2021 Line Blade

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Testing skis so you don't have to.
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Philpug: Line is no stranger to throwing a design against the wall to see if it sticks, Hell, it's the company's founding philosophy, back to when Jason Levinthal disrupted the industry with the Snow Blade. The all-new Line Blade is the latest in a long line of skis from that trend. At first glance -- and first ride -- it feels like the love child of the Icelantic Shaman and Elan SCX, two designs that broke the mold in their own generations. The Blade floats like the Shaman and carves like the SCX.

I am disappointed that I didn’t get as much time on the Blade as I wanted to. I skied it at both Winter Park and Snowbasin in the same conditions -- good groomers with a layer of soft, edgeable snow on top -- and the Blade was a ton o' fun. You might think its extreme shape would lock it into a turn, but it didn’t. The carve you expect is indeed there, but not only can the ski be worked into different turn shapes, it can also be released and locked back into a turn at will. Due to the shortened season, I never got to play with the Blade in powder, an area I really think it will excel.

Insider tip: Err on the shorter of two lengths.​
Andy Mink: You read that correctly: the tip on this ski is 154 mm wide. With those measurements, this could be the Barbie doll of the ski world. What does this mean to you, the realistic skier? The Blade is an absolute blast on groomers. Line claims this will "leave only ... a sh*t eating grin on your face." Well, does giggling out loud suffice? If you like carving, I mean really like carving, this tool deserves your attention. On the firm groomers at Mammoth, it worked wonderfully. Short and slow? Check. Short and fast? Yep. Long and fast? No problem. It just lays tracks. The tip shape and width might make it a handful in the bumps, but it should float and carve some powder pretty well.

Insider tip: Get used to people wondering if you're nuts for laughing or grinning for no apparent reason.​
 
Who is it for?
Fair-weather powder carvers and soft-snow tree skiers. You love to carve all over the place and want something unique but still very capable.
Who is it not for?
Zipperline bump skiers, because a 154mm tip will not be your friend.
Skier ability
Intermediate, Advanced
Ski category
Frontside, All Mountain
Ski attributes
Groomers, Off Piste, Trees
Segment
Men

Specifications

HighFives
Available sizes
169, 176, 181
Dimensions
154-95-124
Radius
"tight," per Line's data sheet
Rocker profile
Camber with tip rocker
Construction design
All new
Binding options
Flat
right ad

Noodler

Just piste off
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I really want to try this.
I think you'll be greatly disappointed... The huge tip is a huge liability and this type of ski construction really only belongs in soft conditions. If you can't tell, I was not impressed, but the conditions of the test day really didn't help a ski of this design shine.
 

Philpug

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I think you'll be greatly disappointed... The huge tip is a huge liability and this type of ski construction really only belongs in soft conditions. If you can't tell, I was not impressed, but the conditions of the test day really didn't help a ski of this design shine.
I think they did a good job of scaling the, @Tony S's size will be good. I really wanted to ski these in spring conditions. We will have two pairs of these (mens & womens) in our test fleet this winter.
 

Philpug

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5779B191-B4E2-475C-B683-A5691340A95F.jpeg Long Term Update: The all new Blade is an acquirred taste, a taste that needs to grow on you and one that you cannot get in the one or three runs that we usually get at an industry demo. Fortunately today I was able to ski the Blade for a good couple of hours in conditions that I expected the ski to be able to shine in. In voicing my way to clarity with @Andy Mink I ended up dubbing the Blade as the Crudbuster 2000. This ski loves crud, it dices, slices, cuts, chops and annihilates crud.

They only caviot is that the skier needs to be a two footed skier with a wide stance.
 
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Andy Mink

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It took @Philpug a while to pin a description on this ski today. I believe it came out as "more versatile than expected". As I said in my initial review above, it is an absolute blast on groomers but I didn't have an opportunity to try it on anything else. I look forward to it. I was wondering if it would be a one trick pony, but it seems to be more of a herd of ponies with different tricks.
 

