G3 — What is New

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 23, 2011      

You guys might wonder what I do for days at the Outdoor Retailer show. Do I start at dawn and party till the sun rises again? Do I spend the whole time smoking cigars and making big advertising deals (not necessarily in that order)? Actually, I spend most of the time simply getting a sense of what’s new in the backcountry skiing gear world, as well as doing general business networking. The cigars happen as well, but I can’t tell you where as that’s a trade secret. To that former goal, check out my take on G3’s new stuff:

First, one has to admit it was a bit disappointing a few years ago when G3 came up with a revamped ski line that apparently had lead cores. G3 does work hard on providing skis that go downhill well, so perhaps we’ll give them a pass on that weighty episode of the past in view of the R&D process they’ve no doubt been doing so they can have a ski line that competes with the big boys. This especially now that G3 is riding the avalanche of wide/light plank offerings you can suddenly find across the industry. On the scale, G3 says their Zenoxide in 178cm, 131/105/123 weighs 60 ounces per ski.That favorable of a width/weight/length ratio is top notch and worth looking at if you’re shopping. Ditto for the G3 Saint model, which in 08/09 was one of the heaviest skis we’ve ever tested, and is now leaned down (and no doubt the same ski in name only) at 53.5 ounces per ski at 177 cm, 122/93/112. Both skis have early rise tip which no doubt contributes to soft snow performance.

G3 backcountry skiing skis 2011/2012

G3 backcountry skiing skis 2011/2012, they have quite a few other models but we like these the best.

G3 Onyx tech compatible binding continues micro evolution in the tech clampage category. We’re still recommending Onyx to hard charging skiers who rock big skis with concrete-hard boots and high speeds. To support those individuals, new model will have stronger toe pins and wings as well as tightened tolerances all around for less system play. New areas of color indicate areas where you use a ski pole to activate binding functions. Perhaps most importantly, the (in our opinion) difficult Onyx binding entry system continues incremental improvement: the toe wings are now easier to hold open while you get your boot positioned for the click in. Other tech bindings are attempting to improve entry methods as well (e.g., Dynafit with their Power Towers) — it’ll be interesting at some point to have a shoot-out between the different brands/models. I know you guys are going to ask, so I’ll add that brakes for Onyx will be available in 85mm, 95mm, 110mm, 130mm.

G3 skin tail clip for backcountry skiing.

We've tested numerous pairs of G3 Alpinist skins and still recommend them as a nicely gliding nylon offering. We like their unique attachment system for the ski tip, but we're never that impressed by the tail fix. Thus, we're glad to see this nice tail cam-clip that clips on with a satisfying 'snap,' and rides with its leading edge close to the ski so you're less likely to flip it up accidentally. Interestingly, G3 explained to me that designing these clips so they sit down on the ski once closed is a challenge, and in some configurations they still might ride with the leading edge up off the ski. In that event, here at WildSnow we still feel some sort of 'safety' loop that attaches to a screw in the ski is the solution to accidental lifting of the tail clip if you can't get it to close all the way down.

Don't forget the cool G3 skin trimmer.

It's not an understatement to say the G3 skin trimmer changed our lives here at WildSnow HQ. Before, trimming skins reminded me of boot fitting -- an endless chore that always seems necessary at the most inconvenient times. Now, it's trivial. Interestingly, K2 is also coming out with a trimmer, theirs is said to pick up less goop but does require a bit more skill to use. We'll probably be using both over the coming year. Lots of skins to trim.

G3 climbing skin twintip connector.

G3 climbing skin twintip connector isn't new, but worth mentioning as I believe it is a rather unsung solution to things such as splitboard skin attachment as well as twin tips.

What else? To me the other most interesting G3 ‘new’ offering is their ‘Speed Tech’ avalanche probes with an optimized single pull quick deployment mechanism. The 190 Carbon speed tech is said to weigh in at 180 grams, while the 300 comes in light as well with more length. Both probes are said to be plenty stiff, and are marked with 5mm increment gradations. Several people I spoke with at the Outdoor Retailer show emphasized that some of the lighter weight probes out there may be too flexible to do an effective fine-grid probe, meaning deflection of the probe could cause you to miss a buried avalanche victim. This sounds reasonable. Thus, we’ll be watching this issue a bit more than we used to — and we’ll get more probes for testing.

There you go ye WildSnowers. Look for this stuff to be available by next fall (if it’s not already.)


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27 Responses to “G3 — What is New”

  1. Matt February 23rd, 2011 9:50 am

    Love the site Lou and read it most days while eating breakfast.

    Great report on G3 gear but can you pick a measuring system and stick with it. You are putting ski weights in ounces and probe weights in grams. My choice would be metric as I don’t know what an ounce is.

