High speed slashes were effortless both in powder and on packed snow. The Opus is one of the quickest 118mm-waisted, 185-centimeter-long ski that I have ever been on.
The Opus is actually a little too snappy. Turns are so easy to initiate and execute that, every so often, I would hook my skis around farther than I wanted before I even realized what was going on. This would buck me off balance, especially when making sharp turns at high speed. Most of the time in these situations I would be in the act of scrubbing speed to avoid an obstacle, which made this tendency slightly disconcerting. This was more of an issue in firmer, tracked out snow, leading me to believe the 20% increase in effective edge was to blame.
However, the improved firm snow control provided by the longer effective edge is worth a little bit of hooking to me.
On groomers and well-packed, off-piste trails, the Opus handled really well. As long as I wasn’t doing 30+ mph through tracked, choppy snow, I was able to hold a pretty solid edge.
Serious crud, however, was another of the Opus’ weaknesses. Given its soft flex and light weight, the Opus definitely gets knocked around. These characteristics (coupled with the skis hooking tendencies) make it tricky to fly though chop. Even so, the Opus is significantly better than a noodle like the Hellbent. As a powder ski that’s meant to be pressed in all sorts of ways, this ski does pretty well.
If you desire more stability in your ride, I suggest opting for a longer length than you might generally reach for. I actually would have liked having the new 192cm for this reason. Also, since the dimensions are the same for all lengths, the 192cm model would have a larger turn radius making it less hooky than the 185cm version. For me, 185cm is a good length for buttering and for airborne antics.
Presses are still effortless with the Opus. I like the stiffer flex, which allows you to snap the ski around more compared to the old EP. The Opus feels well balanced in the air.
A light swing weight helped make spinning off pillows in the Mizuno No Sawa and Super areas feel very natural. Despite the playfulness of the 185cm Opus, I still would have opted for the longer ski. For my height and ability, I don’t think an additional 7 centimeters would have hindered my jibbing. I would have preferred the stability offered by the 192 cm length.
(I’m also looking forward to testing this 185cm ski on larger features, and I’ll update this review when I get a chance to get the Opus on some bigger stuff.)
Overall, the Opus offers a great mix of soft-snow performance and practicality, and is certainly an excellent tool for the serious jibber.
Compared to similar skis, I put the Opus in between the uber soft Hellbent and the burly ON3P Caylor. The Hellbent is the epitome of a playful powder ski, while the Caylor is for hard-charging skiers who frequently mix trick into their runs. The Opus reaches a happy medium, retaining all of the playful qualities of a soft ski like the Hellbent, while simultaneously having enough spine to tackle firmer conditions and tracked out landings.
Eric Pollard and Line have found a compromise that many freestyle-minded skiers should be excited about.
Go to Jason Hutchin’s 2nd Look at the Line Opus