The Black Pearl has been a flagship of Blizzard’s ski lineup for 14 years. It’s not just one of the brand’s bestselling women’s skis, it’s also one of the bestselling skis of all time, winning awards and stealing hearts since it first hit the market in 2012.
Next season, Blizzard drops an entirely new collection of Black Pearl women’s-specific skis. They’ll feature new molds, rocker profiles, and the use of a metal layup. The 2024/25 Black Pearls will come in three waist width options: 84, 88, and 94 for a range of skiers, abilities, and terrain.
Each size of every model has its own specific wood core, making for a ski that aims for a tailored fit.
“The beauty of the Black Pearl has always been that it’s a ski that can work for a wide variety of skiers from intermediate to advanced,” Leslie Baker-Brown, Blizzard Tecnica Women 2 Women project leader, told GearJunkie. “Because we specifically engineer the core makeup for each ski length, women can size up or size down to get the experience that best serves their ability.”
Despite these updates, Blizzard maintains that it preserved the Black Pearl spirit and quality that have made this ski so prominent. It tested multiple technologies, layups, and iterations through its international Women 2 Women group. More than a dozen women ranging in skills and abilities tested these skis at resorts during their development.
The result, Blizzard claims, is a ski that maintains “the spirit of the Black Pearls” and offers more maneuverability and control.
2025 Black Pearl Lineup: What’s New?
Blizzard wanted to preserve the driving power and stability that made the Black Pearl collection a fan favorite to begin with, said Baker-Brown. It calls this ski a “symbol of the boss in every woman.” But it also wanted to make these new versions more approachable and nimble.
To achieve that, Blizzard took its Fluxform technology, adapting it to create an all-mountain generalist. Fluxform uses a single sheet of segmented Titanal, specifically sized to each model of the Black Pearl. Previous versions didn’t include metal layups at all.
Fluxform’s segmentation reduces the ski’s torsional rigidity for smoother transitions coming in and out of turns. It’s tapered at the tips of the 2025 Black Pearls to improve float, and wider at its tail to support powder turns. Previous versions didn’t include metal layups at all.
Blizzard also revisited the ski’s Trueblend wood core. It added stringers of dense beech wood underfoot, tapering toward the tips and tails with softer poplar wood. It creates a flex Blizzard calls “smooth and balanced.”
Blizzard kept the 88mm version from last season but is now offering 84mm and 94mm widths as well. The 84 will feel most comfortable on groomed runs. The 88 is a great middle-of-the-road width for carving or navigating tighter terrain. The 94mm Black Pearl is meant for skiers who tend to spend more time in deeper, softer snow, but it’s still narrow enough to easily maneuver on bumpy or variable terrain.
Women 2 Women Testers
Blizzard tapped its Women 2 Women group to dial in the 2025 Black Pearls. More than a dozen women tested the new Black Pearls at eight ski resorts in California and Europe. Some of them were casual recreationalists. Others were professional ski coaches and teachers. Some were even previous NCAA racers.
Their feedback helped Blizzard make sure the new skis stayed true to their reputation while catering to a range of skill levels and abilities on the slopes. Baker-Brown says the test of the Black Pearl 94 at Crested Butte stands out in her mind.
“It was a blind test so they didn’t know what they were skiing, but every one of them shared the same degree of enthusiasm after skiing the last [prototype] of that model,” she said. “I’m not sure if they had more fun testing them or we had more fun hearing their excitement!”
A GearJunkie ski tester got on a very early release pair for a few runs at Vail this year, and came away with a great impression of these as a versatile, fun ski.
‘The Best Yet’
When a ski brand takes a fan-favorite like the Black Pearl and modifies it, it’s taking a risk. All too often, a ski is updated between seasons, and everything people love about it gets changed. It’s why people say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Unless that is, you know you can make it better. Baker-Brown said that continual improvement is part of Blizzard’s DNA. Its engineers can’t help but tinker and toy with technology and design to refine its products year after year. The trick is to make sure they’re keeping everyone’s favorite elements intact as they develop and update the design.
“Which is what we’ve done,” Baker-Brown said of the 2025 Black Pearl collection. “I feel confident this new collection is the best yet.”
The 2025 Blizzard Black Pearl will be available at Blizzard retail partners starting in the fall of 2024.