Ski: 2016-2017 Revision Subtraction, 186 cm
Available Lengths: 166, 176, 186, 194
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183.3 cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 130-139-116-135-126
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2290 & 2300 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius (186 cm): 15 meters
Core Construction: Poplar/Bamboo + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate
Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 74 mm / 76 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Factory “Standard” Line: 4.15 cm behind center; ~87.5 cm from tail
Mount Location: “Standard” Line
Boots / Bindings: Roxa X-Face 120 / Tyrolia Attack 13
Days Tested: 20
Test Location: Targhee, Wyoming
[Editor’s Note: We conducted this review on the 14/15 Subtraction, which is unchanged for 15/16 or 16/17, other than graphics and a thicker edge and base material.]
Revision Skis debuted last year with two models, the park-oriented Talisman, and a powder ski called the Subtraction.
(For 15/16, Revision added two new models, the Bodrum and the Dime, as well as an updated warranty policy that’s one of very few in the industry to cover damage from rails and rocks.)
Revision describes the Subtraction as having “the stability and carving ability to excel in variable conditions, while allowing you to slash and spin in trees and pillows on the deepest days.”
I’ve put 20 days on the 186 cm Subtraction, and have had the ski on everything from icy groomers to blower pow, so I’ve had ample opportunity to examine the accuracy of Revision’s description.
While the Subtraction isn’t a noodle, its flex pattern is soft. The tips and tails feel similar to the Line Mordecai, but exhibit a quicker rebound when flexed. The ski then stiffens up underfoot, but in a nice, progressive way—no hinge points.
For reference, the Subtraction is definitely softer throughout than the ON3P Jeffrey 114, or the 185cm Atomic Bentchetler. It actually feels very similar to the J Skis Friend, but is much poppier / less damp than the Friend. In truth, the Subtraction’s flex pattern reminds me most of the old Atomic Blog.
While the Subtraction does have a healthy dose of traditional camber underfoot, it has pretty deep tip and tail rocker lines, and a gradual but significant amount of tip and tail splay (74 & 76 mm, respectively). Combine that with its relatively short sidecut radius (15 meters) and significant tip taper, and you’ve got the makings of a very quick ski. In fact, for its width, the Subtraction is one of the quickest skis I’ve been on.
On-Snow Performance: Some Generalizations
While I’ll be diving deeper into how the Subtraction fared in a variety of conditions, there are a few general characteristics that are worth noting up front:
(1) It’s quick. Really quick. I spend a fair bit of time on skis in this 110-118mm waist range, and the Subtraction is the quickest I’ve been on, both on the snow and in the air. All it takes is a flick of the ankles to throw the ski sideways, and the ski is very easy to pivot and slash.
(2) On the flip side, the Subtraction is not very damp. While you can push this ski (especially in softer conditions), it wasn’t designed to straight line through bumps, small trees, and lost children in the most direct route to the bottom. Rather, it wants to pivot around and jump off everything. On that note…
(3) It’s poppy. I’ve spent more time in the air on the Subtraction than on any other ski I’ve been on. It’s incredibly easy to load the tails and pop off of any bump or roller. Once in the air, that low swing weight means shifties and spins are very easy.
NEXT: Pow, Soft Crud, Etc.