Ski: 2020-2021 Kye Shapes Numinous, 189 cm
Available Lengths: 189 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 187.5 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2500 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2561 & 2585 grams
Stated Dimensions: 140-122.5-133.3 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 140.5-122.8-133.8 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (189 cm): 26.65 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 68 mm / 59 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3 mm
Core: Aspen/Maple + Fiberglass Laminate
Base: Sintered graphite
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -4.55 cm from center; 89.2 cm from tail
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 19/20 Numinous, which was not changed for 20/21.]
Last week we talked about the new Kye Shapes Metamorph ski, a 114mm-wide ski that’s the result of a collaboration between big-mountain skier, Kye Peterersen, ski builder Johnny “Foon” Chilton, and some other British Columbia riders like Matty Richard.
Today we’re talking about the big gun in the new Kye Shapes line, the Numinous. This is the ski that Kye is using for his biggest lines and the deepest snow, and man, it is very, very interesting.
Watch our video First Look for the quick rundown, and then keep reading for more on this unique ski.
Like the Metamorph, Kye Shapes stuck with a pretty traditional construction on the Numinous: Canadian maple/aspen wood core, fiberglass laminate, sintered base, and a full-sidewall construction.
And I think it’s worth reiterating that Kye Shapes / Foon skis is a certified B-Corp, they source the vast majority of their materials from North America, their wood cores are all sustainably harvested in Canada, they recycle all excess base and edge materials, and the scraps of wood from the skis are used to heat Johnny’s house during the winter.
What Kye Shapes says about the Numinous
“This ski rides as if its slightly skinnier and shorter than its 189cm/122.5mm frame due to the long tip tapers, slow blend curves and long gradual rising rockers with just enough camber under foot for power and a shorter running surface to be playful. This ski is stable and aggressive enough for those that demand the most from their equipment.
Kye put a lot of time into the design and testing of The Numinous ski so it would allow him to perform in the most progressive way while he’s out riding stacked pillow lines, tricking off natural backcountry hits, sliding down steep fluted spine walls, stomping big cliffs and opening it up down large couloirs in his backyard of the Coast Mountains of BC.
The shape of The Numinous is designed to be a versatile powder ski in the way that it can be set on rail through long carves while still allowing the tails to slide at will and butter with the best of them. Even though this is a powder and backcountry ski, that doesn’t mean we have forgot completely about on piste performance; For being the gun of the Kye Shapes line it still likes to carve the firm at speeds and smash through chunder on route to getting the first lift up Glacier chair on a classic Whistler powder day!”
With a lot of ski descriptions, it’s hard to really gauge who the ski is designed for. With the Numinous, that answer is clear: it’s designed for Kye Petersen.
… but it’s also not supposed to be a ski that only Kye can ride. Kye Shapes emphasizes that this very big ski is supposed to ski like a smaller ski. And while it’s obviously supposed to excel in big mountains in deep snow, it’s also supposed to be able to handle variable and firm snow conditions. And all their talk of long tip tapers, slow blend curves, and long gradual rising rockers seems pretty spot on:
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Numinous has very tapered tips and tails, though its tips and tails don’t taper to an extreme point like, say, the Armada ARG II. Instead, there’s still a lot of surface area in the Numinous’s tips and tails. Overall, its shape is fairly similar to the 4FRNT Renegade, DPS Foundation Koala 119, Dynastar Menace Proto, and ON3P Billy Goat, though each of those skis are a bit different in terms of how their tips and tails taper.
While the Numinous tapers significantly at the ends, its rocker profile is actually pretty conservative for a 122mm-wide ski. Its tip and tail rocker lines are nearly symmetrical, and those rocker lines are not extremely deep for a ski this wide.
Overall, the Numinous’s rocker profile reminds me of a ski many of us really like, the Rossignol Black Ops 118 (I’ll be referencing this ski a lot here, which I’m excited to be doing…)
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Numinous:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-8.5
Overall, the Numinous is a strong ski. It’s not as crazy stiff as the Koala F119 we tested or the Head Kore 117, but the Numinous is stiffer than many of the more playful skis in this class like the J Skis Friend, Armada ARV 116 JJ, Atomic Bent Chetler 120, Liberty Origin Pro, Blizzard Spur, and Line Outline. Compared to the Rossignol Black Ops 118, the Numinous is pretty similar overall, but the Numinous is stiffer at the very ends.
