By Ethan Stone
Every winter, the hype for next year's skis becomes almost unbearable as eager riders debate graphics, construction, prices, generating a lot of relevant information, but even more bullshit. This year, no companyÂ’s skis are being hyped more than the new Line products scheduled to hit the market next fall. To find the full story and dispel any rumors or misinformation, NS went straight to the source: Line's Product and Marketing man Jordan Judd-- to get the straight dope on what tools Line has in the shop for the coming winter.
For every rider looking for a dope ski to smoke the park, Jordan says to look no farther than the Chronic, Line's newest addition to their twin-tip selection. Available in 157, 167, and 177 lengths, the Chronic (110-80-103) is a high-performance freestyle ski built with weight, durability, and pop in mind. The ski's 100-percent maple macroblock core uses wider widths of wood laminates, which means less glue, and therefore less weight, goes into the ski. "Basically, it's a super-durable, lightweight core built from the highest quality lightweight core," Jordan says.
The Chronic is outfitted with Line's carbon ollieband, tip-to-tail carbon fiber strands woven into the fiberglass cap. "Carbon snaps back into place faster than fiberglass, and it's lighter," Jordan says. "The carbon ollie band reduces weight while giving the ski more snap, more energy, and more pop."
"The bottom line with the Chronic is, we wanted to create a high-performance freestyle ski, and also a versatile ski with enough power to ski the whole mountain and still perform in the park," Jordan says. "It's a much stiffer ski than we've ever made." The Chronic's construction also includes new longer lasting, more durable edges and bases that are 64 percent thicker than previous Line skis. For more info on the Chronic, check out Line's Chronic R&D page.
Edges and bases are 64 percent thicker for greater durability.
A Chronic Mini is also being offered for the young grasshoppers, in lengths 123, 133, and 143cm.
If it's graphics you're into, you should be stoked on the Chronics; they were designed by a tattoo artist. "We hired a different artist for every ski," Jordan says. "Pollard painted his graphics himself, Mike Nick's ski was done by the same guy who designs Ross Powers' boards for Burton, and the 1260 graphics were done by a woman who does stencil art in Burlington. In the past we've had a similar feel to all of our graphics. This year, we wanted a variety of graphics to appeal to all different tastes."
Line's other brand new ski for 04/05 is the Assassin, available in three different models and four lengths: the Assassin MTX Pro, Assassin MTX, and Assassin, at 156, 166, 176, and 186cm. The MTX and MTX Pro feature Line's new proprietary technology called the Metal Matrix, a three-dimensional die-cut piece of titanium that wraps around the core to the edges directly underneath the foot. "It provides energy transmission from edge to edge, as well as durability," Jordan explains. "Removing metal from the tip and tail also reduces swing weight. You have the metal and the power where you need it, and you don't have it where you don't need it."
The MTX Pro features the Metal Matrix and an 80mm waist, while the Assassin MTX has the new technology and a 70mm waist. The basic Assassin model replaces the Metal Matrix with a fiberglass matrix in the same shape to reduce cost.
Line's returning products have also undergone changes. The Skogen Sprang and Mike Nick pro models return with fatty bases and edges, the carbon ollieband, and a hefty 86mm underfoot. In addition, all pro models are now offered in two lengths; the Skogens and Nicks at 158 and 178cm and the Eric Pollard Pros at 166 and 186cm.
The Skogen Sprang and Mike Nick pro models share the same footprint, but different flex patterns. "We're the first company to offer the same ski, same construction, with two different flex patterns," Jordan says. The Skogs are stiffer for skiing outside the park, while the Mike Nicks are medium flex.
The Mothership Titanium remains the same for another year, but a new Mothership model will also join the ranks of Line's powder boards: the Mothership Flite. "We took out the titanium powerband, added the carbon ollieband, and changed the core from maple to poplar," Jordan says. "What you get is the world's lightest powder ski." The Mothership Flite, offered at lengths of 162, 172, and 182cm, is for the person looking for a wider ski for the park, Jordan says.
The only construction change on the 1260s is the removal of the carbon ollieband to reduce costs; the ski will retail for $349.
And then, of course, there's the Prophet.
"I just rode these babies last week," Jordan says. "They're actually extremely nimble and lightweight for their size." If you haven't heard already, these puppies have a whopping 130mm waist (the widest brakes available on the market, Salomon Ultra-wides, come in at 110mm), a 40mm turn radius, 186cm length, and true twin tip design. The Prophet is available on an extremely limited basis: only 100 pairs made with hand-painted and stenciled graphics, signed by the ski designer.
"Line as a company is dedicated to supporting all aspects of progression, and the Prophets are a part of that," Jordan says. "They're for the person who skis a lot of soft snow who wants the ultimate big-mountain ski."
The improved Line binding, plus adaptor plate. Photo/Julien Heon
In other product news, the Line binding has been re-tooled and will be in stores this fall. "We've spent the last year changing factories and hiring five new employees to work full-time on the project," Jordan says. "Any issue the previous bindings had have been fixed, and we are ready to bring the safest, most advanced binding to the market."
Dash rocking the Chronics at the Siver Sessions. Photo/Ryan Denehy
In team news, Skogen is shooting with Teton Gravity Research this winter, fusing together big mountain and freestyle riding in what Jordan claims will be one of the most progressive segments to date. Dash Longe is filming with Tanner Hall and Eric Iberg for their upcoming release WSKI 106, and Eric Pollard is filming in Russia along with Sage Cattabriga for their WSKI parts as well. Pollard is also putting a segment together for Matchstick Productions. Meanwhile, Mike Wilson is filming with Level 1 Productions and MSP, and is planning on taking the Wilson Flip to more competitions and the backcountry. "The kid knows no fear, and noone has built a jump big enough for him yet," Jordan says. Line is stacking up their am team as well with Park City's Brandon Becker and Ashley Battersby, Craig Coker from Mammoth/Big Bear, and Lake Tahoe's Michelle Parker.