We’ve now been on the Sick Day 104 again at Telluride, and in a broad range of conditions. We’ve also had a few reviewers on it, so here Sam Shaheen (SS), Luke Koppa (LK), and Jonathan Ellsworth will all share their thoughts on the ski.
I’d like to start off by saying that I really like this ski. It jives well with my style of skiing and it is quite fun. It’s easy to ski, but can still be pushed hard — and that’s an excellent combination. I also think that this is a ski that a lot of people will really enjoy, and a ski that makes a good case for a 1-ski quiver in many locations.
(SS): The Sick Day 104 is not a dedicated carving tool, and that is clear on snow. But it still does a pretty good job. It can easily be bent into many turn shapes (from rather tight to wide open) and it holds an edge quite well. I would say it’s edge hold is a touch better than the 17/18 – 18/19 Rossignol Soul 7 HD and a touch worse than the 18/19 Salomon QST 106 (which can rail groomers hard).
The only complaint I have about the Sick Day 104 here (and I know that Luke disagrees), is that I don’t feel like I get much energy out of the turn, especially when compared to the Soul 7 and QST 106. Overall, the Sick Day 104 feels a bit softer than both of those skis, and when I try to power out of turn, the ski isn’t quite stiff enough to rocket me into the next one like the Soul 7 or (to a lesser extent), the QST 106.
(LK): Overall, I’ve been very happy with the SD 104’s performance on firm snow. It doesn’t carve as well as skinnier skis, but given how well it performs in a bunch of other conditions, it strikes a really nice balance.
I’ve been able to make a variety of turn shapes on the SD 104, from small / medium to fairly large. It doesn’t bend into tight turns as readily as the Line Sakana, but overall, I thought the two skis felt fairly similar when carving. I found the SD 104 to feel quite poppy, and this is one of the areas where Sam and I had a minor disagreement. I think some of this probably stems from how we ski — Sam has a more aggressive style than me, and therefore often ends up preferring stiffer skis like the Soul 7 HD. On the other hand, I rarely find myself blowing through a ski’s flex (e.g., I really like the 174 cm Sakana), and have found the SD 104 to feel quite energetic in a turn.
(JE): In my flash review of the Sick Day 104, I called it the love child of the LINE Supernatural 108 (R.I.P.) and the LINE Sick Day Tourist 102 (also R.I.P.). And especially since I wanted to see how hard it could be pushed compared to the Supernatural 108, I spent most of my time on groomers making big turns at high speeds. And granted, I only have had the SD 104 on pretty soft groomers, but I really liked how it carved, and given that I tend to like heavier, stiffer, damper skis than the Sick Day 104, I thought the ski felt quite energetic when rebounding out of big, laid-over turns. But I will agree with Sam that the 188 cm Soul 7 HD feels like a snappier carver, and I found it really fun to make shorter, quicker turns on that ski.
(SS): I found the Sick Day 104 to be a tad sluggish to really excel in high-speed zipperline bumps, but its stable platform, fairly damp nature, big sweet spot, and light weight make it quite fun for scooting around oddly formed bumps on steeps, popping over troughs, or pretty much skiing bumps in any manner except flat-out down the fall line.
(LK): Yep, I agree with everything Sam says here, and would add that I did find the SD 104’s tail noticeable in bumps in that it does not want you to ski backseat. I would still put the SD 104 on the “more forgiving” end of the spectrum, but just like the SD 114, the SD 104’s tail is not as forgiving as more playful skis with more symmetrical flex patterns like the Line Sir Francis Bacon.
(JE): It’s interesting to read Luke and Sam’s take here, because again, when skiing the Sick Day 104, I was primarily thinking about how it compared to the Supernatural 108. And by comparison, the Sick Day 104 is much quicker and poppier. But Luke’s comparisons above are more apples-to-apples than the heavier, stiffer, and damper Supernatural 108, so keep the context of our statements in mind. But again, given my points of reference, I really liked the Sick Day 104 in bumps. So when Sam is talking about the SD 104 being “too sluggish to really excel in high-speed zipperline bumps,” understand that he is talking about absolutely nuking through bumps — Sam attacks moguls at speeds that most people don’t. So in that context, Sam’s comments make sense. But if you are a high intermediate or advanced bumps skier that doesn’t generally approach big bumps with the pedal absolutely to the metal, then I think you’re going to be just fine — and enjoy — the Sick Day 104 in bumps.
