2011-2012 ON3P Billy Goat

Ski: 2011-2012 ON3P Billy Goat, 191cm ON3P Billy Goat, Blister Gear Review

Dimensions (mm): 143-118-128

Turn Radius: 28.3 meters

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 191.1cm

Weight Per Ski: 2420 grams / 5.3 pounds

Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester / (DIN) 9.5

Mount Location: Factory recommended (-9 cm from true center)

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley, Keystone

Days Skied: 4

Taos Ski Valley has had some of the best conditions in the U.S. all winter long, including back in early December. On the 10th, I, along with BLISTER’s Jonathan Ellsworth, Jed Doane, Justin Bobb, and Ryan Heffernan, took advantage of a recent 8” storm and newly opened terrain with a hike up Taos’ Highline Ridge. We put in laps off Kitchen Wall down into Corner Chute and Trescow where we found gorgeous, dense (by Taos standards) untracked pow.

My first line on the ON3P Billy Goats was down a short, mini-spine that ended in a small air along Kitchen wall. It wasn’t close to anything gnarly, but given that these were my first turns on the ski, I was a little unsure of what to expect from them. I had a feeling the Billy Goats would provide a stable platform for airs and drops, which was certainly the case. These skis are not light. They’re probably the last thing I would pick for a b.c. jib session, but sending cliffs is something the Billy Goats are happy to do.

(Next season, however, ON3P is offering a “Tour” version of the Billy Goat with a lighter composite core layup – more about this later.)

After Kitchen Wall, we made our way down through Corner Chute. With untouched conditions and moderately spaced trees that allowed for a variety of line choices, I felt confident in opening things up on the 191s.

Sure enough, with no mandatory, quick moves required, I had no problem following a fast, smooth route through the trees. Longer, smeared turns were comfortable running straight down the fall line (rather than tighter, pivoted ones).

Will Brown, airing out of Corner Chute Trees, Taos.
Will Brown, Corner Chute Trees, Taos.

What’s more, the Billy Goats’ shovels produce awesome float through any turn shape in fresh snow with no discernible tip dive or hookiness when laid out across the slope.

I have since found that all the above is true so long as you’re carrying a good deal of speed. At slower speeds, the Billy Goats become significantly less responsive, making things interesting in tight trees. Jonathan Ellsworth put time on the the 2010-2011 186cm Billy Goat, which he says is on par with the nimble S7 and Super 7 in terms of maneuverability in trees. I would hesitate to say the same about the newer 191, even on the feet of an accomplished skier. But ON3P designed the 191 to be “a more agressive version of the Billy Goat,” a stiffer, wider, version with a longer turn radius.” Mission accomplished.

The Billy Goats are a dedicated pow ski with a lengthy 28.3m turn radius, and there are other skis out there that float just as well in fresh, yet are far more lively on groomers (the 190cm Bibby Pro comes to mind). However, this is not to say that the hardpack performance of the Billy Goat is disappointing.

I haven’t skied previous versions of the Billy Goat, so I cannot speak to its handling on hard snow in comparison to past years. Nonetheless, considering the float and stability of the skis in fresh snow, not to mention their overall size, the 191 Billy Goats are pretty dependable on groomers. In reasonably soft snow the ski is capable of making monstrous, stable turns—though not exactly railed carves—with consistent & predictable edge hold.

The Billy Goat’s shovels want to bite and slow a little more than the tails do when shutting down speed on hard snow, but this is really quite manageable and easy to adjust to. I’m usually bothered by pin-tail designs because of the shovel’s tendency to bite and hook up, throwing the narrower tail out behind (which can be pretty obnoxious in crud and variable conditions if you’re not 100% ready for it).

With relatively little sidecut through the shovel, the Billy Goat doesn’t tend to do this as much as similarly shaped skis I’ve been on (namely the Squad 7 and the proto-version of the 196cm Moment Bibby Special), perhaps because of less splay and taper in the BG’s tail or a heavier swing weight.

15 comments on “2011-2012 ON3P Billy Goat”

  1. Nice write up! I own the 191’s, and have been skiing them all winter in CO (not a lot of powder days), and love the way they handle on hard pack as well as fresh/chopped/crud snow. I have to agree with your take on the manuverability in tight trees. I dropped my 188 S7’s for the 191 bg’s, and this is really the only area that I miss the s7’s. I wonder if the 186 bg’s would perform better in these conditions. Do you have any plans to jump on the 11/12 186 bg’s or 12/13?

  2. Figured I’d cross post this from TGR. Call it a “First Impressions” review:

    I got a bit of time on the 2012/2013 191 BG weekend before last (thanks XavierD!). I figured I’d give some impressions here relative to some other skis that I have skied recently. I have no affiliation with any of the companies involved, but keep in mind that I do not own the 191 BG, while I do own the others. However, I think the gear whore in me would be more than happy to sell whatever I own if I thought there was something better out there. Overall, I think the 191 BG is an excellent ski, and certainly has its place….just not in my quiver. Note that I didn’t have a whole lot of time on the 191 BG – maybe 5 runs or so, and I was taking it pretty easy the particular day I skied them because I had sprained my wrist three days prior.

