2018-2019 Line Pescado


Full Disclosure

The Pescado is short (180 cm), light (~1800 grams), and turny (19 meter sidecut radius) and Blister reviewer Brian Lindahl and I both tend to like skis that are long, heavy, and relatively straight. And the Pescado is a pretty weird ski in the first place … so it seemed kind of likely that Brian and I would both simply hate this new ski.

Well, when Brian and I skied the Pescado last spring, we didn’t hate it. In fact, both of us thought the Pescado was a ton of fun. Brian said about the Pescado, “This is a very playful ski, and it’s the shortest turning ski I’ve been on in a while. In soft slush it was pretty well composed, despite feeling like a lighter ski. Lots of pop. I skied it differently than how I normally prefer to ski (like I’m mad at the mountain), but with that switch-up of style, the ski was simply a lot of fun.”

Jonathan’s Quick Answers to “Good Questions #4 – 14”

#4: What skiing style (and stance) feels most natural for the Pescado?

Neutral, but Brian and I both felt like we could get on the shovels of this ski. It was obviously not designed to be some charger, but given its fairly solid flex pattern and mount point of almost -10 cm behind true center, Brian and I both stayed fairly light on our feet, but weren’t afraid of getting on the shovel and skiing pretty hard and fast.

#5: How specialized is this ski?

Far less specialized than one might expect. Brian and I skied the Pescado over the course of a couple of weeks in June at Arapahoe Basin, so the conditions ranged from bottomless slush to a mashup of firm crud to slush moguls. But at no point did either of us feel like we needed to get on something narrower or stiffer to deal with the conditions.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Line Pescado for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Line Pescado, Mt Bachelor, OR.

And I think this answered one of my biggest questions: is the Pescado some weird toy that should only be broken out once or twice a year, and only be purchased by those who already own a quiver of 4-5 skis? Answer: No. If you are intrigued by this ski and like the sound of what it has to offer, you could easily pair it with 1 other ski to handle very firm conditions, then break the Pescado out whenever conditions were soft — not even deep, just soft.

#6-7: What does it feel like on groomers? Do you notice the swallowtail?

Perhaps a lot of credit should go to its traditional mount point, but all in all, the Pescado is a lot of fun on soft, spring groomers. As I noted in the Intro, this ski has a traditional mount point, a lot of camber underfoot, a lot of sidecut, and soft shovels that are easy to bend. And all of those things added up to making this ski — at least in soft snow — feel very carveable and fun; neither Brian nor I felt like the ski’s width or its swallow tail made the ski unpredictable in a carve. Again, fun.

#8: Does the Pescado suck in everything that isn’t deep pow?

Definitely not. Again, it is important to reiterate that we initially were skiing soft snow to deep slush, but we were skiing the Pescado pretty hard and fast, popping off moguls, playing. It handled like a good all-mountain ski, not some super niche ski that required perfect pow conditions in order to not feel terrifying. I can honestly report that Brian and I never experienced a sketchy / scary moment on the ski. We just kept saying to each other how fun and predictable the ski is.

In difficult, deep chop, we did not have high expectations for this ski, and figured that those who prefer more traditional chargers would hate it. This ski is for those who want to play and pop, not those who primarily want to billy goat around down sketchy, steep, technical lines.

But in pockets of deep, soft chop around Mt Bachelor today, the Pescado felt far more composed than I expected it to. No, this isn’t a chop destroyer. But I expected the Pescado to feel far twitchier than it did today.

#9: Exactly how different does the Pescado actually feel from other ~125 mm-wide skis in perfect pow?

I want to think more about this question, because I ultimately think I’ll just have to compare it to other specific ~125mm-wide pow skis. So we’ll save that for the Deep Dive. But a few notes after today’s pow day:

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Line Pescado for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Line Pescado, Mt Bachelor, OR.

(a) I never once experienced tip dive on this relatively short ski. Not once, even in very deep stashes of pow. The Pescado’s big shovels and traditional mount point kept the ski planing well. And presumably, the swallow tail helped the cause here, too, though I can’t say how much or little the swallow tail cut out assisted the ski’s flotation. All I know is that this is the shortest pow ski I’ve ever been on, and I never felt like it lacked flotation.

#10: Is it a good slush / deep-slush ski?

Extremely #@!%-ing good. If we proved anything definitively last June, we proved this.

#11: What happens if you get too backseat?

