Ski: 2018-2019 ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm
Available Lengths (cm): 176, 181, 186, 191 cm
Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 186.2 cm
Stated Weight: 2380 g per ski
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2408 & 2421 grams
Stated Dimensions (mm): 143-116-135
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 144-117-135 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius: 24.9 meters
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 79 mm / 64 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4-5 mm
Recommended Mount Point: -4.1 cm from center; 89 cm from tail
Test Location: Mt Bachelor, OR; Grand Targhee, WY
Days Skied: 12
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 Kartel 116, which was not changed for 17/18 or 18/19, apart from graphics.]
The Kartel 116 replaces ON3P’s Jeffrey 114, a ski that several of us at Blister really, really like. The Jeffrey 114 was very versatile; it could be pushed quite hard, but it also had a very playful personality. It was very predictable, and it worked well across a wide range of conditions for a wide range of skiers.
So when the Jeffrey line was absorbed into ON3P’s more jib-oriented Kartel line this season, we were sad to see a favorite ski go, but extremely curious to see what the new Kartel 116 would bring to the table, and how similar or different the two skis were.
ON3P says this about the new ski: “The Kartel 116 incorporates previous Jeffrey design into an updated, freshly-tuned option for the wider ski market. Deep days, powder landings, and pillow lines are the name of the game. A modified tip taper improves tracking through variable snow and decreases swing weight, while enhancing float by pushing more width into the forebody of the ski.”
That sounds about right. On paper, the Kartel 116 is 2 mm wider than the Jeffrey 114 in every dimension, and has the exact same sidecut radius. The rocker profiles are very similar, as are the flex patterns of the two skis. What really stands out is the new tip shape; there’s definitely more taper than on the old Jeffrey, but still, the Kartel 116 does not have a super-tapered tip (a la the Rossignol Super 7, and so many current skis on the market). So the question is what happens when you take one of our favorite playful chargers and make it a little wider and add a little more tip taper?
Hand flexing the Kartel 116 and Jeffrey 114 back-to-back reveals a very similar flex pattern. Our Jeffrey 114s feel just a touch softer in the tips and tails, but it’s such a minute difference that it could possibly be due to the fact that they’ve probably been on snow twice as many days as the Kartel.
Jonathan Ellsworth described the Jeffrey’s flex as “medium / soft” at the tips and tails, ramping up toward the middle of the ski. Both he and Alex noted that the Jeffrey’s tips and tails are significantly softer than the rest of the ski, making the ski easy to press and pop. But the midsection of the ski is no noodle.
The Kartel 116 is very similar in that regard. I never had any trouble loading the tips or tails to pop, but at speed, the hearty backbone of the ski becomes apparent. It feels like a very dialed blend of Playful and Pushable that makes for a very versatile ski.
I was lucky enough to start my time on the Kartel 116 at Mt Bachelor, where we were skiing deep, wet, PNW pow. And on my return to Wyoming, I was met with deep, light, continental snow. In both situations, the Kartel 116 was a blast, which of course is to be expected from a 116mm-waisted ski in fresh powder. The big question in my mind was how the Kartel’s more tapered shape would feel compared to my previous default pow ski, the Jeffrey 114.
Honestly, I didn’t notice the new shape that much until I got into the tighter trees below Das Boot at Targhee. Here the Kartel felt a little quicker and easier to flick around than the Jeffrey, despite the fact that the Kartel is heavier and 2 mm wider. By the end of the day, I found myself dancing through the fresh snow in these trees faster than I had all season, and swapping back to the Jeffrey 114 for a run felt just a bit unwieldy.
The Kartel 116 is an absolute blast in pow. Like the Jeffrey 114, I was impressed by its versatility. It responds well to being pushed, and on both skis, I found myself skiing faster and stepping up to bigger airs and higher-consequence lines.
NEXT: Soft Chop, In the Air, Etc.