2017-2018 J Skis – The Metal

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the J Skis the Metal for Blister Gear Review
J Skis Metal

2017-2018 J Skis – The Metal, 186 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 173, 180, 186

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183.3 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 135-106-124

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136-105-124.5 mm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2341 & 2318 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 17 meters (in a 180 cm length)

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 62 mm / 49 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2-3 mm

Recommended Line: 6 cm behind “ski center”; ~85.7 from tail

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Hawx Ultra 130 & Fischer RC4 130 / Marker Jester

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 7

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 Metal, which was not changed for 17/18, except for the graphics.]

Intro

We posted a Flash Review of The Metal a few weeks ago (if you’d like to get access to our our initial takes / Flash Reviews on skis, sign up for the Blister Membership), and we talked about The Metal more recently in our Blister’s Best Bets series. We’ll also be posting our Deep Dive comparisons in a bit, but if you can’t wait, then see the Comments section of our Flash Review on The Metal — those comments are getting pretty Deep Dive-y already…

Anyway, we’ve spilled a lot of the proverbial ink already about this ski, so I’m going to consolidate and expand a number of those thoughts here…

Jason Levinthal describes The Metal like this:

“The Metal has all of the high performance, powerful benefits you’d expect from a ski with Titanal metal in it, yet without the extra weight. The secret is in the way we’ve optimized the metal laminate’s geometry & location to add power only where you need it, and reduce weight where you don’t. The result is exponential power & stability with a shockingly nimble, lively & fun feel. You’ve got a ridiculously fun cliff stomping, crud crushing, pow surfing ski that will also have you smiling ear to ear on groomer days laying down high-speed hip dragging carves like you just won a gold medal in Olympic GS.”

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the J Skis Metal for Blister Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the J Skis Metal, Taos, NM.

We’ll get into some of these claims in a minute, but let’s first back up to our article, “Ski Recommendations: Blister’s Best Bets,” where The Metal made the list. What might be particularly surprising to some is that The Metal won the award in the ~108 mm width range in our “Versatile and Easy” category.

Point is:

(1) The Metal is a really good, fun ski.

(2) It is not some damp beast of a charger. Those who assumed that J Lev had re-created the old Line Mothership are mistaken—those two skis have basically nothing in common.

It’s not an exact analogy, but The Metal reminds me of a wider Nordica Enforcer. Just as the Enforcer isn’t some super stiff, demanding charger, neither is The Metal. I think both the Enforcer and The Metal are quite easy to ski — if you love, for example, the 185 cm Blizzard Cochise and you wouldn’t want less ski than the Cochise, then The Metal is not for you.

But if you want a 106mm-underfoot ski that is very intuitive, has a big sweet spot, good edgehold (on relatively soft snow, at least) carves cleanly, and is easy to bend, then you should take a look.

And so let me repeat: you should definitely not think of The Metal as some very damp charger that will kick your ass. That just isn’t the case at all. (Again, I would say the same thing about the Nordica Enforcer 100.)

Flex Pattern & Shape

I’d describe the flex pattern like this:

Tail (the very end of the ski): 5

Behind the Heel Piece: 6

Underfoot: 7

Tips: 6-7

Yep, this is a pretty consistent flex pattern that doesn’t dramatically ramp up or ramp down anywhere. It’s easy to hand flex, and it’s easy to bend the ski on snow. The Metal has a surprisingly deep tip rocker line (well again, surprising only if and when you’re still expecting this ski to be a stiff, directional charger), but not an inordinate amount of tip splay.

The tail rocker line is more conservative, as is the amount of tail splay. And perhaps the most surprising thing is that the tails are actually fairly heavily tapered—I’m not usually a big fan of tapered tails, but I can honestly say that in most conditions, I never felt like the tail taper led to a lack of support. Mostly, the tails of this ski are just easy to release and smear when you want to. (More on those tails in a minute.)

