Expert Review: Line Sakana

This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in December 2019.

Photo courtesy of Robbie M.
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About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in December 2019. I was not paid by the manufacturer to write this review.

My take

The Line Sakanas are a do-it-all ski for intermediate to advanced skiers. I use them as my daily driver in Minnesota on groomers but have also taken them down powder filled chutes in Canada, in both scenarios very happy to have the “fish” under my feet.

Curated expert Robbie M. with his Line Sakana skis
Curated expert Robbie M. in the backcountry as well as a close-up of his Line Sakana skis
Photos courtesy of Robbie M.

About me

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 195 lbs
  • Model: 2018 Line Sakanas
  • Size: 181 cm
  • Boots: Tecnica Mach 90 Flex
  • Boot Size: 28.5
  • Bindings: Look SPX 12 (demo)
  • Experience: 10 years

How it performs

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: December 2019
  • Days tested: 20
  • Where I’ve used it: Minnesota, Lake Louise, Jackson Hole, Copper Mountain
  • Terrain: Everything but the park; groomers, bumps, steeps (including Corbet’s Couloir), and powder

What I was looking for

I was looking for a directional ski that I could use in the Midwest as well as take out West. Looked for something that could carve short turns but still float well in powder.

Why I chose this gear

I ended up buying the Line Sakanas because I was very interested in how they would perform on groomers as well as if the swallowtail would help in powder. It was the best decision I made (over buying the Line Sir Francis Bacons), as I had more float than my other 108mm waisted ski and could still carve better than my friend’s carving skis on Minnesota hardpack!

What I love about it

  • Edge hold: The Sakanas have great edge hold thanks to their large sidecut and short turn radius. I’ve had days where they held a better edge than my friends’ carving skis!
  • Turns: Turns on the Sakanas are short and snappy because of their 15m turn radius, carbon stringers, and stiff/flat tail.
  • Groomers: Skiing groomers is a ton of fun when they’re fresh in the morning; you can make short snappy turns or longer GS turns. Piles of snow on skied out groomers at the end of the day don't work as well with these skis if you're trying to smash through them.
  • Powder: For a 105mm waisted ski the Sakanas hold up really well in powder due to the large shovel and swallowtail. These two features allow you to “carve” through powder, which is an epic feeling.
  • Trees: The short turn radius makes carving through trees a blast.
  • Durability: The swallowtail has held up just fine even after dropping some smaller lips and cliffs. Line is known to make skis that hold up over time.
  • Weight: The roughly 1850g weight for the 181cm size is light, so you don't feel like they are dragging you down by the end of the day. One downside of their light weight though is that they get bucked around in variable snow.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Speed: At high speed the tips will start to chatter and the short turn radius makes them feel a little skittish.
  • Moguls: The “fish” can ski moguls, but the flat tails and long effective edge can take some getting used to, especially if you’re coming from skis with rockered tails.
  • Park: Not the ski to take through the park if you’re looking to slide some rails or land big jumps switch.
  • Switch riding: The flat forked tail won’t help you win a race skiing switch, but it can be done and they still carve surprisingly well backwards...

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment skiing the Line Sakanas was in Lake Louise. We were the first people let into the back bowls after a big storm and had first tracks down a double black diamond chute full of two feet of snow. Flying down the chute felt like surfing a giant white wave and thanks to the wide shovels and swallow tail I carved the whole way down. Needless to say we made several more laps!

Value for the money vs. other options

The Line Sakanas aren’t the cheapest ski at $749.96, but in my opinion are 100% worth the price. Because you can ski them on hardpack and in powder, you’re essentially getting the performance of two skis in one. I’ve taken mine through some pretty rough terrain and found some rock monsters, but they continue to ski very well with a fresh edge sharpening.

Final verdict

The Line Sakana is a lightweight ski that can carve with the best of the carving skis but also float with the best of wider all-mountain skis.

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Written By
Production Supervisor by day; ski-addict by night/weekend. Skiing has taken me to Canada, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and Utah, and all are places I'd rather be skiing than my current location in Minnesota (which, to be honest, isn't that bad...see Marcus Caston's Minnesota Return of the Turn episod...

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