2015-2016 SGN Skis 1184

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the SGN Skis 1184 for Blister Gear Review
SGN Skis 1184

Ski: 2015-2016 SGN Skis 1184, 190 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 189.1 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 137-112-126

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 136-113-126

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2265 & 2348 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 25 meters

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 63 mm / 19 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0 mm / flat

Core Construction: Poplar & Bamboo full wood core

Factory Recommended Line: -9.55 cm from center; 85.0 cm from tail

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Tecnica Mach 1 LV, Fischer RC4 130 / Marker Jester

Test Locations: Arapahoe Basin, CO; Taos, NM

Days Skied: 6


Founded in January, 2012, SGN Skis is a company based in Sogndal, Norway, that focuses on freeride and touring skis.

Last spring we started putting time on their “genuine big mountain ski,” called the “1184” which takes its name (and topsheet inspiration) from one of the largest naval battles in Norwegian history, the Battle of Fimreite—fought in 1184.

This season, SGN Skis is offering the 1184 as a limited edition model, so if you like the sound of what you read here, contact SGN and talk to them directly about getting a pair.

(Note: SGN told me that they don’t showcase this ski among their products because, “While it has become somewhat of an instant classic with the hard-charging crowd, we do not push it since it is too much ski for most people.” Fair enough. But if we’re talking specifically about the genre of more demanding, “hard-charging skis,” I wouldn’t classify the 1184 as a particularly demanding ski in the category, and I’ll say more about that along the way.)

Dimensions, Shape, and Flex Pattern

The 1184 has little sidecut (this ski looks straighter than its stated sidecut radius of 25 meters), has stiff tails (call them an 8 or 9 out of 10), and it’s very stiff underfoot (9).

But the tips and shovels of this ski go quite soft (4 or 5), allowing this ski—in conjunction with it’s extremely deep tip and tail rocker lines—to plane very well in soft conditions.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the SGN Skis 1184 for Blister Gear Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the SGN 1184, Taos, NM. (photo by Ryan Heffernan)

The 1184’s stiff back half is not tolerant of backseat skiing, but it’s softer shovels are forgiving and not only plane well, but work well in breakable crusts and punchy snow. Plus the lack of traditional camber underfoot keeps the 1184 from getting grabby in funky conditions.

Construction of the 1184 is solid and quite nice—while SGN is a young company, this ski looks and feels like a mature, well-finished product.

On-Snow Performance

SGN says that the 1184 was designed “for the skier who is looking for a predictable ski in all conditions,” and I wouldn’t disagree. But just to be clear, we’re talking here about off-piste conditions: the 1184 wasn’t designed with on-piste performance in mind, so if you want your big mountain, 190cm-long, ~110mm-wide ski to be great on groomers, too, then you should consider something like the 190 cm Salomon Q Lab or the 186 cm Moment Governor. The 1184 is certainly “predictable” on groomers, it just isn’t an exciting ski to rail turns on like the Q Lab or Governor.

Having gotten that out of the way, I’d say that it’s best to think of the 1184 as a big-mountain pow ski for those who prefer big turns and speed. But having said that, I’ve very happily skied the 1184 in spring mashed potatoes, refrozen coral, softer moguls (in big, firm f’ed-up moguls, you do have to contend with the 1184’s pretty big, stiff, tail), deep pow and tight chutes in Taos’s West Basin, etc. In other words, this is a big mountain pow ski that doesn’t need pow. But speaking of pow…

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the SGN Skis 1184 for Blister Gear Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the SGN 1184, Arapahoe Basin, CO.

Deep Pow

While the 1184 doesn’t actually have a radical amount of tip splay, its deep tip rocker line and soft-flexing tips and shovels allow this ski to plane up easily—even at its modest width. The only caveat here—and this should be pretty obvious by now—is that this ski was not designed for you to noodle your way down the mountain. But keep things moving down the fall line, and this ski works well in deep snow—even at slower speeds; you don’t have to be raging to get this ski to plane.

Pow Performance, Continued — 12.20.15

If you knew where to go around the mountain, there were plenty of untouched pockets of knee deep pow to be found at Taos. The snow wasn’t the super light and dry stuff we often see in northern New Mexico, this was more dense / higher water content — not Sierra cement by any means, but it was more dense than we often see. And the 1184 worked extremely well here.

In tighter corridors in West Basin, some more tail rocker would have let this ski break free a bit more easily, but duh. This is a straight ski that doesn’t easily deflect all over the place—which is a cause for celebration as skis seem to keep getting lighter, turnier, and less stable.

Furthermore, with some strength and strong input, you certainly can still turn this ski at slower speeds in tight places.

NEXT: Deep Chop, Crud, Etc.

3 comments on “2015-2016 SGN Skis 1184”

  1. Great review as always. Those sidecut and rocker profile pics make the ski look very similar to the old 4FRNT EHP. Any chance you have had time on both and could compare the two?

    Also, I think Blister needs to start a new “blast from the past” section on the website. I’d love to see you guys do reviews of older and/discontinued skis because:
    1) older skis are cheap, allowing skiers to potentially get more ski for their dollar
    2) newer is not inherently better. It’d be cool to see classics like the LP105, the original Gotama, or the EHP compared against the current crop of skis

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