    Me: 23 years old, 5’11”, 165#, skiing 20 years, recovering from hip and knee surgery (super weak).
    Boot: Full Tilt w/ #10 tongue
    Bindings: All skis tested with FKS w/ DIN ~13.
    Location: Stevens Pass, WA, 15″ of new with bluebird skis

    I directly compared the 191 BG (mounted on the line) to the 186 4FRNT Renegade (mounted 87 from tail) and the PM Gear 191 Lhasa Fat (super-stiff, all-carbon version, mounted +3ish mm by accident). I think the 191 BG is somewhere in between the other two skis in terms of easiness to ski and stability in chop. Let me start by saying the 191 Lhasa Fat is a great touring ski that also works well in the resort (they are mounted with inserts for Plum Guide and FKS, though I primarily tour on them). They are similar to the DPS Lotus 120 – though with slightly more sidecut and much stiffer (I’ll save that comparison for a different thread). The Fats are super easy to ski, particularly on groomers, but tend to get bounced around in chop.

    Untracked pow: Fortunately, we got to ski quite a few turns in untracked pow. All the skis are a delight in untracked, but I might give a slight nod to the 191 BG over the 19 Fat – in the heavy PNW snow, there is a slight tendency for the tips to dive on the Fats if I get too far forward on them. (To be fair, Pat does recommend mounting -5mm for a more pow-oriented performance.) Regarding the Rens vs BGs, XavierD noticed that he felt like he had more faceshots on the 186 Ren than the 191 BG, so I guess that ski is more in the snow than the 191 Fat. Honestly, I didn’t notice a major difference in untracked between the Rens and the BGs – I was too busy smiling! But I suspect the pintail and extra length of the BG (particularly in the tip) comes into play in untracked, providing more float than the smaller, straighter Renegade. Once or twice in the 10 or so days I’ve spent on the Renegade, I have noticed the tips diving if I get too far forward. This is probably a combination of the full reverse and the smaller tip, and I attribute it more to pilot error (not being as balanced as I should have been) than any inherent flaw in the ski.

    Tracked pow: I have never found myself going mach looney in tracked pow on the 191 Fat – they don’t have a speed limit, per say, but they don’t inspire confidence in cut-up pow for the way I ski. Although, I recently watched helmet cam footage taken on the Fats, and the Fats do charge pretty hard…I don’t think anyone would say I was skiing “slowly.” The 191 BGs are slightly more work than the 191 Fats, but also much better going mach snell through chop. I think that both of these characteristics are probably just because of the added weight of the BG. The BG does have quite a bit more sidecut than the 191 Fat, but that didn’t seem to affect the size turns I wanted to make – both skis made short and long radius turns just fine for me. I think the main difference is simply the drastically-different weight. I would probably choose the 191 BG over the 191 Fat if I was just skiing the resort. However, at just over 4# per ski, the 191 Fat is perfect for me as a winter touring ski.

    The 186 Renegade, on the other hand, wants to go fast. I found myself going faster on the Renegade than the 191 BG, particularly through tracked-out powder, and MUCH faster than on the 191 Fat…though not as fast as the 202 DPS L138, which seems to make downright-frightening speeds seem completely sane. (Then again, the fact that I’m even comparing a 186 to a 202 should give you an indication of how hard the 186 Rens charge.) Again, I’m not sure the casual observer would notice a difference in the speed on the 191 BG and 186 Ren, but I do.

    Hardpack: There is a distinct difference in how you drive each ski on hardpack. The Rens, with full reverse, require a balanced stance and don’t like to be driven from the tip, racer style. The 191 BG performs much more like a traditional ski, and I felt comfortable on hardpack pressuring the tips into fast and smooth turns. They did not feel as quick edge-to-edge as the 191 Fat, and I didn’t feel like I could carve tight GS turns like I could on the 191 Fats – the rebound on those skis is insane for a ski of that width. The obvious note here is that the more camber the ski has, the better it is at railing quick GS turns, and that was definitely apparent in the performance of each ski on the groom. Interestingly, despite similar weights (the BG is 0.6 lb heavier per pair, mfg stated weights), the 191 BG felt heavy on my feet, even sluggish at times, something I never feel with the Rens.

    Trees: I did not get the BG into any super-tight trees, so I cannot comment on their performance there. However, I have found the Renegade, for as much as it loves speed, performs quite well in tight trees. I suspect this has to do with the full reverse camber much more than the sidecut (which is very small). I have not yet found a situation where the trees were too tight for the ski. As I continue to gain core and leg strength after surgery, I think the Renegade will gain even more agility in trees. Given the way the BG felt heavy on my feet, I could see them requiring more speed to initiate turns. Also, I think the 191 BG and 191 Fat turn tend to use the sidecut to turn, while the Renegade can pivot sideway in a way only full reverse camber skis can. (But that’s really just speculation more than anything else.) My personal style lends itself to liking the Rens at full throttle in tight trees more than the 191 Fat because of how easily the Rens can be shut down. Also, there is quite a bit less tip in front of you on the Renegade than either the 191 Fat or the 191 BG, which makes it easier to jump turn or pivot quickly/billy goat at slower speeds.

