Deep Dive: Line Sir Francis Bacon

Luke Koppa reviews the Line Sir Francis Bacon for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Line Sir Francis Bacon, Crested Butte, CO.

If you haven’t already, check out our full review of the new Sir Francis Bacon for more info on that ski. Here, we’re comparing it to a bunch of other skis in its class.

Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm (19/20)
Measured Dimensions: 141.8-106.4-138.4 mm (184 cm)
Stated Radius: 16 m (184 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 1875 & 1881 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 59 mm / ~3 mm / 61 mm
Measured Length: 182.6 cm
Measured Mount Point: -1.9 cm / 89.4 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 176, 184, 190 cm
Core Construction: Paulownia/Maple + Fiberglass Laminate

Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm (15/16–18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 134-103-130 mm (184 cm)
Stated Radius: 17.4 m (184 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 2032 & 2062 g (184 cm)
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 63 mm / 4 mm / 57 mm
Measured Length: 182.7 cm
Measured Mount Point: -1.9 cm / 89.5 cm from tail (Eric’s Choice)
Available Lengths: 178, 184, 190 cm
Core Construction: paulownia/maple + fiberglass laminate

I want to get more time on the 15/16–18/19 Sir Francis Bacon to confirm some of this, but I think the short story is that the new SFB is significantly more playful than the previous version. I think that comes at the cost of a bit of stability, but basically, if you were content with the stability of the previous SFB but dissatisfied with its playfulness (i.e., not loose enough, too stiff, too high swing weight), then I think the new SFB is worth a very good look.

Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
Measured Dimensions: 136.5-103.5-120.5
Stated Radius: 19.3 meters
Measured Weight per Ski: 1848 & 1903 grams
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 66 mm / ~3 mm / 26 mm
Measured Length: 185.5 cm
Measured Mount Point: -10.15 cm; 82.6 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186 cm
Core: Aspen + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

The SD 104 is a much more directional ski — it feels best when driven through the shovels, doesn’t have a twinned tail, and is a better option for skiers who don’t care about skiing switch or spinning that much. At high speeds, the SD 104 is notably more stable, while the SFB is looser, much more balanced in the air, and otherwise better for throwing tricks. Directional skiers will almost certainly prefer the SD 104, while skiers with freestyle backgrounds will likely prefer the SFB.

ON3P Kartel 108, 186 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 137-108-130 mm
Stated Radius: 22.2 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2221 & 2245 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 80 / ~2 mm / 68 mm
Measured Length: 186.6 cm
Measured Mount Point: -4.6 cm / 88.7 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 171, 176, 181, 186, 191 cm
Core Construction: Bamboo + 2” Unidirectional Carbon Stringers (Top & Bottom) + Fiberglass Laminate

This is pretty simple — if you appreciate a damp feel, want to be able to ski fast and straight through chop, and are willing to trade low swing weight for stability, go with the Kartel 108. If you’d rather have a ski that’s super light in the air, easy to press into for butters, ollies, etc., and don’t care too much about mobbing through chop, go with the SFB. The SFB also carves a lot better than the Kartel on firm snow.

Faction Candide 3.0, 186 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 134.8-107.9-130.2
Stated Radius: 22 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 1941 & 1994 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 77 mm / ~2 mm / 60 mm
Measured Length: 183.5 cm
Measured Mount Point: -2.5 cm / 89.3 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 162, 169, 176, 182, 186, 192, 204 cm
Core Construction: Balsa/Flax/Poplar + Titanal Binding Plate + Fiberglass Laminate

This is an interesting comparison. The CT 3.0 is also pretty light, has a nearly symmetrical shape & rocker profile, and is designed to let you take a freestyle approach to the whole mountain. You could think of the CT 3.0 as a more stable, and slightly more sluggish SFB. The SFB has a lower swing weight, is easier to press into for butters, and is a much better option for carving tight turns on groomers, while the CT 3.0 caters more to longer turns. The SFB is also significantly looser and surfier than the CT 3.0, and floats better. I think the CT 3.0 makes sense if the SFB sounds a bit too unstable, but skis like the Kartel 108 and Meridian 107 sound a bit too heavy and sluggish to you.

