Originally Posted by wiscoskier
Re-opening a post from a while back... How would the Line Influence 105 fit in my initial post description?
Going back to your initial post, and the fact that you were leaning toward the Bones, I think that the Inf105 would be a pretty good choice. The Influence doesn't get a lot of love in these parts, but if you like a ski on the more damp side, I think that it is a great choice for what you are asking for (a wider, western ski with hard snow capability that would be usable on occasion in the Midwest). It rides a lot like a Prophet 100, but it is more stable and damp - although wider it is a better hard pack ski than the P100. It isn't a "groomer ski" per se, but it is surprisingly good on the groomers. Really good, in fact. Whether that is from the metal matrix or the sidewall under foot, I don't know - I am not an engineer. I does work and it does have a higher speed limit than the P100s. The Influence also has a more modern feeling ski in 3D conditions with a bit of early rise and slight tail rocker instead of the twin on the P100. I liked it a lot and I think that it would be a great single ski to bring on a trip to CO. As the owner of a P100, I thought that it was a great evolution of that concept - pushing the P100 in a direction that I appreciate, more stable, more damp.
For comparison, I think that it kind of slots in between the Bonafide and the Cochise. It has qualities of both. I also think that length of the ski matters. I am roughly your size and I demo'd it at 179 - which I thought was the right length for what I would use it for (narrow ski of a two ski quiver in the west). For me, the 179 was plenty of ski, nimble but sufficiently stable. At 179, I felt like it was closer in feel and purpose to the Bonafide (180) than the Cochise (185). I didn't ride 186 in the Influence, so I can't compare, but my guess is that sized up, I think that it might be boring and kind of dead (relative to something like a Cochise (185) or a Cham 107 (184)). But at 179, the Influence 105 was better, quicker and more precise on groomers than the Cochise. Overall, I absolutely loved the Cochise (185) lots, and I agree with the consensus that you can "rail it" on groomers as long as it isn't too slick (as Castle Dave says above, "roll it over and rip"). But the Cochise needs room to run to really shine on the groomers - it doesn't go edge to edge with tons of quickness and energy - and it you may run out of room (or get your pass pulled) if you try to really lay it down and open it up in Wisco. Relative to the Cochise, at 179 the influence 105 felt much narrower than a delta of just 3mm under foot. It also had way more "pop" than the Cochise - but don't get me wrong, the Influence 105 is far from the most energetic and lively ski on the wall.
At your size, stated ability level and intended purpose (take out west, use a bit in softer conditions in the Midwest), I think that 179 is the right length. 186 might be too much ski for that scenario. 179 would give you plenty of float on your trip to Aspen (especially relative to your Sultans) and if you were looking for a dedicated western powder ski, I'd look elsewhere - the new Inf115 or something soft like the S7 would be a better call for that.
I really liked the Influence 105 and would happily own a pair as my daily driver in the PNW. Dawgcatching has a review of it somewhere on epic that I think sums it up. The Influence 105 is extremely well rounded. A jack of all trades, but maybe not as exciting as some of the other skis in the category in any particular dimension. But it is a really good ski for a skier who likes that feel. And it capably covers a broad range of use, which is what a ski in this class should do.
Given that it hasn't been loved like some others, and that it is in year 2 of production unchanged, the Influence 105 might be a strong candidate for a late spring closeout score.