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.
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.)