BBR 8.0 Review

Capitalizing on the success of the groundbreaking BBR ski introduced last winter, Salomon has expanded the V-Shape design to reach all skiers, regardless of skiing level or terrain preference. Bertrand Krafft, the designer of BBR con­cept explains, “No matter what level you are or where you ski, we believe that the advantages of the V-Shape will simply enable you to have more fun and give you more possibilities to experience the whole mountain.” In addition to extending the BBR line with different constructions and widths, there will be a dedicated women’s line; lighter and smoother for more confidence and more fun. What separates BBR from every other ski on the market is the V-Shape concept. Incorporating a wide, surfboard-like tip with rocker shape, BBR floats in powder and adapts to uneven terrain smoothly. The deep sidecut, narrow waist and pintail provide great grip and make BBR a playful carving ski on harder snow. Women’s models add a more pro­gressive tail to help smooth out turn finish and uneven terrain even more.

The Loveskiing team got their hands on a pair of BBR 8.0’s – these have a semi-sandwich construction and 80mm waist and are for pro­gressing skiers who enjoy a combination of powder and piste. So we jumped on a jet and flew off to one of the homes of skiing, Chamonix, to give the BBR 8.0s a thorough test.

First Impressions
Stunning, unique and beautiful are the first words that come to mind to describe the BBR 8.0s. If you want a ski that will turn heads and get fellow skiers (and boarders) talking, then look no further. Upon arriving at the resort just taking the skis from the airport to the ski locker we were inundated with looks, questions and exclamations alike. These skis turn heads like no other we’ve experienced! The flowing shape, reminiscent of a surf board, is transparent allowing you to see the wooden core of the ski. Unlike previous glossy BBR’s the 8.0 have a matt finish which takes a lot to scratch or mark and adds a distinct look from the past model range.

Performance
Now at this point I should point out that the weather was unbelievably hot for March – 30 degrees at 1650 meters (or so the resort’s thermometer told us!)!!! There had been a fresh dump the night before we arrived and the first day we skied off through a narrow gully and found some untouched powder. Due to the extreme weather this was the last of powder we encountered and for the rest of the week the snow condition varied between ice in the morning and heavy, slushy conditions after midday so the BBR 8.0 skis were tested in pretty much all conditions.

Powder
The BBR 8.0’s simply glide through fresh, white, fluffy stuff with ease. Turns were sharp, accurate and satisfyingly simple to achieve, even on the steeper descents the BBR’s left us in complete control.

Ice
Despite being such wide skis with little camber the skis held well on the ice and I never felt out of control. You are able to ski aggressively on the edges of your skis whilst still generating the grip required to avoid going down the slope somewhat less elegantly! Compared to other all-mountain skis such as the Atomic Access the BBR 8.0’s are a massive improvement in terms of grip and stability, however when compared to dedicated piste and race skis they are noticeably less stable, particularly at speed where the skis had a tendency to vibrate.

Slush
Although we all hope for perfect conditions, we do sometimes come across that wet, slushy slop we all hate and, interestingly, the BBR 8.0 excels in them: in these mounds of churned up, heavy slush the BBR’s simply plowed straight through. The wide V-shaped design provided good traction and power when required to forge a track through the heavy snow. Still a leg killer but the BBR 8.0 skis make spring skiing that bit easier (and quicker so you can laugh at your friends struggling as you zoom past!).

On piste/Off piste
The BBR 8.0’s are targeted as an all-mountain ski, with a slight preference given to off-piste performance; 60% to 40% on the groomed mountain side. Now this was hard to tell as the BBR 8.0’s performed extremely well on all the terrain and conditions we hit with them. The only areas the skis struggle with are, as mentioned, high speeds on-piste where they feel slightly unstable and with icy moguls, the shear width and V-shaped design of the BBR skis result in higher speed and less control when skiing large mogul fields.

Conclusion
All in all we can see why Salomon has extended their range of BBRs – the design simply works and offers the user an immense amount of fun regardless of the snowy playground you use them on. The BBR 8.0 sit in-between the 8.9 and 7.9 BBRs released last year offering an improved design with a greater camber to give that all important balance between on-piste ability and off-piste performance. We believe that the ski is a winner and fully recommend it to anyone who is in the market for an all-mountain ski.
To sum up Salomon’s BBR 8.0s… an immense amount of fun on the entire mountain!!!

Specs: 176cm sidecut: 147/88/110 radius: 12.5

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