Philpug

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@Philpug your thoughts in this for a one-ski quiver?
It could be. My only concern would be how it is on firm conditions but it can't be any worse than other skis in this waist range that are billed as one-ski quivers. We joke from time to time about making a ski your b!tch, not the case the the Blade, there needs to be a mutual understanding to make this relationship work.
 

markojp

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I've skied them on hard snow. Let's just say that "it might have been a bad tune".... I hope.
 

Philpug

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I've skied them on hard snow. Let's just say that "it might have been a bad tune".... I hope.
Our pair is skiing well. I am actually hoping to get them on hard snow at some point but I cannot see them being much worse than any other 95mm ski on hard snow either.
 

Andy Mink

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Long Term Update: I had a chance to ski these again in some nice conditions at Mt. Rose and did I mention in my initial review they make me giggle? They are a wide carving ski that plows through piles like a hot knife through butter. They are very stable at speed and even high speed long turns generate little to no tip chatter. I was expecting at some point the wide tips would start to lay down but it never happened. Arc to arc tracks at lower speeds can generate enough pressure to make your legs tired after a few runs. I don't know that I'd want them as a DD in Tahoe but they would sure be fun as a second or third ski in a quiver. I look forward to trying them in 6-10" of fresh. I think that's where they should shine. Turn, turn, turn!
 
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Philpug

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Long Term Update: I had a chance to ski these again in some nice conditions at Mt. Rose and did I mention in my initial review they make me giggle? They are a wide carving ski that plows through piles like a hot knife through butter. They are very stable at speed and even high speed long turns generate little to no tip chatter. I was expecting at some point the wide tips would start to lay down but it never happened. Arc to arc tracks at lower speeds can generate enough pressure to make your legs tired after a few runs. I don't know that I'd want them as a DD in Tahoe but they would sure be fun as a second or third ski in a quiver. I look forward to trying them in 6-10" of fresh. I think that's where they should shine. Turn, turn, turn!
@Andy Mink was having fun on these today.
20986B55-2C17-42DB-B338-632E7306A903_1_201_a.jpeg
CB91DAB6-F85C-48AA-A5E9-BD40A1898D87_1_201_a.jpeg
925362AF-B34D-468C-941E-770C7B57D224_1_201_a.jpeg
 

Andy Mink

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do you have adjust your time in turn transition for the pontoons, err I mean blade? (seriously).
They are definitely slower edge to edge but not so much that it's a big deal. If you're used to skiing an SL ski you will for sure notice it. I hopped on these after several runs on MX83 and it does take a few turns to get used to what's happening and when it happens. The sidecut is so exaggerated, though, that you don't really need to get to a high edge angle to get into the next turn. They will make very easy long turns without much effort at all.
 

Philpug

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Long Term Update: I had a chance to take these away from where we have been normally skiing them, Mt. Rose to Squaw Valley. Because of conditions at Rose these were pretty much limited to the groomers but at Squaw we were able to spend a lot more time off piste and in more mixed and variable conditions. Coming from the KT lift down to through the Saddle to the Headwall chair, the Blade did super in the bumps, cut up snow and natural terrain of the Saddle. True to it's name, the Blade diced and sliced thought the bumps and was extremely playful as the terrain changed from turn to turn. I had the same experience when skiing off of the travese from the Headwally chair where there were still some fresh tracks to be made int the 3-4" of wind blown snow. You might think the broad tip and extreme shape would make the Blade nervous in these conditions but it absolutely does not.
 

anders_nor

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Line blade kinda ows me a left knee currently , had an incident getting hit and well.. turned & dug in, nice twisty motion for the knee.

When you lay weight on them they turn much faster & harder than people behind you might expect, as was the case for me and I was rammed even going in a straight zigzag line. my current 240lbs + ski gear made them flex & turn something crazy, it was like a proper slalom ski... but not? kinda hard to explain , so up to that point it was awesome.

Even got to try them on some pow, worked well, but guessing they will be a bit hooky
 

Dougb

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Has anybody else put in time (or more time) on the Blade this season? I am so intrigued by them. I’ve pulled two points out of reviews I’ve read: 1. These skis are incredibly fun on groomers and 2. They are more versatile than the fat shovel would lead you to believe, but not quite a OSQ.
 

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