Line Skis Influence (2014)
The Influence is a beast. It fearlessly eats up fall line, doesn’t have a top end, and is a surprisingly fun carver. “A three-dimensional ski,” said one tester, “with a nice blend of power and finesse.” It’s definitely better suited for more-aggressive skiers, but if that’s your style, the Influence will hit plenty of sweet spots. We’re guessing we’ll see this ski—especially in the scary-powerful 192-centimeter length—on the feet of ripping skiers across the West.
Line narrows its big-mountain powder ski collection to just one model for 2013-14. The Influence 105 is discontinued, leaving only the fatter Influence 115. It's a powerful, metal-reinforced construction built for high-speed charging on steep, powder lines. Aggressive rocker tip and tail gives it deep-snow flotation, but camber underfoot gives it a measure of hardpack performance. The sidecut is decidedly directional - conventionally waisted, with plenty of taper (the tail is 14 mm narrower than the tip). The tip is tapered for maneuverability in deep snow, but compared to the looser, surfier skis in Line's new Sick Day collection, it will have a more powerful, locked-in performance with more active edge. A stiffer tail gives it even more directional power than the Pollard-designed Opus and Bacon. Capwall construction combines light forgiving cap construction on top, resting on low sidewalls over the edges for solidity and grip. The Influence is metal-reinforced, but Line's Metal Matrix laminates aren't full sheets; rather, they're shaped to provide reinforcement only where most needed, in order to offer just enough of the dampness that metal provides for high speeds without adding too much weight.
|Lengths||179, 186, 192|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.60 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.65 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.50 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.18 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||2.96 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||3.45 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.18 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||3.19 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.33 / 5|