I noted in my Flash Review of The Metal that my first days out on it, I was a little under the weather, feeling a bit lower energy than normal. And The Metal felt kind of perfect. I often tend to like skis that have a big top end but require a good amount of input. But on those first days, I just kept saying how easy The Metal is to ski, yet I was never complaining about a big lack of stability. In fact at the end of one day when we were absolutely racing to get one more lap on chair 2 at Taos, there I was ripping down Reforma probably as hard and as fast as I have all season. But that was when conditions were relatively soft and forgiving at Taos, which has become less and less of the case over the past several weeks….

Groomers

On soft, edge-able groomers, The Metal is very fun to carve: it’s easy to bend, tracks well, works well at slower speeds (if you’re running fairly bases flat and just noodling around back to the lift), but it’s also happy to perform high-speed, high-angle arcs.

On firm, icy, groomers, The Metal’s edgehold definitely suffers—primarily, I think, due to the ski’s tail taper. Still, the ski does remain predictable on ice—I just found the tails wanting to wash out when I was still really tipping the ski over.

Soft Moguls & Firm, Gnarly Moguls

The Metal performs remarkably well in both, actually. On big, steeper bumps off of Kachina Peak, The Metal offered a very nice combination of maneuverability and stability for a ski this wide. Are there quicker skis out there? Yes. (And most of them are less stable.) Are there more stable skis out there? Yes. (And most of them are more demanding / less forgiving.)

Powder

Some ~105mm-oriented skis are more soft-snow-oriented, some are more firm-snow-oriented. I’d say The Metal leans a bit left of center, toward the soft-snow side of things. Long and short, I would happily ski The Metal in 12″ of snow, and there are few skis of its width that I think would be head-and-shoulders better when things get really deep.

Firm Crud, Soft Chop

Again, The Metal performed well here. It does not have the stability of stiffer skis with a more traditional mount point, but I will wager that a whole lot of skiers will really like the blend it offers. I didn’t ski a ton of very deep chop (think Alta a day after a storm), and I can’t say that I expect The Metal to excel in really deep chop. (Few skis do, and the ones that do are often much more demanding than The Metal.)

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the J Skis Metal for Blister Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the J Skis Metal, Taos, NM.

In the Air / Landings

Again, as someone who often likes stiffer, pretty directional skis, The Metal has been a ton of fun. The ski provides far more pop than more damp and more directional chargers (skis that have mount points back around -9 to -13 cm behind true center, as opposed to The Metal’s -6 cm), so takeoffs felt very good (vs those other skis), and the tails felt supportive on landings. Just nice, and I found myself still skiing in my normal way (fairly fast, pushing fairly hard), while definitely playing more around the mountain. Hell, I even took The Metal into the park one day just to go screw around—which is something I never do, and certainly not on the directional chargers I tend to like.

And then after those park laps, we went back to skiing steep mini-spines in Taos’s West Basin.

Fun. Versatile.

A Note re: Weight

Levinthal makes the claim that The Metal is powerful, but doesn’t have all of the “extra weight” of skis built with titanal. But The Metal isn’t, actually, a light ski—weighing in at more than 2300 grams per ski. But it definitely does not ski heavy. This ski is the opposite of cumbersome. It’s swing weight is relatively low, and certainly low compared to other skis at roughly this size and weight. In short, it feels like a very effective use of weight: you’re getting better stability than you would if you took the same ski and made it ~300 grams lighter, and yet in the air, this doesn’t feel like a 2300+ gram ski.

Who’s It For?

The 186 cm Metal does not feel like a big ski, it just feels like a nice ski. So I don’t think that bigger guys (~190 lbs and up?) who really like to drive stiff, damp skis are going to love it.

For lots and lots of other skiers, however, it’s unclear to me what they wouldn’t like about The Metal as an all-mountain ski, unless they are looking for outstanding performance on ice.

If this ‘Who’s It For?’ sounds more broad than usual, that’s because I think the answer is quite broad. The answer is, “Lots of skiers.”

