Blizzard adds to the Zero G lineup with the skinnier yet capable Zero G LT 80. Here’s our first look at this 1kg go-long-and-far ski.
I may be 19 and relate more to wider and heavier skis than some older people who edit ski reviews on WildSnow. But I also know no matter how old you are, sometimes, to move efficiently in the mountains, it makes sense to go skinnier and lighter. Blizzard’s reputation in the backcountry scene is solid; their Zero G line of skis, from 85-105, has been used as sliding tools to good effect for several years. Zero G skis check boxes for a long effective edge, stable in steep terrain, and feathery on the skin track (they are on the lighter side).
Blizzard’s newest Zero G, the Zero G LT 80, has a uni-directional carbon wrap that Blizzard says offers some rigidity but an easier-going vibe than some mostly carbon skis. The core is mostly Paulownia with some greater density poplar inlays. The binding zone has two edge-to-edge bi-directional carbon fiber reinforcements, and the ski has a mini sidewall for added durability and rigidity.
I’m a tall skier at about 6’4”. I’m in the longest pair of ZG LT 80s, 178cm; they are a verified 1095g/ski. My intended applications for these skis are long traverses, steep spring skiing, uphill fitness laps, and a ski to throw on a pack for technical climbing, followed by a ski descent.
So far, I’m finding this is a great uphill ski. I have it paired with a Plum R170 binding, so the setup is pretty light for me at under 1300g/ski. Descending on groomers is super fun: the ski bites into turns, doesn’t feel hooky, and is true to its long turning radius of 22m in 178cm. The flex is like a fine wine, or so I’m told; remember, I’m only 19 — the front and tails are not overly stiff, while the middle of the ski is strong (there’s bi-directional carbon there). Each turn’s finish is perfectly smooth.
In the backcountry, beyond making turns, I’ve secured the Zero G LT 80s on my pack while ice climbing to access some skiing and broken trail skinning. The tip is relatively stiff yet soft enough to float while setting a skintrack in deepish soft snow. For comparison, Zero G 85 (check out our full review here) tip width is 116mm, and the LT 80’s is 109mm. And if you are into climbing technical ground with skis on the pack, these are legit skis that won’t weigh you down. Just maybe go with a length less than 178cm — that’s still a lot of ski.
As far as the basics — I’m weak for a slick-looking ski. The shiny black topsheet and orange-red highlights work for me. The tips are notched for race-style skin tips, and the tails include a plastic and notched protector; something that makes sense in touring skis but some manufacturers leave out.
The tip and tail rocker are minimal, and the camber is low. I expect it to be a great tool for spring skiing. For now, if you are uphilling for vert and sweeping down fast to repeat the process, the Zero G LT 80s might be a good bet for a ski that’s more durable and stable than a skimo ski but likes to rip like a GS race board :). Later this winter, and most likely after spring corn season hits, we’ll have a long-term review.
Zero G LT 80 Basics
Available lengths (cm): 164, 171, 178 (testing)
Weight verified (178cm): 1095g
Side cut: 110-80-96
Turn radius: 22m
Core: Paulownia and Poplar
Build Construction: Tecnica calls it the Carbon Drive LT
Cosmetics: Darth Vadar would approve
Aidan is a student at Montana State University and thanks his parents daily, just because.