2017-2018 Line Blend

Scott Nelson reviews the Line Blend for Blister

Line Blend

Ski: 2017-2018 LINE Blend, 185 cm

Available Lengths: 171, 178, 185 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 182.9 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1935 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2067 & 2074 grams

Stated Dimensions: 132-100-122 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 130.9-99.4-121.3

Stated (Avg.) Sidecut Radius: 23.0 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 67 mm / 62 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Maple/Aspen + Fiberglass Laminate

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -3.15 cm from center; 88.3 cm from tail

  • (LINE’s stated factory recommended mount = -3.0 cm)

Intro

LINE has been making the Blend for a number of years now, and in that time it’s garnered a bit of a cult following among freestyle skiers.

Here is what LINE says about the current Blend:

“With a slightly wider footprint, unique flex pattern, and playful 5-Cut™ Geometry, the LINE Blend Skis are the ski of choice for the majority of LINE skiers. Combining park performance with all-mountain capabilities, the Blend is the greatest ski for embracing creativity in and out of the park.”

Flex Pattern

LINE calls the Blend’s flex “unique,” and we’d agree. We don’t believe we’ve ever flexed a ski with softer tips / tails, and we think that those soft tips / tails (and to a slightly lesser degree, the shovels) will play a large role in the Blend’s performance and personality on snow.

Hand flexing these skis, we’d sum up their flex like this:

Tips: 4.5-5
Shovels: 6-7
In front of Toe Piece: 7-8
Underfoot: 9
Behind Heel piece: 8-7-6
Tails: 5

In summary, this is a very soft ski, and that should make it very playful, so the question is whether / how much of that playfulness will come at the cost of stability at higher speeds or on bigger jumps.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Blend has a fairly traditional shape, with very little taper. Though LINE says the Blend features rocker in the tip and tail, it’s pretty minimal, and most of the ski is traditionally cambered (the contact point on each end of the ski is about 15 cm from the tip / tail).

The Blend is nearly symmetrical in shape, with only a 9.6 mm difference between tip and tail width. This, combined with its nearly symmetrical flex and rocker profile, seem indicative of its park / freestyle orientation.

Comparisons

In the full review, I will be making comparisons to a range of other mid-fat park skis that I’ve been on over the past few years, including the J Skis Allplay, and Armada Edollo.

I’ll also be referencing some other park and all-mountain skis to place the Blend in a broader spectrum.

Questions / Notes

(1) How do the Blend’s soft tips and tails affect its park (jumps & jibs) and all-mountain performance?

(2) LINE is emphasizing the Blend’s park and all-mountain versatility, so where exactly does the ski really excel — in the park, or outside of it?

(3) I got some time on the 178 cm Blend a couple seasons ago, and found it to be quite soft and not very supportive on landings, so I’m eager to see if the 185 cm version will offer any more support for jumps.

Bottom Line (For Now)

With it’s super soft tips / tails, the LINE Blend is certainly unique, and I am very interested to see how this plays out in its on-snow performance.

I’ll be spending time on the LINE Blend in a variety of conditions, skiing East Coast ice (both park and around the mountain), the parks of Summit County, CO (Keystone and Copper, most likely), as well some time at Arapahoe Basin in order to see where it performs best, and what type of skier or skiing it is best suited for.

Stay tuned for updates, and let us know in the comments section if you have any questions, and we’ll do our best to address them in the review.

NEXT: The Full Review

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