  2. Bjorn Naylor February 23rd, 2011 10:09 am

    obviously matt has never purchased mary jane…

  3. haraldb February 23rd, 2011 10:28 am

    28 grams to an ounce

    Sixteen ounces to a pound, twenty more to a ki
    A five minute sentence hearing and you no longer free

    It’s mathematics

  4. Mike February 23rd, 2011 11:46 am

    Is the new tail clamp retrofittable to existing G3 skins? (Can I buy the clamp and put it on/replace the existing crappy adjustment thingy?

  5. Jim Moss February 23rd, 2011 12:42 pm

    I’ve seen him at the show, he parties like it’s 1994!

  6. John S February 23rd, 2011 1:39 pm

    I’ve had a series of G3 skis, and have really liked the way they ski. This year I retired my much-loved G3 Spitfires and replaced them with the Dynafit Mustagh Ata Superlights. The Mustagh (2.5kg) are much lighter than either the older Spitfires (3.5kg) or even the newer LT model (3.2kg) but are a less forgiving ski.

    My new Manhattans are wonderful, skiing everything from deep fresh powder to groomers, and for weight, at 5.0kg with TLT ST bindings, they’re manageable. The early rise tip is great.

    Alpinist skins have the best tip attachment, but the tail system sucks. It constantly needs to be reset, and I’ve considered retrofitting a BD STS tail on them. The G3 skins glide better than the Ascension, but don’t climb quite as well. You gotta give to get, I guess. One change to G3 skins I hate is the short rip-strip that no longer goes to the tail. On larger skins like the ones for my Manhattans, geez, can it be hard to get those suckers apart.

    G3’s AviTech shovel is superb. No changes needed.

    I have the 320 Tech probe and the BCA SR3 3M units, and prefer the BCA probe. They’re both long burly probes with etched markings, but the BCA has shorter sections and fits in my pack better. Otherwise, the G3 probe is awesome.

    When it comes to shovels and probes, I’m not looking to shave grams and give up the beef. I want a shovel that can hammer into rock hard debris, take a boot if needed and never complain. The probe needs to spear through the same type of snow and not pop up in Albuquerque, missing the burial victim. Gram counting weenies should look elsewhere, not to essential companion rescue gear.

    The Onyx is interesting, but has little appeal to me. I installed a pair on my daughter’s skis, but she struggled with the toe to the point that I had to assist her each time she stepped in. I mounted TLT ST’s and she is in them faster than I am! That said, I’m happy to see the interest in tech bindings, as I think healthy competition will be good for skiers.

  7. tka February 23rd, 2011 2:03 pm

    an ounce is a measure of volume.

    32 ounces to a quart. 2.2 lbs for 1 qt if water is used.

    submerse ski in water, weigh ounces displaced to get the ounces the ski weighs

    this works because snow is actually just water.

    it’s simple math.


  8. Craig February 23rd, 2011 4:40 pm

    I find it rather unnerving that companies sell these short length, ultralight probes. Honestly, saving weight in areas not related to avalanche safety is all fine and good but when people start bringing spoon-sized shovels and probes shorter than me in the backcountry, especially when this new probe is well shorter than many snowpacks, it really makes me wonder how stupid people can get to buy this stuff.

    How would you feel to whip out a tiny thin short probe and not be able to reach your buried friend, let alone the ground? That’s something that could haunt you for the rest of your life. 300 cm should be the minimum, and strength should be standardized, just as it is for climbing equipment.

  9. tony February 23rd, 2011 5:07 pm

    What skin tail systems does the twin tip connector work with? Both old G3, new G3, and BD? Also same question as Mike about the new tail clamp.

  10. NT February 23rd, 2011 5:36 pm

    I agree with you Craig. Why bother carrying a probe at all if isn’t reliable for the task it’s meant for?

  11. Dave C. February 23rd, 2011 6:38 pm
  12. John S February 23rd, 2011 7:30 pm

    I agree and disagree with Andrew. The increased accuracy of three antenna beacons is perhaps making probing a waste of time, but I use a probe for a ton of other things. Well, actually, I use it mostly for probing, but in instances other than a rescue. I check snowpack depth with it. I probe for crevasses with it. I sweep ahead of me in a white out.

    It’s an interesting point of view that has been discussed a few places and hopefully will continue to raise the idea of increasing the efficiency of companion rescue.

    However, I still only carry a big burly probe.

  13. Matt Kinney February 23rd, 2011 9:31 pm

    Interesting comment about probes. I would never leave home with out it.

    Here’s my recent take (Feb 21) on other uses of a probe that I posted on my site. If you turn up the volume on the first minute or so, you can see what a nice light carbon probe can….


  14. naginalf February 24th, 2011 10:08 am

    Sorry if I’m being slow tka, but I hope you were joking. What you speak of is a FLUID ounce which is totally unrelated to the ounce used here as a unit of MASS (subtly different from weight).

