Ski: 2016-2017 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184cm
Available Lengths: 178, 184, 190 cm
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 182.7cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 135-104-131
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 134-103-130
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2032 & 2062 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius (184cm): 17.4 meters
Core Construction: Paulownia + Fiberglass Laminate
Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 63mm / 57mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4 mm
“Stance” mm: Eric’s Choice -2cm / Recommended -6cm
Measured: Eric’s Choice: ~1.9cm from center / ~89.5cm from tail
Mount Location: “Eric’s Choice” Line (~2cm behind true center)
Boots / Bindings: K2 Pinnacle 130 / Marker Jester (DIN 10)
Days Skied: 5[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Sir Francis Bacon, which was not changed for 16/17, apart from graphics.]
The Sir Francis Bacon has long been Line’s go-to option for freestyle skiers looking to explore the whole mountain, and it’s been one of the very best skis in the category. Previous versions of the Bacon have been capable of slicing up pow in the morning, jibbing around the mountain in the afternoon, and hot-lapping the terrain park at the end of the day.
Several iterations in the design of the Bacon led to a very capable 108mm-underfoot version. This model went unchanged for three seasons (12/13, 13/14, and 14/15), and frankly, we would have continued to throw awards at the ski if Line and Eric Pollard had just left it alone. But they didn’t. Which brings us to the 15/16 Bacon….
For 15/16, the decision was made to reduce both the footprint and the overall weight of the ski. The waistline was slimmed down by 4mm, and initial releases were reporting a target weight of 1760g/ski in the 184cm length.
When we received our pair of production Bacons, they came in heavier than that (2032 & 2062 grams), and you can read more comments from us and Line about that in our very first Blister Flash Review.
Still, the new Bacon is lighter than its predecessor by more than 130 grams per ski. And the new Bacon feels very solid in hand, both in flex pattern and construction. So as soon as we got our hands on them, we were excited to see how this lighter, slimmer Bacon handled the conditions and terrain of Canterbury, New Zealand.
The Bacons have a uniform stiffness throughout. These are definitely no noodle; in fact, the tips and tails of the Bacon are quite stiff for a jib ski, and the tips and tails have a very similar flex.
To be clear, these aren’t as stiff as a full-on big mountain charger, but compared to park skis, the new Bacon certainly occupies the stiffer end of the spectrum. There are no butter zones here. The tips and tails do not soften up relative to the rest of the ski. In hand, the Bacon feels like a nice, solid, even, flex pattern.
My first day on the Bacons was at Craigieburn Valley Ski Area in Canterbury, NZ. Previously on the trip I had been on directional skis like the K2 Pinnacle 95, the Atomic Vantage 100, and the G3 Synapse 109. When I clicked into the Bacons and first pointed them downhill, I could not stop thinking about how fun, energetic, and instantly comfortable they felt to me. It was immediately clear that I was going to get along pretty well with these skis.
Wind Buff / Small Choppy Moguls
From the top of the highest rope tow at Craigieburn, we first skied small, choppy moguls and some wind buff. The Bacons were very quick and nimble here. It was so much fun pushing slightly into a turn and using the energy of the ski to pop out of it, get slightly airborne, and adjust my body for the next one. When I aligned the exit of my turn with an oncoming mogul, popping from one turn into the next was just too damn fun.
On the flip side, the relatively tight turn radius (~17 meters) combined with a near-center mount (resulting in very low swingweight) can make these skis feel a little twitchy, especially in variable conditions. The Bacons respond quickly to very slight changes in body position. You’ll really appreciate this if you’re making a quick turn around a tree to jump off a cliff in just the right spot, but if you’re trying to smooth out some chunder and charge a line, the Bacons are not going to feel like the most solid option out there (and not as solid as the previous Bacons, according to Blister’s editor, Jonathan Ellsworth).
If you do try to push the Bacon quickly through bumped-up snow, you will be better off keeping a very light touch and skipping across the top rather than trying to bulldoze through it. The substantial flex through the full length of the ski may give it more fore / aft stability than other skis in this category (though certainly less than the Moment PB&J). But the Bacon’s energetic tails make for a very lively ride.
NEXT: Warm Slush / Hot Pow, Terrain Park, Etc.