My philosophy with skis has always been find a cheap deal on 180+ skis that I can bolt my pivot 18s to and get me through a season. Because of that I’ve been on all sorts of skis. For the longest time I refused to get on the ON3P wave but I found a good deal in October and I’m here to share my season review.
so I’m 5’ 10” 165lbs and I ski park in NY and CO, as well as a lot of street skiing this year. I ended up with 181 Kartel (Jeffrey) 96s mounted 1 back with pivots. I hit big jumps a lot; corks and such. I also spend a lot of time smashing rails both in the park and in the street.
let me start by saying I love these skis. Best skis I’ve owned. But they are NOT for everyone and they are NOT the end all be all. Here’s my honest opinion. ON3Ps are not soft. They are not flexy. They are not light. They are not snappy. They reward confident skiing. Going fast, slamming features, throwing down, and being rough. They like to be abused and the faster and more aggressive you get the better they are. My first few days on these were pretty uncomfortable especially coming off of soft and snappy icelantics. I was nervous to go fast and ski confidently because they felt so iffy at low speed and making low speed butters. They are also very stiff and so it felt just really hard to get them to behave or do what you wanted. But as the season went on and I got my feet back under me they really came alive. ON3Ps will not bail you out. They will wash out and hang up on you if you don’t stomp. But when you stomp on these skis it will feel unlike any other. So if you like going fast and skiing with your balls out all the time you’ll probably like these. Another point to make is the amount of energy these skis have. The first time you hit a side hit or jump on these skis you will be shocked. They P-O-P. It’s borderline ridiculous. If you power them up good they will put you 3-4 feet up before you can blink. That can make them a little unwieldy and unpredictable but that is a compromise I am okay with. A smaller person or a more delicate skier will definitely feel overwhelmed with them though. Because they’re stiff, stable, and energetic they really power through slop and slush and are passable groomer rippers. Small point about that tho the squared tips ARE noticeable. It’s super subtle but I have felt them hang up a TINY bit when I’m really leaning them over. These skis obviously have a ton of rocker but most of that rocker is seen in the tip splay. They actually have less measured rocker then my icelantics did. For the most part they’re pretty flat underfoot with maybe a couple mm of camber. The dramatic tip splay does make them iconically fun for butters when you put enough force into them. I skied 181s and would probably be fine on 186s. 181s were nice on rails and east coast but 186s woulda been nice for out in CO and on jumps but it really isn’t that big a deal. Now for the magic word: durability. They’re fine. They’re about on par with most if not a tiny bit better. I bought mine used but without any edge damage. After about 20 days of park this season they have 6-7 edge cracks and some edge/sidewall separation. Normal stuff to see with how aggressively I ski. Park skis break. It is what it is
so to conclude: they’re great skis in the right hands. They do not make you a better skier. The guys that tear on ON3Ps are good because they’re talented skiers. But for the right person who skies aggressively and likes to go huge all the time these will compliment and supplement that style so well. And that’s what it comes down to. If they’re for you then they’re really for you and if they’re not then they’re really not. Get out and try a pair if you can because they’re really unique and might be a great fit for you.