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To further evidence the thought that ski manufacturers are growing tired of categorising their skis, freeride-brand Line have created a 'piste' ski; the Blade. We tested it all over the mountain.

Level
Advanced
Flex Rating
0
Terrain
All Mountain
Best for
Freeriders looking for an all mountain vehicle
Price
£600
Season
2020/21
lengths
169, 176, 181
Bindings?
No
Float
8
Playfulness
8
Edge hold
10
Stability
9
Turn initiation
8
Overall Score
8
+
Freeride feel on all terrain
The slightly garbled messaging from Line...

We were initially very confused as to what category to test the Blade under. Line put it up as a piste ski, presumably on the basis it's as close to a piste ski as they've ever made. But it was described variously as 'an all mountain freeride ski that will carve' and 'a piste ski for people who would never buy a piste ski.' So everyone's clear on what the Blade is aimed at?

The more recent promotions from Line have cast the Blade firmly in the all mountain category, so we have reviewed it as such, but it's clear Line intend this ski to be a disruptor and a one-ski-quiver. And as mentioned above, it's one of several suggestions that modern skis are increasingly making the traditional terrain categories obsolete as they become ever more versatile.

So Line's promos tell us the Blade is designed to 'lay trenches and catch trannies' and if you know what that means, you're probably in their target audience. It's a piste ski in as far as the average Line customer would approach the in-bounds - fast, aggressive turns and side jibbing.

The carbon layer is in place to maximise fun rather than stability - it gives torsional stiffness without compromising longitudinal flex, so it can clearly still work off piste and the 95mm waist is a nice compromise width in an all terrain offering.

The look is reminiscent of Ridley Scott's original Alien; an 80s industrial sci-fi aesthetic (in a good way!). An it skis exactly as described - a freeride ski that holds an edge.

The tech clearly works and the dimensions make it hugely versatile - wide enough to hit powder, with a big sidecut for carving. The stiffness underfoot and progressive flex make for a smooth ride on most varieties of snow.

It's a solid ski, but it's not the game-changing disruptor that Line want it to be. Brand fans will love it.

 

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