Let the Lady Speak — Candace Reviews G3 Tonic Ski


This post by WildSnow.com blogger  

Editor’s note: We’re trying to get more female voices here, if for no other reason than the ratio of men to women on WildSnow.com is downright Alaskan in its bias. Candace Horgan emailed a while ago and said she’d do some guest blogs, so here goes.

I’ve been skiing G3 Sirens for about four years, but at the start of this season, I found myself wanting something different. Something a little wider, a little longer for my 5’11 frame; a ski that would feel comfortable while going flat out railing long radius turns but that hopefully wouldn’t sacrifice too much maneuverability for my favorite terrain in the trees and bumps.

Enter the new G3 Tonic. The Tonic, which has a poplar wood core, is at the forefront of G3′s new “Joyride Construction” line. The Tonic was designed by Francois Sylvain, who previously has worked with Line, Karhu, and K2. Sylvain designed the Line Mothership and Karhu Jak, and the 2009-2010 line is his first effort with G3.

G3-Tonic skis.

G3-Tonic skis.

Joyride Construction features an early tip rise, so it feels slightly shorter underfoot, but has a reduced mass in the shovel to reduce flutter. According to G3 the Dual Density Sidewall incorporates a thin layer of viscoelastic material, a blend of ABS and TPU, so the ski gives a quiet ride.

Tonic is available in 177 and 185 lengths. The women’s version, which is called the Zest and has different graphics but the same construction, is available in 166 and 172.

Enough with the market speak; how does the Tonic ride in real life?

In this era of super fats, 100mm might not seem wide enough for some, but I felt it hit the sweet spot, especially coming up from the 89mm waist of the Siren.

Smooth and quiet are two of the adjectives that first spring to mind while skiing the Tonic. I felt extremely comfortable and stable on them, opening them up to high speeds with nary a hint of chatter. In fact, I LOVED going fast on the Tonics. I’ve always favored making lots of tight-radius turns, and one of my best friends has said I ski like a slalom skier, but on the Tonics, I found myself feeling more like a downhiller. The Tonic carved turns beautifully when I wanted, but gave me confidence to go for more speed.

I mostly ran the Tonic on hard-packed groomers at resorts, given the combination of lack of snow and avy danger in Colorado this winter. I was initially skeptical of the how the ski might perform on such terrain, but was quickly won over. No chatter? Check. Nimble turns? Check. I was especially surprised with the performance of the Tonic in the bumps. Despite what I thought might be too much width and length for me, the ski was very responsive, and I never felt like I had to work my boots when initiating turns.

While I didn’t get to see how the Tonics would perform in a dream powder dump, I did take them out for some ski touring and ski cutting in closed terrain. The Tonic floated well, and felt soft enough underfoot that I never felt overwhelmed by the snow.

I don’t know if I’d go so far as to call the Tonic the ideal “quiver of one” ski; I think smaller, slalom-type mid-fats have their place, especially if your ideal day involves ripping through Floral Park or Hell’s Half Acre at Berthoud Pass. Also, the G3 skis tend to be slightly heavier than some other options, so if your uphill is muscle powered that something to consider as well. Nonetheless, if I had to pick one plank for everything, Tonic comes mighty close.

Stats: Sidecut: 132/100/123 mm. Weight: 8.1 pounds per pair, 177cm. Lengths: 177, 185.

(Wildsnow guest blogger Candace Horgan has been working as a freelance writer since 1997. She was born and raised in New Rochelle, N.Y., and graduated from College of the Holy Cross with a Bachelor of Arts in History and English. She currently lives in Denver, which is too far east as far as we’re concerned, but we’ll let that one go for now.)

Comments

18 Responses to “Let the Lady Speak — Candace Reviews G3 Tonic Ski”

  1. Dave B. January 30th, 2010 7:07 am

    Thanks for reviewing this ski. I’ve been curious about it because I’ve been starting to covet some tip rocker. Perhaps a little on the heavy side, but coming from Kahru Jak Team’s (AKA the Line Prophet 100 I’m given to understand), which I consider a great, highly versatile ski, I guess I’m used to that. I’ll be looking forward to other comments from folks who’ve skied them in the pow.

