2011-2012 LINE Influence 115, 186cm

Ski: Line Influence 115, 186cm Line Influence 115

Dimensions (mm): 153-115-142

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183.5cm

Weight Per Ski: 2502 grams

Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130s / Marker Jester / (DIN) 10

Mount Location: Factory Recommended

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 3 and counting

If you like snow, then you probably know what’s been going on (or going off) lately at Taos Ski Valley. Conditions have been crazy good (this photo gallery will give you a sense), and we’ve been able to check out some bigger skis (ON3P Billy Goats, RMU Apostles, MOMENT Bibby Pros and Night Trains, and the Line Influence 115) in their natural habitat.

We’ll be getting to these other skis soon, but I’ve been eager to write about the Line Influence 115, probably because it’s surprised me the most.

A couple seasons ago, I owned both the Line Prophet 90 and the Prophet 100. This was back when the Prophet 100 seemed to be winning every ski magazine award out there. To be honest, I thought the Prophet 100 was just okay; it didn’t blow my mind. It was a very quick ski, and it was certainly good on groomers, but I didn’t think it absolutely killed it in deep snow. (Of course, this was all back in the dark ages – the Prophet 100 had a big shovel, but it wasn’t rockered.)

The Line Prophet 90 was the ski that actually did blow my mind. That thing railed, was stiff, quick, and fantastic in chop. Obviously, it wasn’t the right tool for deep days, but that’s not what it was designed for.

Fast forward to this season. Line’s got the Influence 115 (formerly known as the Prophet 115), and I need to check it out. I’ve heard people talking up the Influence 105, but I’ve heard a lot less about its bigger brother, the 115.

The Influence 115 arrived last week. I mounted them with Jesters, and my immediate reaction was that they felt really heavy—which is saying something, since I’d been skiing 191cm ON3P Billy Goats and 190cm MOMENT Bibby Pros.

What I quickly found, however, is that, while the Influence 115s feels fairly heavy in your hand, they don’t ski heavy on your feet. (That was surprise #1.) They have a nice (and yes, surprising) swing weight for a ski with 153mm tips and a decent amount of metal. But that metal matrix cuts out before the tip and tail, keeping the real weight of the ski underfoot. Long and short: while these may look like burly beasts, these are not super demanding skis.

POWDER PERFORMANCE:

This past Friday, Taos was ridiculous. The previous week was outstanding, too, but the snow was thicker, more PNW-like. But now, it was dry and light, and one or two feet deep off of Highline Ridge.

Jonathan Ellsworth, on a spine on the Line Influence 115, Taos Ski Valley.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Two Bucks, Taos Ski Valley (December 16, 2011).

In deep, untracked, light snow around Kitchen Wall and through the trees of Two Bucks and Billy Sol, the 115s were very good; zero tip dive, very balanced and stable, intuitive. In general, I’m not a huge fan of enormous ski tips—I tend to prefer narrower tips that don’t quickly give way to a lot of sidecut, because big tips tend to get hooky. So my preferences run opposite of the Influence 115, but I experienced no hooky behavior, even though I hadn’t detuned the tips. (For the record, I will detune, I’m just impressed that the tips didn’t get all hooky as is. This was surprise #2.)

Over the weekend, I was also spending time on the 191 Billy Goats and the 190 MOMENT Bibby Pros. And in Taos’ untracked pow, I would personally have given a nod to either the Billy Goat or the Bibby Pro over the Influence, mostly since their rockered tails were a bit more playful in this snow. The (fat) tails of the Influence weren’t grabby, they just weren’t as surfy as the BGs and Bibby Pros—which you may or may not consider a virtue….In any case, the tips and shovels of all three skis were fantastic, planed well, and were incredibly fun across the board.

17 Comments

  1. Amy December 20, 2011 Reply

    Your photo rocks!

  2. Jeremy December 30, 2011 Reply

    Really looking forward to your impressions of the 191 Billygoat, especially in comparison to the 186 Billy, and (sounds like one of your favorites) the Bibby Pro’s.
    Any chance your going to be posting a review ?……great review of the 186 Billy’s, but have been chomping at the bit for more info on them since your set of the 186’s had some issues.
    Looking to add to the quiver and the the 191 Billygoat, Bentchetler, Bibby Pro, and DPS Wailer 112RP are all on the radar. All different ski’s but on paper seem look good for the type of skiing I do up here in Washington.
    Thanks!

