2023 Line Blade Optic 114 Review
This ski offers an impressive balance between flotation and power
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.49
- Rank: #5
- Flotation: 8.13
- Playfulness: 7.13
- Responsiveness: 7.25
- Quickness: 7
- Crud Performance: 7.38
- Stability at Speed: 8
- Forgiveness: 6.38
- Versatility: 7.38
- Price: $950
- Lengths: 178, 186, 192
- Dimensions: 139-114-132
- Radius: 24.0 (186cm)
- Level: Advanced, Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Stability at Speed (#4), Flotation (#6)
- Cons: Forgiveness (#14), Quickness (#9)
One of the widest offerings in this year’s powder skis, the Blade Optic 114 brings a fun factor that other skis of similar constructions lack. This powder ski will charge down whatever you throw at it but has big heart eyes for the fall line.
Tester Avery Pesce, GM of Boston Ski and Tennis, said she was surprised at how well it blasted through the bumps with zero deflection. “The Blade Optic tracked incredibly well and maneuvered beautifully,” she said, adding that while it was energetic and reliable through variable conditions, she felt the swing weight was a bit too heavy. She recommends it to advanced skiers looking for an all-around good resort powder ski that will do what you ask (especially if you know how to ask).
Ideally, you’re taking this ski out for high-velocity laps on big terrain, said tester Brady Newton, a former World Cup ski racer based in Utah. “It’s easy to throw sideways (when you want to add some style to your skiing or dump speed), yet step on the gas when it opens up,” he said. “Line is stepping up the game with this ski that seeks out a more directional and aggressive audience.”
That goes for skiers navigating heavy PNW powder to New England hardos who prefer to ski the sidecountry but often get forced onto groomers. According to the score cards, the Blade Optic 114 is one of the most versatile skis in the powder ski lineup.
“I was amazed how well it got me down some terrible conditions; reliable and quiet,” said nomadic gear guru Scott Yorko. “So if you want a ski for deep days but aren’t planning for a huge quiver, this is it. It’s perfectly ‘middle of the road’ in the best way. Especially if you ski somewhere where the deep, fresh snow will get warm and chewed up later in the day.”
For others, that meant this ski had a hard time standing out from the pack—it did everything well, but no one thing great (other than float, or it wouldn’t cut the mustard for this category).
“This is a capable powder weapon that is solid… and for me, it doesn’t get any better than solid,” said Rubie. “For how heavy and burly it feels, it’s quite playful and has a lot of energy. That metal beefs things up, but it skis true to length and is maneuverable.” The Blade Optic 114 is a hard-charging, do-it-all fatty for skiers who want to send. You’ve just got to lick the stamp.