2018-2019 Line Magnum Opus


I’ve now put 4 more days on the Magnum Opus in a mix of fresh powder and plenty of soft, choppy, tracked powder.

I’ve also skied and reviewed the 185cm Atomic Bent Chetler in the time since I first skied the Magnum Opus in New Zealand, so this update will mainly cover the Magnum Opus’ performance in fresh and soft conditions and how it compares to the 185cm Bent Chetler…

Deep, Fresh, Light Powder (~20”), Plus A Note on Mount Point

When I wrote my my initial review of the Magnum Opus from New Zealand, the only smooth, fresh snow I had the chance to ski it in was 4-5” of windblown, wet, maritime powder that was dense and pretty grabby. As I mentioned before, especially in shorter turns, I had to be careful not to over-pressure the Opus’ shovels. If I leaned into my boots too much, the front of the ski started to get a bit twitchy, eager to hook up and snap up the hill.

But I was sure that any ski would have felt at least a little unpredictable and touchy in those sticky conditions, so I didn’t think that the Opus’ occasional tendency to want to “overturn” would be a real problem in lighter fresh powder. I can now confirm that it isn’t.

Skiing 20” inches of light, fresh powder, the Magnum Opus provided plenty of float. Mounted on the “Eric’s Choice” line (-2cm from true center), the Opus definitely required that I ski with a light, upright stance, but the shovels tracked well in the deep snow and didn’t feel overly reactive—just very quick to swing across the fall line as soon as I wanted them to.

As with the Belt Chetler, though, it was possible to get too far over the Opus’ shovels, causing them to get a little bogged down in fresh snow, pitching me forward. But with a little speed in moderately steep terrain, while keeping an upright, centered stance, it isn’t hard to keep the Magnum Opus floating and tracking along well in fresh snow.

Out of curiosity, I did move the mount point on the Opus farther back to -4cm from center to see how that would affect the ride in powder. What I found wasn’t surprising, but good to know.

Will Brown reviews the Moment Ghost Train for Blister Gear Review
Will Brown on the Line Magnum Opus, West Blitz, Taos Ski Valley.

At 4cm behind center, the Opus did tolerate a more forward stance, and I could lean into the shovels a little more (so it took a little less finesse and balance to ski smoothly, particularly in tracked-up conditions). But the ski was a tiny bit slower to pivot and slash. In short, the Magnum Opus felt just slightly more directional, but still very playful, quick, and light for its size / width.

I think if I were looking at the Magnum Opus as a big, light, playful powder ski to take out on fresh days, I’d want to mount it at -4cm from center—i.e., a little behind the “Eric’s Choice” line, but still well ahead of a “traditional” mount point. The ski is still plenty playful from that point, but it’s a little more tolerant of getting over the shovels.

Now, if I were looking at the Opus primarily as a, jibby pow ski, to spin, flip, and drag around the mountain (basically, doing your best Pollard impression) then mounting on the “Eric’s Choice” line is best. From that position, the ski feels extremely well balanced and very easy to throw around in the air, and is the most trick-friendly pow ski I’ve been on in that way.

REALLY Deep (~30”), Slightly Heavier Powder in Low-Angle Trees

A couple weeks ago, Taos Ski Valley picked up over six feet of snow from a 10-day storm cycle, and the snow in the newly opened Wild West glade was really, really deep.

The terrain in Wild West isn’t especially steep, though, and the trees get fairly tight in certain sections so maintaining my speed was rather difficult at times in the deep snow.

Both Jonathan Ellsworth (who was skiing the 190cm-long, 128mm-underfoot Whitedot Redeemer) and I actually had some trouble getting through the pow and not coming to a full stop in the flatter sections of Wild West.

Will Brown reviews the Line Magnum Opus, Blister Gear Review.
Will Brown on the Line Magnum Opus, Wild West, Taos Ski Valley.