Bottom Line

Jason Levinthal has certainly built a fun all-arounder, which really ought to come as no surprise—even if the name of this ski may have thrown a few of us off initially.

But if you want a 106mm-underfoot ski that is very intuitive, has a big sweet spot, good edgehold (on relatively soft snow, at least) carves cleanly, is easy to bend, and is fun in the air, then you should take a look.

Blister Deep Dive – The Metal

To see how The Metal stacks up against the new Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Line Supernatural 108, Blizzard Cochise, Moment Belafonte, Head Monster 108, etc., become a Blister member or subscribe to the Blister Deep Dive.

NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS

41 thoughts on “2017-2018 J Skis – The Metal”

  1. Well this complicates everything! I was getting ready to buy the Enforcer 100 (or possibly the NRGy 100) as the wider half of a 2 ski quiver. Now I have to consider the Metal. I’m 5’11” 160 lbs, solid intermediate. This would be my pow day/tree day ski, but no parks or switch or big air (I’m in my mid 30s). My goal is to go fast forward in all conditions. In Tahoe it tends to warm up above freezing most days and powder doesn’t stay light for long, so my tree ski has to be maneuverable even in the heavier stuff. It should also work reasonably well on the bottom half going back to the lift. The day I demoed the NRGy 100 they felt amazing, but it was also a rare cold 6″ pow day, so my impression may have been more the conditions than the ski. I tried the Enforcer on a day when everything had frozen and crusted up, and they felt like a good ski, but the comparison probably isn’t fair in those conditions. I found the Soul 7s to be ponderously wide in shallower snow, and the Pinnacle 95 fun and easy but flimsy. Bonafides were fast and confident in the crud but a bit too much work in shorter turns.

    Does the Metal sound like the prescription or should I keep my sights on the Enforcer? I’m looking forward to the deep dive. The narrower half of the quiver will be something like a Fischer 86 Ti, Kendo, or maybe the Enforcer 93.

    • Hi, Daniel – a few thoughts, in no particular order:

      (1) Not knowing the lengths of all (or some of these skis) you were on makes this a little complicated, but I’ll make some assumptions re: length…

      (2) If you found the Soul 7 to be “ponderously *wide* in shallower snow” – I can’t honestly see any reason why you *wouldn’t* have a similar experience with The Metal — the Soul 7 is ~300 grams lighter per ski than The Metal? The Metal is basically a more stable Soul 7. (And because *I personally* like that added stability, I’d be tempted to call it a “better” Soul 7, but that’s just me.) So The Metal will definitely be better / more stable in firm conditions than the Soul 7 … but The Metal isn’t going to be / feel any narrower, if that’s really the issue. But then again, if this is the 2nd ski in your quiver … do you really care about its width in shallower snow? (That’s a real question, not a rhetorical one.)

      (3) The more you DO care about that last question … the more I think the Enforcer makes sense. You already know you like it in firm conditions, and while it will not provide as much float as The Metal … you’ll have to decide whether you’re okay with that, or whether your first priority is performance in deeper snow, and you can live with a ski that might feel wider than you’d like when things firm up? The other relevant factor is that I think The Metal will feel a bit looser / easier to pivot in deeper snow and tighter trees than the Enforcer. And I’m guessing that might be something you might appreciate in your 2nd ski / deeper snow ski.

      (4) If you found the Bonafide to be too much work (not sure what length you skied), I worry a little that you might think the same about a comparably-sized Enforcer 93, but I can’t say for sure.

      Food for thought, hope that helps a little.

  2. Shameless plug… Bought the last pair of 186’s available this year. J Lev said no changes or price drop next year. Anyways, review is pretty accurate, but didn’t do enough differently than the rest of my skis. If anyone is looking for some, check a certain online auction site!

  3. I just demo’d the Enforcer 100’s in 185 size at Big Sky last week. I have skiied Line Prophet 100’s, Salomon Rocker2 108’s, Line Sick Day 110’s, and Blizzard Cochise’s in the last couple years. I am 6’0″ and 185lb. Advanced skier, not expert.