  2. Kevin January 31st, 2010 2:58 pm

    Wow, doesn’t anyone have this ski. I tried this ski on hardpack and thought it seemed like a lot of fun. The reduced weight in the tip really did help with that early rise tip flutter that is so popular. Seems like it would work well in powder, but it would be nice to get an opinion from someone who has seen soft snow.

  3. Caleb February 1st, 2010 12:31 am

    Nice to see some G3 reviews. My G3 Revs are my favorite everyday CO backcountry ski in a quiver of 4. When I inevitably wreck then, I think I will give the Tonics a shot. It’s also nice to read a woman’s ski perspective on here.

  4. Dimitar February 1st, 2010 6:19 am

    I have like 40 days on the Tonic and they are really great quiver skis. Really fun and easy to drive and do not mind aggressive attitude also. They handle deep snow pretty effortlessly, float and turning initiation being just fun.

    The only terrain I feel them very strange – a bit to nervous and not so forgiving is kind of moguls stuff, but may be I just can not ski moguls.

  5. mat/ski mag February 1st, 2010 7:05 am

    «the ratio of men to women on WildSnow.com is downright Alaskan in its bias»
    nice one Lou ;)

  6. Michael Silitch February 2nd, 2010 1:50 am

    This is a great ski!!! I’ve been skiing it in Chamonix since last season. I even tour on it a bit.

  7. Lyle February 16th, 2010 5:15 pm

    I have about 20 days on my Tonics now in both front and backcountry including 5 days in Roger’s Pass. It’s a great powder ski with lots of bounce in deep stuff. I feel a bit like a kid on a trampoline. Effortless is a bit cliche but it is the word that comes to mind. The rocker tip definitely works to keep you moving along.

    Tonics performs well on the hardpack and groomers as they kind of rails along edge well,and just feel solid.. However, I agree with Dimitar it isn’t a mogul ski. In the bumps they feel clumsy and well kind of flat. I suspect the reduced camber is culprit..

  8. SB February 16th, 2010 9:50 pm

    Anyone have a recoomendation on size? I’m 145lb and 5’8″. I guess I’d have the 177 Tonic and the 172 Zest to pick from. I’m currently on 170 BD Verdicts with Fritschi’s that I’d like to keep for in-bounds, but they are a little heavier than I want for a dedicated BC rig. I have Dynafit STs in a box waiting to go and need another pair of skis to go with them.

    G3′s marketing seems to be limiting their potential sales. I’m turned off by the prospect of buying a “women’s” ski (Zest) and its ugly topsheet which looks like bird dropings, but I’m thinking it has the characterisics I’d like and is on sale so I might go that way anyway, as long as it isn’t too soft. Plus I have skins which would fit the 172. The 177 Tonic would have the downside that my skins wouldn’t fit and I’m worried they might be a little long for the trees.

    I guess I could go Coomback. Anyone have other suggestions on a 100mm waisted rockered ski?

  9. Lyle February 21st, 2010 1:13 pm

    My guess is the reason the shortest length the Tonic is offered in at 177 cm is due to the rocker tip. This effectively shortens the running length of the ski so it behaves as a much shorter board. Compared to my 170 cm Volkl Snowolfs the running length on the Tonic is actually about 5 cm shorter.

    I’m 5’7″ about 140 lbs and the 177 cm has been fine. Very manouverable – no problem getting them around in trees or chutes. The only place I notice the extra length is doing kick turns on the uptrack.

