Featured Review byMr.BishoponFeb 05, 2015 @ 8:53 PM
I hadn't previously tried the Sir Fancis Bacons, so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect.
I actually used to be a very big fan of Salomon product, due to its very high tech ability to get stability, liveliness and lightweight all at once. I was completely blown away at how much the Bacons were able to pull off the same type of thing.
This ski was extremely lightweight for the dimensions, and unbelievably lively. The edge performance carving high speed on groomers was outstanding, and its performance in the crud and deeper stuff was surprising. It has a good float to it, and the springy liveliness helps a lot when riding through tighter areas.
This would be an absolutely perfect all-mtn park ski, as the swing weight for doing tricks was much less than that of many other similar sized skis. I can't speak to durability though, as I wonder how much durability will be sacrificed for lightness. The Cloud core technology claims to handle this, which will simply only be known over time.
Butters and presses were a dream, again due to the extremely lively flex structure, and slightly softer flex.
Pollard's pick mount point puts the ski slightly ahead of a traditional mount, but not so much that the tails get tangled up when you're trying to turn quickly. Someone who is bigger and going to be using this more as an all-mountain ski and not so much in the park may want to look at the larger size than the 184 (I'm 6'1") as there was the occasional pocket of snow I hit where a touch more float would have been nice. That very much depends on what you want out of your ski though, and where you'll be using it the most.
The only complaint I had about the ski is that at extremely high speeds on the hardpack, I felt a slight bit of instability. There was no problems whatsoever with actually losing control, I think it was more of a feeling than anything else. However compared to a super stiff and heavy charging ski of the same dimensions, it did feel just a slight bit sketchier.
Overall this was probably one of my favorite skis I'd ridden in a while. For someone who is wanting to shred the park when its good, and then hit the rest of the mountain when it dumps - this just might be the perfect ski for you.
Living in New Zealand, I managed to nab a pair of these fairly early in time for the NZ 2015 season, and mounted them on the recommended â€˜pollardâ€™s pickâ€™ line with some Atomic Warden bindings (effectively a non-touring version of the tracker). My first impression lifting them out of the box was wow these are light! As other reviews note, they almost compare to a touring setup they are so light. Almost too light, but more on that later.
Their first foray was in 25cm of wet and heavy fresh stuff, and they fought remarkably well despite my early-season inadequacies. On the man-made hard pack they surprised me again, attacking carves like a ski much narrower underfoot no doubt thanks to the 17m radius and super low weight. However like Mr Bishop, I did discover they have a speed limit, but I can probably thank my racing background for that. On trips away from my home mountain when I couldn't afford to bring a dedicated park ski they performed fantastically, the ridiculously low swing weight making everything in the park a breeze.
Disclaimer: I'm not a park rat so take that with a grain of salt.
Where they truly shined, however, was at Treble Cone where I was given a mixed bag of super light (for NZ anyway) 30cm on the top summit slopes but progressively more solid further down (thanks warm northerly rain for ruining that). The SFBs just took it in their stride, the camber allowing for some control on the ice-fields but the rockered tip and tail giving me enough lift to hoot and holler down the summit slopes. They're marketed as all-mtn fun sticks, playful and poppy, and at Treble Cone they had me searching for elusive transitions and hucking off the cat track. Man, were the SFBs playful.
For me, this sums up the 2016 SFB: fun but fragile. They'll have you yelling with gnar as you pop off various natural or man made features trying to copy Cody Townsend in â€˜Days of My Youthâ€™, but after only ten days of riding one of the tips completely delaminated. Completely. I was heartbroken, for this was a sign of terrible design and an end to the fun, but apparently Line had 'construction issues' and had pulled the production of the new SFB after I purchased them (I had the only pair in the country). So if you are considering these puppies, just bear in mind that Line has perhaps gone a bit far with the whole â€˜weight reductionâ€™ thing and hasnâ€™t left enough ski behind. For those of you that swear by Line thereâ€™s hope yet, as they are apparently beefing the SFB back up for 2017 to fix this issue.
For me, I think itâ€™s time to find another brand.