I really don’t see this as a knock on the Magnum Opus at all; again, Jonathan was on an even fatter, more heavily rockered ski, and he was having issues getting through well over two feet of powder. So I mention this only to say that if you’re going to be skiing a lot of low-angle, really tight trees in very deep snow, then perhaps a more directional ski with a more tapered shape (like the Atomic Automatic or Rossignol Squad 7, for example) would be preferable to either the Magnum Opus or the Bent Chetler.

To be clear, when it comes to quickness, and how fast they can be pivoted / maneuvered, the Magnum Opus and Bent Chetler are great, and they provide a ton of flotation, but I don’t know if I can say either ski is the absolute best for skiing at slower speeds in very deep snow in low angle terrain. Something with a narrower tail and a more rearward mount point may have been a little better in Wild West that day (Jonathan felt like the DPS Lotus 138 would have been the ideal ski for the super deep, not-so-steep terrain).

Soft, Tracked-out, Pow Day Conditions

I talked a little bit about how the Magnum Opus handled slushy, bumped-up snow in New Zealand, and what I said about the ski there can be applied its performance in soft, chopped up powder (the kind of conditions you’ll find at 1pm on a busy 18” pow day in resort, for example).

As I said In my initial review, in soft, chopped-up pow, I also “needed to stay light on my feet and work with the Magnum Opus to keep my turns smooth and fast.”

It’s a little easier to stay smooth and balanced on the ski when mounted at -4cm from center (rather than the -2cm “Eric’s Choice” line), as it allows you to depend on the shovels a little more to blast through big piles of pow, and not need to go over or around them as much. But the ski still generally prefers to plane over soft, consolidated patches rather than cut through them powerfully. In that way, there are many much heavier, far more directional skis out there that are better for skiing fast and very aggressively in deep chop—but they are nowhere near as light or playful as the Magnum Opus.

Next Page: Magnum Opus vs. 185cm Bent Chetler

19 comments on “2018-2019 Line Magnum Opus”

  1. i’ve been a fan of pollards skis since the original EP pro and was bummed when they stopped the production of it. i’ve skied the opus and loved the playfullness but missed the floatation of the EP. would you say the magnum is an amalgamation of the two?

    • Hey Rory,

      I never had the chance to ski the original EP Pro, but the Magnum Opus is certainly a wider version of the Opus that will offer more float. But for what it’s worth, the Magnum is stiffer throughout than the Mr Pollards Opus, and I remember the original EP Pro being pretty darn soft too, so the Magnum may be distinct from the EP Pro in that respect (obviously the Magnum is still quite playful, given its weight, rocker profile, and near center mount, though). Hope that helps you! – Will

  2. With regards to the mount positions on the MO, Opus or even Bacon, for a mostly directional skier thats wants a playful powder ski would you suggest mounting a little further back (-4ish), or is the recommended points by Pollard still the best bet?


    • Hey Trevor,

      That’s a good question, and I’m not sure I can give you a definitive answer yet, so here’s a (long-winded) guess. Some skis ski well at different mount points, and some don’t allow for much movement. The Salomon Rocker 2 108 is a good example – it has a recommended mount point of -3cm from center, and if you have a more centered, upright skiing style, you’ll like the way the ski feels skied from that point. But if you’re a more directional skier, I wouldn’t really suggest going with the Rocker 2 108; it’s not going to ski great if you’re skiing it like a more directional ski at -3cm from center and mounting further back isn’t a great solution – it’d be like putting big, knobby tires on a road bike; sure, it would handle rough trails a little better, but it’s still a road bike. At a certain point, you’re better off going with a mountain bike in the first place.

      Anyways, I haven’t moved the mount point on the Magnum Opus around yet, but I’ll bump it back and see what that does as soon as I can. Given that the rocker/camber profile, dimensions, and tip and tail shape aren’t too crazy, I think it would still ski well at -4 or so, but probably not much further back than that; it may start to feel imbalanced, as you’re in a less ideal position to work the sidecut and turn radius of the ski intuitively.

