Luke Koppa

Luke Koppa reviews the Line Sir Francis Bacon for Blister

Age: 23 | Vitals: 5’8,” ~155 lbs | Years Skiing: 12 | Current Residence: Crested Butte, Colorado

Instagram: @lukekoppa

(see runner profile)

Skiing Background

I’m one of many Midwest transplants currently residing in Colorado. I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and my early years were dominated by rugby, soccer, and climbing. During the summers, I’d spend as much time as possible exploring Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers, and forests in pursuit of fish and an escape from the city.

My first experience on skis came in the form of a family trip to Granite Peak in central Wisconsin. Although my younger-self didn’t love the frigid chairlifts and short, icy runs, I instantly fell in love with the feeling of sliding on snow. Afterward, my siblings and I would grab our parents’ XC skis and try to find any sort of hill where we could again experience that sensation (which promptly led to lots of faceplants…). But my time on skis back home was limited by other sports and the cost, so it wasn’t until I moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University that I was able to really give skiing my full attention.

My first season was spent attempting to follow my more-experienced friends around the mountains of Colorado. Although it was filled with plenty of yard-sales and sore muscles, that season very quickly taught me how to keep up with those who’d been skiing since they could walk. I am someone who tends to get really frustrated when I can’t keep up with others, so while I have not been skiing my entire life, I have spent my relatively short (compared to many of our other reviewers) skiing career focusing on my technique and style. I doubt I’ll ever actually be the best skier on the mountain, but I’ll always be working toward that goal, and will still tell everyone I am, cause, you know … GNAR points.

Luke Koppa reviews the Line Vision 108 for Blister.
Luke Koppa on the Line Vision 108, Crested Butte, CO.

My skiing style tends to revolve around finding anything to jump off, but I’m happy challenging myself in any terrain, from riding at the edge of control in open bowls to my never-ending quest to truly nail down a nice zipperline in moguls. I tend to like skis that are damp but also poppy when coming out of a carved turn or the lip of a jump. In bumps and tight terrain, I like to pivot my skis from a slightly centered stance, rather than drive them really hard up and over the tops of moguls. I don’t spin or flip a whole lot but have been doing it more and more recently, and tend to prefer skis that encourage a more playful style that includes slashes, jumps, and the occasional flip or spin, rather than directional chargers that require me to be driving them down the fall line at all times. In short, my favorite skis are both playful and stable, though I can appreciate and adapt to almost any ski.

In the past several years I’ve been drawn more into the backcountry, and love touring’s combination of exploration, wild places, and (hopefully) fresh snow. I have a particular attraction to lines that involve a lot of walking, and as a result, love extending the ski season far into the summer (or just all the way into the next season, which I’ve been able to do for a few years now).

Luke Koppa - Profile
Luke Koppa, Mt Wilcox, CO. (photo by Chris Fuller)

Although I will happily hike all year to find snow, I also like exploring the hundreds of trails around Crested Butte, and have started to enjoy logging some longer runs and bike rides. Along with trail running and mountain biking, I also love throwing flies at fish. Click here for more on my running style and preferences.

Apart from getting outside as much as possible, I also somewhat-recently graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Apparel Product Development, and have always been a bit obsessed with product design. I get excited about things like intricate seam patterning, ski rocker profiles, bike-frame geometries, and chest pockets.

Some of My Favorite Gear:

Apparel: Strafe Recon Jacket & Pants; Norrona Lyngen Hybrid Jacket & Pants; Open Wear Open One 3L Shell Jacket; FITS socks; Dissent Socks; Topo Designs Global Shorts; Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody; Mission Workshop Mission Jeans; Patagonia Nano-Air Pants

Running Shoes: Hoka Speedgoat 2; Altra Olympus 3.0; Hoka Clifton 1

Skis: Rossignol Black Ops 118Line Sakana; Icelantic Nomad 115; Line Sick Day 104; Nordica Enforcer 110; Salomon MTN Explore 95; J Skis MasterblasterFischer Ranger 102 FR; Line Sir Francis Bacon; Line Vision 108

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