The SENDr planes well in most light Colorado pow, but when the snow gets over about 18” (assuming it’s quite light) the SENDr has a hard time floating to the top.
Even though it has a very rearward mount, the tail on the SENDr still feels long and stiff, which means that transitioning to the more neutral stance people often use for skiing deep powder is difficult. That doesn’t mean you can’t drive this ski in deeper snow though. The generous length of its tip rocker means the SENDr is predictable and happy to submarine in and out of the snow when you drive the tips.
In bottomless snow, I’d prefer a ski with a softer tail that caters to a neutral stance — basically the opposite of the SENDr.
It is worth noting that skiing the SENDr from a neutral stance is possible. It has a very small sweet spot and requires near perfect balance, but it is possible. And honestly, doing so is quite fun. It took me at least 10 days on the ski to figure out how to ski it from a neutral stance, and it isn’t the ski’s natural habitat. But if you can walk that line and find that tiny sweet spot, it is very fun to surf a ski that has this much power in the tail. Imagine big, loose slashes where the ski slingshots back into the next turn rather than responding with a typical mushy, surf-ski flop. Awesome. Just be prepared for the inevitable tomahawk if you get too far backseat.
Ok, you’re probably not going to rail groomers on your touring skis very often, but I’ve had a few resort days on the SENDr, and have been very happy putting the ski on edge.
The SENDr is stiff but has a lot of energy. The tail really likes to pop you out of a turn and the ski can stand up to a lot of speed, especially when you’re carving hard turns on edge.
Because it has a pretty big radius and not much camber, the SENDr needs a little speed to come alive, but once it does, it carves excellently. It’s not an alpine ski and it definitely has a speed limit on the far upper end, but the SENDr rails hard for a touring ski.
When I first got the SENDr, I was exclusively using it for Berthoud pass pow days, but I quickly realized that it could handle bad snow as well. Because it likes to be driven and responds well to precise skiing, the SENDr actually performs very well on hard, icy, and steep conditions.
Besides the 188 cm length and the 112 mm waist, the SENDr has every feature of my perfect mountaineering ski (though my dream mountaineering ski would be a bit shorter and narrower). It is stiff, light, straight, predictable, and loves to be driven. It holds a great edge, has lots of power, and inspires confidence where plenty of my other mountaineering skis can make me nervous due to their lightweight constructions (especially in bad snow conditions).
Even with the length and width of the SENDr, it jump turns easily. The swing weight is amazingly low and it turns precisely and intuitively (as long as you’re driving the tips).
The ski is light, and it does gets kicked around the more variable the snow gets. However, because the SENDr rewards a forward stance, the technique involved in skiing it helps counteract the squirreliness that hard, bumpy snow can create. The harder you drive the ski, the less it gets bumped around. This, combined with the aforementioned damping afforded by the metal laminate and PU sidewalls, means the SENDr skis a bit “heavier” than it actually is, and that’s a very good thing. I still wouldn’t call this ski “damp” within the full spectrum of (alpine and touring) skis, but it is more damp than any other ski I’ve ridden at this weight.
And though it’s not as damp as heavier skis, the metal and PU sidewalls do make the SENDr predictable. I’m not worried about this ski jumping around on me, tracking weird, or folding up when I need it. It does what you ask (so long as you provide enough input), and remains composed enough to provide fair warning when it can’t take anymore (e.g., at very high speeds).
In the Air
The SENDr has essentially no freestyle feel. It is mounted at -11.3 cm and has a flat, stiff tail. The SENDr doesn’t want to jib, spin, or flip. However, it does like to jump off of stuff, it just likes to be pointed downhill and skied aggressively while you do it. As long as you’re not getting tricky, the SENDr is confident in the air.
When dropping cliffs, the wider waist, minimal sidecut, and strong tail all make for a solid landing platform, which makes the SENDr’s speed limit (and perhaps your bindings) more of a limiting factor than the size of the cliff.
Is It a 50/50 Ski?
I’ll start by saying the idea of 50/50 inbounds / touring gear doesn’t sit well with me, primarily because of the sacrifice that tends to happen in boots and bindings. You seem to always get a squirrelly inbounds setup and a heavy backcountry setup — neither of which is what I want to ski all the time.
That being said, the SENDr would make a good ski for someone who really wants a 70/30 (backcountry/resort) ski. It’s a bit light for something I’d want to spin lift laps on, but pair it with a solid AT binding and a strong boot, and it’d be very capable.
I think the type of skier who is going to love the SENDr, though, is the same person who is going to want their alpine setup to be solid, heavy, and ready to charge — race boots, FKS bindings, and a long, stiff, damp ski. If that’s your inbounds setup, then take a look at the SENDr for the backcountry.
Who’s It For?
The SENDr is best suited for strong skiers who like to drive through the front of their boots and ski aggressively. It is light enough for long tours and ski mountaineering but, for me, it’s a bit too light to be a true 50/50 ski.
If you want to ski hard in the backcountry and like the confidence and damping of a metal ski, you’ll appreciate the SENDr, especially if you have solid technique.
Of course, this means that the SENDr is not a ski for beginners, and I would even have a hard time recommending it to a high-intermediate skier. It isn’t forgiving at all. If you’re not doing your best Tommy Moe impression, you might find yourself on your ass, often. However, I think the SENDr will make any skier better. So if you’re willing to put in the effort, the SENDr will whip your technique up a few notches because you can’t slack off, and will reward that technique at speed.
I initially assumed that the G3 SENDr 112 would be a specialty ski for deep days and big terrain. But it quickly turned into my daily driver this winter, and I’ve been impressed by it every time I’ve taken it out. The ski is powerful, precise, light, traditional, pretty damp, and just plain fun.
If you want to surf around in powder, swerve, spin, or anything else that rewards a more neutral stance, look elsewhere. But for those with an aggressive style who like to drive their skis, the SENDr 112 is the best ski in this weight class that I’ve skied.
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