2018-2019 Line Magnum Opus

2015-2016 Line Magnum Opus vs. 2015-2016 185cm Atomic Bent Chetler

There are a few conditions in which the Magnum Opus and the 185cm Bent Chetler are very, very similar, one of which is light, fresh powder. Both skis provide a whole lot of float in fresh snow, and I can’t say that one is clearly better in terms of flotation; they both provide plenty of it.

Obviously, both skis will better suit skiers with a creative, playful, more freestyle-oriented style than those who want to ski very fast, aggressive, fall-line routes down the mountain. Their recommended mount points are both quite far forward (the Bent Chetler’s factory mount point is -3cm from center), so both reward light, upright stances, and are very quick to pivot and smear out in fresh snow.

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

If anything, with respect to quickness and maneuverability, the Magnum Opus might be a touch quicker, and I attribute that difference to its slightly tighter side-cut radius (17m vs the 185cm Bent Chetler’s 19m), but also its swing weight, which is a bit lighter.

This is a very slight difference that I could only just discern in fresh snow – they’re still the two most playful powder skis I’ve reviewed.

The differences between the Opus and Bent Chetler become a little more apparent in the air, where the Magnum Opus does feel a little bit lighter (eerily light for its size and width, in fact). And for that reason, if you’re looking for a playful powder ski with the lightest, most-trick friendly feel in the air, I don’t know of a better ski than the Magnum Opus. (Still, the Bent Chetler isn’t super sluggish in the air, by any means). The flex of the Opus is also a bit firmer than the 185cm Bent Chetler, particularly in the tips and tails, and has less pronounced tip and tail rocker, so it’s a bit less likely to loop-out on you if you land backseat ski in deep snow. At the same time, though that means it’s a little harder to butter and press the tails of the Opus (to me, at least, at 160 lbs).

Perhaps the most significant (but still pretty minor) difference between the Bent Chetler and Magnum Opus has to do with how they both handle deep, soft chop—the kind I just covered in the section directly above.

I thought that maybe the Opus’ firmer tip and tail flex and the fact that it has a little more effective edge would mean that it could be skied harder in chop, but it seems that its lighter weight, slightly fatter waist, and tight turn radius affect its handling more.

Both skis feel most at home when you remain light on your feet and make more short, quick turns, popping from one soft pile of snow to the next, rather than trying to draw out longer, smearing turns, blasting through lots of piles and trenches. On the one hand, the Magnum Opus’ light feel means that making those snappy, poppy turns is very easy, and it might be a tiny bit quicker than the Bent Chetler in this respect. But I found that the Bent Chetler’s softer tips and tails and slightly more weighty feel meant that it is a little more forgiving if you happen to get back on the fat tails or too far over the shovels at slow to moderate speeds. As I mentioned in my initial review, the Opus “are just so light with so much surface area that they can get kicked around fairly easily,” and the ski’s firmer flex seems to contribute to this a bit. I noticed this most when skiing the Opus on the “Eric’s Choice” line, but also at -4 from center.

Again, I’m not going to be mobbing big, fast turns through chop on either the Bent Chetler or the Magnum Opus; both favor really exploring terrain on the way down, making more turns, looking for features to slash and smear around on. And when it comes to that kind of skiing in-resort, the Opus is the quickest and the lightest, but it also requires that you be a little more precise in how you play around on piles of powder and big bumps.

In sum, the Magnum Opus is a little more specialized than the Bent Chetler (which is also pretty specialized in its own right); it’s a bit more optimized for a quick, lightweight feel in the air and in fresh snow, but that means it’s a little harder to ski in really choppy conditions on the afternoon of a pow day.

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

And for the record, note that I am comparing the 188cm Magnum Opus to the 185cm Bent Chetler here, not the 192cm Bent Chetler. As I’ve said in my review of the 185cm Bent Chetler, the 192cm weighs FAR more than the 188cm Opus, I think it feels like a very different ski from the 185cm Bent Chetler, and is a ski that can be enjoyed by directional skiers who appreciate burlier, directional skis like the 186cm Blizzard Bodacious or the 190cm Bibby Pro. So if you are deciding between the Opus and the Bent Chetler as highly playful, freestyle oriented powder skis (which would make a lot of sense), I think you ought to be deciding between the 188 Opus and the 185 Bent Chetler. That’s just my sense of the skis, at least; Jason Hutchins will be getting on the 185cm and 192cm Bent Chetlers and the Magnum Opus soon, and we’ll see if he feels differently.

Bottom Line

Though I’ve put more time on the ski now, I think the Bottom Line I wrote for the Magnum Opus in my initial review still stands:

If you’re looking for a powder ski to take out on deep days to search for natural features to spin, flip, and drag, I can’t think of a better ski for the job than the Line Magnum Opus.



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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