Testing skis so you don't have to.
- Mar 5, 2017
Sizes: 171, 178, 186
Size tested: 178
dean_spirito: (from last year) The Line Blend is a ski I’ve wanted to get on for a long time, and this year I finally got the chance. As its name suggests, it blends characteristics of a freestyle ski with those of an all-mountain ski. With a 100mm waist and early rise in the tip and tail, the Blend is just as at home in the park as it is slaying powder in the backcountry. It is nimble and playful without being overly soft. Although it is often described as a buttery ski, ideal for ollies and tail presses, the flex certainly doesn't compromise its stability on firmer snow.
- Who is it for? Skiers looking to add a versatile midfat to their lineup; park rats looking for a wider ski to take off piste.
- Who is it not for? Those who want an all-mountain ski that they can really lay over on groomers; the Blend likes to pivot and surf rather than lay over and carve.
- Insider tip: The Blend could make for a great touring ski.
Sizes: 164, 171, 178, 185
Size tested: 178
dean_spirito: (from last year) The Chronic was designed by Line team rider LJ Strenio to be the most versatile park ski on the market. Although it has all the characteristics of a traditional park ski, it is far from a one-trick pony. The addition of early rise in the tip and tail not only allows for smooth spins off jumps, but also contributes to effortless turn initiation both on and off piste. The Chronic also has reinforced bases and edges to help withstand any abuse you may throw its way, whether sliding rails in the park or uncovering rocks in the backcountry.
- Who is it for? Park rats looking for something that skis well in a variety of conditions; intermediate to advanced skiers interested in getting into the park.
- Who is it not for? Beginners and those who prefer to keep their skis on the snow; this is a playful ski intended for jibbing.
- Insider tip: The Chronic is one of the original freestyle skis, the preferred choice of countless pros.
Sizes: 165, 172, 179
Size tested: 179
Ron: (from last year) The 86 is a traditional ski; I could not detect any rocker. It skied fine on groomers, engaging well, but seemed nervous upon jumping into some firmer chop. Not a lot of energy or pop. I just couldn't warm up to this ski; it didn’t do anything particularly great, but didn’t do anything poorly.
- Who is it for? A skier who likes a traditional, non-rockered ski.
- Who is it not for? Someone looking for a fun, carvy groomer ski.
- Insider tip: Maybe try a different length?
Philpug: (from last year) Like many of the youth-oriented brands, Line realizes that its demographics are maturing and not always in the park, so it is building some quite good all-mountain skis. The new Supernatural 86 is a nice playful ski for a skier's first endeavor onto the cord.
- Who is it for? A Line for not only the young, but the young at heart.
- Who is it not for? Bigger skiers can overpower it.
- Insider tip: See the wood in the graphics? Well, this frontside ski is just at home in the trees as it is in on the groomers.
Sizes: 157, 164, 171, 178
Size tested: 178
dean_spirito: (from last year) New for Line this year is the Wallisch pro model. Tom Wallisch, one of the most recognizable names in the freeski community, recently joined the Line team and designed a ski that he could take anywhere, from the mountain to the park to the streets. One of the more traditional park skis in Line's stable, the Wallisch incorporates innovative technologies that make it ideal for flipping, spinning, and sliding rails. Line’s patented Carbon Ollieband incorporates tip-to-tail carbon-fiber stringers that are vertically laminated into the core for more energy and pop. If you are looking for a playful ski with an ultralight swing weight, the Wallisch pro model might be for you.
- Who is it for? Park rats looking for a ski that is super spinny and flippy; any intermediate or advanced skier who would like to transition into the park.
- Who is it not for? Skiers who avoid the park.
- Insider tip: If you are looking for a dedicated park ski, the Wallisch should be on your radar.