I have reviewed this ski before based on a demo day experience, and that review can be seen in my sig. I have now had a lot more time on this ski in ideal conditions, and decided it was time to update.
Length Tested: 191 cm
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 145/118/128 - 29.2m - 144cm effective edge
Camber : Traditional, Early Rise Tip & Tail w/camber
Binding: STH 14 Driver
Mount point: Suggested
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test:Mt Hood Meadows
Number of Runs:21
Snow Conditions:Powder, cut up powder, wind blown powder, sun baked powder, crud, snow covered groom, ice patches
Demo or Own: Own
Height/Weight: 5'9" 220 lbs
Current Quiver:185 Line Influence 105, 191 Billygoat, 190 Armada Magic J
Home Area:Mt Hood
Preferred Terrain off-piste, trees
First and foremost. Since they first decided to sell ski's to the general public. ON3P has strived to deliver the highest quality, most bombproof skis on the market while staying competetive with the big guys on price points. They have always done well, but I think this year they have really knocked it out of the park. Fit an finish is top notch. Bases are thick, and come with great structure. All skis that leave the factory get a treatment of hot wax, hotbox, and a rotobrush finish.
As with all rockered/tapered skis I did an aggressive detune of the shovels, and tails to the contact point, and just a light detune of the cambered portion of the ski.
I will be honest in that my first day on these was not a blast. My ski fitness was low, my technique and confidence was not where it needed to be for the terrain I wanted to ski, and I was breaking in some surgically altered legs. Not to mention new boots. I took 2 runs, and put them back in the car wondering if I had made a mistake. In hindsight my biggest mistake was trying to do too much, too fast on the first day of the season with so many new variables.
My second day on these was another story all together, with my muscle memory coming back I decide to give them another go. Conditions were soft, and boot/knee deep on favorable aspects. I was skiing with others that have been skiing for years so I knew we would be rallying. Pulling in to a steep pow section the BG's came alive at speed. The large RES shovels, and "pin tail" design allowed for a myriad of turn shapes while maintaining stability at all times. If you drive the ski it will respond like a much shorter ski, but will not get squirelly when you go fast. Float is perfect.
I got in about 4-5 more runs of untracked pow on open faces. When the resort started to get tracked out the Billygoats still delivered. Crushing tracked Cascade Concrete at will.
One word of note, while being of a more modern "funshape" the 191 BG is still a charger, and if you do not ski it, it WILL ski you. I took the ride a couple of times. And while I wasn't out of control, I sure was not IN control.
I finished this day with renewed enthusiasm for this ski.
Cut to last weekend. More snow, a little bit colder. Fitness and ski technique way more developed than day one. An all I wanted to do was get back on this ski, and really put it through it's paces.
Pow was a no brainer at this point, crud and skier tracked wilted under the shovels of the Billygoat. The ski's were stable in the air, and poppy when I wanted to launch off of bumps. Landings from drops where stable.
Time for some tree's and bumps. For a ski that charges so hard the 191 is very responsive in the tree's as long as you keep the speed. It's not as responsive as the first gen BG's, but at this point in the evolution of the design they are not even the same ski. I am not a huge fan of tight tree's, but these were screaming to me to keep going, I had a blast.
Bumps were not terrifying, they aren't a bump ski obviously, but they smoothly navigated the bigger ones, and ski'd right over the tops of the little ones.
Groom performance was on par with other ski's of this type. In the past the design suffered with hook shovels, and tails that did not inspire confidence. ON3P has got around this with some different design priciples. I cannot explain it better than them, so I'll just paste their description of the ski.
"In what has proved to be our most elaborate design process to date, the traditional, positive sidecut at the tip of the Billy Goat was turned completely on its head, resulting in ON3P’s Reverse Elliptical Sidecut (RES). Our goal was to create a soft snow ski that maintains the level of maneuverability seen in fully reverse sidecut skis while also providing the stability and edge hold of traditional sidecut shape. The result was a design that, initially, seemed nothing less than ridiculous, but is now one of the most advanced freeride skis on the market. By incorporating RES in the tips with a large, traditional turn radius in the tail, the Billy Goat allows for incredible maneuverability in soft snow, ensuring it remains an exceptional tree ski while maintaining the shape and stability needed to make huge turns at high speed.
I think this is an amazing ski. ON3P has really put a lot of time refining what was once a polarizing ski, in to something that is really remarkable. One person has described it as the love child of the 196 Bodacious, and the 193 Automatic.
One a final note. The bamboo core with carbon fiber stringers leads to a ski that is damp, yet poppy. I can definitely distinguish between an ON3P layup, and a more traditional one.