  10. chamonix March 1st, 2010 3:40 pm

    About 4 days sking on a pair of 177cm Tonics ; NTN Scarpa TX with NT Bulldogs. I normally ski the Rapid Transit in the 178 length, same boot and binding..
    At first I didn’t like the Tonic, skiing on packed somewhat high moisture snow. They felt kind of dead, when I tried to get them to carve like the RTs. I finally went back on my RTs for the rest of the day, and could carve again!
    Tried the Tonics again today, more upright stance, weight back a bit, seems to help a bit with getting them to carve. Maybe my problem is that with the rocker tip, loading up the tip a bit won’t help initiate a turn. Maybe I miss the assymetric sidecut of the RT?

    To be fair, the Tonic likes to go fast, they hammer through stuff, very stable, almost as good as my 184 cm Volkl Goliaths.

    Maybe the Tonic.is a better AT ski than a tele ski? They seem to like P turns more than tele turns.
    Well I will keep skiing them some more. To be fair to the ski, this is a 100cm underfoot powder ski, and I haven’t had any powder to ski with them yet. They do turn quite quickly, for a mid-fat ski; easy to link short turns. I just can’t get them to hold a carved edge very well, on soft packed snow. Definitely nowhere near the carving ability of the Rapid Transit.

  11. Steve Sellers July 21st, 2010 5:13 pm

    I’m 150lbs; 5’9″. I have the 177cm Tonics. I too felt awkward w/ them at first in the hard pack, as I’m used to a shorter ski. But when the powder came I realized what these skis are for. I’ve never had more fun in powder. They float and turn effortlessly. a definate thumbs up

  12. verticalchancer November 4th, 2010 3:31 am

    Having skied the Tonics last season on and off piste, I’ve found them pretty close to being the all round ski I’ve been hunting for. I’m on the 185′s which are great in powder but surprised me with their nimble turning on piste, although I wasn’t a big fan of them in the bumps they were more than workable.

    I’m 5’10″ and 165 pounds and ski in the Portes du Soleil region, therefore I have tons of varied terrain to play on, they are fitted up with touring bindings (G3 Onyx) which work well, although I think i preferred the ease of Fritschi Freerides for none touring days.

  13. Lou November 4th, 2010 7:40 am

    Vertical, thanks for adding your take!

  14. Katie Tyler January 3rd, 2013 7:00 pm

    Any thoughts on the Tonic with a more passive tele binding like the targa ascents? I was schooled on these bindings and am trying to hook up someone with the tonics, but he is mainly looking to use the skiis skinning up a resort as training for the ironman. We have the Tonics in the store, the 181′s I believe, and he is 5’11′ and 165 pounds.

  15. Seemore Skinner January 4th, 2013 2:26 pm

    I’m skiing the 185 Tonics with the Targa Ascents in the BC and they work great in new snow. Not as much power for hardpack as say the Axl but lighter. I’m 5’8″ and about 200 lbs fully loaded for the BC. Will likely use a different setup for carving hardpack though.

  16. Lou Dawson January 4th, 2013 5:26 pm

    So, a new era has arrived here at WildSnow.com, we now have a telemark revival (grin)?

    Seriously, thanks for dropping by guys.

  17. zippy_the_pinhead January 5th, 2013 3:58 am

    Hello Lou,
    You’re welcome and thanks for the great website!

    Your hospitality gives me a warm feeling inside, sort of how I feel after a nice piece of strudel….

    Now I need to get some sleep. Yesterday (Friday), I had my first (half-) day on skins in nearly 10 months and gained about 2500 feet in some stashes that still held week-old untracked powder. Tasty as you-know-what. If I’m lucky I may have a chance for a repeat performance tomorrow afternoon. Is there a way to post a pic?

    Happy Trails!

    Zippy

  18. Lou Dawson January 5th, 2013 6:41 am

    Pic posting is not set up for the comments. I could switch to a Facebook commenting system but then they own everything. They’re empire is big enough already (grin).

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Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information opinion website and e magazine. Lou's passion for the past 45 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about backcountry skiing and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free back country news and information here, and tons of Randonnee rando telemark info.

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