The 2018 Blizzard Bonafide was a pleasant surprise for the 2018 ski testing that I did. Blizzard quietly changed the Bonafide slightly and why they did not make a bigger deal of it I do not know as the changes, although subtle, make a huge impact on the maneuverability of the ski. The older Bonafide’s are great skis, especially if you are an ex racer looking for a hard charging GS ski that is a bit wider. If you like that more race like feel you may want to find an older model, but if you want something that can make any style turn you want it to the all new 2018 Bonafide is the way to go.
The new 2018 Bonafide has a slightly wider tip and tail making for a quicker turning ski than the older model. A change for myself that I very much enjoyed and made for a better All Mountain more user friendly experience. Don’t get me wrong you can still charge on the new Bonafide, but it is now just easier to make quicker and more medium range turns than it was before. Stability has never been an issue with the Bonafide and even with the changes made to the ski it is not an issue.
After skiing the Bonafide in multiple snow conditions I really found that this could make for a great one ski quiver ski if you find yourself split between charging groomers and searching for the goods on snowy days. East to West Coast this ski offers enough versatility to ski anywhere in the world.
The 2018 Line Mordecai Skis got a good work out in Jackson Hole, WY in early April with almost every condition possible. Didn’t take long to realize that although the Mordecai is light it certainly is not soft. The Cloud Core Technology makes the skis light yet nimble and stable. Had these skis at cruising speed and they never thought about chattering even at higher speeds. With a 17m turn radius along with tip and tail rocker and taper these skis would make both quick and long turns with ease and for being fairly stiff underfoot they also did very well in bumped up terrain.
Was able to get a full day with 14″ of fresh snow beyond the gate and no crowds to track it up. What a dream it was to have a ski with the perfect width at 114mm and lightness for my legs to be able to handle skiing the amount of vertical all day. The great thing about testing in Jackson in the Spring is that you can have just about every condition possible with in the same run. The Mordecai was certainly right at home in every fresh snow condition I hit. Top of the mountain had light snow and the tip really had no issues with diving and like most Pollard Skis you want to have a more centered stance rather than to far forward. You do not need to drive this ski at all it does most of the work for you. Lower top of the mountain I hit more wind slabbed snow and again was able to bust through it as the Mordecai has plenty of rigidity to hammer through when the snow gets heavy which I was very thankful for as I moved down the mountain the snow had taken on sun and light rain and made for super heavy skiing. As long as you had waxed knowing you were going to have a little of everything the heavy and slush bumps were quite fun to play in.
In summary, I would highly recommend the 2018 Line Mordecai Skis as they are one of the most versatile skis that Pollard has ever designed. The biggest surprise about this ski is how fun it was to charge on a groomer day that never quite corned up like we were hoping. If you do get corn and have these skis get ready to feel like a hero though as they are amazing. Skis took no effort in corn and skied 40’000 vert and legs never felt tired at all. If you want to surf or slash the corn that was the most effortless, if you wanted to carve it you could do that and if you wanted to charge it down the hill it was super stable at 60 mph no problem.
Pick length for this ski for me was the 186cm length and for 90% of the people out there that will most likely be the size they will want as well. The 179cm I would suggest for someone under 5’5″ and 160lbs they could do the 179cm, but if you are more than that and an expert skier I would suggest the 186cm length. The 193cm will be a great fit for big mountain guys or guys larger than 5’11 and 195lbs.
As most of you know I am a huge fan of Line Skis, but i have to say that Atomic has really been stepping up their game the past few years and have really been making some of the top Freeride Skis on the market. The Atomic Backland FR 109 is combination of everything you would want in a one ski quiver ski. It is light, quick turning, and you can ski deep powder with it just as easily as charge the groomers. The flex is moderate and user friendliness is at an all time high with this ski. It transitioned with ease from trees and bumps to groomers and steeps. Even at high speed I never felt chatter and the ski loved to make medium radius turns with out much effort at all. If you are looking for a ski that is much like the old Line Sir Francis Bacon but not as heavy the Backland 109 is an excellent choice.