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2016-2017 Line Sir Francis Bacon

Alex Adams reviews the Line Sir Francis Bacon for Blister Gear Review

Line Sir Francis Bacon

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)

Test Locations: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area & Porters Ski Area, Canterbury, NZ

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.]

Intro

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.

Flex

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.

Alex Adams reviews the Line Sir Francis Bacon for Blister Gear Review.

Alex Adams on the Line Sir Francis Bacon, Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, NZ.

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.

Initial Impressions

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.

13 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    dempts September 22, 2015 Reply

    Nice review. Great pictures. Looks fun. As an older skier who skies the whole mountain on the older Bacon, except not in the park and not in the air, I like the older Bacon very much.

  2. Angus September 24, 2015 Reply

    Oh my are these a beautiful ski. Now I’m torn between pretending I can afford this model and pretending I can afford last year’s version!

  3. EG September 26, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for the well-written thorough review. If the new version is twitchy, mounting a little back from Eric’s Choice may help. I’ve owned the 12/13 Bacon mounted at 2cm behind Eric’s Choice and the 14/15 model mounted at Eric’s Choice. The 12/13 were incredibly stable (not twitchy or chattery at all) but I had to get over my tips to turn quickly in trees and bumps. The 14/15 feel more nimble, but at speed they are a bit twitchy with some tip vibration (but it’s more psychological than problematic). So I’m guessing that somewhere between 0.5cm and 1cm behind Eric’s Choice would provide the optimum balance between stability and nimbleness.

  4. Fusch October 6, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jason,

    I currently ski the 12/13 Bacon, but i have the opportunity to buy a 12/13 Sickle in 178.
    I´m 5.9 tall, weight 165lbs and consider myself an advanced skier.
    I tried to get a hold on a 186 sickle for quite some time now but they are impossible to get anywhere. So i´m thinking about buying the shorter, newer model.
    Do you think the Sickles in 178 would be too short for me, or are they as much fun as the 186s?

    Cheers and thanks in advance
    Fusch

  5. Mike Hughes October 21, 2015 Reply

    Have you by any chance skied recent Gotamas? I’ve have some and love them (2014 model) but have recently tried some new Bacons. I loved the pop on the Lines, just wondering if it’s worth dropping a pair of skis that have only had a few weeks’ skiing, and a coupla hundred bones, just to get the Lines? Prolly only I can decide, but just throwing the question out there…..

  6. Rowley December 2, 2015 Reply

    Hi Alex,

    Great review. I’m thinking of getting these skis as an all mountain touring ski for the Alps. I used to ski the Opus type powder skis of old and loved them for touring in BC so the new lighter SFB was my first thought. Your review seemed mixed but mainly positive, would you recommend them as a poppy, big drop, all mountain touring ski? Also, how did you find the tail stiffness? did it flop out on you at all?

    Cheers for the review,

    Mike

  7. Stephen January 7, 2016 Reply

    Curious if you guys ride different lengths of skis depending on whether they’re centered or traditionally mounted? I typically ride 184 Katanas and picked up a pair of 186 SFB’s (I wanted a very playful ski at the other end of the spectrum from the Katana), but as soon as I stepped into the bindings the 5″ shorter nose threw me off. Even though they ride as I wanted, I can’t shake the feeling I’m going to fold the noses up on a landing and cartwheel down the hill.

    • Good question, Stephen. Since I bet some others might be wondering the same thing, I’m going to work up a reply to post as a Topic of the Week. And just to be clear, I assume you meant the 184 SFBs — but did you get this new model or the previous edition of the SFB?

      • Stephen January 8, 2016 Reply

        Hey Jonathan, I did mean the 184, thanks for catching that. I did get the older version, the 14-15s with the red mountain. I’ve wanted something on the playful, energetic side of the spectrum, so I grabbed the previous version—since they stiffened the newer version’s flex profile.

  8. Blister Member
    tjaard September 29, 2016 Reply

    Jonathan,

    Any more comparisons to the 14/15 Bacon? Educated guesses about the new one in 190?

  9. Blister Member
    tjaard September 29, 2016 Reply

    Comparisons to a Soul 7?

  10. Blister Member
    tjaard November 13, 2016 Reply

    How about some comparisons to the old Bacon? What about the 190 length of the new one?

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