Sego Big Horn 106, 187 cm (17/18-18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 136.5-107-131 mm
Stated Radius: 19.5 m (181 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 2080 & 2089 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 65 mm / ~3-4 mm / 68 mm
Measured Length: 185.4 cm
Measured Mount Point: -3.8 cm / 88.9 cm from center
Available Lengths: 169, 176, 181, 187 cm
Core Construction: poplar + carbon fiber stringers + fiberglass laminate

Similar to the Candide 3.0, the Big Horn 106 is a nice middle ground between the SFB and heavier, more stable skis like the Kartel 108 and Meridian 107. The Big Horn 106 also carves really well, though I think the SFB is a bit better as you can engage more of its length when you really lay it over. The SFB also floats better and is looser overall. But if you want something a bit more stable than the SFB without losing much in the way of pop or low swing weight, the Big Horn 106 is a good option.

Moment Meridian 107, 187 cm (17/18, 18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 135.5-106.5-126 mm
Stated Radius: 23 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2113 & 2121 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 59 mm / 0 mm / 61 mm
Measured Length: 186.0 cm
Measured Mount Point: -5 cm / 88.0 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 171, 181, 187 cm
Core Construction: Aspen + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Similar story as the Kartel 108. The Meridian 107 is much stiffer than the SFB, notably heavier, and correspondingly feels much more stable at speed. The Meridian and SFB are similarly easy to pivot around, but the SFB carves better on firm snow. Again, if you want a flexible, light ski that makes spins and butters easy, go SFB. If you’d rather trade a bit of playfulness for more stability, go Meridian 107.

J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17–18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 136-105-124.5 mm
Stated Radius: 17 m (180 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 2318 & 2341 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 63 / ~2-3 mm / 49 mm
Measured Length: 183.3 cm
Measured Mount Point: -6 cm / 85.7 cm from tail
Core Construction: Maple + Titanal + Fiberglass Laminate
Available Lengths: 173, 180, 186 cm

The Metal is more than 400 grams heavier per ski, and is therefore a much better option if you prioritize stability over playfulness. The SFB is far lighter in the air, much easier to spin, and more playful overall. But for skiing fast through rough snow, the Metal is way more stable. So just get clear on your priorities, and this should be an easy choice.

Armada ARV 106Ti LTD2, 188 cm (19/20)
Measured Dimensions: 135.3-105.3-125.5 mm (188 cm)
Stated Radius: 21.5 m (188 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 2190 & 2268 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 62 mm / 5-6 mm / 51 mm
Measured Length: 186.1 cm
Measured Mount Point: -2.05 cm / 91.0 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 172, 180, 188 cm
Core Construction: Poplar +2 full-length Ash stringers + Titanal (2 layers) + Fiberglass Laminate

Same story as the Metal. Prioritize stability? Go with the ARV 106Ti. Don’t need to ski super fast through rough snow and instead want a ski that’s super quick, easy to spin & butter, and that makes more moderate speeds more fun? Go with the SFB. And for the standard ARV 106, I think it’s a similar story — it’s still a better option than the SFB if you want something more stable and are willing to compromise a bit on playfulness. The standard ARV 106 is just a bit more playful and a bit less stable than the “Ti” version.

Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20)
Measured Dimensions: 136.4-103.9-126.6 mm (186 cm)
Stated Radius: 18.5 m (186 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 2233 & 2255 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 66 mm / ~4 mm / 44 mm
Measured Length: 184.5 cm
Measured Mount Point: -8.85 cm / 83.4 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186, 191 cm
Core Construction: Poplar/Beech/Balsa + Titanal (2 layers) + Carbon & Fiberglass Laminate

Apart from the Enforcer 104’s twinned tail and the fact that both skis carve very well, the SFB and Enforcer 104 share basically nothing in common. The Enforcer 104 feels way more directional, is way more stable, has a much higher swing weight, and feels much stronger. The SFB is a much better option for freestyle-oriented skiers, while the Enforcer 104 makes more sense for mostly directional skiers who prioritize stability but who want something a bit more playful than most flat-tailed skis.

Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (18/19-19/20)
Measured Dimensions: 135.3-111.3-127.4 mm (186 cm)
Stated Radius: 24 m (186 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 2220 & 2252 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 73 mm / ~4 mm / 54 mm
Measured Length: 184.1 cm
Measured Mount Point: -7.85 cm / 84.2 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 175, 181, 186, 193 cm
Core Construction: Poplar/Ash + Flax Fibers + Fiberglass Laminate

The Prodigy 4.0 feels significantly more damp and stable than the SFB, but that comes at the cost of pop and swing weight. The Prodigy 4.0 also floats a bit better than the SFB, though the difference isn’t huge, and I’d say the SFB feels even looser than the Prodigy 4.0. For carving on groomers, I’d easily take the SFB — the Prodigy 4.0 holds an edge alright, but it doesn’t initiate turns very eagerly and doesn’t produce much energy out of a turn. The Prodigy 4.0 seems like more of a soft-snow-oriented ski, while the SFB is more fun on slushy days and smooth groomers. If you want to easily bend your skis into butters and presses, throw super quick spins and shifties, and don’t need a super stable ski, go with the SFB. If you’re willing to deal with a slightly higher swing weight and a less exciting experience on groomers for a stronger and more stable ski, go with the Prodigy 4.0.

