Featured Image: Alicia Martínez
At first glance, the Line Blade’s massive shovel and tight sidecut looks pretty funky, huh? But what fun would skiing be if the brands didn’t keep us on our toes? Line is no stranger to creative shapes and the Blade is just a continuation of the company’s quest to shake up the status quo.
“The whole idea behind the Blade’s development was to make a metal laminate ski that was different,” says Peter Brigham, who is at the helm of Line’s ski design and engineering. “We took a step back and thought, ‘How can we put our own mark on that segment with a product that’s fun, creative and unique?’ We made a list of everything we liked about metal laminate skis: grip, ability to push on our edges and trust them; and everything we didn’t: the planted, damp, overly stuck-to-the-ground feeling. That’s the origin of the Blade.”
The 95 mm waisted ski sports a massive 154 mm tip, a powerful shovel that can plow through crud and the soft stuff, while creating an ultra-tight sidecut radius that zips through turns like Shiffrin. The powerful nature of the Blade comes from Line’s Gas Pedal Metal, a sheet of Titanal with horizontal cutouts in the middle to reap the benefits of increased torsion and grip without sacrificing a poppy and snappy feel. “The turning radius is in the realm of real slalom skis—super tight,’’ Brigham adds. “But it’s got a soft flex that pulls turns really smoothly and predictably. It makes these perfectly round C-turns unlike skis with blockier flex profiles.”
With minimal taper and a ton of effective edge, it’s built for laying trenches, but Brigham clarifies that you don’t have to be an NCAA slalom skier to drive it. “The Blade makes turning really accessible,” says Brigham. “It’s super easy to carve a turn, but you don’t get locked into it—the kick tail design makes it so you can pivot and slide at any moment and adjust the size and shape of the turn. It keeps the skier feeling like they’re in control.”
While it’s got a ton of camber underfoot, a long and smooth tip rocker keeps turn initiation easy and helps the Blade’s behemoth of a shovel sail through fluff, something it’s not explicitly designed for, but hey, if you’ve got a 154 mm shovel, you might as well put it to work. The Line Blade is truly like nothing else on the market, an attention grabbing pair of planks that Brigham says was designed to spark chairlift conversations and curiosity in the shop. “I can’t tell you how many people were reluctant about the ski when they first saw it—even some of our athletes—but then I watch someone hop on it and after a few turns they totally get it. Skiing is believing with this ski.”