Austrian ski company Blizzard made a bit of a splash earlier this year when they announced their changes to the Rustler and Shiva ski series. Despite already being some pretty popular skis, Blizzard went forward with a near complete redesign. The modified FluxForm titanal pieces allow for a stiff yet playful ski, while the new Trueblend Freeride Woodcore combines beech and poplar to provide a separate, more balanced flex in each section of each ski (hard flex underfoot ranging to a soft flex in the tip and tail).
The 2023-24 Rustler 10s come in six separate size options, ranging from 162cm-192cm. With the 180cm length, they sit at 102mm underfoot, 134mm at the tip, and 123mm at the tail. In short, these skis are masterfully designed for the all-mountain/freeride western skier. They’ll hold up on nearly any terrain you throw at them, shining brightly in the cruddy stuff.
Warm up groomers (or all day groomers, if that’s what you’re into) rip on the Rustler 10s. Despite the 102mm width, you’ll feel great getting on your edges, pushing out fast, long turns on the corduroy. When small chunks of crud appear out of no-where, you can certainly be confident that these skis will keep you upright.
The 102mm width provides plenty of float in deeper stuff, too. No, you probably won’t be able to absentmindedly cruise through two feet of untouched snow, but anyone can do that on a pair of 120mm canoes. The Rustler 10s won’t do all the work, but when you put the effort in, you’ll be incredibly happy with what comes out.
To truly appreciate and understand these skis, you need to take them into the less pretty conditions. Gorgeous corduroy? They’ll do great. Deep pow stashes? You’ll have an awesome time! Moguls, trees, and leg burning chop? You’ll probably fall in love with these guys.
Top sheet enthusiasts won’t be disappointed by the Rustlers’ looks, either. The dark, metallic grey combined with the bright orange will catch the eyes of every passerby, and the black/orange base certainly looks sweet while tossing massive daffys (or any other sweet trick).
Speaking of sweet tricks, these skis easily provide the confidence needed to toss massive airs. Despite not being much of a hucker, I found myself seeking out drops like never before, feeling more comfortable in the air than I have on nearly any other ski in the past.
The Rustler 10s are pretty hefty skis, so they probably wouldn’t be the best for a full blown touring setup (Blizzard’s got you covered with the Hustlers in that regard). They definitely aren’t too heavy for an on-resort hike or two, though, and any terrain accessed through that mode of transportation is probably perfect for these guys.
Downside wise, the Rustler 10s do seem to lose some stability at higher speeds. They can definitely handle the speed, no doubt about it, but you won’t feel rock steady. I was on the 180cm length, which, at 6’2″, seemed a good bit too short and may have added to the lack of stability I felt at speed.
It is pretty important to keep in mind that the Rustler 10s are designed for advanced and expert skiers. Those who aren’t comfortable skiing black and double-black terrain would probably have a pretty hard time controlling and managing these guys. That said, if you’re confident that you know what you’re doing, these guys will easily take you anywhere on the mountain for some darn good fun.
Featured Image Credit: Blizzard Skis via Instagram