2018-2019 Line Sakana

Luke Koppa reviews the Line Sakana for Blister

Line Sakana

Ski: 2018-2019 Line Sakana, 174 cm

Available Lengths: 174, 181 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 174.1 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1770 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1747 & 1766 grams

Stated Dimensions: 150-105-138 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 149.5-104.6-137.6 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 15 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 56 mm / 15 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm

Core: Paulownia/Maple + Carbon/Flax Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered 1.3 mm

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.75 cm from center; 76.3 cm from tail

 

Ski: 2018-2019 Line Sakana, 181 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 180.8 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1869 & 1873 grams

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 149-104.4-137.2

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 56 mm / 18 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.9 cm from center; 79.5 cm from tail

Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: -10.9 cm

Boots Used:

Bindings Used:

Test Locations: Telluride Ski Resort, CO

Days Skied (total): 10

Intro

Two years ago, Line introduced the Pescado, a 125mm-underfoot powder ski from Eric Pollard. The Pescado was (and still is) quite unique, featuring a swallowtail design, lots of camber for a pow ski, a fairly low weight, and a mount point that was much more traditional than what we’d expect from Pollard. The result?

A very unique ride, and a ski we really enjoyed in any sort of soft snow.

But at 125 mm underfoot, the Pescado is most definitely fat, and so for 18/19, Line is introducing the Sakana, a 105mm-wide swallowtail ski that features a lot of the Pescado’s design elements, but in a package that’s supposed to be more all-mountain-oriented.

Here’s what Line says about the Sakana:

“Bred from the Pescado’s DNA, Eric Pollard and LINE present an all-new creation, the Sakana. With an ever-versatile 105mm waist, Carbon/Flax reinforcements, and a shape that encourages a wide variety of turn shapes, the Sakana embraces a fluid, refined skiing experience unlike anything else.”

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the 174 cm Sakana:

Tips: 6-6.5
Shovels: 7-7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9
Underfoot: 9
Behind Heel Piece: 9-8.5
Tail: 8

And here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the 181 cm Sakana:

Tips: 7
Shovels: 7.5-8
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9
Underfoot: 9
Behind Heel Piece: 9-8.5
Tail: 8.5

Compared to the Pescado, the Sakana’s tips and tails feel a bit stiffer, which makes sense since the Pescado is specifically designed to perform well and plane up in softer, deeper snow.

And Line has been very clear about this: the Sakana is supposed to be a hell of a lot of fun carving the crap out of groomers, and its accessible tips and significant sidecut should be conducive to bending the ski into quick turns.

When it comes to the two lengths of the Sakana, the 181 cm version is a bit stiffer at the tips and tails, and this difference is more noticeable in the tips.

Construction — Carbon / Flax Reinforcements

Beside the narrower waist, one of the primary differences between the Pescado and Sakana is the addition of Carbon/Flax stringers to the Sakana’s core. We asked Line’s head ski designer, Jed Yeiser, to explain the idea behind this construction, and this was his response:

“The Carbon/Flax tape is a material we co-developed with BComp out of Switzerland. It’s essentially a 52 mm wide tape with alternating strands of carbon/flax. Flax has really interesting inherent damping properties that complement the high modulus of the carbon really well – you end up getting an energetic feeling at some frequencies with a calmer, more controlled feeling at others.”

That’s a pretty interesting description, and given the Sakana’s relatively low weight, we’re very eager to see how damp and / or energetic the Sakana feels in various snow conditions and speeds.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Sakana’s shape is very similar to the Pescado, with a fat, minimally-tapered tip, no tail taper, and a swallowtail cutout at the end of the ski.

The swallowtail is definitely what makes the Sakana stand out most from other skis, and the Sakana’s tail is a bit less carved-out than the tail of the Pescado (i.e. there is less negative space). The Sakana also has a large metal reinforcement around the swallowtail cutout.

The Sakana’s rocker profile is less unusual, with fairly standard tip rocker / splay for a ski of this width (a bit less than the Line Sick Day 104), and very minimal tail rocker.

Compared to the Pescado, the Sakana has a bit less rocker and splay in both the tips and tails, which, again, makes sense given the Sakana’s intended purpose as an all-mountain ski.

Dimensions / Sidecut Radius

Though the Sakana’s waist is ~20 mm narrower than the Pescado’s, the Sakana’s tips and tails are still very wide. So, for a 105mm-underfoot ski, we suspect the Sakana to perform very well in powder.

The combination of a narrower waist and wider tips and tails is also reflected in the Sakana’s sidecut radius (15 meters for the 174 cm version). That’s a very tight radius, and it’s interesting that Line claims that the Sakana “encourages a wide variety of turn shapes.” This will be one of the main things we’ll be looking out for in our full review.

That said, based on the ski’s dimensions (and the Pescado’s own strong performance on spring groomers), we suspect the Sakana could be a lot of fun to carve on soft snow.

Length

While we will be getting time on the 181 cm version of the Sakana (which is the longest version Line is making) and tend to review skis that are significantly longer than the 174 cm Sakana, Line encouraged us to try the Sakana in its shortest length. We’re very interested to see how this shorter ski feels, and whether skiers that are accustomed to longer skis will still enjoy it.

It’s also worth noting that the shorter length, fat tips / tails, and swallowtail design of the Sakana (and Pescado) all mirror the short / fat trend in snowboard shapes. Our snowboard reviewers have really enjoyed the carvy / agile / surfy feel of boards like the K2 Cool Bean and Rossignol XV Sushi LF, so we’re very interested to see if we come away with similar impressions after skiing the Sakana.

Weight

At around 1750 grams for the 174 cm version, the Sakana is pretty light. While Line doesn’t mention anything about touring in their description, we suspect that the Sakana could be a very fun touring ski for powder and / or spring corn.

