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2015-2016 Line Magnum Opus

Review of the Line Magnum Opus, Blister Gear Review.

Line Magnum Opus

Ski: 2015-2016 Line Magnum Opus, 188cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 148-124-146

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 147.5-123.5-144.5

Stated Sidecut Radius: 17 meters

Core Construction: “Cloud Core” vertically laminated balsa plywood with flax fiber reinforcements

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 187.0cm

Mount Location: Eric’s Choice (-2cm from center)

Stated Weight per Ski: 2100 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2097 & 2083 grams

Days Skied: 6 Total

Test Location: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, NZ; Taos Ski Valley, NM

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 14/15 Magnum Opus, which is unchanged for 15/16.]

If you haven’t already done so, you may want to first check out my preview of the Magnum Opus for some detailed notes on the ski’s design and development.

But if you want to know what this ski is about, the short answer is that the new Opus is one of the more specialized powder skis out there.

The Magnum Opus is a wider—yet lighter—version of the Mr. Pollards Opus, and it’s been built to provide even more flotation and full-on excel as a playful, freestyle jib ski in deep snow.

I’m still eager to get the Magnum Opus in some really deep and light conditions, but after two days on it at Craigieburn Valley—including a fun, late-season pow day less than 48 hours ago—I’m in a good position to make some initial conclusions about the ski.

Soft, Wet & Heavy, Tracked Snow

My first time out on the Magnum Opus was on a warm day at Craigieburn, in soft spring conditions. I spent most of my time spinning laps down “The Guts,” a series of short gullies and wide chutes that run down Craigieburn’s main face.

A 124mm-underfoot ski wasn’t warranted in these conditions, but the wet, heavy snow was quite soft and smearable so, for the most part, I could make turns and throw slashes wherever I liked.

The Magnum Opus’ wasn’t difficult to manage in these conditions, largely because it is so light and has a pretty tight 17 meter sidecut radius. With the mount position set on the “Eric’s Choice” line (which is two centimeters behind true center), I could snap the ski across the fall line very easily from a light, centered stance.

Slushy, Bumped-up Snow

In more bumped-up terrain, where I needed to navigate small moguls with quick, sudden turns, I gained a better appreciation for the Magnum Opus’ flex profile.

The ski has a solid medium to medium/stiff flex underfoot that gets just a bit softer in the tips and tails, but is generally very consistent. In this bumped-up terrain, I needed to stay light on my feet and work with the skis to keep my turns smooth and fast. It’s not that the Magnum Opus’ flex feels harsh or unforgiving, but again, the skis are just so light with so much surface area that they can get kicked around fairly easily.

Pollard has said that part of his goal with the Magnum Opus was to create a ski that maintained the all-mountain versatility of the Mr. Pollard’s Opus. While I’m not sure that has been achieved, if you can stay balanced and smooth as you’re working the Magnum Opus through variable conditions, the ski’s performance in firmer, tracked-up terrain—considering how wide and light it is—is very respectable.

More importantly, I think, the more substantial flex of the Opus’ tips and tails helps make it nice and supportive on landings, as I’ll get to below.

Sun Softened Spring “Pow”

After the snow had softened up even more, I took the Magnum Opus into Cragieburn’s Middle Basin Chutes, a set of short, steep chutes, each with an hourglass shape.

Quick hop-turns were often required in the chokes at the top of the chutes, but bigger turns were possible above and below the chutes The aprons were only minimally tracked up and, having been hit with direct sun all morning, I found some untouched pockets of 3-4” deep, softened snow. While not super challenging, the snow was relatively wet and grabby, and the Magnum Opus cut through it really nicely. Using the same light, balanced stance, the skis initiated medium-sized turns easily, providing plenty of float through every turn, even tighter ones at slower speeds.

Windblown, Wet, Maritime Powder

On the last day of our New Zealand trip, the Canterbury club fields got hit with ~40cm of late season powder. Brought in with a lot of wind, the coastal snow was warm, dense, and sticky—the kind that’s perfect for making snowballs—so it only allowed skis to sink in around 11-12cms.

There was plenty of space to make big, top-to-bottom turns in mostly untracked snow down Craigieburn’s Hamilton Face and Castle area, a good opportunity to see how the Magnum Opus performed at speed. For the most part, the ski was nice and stable through fast, sweeping turns and long drifts, though it still needed to be skied with a more upright centered stance.

