It’s fitting that Line’s new Vision 98 should top our rankings for All-Mountain West Finesse skis, as it’s commitment to skis that are surfy and playful is ironclad. The brand that began to make twin-tip skiboards 25 years ago this season is the only mainstream brand without even a toe-hold in the Technical or Frontside categories. If you’re looking for wide ski that mimics a carving ski’s accuracy, you’re in the wrong room. That said, the Vision 98 can hold its own in firm conditions because its moderately rockered tip and tail blend into the rest of its cambered baseline when it’s flexed, creating a long effective edge. Its flex distribution – geared towards a centered stance – shock dampening and liveliness are dictated by three high tech fibers, aramid, carbon and fiberglass, all working in concert to create an instantly responsive ski. Line calls this amalgam of materials THC™ Construction, a term it shrewdly trademarked. About the only way the brand could have sent a louder signal to its constituents is if it had made the core out of hemp (close: it’s actually Paulownia and maple) and sold each pair with papers and a lighter. By keeping metal out of the Vision 98’s guts, Line is able to make it much lighter than the norm.
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