2021 Blizzard Rustler 11 Review

Updated: Jan 25

By Gregory Gardner and Ethan Forster

Best Price: evo $749


Width Tested: 114

Test Bindings: Salomon Shift

Test Locations: Jackson Hole WY, Grand Targhee WY


Standard Resort Conditions: 5

Powder: 9

Technical Terrain: 7

Less than ideal conditions: 6

Touring: 5

Freestyle: 6


Intro

The Blizzard Rustler 11 made its debut as a part of Blizzard's freeride collection in 2017. Blizzard designed this ski to perform exceptionally in deep resort conditions. In doing so, they implemented a rocker-camber-rocker profile that includes strategically placed carbon stringers to provide an exceptionally stable ride. The Rustler 11 is the perfect resort powder ski for an aggressive skier who wants a damp, stable ski that provides plenty of float in blower conditions but won’t fall apart as the runs get chopped up and more variable. It’s best when skiing fast and mostly directional, and is playful enough for anyone but the most jibby skiers.


Powder

The Blizzard Rustlers were designed to be skied inbounds on deep days, and they do so with elegance. While the rustlers don't provide the most flotation for their size, they compensate for this in their versatility. The rustler provides float, pop and stability whether they are tackling large open bowls, floaty pillow lines or deep chop. Our tester, Ethan, found that these satisfied his needs for inbounds skiing, but aren't quite as floaty as other 115 underfoot skis like the Black Crows Anima. We would highly recommend these as a dedicated resort powder ski because they will provide enough float for the deepest days, while their versatility will keep you having fun even when things start to get skied out.


Resort Capabilities

For how wide it is, the Rustler 11 is surprisingly capable. It is extremely confidence inspiring at speed, never feeling chattery. At the same time, it pivots quite readily. It’s a big and fairly heavy ski and therefore takes a bit of muscle to make tighter turns, but it never feels catchy and is easy enough to throw sideways to shed speed. Our tester Ethan felt that on groomers the Rustler holds an edge impressively well given its width. The large turning radius requires some speed to actually carve turns, and as a result they likely wouldn’t be much fun in icy conditions. When it comes to moguls, these skis are just too wide. However if they are soft and widely spaced the Rustler can make it happen. To conclude, the Blizzard Rustler 11 can handle typical resort conditions, but this isn't a one ski quiver by any means. Save these skis for the deep days and you will be beyond happy.


Technical Terrain

For such a stable ski, the rustler performs admirably in technical terrain. When you’re driving the ski hard and fast, it feels precise and confidence inspiring. In really tight spots where you need to do more low speed hop turns, it starts to feel a little unwieldy due to its weight and width. Not to mention, the camber in conjunction with the 21 meter turning radius is more suited for prolonged turns, which does make it a bit more difficult to bring them around when needed.


Less Than Ideal Conditions

For a powder ski, the Rustler is quite good at blasting through crud and holding an edge on hard pack. This is in large part due to the carbon stringers implemented in the design to provide superior dampening. The Rustlers are not the skis to reach for when there hasn’t been new snow for a while, but they remain stable through chop and variable snow.


Freestyle

Unlike many of the other Blizzard models which tend to ride very stiff, the Rustler 11 is a bit more playful than its siblings. The soft tips and tails on the skis make it a suitable platform for butters spins and slashes. While the Rustlers are super fun to play around on and hit natural features, at 114 underfoot, these skis are not intended to be ridden in the park.


Touring

Our tester, Ethan, mounted Salomon Shifts on his Blizzard Rustlers in order to be able to used them both in and out of bounds. He was never disappointed with the flotation and handling on his descents, but this setup was just too heavy for covering a large amount of vertical. If you only plan on touring occasionally, we would definitely recommend Ethan's setup as it can fill the powder ski position in your quiver, and be taken uphill if you desire. If you are touring on a regular basis, we would recommend going with a lighter weight and potentially slimmer setup to handle the uphill with ease.


Conclusion

The Blizzard Rustler 11 is the perfect ski for the advanced in-bounds skier in search of a powder tool. While the Rustler does not provide the most floatation on the market, it provides plenty to handle resort type powder days. Additionally, this ski is still able to arc on hard pack and other resort type terrain. The Rustler 11 is an excellent choice that will keep you skiing from the time the lifts start running until they stop.



174 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All