The Numinous’s tips are pretty strong for a ski in this class, and the very ends of it tails are actually a bit softer than the tips, which should help with big switch landings in deep snow. The middle of the ski is very stiff, and the changes in the flex pattern are very smooth and gradual, just like its shape and rocker profile. If I had to describe the entire design of the Numinous in one word, it’d be “smooth.”
At a stated 26.65 meters, the Numinous’s sidecut radius is pretty long. Many of the freestyle-oriented skis in this category have shorter radii, though there are also skis like the Rossignol Super 7 RD, Praxis Protest, and ON3P Billy Goat that have longer radii. Like the Metamorph, the Numinous is currently only available in one length. For the Numinous, that’s 189 cm.
The recommended line on the Numinous is dubbed “Kye’s Mount Point,” and on our pair that measured around -4.5 cm from true center. That’s pretty far forward, and in line with a lot of playful skis designed to throw tricks into deep snow. That said, it’s not as far forward as some skis like the Atomic Bent Chetler 120, Rossignol Black Ops 118, Volkl Revolt 121, and Prior CBC.
Kye Shapes also said that they’ve had good feedback from people skiing the Numinous 1 cm back from that line (around -5.5 cm from true center), so we’ll be playing with the mount point of this ski during our testing.
The Numinous is a big ski, and it’s a very heavy, big ski. In fact, the Numinous is in the top 5 for the heaviest skis we’ve ever weighed. The old 192 cm Dynastar Pro Rider is a bit heavier, so is the old 196 cm Blizzard Bodacious, and then the old 184 cm Head Monster 108 and 190 cm Salomon Q-Lab come close. Notice a theme? All of those skis are now (unfortunately) discontinued. The only currently available ski we’ve weighed that’s heavier than the Numinous is the ~133mm-wide Armada ARG II, but that ultra-tapered and ultra-rockered ski looks like more of a niche tool than the Numinous.
To some, that weight might scare you or just make you stop reading. But for those of us who appreciate excellent stability at speed, no matter the conditions, that weight makes us very, very happy. I let out a little yelp of glee when I saw the Numinous’s weight come in over 2500 grams per ski. At an average weight of 2573 grams per ski, the 189 cm Numinous looks, at least on paper, like it’s going to be really fun to ski really, really fast.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1931 & 1959 Volkl BMT 122, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117 (19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2173 & 2204 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm (19/20)
2174 & 2187 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2130 & 2213 Faction Candide 4.0, 188 cm (19/20)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2199 & 2219 Moment Governor, 186 cm (14/15–17/18)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2290 & 2293 Moment Commander 118, 188 cm (19/20)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Free 115, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2370 & 2382 Volkl Confession, 193 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Jeffrey 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2561 & 2585 Kye Shapes Numinous, 189 cm (19/20)
2700 & 2703 Armada ARG II, 187 cm (19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) When can we ski this thing already?
(2) Given its very hefty weight, how stable will the Numinous feel vs. other heavy skis like the Rossignol Black Ops 118, DPS Koala F119, ON3P Jeffrey 116, and K2 Catamaran?
(3) On the flip side, how sluggish will the Numinous feel in tight terrain, or in the air?
(4) The Numinous is 122 mm at the waist, so we are pretty confident it will be fun in pow, but how will all that girth feel in shallower, firmer, and more variable conditions?
(5) Kye is known for blending a hard-charging style with lots of tricks thrown in between. So does the Numinous fit one of those styles better than the other, or could both directional, aggressive skiers and freestyle skiers alike get along with this ski?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Kye Shapes Numinous is a rare ski in the current market. It has a pretty tapered shape, symmetrical rocker profile, and forward mount point — all of which make it look like it’ll be a very playful ski. But then it’s also pretty strong and is very heavy, which makes us think it will be very comfortable at high speeds. Many of us at Blister are dying to get on this new ski, and we’ll be posting a Flash Review as soon as we get it on snow.