    It was a great day for varied conditions. 6in of snow the day before, 15-18 degrees overnight, and 45 degrees in the afternoon. I skiied it on groomers, frozen crud and chop in the morning, steep semi-frozen one day old powder and chop side-country, tree runs that went from frozen to slushy with a 20min sweet spot in between, and then slushy crud, chop, and groomers in the afternoon. I was particularly taken with its blend of stability and maneuverability, what a great ski!

    With that said, I wanted it to be just a little bit bigger. I wanted more float on deeper soft stuff and soft crud. It sounds like the metal is what I am looking for, but I would love a few more detailed comments regarding the differences between the two.

    I live in the midwest, and I usually go on 2 ski trips per year. Alta/Snowbird and Big Sky are my mainstays. Side country and easy back country runs are my favorites, but since I do not live in a ski town I can’t skip work when I see a powder day coming. Since I travel to ski, I want a one ski quiver. I need something that is also fun in the trees, reasonably stable on chop+crud, and can ski at least OK on groomers when I am with my wife and kids.

    I noticed that the enforcer 100 comes in a 193 size. I usually like longer skis, I demo’d 185’s because that was the biggest ski they had available. I see that the metal only comes in a 186cm. I also noticed that the recommended mount point for enforcers is -8cm and it is -6cm for the metal. I am a directional skier, I am 42 years old, and I don’t huck or jib much. I feel pretty good about buying the metal based on your reference to the enforcer 100. How much does the mount point matter? Should I consider buying the metal and mounting -8 from center, or does that mess with the mojo? I have always mounted my bindings using the recommended mount point.

    • Skued my buddy’s enforcer 100 in 185 back to back with the metals in 186 (which i sold). The metal is better at making longer turns than the enforcer with their similarly smaller radii. The enforcer is a bit more damp and stable, which isn’t a surprise since it has more metal and less rocker and is slightly stiffer at the extremities than the metal. I have plenty of damp and stable skis, but i got almost no pop out of the metal compared to the enforcer, which WAS a surprise. I was hoping this would be a ski that encouraged popping and airing off everything but with a directional and stable feel, so it was a let down in this regard.

      • Lastly, the enforcer 100 and the metal are not vastly different skis, and they definitely occupy similar area in the spectrum of all skis, but the main differences woukd come down to more tip and tail rocker and less metal in the metal, in my honest opinion. They both grip really well for their width if the edges are sharp, they both are quick turners that CAN draw out longer turns, they are both decently stable and damp in variable conditions, but the metal has the edge in float and the enforcer the very slight edge in stability.

        • Hi Kevin (the one who demo’d The Metal back to back w Enforcer).
          If you have a minute, I have a couple things I’d like to chat about regarding the Metal. I’d prefer not to do it in a forum. Please email me at: skitoomuch@gmail.com
          Thanks,
          Andy

          PS: I am a Snowbird local for many years.

    • Oh, and if you are a traditional, not jibby skier, then i highly recommend a mount of -2cm or so. Skied on the line the tails felt too long and would hang up. I could ski my oldschool 187 dynastar xxl’s mounted -2cm with a mile of tip through bumps just fine, but i found myself surprisingly catching from the tail on these much easier skis. Though they did feel great when spinng big 360’s in the park. If you don’t spin or jib, mount back.

  4. Damn, those skis came in too late for me (& were out of stock anyway, so no big disappointment).
    @Jonathan : I actually bought the Line Supernatural 108 based on your raving reviews of that ski, and those skis feel eerily similar. How would you compare those ? Would you say the SN108 is stiffer than those ?

    • Different kevin here. No the Sn108 (which i own) is leagues ahead of the metal in stiffness and stability for directional skiing. The metal is a much easier, shorter turning ski.