      There are a few powder skis that still have a playful side you can unleash, but that will also respond well to a more directional style, The 12/13 Moment Bibby Pro (or the Blister Pro, if you’re looking to buy a new pair, now), is a great example.

      Hope this helps!


  3. First of all, thanks a lot for this insightful review. Your impressions are always a pleasure to read. I have two questions regarding this ski.

    First, could you elaborate on the differences between the Mr. Pollard’s Opus (MPO) and the Magnum Opus (MO)? Has the versatility of the MPO been conserved in the MO? Could I occasionally use it on the groomers for two oder three hours if there is no more powder for the day?

    Second, how does the color look like in the sun or on the snow? This afternoon, I was finally able to have a look at the MO in a store and I was very, very disappointed by the color. It looks very ORANGE and not red at all. At first I didn’t even recognize it!

    Thanks for your comments.

    • Hey Samuel,

      Sorry about the slow reply here. I haven’t skied the MPO, unfortunately, but I don’t think the MO is quite as versatile of a ski. From what I know about the MO, and the fact that it’s wider, lighter, AND stiffer probably mean that it takes a little more effort and finesse to ski smoothly in choppy conditions then the MPO. With that said, the MO’s edge hold on soft groomers is pretty good, and you can arc some clean carves on the ski; high-angle carves are hard to get into, and they’re not the most locked-in feeling, but fun can be had on the ski on the way back to the lift, for sure.

      As for the color of the MO, the stock photos we have are a little misleading. I wouldn’t say the background of the topsheets is a pure orange color, but it’s definitely not stright red either – sort of a mix of the two, like this: http://img1.findthebest.com/sites/default/files/2307/media/images/Tangelo_429980_i0.png

  4. Tried this ski in both deep powder in japan, and also icy groomers in europe and have had a chance to also do some hiking up to 3 hours and this ski is extremely versatile and light and works in basically all conditions. The ski and does not feel as wide as it is except in pow where it floats like a cork. Pros, floats, carvs, turns quick in trees due to light weight the ski swings really quick in turns even at almost no speed at allt. Cons wide on icy steep hiking’s when you traverse, i think the crampons can solve this problem. Mounted these skis with G3 ion bindings which feels like a good combination.

  5. I’m using my magnum opus in the “Eric’s Choice” mount position (which is two centimeters behind true center) and is really fun but I’m more interested about deep snow than freestyle (I’ve also a sick day 110 and I love it) and so I’m thinking to move the mount position to -2 or -3 to improve the performance in “heavy deep snow” because sometimes in this condition seems to be too much on the front.
    What do you think about it?

    Thank you in advance


    • Hi Enrico,

      I think you’ll find moving the mount point back to -4 will help the ski float and plane through heavy snow more easily, and allow you to get over the shovels a little more. Read my Update on starting on page 2 to read more about that more rearward mount.



  6. Hey Will great review as always, Sooo now that you are on the Moment Ghost Train, how does that ski compare with the MO and Bent, they are about the same weight as the MO, but lack the camber that both skis have.. Thanks.

    • Hey Willie,

      A very good, relevant question. I’m going to be posting a First Look on the Ghost Train before the end of the week, and I’ll definitely spend some time comparing it to the MO. Stay tuned.

      Will B

  7. Hi Will,

    Great review thanks.
    I’m looking at purchasing Pollards Opus or Magnum Opus for a trip to Gulmarg, India next year.
    I already have a pair of Line Chronics (my NZ field ski), plus a pair of Sir Francis Bacons with alpine bindings, which are perfect for Japan.
    Question is, I would need a touring set up for India & snow can vary dramatically, anywhere up to neck deep according to my cousin! Do you think Pollards Opus or Magnum Opus with AT bindings for a trip that will involve a reasonable amount of touring? Plus, which would best compliment my current quiver?
    Any recommendations on AT bindings with line opus skis? Trying to go with bindings that will affect the natural flex of the ski as little as possible, plus sit fairly close to the ski. Going downhill performance is more important than uphill skinning performance, to me.

