Me: 5' 11" tall / 175 pounds / 35 years old. Moderately aggressive skier, 30 - 40 days per season.
Size: 186cm - 142 / 112 / 130
Boots: 2014 Tecnica Cochise Pro 130 in 25.5
Bindings: Salomon Guardian MFC 16, mounted on the line
Location: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows
Days Skied: 3
Conditions: Powder, windblown chalk, crud, groomers, boiler-plate / ice
I'd heard a lot of good things about previous generations of the ON3P Wrenegade - it was billed by some as the charger of all chargers so I was anxious to take them out for a spin. Word is during the demo process before this year's version the folks at ON3P had taken a little off of the ski to make it more versatile, with mixed results, then gave it a little more back-bone with the actual production version. I've only skied this final production version and based on that experience I have to believe they did indeed beef up the ski to previous levels, because quite frankly these things just plain rip.
As described by ON3P, "Having trimmed a little off the dimensions and turn radius, while maintaining the courage-inducing stiffness and power of the original, the Wrenegade 112 presents a refined version of the directional, west-coast daily driver."
Now the term daily driver for a ski that's 112mm underfoot definitely raises my eyebrows more than just a little. As a certified gear whore I don't really believe in the concept of a one ski quiver, but I did try to approach the Wrens as if they were going to be the only ski I owned. Maybe if I was going to take a quick trip to Utah and only wanted to pack one ski. If that were the case, I'd be happy the majority of the time barring re-frozen boilerplate conditions. Really, the only time I didn't care for them was on icy bumps - and I don't mean scraped off, firm bumps, I mean ICY bumps. I'm seriously impressed that a ski this wide can be so versatile, and it's a great example of why you shouldn't judge a ski merely based on its width underfoot. I'm not going to say they're as versatile as some skis around 98-100mm, but for the softer side of all mountain they're damn impressive.
The natural reference ski for the big mountain charger category is the Blizzard Cochise, which I have 50+ days on. Like the Cochise, the Wrenegade 112's have no speed limit and a shocking amount of edge hold. I can honestly say that I charge on this ski harder than any other ski I've ever been on. Unlike the Cochise, they also have enough tip rise (supplemented by a fairly significant shovel) to hold their own in powder without any tip dive. I never once found myself wishing I had my proper powder skis, even while skiing in heavy Tahoe Sierra Cement.
First and foremost, if you don't like to drive a ski from the tips and really get on top of it, the Wrenegade is not for you. This is not some center-mounted park ski; it likes to be driven, period, and if you aren't ready to do so it might kick your ass. The reward for demanding your constant attention is that it won't let you down and is extremely confidence inspiring. If you're game for whatever line you're standing on top of, these things are right there with you and ready to rip.
Despite a very generous turn radius of 27.3, they are very comfortable making turn shapes of all sizes although they definitely prefer medium to large turns. In tight situations off piste, however, they move around quicker than you might expect.
I will admit that I was initially concerned they might be too much for me. The first day I had them out, it hadn't snowed in several weeks (welcome to the new Tahoe) and while they locked down on the groomers I was worried they might feel plank-like when in softer snow. But what seems to be a consistent feeling with ON3P skis in general carries over here as well, and the bamboo plus carbon construction makes them surprisingly lively and poppy for such a stiff ski when you get then in powder. When you're carrying some speed they really come alive and proved to be quite playful despite their weight and directional shape.
The 2015 Wrenegade 112 is not a ski for the faint of heart but it will give you back all that you're willing to put into it, and maybe more.
Here's some footage of one of my days on the Wren 112's in more favorable conditions...