Especially in shorter turns, I had to be careful not to over-pressure the skis’ shovels. If I leaned into my boots too much, the front of the ski started to get a bit twitchy, eager to hook up and snap up the hill. If and when I shifted my weight too far back, the Magnum Opus’ fat tails (which are only 3mm narrower than the ski’s shovels), were reluctant to sink into the wet, dense snow. This meant I still needed to stay nicely balanced over the ski through each turn, and while skiing over any heavy piles of consolidated pow that the ski couldn’t break through.

Again, to be clear, while the snow was fresh, it was very dense and grabby. I’m not surprised the Magnum Opus handed the way it did, and in fact, I’m sure any ski would have felt at least a little unpredictable and touchy in those conditions. I don’t think this occasional tendency to want to “overturn” will be a problem in lighter powder, because I hadn’t noticed it all in the thick, sun-softened snow I had skied a few days earlier.

I expect the Magnum Opus’ sweet spot will feel plenty big in slightly drier pow conditions, and its relatively tight sidecut radius will only make it better suited for the playful approach to terrain that its super low swing weight encourages. Speaking of which…

Will Brown reviews the Line Magnum Opus, Blister Gear Review.

Will Brown on the Line Magnum Opus, Craigieburn Valley Ski Area.

Swing Weight

After I’d put only a couple hours on the Magnum Opus, and before I’d even gotten it into the air, it was obvious that the ski would have a light feel and spin well, given how quick and pivot-y it felt on the snow.

I spun a few 3s off of a cornice above Cragieburn’s Middle Basin Chutes, and sure enough, the Magnum Opus felt perfectly balanced in the air—eerily light given its width and length.

These weren’t big spins, as I didn’t have much hang time, but I was still able to set the rotation and bring the skis around easily.

In his review of the original Opus, Jason Hutchins mentions that it will “change your skiing in a playful sort of way, and change the way you look at terrain features on the mountain.” I think that’s also the case with the Magnum Opus. I’ve never been on a ski that feels better suited for sending tricks into pow.

Its light weight and near-symmetrical shape certainly have a lot to do with this, but its flex pattern gives it a nice, supportive feel in landings, too. I’m really excited to put more time in the air on the Magnum Opus, and into deeper, softer landings.

2015-2016 Line Magnum Opus vs. 2015-2016 192cm Atomic Bent Chetler 

In addition to the Magnum Opus, we’ve also been testing the other big-name ski in the world of flow-y, freestyle pow skiing: the Atomic Bent Chetler. I’ve now put more time on the Magnum Opus than I have the 192cm Bent Chetler, but it’s been interesting to see how (and how much) the two skis differ.

Most notably: the 192cm Bent Chetler is considerably heavier than the Magnum Opus – ~2500 grams per ski, vs. ~2000 –grams per ski for the Opus – and has a longer 20.5m sidecut radius, while its flex profile is practically the same.

Given those differences, the way the skis handle on snow isn’t all that surprising. The Bent Chetler is more damp and stable in bumped-up conditions, requires more input to pivot at slower speeds, and, I’ve felt, is significantly heavier in the air.

I need to put more time on both skis to nail down more specifics about how they compare, but at this point I see the 192cm Bent Chetler as sitting in a pretty different class of powder skis.

Directional skiers who like to drive skis in soft snow probably won’t find the shape, light weight, and forward mount of the Magnum Opus all that useful for the sort of skiing they want to do, while those same skiers may find that the heavier 192cm Bent Chelter can work to their liking.

Having said all that, I haven’t written off the 192cm Bent Chetler in the genre of jib-friendly powder skis. Obviously Chis Bentchetler, who skis often with Pollard and the Nimbus crew, uses it for buttering and spinning around in soft, deep snow a whole lot. Still, while the 192cm Bent Chetler may prove to be a great, playful pow ski, my initial impression is that the Magnum Opus’ low swing weight and tight radius might be an advantage if a super playful approach to terrain is primarily what you’re interested in.

But before I say any more, I’m also going to put time on the 185cm Bent Chetler, which may ski quite a bit differently from the 192cm version, and is almost certainly the more apples-to-apples comparison to the 188cm Magnum Opus.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a powder ski to take out on deep days to search for natural features to spin, flip, and drag, I can’t think of a better ski for the job than the Line Magnum Opus.

NEXT PAGE: Powder Performance Update & Comparisons to the 185cm Bent Chetler…

  1. Josh September 18, 2014 Reply

    Great review! Thanks!

  2. rory September 19, 2014 Reply

    i’ve been a fan of pollards skis since the original EP pro and was bummed when they stopped the production of it. i’ve skied the opus and loved the playfullness but missed the floatation of the EP. would you say the magnum is an amalgamation of the two?

