Who’s It For?
Luke: It’s hard to really narrow down the ideal audience for the Blade Optic 104 since it blends traits from so many different categories of skis.
First, it could be a great choice for directional skiers who prioritize good suspension on rough snow, but who also want something that’s very maneuverable and forgiving.
Second, it could work really well for more freestyle-oriented skiers who find most all-mountain freestyle skis too twitchy, harsh, and/or unstable when skiing fast in rough snow.
Third, it could work for beginner or intermediate skiers who are looking for a ski that they can grow with, no matter if they’re working on their carving, off-piste skiing, or freestyle skills.
I would not recommend the Blade Optic 104 to aggressive directional skiers who want a really stable, supportive ski that they can drive hard through any sort of crud or chop, nor those who want an ultra-quick ski with a very low swing weight. But outside of those groups, there are reasons to consider the Blade Optic 104. And given its versatility across most conditions, it’d make a strong case for a 1-ski quiver in areas that rarely see super hard ice or super deep pow days (it’s one of the top contenders for my personal 1-ski quiver pick next year…).
Kara: Yes to all that Luke said. For someone looking to improve their skiing in more challenging off-piste terrain, the Blade Optic 104 is a good option since it doesn’t require a ton of input to get a quick response, but is more damp and stable than lighter alternatives. It can also serve as a reliable, stable ski for an experienced skier who just wants something more playful. As far as its versatility, the Blade Optic 104 is a viable choice for a 1-ski quiver, and I have a feeling that you could see that not only from Luke, but also myself in next years’ selections.
The Line Blade Optic 104 blurs the lines between freestyle, directional freeride, and all-mountain skis. It’s a ski that offers a very nice, smooth ride on harsh snow, yet it’s also easy to slip and slide around tight terrain and isn’t super quick to punish mistakes. It also caters well to a more playful, balanced skiing style, yet directional skiers who prefer a softer ski (but still with good suspension) could also really like it. So while it’s tough to pin down who exactly should be putting it at the top of their list, it’s easy to say that there are a whole bunch of people that could enjoy it.
Deep Dive Comparisons
Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Blade Optic 104 to see how it compares to the Line Blade Optic 96, Line Blade Optic 114, Line Sick Day 104, Line Sir Francis Bacon, J Skis Hotshot, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, Salomon QST 106, Wagner Summit 107, K2 Mindbender 108Ti, Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, DPS Koala 103, Dynastar M-Free 108, Blizzard Rustler 10, Sego Big Horn 106, Moment Deathwish 104, Black Crows Atris, Volkl Katana 108, Moment Commander 108, Blizzard Cochise 106, 4FRNT MSP 107, & Fischer Ranger 102 FR.