Expert Review: Line Vision 98
This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in March 2020.
About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in March 2020. I was not paid by the manufacturer to write this review.
The Vision 98 is an advanced freestyle ski that’s light enough for the backcountry but stable and aggressive enough to turn the resort into a playground, too.
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130 lbs
- Model: 2020 Line Vision 98 - 172
- Boots: Tecnica Zero G Scout
- Boot size: 25.5
- Bindings: Salomon Shift
- Experience: 15 years ski patrolling, 27 years skiing
- When I bought these: March 2020
- Days tested: 8
- Where I’ve used it: Backcountry skiing on the Front Range in Colorado - spring and early season through November and December, as well as at Eldora Ski Resort.
- Terrain: Soft backcountry corn, steep couloirs, wind-buffed glacier skiing, and hard-packed and icy resort skiing.
How it performs
What I was looking for
My last touring set-up was showing a lot of wear after 7 seasons of use. When searching for a new pair, I wanted something a little bit lighter and narrower for touring and backcountry patrolling, but still something that could serve as a 1-ski-quiver on ski trips when we do a combo of resort and backcountry skiing to eliminate the need to bring 2 set-ups.
Why I chose this gear
I’ve been a fan of Line skis for a few years and they came out with the Vision series right when I was looking for new options. At just over 1500g per ski, they are light enough to tour in, but are advertised as an all mountain freeride ski that’s fun all over the resort.
After looking at a few other options I picked the Vision because I trust the skis Line makes, I was excited about the weight combo and 98mm waist, and I talked to a couple of friends who had just gotten them and had nothing but good things to say.
What I love about it
- Speed: The Vision 98 is impressively stable at speed for its weight. It isn’t super damp, but I feel confident flying down groomers in resort and hitting some higher speeds in the backcountry.
- Edge hold: I am impressed with their ability to dig into the crust and ice — especially in some crusty couloirs. If I ever moved to the northeast and wanted something to bite into the boilerplate, or in other words really hold an edge in icier/rock solid conditions, I probably wouldn’t rely on these as a ski for daily use.
- Turns: Due to their weight and poppiness, these skis are easy to make tight turns with and equally fun to carve some super G turns on corduroy.
- Powder: For my weight these have plenty of float for a fair amount of fresh snow. For bigger folks or those that want more of a designated deep snow ski, the Vision 108 or 118 would be a better pick.
- Trees: These skis are a blast in tight trees - they are super maneuverable to zip between them. I spend a lot of time in glades so that was a key factor for me when thinking about what to get.
- Backcountry: I primarily purchased these for backcountry skiing first and resort skiing secondary and I have not been disappointed. They are light enough that I keep up with the pack touring just fine and don’t feel like I have bricks on my feet, but still give me confidence at speed and in variable terrain when I need it most.
- Other: Steeps! Because of their weight, these are easy to jump-turn in tight and/or steep couloirs and they have the perfect amount of edge to provide security in less than ideal conditions.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Groomers: These skis aren’t made to spend a full day on the groomers. They are still fun though when a lack of early season snow forces me there and they have minimal chatter.
- Durability: I scuffed up the bottoms of the skis a bit with some early season backcountry but was actually impressed with how little damage I did given the amount of rocks I uncovered...
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite day on these skis was the first day I took them out - we did a steep couloir off of Mount Audubon in Brainard Lake Recreation area in the spring. I was the first to the top of the couloir, enjoyed the views at the top while waiting for the rest of my crew, and then had a sweet, clean line back down. Feeling confident on my feet with a heavy pack full of gear, including crampons and an ice axe, while skiing down steep terrain with variable conditions is really important and pretty challenging, and I felt totally confident on my new skis.
Value for the money vs. other options
Line skis tend to be a lot more affordable than other brands in general and I think they’ve made some great improvements to their durability over the last few years. If I wanted something way lighter, there are other, fully touring oriented brands to go with, but for the weight and performance, I think they are hard to beat.
The Vision 98s rock on both the uphill and the downhill for whenever I want to charge hard in the backcountry without having to sacrifice weight or performance. These unlock a one ski quiver opportunity for not only playing in the resort, but in the backcountry, too, and I couldn’t be more stoked to ride them.