    • Author
      Will Brown October 18, 2014 Reply

      Hey Rory,

      I never had the chance to ski the original EP Pro, but the Magnum Opus is certainly a wider version of the Opus that will offer more float. But for what it’s worth, the Magnum is stiffer throughout than the Mr Pollards Opus, and I remember the original EP Pro being pretty darn soft too, so the Magnum may be distinct from the EP Pro in that respect (obviously the Magnum is still quite playful, given its weight, rocker profile, and near center mount, though). Hope that helps you! – Will

  3. Trevor September 19, 2014 Reply

    With regards to the mount positions on the MO, Opus or even Bacon, for a mostly directional skier thats wants a playful powder ski would you suggest mounting a little further back (-4ish), or is the recommended points by Pollard still the best bet?


    • Author
      Will Brown October 18, 2014 Reply

      Hey Trevor,

      That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I can give you a definitive answer yet, so here’s a (long-winded) guess. Some skis ski well at different mount points, and some don’t allow for much movement. The Salomon Rocker 2 108 is a good example – it has a recommended mount point of -3cm from center, and if you have a more centered, upright skiing style, you’ll like the way the ski feels skied from that point. But if you’re a more directional skier, I wouldn’t really suggest going with the Rocker 2 108; it’s not going to ski great if you’re skiing it like a more directional ski at -3cm from center and mounting further back isn’t a great solution – it’d be like putting big, knobby tires on a road bike; sure, it would handle rough trails a little better, but it’s still a road bike. At a certain point, you’re better off going with a mountain bike in the first place.

      Anyways, I haven’t moved the mount point on the Magnum Opus around yet, but I’ll bump it back and see what that does as soon as I can. Given that the rocker/camber profile, dimensions, and tip and tail shape aren’t too crazy, I think it would still ski well at -4 or so, but probably not much further back than that; it may start to feel imbalanced, as you’re in a less ideal position to work the sidecut and turn radius of the ski intuitively.

      There are a few powder skis that still have a playful side you can unleash, but that will also respond well to a more directional style, The 12/13 Moment Bibby Pro (or the Blister Pro, if you’re looking to buy a new pair, now), is a great example.

      Hope this helps!


  4. Samuel January 17, 2015 Reply

    First of all, thanks a lot for this insightful review. Your impressions are always a pleasure to read. I have two questions regarding this ski.

    First, could you elaborate on the differences between the Mr. Pollard’s Opus (MPO) and the Magnum Opus (MO)? Has the versatility of the MPO been conserved in the MO? Could I occasionally use it on the groomers for two oder three hours if there is no more powder for the day?

    Second, how does the color look like in the sun or on the snow? This afternoon, I was finally able to have a look at the MO in a store and I was very, very disappointed by the color. It looks very ORANGE and not red at all. At first I didn’t even recognize it!

    Thanks for your comments.

    • Will Brown March 9, 2015 Reply

      Hey Samuel,

      Sorry about the slow reply here. I haven’t skied the MPO, unfortunately, but I don’t think the MO is quite as versatile of a ski. From what I know about the MO, and the fact that it’s wider, lighter, AND stiffer probably mean that it takes a little more effort and finesse to ski smoothly in choppy conditions then the MPO. With that said, the MO’s edge hold on soft groomers is pretty good, and you can arc some clean carves on the ski; high-angle carves are hard to get into, and they’re not the most locked-in feeling, but fun can be had on the ski on the way back to the lift, for sure.

      As for the color of the MO, the stock photos we have are a little misleading. I wouldn’t say the background of the topsheets is a pure orange color, but it’s definitely not stright red either – sort of a mix of the two, like this:

  5. Pasi March 1, 2015 Reply

    Tried this ski in both deep powder in japan, and also icy groomers in europe and have had a chance to also do some hiking up to 3 hours and this ski is extremely versatile and light and works in basically all conditions. The ski and does not feel as wide as it is except in pow where it floats like a cork. Pros, floats, carvs, turns quick in trees due to light weight the ski swings really quick in turns even at almost no speed at allt. Cons wide on icy steep hiking’s when you traverse, i think the crampons can solve this problem. Mounted these skis with G3 ion bindings which feels like a good combination.

  6. Enrico March 8, 2015 Reply

    I’m using my magnum opus in the “Eric’s Choice” mount position (which is two centimeters behind true center) and is really fun but I’m more interested about deep snow than freestyle (I’ve also a sick day 110 and I love it) and so I’m thinking to move the mount position to -2 or -3 to improve the performance in “heavy deep snow” because sometimes in this condition seems to be too much on the front.
    What do you think about it?

