The Line Influence 115 has been our go-to do everything stick for the past few seasons. Looking for a neutral, easy to ski big mountain stick for all conditions out west? This should be atop your short list…
Long Term Review: Line Influence 115 192
Skier: Jeff Brines
Binding: FKS 14
Boot: Krypton Pro
Ski Weight: ~2450 grams (192)
Radius: 22.6M @ 186M
Rocker: Rocker/Camber/Rocker (Height in mm -11 +4 -9)
Summary: The Line Influence 192 impressed us a few years back with its versatility and overall neutrality. It isn’t the stiffest, lightest or biggest stick out there but its strength lies in its ability to strike a balance of “do everything” at an attractive price point. If you are a skier living out west, the Andrew Whiteford (and other line athletes) “pro” model should be on a short list of skis that can do it all.
Who is it for: This is a great one-ski quiver or go-to inbounds ski for the stronger skier living somewhere it snows more than 400” a year. The Influence 115 is especially good for those who appreciate a more modern mount point and looking for something that strikes a balance between “playful” and “charger”. If you like a more traditional (rearward) mount point, looking for the lightest ski in the 110-120mm category or want as much float as possible, look elsewhere.
Side note two of the best Jackson Hole skiers, Max Hammer and Andrew Whiteford had a fair amount of input in this ski. If you like how they ski and your mountain parallels that of JHMR, consider this to be near the top of your list.
If the Influence was a Girl: She’d be the understated quasi-punk girl in class. Not the flashiest, didn’t talk the most and didn’t wow you with her looks right off the bat. But the more time you spend getting to know her, the more you realize she’s a catch. While your buddies girlfriend’s bitch and moan at times, she just stays even keeled no matter what the situation and supports you when things get crazy. Grounded. Balanced. Playful. Fun.
Initial Inspection & Technology
The Influence 115 doesn’t look like anything all that special at first, especially when compared to the competition. It has a mild amount of tip and tail rocker, camber under foot and a mild amount of tip and tail taper. Weight is somewhere in the middle for a ski of its size. Certainly not the lightest thing but not heavy either, especially considering there is metal in the ski. Handflexing revealed a “medium/stiff” flex.
The mount point, like most stuff in Line’s lineup, is a bit on the forward side of things, which we at Earlyups appreciate. We subscribe to the more “modern” style of skiing and believe rocker and fatter skis allows one to ski a more forward mount while still keeping the ski afloat in softer conditions.
The graphics are understated and stealthy on our version (last years), a bit more “look at me” orange with respect to the newer ones. Otherwise, the skis are identical. We actually dig the orange ones and neither look like a graffiti artist had huffed a bit too much paint in the design process.
Hardpack: In harder conditions the ski is manageable and skis smaller than most any 192 115mm+ waisted ski with metal I’ve ever been on. Yes, it’ll carve a nice clean arc, is surprisingly quick edge to edge and is a nice stable platform for chalky conditions. Worth noting, the edges came from the factory with a bit more base bevel than some might be used to (at least on our pair). This is advantageous to those looking for a ski that is easy to drift or pivot but those looking for a bunch of bite in harder conditions may want to revisit the edge tune.
For a ski with metal, it is the most playful ski I’ve ever been on slightly edging out the Nordica Helldorado in this “playful charger” category. I’d even spin a lap through the park and have fun with it, something I can’t say I’d do with a more business-oriented ski. End of the day, so long as you have the legs to handle a larger ski in hard conditions, the 115 will do more than just “survive” the less than ideal conditions.
Crud: This is one of the places where the ski really shines. It has enough backbone and weight to not deflect through cut up conditions but enough float and rocker to be easy. If you get kicked into the back seat, the ski isn’t so unforgiving as to take off like a run-away-freight train (yes, you can recover). Releasing the tail is easy thanks to a modest amount of rocker. Stability at speed is good and the ski remains damp while you see just how OoC you can get….
Light Density Powder: In large amounts of light density snow the ski will end up being a bit of a bottom feeder. Which is okay as it allows ample opportunity for face shots. There is enough rocker to allow the skier to stay centered though getting too far forward will result in the possibility of going over the bars (yes you can dive the tips). The Influence floats like a 115mm ski with rocker & metal should float – Pretty well, but not 130mm+ waist width well. End of the day, skiing light density powder is just plain fun on any ski
Heavier Density Powder: When water density goes up and things become a little more supportive, this ski starts to kick more ass. The blend of taper, rocker and modest (not too much) sidecut allows the pilot to make a variety of turn shapes either engaging the sidecut or releasing the edge and “slarving” your turns. The mount point is forward enough to make the tip manageable during drifted turns in higher density conditions while the modest tip taper keeps things from hooking.
Airs & Landings: Like any ski with tail rocker, this isn’t the best ski to stick big-ish airs to backseat landings. Still, there is plenty of backbone to the ski for all but the worst of landings (watch Whiteford). In our current quiver, this is our go-to ski if we were to compete in a comp. Maybe not the burliest of skis in the comp-ski category, but it’d hold its own just fine under the right pilot and is one of the “stompiest” skis with both tip/tail rocker out there.