  3. Majkiman January 20, 2012 Reply

    Hi I have a question.

    What is your height in cm…I´m 171 cm and I can´t decide to buy 179 or 186…

    Btw thanks for review :))))

    • Author

      Hi, Majkiman. I am 179cm tall, and I really liked the 186cm length. At your height, I could imagine going with either length – I did not think that the 186 was terribly demanding, but I could imagine that the 179 would still be plenty stable and provide good float for you….Tough decision!

  4. JP March 28, 2012 Reply

    Hey Jonathan,

    Thanks for a great review. I currently ride the 2012 influence 115 179cm and love it. Agree with your review completely. I am 5’10”, 177lbs and have been thinking about going for a longer length. I am not sure if I want the 186cm influence due to the weight as I do a lot of side/backcountry as well. I have been looking at the bibby pro. I don’t have any concerns about how it’ll do in powder, but as a one ski quiver, will it handle as well on firm groomers as well as the influence? on the chop? Any thoughts?

    • Author

      I haven’t skied any 115mm+ skis that handle groomers “as well” as the 11/12 Influence 115, so no, the tail rockered Bibby Pro is no exception. As far as chop, the 186 Influence 115 and 184 Bibby Pro are closer, and I can’t say with certainty which you’d prefer.

      Now, keep in mind that next year, the Influence 115 gets completely overhauled. So if you’re talking about the 12/13 Influence 115 rather than the 11/12 version, then the 184 Bibby is definitely the more capable crud / chop ski, and I would likely take the Bibby over the new Influence on groomers, too. The Influence 115 might now get the slight nod in deeper snow, and it is definitely lighter, softer, and more playful than the Bibby. And you should absolutely get the 186cm Influence if you do go with next year’s version.

  5. Jacob April 10, 2012 Reply

    As prices are dropping on 11/12 inventory, I’m trying to decide between the Influence 115 vs. 105. Looking to compliment my Line SFBs with a faster, more stable feel on groomers, and something that will charge through hard crud, chop and crust. I vowed after getting the Bacons that I would never ski anything under 108 again. My one concern about the 115 is the thought of ending up in an unexpected, tight tree line or mogul field and getting thrashed. Not sure if the 105 would offer much better bump performance, but I wanted to get some input. How might the different sidewalls and weight come into play? FYI I’m 5’2″, 155 lbs.

    • Author

      Hey Jacob – We haven’t put time in on the Influence 105, so I can’t speak to that ski. But given what you say you’re looking for, the 115 certainly fits the bill. I’m prepared to believe that the 105 will be at least a bit better than the 115 in the bumps, but since you aren’t planning on skiing bumps a lot on the 115s, I wouldn’t worry about bumps – or tight trees. Slow down a bit if you need to in bumps and tight trees, and enjoy absolutely ripping groomers, hard crud, chop and crust.

  6. Rob April 16, 2012 Reply

    Great review. Before I even found this site I had narrowed by search between Influence 115, Bibby pros, and the Volkl Shiro. So good to read about 2 of the 3. My question is about length. I am 6’5 205lb and worried the 186 influence could be a bit short. I was interested in the 12-13 models but maybe not after your review. I ride fast and hard in everything so want an all-mountain ski, but am just worried even the big shovel won’t be enough in deep powder. Any recos on the skis and even mounting position for the influence 186s?
    Thanks!

    • Author

      Hi Rob – at your height and weight, and given that you like to “ride fast and hard in everything,” the 12/13 Influence 115 doesn’t sound like your ski unless you ride fast, hard, and PLAYFULLY. As for the 11/12, it definitely doesn’t ski as short as the 12/13, but I’m not sure that it will be enough ski. I’d consider the 190cm Bibby Pro, the 191 ON3P Caylor, or if these were going to be more dedicated pow & soft snow skis, the even fatter 196cm Praxis Protest. (But those skis are all tail rockered, unlike the 11/12 Influence 115, FWIW.)

  7. Matt January 31, 2013 Reply

    I know this is an older review, but wanted to say thank you. I have been agonizing over which ski to buy for a month now. I read your reviews a few hundred times and bought this ski based on your description. They are exactly what you said….exactly what i wanted. I read those other reviews… including ones saying the complete opposite of your 2011/2012 vs 2012/2013 comparison. IMO none as accurate.

