Right from the get go Blizzard’s Kabookie delivers confidence. By modern backcountry standards it is not a light ski, but by resort standards it isn’t a tank either. At 8 plus pounds per pair it is light enough to be bearable on the uphill, provided you aren’t pairing them with a pair of overweight slackcountry bindings. They are stout enough to slay whatever snow snakes lurk in the depths of funky snow known by terms like Cascade Crud, Sierra Cement, frozen chicken heads or mashed potatoes.
In 20 years of testing skis I’ve learned that if a ski can handle the nasty stuff, especially the gooey, oozing variety, powder performance is a non issue. At 98mm underfoot the Kabookie is wide enough to float you in soft snow, but not so wide it can’t hold an edge on firm or icy snow. In a day of testing at Sugar Bowl ski resort it handled all manner of spring conditions with aplomb, from early morning frozen corn to heavy slush by midday. Powder was non-existant, but as I just mentioned, if a ski can cruise through mush, powder performance is a given.
While there have been plenty of changes in the size and shape of skis in the last decade, the big winners consistently seem to incorporate the radical changes in small proportions. The Kabookie has slight camber in the middle and a slight rocker in the tip and tail. In the shovel that early rise is enough to improve flotation while trailbreaking – up or downhill – but not so much that it robs you of the leading edge of the ski for banking high speed carves on firm or icy snow. Wood core construction delivers a smooth stable ride at speed with a snappy rebound on the turns. Blizzard would have you believe this isn’t just any old wood core, but due in part to the use of their flip-core construction.
I’ve heard a lot of marketing smack over the years and whether it’s true or not only matters if the results are worthy of praise. In this case they are, so whether it’s the wood core or the flip-core construction is a bit of minutia you can debate when you belly up for a beer after the sun sets. Either way, the Kabookie rocks in a lot of conditions.
The slight rocker in the tail is, unfortunately enough that when you jam them in the snow they will deflect a bit, but not so much that you can’t easily jam the tail under your other ski when making a kick turn on the skin track.
The tip of the shovel is shaped fairly flat so it may present a problem for simple wire loop skin tip kits unless they are really wide. Bent wire tips will tend to work better, especially the deep wire loop from Colltex, or G3′s swiveling hand hooks.
If you’re looking for a solid, one ski quiver or a ski that will deliver excellent performance in a wide range of conditions, in or out of bounds, you won’t be disappointed with Blizzard’s Kabookie.
Dimensions: 133-98-118 mm
Lengths available: 166 / 173 / 180 / 187 cm