The interesting thing to say here is that I honestly don’t know, because the tails always felt quite supportive and forgiving. Neither Brian nor I felt like we had to be super careful not to get into the backseat. The ski has a big sweet spot — and that proved again to be true today at Mount Bachelor. There were times when I was definitely riding the tails of the ski when jumping off of blind rollers, and the tails were always supportive. Far more supportive and forgiving than it seems like they should be.

#12: How easy is it to snap / break that tail?

I don’t know, and we didn’t subject the skis to any 15+ foot drops to firm landings. But we certainly jumped off cornices a bunch and over some ever-widening sections of rock and dirt, and the Pescado held up just fine. I mean, I think it would be stupid to assume that a swallow tail will hold up just as well to abuse as a ski with a traditional tail, but neither of us were babying this ski.

#13: What size skier will appreciate a 180 cm ski with minimal taper?

Well, Brian and I both weigh between 170 – 180 lbs., and neither of us were complaining about the short length. Again, I think given the -10 cm mount point, we always felt like we could get on the shovels of this ski, and yet we never felt like we were working with too little tail. So I feel confident in saying that if you don’t tend to ski the mountain as fast as possible, but instead like to make lots of turns and keep a mellower pace, I suspect that skiers in the 200-210 range will still really enjoy this ski. Bigger skiers than that, however, and I’d feel less confident about my speculation here.

Only thing I want to add here after my day at Bachelor: in soft snow, at least, you can skip the part about skiing at a mellower pace. You can ski the Pescado very fast, I only suggest that in chop, you adopt a more neutral, poppy style. Get this ski in there air off moguls. Jump and pop and ski as fast as you want.

#14: What happens if I try to go skin on these?

We didn’t do any touring, but if you really are set on throwing skins on the Pescado, I think you could just shorten your skins and clip the tails to the center of the swallow-tail cutout, and I suspect you’d be just fine.

Tight Trees & Pow

Today at Bachelor, this is where the Pescado really shined. The ski offers a lot of float in a relatively short, lightweight package, and it all added up to a whole lot of fun. And I should also add that the combination makes for a very non-fatiguing ride (for anyone who feels like they tend to get worked over and exhausted in deep snow).

Bottom Line

Both in spring slush and in deep pow, the Pescado has proven to be a remarkably fun ski. It has a big sweet spot, it handles all-mountain duties more predictably than we suspected, and it has proven to be more versatile than we ever imagined. For a place like Bachelor, I’m not sure that I can imagine a more perfect pow ski: it feels light and quick in tight trees; it feels super poppy on all of Bachelor’s side hits and pushed-around piles of snow, and on clean groomers, you can carve this fat fish with a lot of authority.

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20 comments on “2018-2019 Line Pescado”

    • Seriously? They only show him skiing twin tips when he’s actually talking about his other skis. 90% of the skiing he’s on the Pescados.

  1. Sounds like Eric got on a pair of Moment Comi’s, loved them, saw how great they are in powder and crud, and came up with his own spin on them.

  2. Dang, could this be a good “big” ski for a 195 pound guy who worships his 185 Hell & Backs?

    It sure sounds awfully similar. Please build a 190 next year!

    Oh, and killer review, as always!

  3. #13 Always an issue for me.

    I can’t be the only guy in the 230-250# range who wants to have fun skiing, can I? Just because I’m a big dude (for a skier) doesn’t mean I want to charge all the time. Pollard is tiny compared to me. There’s no way in hell his ski — or most skis in this niche — are going to work for me. Which leaves me feeling once again like the fat kid in gym.

    • Just wanted to chime in that I have a friend who’s 300+ and loves the Pescados. If you’re not looking to charge through heavy crud you can still have so much fun it’ll feel unfair to everyone else around you. Few skis actually have as much surface area as these do, and the tips hold up surprisingly well.

      If you’re looking for a ski to ski pow, it’s damn hard to top. They’re insanely quick and very confidence inspiring. If you’re not landing switch or dropping 50 footers, they’re serve you damn well. I’ve never had as much fun in 12-60″ of powder as the Pescados.

  4. Regarding skinning on this ski:
    In the video you see him skinning up and he has indeed clipped the skin to the cutout in the tail, I think of it as a super deep tail notch.

