2018-2019 ON3P Kartel 108

Luke Koppa reviews the ON3P Kartel 108 for Blister
ON3P Kartel 108

Ski: 2018-2019 ON3P Kartel 108, 186 cm

Available Lengths: 171, 176, 181, 186, 191 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.6 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2300 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2221 & 2245 grams

Stated Dimensions: 136-108-130 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137-108-130 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 22.2 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 80 mm / 68 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2 mm

Core: Bamboo + 2” Unidirectional Carbon Stringers (top & bottom) + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: 1.8 mm 4001 Durasurf

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -4.6 cm from center; 88.7 cm from tail

Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: On the line

Boots: Salomon QST Pro 130, Nordica Strider 120, Dalbello Lupo SP I.D., & Full Tilt First Chair 8

Bindings: Marker Jester Demo

Test Locations: Telluride Ski Resort, Aspen Snowmass, & Arapahoe Basin, CO; Snowbird, UT

Reviewers:

  • Luke Koppa: 5’8″, 155 lbs
  • Sam Shaheen: 5’10”, 140 lbs
  • Joey Teahan: 6’3″, 190 lbs

Days Skied (total): 10

Intro

The ON3P Kartel 108 has become somewhat of a staple in the category of all-mountain freestyle skis. We’ve been very impressed by its blend of playfulness and stability, and it has repeatedly won one of our “Best Of” awards.

Yet for 18/19, ON3P has tweaked the Kartel 108. But before we start cursing and hoarding pairs of the 17/18 Kartel 108, ON3P has encouraged us to remain calm, saying the changes are pretty minor. It’s also worth noting that ON3P is getting rid of the Kartel 98 for 18/19 and replacing it with the Kartel 96, which has new dimensions and changes to the sidecut that are similar to what we’ll be discussing below.

(For more info on the entire 18/19 ON3P line, check out our recent conversation with ON3P founder, Scott Andrus.)

Shape / Rocker Profile

In terms of shape and rocker profile, the Kartel 108 comes back pretty much the same. It still has a lot of tip and tail rocker for a ski of this width, and maintains the fairly squared-off tips and tails.

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the Kartel 108, here’s how we’d sum up its flex pattern:

Tips: 7 or 7.5-8
Shovels: 7.5-8.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 10-9
Tails: 8

Despite the very playful rocker profile and shape, the Kartel 108 does not have some noodly flex pattern. Its tips feel accessible but not super soft, and the back of the ski actually feels pretty strong. Compared to the 18/19, 189 cm ON3P Wrenegade 108, the Kartel 108 feels slightly softer in the tips and a bit softer in the tails, but the difference between the flex patterns of the skis is not very dramatic.

Sidecut Radius

This is the main change to the 18/19 Kartel 108 (and Kartel 98 / 96).

According to ON3P, the current 2017-2018 Kartel 98 and 108 uses an elliptical sidecut in both the front and back of the ski. This basically means that the sidecut is longer / straighter in the middle of the ski, and gets shorter / tighter as you get closer to the ends of the ski.

For 18/19, the Kartel 108 and 96 will now use what ON3P is calling “hybrid sidecut,” which is elliptical in the front of the ski, and standard radius in the back of the ski. (The Kartel 116 will return unchanged, maintaining a bi-radius sidecut)

Here’s what ON3P’s Scott Andrus says about the change to the sidecut:

“As we push the Kartel line a bit more all mountain, we wanted a bit less hookiness in the tail, while keeping the skis ability to carve going forward. So this will hold the turn shape in the tail a bit more consistently and takes out a bit of catchiness. That said, its a minor change so I’m not sure that most people would be able to notice.”

We didn’t find the 17/18 Kartel 108 to feel particularly hooky, but we’ll be keeping this sidecut change in mind while testing the updated Kartel 108.

Weight

At around 2230 grams for the 186 cm, the 18/19 Kartel 108 is coming in at nearly the same weight as the 17/18 version, and we expect it to offer a similar level of stability.

For reference, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis:

2032 & 2062 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm
2109 & 2145 Armada ARV 106, 188 cm
2144 & 2153 K2 Marksman, 184 cm
2221 & 2245 ON3P Kartel 108, 186 cm (18/19)
2241 & 2295 4FRNT Devastator, 184 cm
2262 & 2270 ON3P Kartel 108, 186 cm (17/18)

Bottom Line (For Now)

The updates to the 18/19 Kartel 108 are supposed to be subtle, so we’ll be weighing in on how subtle or significant those changes feel on snow.

Flash Review: ON3P Kartel 108

We’ve already started to get time on the Kartel 108 in Telluride, and Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Kartel 108.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: The Full Review

20 comments on “2018-2019 ON3P Kartel 108”

    • Hey Jeff — good catch. The Kartel 116 does indeed have a bi-radius sidecut, and returns unchanged for 18/19. I’ve updated the post above.

  1. Do you know how the camber height and rocker length of these skis compare to the Kartel 96? Thanks in advance.

  2. Great review! Maybe too much of a different category, but how does it compare to J Skis The Metal? Playfulness? Charginess? Carving? Thanks!

    • That’s a tough question since we haven’t been able to A/B those skis in a while.

      That said, we think the Kartel 108 is damper, so we think it’d remain a bit more composed in rough conditions like crud. But on firm, smooth snow the Deathwish has significantly better edge hold. Another important thing to consider is the stance these two skis prefer. The Kartel 108 requires a pretty centered stance, while you can drive the shovels of the Deathwish a bit more. In terms of pop, we’ll have to ski these skis back to back to judge that (which we plan on doing this winter).