      • Phewww, what a relief :) From your comments & other comments that came in (thanks JLev, Jonathan), it seems the Metal is indeed btw the Soul 7 and the Enforcer. Clearly happy that I made my move on the SN108 then !
        I preferred the graphics from the Metal though, but can’t have it all :)

        Thanks !

  5. Yeah this review really makes me question whether to go Supernatural 108 or The Metal… very similar skis though looks like supernatural has less tip splay…

  6. The metal and Supernatural are completely different feeling skis
    Metal = more playful – quicker turns, more fun, nimble and playful
    Supernatural = more powerful – bigger turns, damper, stiffer and powerful

      • I honestly think they’re close enough to equal on ice & crud but the Metal is simply more playful when not in ice and crud but the best to simply read reviews from both products from people that actually own them. Metal reviews at bottom of this page: http://www.jskis.com/ridgeline

        Also I offer a 100% money back guarantee, if you don’t like them after 3 days of skiing them you can simply return them for a full refund so there’s no risk: https://jskis.com/pages/warranty

        • you the man Jason. I’ll be going with the metal. Now to wait for your new design since 186 is out of stock. I’ve actually spoken with you a few times about this ski, and you keep managing to sell me on it :) When i’m living in a better area i’ll pick up a directional charger, but spending only 20 days on the snow each year something a bit easier is going to fit my mood most days. And i can always demo a directional charger if everything is groomed and tracked out and i just want to simply nuke. The reviews from customers certainly seem to say it handles any condition well. Jonathon, also always love your reviews.

        • Hi J, I am choosing between the Masterblaster (rather than the Metal) and Enforcer 100 for my daily driver, I will go bigger for the pow ski. Just wondered how you would compare. I want maneuverability in the trees and good bump performance, more of a finesse skier than a charger, 6′ 170 lb. I like to pop off features and have fun, but I don’t go big. Thanks in advance!!

          • Gregory,
            Thanks for asking. Honestly you’ve described yourself as a Masterblaster customer. The difference is that skiers that want simply a wide race ski that’s kind of 1 dimensional for power and speed only, get the Enforcer. People that want the same precision ability to carve like a race ski but has a much, much, much more lively, fun and playful feel that’s just as fun beyond the groomers should choose the Masterblaster. When the ski is on edge you have 100% of the edge engaged including in the rocker area because the rocker radius matches the sidecut. However when you have them flat underfoot in any pow you can pivot and surf on a dime in tight trees thanks to the rocker and more playfull flex pattern. You can also email with questions to me jason@jskis.com Thanks for considering my skis!

          • Also I have a money back guarantee so if you don’t like after 3 days of skiing you can literally return them for a refund or swap skis.

  7. Hey, I’m lookin for a Utah hard pack day ski and was recommended the metal. I’m 6 foot, 136 lb naked. I currently own some 175cm Fischer Hybrid 8.0’s that are stuck in the camber position and 188cm Rossignol Soul 7’s. I’m a advanced/expert skier and looking to replace my Fischers. I want a ski I can take all over the mountain on a day that doesn’t have enough fresh snow for the soul 7’s. Groomer and jumping performance (cliffs/natural hits/park kickers) are top priority but rough bumpy snow is pretty important as well. Does this ski overlap my soul 7’s to much or would they fit that spot in the quiver well.

    • John,
      I actually do think the Metal is a bit different from your 7’s and obviously much wider than your Fischer. It’s got metal in it but not full width and not at the tips so it’s got light swingweight but much more edge grip and torsional rigidity than the 7’s while still remaining playful and it definitely floats awesome with such a wide rockered tip but the 17m radius sidecut carves like a race ski on firm snow better than any other ski in it’s width which is why it’s won so many awards. It’s really got 2 personalities, rips firm snow like a race ski yet playful and surfy in pow. Hit me up at jason@jskis.com if any other questions. Also I have a money back guarantee so if you don’t like after 3 days of skiing you can literally return them for a refund or swap skis.

