Ski: 2019-2020 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm
Available Lengths: 176, 184, 190 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 182.6 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1850 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1875 & 1881 grams
Stated Dimensions: 143-107-139 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 141.8-106.4-138.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (184 cm): 16 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 58.6 mm / 60.8 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm
Core: Paulownia/Maple + Fiberglass Laminate
Base: “Fatty” 1.7 mm Sintered
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -1.9 cm from center; 89.4 cm from tail
The Sir Francis Bacon has been a staple in Line’s collection for over a decade, filling the role of a wider all-mountain freestyle ski. It started off in 2006 as a 115mm-wide twin-tip ski that was designed to let skiers like Eric Pollard (who helped design it), take their tricks into the backcountry.
Then the Bacon got overhauled for the 11/12 season, getting slimmed down to 108 mm underfoot. It got redesigned again for the 15/16 season, slimming down even more to 104 mm underfoot, and it also featured a much lighter construction.
Up until this season, the “SFB” hadn’t been changed since 15/16 (apart from graphics), but Line is once again redesigning this iconic ski for 19/20. The new ski is getting a bit fatter, counterintuitively losing some weight, and now features convex tips and tails.
In other words, this new Bacon sounds very different than the current iteration. So how true is that in reality?
What Line says about the 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon
“All-new and primed to change your conception of what’s possible on snow, the Sir Francis Bacon opens up new lanes of creative skiing. Bumped up to 107mm underfoot, and featuring drift-inducing Convex Base Tech, the Sir Francis Bacon swerves and butters through pow without sacrificing bite on hardpack and blown out chop.”
This is pretty standard copy for a wider all-mountain-freestyle ski. The new Sir Francis Bacon is supposed to let you butter and swerve through fresh snow, yet also perform when conditions aren’t deep. But the SFB’s “Convex Base Tech” warrants a bit more explanation, so let’s examine that further.
“Convex Base Tech” & Line’s 19/20 All-Mountain-Freestyle Lineup
With the addition of the new 117mm-wide Outline and the discontinuation of the 113mm-wide Mordecai, the new Sir Francis Bacon and Outline will make up Line’s all-mountain-freestyle lineup for 19/20 (we’ve already spent some time on the Outline, and will have info out about it soon). Both the new SFB and Outline feature convex tips and tails.
Here’s what Eric Pollard says about the convex construction on the new Sir Francis Bacon and Outline:
“Adding convexity to the tip and tails of the Sir Francis Bacon and Outline was a massive challenge – one that was harder than anything I’ve ever undertaken in the past. With this convex contouring, we’re able to loosen the overall feel when the tip or tail is pressured. Similar to a surfboard, the convexity adds dimensionality to the ways is which you can pressure, feather, and stand on a ski. The end result is a ski that slashes better, butters with more control, improves float, and adds speed.”
First off, I can’t imagine how difficult it was for Line to actually manufacture the convex tips and tails of the Sir Francis Bacon and Outline, so I don’t doubt Eric’s comments about that. Because while brands like DPS, Atomic, Armada, and Majesty have all incorporated beveled edges into the tips and / or tails of some of their skis, the 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon and Outline are the first skis we’ve seen or heard of that feature truly convex tips and tails, rather than simply having some sort of convexity near the edges.
In the past, we haven’t noticed a huge difference when it comes to skis with beveled edges (e.g., DPS Spoon, Atomic Bent Chetler 120, and Armada ARV 116 JJ). But the convexity on the Sir Francis Bacon and Outline is much more pronounced than those skis, so maybe it’ll make more of a difference? We’ll see.
Shape / Rocker Profile
While the Sir Francis Bacon’s convex tips and tails are very different from the current version of the ski, the new ski’s shape and rocker profile are actually pretty similar to the current iteration.
The 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon’s shape looks a lot like the 18/19 ski, with the 19/20 ski having pretty fat, nearly symmetrical tips and tails and a bit of early taper. The Sir Francis Bacon’s taper lines aren’t deep, but they do come to a fairly sharp point. Apart from the new SFB having a wider 107 mm waist and convex tips and tails, it looks nearly identical to the current version in terms of shape.
