Ski: 2015-2016 ON3P Jeffrey 114, 186cm
Stated Dimensions: 141-114-133
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 141-114-133
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 186.8cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2211 & 2208 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius: 24.9 meters
Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): ~79mm / ~67mm
Factory Recommended Line: -4.6cm from center; ~88.8cm from tail
Mount Location: Recommended Line
Boots / Bindings: Fischer RC4 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 11)
Test Location: Taos Ski Valley
We’ve been getting a ton of requests to review the ON3P Jeffrey 114, and it turns out that there were some very good reasons for people to be so curious.
We didn’t get the ski till late in the season, but two of us with very different skiing styles got time on the Jeffrey 114, and both of us came away impressed.
(I’m a decidedly directional skier, while new Blister reviewer, Alex Adams, is one hell of a directional skier who also loves tricking natural features, hitting jumps and rails in the park, and jibbing around the mountain.)
We look forward to getting more time on this ski, but we’ve already managed to get a very good sense of what it’s about.
ON3P says the Jeffrey is designed “for the freeride-minded skier who wants his soft snow skis to have a backbone, who understands that stability is an ally, and can’t worry about their skis failing along the way.”
As we noted in our preview of the Jeffrey 114, its weight (~2210 grams per ski in the 186cm length) and full bamboo core certainly suggested that it could be a strong contender in the “playful charger” category of all-mountain / powder skis … and it is.
Jonathan: When handflexing the ski, the Jeffrey 114 feels quite symmetrical, and very similar to the 186cm Blizzard Gunsmoke (a ski that we’ll be referencing quite a bit).
Both skis have medium/soft tails that ramp up in stiffness toward the center of the ski. The Gunsmoke ramps up slightly stiffer than the Jeffrey from the tail toward the center of the ski, but the difference isn’t huge by any means.
Having said that, handflexing the Jeffrey doesn’t tell the whole story…
Alex: As a matter of habit, I usually get off the chairlift first run of the day and flex my skis back and forth. I do this often, not just when I’m trying out a new pair.
I flexed into a nose press on the Jeffreys without a problem. Then I flexed into a tail press, and had the sensation that I was about to fall over backwards. As I found out during the rest of my afternoon on the skis, the flex—specifically in the tail of the skis—takes a little getting used to. There is a soft tail back there, but you only activate it by flexing past the stiff underfoot section. It’s like there is a “tipping point” in that you’re putting your weight back and not much happens because you are flexing the stiff part of the ski, and then you move back just a little bit more (past that tipping point) and boom, the ski bends with ease.
Jonathan and I both agree that this is easy to adjust to, but it just caught me a little off guard when I first got on the skis.
Jonathan: To Alex’s point, it took me all of two runs to get comfortable on this ski. And the more I skied it, the more I liked it.
Prior to getting on the Jeffrey 114, I’d been skiing a ton of relatively stiff, decidedly directional skis. And the Jeffrey 114 really does want you to play. So there was a bit of an adjustment to be made.
(I’ve said it before: this experience drove home to me all over again how useless it is to do 1 or 2 run ski reviews, which is still how many publications conduct their reviews. In fact, one of our reviewers was recently riding a chairlift with a couple of reviewers from some other review publication, who said that the magazine pairs up each reviewer with another reviewer that has the same boot size, so that they can switch skis half way down and review two skis every lap. What a remarkably efficient, incredibly useless way to review skis.)
The Jeffrey 114 is a good carver. It is not, however, a ski that encourages you to get out all over the shovel. Again, coming off of the stiffer, directional skis that I’d been skiing, this required a bit of an adjustment. But once I made the adjustment, I had a lot of fun carving these around softer spring groomers.
So no, the Jeffrey 114 won’t let you drive it like a traditional ski, it wants you to carve the ski from a centered stance, using the stiffer portion of the ski underfoot. So rather than drive the shovels hard, I could throw the skis far out to the side and still hit high edge angles, I just needed to deliberately work the ski side to side, and the ski would respond with solid edge hold. It required a bit of an adjustment, but the result was a really good time on soft groomers.
Alex: I agree with Jonathan here. The Jeffrey 114 has a very fun feel to it. You can flex it more easily into a carve at slower speeds than you can on a true charging ski (e.g., the Liberty Variant 113), and it really does hold an edge quite well. I never felt my skis try to drift or slip out, and I was able to keep them comfortably in control the whole time.
Furthermore, I was impressed by how easy it was to throw on the brakes when things got sketchy.
Hot Pow / Spring Slush
Alex: In these conditions, the Jeffrey 114 was really solid, all around the mountain. I’ve yet to ski an ON3P ski that wasn’t quite good in variable conditions, and the Jeffrey 114 is no exception. Point ‘em or throw some slushy carves in there, the Jeffrey felt at home.
I was curious to see if I would notice much tip flopping or folding while straight-lining chopped up snow (trying to get a comparison to floppy K2 Hellbents), and I hardly noticed. Sure, the tips give more than a true charging ski, but the effect felt negligible.
Jonathan: To be clear, ON3P doesn’t position the Jeffrey 114 as some badass charger—they just say that it’s a pow ski with a backbone. And that’s true. This is not a demanding ski, but from a centered-stance, you can push it quite hard, and the ski feels quick and substantial, without feeling demanding.
Jonathan: In soft, spring bumps, the Jeffrey 114 is a lot of fun—it’s easy to pivot, and like most more center-mounted skis, they are quick. In icy bumps, I doubt the width of these skis would be doing you any favors, but in anything soft, I was happy skiing these.
Alex: I felt the same. For a ski this size, it was actually pretty easy to pivot and turn quickly.
I did find that a positive, forward stance made a huge difference with this ski in the bumps. After getting sent to the back seat from hitting an awkward mogul, I had a couple unpleasant turns. Consciously moving my stance forward again, I regained full control and was able to cruise through the rest of the bumps in the run. This is just to say this ski really benefits from a positive stance when the terrain gets rough.
Jonathan: Yep, as we’ve pointed out—and unlike the Blister / Bibby Pro—the Jeffrey 114 isn’t going to be too accommodating if you get back on the tails. Those tails (and tips) are relatively soft, and they’re relatively soft for a reason…
NEXT: In the Air, Landings, and Comparisons (Blizzard Gunsmoke & Moment Blister Pro)