Ski: 2019-2020 J Skis Allplay, 184 cm
Available Lengths (cm): 171, 178, 184
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 181.4 cm
Stated Dimensions: 120-98-117
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2002 & 2014 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius (178 cm length): 21 meters
Core Construction: Maple + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Rubber Laminate + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory “Standard” Line: -4 cm from center
My Mount Location: -1 cm from center
Boots / Bindings: Dalbello Il Moro IT / Look Pivot 14
Days Tested: 10
Test Locations: Keystone & Arapahoe Basin, CO
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Allplay, which was not changed for 16/17, 17/18, 18/19, or 19/20, apart from graphics.]
In October 2013, Line Skis founder Jason Leventhal set out on his own and started J Skis. Currently, J Skis offers five unique models: a dedicated park ski (the Whipit); an all-mountain jib ski (the Vacation); a chargier all-mountian ski (the Metal); a dedicated powder ski (the Friend), and the ski I’m reviewing here, the Allplay, which falls somewhere between a dedicated park ski and an all-mountain jib ski.
Hand-flexing the Allplay shows that the ski is somewhat soft in the tips and tails—a bit softer than the Head Caddy, not quite as soft as the Armada Edollo’s soft tips, and not nearly as soft as the Line Blend’s tips and tails.
Underfoot, the flex pattern of the Allplay beefs up a bit to about as stiff as the Edollo is underfoot, but not quite as stiff as the Head Caddy.
Rails / Jibs
Most rockered, mid-fat park skis are going to be pretty damn fun on rails and jibs. Skis in this category should be naturally playful and buttery, and the Allplay fits that profile. It’s a very surfy, fun ski that just begs to ripped through a rail line at high speeds, doing blunt slides and slashes on transitions.
Moreover, the Allplay’s rockered tips and tails make butters quite easy—loading up the tips and tails to bend and pivot the ski into a proper butter requires very little weight or effort. The same is true with nose and tail presses.
The Allplay also features tapered tips and tails, which help keep the swing weight low. A low swing weight makes traditional rail tricks like spinning on and off of rails along with quick switch ups fairly easy for a wider park ski. Generally speaking, the Allplay is a really fun jib ski that, if used exclusively as a jib ski, doesn’t really have any clear shortcomings.
The Allplay isn’t a competition-ready slopestyle ski, but you could have guessed that already—you wouldn’t purchase a 98mm underfoot, rockered ski for that purpose.
Still, I was hoping that the Allplay would be a bit more stable on big jumps than it is. More frequently than I would have liked, I found myself wheelie-ing out of landings when I was even a little bit backseat.
Similarly, sometimes when I’d go a bit too big when landing switch, I’d tend to tip backward and end up sliding down the rest of the landing on my back, in situations where I wouldn’t expect that to happen frequently on many other skis.
The Allplay’s tail is pretty substantially rockered and fairly soft, and when loaded up with weight, provides little to no additional support on marginally sub-par landings. In general, I don’t see the benefits of tail rocker on a jump ski unless (1) You land switch in powder on a regular basis, or (2) You do a metric ton of tail butters every day. One of the reasons I really love the Armada Edollo is that it has substantial tip rocker, which lends it a playful, surfy feel, but also a stiffer, non-rockered tail that provides support when needed—namely in the kinds of situations described above.
In my experience, tip rocker doesn’t diminish a ski’s performance on jumps as much as tail rocker simply because the mechanics of landing switch are very different than of those of landing forward. When landing switch nose-heavy, a fully cambered park ski will allow you to use more of the tips to let the ski recoil and smack the tails down quickly, which generally provides a more stable feel.
Conversely, when riding a ski that has camber through the tail, when you land in the back seat going forward, you’ll want to use every centimeter of that tail to let the ski recoil. Landing switch on a rockered tip isn’t so bad, though, since when landing switch, you can afford to land with a bit more of your weight on your toes and still put all of your weight on the balls of your feet, allowing you to use more of the ski when you land.
So the tip rocker isn’t a dramatic limitation, in my experience. But with too much tail rocker, if you land backseat, the ski tends to just slip right out from underneath you, just because you’re already on your heels, and there isn’t much you can do as far as shifting your weight to prepare for landing.
NEXT: All Mountain Performance, Durability, Etc.