  8. Heads up! My name is Jason levinthal and J skis is my ski company, so if you have any questions about this ski or any of my others, please feel free to post a comment and I’ll do my best to get right back to you here. You can also hit me up directly anytime at jason@jskis.com or (802) 585-1098. To check out my other skis and customer reviews go to http://www.Jskis.com. Thanks Blister for another great in depth review!

  9. How would you compare the Wren 108 vs The Metal, Jonathan? You Guys said that the newer W108 is the easiest ski in the directional charger category. I realize the sidecuts of both skis are way different and the mount points as well. Maybe the Kartel 108 would be the better comparison possibly.

  10. Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead but I’m very curious about it. I’m looking for a one ski quiver for the Colorado front range and demoed the 188cm soul7 recently, I liked the maneuverability in the trees and the easy turning but felt like I was overwhelming it trying to carve on the groomers. Sounds like the metal might be ideal. Any thoughts on it compared to the supernatural 100? The liberty origin 106? I’m an advanced skiier 6’3″ tall and 180lbs if that’s important.
    Thanks for all the great reviews you guys do!

    • Frank,
      I am the created the J Metal ski and the Line Supernatural.
      The Metal is much more playful than the Supernatural because of it’s softer flex pattern and dramatically deeper sidecut. The flex is by no means a noodle, it’s more lively and slightly softer so it will conform to terrain much easier and simply feel more nimble. It’s deeper sidecut will enable you to carve like you’re on a carving ski even though it’s 106, it definitely feels narrower yet when you’re in the pow, it floats like a pow ski.

      • I have both the Metal and the SN100. In short, I’m a big fan of the Metal. J’s description is spot on.

        Without question the Metal is the ski I’m going to reach for on almost every day. I loved the SN before I got the Metal. Realize that I’m comparing year-old, out of tune SN to brand new, probably needs a tune now, Metals. The 180 Metal is so much more nimble and pointable than the 172 SN. The Metal dances down the hill with ease and very light of foot. Carves beautifully, floats well, surprisingly good in the bumps, ands goes over just anything you throw at it (while the SN will go through it). Over the past month, they’ve been through microwave size debris fields, rhime ice, rain crust, various hardnesses of cheesecake, styrofoam/cement, chalk, and pow. Through all of this they’ve never let me down. No more worrying about tip dive (especially rear tele tip) versus the SN which required constant attention at best. You can kickback on the Metal or drive it. On the SN, I need to have a bit of energy, speed, vertical to provide power boost; heavier guys may not notice this. On the metal I can turn it while skiing with the kids at low speed. Yet the Metal machs on groomer. Haven’t really hit a speed limit on either. Both are great skis, but I think the SN is now relegated to the hard snow days … at best.

  11. Great review again guys – thanks!

    I ride the old 108mm Line Sir Francis Bacons and love the surfy feel on groomers and off piste. Take them in the park a fair amount too and still love them. Their only real downside is their grip on steep icy pistes and it would be nice to be more grippy in those conditions, but not at the expense of too much surfiness

    How do the j skis metals compare to the old Sir Francis Bacons or even the new ones?

    Thanks!

    Ben

  12. Obviously more grip means less surf and vise versa. The Metal definitely is more grippy than the Bacon but actually has a lot of the Bacon DNA in the sidecut and flex pattern so it feels similar in it’s overall feel yet more grippy like you’re looking for because I added metal for enhanced torsional grip when on edge and slightly longer edge length in the sidecut in contact with the snow when on edge.

    However I also included plenty of rocker tip and tail so it will feel surf plenty in the soft snow, maybe a hair less than Bacon but worth it in the dramatic amount of stability and grip gained. I honestly think you’ll love them! and I have a 100% Money Back Guarantee. Literally after 3 days of skiing if you don’t like any J skis you can return them for a full refund so no risk for you to give them a try. Here’s a link to the Limited Edition graphics available https://jskis.com/collections/metal

    Thanks for considering and feel free to email me directly at info@jskis.com or call or text 802 58 1098 anytime!
    – Jason

  13. In Cy’s 2nd look, he mentioned he would probably mount at 5cm aft of center. Where have others mounted their metals?

    • You’re really giving up a ton of the intended intuitive feel in turn initiation when you mount anywhere other than 6cm back from center as I recommend. We put a ton of engineering backed by on snow testing after to confirm of all other possible locations the suggesting boot center is by far the best in the largest variety of terrain.