    It’s not math at all, it’s physics. 😉

  15. SB February 24th, 2011 4:59 pm


    But math is the language of Physics. tka must have been joking:)

  16. brian p. harder February 25th, 2011 1:21 am

    If you bring a probe along to check for crevasses then you sure as hell aren’t in Kansas, Dorothy! (or Colorado, Utah or Wyoming). And if you find yourself doing so in AK then I hope you don’t have the typical carbon fiber unit ’cause they ain’t worth sheit up there. Bound to break. You need an old-school, burly, fatty aluminum unit to get the job done. You don’t see those ’round these parts much.

  17. Snorkel February 26th, 2011 6:19 pm

    If I was concerned about weight I’d take the largest shovel possible, and no probe. I think that beats a flimsy tiny probe and a tiny little shovel. Ultimately, digging time can make the difference.

    Then again maybe I just need a Airbag Pack and a GoPro, then i can straightine things and facebook the video every night.

  18. Cam March 3rd, 2011 10:48 am

    sorry for the delay in responding…was quite busy at the coldsmoke festival

    @ Mike – Yes the new clip is retrofittable on the old strap, and will be sold as an accessory for those inclinded to replace it.

    @ Tony – our twin tip connector works with all the skins you mentioned (old and new G3, as well as BD). The same goes for our new camming tail clip

    happy turns!

  19. Haydon Bray March 9th, 2011 1:07 am

    Hi there – hope you can help.

    I do a lot of pow skiing with my teenage kids in Japan. Not so much major hiking but certainly out of bounds (bit of hiking) where there are no patrols. Probably Side country more than anything else.

    Do you think I need to kit up with a pack, shovel, beacon & probe or is this over the top? I see many guys with packs on but don’t want to carry too much gear if its not worthwhile.

    Would love some advice.


  20. Lou March 9th, 2011 7:27 am

    Haydon, what do the other skiers in the area do?

  21. Haydon Bray March 9th, 2011 2:35 pm

    Bit of a mixture Lou – I see many guys with packs and lots without. The area is prone to avalanche so am thinking I might get the basic setup probe/beacon/shovel in a small pack.

    Any suggestions of best kit?

  22. Lou March 9th, 2011 2:39 pm

    If you ski with a partner so equipped and trained, then great, carry the stuff. Otherwise it’s kind of weird to be skiing around with a shovel pack and no partner, around folks with no gear at all…

    Beware tiny weak shovels, and unless you’re super trained with beacon a probe is essential (and some think probably always essential). Remember that most people you find with a beacon search will either be badly hurt or dead, so perhaps carry a bit of first aid gear and knowledge of the consequences.


  23. Ben W March 11th, 2011 10:04 am

    Has anyone skied or even handled a pair of G3 Soulfly’s? 5.7lbs, 83 waist, early rise tip.

  24. Scott March 27th, 2011 9:15 pm

    Quick question, pound for pound what is lighter G3 alpinist skins or BD mohair mix STS. Also for Colorado conditions what have you found to work the best?

    Thank you

  25. Joey October 3rd, 2011 8:20 pm

    Any more info or opinions on the new Saint?

    I think I”m gonna make this my day to day work(patrol) ski.

    I have been on Rev’s for 5 years now and loved them but they are beat down. The Saint looks very simalar with some modern flair?

    Should I go a bit longer with the tip rise or will it not matter?

  26. marc syrene January 18th, 2013 9:24 pm

    Regarding the soulfly, I bought the soulfly evo 178 which ended up being 6.9 pounds, big disapointment. Think I will send them back. Called gear x because they have the exact ski that is listed on the G3 pamphlet they sent with the skis I bought and had him weigh them and they were 6.3 pounds not 5.7 pounds as advertized on there pamphlet. I emailed G3 about this and they sent me some bs about there current info on the weight. Kind of weird, maybe this is standard proceedure for the industry, not sure but it is a little agravating when your trying to buy skis based on weight for a light weight setup. I guess we are getting too spoiled with this light weight stuff, you get addicted to it like cigarettes or something. I was skiing on La sportiva k3 mountaineering boots, old cable silveretta cable bindings and black diamond arc angels for 12 years until recently I was gifted a pair of ski trab free rando lights and dynafit bindings from my friend Mort just before he died of cancer, R.I.P Mortimus. I tried to make something to adapt my leather boots to fit the bindings with no success so I really got crazy and bought a pair of scarpa aliens. They are good on the up of course but they sure arent my leather boots on the decent even skiing in walk mode. That is why I am looking for light skis for my leather setup. Just can’t beat the subtle movement you get from leather, comfort too. Crazy the dilemmas we create for ourselves.

  27. L August 7th, 2013 9:34 am

    Haydon you should definitely get a pack with a beacon, probe, and shovel. If you are in the ‘slackcountry’ you are in the backcountry insofar as much as avalanche control goes. Also, it shouldn’t need to be said (sorry) but learn how to USE your beacon. Take avy I. Its scarier than you think.

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