I jumped at the chance to join G3 and SCARPA for a day of “testing” at Park City Powder Cats, up in the Uinta Mountains. We skied multiple laps in beautiful Utah powder. I reviewed SCARPA’s redesigned Maestrale RS boot here. Now, my take on G3’s new backcountry ski, the SENDr.
G3’s new ski, the “SENDr,” is aptly named. It’s a big, stiff hard-charging board, perfect for sending. I’m a fan of stiff skis, so I was excited when I first set eyes on the SENDr.
To achieve the mystic combo of stiffness and lack of mass, SENDr utilizes carbon fiber, along with metal laminates. The SENDr (and the current Empire 115) are extremely lightweight given that they include metallics. I like G3’s Empire 115, and in some ways the SENDr is an update to the Empire. The SENDr is built with the same construction, but has an entirely different shape. They have a large turning radius, and a slightly rockered tip and tail.
While we’re on the subject of G3, there are two updates to their already solid Ion binding. First off, they have eliminated the movable plastic hooks that guided your toe into the binding. The hooks are replaced with a molded plastic bump that serves the same purpose, but is much simpler. We like simple.
Good design is subtle. At its best, it makes people’s lives easier without them even noticing. G3’s other change to the Ion exemplifies this quite nicely, I won’t get into the technical details here, but essentially they have changed the internals of the heel unit so that it can’t be turned when it is being pushed down (towards the ski). This effectively eliminates the possibility of the binding auto rotating because of a ski boot pressing down on the heel lifter in tour mode, an issue with almost all touring bindings. When turning the binding back to ski mode, the motion is unchanged. Pretty clever.
The SENDr felt more stable and less playful than the Empire. We had a wonderful time skiing mellow powder from the snowcat, but it wasn’t the ideal terrain for the SENDr. The SENDr wanted to send, preferably on something steep and deep. Throughout the day there were a few moments when I was able to get some speed, and really put some power into the ski. At those times the ski started to come into its own.
I like the fact that the tails of the SENDr are stiff, with minimal rocker. Many modern fat skis have too much rocker and turn-up in the tail, especially for the majority of people who don’t ski backwards. I could really feel the stability of the flatter tails when slashing and skiing at speed. The SENDr posses an impressive amount of power, especially for a lightweight touring ski. I’m looking forward to testing out a pair on some steep, stable (and heavy) PNW pow.
Sizes: 174, 181, 188, 195
Radius: 23.5m @ 181
Weight (single): 3 lbs 12 oz @ 181
Also new for next year, G3 ROAMr 100 is updated with PU sidewalls, and 108mm version will be available. I didn’t ski on the ROAMr, but it looks like a nice, a slightly skinnier (and slightly heavier) option to the SENDr.
Sizes: 167, 172, 177, 182, 187
Radius: 19.6m @ 177
Weight (single): 3 lbs 15 oz @ 177
Sizes: 171, 178, 185, 192
Radius: 23.6 @ 178
Weight (single): 4 lbs 4 oz @ 178
ROAMr 100 Elle (women’s specific sizing and flexes):
Sizes: 167, 172
Radius: 18.5m @ 172
Weight (single): 3 lbs 12 oz @ 172