  14. If you guys can spare it, I would really appreciate your advice on a potential new pair of ~115mm skis:

    I bought the 186cm Metal for the 17/18 season in Europe (based mostly on what you guys wrote here and some very helpful communication with JLev) and I can confirm they are the most fun skis I’ve ever ridden. Damp when blasting through crud, stiff enough to rail, yet soft enough to float and slash in powder. They are particularly fun when the snow is variable, you can pop off the bumps, blast through them or arc a GS turn over them – variable is now my favourite day on the hill! They’re a relatively heavy ski (by today’s standards), but I found them anything but heavy to ski.

    I keep two skis in the quiver ~105mm for resort days and ~115m for powder and touring. The Metal is now firmly in the 105mm spot, and to be honest it’s so much more fun to ski than the current 115 (an original 185cm Armada JJ with Dukes) they don’t get a look in. I weigh 160lbs (without gear), and am 6ft tall.

    This is a long-winded way of asking what ski you guys would recommend in the ~115mm category, that has a similar ride and feel to the Metal? Something that prioritises the reality of ski conditions in Europe; tracked out quickly and filled in slowly. I’m not worried about the weight (anything would be an improvement on the current JJ/Duke combo), and am considering the S/LAB Shift which will bring the system weight down considerably.

    From reading the reviews it sounds like the 184cm Blister/Bibby/Wildcat should be a strong consideration? Am I on the right track? And if so, is there anything else should I be considering?

    Thanks!

  15. Hi, Scott – I work for J Skis, and if you liked your Metals that much, and are looking to add a ski to your quiver for the deeper days I would be taking a look at new Friend ski! “The Friend” ski has been totally redesigned in collaboration with athletes Sander Hadley and Giray Dadali to be bigger and more badass than before! We’ve given it a completely new shape, widening it under foot by 3mm to a 117mm waist and increasing the tip and tail width by 7mm. It’s new width, in combination with an extra long, gentle rocker makes it effortless to surf, pivot and smear bottomless pow like a pro. The real surprise comes when the pow is gone; it’s new tighter sidecut radius and high energy flex pattern grips it and rips it on firm snow like no other ski in its class.

    • Connor, sorry one quick follow up question on the Friend; 183 vs 189. I assume the 189 gives up some manoeuvrability but is more stable? Is that fair?

  16. Hi Connor, thanks for the info. I’ve had a look at the all new and improved Friend and it does indeed look interesting. I guess the question is how it compares to the other prominent skis in the playful powder category…?

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/deep-dive-comparisons-playful-pow-skis

    By the looks of this article the old friend was more at the playful end, but I’m guessing the new version (looking at the revised rocker profile and increased effective edge) is more akin to the Moment Bibby / Blister, the ON3P Kartel 116, or maybe the Black Crows Anima? If that is the case I think it sounds a lot like what I’m looking for.

    Question is how does the new Friend compare to those skis. Any chance the Blister team will be able to weigh in on this?

    • Scott,

      You hit the nail on the head for sure, it will perform very comparable to the skis that you listed. It will be more playful than the Anima and Bibby, but we wanted to make it a true deep powder/big mountain tool. Our aim with the redesign was to balance out the playfulness that it had in its previous dimensions while bringing more stability and float for taking advantage of those big mountain lines. Furthermore the increased sidecut has tightened the turn radius making it more maneuverable on chopped up and firm snow. The 189cm will definitely offer more stability with some sacrifice on the on the maneuverability side, but the catch free design of the ski gives it a great surfy, hook free feel.

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