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  1. #1
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home JSNate's Avatar
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    Air Blair Dart rider review

    For quite some time I have wanted to pilot a carbon fiber, custom ski. Thoughts of standing in the tray of a Rickter type of ski really caught my attention. So, when the opportunity to spend a fair amount to time with an Air Blair Dart came around.. I jumped at the chance.

    I was asked by a good friend to give the ski a once over, ride it and see if I may want to purchase the ski. At first, I said that I will gladly check it out and give her a go. My intention was to simply make sure the Air Blair was in good running order and list it. Well.. All good intentions seem to come with options and much consideration. After spending a week with this work of art, I may not be able to let it go. I know it is a pretty rare opportunity for most of us on this forum to have the chance to pilot a ski like this. So, I thought I would try to put into words what it was like.


    This is a 2015 Air Blair Dart with a ported Yamaha 760, 155mm pump, Pro-Tec pipe and a Pro-Tec head. Compression is mild at about 170 PSI and not what I would consider a beast of an engine. However, as it sits this mill produces a ton of low end torque and mid range acceleration, I can't believe it all comes from that Yamaha 760.

    The hull has considerably better manners than I anticipated. I expected it to ride very nose up and pretty much just want to be flipped or beached. I was more than pleasantly surprised how versatile of a platform this hull is. I was able to ride it and have fun without having to flip the ski. Now, I wanted to flip it and with a small wave, I feel I could have after some practice and getting used to the ski. I found the best way to ride the ski for stability was to put both feet forward and comfortably tucked under the front rolled foot holds. This made the ski feel very balanced and controllable. A stab of the throttle provides an instantaneous lurch and pull I've never felt on a ski before. I played with the trim nozzle on some hops just to feel what the change in angle does. Clearly, a boat wake, pull of the trim and a punch of the throttle would easily allow a skilled rider to barrel roll or back flip. Like I noted earlier, I'm just not there yet with my confidence of comfort level with this ski. Turning is flat and upright and only requires a nudge of the handle bar and a blip of throttle. There is no laying it on an edge like an SJ or production ski. So, in short.. I friggin love this thing.. Don't want to give it back or sell it. And I keep thinking of ways to justify such a purchase.

    So, as I go back and forth trying to come to a decision I plan to keep riding it and getting better acquainted. I do know that I would still want an SJ as my primary ski. But, with practice, some confidence and the right wave.. I may just put on a helmet and attempt a rotation or two.
    Last edited by JSNate; 09-12-2017 at 08:33 PM.

  2. #2
    PWCToday Regular goontz's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Thanks for the review, who wouldn't want to spend a little quality time with such a fine ski!
    05 850 SXR
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  3. #3
    Resident Guru still standin's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Nice review Nate!

    Have you had a chance to ride one the fixed steer Air Blair hulls? They look like no other ski I've seen and am curious to know how they compare to other skis.
    -Bulldog Freestyle 550/750 - http://www.pwctoday.com/showthread.php?t=457962
    -92 550sx/650 conversion
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  4. #4
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home Rushford_Ripper's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Nate, I feel the same way about my B.O.B. I built, not sure what way to go....keep or sell....


  5. #5
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home theVetteman3's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Great review Nate. (Keep it, keeeep it!!)

    I have heard good things as well about this hull. There's a great video review of it on xh2o which shows how versatile this thing is. In my mind it's easier to justify an expensive freestyle ski if it's more well rounded and matches the type of riding I do more. Nose high skis that are difficult to cruise on and can only flip don't make many points with me.
    1985 JS550/800 "Pretty Red": Newmiller ported 800, SXR Mikunis, 650 PJS pipe, Rhaas 750 pump conv. w/ 11/17 Hooker [56.3mph gps]
    2009 SJ MINT:
    KP steering adaptor, bars, Worx 228 intake[45.6mph gps]
    2009 SJ:
    rebuild in process
    1987 WJ650: 6M6, JD Intake Grate, 17/20, 650sx cheater pipe[42.4mph gps]

    1998 SXI PRO:
    800 Superstock, 3DR hull mods[TBD mph gps]
    1994 XiR: 820cc, SS porting, Novi 48mm, VForce 3, Advent, PJS side draft, 13/18 swirl
    [53.7mph gps]



  6. #6
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home JSNate's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Quote Originally Posted by goontz View Post
    Thanks for the review, who wouldn't want to spend a little quality time with such a fine ski!