  8. Hey Will,

    Just wondering how you think the 188 Magnum Opus (most likely mounted at -4) would compare to a reverse camber powder ski like the 187 4FRNT Hoji, particularly in playful terrain with drops, pillows, and through trees in deep snow. I’m looking for a new set up to stick AT-bindings on for mid-winter/deep touring days in coastal British Columbia.



  9. Hi Will,

    First off, many thanks for the insightful, comprehensive review, too bad I just read it now!!

    I’m literally sitting in a hotel room in Niseko, Japan, and had just picked up my Magnum Opus after having mounted the Marker Kingpins on them. Although not the lightest ski by a long shot, you really can’t beat the size/weight ratio for some short term skinning!

    Problem is, I had them mounted on the “traditional line” and now am reading that no one has gone that far back! I’m freaking out a little now. While they’ll be used mainly for deep powder, it’s really important to me for them to be able to slash and smear easily, while at the same time being as directional and as possible (for the ski type) in deep snow. ie – have my cake and eat it too (realistically there will obviously be compromises)

    Should I run back and have them remounted more forward? What are your thoughts on the traditional line?

    Many, many thanks for any insight!

    • Hey Heiko,

      First off, I’m seriously jealous you’re in Japow.

      Second – in short, I think you’re gonna be just fine with them mounted on the traditional line. I’ve said on pg 2 of the review:

      “[I moved the ski back from “Eric’s Choice”, and] at 4cm behind center, the Opus did tolerate a more forward stance, and I could lean into the shovels a little more (so it took a little less finesse and balance to ski smoothly, particularly in tracked-up conditions). But the ski was a tiny bit slower to pivot and slash. In short, the Magnum Opus felt just slightly more directional, but still very playful, quick, and light for its size / width.”

      So moving a little further back still, given that you’re looking to make the ski “as directional and as possible (for the ski type),” and that you’re going to be touring on it – makes a lot of sense (mounting at -4 or -2 from center might make breaking trail in deep snow kind of a pain, actually). And there’s just no way that this ski will be anything but easy to slash and smear, even on the traditional line – that 17m radius, camber, and light swing weight will still let the ski hook up and be very responsive, no worries there. (At -2 it’s uber responsive, at -4 extremely responsive, and on the traditional line, I’d bet it’s still really, really responsive).

      So I’d say you’re good – and if you’re really not loving things at the traditional line, then there’s no reason you couldn’t remount a cm or two forward down the road (or skin track).

      Enjoy Niseko,


      • Thanks a bunch Will, good points indeed (touring oriented mounting, etc). I’ll take a face shot for you!

        It just occurred to me, with the amount of questions regarding mounting positions – perhaps Blister should include (as standard) different mounting positions (such as you did) in reviews. ie – Incorporating reviews with different mounting positions as standard. I think it might be a first for a gear review site? (different positions listed by the manufacturer and what have you)

        Hope you guys/gals all have a fantastic season!

  10. Will,

    I think the review needs an update. There are in fact updates to this ski for 16/17 (bamboo sidewalls and some changes in the side cut and rocker shape I believe) per Line. Also the stated weight per ski is off (16/17 packaging says 3900g for the pair so 1950g per ski).

  11. Hey Will or anybody else who might have an answer to my question,

    I moved out to Utah 6 years ago and have spent the last 4 years using a 169cm K2 Pettitor as my powder ski. I purchased them when I was a much less experienced, much less aggressive skier, but now I’ve established a well developed balanced stance, and am ready to buy my first touring ski. Based on how my skiing has developed and my knowledge of ski shapes and rocker profiles this seems like a ski I’d definitely like, the only thing holding me back is that I’m a 5’8″, 155ish pound skier. Does this ski ski long, and would it be too much for a skier of my size? Does anybody with a smaller frame find the single, 188cm length to be an issue? When I first started shopping around for skis I was looking for a ~180ish cm ski, but if this ski really does ski the way everyone describes it, I’d definitely like to avoid ruling it out just because it’s longer than I’m looking for. Any response would be appreciated, thanks!

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