There was so much hype around Line’s Mr. Pollard’s Opus ski this past fall. For Eric Pollard to claim that this iteration of his pro model ski is his masterpiece — a ski design that took over 10 years to complete — well, that was saying a lot. Although I’d never skied a pair of Line Skis before, I had to have a pair.
Pollard’s got an artistic, snowboarder-style approach to skiing. He tricks off of everything. He skis switch all over the mountain. Sometimes he skis with no poles. It’s a different way of skiing — a lot different than the way I ski, which I suppose is a bit more traditional. I like to ski fast and make big turns everywhere. I’m not a jib kid, more a backcountry skier. I like to ski powder. I’m 31 years old and don’t even consider hitting rails. I throw like one 360 a year in the spring. But this ski appealed to me for its potential powder performance.
At 144-118-141, I thought that was a pretty sick shape for a ski. Also, the amount of rocker — the fact that he had mellowed the rocker out and made the ski stiffer than his last pro models, that also had me thinking, “hell yeah I wanna try those.”
So I did. I got the 185s and mounted a pair of Marker Dukes on them. I figured I’d ski Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on them and possibly tour on them once in a while. My ski tech suggested I center mount them, so I did. I never ended up touring on them. I didn’t even buy skins for them. In hindsight, I probably should have mounted them with a resort binding.
In perfect powder, they ski awesome. On a perfectly groomed slope, they ski awesome. But when it comes to chunder, moguls and death cookies, they get bounced around. I suppose that’s because they are designed to be playful — they’re flex-y, like a lot of Line skis. This allows you to trick easier. The way the rocker is, as soon as you put these on your feet, you want to butter off roll-overs and wind lips. You want to start skiing like Eric Pollard.
Center mounting skis seems to be all the rage. It helps if you have a symmetrical ski and like to spin. Looking at my quiver of five 185 cm skis, all my bindings are mounted at all different places. There’s a sweet spot for all the different skis and it’s hard to tell where you should mount your boards sometimes. Seven centimeters back from center is traditional. Dead center is new school. I suggest splitting the difference. Like they say: take everything in moderation.
These skis are something new and different. If you get a pair, understand that this is a ski designed by Pollard for Pollard to ski the way he wants to ski. This goes for a lot of pro skis these days. No longer are pro models just another ski with a cool top sheet (and these ones have a really cool top sheet and bottom). Skis are being made to fit the specifications of the skiers who ride them, which is cool. Pay attention to the way the pros ride and make sure you want their ski. This ski may not be my opus, but it’s certainly Pollard’s.
The link below takes you to the 2012-13 model. To my knowledge, nothing has changed other than the graphics. For 2012-13, Line is offering the Opus a 192 length.