      Hope that helps, and as I said, we’re hoping to A/B these skis this season.

      — Luke

  3. Thanks so much for this site! I’m adding a set of twin tips to my quiver. I’d love some input to help me narrow down the list.

    I’m looking for a playful ski with a 100-109 waist for trees, small jumps, crud, bumps, and some powder. I ride in this type of snow but my wife rides groomers so I need the ability to ride the front side. A true all-mountain twin tip ski. I’m 5’10 190lbs and an advanced skier. We almost solely ski out west, CO, UT, WY, AZ, etc….

    I’ve been looking at ON3P Kartel 108, 4FRNT Devastator, Moment PB&J, J Metal, & others. What do you guys recommend in an all-mounrain twin tip in the 100-109 range? Thanks!

    • Of the skis in that category, the Kartel 108 is one of the best for soft snow, but it’s not great on really firm groomers (which is basically the only condition I didn’t love it on). So if you’re mostly skiing soft-ish snow, it’s an excellent option. If you’ll be spending a decent amount of time on groomers (particularly firm groomers), I think the J Skis Metal or Sego Big Horn 106 could be good options. The Metal is significantly more damp and stable than the Big Horn 106, but the Big Horn is a bit more playful and easier to flick around in the air and on the ground. For a middle ground between those two skis, the new Armada ARV 106 is an excellent all-around option.

      Hope that helps, and let me know about any other questions.

  4. Thank you Luke. That helps tremendously. How would you compare the J skis Metal to the Armada ARV 106, the PB&J, Icelantic Nomad 105, and the 4FRNT Devastator? Currently my top 5 but I’m open to change.

  5. Let me narrow that list down from my last question actually. I have made a short list to buy from. How would you compare the Kartel 108, PB&J, Armada ARV 106, and J Skis The Metal? I’m positive I will buy one of these but am looking for some more feedback and direct comparison on them. Thanks!

    • So the Metal will be the most damp and stable, but the Kartel isn’t far off in terms of stability. The ARV 106 is just below the Kartel in terms of stability, but again, it’s not a huge difference. Unfortunately, we haven’t been on the PB&J recently to compare it to the other skis, but we should be getting on it soon. It’s the lightest of the bunch, and I imagine it’d be the easiest to ski at lower speeds and the easiest to spin. So if you want max stability, go Metal. If you want similar stability but with better soft-snow performance (and slightly worse performance on ice), then the Kartel is a good call. The ARV 106 is the best all-arounder — it’s pretty stable, but also easy to spin and lighter than the Kartel and Metal.

      Hope that helps!

  6. I’m from New Zealand and ski at Craigieburn Valley Ski area, so there are no groomers and a wide range of conditions. I’m 182cm (about 6 foot) tall, I was using the Faction ct 3.0 182 mounted on the candide line as my one ski quiver last year I really loved the playfullnes that the ski inspired, I always find myself jumping of every cliff or windlip I can find, and was awesome for everything except crud/chop where i got thrown around a lot, and heavier pow where I found myself having to lean back to keep the tips up. From what Ive read I think the Kartel 108 181 would be a good fit for me and the conditions if I kept the factions for firm days. I’m 17 and have only been skiing 4 years so I havnt been on many skis to really know what I really need in want a ski and whether the centred stance is for me, I have only demoed the qst 106 which I thought was a boring non- playful. I may be asking too much of a ski but my type of riding is spinning off natural features but will also spend alot of time in tight technical chutes and crud. Is there a better option than the Kartel for me? When will you be on ON3Ps new Woodsman as I’m thinking that a mix of the wren and kartel could be perfect. Thanks

    • Based on what you’ve said, I think the Kartel 108 would be an awesome addition to your quiver, especially if you have the CT 3.0 for firm days. The Kartel 108 should feel similar to the CT 3.0 in terms of general skiing style, but the Kartel 108 will be far more stable and damp compared to the CT 3.0. Yet, the Kartel is still super playful (much more so than the QST 106). On anything softer than ice, the Kartel 108 is really fun, so I wouldn’t worry about skiing it on crud and in tighter chutes.

      As for the new ON3P skis, we’ll be getting on them as soon as ON3P has dialed in the production versions of the new skis. We’ll post as soon as we get them in hand.

  7. Have you guys played around with mounting position at all on these? As you guys mentioned, they definitely need a centered stance, or I feel like they get squirrely. I also have some Masterblasters, which I absolutely love, and feel like I can stay centered but also drive forward. Do you think moving my mount back from recommended by 1-2cm should help?

    On another note, since I love my Masterblasters so much, would you guys have any suggestions on any other skis that are essentially a wider Masterblaster somewhere in the range of 102-112 underfoot? I primarily ski Squaw, don’t do any spins, but love to jump, pop, and drop off everything I can find, but at the same time like a ski with enough backbone and dampness to charge. Thanks!

    • I’ve skied the Kartel 108 at -1 and -2 from recommended, and didn’t really notice a big difference in terms of the stance the ski required. That said, ON3P has a ski coming out that will slot between the Kartel and Wrenegade, and it sounds like it could be just what you’re looking for. We should be getting on it soon, and will be posting updates about it.

      As for a wider Masterblaster, the J Skis Metal is probably your best bet. It’s a bit softer than the Masterblaster, but maintains the damp feel and plenty of playfulness.

      My other recommendations would be the Nordica Enforcer 110 and K2 Mindbender 108Ti. I love both the Enforcer 110 and Masterblaster, and feel like I can ski both of them in a very similar manner. The Mindbender is a bit more directional, less playful, and less loose, but I imagine you’d still like it.

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