Warm Slush / Hot Pow
In hot pow (i.e., slush that you sink into up to about 4-6 inches) a forward, aggressive stance will just send you somersaulting down the mountain—especially mounted on the “Eric’s Choice” line. That line is very near center (-2 cm), so the Bacon really requires a more centered, relaxed stance when slicing through slush. I’m confident that this will carry over to cold pow, too, but if you keep that centered stance, I expect the Bacons to be very manageable in pow. (We’ll hopefully confirm soon enough. C’mon El Nino…)
Terrain Park (Swing Weight + Comparisons)
At Porters Ski area in Canterbury, I was able to lap a couple of small jumps and rails to get a sense of the Bacons’ park performance.
On rails, the skis felt very comfortable and quick for a ski with a 104mm waist. I frequently ride 179cm K2 Recoils in the park—a 90mm-wide dedicated park ski. On the other end of the spectrum, my 181cm Rossignol Sickles (110mm underfoot) are often on my feet when I make end-of-the-day park laps at Taos.
The low swing weight of the Bacon was much more comparable to the K2 Recoil than the Rossi Sickle; the Bacon can switch-up and spin into and out of rails much more quickly than the Sickle.
After one run through the jump line to get the speed right, I felt perfectly comfortable spinning the Bacons. The near-center mount gives a nice balanced feel in the air, and the stiffness of the ski allowed for stable, controlled landings in the slush. I landed a couple of 540’s leaning pretty far forward, and the support from the shovels was more than adequate. Landings on the Bacon are much more stable than on the K2 Recoil, and just shy of the stability of the Rossignol Sickles.
Buttering / Playfulness
Again, the SFB is very energetic and poppy. They are super fun to jump off anything all around the mountain, and basically every run at Craigieburn Valley had me grinning from ear to ear.
About halfway down my first run, there was a partially-buried snow fence in the direction I was heading. Shifting my weight backward and loading up the tails, it was very easy to ollie over the snow fence. The natural pop from the Bacon had me sailing, and I was instantly looking for the next thing to jump off.
Further down the run, we found this cool fifteen foot step down over a grassy patch. Popping an ollie off the top and stomping the landing was really fun. I landed a little backseat to avoid catching my tips in the slush, and the tails supported my weight very well. I easily adjusted back to a more centered stance, and I was able to quickly carve to the right to jump off the next feature. (These skis like to be turning. Credit that tight sidecut radius.)
The flex pattern of the Bacon makes it extremely fun to pop off of everything all over the mountain, but it does have tradeoffs. The SFB is surprisingly difficult to press into nose butters.
On several of my park laps at Porters, I spent some time skipping the jumps and just buttering around on the knuckles of the landings. To butter this Bacon (butter on bacon? Sounds delicious!), you really need to lean hard into the nose of the ski. Even when I flexed them out as much as I could, I still wasn’t significantly bending them, and I definitely didn’t have much control of my pop out of the butter. The exit of a nose-butter was more of a wash out instead of a controlled, explosive pop.
But don’t get me wrong, the Bacons have plenty of energy in the nose. They can nollie pretty well, and you can definitely get a lot of pop out of them if you want to pivot/nollie into a spin. However, if you’re really trying to press into them and get a good butter over a roller, their stiff flex just makes it a bit difficult.
On my playfulness scale (1 being not playful at all, and 10 being the most playful ski ever), I’d give the new Bacon an 8. If the ski was as energetic and poppy as it is and a bit more butter friendly, I would easily give it a 9, maybe even a 10.
NEXT: Comparisons, Bottom Line