The new Sir Francis Bacon’s longitudinal rocker profile is also very similar to the current version’s. The 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon has nearly symmetrical tip and tail rocker lines that are pretty deep for a ski this wide. But like many recent Line skis we’ve reviewed, the Sir Francis Bacon’s tips and tails don’t rise very abruptly, and instead only splay out near the ends of the ski.
No change here. The new Sir Francis Bacon’s recommended mount point is -1.9 cm from center. That’s the same exact mount point as the current version of the ski. So it looks like the new ski is still very much designed for the freestyle-oriented skier who will appreciate a balanced feel in the air and skis with a centered, balanced stance.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Sir Francis Bacon:
In Front of Toe Piece: 7-9
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8
Unlike the ski’s shape, rocker profile, and mount point, the new Sir Francis Bacon’s flex pattern is a pretty significant departure from the current ski. The current (15/16-18/19) Sir Francis Bacon is actually a pretty stout ski. The new Sir Francis Bacon is not what we’d call a particularly stiff ski.
The new ski’s tips and tails start soft, and then slowly ramp up in stiffness to a pretty strong section around the bindings. This is in contrast to the current Sir Francis Bacon, which has tips and tails that are quite stiff, and its flex pattern is pretty even overall, with the tips and tails only being a bit softer than the middle.
One gripe we had with the current Sir Francis Bacon was that it wasn’t very easy to butter and press due to its stiffer flex pattern. With the new Sir Francis Bacon, we doubt you’ll have a hard time bending it.
The current Sir Francis Bacon is already a pretty light ski at around 2050 grams per ski for the 184 cm version.
The 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon is even lighter at around 1880 grams per ski for the 184. That’s really light, especially when you consider that the new Sir Francis Bacon is actually wider than the current version. Compared to all of the other current all-mountain-freestyle skis we’ve reviewed, the new Sir Francis Bacon is the lightest one. It’s similar in terms of weight compared to the 186 cm Line Sick Day 104, which is a ski we love for 50/50 use in the backcountry and the resort.
The current Sir Francis Bacon is one of the less stable skis we’ve reviewed in the all-mountain-freestyle category, and we don’t imagine that the new ski will be more stable. But we are very curious to see if the new Sir Francis Bacon’s lower weight (and potentially, its convex tips and tails) help make the new ski significantly more playful than the current ski.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. And as always, pay close attention to the length differences to keep things more apples-to-apples.
1605 & 1630 Line Vision 108, 183 cm (19/20)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1875 & 1881 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm (19/20)
1941 & 1994 Faction Candide 3.0, 186 cm (18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
1980 & 2016 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (17/18–18/19)
1980 & 2019 Moment Deathwish, 184 cm (15/16–19/20)
2010 & 2018 J Skis Vacation, 186 cm (18/19)
2032 & 2062 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm (15/16–18/19)
2042 & 2105 Line Mordecai, 186 cm (16/17–18/19)
2080 & 2089 Sego Big Horn 106, 187 cm (16/17–18/19)
2113 & 2121 Moment Meridian 107, 187 cm (16/17–19/20)
2113 & 2140 Armada ARV 106, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2133 & 2134 Faction Prodigy 3.0, 183 cm (18/19–19/20)
2144 & 2153 K2 Marksman, 184 cm (16/17–19/20)
2221 & 2245 ON3P Kartel 108, 186 cm (18/19)
2241 & 2295 4FRNT Devastator, 184 cm (14/15–18/19)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about
(1) As with any updated ski, we’re very curious to see how the new Sir Francis Bacon compares to the current version of the ski.
(2) The 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon is extremely light. So as always, we’re eager to see just how well the new, lighter ski handles rough snow and high speeds.
(3) The current Sir Francis Bacon is a very strong ski, but the 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon is significantly softer. So how much more playful with the new ski feel, and will that come at the cost of much stability at speed and on landings?
(4) The Sir Francis Bacon’s convex tips and tails certainly look interesting, but how noticeable will they be on snow?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Line Sir Francis Bacon has been around in some form for what feels like forever. The new 19/20 Sir Francis Bacon is very different from the current ski in some regards, while being quite similar in others. Blister Members can check out our Flash Review linked below for our initial thoughts on the new ski, but in the meantime, stay tuned for our full review.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Sir Francis Bacon for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.