose of one of the Rustler 11s. Now, again, this tester is a wrecking ball—he’s a former U.S. ski team athlete who has built Adirondack chairs out of broken skis (breaking one ski a month is typical for him). He even left a ski sponsor because he was breaking prototypes quicker than they could send ‘em out. For the average joe or even the above-average joe, such an event will likely be a rarity. And for professional athletes or aspiring freeriders on par with our hard-charging ski tester, bending or breaking a ski is simply an “occupational hazard.”
“Unlike other 'powder' skis, the racing legacy of these Blizzard skis focuses primarily on the turn, and the skis love swoopy medium- through large- radius turns. These skis can handle what you throw at them. If you can think your line, and you can stay on top of these skis, the handling is sublime.”
For in-bounds skiing, this ski is easy-turning, hard-charging, and a blast and a half in deep snow.
- Fat powder specific ski for riders who love the steep and deep
- Waist between 112 and 116mm provides ample float and stability
- Rocker in tip and tail is designed for deep snow performance
- Medium turn radius blends high speed stability with maneuverability
- Multilayer wood core blends lightweight and responsive materials
- Titanal boosts torsional rigidity underfoot, leaves tips flexible
- Carbon in tip, tail cuts swingweight, boosts longitudinal stability
- Sintered base offers exceptional glide across the flats