    Summary: I think physically strong and technically proficient skiers looking at a resort ski for trees and open faces should take a hard look at the 186 Renegade before going with the 191 BG. The Rens are probably more work than appeals to the average skier, but, for me, they do everything better (except groomers, where I think their performance is comparable once you adapt to the Rens carving). For those interested in long tours, I think the 191 Fat is the ticket. However, I think next year’s 191 BillyGoat Tour will be extremely appealing to those looking for a 50/50 inbounds/touring setup that is moderately-light and will still charge. But even then, I would probably prefer some Dynafits on the Renegades.

    • Great write up, Zak! Thanks for this. Just a couple thoughs: (1) I completely agree with your assessment of the Renegade – loves speed, but is incredibly quick and good in trees because it pivots so easily. (2) As I mentioned in my Praxis Protest review, I can’t stand tip dive in pow, and for that reason, I’d have trouble making the Renegade my go-to pow ski. While I had some issues with the 10/11, 186cm ON3P Billy Goat (issues quite similar to the Renegade, actually), I had NO such issues with the 11/12 191cm Billy Goat. So while I’d much prefer the Renegades in trees to the BGs, I’d take the BGs in pow, for sure.

      And that is also why we can’t wait to get on the Billy Goat Tour – our hunch is that the reduced weight BG will still charge, but also be more manageable in tight trees. I’m willing to wager that the BG Tour won’t feel like some watered down, flimsified tool designed just to make the slog uphill a little easier, I bet it will work great as an inbounds ski, too.

      Thanks again for the great info.

  3. For sure, man. Thanks for the awesome reviews! As I’ve said multiple times before, Blister is an awesome site. (psst…wanna hire me? :P )

    Tip dive is actually one of my pet peeves as well, but, personally, I haven’t experienced too much of it on the 186 Renegade…once I got used to driving the ski in a balanced stance. There are four reasons I can think to explain our different reactions to it in pow:

    1) you’ve got a good 20-25# on me (if the stats in your bio are correct). Honestly, it seems like the 196 Renegade would be a better tool for your size. I’d be really curious to see how you like that ski. Frankly though, I really wish they would make a 191 Renegade for people in the 165 – 185 lb range. This seems like the most likely reason to me.

    2) I ski in the PNW where the snow is on the heavy side, and

    3) I have 202 Lotus 138s for days when the snow is super deep and/or I’m skiing more open faces than tight trees. For like 90% of the days I’m at Stevens Pass, the Renegade is perfect for me – even though I may start on L138s and switch it up in the afternoon.

    4) Maybe you just didn’t spend enough time on the Renegade. It took me a while to get used to the ski – much longer than the Lotus 138s, even though I skied them my second day ever on a rockered ski and R/R has a reputation for having a learning curve. I don’t think I really fell in love with the ski until my second or third day on them.

    Or maybe you’re just more aggressive than I am…

    Anyway, my point was just to offer up a little different perspective. Oh, and I agree…I can’t imagine ON3P making a flimsy tool for the uphill.

  4. Hi Will,

    Thanks for the great review!

    Looking for a bit of advise. I live in Australia and thus ski mostly in icy, slushy and wet snow. However I am heading over to Niseko in the new year. I am looking for a one ski quiver that will work both in the soft in Japan and the slush in Australia.

    I am 6 foot, weigh 190 pounds and I’m in intermediate/advanced skier. 90% of my time would be spent skiing in resorts on trails.

    I have been looking at the ON3P Billy Goat, Moment PB&J the Moment Belafonte all around the ~185cm range.

    Are you able to give recommendations on what you think the best ski would be for me?



    • Hi Eddie,

      Of the three skis you’ve mentioned, I think the 186cm Billy Goat will work best. It should still be able to handle slush well, but will provide better float than the PB&J and Belafonte in Japan. The 191 would probably be more ski than you’d need if you’ll be spending most of your time cruising around the resort.

      Hope this helps,

      Will B

    • Hey Ben,

      This coming season (13/14) ON3P has mad the “Tour” version of this year, the only BG model. We’re going to try and get on the 13/14 BG asap. Thanks for reading!


      • Hey Will,

        I’ll give another bump to an ON3P “Tour” review. It looks like 50/50 tour/resort charging skis are becoming a popular niche. I’m very curious how Moment’s “Exit World” and ON3P’s “Tour” do. I was fairly disappointed by Blizzard’s “Scout,” but expecting a lightweight “Cochise” is a pretty high expectation.

  5. Hi,

    Have you had the chance to test the 13/14 Tour version and is there any comparision to the exit world? Because at the moment I’m looking for a new freeride touring option and a bit undecided between those two. But off couse also as I’m missing a real review of the billy goat tour version ;o)



  6. I was wondering if you guys had put any turns in on the ON3P Steeple 112. The shape, weight, and flex looks really dialed. Interested in a ski for longish tours including some hut trips in the interior of BC. I would put a G3 ion or Kingpin on the ski with mtn lab boot. Looking for a ski, boot, binding combo that will work well together. I am 6 foot 3 195 lbs and grew up ski racing although I am not much of a charger; I like to turn.

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