|Originally posted by Geoff Prescott:
I recently demoed the Volkl G3 for a day on Cypress Mountain here in beautiful British Columbia, and was really excited by the ski's snappy performance. As luck would have it I came across the G3 at a great price from a snowboarder who had won it in a contest and was looking to sell quick. So now I'm riding the local peaks on the G3 in the 177cm length. The only problem: It's a great ski, but I think I may have overshot the mark. The review on Peter Keelty's website advises that the G3 is okay for upper intermediates, but it seems a bit too stiff for me to handle well. I'm a solid intermediate, no problem on blue runs, not yet comfortable on blacks, starting to get into powder and steeper stuff. I'm afraid that I will slow down my progress in more difficult terrain by going to a ski that is a tad too stiff/fast. Or should I just work harder at getting comfortable with the G3? How long should it take to get used to a new ski, anyway? Are there some technique adjustments that work well for stiffer boards? I would like to hear from fellow skiers with ideas/suggestions about learning to love the Vertigo G3.
I skiied the G3 in 177 length about 40 days during this past 2001-2 season and loved it. I'm an expert level who prefers off-piste (Alpental home mtn, arguably toughest runs in WA state), 165lb 5'9". I bought the G3 to replace the narrow Nordica boards in my quiver (hey, I'm out here on the West coast, so the G3 is narrow to me) and get better performance in the bumps. They are stiff and somewhat demanding, but my feeling is that they are easier to ski than many so-called "expert" level skis, and for sure a high "fun factor". Volkls have a certain lively feel to them that is relatively unique, and you either like it or you don't; I happen to be a big fan. The G3 is a little softer than the G41 Pro and G4 I have (now those are some skis you have to have some strength for, but are really exciting). I take them just about everywhere, and vice versa...trees, couloirs, groomed, steeps, powder, bumps, jumps. I found myself gradually spending more time on other, wider boards toward the end of the season when my leg strength was greatest (footnote: Blizzard Titan...WOW).
My recommendation for certain regarding intermediate to advanced level skiers is to put some lift plates on the G3 under the bindings; 9mm min, even 13mm...this will be less fatiguing and quicker edging. I run 9mm on mine.
Although I've skiied marine powder extensively with the G3 and even got a week of CO dry powder this past season on them, I prefer other skis in my quiver over the G3 if I know I'll be doing a lot of that. The G3 excels at a mix of on and off-piste, but with a definte on-piste bias. So, if you frequent out the back-country gate as I do, you'll probably want to make your first choice something else, probably fatter and perhaps a little softer.
But the G3 is currently my favorite on-piste bias ski (altho I'm very intrigued about what I'm hearin g about the new Head XP80 and XP100, so my plan is to demo those in the coming season).