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.
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.
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.
Where to Buy:
For anything from mellow pow skiing to zipperlines, tight trees, soft groomers, switch landings, spins, and straight airs, the Rossignol S3 is good times.
BLISTER breaks down all things Billy Goat, past and future, with a Billy Goat / Rossignol S7 comparison thrown in for good measure.
Lots of people have asked, so here goes: the MOMENT Night Train vs. the Bibby Pro vs. the Jaguar Shark.