Ski: 2019-2020 Line Vision 98, 179 cm
Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 178.4 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1515 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1446 & 1447 grams
Stated Dimensions: 131-98-119 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 130.5-97.4-117.6 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (179 cm): 18.0 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 64 mm / 36 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm
Core: Paulownia/Maple + Carbon, Aramid, & Fiberglass Laminate
Base: 1.3 mm Sintered
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -6.0 cm from center; 83.2 cm from tail
For the 19/20 season, Line is introducing a brand-new series of what they’re calling “freeride” skis, the Vision 108 and 98. We’ve already talked about the Vision 108, but now we want to take a look at the narrower Vision 98. Because based on its specs, the Vision 98 is unlike any ski we’ve seen before.
What Line says about the Vision 98
“The Vision 98 shares the same build and featherweight feel as the Vision 108– straight down to the THC Construction. It’ll rally blown snow, arc on groomers, and even motor skin tracks if that’s your thing. But the shrunken footprint offers a versatility for those days that you don’t need the float.”
In case you haven’t read our First Look of the Vision 108, Line’s “THC” construction basically consists of three laminates — aramid, carbon, and fiberglass. And yes, it probably not-so-coincidentally shares the same name as a certain chemical in a certain plant.
THC comments aside, it’s pretty bold of Line to claim that a ~1450-gram ski is supposed to “rally blown snow.” We haven’t been on many skis this light that encourage us to mob through rough snow, but we’ll see. It’s also worth noting that Line does actually allude to touring in their description of the Vision 98, which they didn’t do in their description of the Vision 108. Given that both skis come in at weights comparable to most dedicated touring skis, we’ll definitely be putting time on them in the backcountry, in addition to the resort.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Vision 98 and 108 have very similar shapes and rocker profiles. The Vision 98 has slightly less tip and tail taper compared to the Vision 108, but the Vision 98 has more tail taper than most touring skis in its class like the Salomon MTN Explore 95, Blizzard Zero G 95, K2 Wayback 96, and G3 FINDr 102. Up front, the Vision 98’s tips are less tapered, and its tips aren’t nearly as tapered as skis like the Dynastar Mythic 97, Faction Prime 2.0, or 4FRNT Raven.
The Vision 98 has a lot of rocker for a 98mm-wide ski, with both its tip and tail rocker lines extending pretty deep into the ski. It also has a lot of tail splay, and you could probably even call its tail a “twin.”
But like the 108, the Vision 98’s rocker lines are low and pretty subtle, rather than rising abruptly like those on skis like the Mythic 97 and Raven. So it looks like the Vision 98 should do pretty well in soft snow, and we’re curious to see how it does on firmer snow, especially since it sits on the narrower end of the spectrum.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Vision 98:
In Front of Toe Piece: 7.5-9
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8.5
The Vision 98’s flex pattern feels very similar to the Vision 108’s. Both skis have soft tips and shovels, and then their flex patterns slowly ramp up as you move to the middle of the ski. The Vision 98’s tails are ever so slightly softer than the 108’s, and the Vision 98’s flex pattern ramps up a bit quicker than the 108’s. The Vision 98’s tails are a bit stiffer than its tips, but the difference isn’t as dramatic as more directional skis like the MTN Explore 95 and Mythic 97.
Compared to the MTN Explore 95, Mythic 97, and Wayback 96, the Vision 98’s tips are similarly soft, but the Vision 98’s tails are notably softer, and the Vision 98’s flex pattern ramps up a bit slower overall. The Vision 98 is far from a super stout ski, but its flex pattern does feel pretty round and ramps up without any noticeable hinge points, which we like.
Along with its deep rocker lines, the Vision 98’s mount point is another thing that sets it apart from other similarly light skis. Pretty much all of the skis currently on the market that come in this light have very traditional mount points (often -9 cm from center or further back).
But the Vision 98’s mount point of -6 cm from center is much more progressive, and we think skiers who tour a lot but who also ski with more of a centered stance should take note of this.
Of the skis we’ve reviewed, the 179 cm Vision 98 is one of the lightest. Not just in its width class, but overall. It’s really light.
That said, it’s not that far off in terms of weight from some very good skis like the Salomon MTN Explore 88 & 95, Dynastar Mythic 97, and Black Diamond Helio 105 Carbon. But we definitely consider all of those skis to be touring skis, rather than what we’d typically call “freeride” skis that you’d use in the resort. So will our position change with the Vision 98? We doubt it, but we’re eager to find out.
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 and keep things apples-to-apples.
1250 & 1256 Fischer Transalp 90 Carbon, 176 cm (18/19–19/20)
1353 & 1358 Majesty Werewolf CLT, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
1353 & 1376 Blizzard Zero G 95, 185 cm (17/18–18/19)
1390 & 1439 Salomon MTN Explore 88, 184 cm (16/17–19/20)
1446 & 1447 Line Vision 98, 179 cm (19/20)
1469 & 1477 K2 Wayback 96, 177 cm (18/19–19/20)
1476 & 1490 K2 Wayback 106, 179 cm (18/19–19/20)
1477 & 1482 G3 FINDr 102, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
1507 & 1595 Salomon MTN Explore 95, 184 cm (16/17-18/19)
1512 & 1523 Dynastar Mythic 97, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
1547 & 1551 Black Diamond Helio 105 Carbon, 185 cm (17/18)
1562 & 1566 Scott Superguide 105, 183 cm (17/18–18/19)
1605 & 1630 Line Vision 108, 183 cm (19/20)
1606 & 1641 Blizzard Zero G 105, 188 cm (19/20)
1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 181 cm (17/18–18/19)
1633 & 1638 Faction Prime 2.0, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1642 & 1651 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm, (18/19)
1680 & 1707 Line Sick Day 94, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1706 & 1715 Volkl BMT 109, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
1720 & 1747 Line Sick Day Tourist, 186 cm (16/17)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1745 & 1747 4FRNT Raven, 184 cm (16/17–18/19)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) The Vision 98 is really light, and as with any really light ski, we’re very curious to see how well the Vision 98 balances low weight with downhill performance.
(2) We’ve never reviewed a ski that’s as light as the Vision 98 but that comes with a similarly progressive mount point and dramatic rocker profile. It seems like it should cater well to more playful skiers, so … will it?
(3) Line is marketing the Vision series as “freeride” skis, but they come in at weights much more comparable to dedicated touring skis. So should the Vision 98 be thought of as a dedicated touring ski, a 50/50 ski, or one that you could feasibly use in the resort?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Line Vision 98 certainly stands out in the current market. It’s got the weight of ultralight touring skis, but unlike those skis, the Vision 98 has a lot of rocker, a fairly round flex pattern, and a progressive mount point. We’ve never seen anything like it, and we’re excited to spend time on it. Stay tuned for updates.