Ski: 2016-2017 Line Supernatural 100, 186cm
Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186 cm
Actual Tip-To-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.6cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 132-100-121
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 131-99-120
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2199 & 2189 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius: 23 meters
Core Construction: Maple/Aspen + Titanal + Fiberglass Laminate
Tip & Tail Splay: 56 / 20 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3-4 mm
Mount Location: Factory Recommended Line (about -9.92cm from center; 82.23cm from tail)
Boots / Bindings: Fischer Ranger Pro 13 / Marker Jester (DIN 9)
Test Locations: Telluride, CO
Days Skied: 4
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 14/15 Supernatural 100, which was not changed for 15/16 or 16/17, except for the graphics.]
In the class of directional chargers, we are big fans of the Line Supernatural 108. It’s a freeride ski that provides enough stability to let me ski about as hard and as fast as I want to around the mountain (thanks to a pretty stout flex and fairly heavy weight, for its size/width), but it has a playful side that rewards a quick, snappy, dynamic skiing style, too.
And as a narrower version of the 108, naturally I’ve been curious to see how the Supernatural 100 handles as an all-mountain ski.
While the Supernatural 108 is quicker and more manageable than other directional, all-mountain chargers like the Moment Belafonte, Blizzard Cochise, and certainly the Armada Invictus (the most demanding ski of the four), it’s still a fairly wide, stout ski—the 108 isn’t a walk in the park in moguls and bumps, for example—so I was especially curious to see if the narrower Supernatural 100 would provide a similar blend of high-speed stability and playfulness, but be more geared to bump and tree skiing with its narrower width.
Brett Carroll wrote an excellent review of the Supernatural 100, and you should check it out. Throughout his review, Brett compares the Supernatural 100 to the old Line Influence 105, and he found the Influence 105 to be a stiffer, more demanding ski than the Supernatural 100.
So in the interest of further orienting the Supernatural 100 among other, more directional all-mountain skis, I’ll be comparing it to the most similar ski I’ve been on lately, the Liberty Helix. On the whole, despite being 105mm underfoot, I’ve found that in many respects the Helix is an easier ski to ski than the Supernatural 100.
Brett’s review describes the Supernatural 100’s performance on groomers well.
Like the wider Supernatural 108, the 100 provides solid edge hold. I’d say the ski feels about as locked in on groomers as you could expect from a ski with a little tip rocker and a touch of tail rocker (definitely more so than more heavily rockered, freestyle-oriented skis like the 104mm-wide Blizzard Peacemaker and the 100mm Moment PB&J).
My experience with the Supernatural 100 is similar to Brett’s in that, while he found the Influence 105 (which has no tail rocker) to be a little more planted on firm groomers than the Supernatural 100, I’ve found the Liberty Helix to provide slightly better edge hold; the Helix, like the Influence 105, has a non-rockerd tail. On soft groomers, both the 100 and Helix hold an edge well, but the Helix’s is stronger, and I’m able to lean the ski over a bit farther (really far) into high-angle carves at speed.
Brett noted that, “the Supernatural 100 is better able to carve a wider variety of turn shapes” than the Influence 105, mainly because the “the 100’s slightly softer flex [compared to the 105] made it easier to bend through the belly of shorter slalom turns.” In other words, it seems he found it easier to make shorter, slower turns on the Supernatural 100.
While the Supernatural 100 has a slightly softer flex than the Influence 105, it’s still a pretty stiff ski. The Helix is noticeably softer than the 100 at all points, with an even “medium” flex from tip to tail, and it feels noticeably lighter than the Supernatural 100 on snow (it’s almost 200 grams per ski lighter on the scale).
All in all, I haven’t found that it’s any easier to break the tail of the Supernatural 100 free while scrubbing out a shorter, slower turn, than the Helix’s, even though the Helix is 5mm wider underfoot, and it’s tail isn’t rockered. In fact, I’d say the Helix is a little easier to ski at slow speeds in general; short swing turns take less effort to engage, and it takes less umph to swing the ski back and forth. The Helix’s lighter weight certainly plays a part here, but it might also have to do with the fact that its “standard” factory mount point is 2.9cm closer to center than the Supernatural 100’s, which is 9.92cm behind center.
Given what I’ve just said, it’s been interesting to compare the Supernatural 100 and the Helix’s high-speed performance on smooth and roughed-up groomers. In terms of their dampness / stability, I think they’re quite comparable. And interestingly, even though the Helix is said to have a slightly longer sidecut radius (25.5m vs 23 on the Supernatural 100), it feels a little more lively and energetic when carving at moderate and high speeds; the Helix is more easily flexed and bent through turns than the Supernatural 100, and has a little more energy to it.
To be clear, neither ski is super quick, very snappy, or really playful (a ski with a sub-20 meter sidecut radius will definitely be more reactive and lively than the Helix) but of the two, I find that the Helix is the more entertaining ski on groomers.
It’s worth noting that I only weigh 160 lbs (perhaps a little less at the moment) so an aggressive skier who weighs, say, 180 lbs or more might find the Supernatural 100 more easily flexed and more energetic than I do on groomers, and that same skier might not think the Helix is as stable at speed on particularly roughed-up groomers, though I doubt they’d find it a chattery mess.
I agree with Brett that the Supernatural 100 has a relatively quick, poppy feel in moguls when skied with an athletic, precise style. In this respect the Supernatural 100 is definitely easier and more manageable in moguls than the Supernatural 108; if I were looking at both skis as one-ski quivers, and I was planning to ski bumps often, especially in very firm conditions, I’d definitely prefer to be on the Supernatural 100. (As I’ll talk about below, the Supernatural 108 definitely has a better top end than the Supernatural 100 in variable snow and soft chop, though.)
However, the Liberty Helix is again a little quicker and more nimble than the Supernatural 100 in moguls. The Supernatural 100 can be worked through some tight bump lines, for sure, but skiing those tight lines quickly and cleanly (keeping speed in check / not botching turns) is easier on the Helix, as it takes less energy and effort.
To be clear, compared to the 186cm Supernatural 100, there are more sluggish skis out there of a similar waist width (like the 184cm Volkl Mantra), but I find the wider yet lighter Helix is generally quicker and has a less weighty feel underfoot.