With a weight this light, a shorter length, and a very tight sidecut radius, we don’t expect the Sakana to feel like some sort of charger in variable snow, but we are curious to see whether Line’s Carbon/Flax reinforcements seem to help it feel more stable in difficult snow.

Comparisons — Measured Weights

Here are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some other notable skis. Keep in mind, however, the differences in length, since the 174 cm Sakana is significantly shorter than several of the skis listed here.

1747 & 1766 Line Sakana, 174 cm
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm
1808 & 1835 Atomic Backland FR 109, 182 cm
1843 & 1847 Head Kore 105, 189 cm
1941 & 1965 Fischer Ranger 108 Ti, 182 cm
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm
1980 & 2016 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7, 188 cm (18/19)
2032 & 2062 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm

Bottom Line (For Now)

The Line Sakana looks like a very interesting offshoot of the Pescado, and seems like it should offer a lot of the Pescado’s fun, carvy personality in a narrower shape. We are getting the Sakana mounted right now, and testing begins in Telluride in a just a few days, so stay tuned…

Flash Review: Line Sakana

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the 174 cm Line Sakana.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: The Full Review

21 Comments

  1. Fabhz83 February 21, 2018 Reply

    If it was any double rocker ski I wouldn’t even ask, but should someone just under 6′ and around 155lbs (aka me) go directly for the 181? Or would the 174 be “enough” ski for a daily driver, having a flat-ish tail and all.

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa February 22, 2018 Reply

      Hi Fabhz,

      The answer to that question will have to wait until we get time on both lengths, but we’ll certainly be addressing it in our review.

      Cheers,

      Luke

  2. Blister Member
    Paddydunn February 22, 2018 Reply

    Looking forward to hearing more about this ski Luke. I’ve recently seen a line video on the Sakana and noticed a white top sheet pescado…
    I’m looking at the 2018 at the moment … do you know if there’s any changes for the 2019 pescado? If there are changes do you guys know what they are?These skis look like a ton of fun
    Cheers

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa February 22, 2018 Reply

      Hi Paddy,

      According to Line, the Pescado is unchanged for 18/19 apart from graphics.

      Cheers,

      Luke

      • Blister Member
        Paddydunn February 22, 2018 Reply

        Thanks Luke appreciate it

  3. Aaron Lieberman February 22, 2018 Reply

    Any plans on seeing how this thing tours?

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa March 18, 2018 Reply

      Hey Aaron

      We are planning on touring on the Sakana as soon as we get enough time on it with alpine bindings. Should be quite soon.

  4. Brills February 23, 2018 Reply

    I’m really excited for this review as well. I have a pair of the older Armada Kufos that are mounted around -10 and it seems like this will ski very similar. I’ve loved that setup as an east coast touring ski and it manages variable to soft snow really well at a pretty low weight. I only wish the sakana came at around 115 underfoot, but maybe that’s more float than needed. Also really happy to see skis with tight turning radius and recommended in shorter lengths. This combo works well for east coast tight chutes and trees, and with the trend of straightening big mountain skis, has been harder to find!

  5. Josh March 14, 2018 Reply

    Where abouts did you measure length from on these skis, tip to the cut out? or tip to the end of the fork? I am really curious on sizing with these, they could make a really fun allmountain ski!

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa March 18, 2018 Reply

      Hey Josh — our measured length is from the tip of the ski to the end of the fork since the whole tail is on snow when tipped on edge.

  6. bPlaTyPuS March 26, 2018 Reply

    Please do & publish the review asap :-D, can’t wait to read it. Did Line communicate a price for this ski?

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa March 26, 2018 Reply

      We’re waiting on Line for the MSRP, but will update when we hear from them.

      And we’re working on the full review right now, so keep an eye out for it very soon…

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa March 28, 2018 Reply

      Just heard from Line — MSRP will be $900

      • bPlaTyPuS March 28, 2018 Reply

        Thanks :-)

  7. Fabhz83 March 28, 2018 Reply

    Well for now I’m a little disappointed, I was expecting a much more enthusiastic review (but maybe I was hoping for one a little too much?). I’m interested to hear about how the Sakana tours though, because I wanted to mount the Atomic Shift on it for next season to make a true 50/50 ski. Wait and see.

    • bPlaTyPuS March 28, 2018 Reply

      Same for me… And was also expecting a more enthusiastic review.

  8. Blister Member
    Paddydunn March 28, 2018 Reply

    That’s the combo I’m looking at too

    I found this from Line global brand director calling $750…. hopefully that’s closer to the mark.

    Still unsure about the length I normally ski around 185 in my skis

  9. Carl April 1, 2018 Reply

    Nice review. just a little interested in al this talk about lenght on the sakana. Line states that the sakana would ski like a +10cm ski but I guess that is only if you compare it to a twintip ski and not a more directional ski!? isnt the sakana a ordinary directional ski, except for the cut out and huge showel? when you put the ski on edge I guess the taper is more relevant then rocker also when you compare it to other directional skis. I dont know if I have got everything wrong but the most interesting meassurment on a ski would be the effective edge to get a relevant lenght for performance on groomers?

  10. bPlaTyPuS April 1, 2018 Reply

    Looking forward for the touring section :-). I tried the Kore 99 & Movement 109 today at Verbier, Movement was pretty great in tracked pow and didn’t really find something nice about the Kore 99 (apart groomers but my Völkl RTM84 is way better in this situation)… Also realized you have to go rather fast to have fun with both. So maybe the Sakana can still be a good choice if you don’t want to destroy everything @mach 2 on the slope/chop.

  11. LINEskis May 16, 2018 Reply

    Thanks Luke! We’ll monitor the comments and answer any questions if we can add tot he conversation. Really gratified on how it came out!

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