The Black Pearl returns in Blizzard’s women’s line-up this year, retaining an 88-millimeter waist, a sandwich compound construction and a light wood core. It also features Blizzard’s Flipcore Technology, which flips the wood core upside down in the production process to create tip and tail rocker and slight camber underfoot without bending the ski. What it lacked in versatility (testers felt that it cut through crud better than floating on powder), it made up for in carving ability. “It gets on edge easily and likes to stay there if skied hard,” Muecke said. “It’s damp underfoot, but feels firm in the turn and confident at speed,” Minneci added.