Faction Prodigy 3.0, 183 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 128-103-120 mm
Stated Radius: 22 m
Measured Weight per Ski: 2133 & 2134 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 65 / ~3 mm / 54 mm
Measured Length: 181.2 cm
Measured Mount Point: -8.0 cm / 82.6 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 170, 177, 183, 190 cm
Core Construction: Poplar/Ash + Flax Fibers + Fiberglass Laminate

Basically everything I said about the Prodigy 4.0 applies here, but the Prodigy 3.0 doesn’t float as well as the SFB.

Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm (18/19)
Measured Dimensions: 135.5-105.1-125.0 mm (185 cm)
Stated Radius: 19.5 m (185 cm)
Measured Weight per Ski: 1642 & 1651 g
Measured Tip-to-Tail Profile: 56 / ~3 mm / 2 mm
Measured Length: 182.7 cm
Measured Mount Point: -5.25 cm / 86.1 cm from tail
Available Lengths: 178, 185, 191 cm
Core Construction: Aspen + 12 Channels of HDT + Carbon Fiber Laminate

The SFB and Citadel 106 are similar in that they both feel stupidly light in the air. Other than that, they don’t feel that similar. The Citadel feels notably more stable and stronger at speed, while the SFB is easier to butter, is a much more energetic and engaging carver, floats better, and skis switch way better. If you’re looking for a touring ski or 50/50 ski, the Citadel 106 is a solid option that punches well above its weight when it comes to stability. The SFB could also work as a 50/50 ski, but is a better option for people who want maximum playfulness.

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6 comments on “Deep Dive: Line Sir Francis Bacon”

    • Main reason for that was simply because we hadn’t spent any time on the new QST 106 when I published this Deep Dive. That said, they’re not similar at all in my experience. The SFB is a freestyle ski, the QST 106 is not. You can drive the QST 106 much harder through the shovels, it’s far more stable at speed, and it’s way less playful overall. The SFB is a ski I recommend to people who put playfulness or freestyle performance near the very top of their priority list, while the QST 106 is a super versatile, directional ski that does a lot of things really well, but it’s not great for throwing tricks, butters, skiing switch, etc. If you’re someone who doesn’t spin or ski switch very much and / or who prioritizes stability over playfulness, the QST 106 makes way more sense. The SFB is a great option for people looking to throw tricks and / or who just want an extremely playful ski and who are willing to dial things back when it comes to skiing in rough snow. Hope that helps!

  1. Super curious about the SFB vs the Atomic BC 100s. I am looking to grab a lighter more playful ski to compliment the Mantra M5 and Mindbender 108s which I have. Resort Only.

    • Good question, but those skis feel totally different in my opinion. The BC 100 feels much stiffer and more directional than the new SFB. The BC 100 is notably more stable at speed and can be driven much harder through the shovels, while the SFB is way easier to bend, so much looser / surfier, and less stable. So I think if you want a lighter, more playful ski in your quiver that you can still ski with a forward stance, the BC 100 makes sense. If you want something totally different, extremely playful, and you don’t care much about stability for this ski, then I’d go with the SFB.

    • Is there anything like the SFB but 90-100 underfoot and with metal? In other words a little crisper on very firm conditions and damp but also loose/playful. Or would those changes kill the bacon?

      I’d call it A Bacon for East Coaters/Europeans

      • Unfortunately, I can’t think of a ski that matches that criteria, though I wish it existed! I’d say the Dynastar Menace 98 kind of, sort of sounds like what you’re looking for (though it doesn’t have metal), but I’ve never used anything in that width that comes remotely close to the overall playfulness of the SFB while also being notably more stable. The Menace 98 is much, much more stable, holds an edge much better, is much more damp, while still retaining some playfulness. It’s nowhere near as soft, surfy, and light as the SFB, but the Menace 98 is one of my favorite playful, yet still pretty stable skis in that width.

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