2022-2023 Line Blade Optic 96

Who’s It For?

Dylan: Like the rest of the Blade Optic line, the Blade Optic 96 blends traits from several categories of skis, and it could work well for a lot of different skiers out there. Skiers who feel stuck between more playful, agile, forgiving skis and more stable, damp, powerful ones have reason to consider the Blade Optic 96 because it has a versatile and unique combination of accessibility and stability.

Additionally, this could be a safe bet for beginner or intermediate skiers who aren’t really sure what they want out of their all-mountain ski. This ski blends traits from all-mountain freestyle skis, more forgiving all-mountain skis, as well as more stable all-mountain skis, and the result is sort of a chameleon that can grow with you regardless of which path you choose.

Last, more advanced and expert skiers who appreciate a mix of playfulness, maneuverability, dampness, and stability in their skis should have the Blade Optic 96 on their radar. It can be skied quite hard all over the mountain, yet lets you take it easy as well as throw tricks and ski more playfully wherever you go.

I wouldn’t recommend this to aggressive directional skiers looking to charge through any crud or chop they encounter, or skiers looking for something ultra quick and nimble with a really low swing weight. Apart from that, the Blade Optic 96 is definitely worth considering, so long as you aren’t always skiing bulletproof ice or very deep snow.

Luke: Dylan did a great job of covering the (very wide-ranging) demographic for which I think the Blade Optic 96 is pretty ideal. It’s not ideal for those who ski a ton of ice, prioritize stability and suspension above all else, or those who want the lightest, softest ski. But outside of folks in those extremes, a case can be made for many people to consider this ski. And while our goal with our reviews is always to outline who might enjoy a product, not whether we personally do, I’ll add that this ski works exceptionally well for my individual skiing style and preferences, and I’m sure you’ll be seeing it in my personal ski-quiver selections this fall.

Bottom Line

The Line Blade Optic 96 offers a rare mix of playfulness, stability, energy, and damping that make it difficult to fit into any one category. It can be pushed hard in a variety of conditions, yet it also lets you take it easy and slip and slarve your way down the hill. Directional skiers who aren’t fans of stiff, demanding skis, as well as more playful skiers who like to ski all over the mountain can both get along well with the Blade Optic 96. Overall, this ski rarely feels out of place, and could work for an uncommonly large variety of skiers.

Deep Dive Comparisons

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Blade Optic 96 to see how it compares to the Line Blade Optic 104, Line Blade Optic 92, Line Sick Day 94, J Skis Masterblaster, Line Blade, Blizzard Rustler 9, Season Kin, Rossignol Blackops 98, Fischer Ranger 94 FR, K2 Mindbender 99Ti, Volkl M6 Mantra, Wagner Summit 97, Blizzard Bonafide 97, Salomon Stance 96, Atomic Maverick 95 Ti, Salomon QST 98, Black Crows Camox, Moment Commander 98, Renoun Endurance 98, Faction Dancer 2, Dynastar M-Free 99, Nordica Unleashed 98, Dynastar M-Pro 99, & 4FRNT MSP 99.