The ON3P Kartel 98 has undergone a few changes this season, but still comes back as a fun freestyle all-mountain ski with a lot of pop and energy. The new Kartel has a new side-cut profile and a bit less tail rocker, and we could feel a bit more power and edge hold. It’s still playful and poppy, but we feel like it gives a bit more power on groomers.
ON3P Kartel 98 On-Mountain Video Ski Review (Windy)
Jacket: Trew Cosmic Pants: The North Face Sickline Goggle: Bolle Emperor
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
Riders: Laura and Matt
Conditions: Soft Chop, Tracked Out, Groomed, Bumps
Ski Personality: The ON3P Kartel 98 is a very fun and poppy all-mountain freestyle ski that is energetic and snappy on groomed.
On the Snow Feel: The ON3P Kartel 98 has a semi-stable feel on snow.
Powder: The Kartel Line has been revamped and the Jeffrey no longer exists. The Jeffrey was a bit more powder oriented than the Kartel, but was similar enough that it didn’t totally warrant two different lines. The Kartel 98 has a fat squared off tip that isn’t very similar to any other ski in the category, but it works pretty well for deeper snow. There is a pretty significant amount of rocker in the tip and tail, and a nice poppy flex. In soft snow, the Kartel plane well, and is maneuverable and easy to pivot. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in deep snow, I’d opt for the Kartel 108, but the 98 is a good option if you find yourself on groomed and deep snow equal amounts of time.
Turn Initiation and Carving: We both found the ON3P Kartel 98 pretty easy to bend into a turn. It has a nice poppy and energetic feel and is really fun making short to medium radius turns. There is a decent amount of power underfoot, but if you prefer power over energy, this probably isn’t your ski. The Kartel has the ability to slash turns pretty well, but get it on edge and it holds really well. Transitions were smooth and predictable, and have a lot of life and energy. We also found the ski to be quick from edge to edge, and we could see using this in bumps and trees often. At the same time it’s easy to break the ski free and slash or slide any type of turn.
Speed: We both had a lot of fun making short to medium radius turns on the Kartel 98, but when we did want to open it up we felt like we could. It’s not super powerful or damp, but has enough stability to get it going pretty fast. It’s not quite as stable as the Kartel 108, but holds up decently well for its size.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Kartel 98 still feels like a pretty substantial ski given its poppy and snappy flex. These ski planes well over chopped up variable terrain, and there’s enough underfoot to help smooth things out. I wouldn’t call the ski a charger, and it didn’t feel like it wants to blast through everything. Still, it’s a ski that is a lot of fun in variable snow, and with its snappy and poppy flex it was really fun bouncing around in softer snow.
Bottom Line: The ON3P Kartel 98 is a really fun and poppy all-mountain freestyle ski. It is quick from edge to edge, has a decent amount of power, and is very lively and energetic. It holds up decently well at speed, and is fun and playful in variable tracked out snow. It’s not a charger that’s going to blast through variable terrain, and it’s not super damp at speed, but it does hold up surprisingly well given how playful it feels.
This review reflects the OPINION of our testers based on their personal experience with a particular product. We do not guarantee that you will have the same experience with, or opinion of, a product as our testers did. This review
should only be used as a general guide.
The ON3P Kartel 98 is back and unchanged for 2016. The Kartel 98 is a versatile all-mountain freestyle ski that allows you to make the entire mountain your park. This is a great ski for those who spend a lot of their time in the park, but also want to ride all over the rest of the mountain. ON3P also makes a 106 Kartel for those who like the soft snow a bit more. The 106 isn’t as good in the park, but better on other parts of the mountain.
2016 ON3P Kartel 98 On Mountain Video Ski Review (Check out that sweet camera)
Riders: Matt and Brian
Conditions: Soft Snow (5”), Crud, Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
On the Snow Feel: The ON3P Kartel 98 has a semi-stable feel that gives you confidence on the groomers but still can be playful when you want it to be. When flat the ski is easy to pivot and turn sideways, but once on edge the ski stays pretty locked in. Get the ski in soft snow, and the Elliptical Rocker Profile feels playful and maneuverable.
Powder: At 98mm the ON3P Kartel 98 has less off piste versatility than the Kartel 106, but it still offers enough float for those days when the snow is deep. The 98mm has the same Elliptical Rocker Profile as the 106. The Elliptical Rocker Profile helps the ski to plane faster in the deep snow, allowing for better floatation. This also helps keep the ski maneuverable and playful in the softer snow. At 98mm underfoot, it doesn’t have the same float as the 106mm. However, for an all-mountain freestyle ski, the float is just as good, if not better than others in the 100mm range.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The ON3P Kartel 98 has an Elliptical Sidecut that allows the ski to carve better the more it’s put on edge. Even at slow speeds and low edge angles the ski felt forgiving, and yet quite responsive. It didn’t feel as easy to initiate the turn as the 4 FRNT Gaucho, but it also didn’t take a lot of effort to engage the edge (The Gaucho also has a much shorter turn radius). At slower speeds, the ski was responsive, but it was even better when you increased speed. The ON3P Kartel 98 has a lively bamboo core with carbon stringers. Both materials help keep the ski damp, but both also rebound really well, and when carving short to medium radius turns the ski was pretty snappy and quick from edge to edge.
Speed: The ON3P Kartel 98 was fun when making short to medium radius turns, but I really enjoyed opening them up a bit more and letting the skis run. The bamboo core is lively but damp, and with the addition of carbon stringers, the ski seems damper than you would expect. ON3P also adds in vibration reducing rubber and in the soft snow, I felt really confident letting the skis run. As the snow firmed up, I found myself checking speed a bit more, but the ski still performed pretty well at speed.
Uneven Terrain: The Elliptical Rocker Profile helps to decrease tip deflection in the variable conditions, and the 98mm waist offers a wide enough platform for stability in the crud. Although it doesn’t have the same crud busting capabilities of the 106, the 98 does a good enough job to feel confident charging through the variable conditions.
Moguls: The ON3P Kartel 98 is pretty responsive and quick, making it maneuverable enough for moguls and trees. The 98 is quicker than the 106, but with less float the 98 isn’t as good in the trees.
Edge Hold: The day we rode the ON3P Kartel 98 was pretty soft. In those conditions we had no problem pushing the Kartel as fast as we could. Edge hold was great in these conditions, but I would be really interested to see how well it holds in the hard pack or ice. The Elliptical Sidecut allows the edges to engage more as you increase edge angle and pressure, helping to ensure better edge hold as things firm up. I would expect the Kartel 98 to hold well in hard pack, but like most all mountain skis fall a bit short on ice.
Flex: The Kartel 98 has a progressive and well balanced flex. It’s medium to medium stiff and allows for good pop and a stable landing platform.
Switch: The Kartel has a symmetrical design and twin tip allowing switch riding with ease. Mount the bindings center for a more balanced feeling in the air.
Jumps and Park: The ON3P Kartel 98 has a good amount of tip and tail rocker that is combined with a well-rounded flex. This is great for buttering all around the mountain. It doesn’t have a ton of camber underfoot, so it won’t have the same pop as the ON3P Prester, but there is definitely enough to have some fun. With its symmetrical design and progressive mount it’s just as fun backwards as is it is forward.
The ON3P Kartel 98 could be a great daily driver for the skier who spends a good amount of time in the park but still wants to play on the rest of the mountain. Its versatile shape and construction allow you to rip groomers, float and surf the deeper snow, or hit every jump you see on the mountain. As with many skis in the all mountain category you give up a little bit of performance in each category, but for us it was a sacrifice we’d be willing to make for the all-around versatility of this ski.