    I scored a 2011/2012 for half the price and got the perfect ski. I would have bought the wrong one if not for Blister.

    Thanks

    • Author

      Matt – I really appreciate you taking the time to write this note. It’s basically the entire reason I started Blister in the first place. I’m very happy to hear that we helped you find the right ski, and very proud to hear that you found my review to be on point. All great stuff.

  8. Tim Mullen July 29, 2013 Reply

    Great reviews Jonathan. I currenty ski 25 days in the East and 10 days in Montana/Wyoming. My every day ski in the East is the 11-12 Prophet 98. Before that the 08-09 Prophet 90. The last two years in the west I skied the 10-11 Prophet 115. I have loved all these skis for all the reasons you have mentioned. They have all been in 172 length. I’m 5’10” 160lbs, 52 years old but ski a lot younger. I have liked the lengths but have always felt they were a little short for me. So, based on Jason’s review I bought the 11-12 Rossignol Sickle in a 186 length a couple of months ago. Haven’t skied them yet but can’t wait. I really love the 2010 Prophet 115 out west with my wife as most of my day is spent on groomers or dipping into the woods between trails. Couple hours every day I ski on my own and look for powder and steeps and trees. The 115 has been perfect. I am that minority skier that wants a 115 waisted ski that is great on groomers. Would I benefit from the 11-12 Influence in the 186 length? Same ski as my Prophet 115 just longer, right? I know it skis shorter than a 186 but it’s a big jump from a 172. Going to a 179 doesn’t seem worth it to me but that’s where I hoped you could help. I hate to miss an opportunity to grab this ski while I can still find it. Thanks for your help and all the great reviews on this site..

    • Author

      Thanks, Tim, glad you’ve found the reviews to be helpful. And while I have no doubt that you’ll be very happy with the length of the 186 Sickle, I’m not AS certain that you’ll simply love the 186 115 – it’s a bigger, heavier ski with a bigger swing weight than the Sickle. And since you like the 172cm 115 … I actually think the 179cm 115 might be the safer play. I’m just worried that the 186cm 115 will feel less quick than your 172s, and you might not be thrilled about that – especially in moguls or tight trees. (And the less you’re skiing in moguls and tight trees, the more I could see you going with the 186s and enjoying them.) So those 179s seem like a pretty nice compromise – the skis will feel familiar to you, but with a bump in stability. In short, I think they would be “worth it.” Let us know what you decide to and how it works out for you.

  9. matt July 29, 2013 Reply

    Tim,

    I am 5’8″ 165 and typically ski a 180ish length ski 40 days a season in CO. I tried both the 186 and 179. I ski a lot of steep bumps with trees thrown in. I found the longer length was a blast in the groomers and open areas (powder or hardpack) but in the bumps and trees I did not enjoy the 186. It felt like being strapped to a rocket. I just had to go over everything and rage. While entertaining, it was a ton of work and I often felt on the edge of control in technical spots. The 179 look short on my feet, buut they are plenty stable when flying and are really quick and fun in tight areas. I can flick them around trees quickly, and I can choose if I want to go over or around a bump rather than being fully committed to straight down

    I absolutely love the skis for any day on the slope and can’t recommend them enough. Just do a quick detune on those massive shovels and have a blast.

  10. Tim Mullen July 29, 2013 Reply

    Jonathan and Matt, thanks for taking the time to respond. You both confirmed my biggest fear. I’m glad I asked. Believe it or not the 172s felt pretty stable even when screaming down some of the bowls at JH and Big Sky and yup I can ski moguls with them too. Who woulda thought. If the 179 is almost as easy to turn in the trees and moguls as the 172 and I can gain even more stability, then I think I’ll have about as perfect a ski for what I’ll be doing out west. And for the ocassional soft deep days we have out here in the east. Thanks again. Can a guy really have too many skis?

  11. DB Cooper December 16, 2016 Reply

    Have you guys gotten on the Supernatural 115 yet? Thinking about the SN 115 192 to compliment my E100 190s to fill out a 2 ski quiver in Utah. I’m 6’3″, 225 and looking for a resort pow ski that can still hold its own on groomers. Initially interested in the SN 108 but concerned it’s too similar to the E100 and not long enough in the 186.

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