2016-2017 Revision Subtraction

Cy Whitling reviews the Revision Subtraction for Blister Gear Review
Revision Subtraction

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

MSRP: $599

[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.

Flex Pattern

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.

Cy Whitling reviews the Revision Subtraction for Blister Gear Review.
Cy Whitling on the Revision Subtraction, Grand Targhee, WY.

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…

Cy Whitling reviews the Revision Subtraction for Blister Gear Review.
Cy Whitling on the Revision Subtraction, Grand Targhee, WY.

(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.

7 comments on “2016-2017 Revision Subtraction”

  1. Hmm, looks and sounds a fair bit like the Salomon Rocker and Soul7, any comparisons to those? Of what about the Sir Francis Bacon or Mordecai?

    More comparisons to the Shreditor?

    • Hey Slim,

      Unfortunately I don’t have any time on the Rocker or Soul7. The Subtraction is wider and heavier than the Soul7, and is oriented more as a freestyle twin.

      It falls between the Rocker2 108 and 122 width wise, and I’d bet float wise too. Just from hand flexing both of those skis I’d hazard the guess that the Subtraction is a little less damp and has more pop.

      I mentioned the Mordecai briefly, and would say that most of my comparisons to the J Skis Friend would also apply to the Mordecai, it’s damper, and more stable than the Subtraction.

      I don’t think the Bacon plays in the same space, it’s quite a bit skinnier, and thus quicker, the Subtraction does feel like a sized up Bacon in a lot of situations though.

      The Shreditor is the one ski I have the most time on, and while it actually hand flexes a tad softer (although mine do have a lot of days on them at this point), it’s damper, more rockered, and more stable. Part of that is definitely due to the length, I have the 189cm Shreditor, which measures long, whereas the 186cm Subtraction is only 183.3 cm tip to tail.

      So while the longer Shreditor is more stable, that extra rocker (and less camber) means it feels less hooky, and is more pivoty.

      Both of them are very easy to ollie off of anything just by loading the tails, but the Shreditor feels much heavier in the air, and is more stable on landings.

      Hope that helps!


  2. We also got to test Revision’s Subtraction ski and can echo Cy’s findings. The Subtraction is “play play play”, definitely wanting to pop off everthing in sight with abandon…being fat enough to flash through soft crud with lots of energy. Some people might find it too darty and quick at high speeds in 3D snow, and a bit unsettled at warp speed on top of snow, but few skis are more fun to pound through freshies in the trees where quick reactions and energy are good things to have underfoot. This is a ski with a jib-bias, and a pretty darn good grip on harder surfaces when asked. It’s not a charger, but more of a mischievious bouncy funhouse kind of ski…lots of fun and leans toward agility rather than cruisability at its 116mm underfoot size. It seems to like being in the air as much as in the snow. The Subtraction is a poppy, energetic bird-dog of a ski in 3D snow…agile and energetic.

  3. Any comparison to Armada JJ? I’m looking for replacement for my 6 year old JJ’s.

    Seems to be in sort of same category (quick edge-to-edge, relatively soft, short radius, playful, lots of taper, similar dimensions)

  4. I”m currently looking into getting a pair of these…does the tip and tail rocker give them a sense of skiing shorter than their actual length? I”m about 5’11”, and am a bit torn between the 176 and 186

  5. Hi Cy,

    I have a pair of Subversions 176cm center line mounted. Once you hit some hard pack they get way squirrely
    trying to hold an arc. I’ve always had my skis “standard” mounted, though no standard line is marked on these skis,
    would that help the stability to mount them back a bit? Or is that center point the sweet spot designed for the ski?


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