    Thank you in advance


    • Will Brown March 9, 2015 Reply

      Hi Enrico,

      I think you’ll find moving the mount point back to -4 will help the ski float and plane through heavy snow more easily, and allow you to get over the shovels a little more. Read my Update on starting on page 2 to read more about that more rearward mount.



  7. willie March 11, 2015 Reply

    Hey Will great review as always, Sooo now that you are on the Moment Ghost Train, how does that ski compare with the MO and Bent, they are about the same weight as the MO, but lack the camber that both skis have.. Thanks.

    • Will Brown March 18, 2015 Reply

      Hey Willie,

      A very good, relevant question. I’m going to be posting a First Look on the Ghost Train before the end of the week, and I’ll definitely spend some time comparing it to the MO. Stay tuned.

      Will B

  8. James March 30, 2015 Reply

    Hi Will,

    Great review thanks.
    I’m looking at purchasing Pollards Opus or Magnum Opus for a trip to Gulmarg, India next year.
    I already have a pair of Line Chronics (my NZ field ski), plus a pair of Sir Francis Bacons with alpine bindings, which are perfect for Japan.
    Question is, I would need a touring set up for India & snow can vary dramatically, anywhere up to neck deep according to my cousin! Do you think Pollards Opus or Magnum Opus with AT bindings for a trip that will involve a reasonable amount of touring? Plus, which would best compliment my current quiver?
    Any recommendations on AT bindings with line opus skis? Trying to go with bindings that will affect the natural flex of the ski as little as possible, plus sit fairly close to the ski. Going downhill performance is more important than uphill skinning performance, to me.

  9. Chris March 31, 2015 Reply

    Hey Will,

    Just wondering how you think the 188 Magnum Opus (most likely mounted at -4) would compare to a reverse camber powder ski like the 187 4FRNT Hoji, particularly in playful terrain with drops, pillows, and through trees in deep snow. I’m looking for a new set up to stick AT-bindings on for mid-winter/deep touring days in coastal British Columbia.



  10. Heiko Gehrig December 21, 2015 Reply

    Hi Will,

    First off, many thanks for the insightful, comprehensive review, too bad I just read it now!!

    I’m literally sitting in a hotel room in Niseko, Japan, and had just picked up my Magnum Opus after having mounted the Marker Kingpins on them. Although not the lightest ski by a long shot, you really can’t beat the size/weight ratio for some short term skinning!

    Problem is, I had them mounted on the “traditional line” and now am reading that no one has gone that far back! I’m freaking out a little now. While they’ll be used mainly for deep powder, it’s really important to me for them to be able to slash and smear easily, while at the same time being as directional and as possible (for the ski type) in deep snow. ie – have my cake and eat it too (realistically there will obviously be compromises)

    Should I run back and have them remounted more forward? What are your thoughts on the traditional line?

    Many, many thanks for any insight!

    • Will Brown December 21, 2015 Reply

      Hey Heiko,

      First off, I’m seriously jealous you’re in Japow.

      Second – in short, I think you’re gonna be just fine with them mounted on the traditional line. I’ve said on pg 2 of the review:

      “[I moved the ski back from “Eric’s Choice”, and] at 4cm behind center, the Opus did tolerate a more forward stance, and I could lean into the shovels a little more (so it took a little less finesse and balance to ski smoothly, particularly in tracked-up conditions). But the ski was a tiny bit slower to pivot and slash. In short, the Magnum Opus felt just slightly more directional, but still very playful, quick, and light for its size / width.”

      So moving a little further back still, given that you’re looking to make the ski “as directional and as possible (for the ski type),” and that you’re going to be touring on it – makes a lot of sense (mounting at -4 or -2 from center might make breaking trail in deep snow kind of a pain, actually). And there’s just no way that this ski will be anything but easy to slash and smear, even on the traditional line – that 17m radius, camber, and light swing weight will still let the ski hook up and be very responsive, no worries there. (At -2 it’s uber responsive, at -4 extremely responsive, and on the traditional line, I’d bet it’s still really, really responsive).

      So I’d say you’re good – and if you’re really not loving things at the traditional line, then there’s no reason you couldn’t remount a cm or two forward down the road (or skin track).

      Enjoy Niseko,


      • Heiko Gehrig December 22, 2015 Reply

        Thanks a bunch Will, good points indeed (touring oriented mounting, etc). I’ll take a face shot for you!

        It just occurred to me, with the amount of questions regarding mounting positions – perhaps Blister should include (as standard) different mounting positions (such as you did) in reviews. ie – Incorporating reviews with different mounting positions as standard. I think it might be a first for a gear review site? (different positions listed by the manufacturer and what have you)

        Hope you guys/gals all have a fantastic season!

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