Length Tested: 182cm
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 142-115-139, 18m TR
Camber: Tip & Tail w/camber
Binding: Head RFD14 (Railflex)
Mount point: Suggested
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Sugar Bowl
Number of Runs: 2.5 days
Snow Conditions: Lots of powder
Demo or Own: Own
Height/Weight: 6’5” and 185 lbs
Ski Days/Season: 15 or so
Years Skiing: 30
Current Quiver: Sultan 85 (178cm), Line Prophet 115 (186cm), Line SFB (182cm)
Home Area: Sugar Bowl
Preferred Terrain: groomers, off-piste, trees
I’m not an experienced reviewer and haven’t tried a lot of skis, but this ski doesn’t get much attention on this forum, so I thought I’d throw it out there. Firstly, it was my first >100mm ski, so I don’t have a lot to compare it to other than the P115.
The 2011 SFB has some moderate early rise in both the tip and tail and is fairly soft compared to my other skis. They also have early taper to reduce hookiness. They are designed as a freestyle ski, but I doubt they will ever be ridden backwards on purpose by me or my friends. I got them mainly to loan to friends on powder days (thus, the Railflex bindings) and to ski in untracked or colder/lighter Tahoe powder days.
I’m a level-7 skier, but the SFBs could probably be handled easily by lower level skiers as well. They are incredibly forgiving, allowing a lot of fore-aft balance mistakes as well as tolerance for sudden terrain changes. I was amazed at how many times I should have gone “over the handlebars” but didn’t due to these skis. They are really nimble, allowing me to go through tight trees with confidence (tight by Tahoe standards).
When the snow got chopped up they still performed well when the snow was of the lighter variety. However, I was on them once in a heavier snow day and really started getting beat up by late morning. The SFBs are not crudbusters. I switched out to the P115s for the afternoon and was really glad I had them, because I could not have lasted all day on the SFBs with the heavier, tracked snow.
The SFBs are definitely way more forgiving that the P115s and have a huge sweet spot. I was a little concerned on my first few runs with the P115 that maybe they were a bit much for my skiing ability, but I started being more comfortable on them after focusing on staying more forward. However, the SFBs felt immediately comfortable and easy to ski.
Conclusion: Great powder skis (even for non-freestylers) for light snow, untracked powder and for someone wanting very forgiving skis and not wanting to bomb crud fields at high speeds.
Pros: Forgiving, nimble, fun.
Cons: Not good in heavy crud.