Last week I managed to get out on Blizzard’s Zero G for two days and can confirm they are a worthy contender for next year’s addition to your quiver. The Zero G is Blizzards entry into the lightweight, carbon enhanced backcountry ski category that continues to amaze with skis weighing less than three pounds per ski, but performing like heavier versions. If you’re set with a fat, rockered powder ski but need something more svelte that can handle a variety of conditions, particularly refrozen morning corn or a day under the lifts with week-old scratchy hard pack, the Zero G will keep you satisfied.
My first few runs were on exceptionally well manicured groomers at Sugar Bowl, especially considering how little natural snow has fallen this year. There was the occasional patch of polished ice, some well shaped moguls and heavier, man-made sugar snow. There was no question the Zeros would slice through the junk, and they did, leaving a nice round swath. They didn’t pummel their way though the heavy stuff, as a heavy ski is capable of doing, but they sliced through with no hesitation. In bumps they had a playful energy. Transitions to ice caused the tails to break loose, but that was pilot error, not a deficiency in the ski. Soon as I adjusted my weight the tails held tight. On the runout to the bottom of the run they held a rail while laying down some sweet giant slalom turns going 65 km/hr. Fast, but admittedly not Olympic fast.
On the skin track they float fine when breaking trail and who wouldn’t prefer to wear a ski that weighs less than three pounds (1300 g) per foot. That is the maximum weight per Blizzard’s catalog, or it could be as light as 1200 grams. My postal scale says that’s realistic, measuring 4lbs, 9oz. (2070 g) with a Kingpin mounted, or 5lbs., 6oz. (2440 g) with a Griffin. Subtract the weight of the binding and Blizzard’s numbers appear conservative.
Where the Zero-G comes up short, as its 95mm waist might suggest, is in fresh, light pow. They just don’t float as well as, say a Vector, because they lack much rocker in the tip and tail. There’s enough there that the skis don’t dive, and they release easily at the tail when submerged, but not as easily as the rockered designs we’ve all been spoiled by lately. Unless you’re dealing with more than a foot of fresh, the Zero G will not disappoint you in pow – I mean, what ski really does anyway? In the more common varieties of soft snow, from overripe corn to full on mush, the Zero G gives plenty of float, with a smooth flex that uses Blizzard’s Carbon Drive Technology to add resilience to the wood core while shaving weight, both longitudinally and laterally at the tip and tail. For the few days it is truly blower, you probably have a different ski already in your quiver, wishing there were a reason to be used.
As you would expect with any true backcountry ski, the Zero G comes with notches in the tail for climbing skin hooks. Unfortunately, there are no holes in the tip for converting to a rescue sled.
Overall, highly recommended for those who see the value in a mid-fat ski that isn’t pretending to be fat, rather, it intends to be a reliable partner in a variety of conditions in the quest for adventure with skis. If you want to really shave weight and girth, there’s a narrower version with an 85mm waist, men’s and women’s versions. And for those who disagree with me and want full fat there’s the option of getting a 108mm waisted Zero G.
Zero G 95
Lengths available: 164, 171, 178, 185 cm
Dimensions: 128-95-111.5 mm
Radius: 21m (178cm)
Weight/ski (178cm): 2 lbs., 14 oz. (1250 g, ± 50 g )
Zero G 108
Lengths available: 171, 178, 185 cm
Dimensions: 136-108-122 mm
Radius: 27m (185 cm)
Weight/ski (178cm): 3 lbs., 12 oz. (1650 g, ± 50 g)