2011-2012 ON3P Jeronimo, 181cm

Review of the ON3P Jeronimo, Blister Gear Review
11/12 ON3P Jeronimo

Ski: ON3P Jeronimo, 181cm

Dimensions (mm): 126-96-120

Turn Radius: 21.4 meters

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 181.5cm

Boots/Bindings: Atomic Nuke / Marker Jester, DIN at 9

Mount Location: manufacturer’s mark, -3cm from true center

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Days skied: 8

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 10/11 Jeronimo, which was not changed for 11/12, except for the graphics.]

First of all, let’s get it straight: ON3P is pronounced, “Oh-Ehn-Three-Pea,” and it is the name of a small, independent ski company out of Portland, Oregon. I’ve spent a good amount of time on these skis the last three weeks, and a number of people have said things like, “Sweet ONEPs” (“Oh-Neps”). At first I was confused. Then they were confused when I said the name properly, and looked at me like I was a snowlerblader. Fortunately, while the name ON3P is strange, the Jeronimo is a burly, well constructed ski for advanced skiers who know how to handle themselves in all kinds of terrain.

Do NOT buy these skis, however, if you don’t want to field questions from strangers all day. The Jeronimos definitely draw a lot of attention and a lot of comments.

The bindings were mounted at factory recommended, just three centimeters back from a true center mount. I had to get used to keeping my weight a little more centered rather than forward, and when I did, the skis started coming around better and I wasn’t working as hard to turn them. The Jeronimos don’t have a ton of sidecut, do have regular camber underfoot, and rocker out at the tip and tail. I know what you’re thinking: They sound awesome.

The ski is advertised to be for someone who charges the mountain all morning, then laps the park in the afternoon. Since the snow conditions were variable for the first few days I had on the Jeronimos, I started out with them in the park. I found the Jeronimos to work well there, and the only thing missing was that I didn’t feel like I could pop off the tails very well. Thanks to the forward mount, skiing backward to switch take offs are a breeze, and the skis felt very comfortable and balanced in the air. However, I can’t say that I would recommend the Jeronimo if you spend the bulk of your time in the park. These are a pretty beefy ski with fairly stiff tails, so they are really meant to be used in a different way (I’ll get back to this at the end). And unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take them into a half pipe, which is generally my favorite feature. But based on how the Jeronimos perform on icy snow, I can’t say that I’d be super excited to ride 22 foot walls of ice on them.

After the next snowfall, I finally got to see what the Jeronimos could do around the mountain. The first time I got these in some soft snow they came alive. These things crave soft snow, and they plow through tracked up, skied out soft stuff. My best day on them came Three days after a storm in Taos. I was skiing with a couple of Squaw Valley rippers who were out visiting. Eager to show them what Taos has to offer, we headed straight for the West Basin ridge, finding pockets of untouched snow, and fun straight lines all over the place.

Mark Connell goes mute in the park on the ON3P Jeronimos.

Speaking of straight lining, the Jeronimos do it remarkably well, especially when considering their relatively short 181cm length. There’s a jump I’ve been hitting a lot this season, a 30-40 foot air with a 400-500 foot run out that’s pretty bumped up. The Jeronimos have a similar feel in the air to my Line Prophet 100s (a pretty versatile all mountain ski) but the Jeronimos handle that runout better than the Prophets.

We headed over to Walkyries for more steep chutes. These chutes get early sun and had softened up pretty well by the time we got to them. In a couple spots, the chute we were in was barely wider than the 181cm length of the skis, and the snow varied from slush in the sun to ice in shadier spots. The Jeronimo seemed a little unpredictable at times and a little sluggish. They are, however, a fairly easy ski to pivot if you’re in a tight spot, though less pivot-y than the much wider MOMENT Bibby Pro (118mm under foot) or the Rossignol S3 (98mm under foot).

We headed back to the north facing slopes off of Highline Ridge, near Corner Chute and Two Bucks. I launched off the cornice at the top, and any questions about how well the Jeronimo can land off of decent sized drops were laid to rest as I rode out wide GS turns, regretting a little speed check I made before the take off.

My last day on the Jeronimos came about a week ago at the local mountain in Santa Fe. Jonathan Ellsworth and I went up in the morning, and the the tree runs and moguls had gotten a little icy, exposing one of the skis’ weaknesses: they don’t get around quick enough in moguls, and suddenly, the tails seem like they are too long.

We ended up just ripping down soft, beautiful, corduroy groomers for most of the morning, and I felt totally stable at some pretty high speeds. My only issue was that at high speed, if I tried to set my edge at a big angle, my downhill ski would start to wobble. I haven’t encountered this before, at least not on a ski that otherwise feels so stable. I think it could be related to the positioning of the bindings and where your weight is on the ski. I found that I couldn’t drive my shins into my boots the same way I usually do. It’s certainly a different feeling skiing in the middle of the ski.

So, final thoughts on this all mountain / park ski? The Jeronimos can handle pretty much anything you want to throw at them, and you can certainly take them into some gnarly terrain. I didn’t get them in any really deep snow, but that’s not really what they’re built for. The Jeronimo is an advanced ski for off piste skiing. They like to go fast and eat up soft snow, but don’t really shine on the hard stuff. Furthermore, since they are too stiff and burly to be a dedicated park ski, I came to think of them as sort of an all mountain Franken-park ski. It might even be best to classify the Jeronimo as a backcountry jib ski – great for hitting big, backcountry kickers and handling steep, fast runouts.

I am curious to see what will happen to the Jeronimo next year. There are already rumors of at least a slight change to the tip and tail rocker profile, and I would be happy to see a longer length made available (186 / 187cm) with a bit more sidecut and a slightly softer flex. In any case, the Jeronimo is already close to being a truly awesome ski, and my hunch is that ON3P will manage to improve it even further in the future.

To get another BLISTER take on the Jeronimo, check out Will Brown’s review here.

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