Dimensions (mm): 140-108-136
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 180.5cm
Sidecut Radius: 17.7 meters
Manufacturer’s Stated Weight Per Ski: 2195 grams
BLISTER’s Measured Weight: one ski: 2209 grams; other ski: 2162
Boots / Bindings: Nordica Enforcer / Marker Jester (DIN at 11)
Mount Location: Recommended Line (~2cm back from true center)
Test Location: Alta Ski Area
Days Skied: 13
[Editor's Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 SFB, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for the graphics.]
It seems like forever ago that the first Line Sir Francis Bacon (aka the SFB, or, simply, Bacon) made its grand debut. With its wacky artwork and snowboard-inspired feel, the ski was one of Line’s and Eric Pollard’s collaborative lessons to the ski industry.
At the time, the Bacon was considered fat by nearly anyone’s standard (the original was 115mm underfoot), and this was especially true in the budding “backcountry freestyle” niche that the SFB helped take even more mainstream.
What was truly amazing about the Bacon was how playful and maneuverable it was despite its size. The combination of a soft but progressive and energetic flex, along with a short running sidecut and tight turn radius, made the ski feel much more nimble than anyone would have thought possible. For the freestyle-oriented skier, the Bacon was a game changer when it came to playing outside of the terrain park and applying your skills anywhere on the hill and in any snow condition.
The Bacon didn’t change much for a few years, but received a complete overhaul for the 11/12 season. When the new SFB was released, Line touted it as a quick, playful, all-mountain tool, and the changes to the SFB appeared to be inline with those claims.
The new Bacon has been slimmed to 108mm underfoot, has much less early taper (and therefore the running length of the sidecut is longer), retains its traditional camber underfoot, and now has both tip and tail rocker that is fairly long but with gradual splay.
The ski is not a noodle, and its flex is definitely symmetric and progressive. The tip and tails also went on a diet with Line’s “Thin Tip” construction, which leads me into the next part of this review.
When I first jump on a pair of new skis, I usually bust out a couple groomer laps, then head out to the High T at Alta and give the skis a real test in terrain I love.
My first day on the Bacon, however, was a pow day with 10-12” of new snow on top of some frozen coral reef. Because it was late in the season, variable conditions were the theme of the day: some light pow early; some sun-affected damp pow later in the day; some zones of hidden, frozen mess; great groomers; and a few kickers. The SFB helped make the day a great one, and there were many that followed.
On my first lift ride up Collins on the SFBs, the first thing I noticed about them was how light they felt. At the time I didn’t know their overall weight, and I immediately thought they must be in the ballpark of the DPS Wailer 99 Pure, which I had been on earlier in the season. Turns out they are a few hundred grams heavier per ski (making the SFB still pretty darn light), but apparently because of the “Thin Tip” profile of the SFB, the ski feels lighter than it actually is while riding the lift, when skiing, and when spinning them through the air.
My notes from the first full day skiing started like this: “Tricky conditions, the Bacons crushed it.” Although the word “crush” might not be the best word to describe how the Bacon felt—and certainly wouldn’t be accepted by “charging, big-mountain skiers” out there—what they did do was allow me basically to forget about the skis strapped to my feet and do anything I wanted very comfortably.
Eric Pollard and Line have created a playful pow ski with a backbone. Freestyle-minded skiers ought to be excited.
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