ON3P decided to simplify the line a bit more for 2017, getting rid of the Jeffrey’s and updating the Kartels to fill the void. The ON3P Kartel 108 seems like a very attractive ski. At first glance it reminds me a bit of the Line Supernatural 108, and the Liberty Origin 106. There’s a small part of me that even sees a narrow version of the Bibby. I know that’s a big statement and I definitely would not have put the Jeffrey on the same level as the Bibby last season, but there are some similarities. The Kartel 108 sits in the category with other hard charging skis that are also playful, energetic, and lively. It’s a ski that should handle soft snow well, and yet still be able to carve with some decent power and energy. I think it will be a really solid ski for playful skiers that want some power and stability as well. Those who want more of a directional feel should look towards the Wrenegade 108.
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
Riders: Matt and Laura
Conditions: 6″ fresh, Soft Chop, Groomed, Hard Pack, Hard Variable
Ski Personality: The ON3P Kartel 108 is a playful charger. It has a decent amount of life and energy, while still having a good amount of stability and dampness.
On the Snow Feel: The ski has a semi-stable feel, but like the Jeffrey I feel like it leans a bit more towards stable than loose. There is still a solid amount of playfulness, but it’s not as surfy as you might expect.
Powder: The Jeffrey 114 was what we classified as a powder charger, but it still wasn’t our favorite ski for deep snow. The Kartel doesn’t feel quite as substantial as the Jeffrey did, but it’s still a pretty burly ski. But, it does have a decent amount of tip rocker, and the flex is solid in softer snow. The 108 waist is wide enough for decent float. The ski planes well in deeper snow, and the ski feels maneuverable and easy to pivot. It’s not overly loose, but does allow you to slash and smear turns pretty well. I wouldn’t classify this as a powder ski by any means, but it is at home in soft snow, and would be a lot of fun on days that aren’t super deep.
Turn Initiation and Carving: I had a chance to ski the ON3P Kartel 108 and Wrenegade 108 on the same day, and wanted to talk a bit about the difference in initiation. I really love the Wrenegade 108, and how smooth, stable, and powerful turn initiation and edge to edge transitions feel. The Kartel has a different feel all-together, but I can’t say that I like it any less. I’d say the Kartel is far more responsive and energetic. The flex is medium stiff in tip and tail with quite a bit of stiffness underfoot. This allowed me to initiate turns and flex the ski moderately easily. At the same time the stiff section underfoot provides a decent amount of power and stability. The result is a ski that is easy to initiate, stable on edge, and lively and energetic when transitioning from edge to edge. I think if you like smooth and stable turns you’ll prefer the Wrenegade, but if you want power and energy, the Kartel will be the way to go. This is probably where I found the most similarities between the Supernaturals, Kartels, and Origins. All three are moderately powerful and stable, while still providing a good amount of energy and life.
Speed: The ON3P Kartel 108 is stable and energetic. I absolutely love this combination because it allows me to ski fast when I want to, but also make shorter and quicker turns. The Kartel definitely doesn’t have the same top end as the Wrenegade 108, but it still handled speed really well. Again, I feel like there is definitely some similarities to the Supernatural 108 and Origin 106.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Wrenegade 108 is so smooth and stable, and I really enjoyed carrying some speed into variable terrain. The ON3P Kartel 108 on the other hand is more energetic and lively, but I still really enjoyed the feel in soft chop and tracked out snow. The ski doesn’t cut through chop as well as the Wrenegade, and it doesn’t seem to smooth things out quite as well. Because of that I didn’t want to carry quite as much speed into variable snow, but rather slow things down and maneuver a bit more. Don’t get me wrong, the ski does a decent job absorbing terrain, and even with a pretty steep rocker line I didn’t notice a lot of deflection. But I found that it was just so much more fun to bounce over chop and crud, or maneuver around or over the snow rather than cut through. The ski is moderately damp, and the flex profile really does a solid job in absorbing terrain. It just doesn’t want to do it at full speed. Again, I feel like there is some similarities between the Kartel, Supernatural, and Origin.
Bottom Line: I really like the direction ON3P took with Kartel series. It still feels stable, damp, and powerful like the Jeffrey. It also has a lot of liveliness and energy, but is quicker than the Jeffrey in short radius, and more maneuverable in challenging terrain. The ON3P Kartel 108 will be a really good option for playful skiers that like to bounce, jump, jib, and butter all kinds of terrain, and want a ski that is still stable, and energetic. It’s a capable carver, and is capable at high speeds. If you like a more directional feel, more power, and stability, a longer radius, and a slightly less surfy feel, the Wrenegade may be the better option. Either way, I think this and the Wrenegade will both be very popular skis and versatile and capable daily driver type skis.
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.