Chop / Variable Snow
(SS): The Sick Day 104 is a lightweight ski, but on snow, it skis a bit heavier than it weighs on the scale. The Sick Day 104’s shovel does a good job of planing in softer snow and it is forgiving when smashing into variable.
The Sick Day 104 is definitely not a damp charger, but it does a great job in variable and chop considering its weight.
(LK): If I skied the SD 104 without knowing the weight, I would guess that it was significantly heavier (and I mean that in the best way possible). Compared to several other skies I’ve used in this weight class, the SD 104 is near the top in terms of stability in variable snow. No, it’s not as damp as much heavier skis, but the SD 104 offers a really nice blend of stability and maneuverability / low weight. In fact, I’d say the SD 104 has one of the best stability-to-weight ratios of all the skis I’ve used. It’s really, really impressive.
(JE): Yep. As I wrote in my Flash Review: “My take on the Sick Day 104 is that it is a dialed-back, more playful SN 108. It is *not* the charger that the 108 is, but you can still push the SD 104 quite hard — just do it in a more dynamic style than the 108.”
In The Air
(SS): The Sick Day 104 is no spinny flippy park ski, but it does feel comfortable in the air. It is pretty balanced and natural, though when mounted on the recommended line (-10.15 cm) it feels more at home jumping straight off cliffs and natural features than it does spinning off park jumps. The tail on the Sick Day 104 is forgiving but supportive, so if you get back seat on landings (as I often do), the Sick Day will nudge you back upright. Thanks, ski.
(LK): Again, I agree with Sam here. Despite its rearward mount point, the SD 104 doesn’t feel very unwieldy in the air, and provides a nice, supportive landing platform. And here’s where the SD 104’s low weight becomes a bonus — it feels pretty light and fairly easy to flick around in the air.
(LK): At the recommended mount point of -10.15 cm from center, the SD 104 unsurprisingly feels very directional. I could still easily break the tails free into slashes, but the ski always felt eager to get back into a carve, or at least straighten out.
I did play around a bit with the bindings on the SD 104, moving them from recommended to +1, +2, and +3 cm of the line. I ended up liking +2 cm the best, as I thought it didn’t sacrifice any of the skis carving ability while making it a bit easier to break free and feel slightly more balanced in the air.
Overall though, this is a directional ski and best suited to those who are comfortable driving the front of the ski. However, it’s a playful directional ski that does not feel one-dimensional or like something you always have to be on top of your game to ski.
As a 50/50 Ski
(SS): The Sick Day 104 weighs about 1875 g in a 186 cm, and that weight definitely makes it a contender for a 50/50 ski. I think the Sick Day 104 makes a lot of sense as a 50/50 option. It has a big sweet spot, deals with variable snow well, it’s easy to ski but can still be pushed hard, and it is confidence-inspiring all around.
Slap a pair of Salomon/Atomic Shift bindings on this ski, and you’ve got a very compelling 50/50 option — or a true 1-ski quiver for inbounds and backcountry use.
(LK): Given the SD 104’s impressive blend of stability and low weight — and its strong performance in a wide range of conditions — I’d put it near the very top of my list for a one-ski-quiver for everything (backcountry + resort).
(JE): Again, to paraphrase my Flash Review, the “Sick Day” name really threw me at first. I thought these were just going to be sort of underwhelming “50/50” ski that was marketed to do it all, which often translates to mean ‘This ski won’t be great at anything.’ But that’s not the case.
After putting three different reviewers — each with fairly different skiing styles — on the Line Sick Day 104, we’ve all come away very impressed. It’s a ski that does a really good job of balancing a low weight while retaining respectable stability in variable conditions. And while we think it will appeal most to directional skiers, it’s not very demanding and still maintains a bit of a playful nature. In the end, the Sick Day 104 is a ski we think a wide range of skiers will like, and makes for a very compelling 50/50 option.
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