    Glad you enjoyed the read. This really is a cool ski!

  7. #7
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home JSNate's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Quote Originally Posted by still standin View Post
    Nice review Nate!

    Have you had a chance to ride one the fixed steer Air Blair hulls? They look like no other ski I've seen and am curious to know how they compare to other skis.

    I have not had a chance to ride the fixed steer. However, I imagine they would be just as nice.

  8. #8
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home JSNate's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Quote Originally Posted by Rushford_Ripper View Post
    Nate, I feel the same way about my B.O.B. I built, not sure what way to go....keep or sell....
    Quote Originally Posted by theVetteman3 View Post
    Great review Nate. (Keep it, keeeep it!!)

    I have heard good things as well about this hull. There's a great video review of it on xh2o which shows how versatile this thing is. In my mind it's easier to justify an expensive freestyle ski if it's more well rounded and matches the type of riding I do more. Nose high skis that are difficult to cruise on and can only flip don't make many points with me.

    Having a really hard time picturing my beach without the AB Dart. I am getting more and more comfortable on this ski with each ride.
    Last edited by JSNate; 09-13-2017 at 02:33 PM.

  9. #9
    PWCToday Guru E350's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    A comment from the smallest peanut in the gallery: I agree with theVetteman3:

    Quote Originally Posted by theVetteman3 View Post
    In my mind it's easier to justify an expensive freestyle ski if it's more well rounded and matches the type of riding I do more. Nose high skis that are difficult to cruise on and can only flip don't make many points with me.
    First, from my few years of reading this forum and doing a little jet skiing, I cannot think of a better spokesman to translate aftermarket hull mania talk to regular joes like me than JSNate. Your build threads and posts have proven that you are knowledgeable, detailed, understandable, reasonable and curious.

    And, in my opinion, you are ready to make the next move from 550 conversion ski builder to Superjet modifier to FX1 modifier and now to aftermarket hull skier and reviewer for the common man. Your review of the Air Blair Dart is detailed and understandable even to people like me that don't have your history, knowledge or experience. Good job man!

    Second, the Rickter FR Edge with a surf layup seemed like the ski for me because it is advertised as more all around. I like wave surfing in whitewater kayaks, and did a little surf-puppy wave surfing on a windsurfter years ago. So, I think I would would like a flat turning surf ski, probably longer than the flippers want, which has the ability to side-edge carve when I want (because most of my riding time will still be on the Sacramento river in the Delta).

    But then I saw that chixwithtrix bought a Krash 50 Cal Footrocket and I was intrigued by the fact that she didn't buy a Rickter. And now Krash is selling that ski with a 997cc engine for $12K which is still currently out of my reach but something I could set my sights on for the future.

    So, with your and others evaluations, I may continue to maintain, repair and rebuild the skis we already have and just skip the 2008+ SJ-step and go directly to an aftermarket ski if JSNate and you guys whom I can actually understand are willing to translate AM-speak and share your real life AM experiences with us in the peanut gallery...

    BTW, theVetteman3 I looked but cannot find the Air Blair Dart video on the X-H20. Got a link you want to share?


    P.S. JSNate: You already own it, you just don't know it yet (and haven't paid for it yet). Air Blair is obviously brilliant.

    P.P.S. I feel another name evolution coming on: AMNate ?
    Last edited by E350; 09-13-2017 at 03:48 PM.

  10. #10
    PWCToday.com Is My Home Away From Home JSNate's Avatar
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    Re: Air Blair Dart rider review

    Thank you for the kind words, E350. Glad you enjoy my ramblings and printed random thoughts. And... You may be right regarding me owning this ski already! I may be storing it over the winter and that will give me more time to dig around under the hood and get more familiar with this fine machine. At this point I am very impressed with the build quality and attention to detail on this Air Blair. Just a beautiful ski!

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