  5. What up boys? Thanks for the review. I’ve always been a Bibby/ Governor/ OG Squad 7 guy but I just ordered a set of Pescados today. I figured a light and maneuverable ski might be a good idea to have in the quiver too. And we’re getting loads of super light snow here, so a surfy ski is going to be fun.
    I have a quick question: I might put a Marker demo binding on it, which is not my style, but I want my wife who is a Fernie pro patroller to take the ski out too. Do you guys at Blister use Marker demos so you can swap skis around? If you think there is too much slop in those then I will just put some Pivots on the ski and keep it to myself!!

  6. Thanks for the review. Just out of curiosity – how do you feel this compares to other Pollard’s skis e.g. the Magnum Opus (which I currently ski)? Also, based on the review it seems like it could be a one ski quiver for all powder skiing (soft conditions, regardless of how deep)? It is certainly quite light ski so with a light binding (e.g. Marker Kingpin) it seems like it could fit everything from lift accessed powder in the Alps to heliskiing in Sweden to day-touring in Norway?

  7. Saw 2 pair of these side by side at Kiroro, Otaru a couple of weeks ago. i thought they were custom from a Japanese ski builder, didn’t realise they were from a mainstream company. They looked beautiful and I wanted a pair. 180 is too small though.

    • I’ve broken three skis on three seperate occasions now. The first time I somehow got a delamination in the tail. The second ski I hit a rock on a take-off on a cliff, which snapped the whole ski under the binding, and the same thing happened with my new pair when I hit a tree-stump in a landing. I love the ski so much, but it’s just to flimsy for me.

  8. Been looking at this, and the new Spur after your early review/brief comparison … I’m 6’2″ 230# though. I love the way this sounds, playful, but can ski fast. I don’t care at all about groomers or heavy chop. Basically, trying to figure out what might behave as this does for you for someone my size/weight.

    I’ve got billygoats for charging heavy/chopped up/inbounds afternoon and day after the storm. Don’t need this to extend even to those days. I was writing these off until I saw the comment above about the 300# skier digging these. Do I go ahead, or will I fold them up/lose the stability?

    • Hi, Jeff — I know Skadi (above) is saying that his 300 lb friend is having a blast on these — and that is awesome.

      But I can’t say that I can confidently recommend these to you at 6’2″, 230 lbs, in part because these are only 180s, but the other big thing is that these are a *really* light construction. You hit anything hard on these, and there could be trouble. And gun to my head, I think I would have to recommend the new Spur over these for you – just a bit more surface area.

      So if you are really really intrigued, you could try them, but I am at least 55 lbs lighter than you … and I just can’t say with confidence that you’ll be just fine on these. I’d think a 187 Praxis Protest or the 189 Spur, or a DPS Lotus 124 or Lotus 138 would be a safer bet. But I could be wrong…. Sorry that I’m terribly unhelpful on this one.

  9. Love these boards, so stoked I took a chance on them. Pretty unique shape in the market, and although way different, to me these fill a similar role to my old 185 JJs – killer float and maneuverability in pow, yet still playful and carve-y on resort groomers, and light enough to pop airs and spin on with confidence. I’m 5’9″, 165ish so 180cm length wasn’t an issue, and don’t miss the twin tip at all on a pow ski. It’s refreshing to ride a traditionally mounted ski again… forgot how fun that shit is!

    It feels more versatile and effortless than a 187 Protest. While those are super legit in fresh snow and bigger terrain, I found them too big, heavy and straight to really shine as a resort powder ski. Nothing against the ski, it’s just the nature of someone my size on a ski that big. But will definitely bust those out for the best of days and and potential cat / heli trips that I can’t afford.

    Cheers to Pollard and Line crew for mixing it up a bit. There’s plenty more design elements to be borrowed from surfboards… hope they make an asymm version next \m/

  10. I’m looking at these I”m 200lbs 6′ I would love to hear some feedback directly from any of the bigger guys trying these skis. As an east coast skier, 180 doesnt bother me, short helps for trees etc, but I do worry about being flimsy. I know they’re going to feel noodly compared to my race skis (I still coach) but that’s what I want them for!

  11. Thanks for this review. I appreciate it was sometime ago but I’m doing some research for my next ski and considering the Pescado/Sakana and DPS Wailer 112 Alchemist. Probably a very broad question, thoughts appreciated. I’m relatively light at 150lbs and 5”8, skiing mostly in Japan so love Pow :)

  12. I’d also like to know how this might ski for somebody in the 5’8″ and 150 lbs range. Does it really ski that much shorter? I’m looking at this and some of the lighter armadas for something playful.

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