Thread: Review: 186 ON3P Billy Goat
01-10-2010, 06:03 PM #1
Review: 186 ON3P Billy Goat
I finally got out on these today, and as everyone else has said, they kill it. I will need to update this review as I ski these in more conditions, but people seem to be asking for reviews of these so here's what I have
Age 17, been skiing for 15 years, racer, etc
Mounted at -7 with Dukes, skied on Krypton Pros
Skis I've liked: Armada JJ, Prophet 100, Moment Tahoes and Garbones
Skis I've hated: Hellbents
Skied at Mt. Snow on hardpack mostly, some trees, and a little bit of pow
When I opened the box I felt like a 7 year old on christmas morning...they were beautiful. The construction is so clean and everything seems to have been done with immense care and effort. These are not half assed skis (coughMichael Lishcough), they are beautiful works of art. I rarely get a pair of the skis in the mail and take a minute to notice how clean and nice looking the are, but the BG's caught my eye instantly. A simple hand flex made the tip and tail feel soft and underfoot feel quite stiff, but the only soft points are the rocker spots, everything that hits the snow is solid. These weigh about the same as my JJ's did with Dukes for reference. I waxed and scraped them 4 times prior to riding, and brushed the last time. I didn't do anything to the edges.
I took a bunch of POV footage but it's all boring and stupid. I'll maybe put together a little bit of it but I didn't even place the camera low enough to show the skis in action, it just shows what I was skiing, so it's kinda useless for a video review
Right off the bat they felt very fat and long, judging by the fact that I'd been training slalom the whole week before, so the last pair of skis I was on were 165 SL skis with like a 12m radius. The groomers at Mt. Snow are icy and flat, and any ski has difficulty carving on an icy flat trail. I found at slow speeds that these love to go in opposite directions on groomers. The downhill ski does not hold an edge that well, whereas the uphill ski does even with minimal pressure, so it results in all your weight going to the uphill ski which leads to you getting off balance. I never got to try these on a steep groomer because those do not exist at Mt. Snow, but I have a feeling they'd carve a bit better. But nonetheless, these are not groomer skis, and they are not carving skis. I was expecting more out of them on groomers because my JJ's were so good on hardpack, but I think a big factor was the fact that I went straight to these from race skis, and it got better as the day went on and as I got used to them. They do great on groomers if you slide out your turns a bit, they just don't carve
Bottom line: I need more time to test, but these aren't great on groomers and don't really carve
These are shockingly stable, more so than the JJ's, but not as much as the Garbones as I learned the hard way...let's just say don't charge through a mogul field because you'll end up going backwards through moguls on one ski with the other one held up in the air trying to balance yourself...but I managed not to fall. They turn on a dime, so unbelievably quickly for how fat they are and the tail never hooks, which was an issue I had with the JJ's. They cut through patches of soft snow and are totally manageable in somewhat bumpy stuff. They aren't great in full out moguls, but definitely better than Garbones, because you can hold a line with these, you just have to go fast. They love to pop edge to edge, so you can load up the ski, pop off a mogul, and jam your skis around on to the other edge...it's very fun in bumpy stuff. I spent most of the day skiing bumpy trails, including fucking Ripcord, the most extreme fucking trail ever...it's a fucking double black!! These were actually awesome on Ripcord, it was grabby icy moguly shit but it's a decent pitch and these love the steeps, they just hop turn to turn and hold super well on ice
Bottom Line: Turn quickly, very stable, hold on ice, tail doesn't hook at all
These are the ultimate tree skis in soft snow, so turny, not grabby at all, nimble, light, and just super fun. There's not much more to say, they absolutely kill it in trees
I found some boot deep pow in the trees and while I only got a few turns of it, all I can say is that I can't fucking wait to ski these in pow. There was a hard shitty crust underneath the soft stuff and these didn't even hit it, they stayed right on top and just glided perfectly through everything. It was an amazing experience
One of my biggest gripes with the JJ was that it slapped down so hard on any hard landings...these don't, they set down nicely and feel very stable. Even on slightly backseat landings the tail snaps your weight forward again and you're good to go. I never got to land in soft snow, but I can only imagine it's effortless. The Nitro cliff drop had a solid ice landing and I sent it pretty far and these just touched down, no slapping, no tip flap, just set in and ready to keep riding. They also don't have a clunky swing weight so they're pretty easy to throw around
I hit plenty of shit today in the trees, ended up with 1 nick on the base of 1 ski, a small surface scratch on the base of the other ski, and a tiny topsheet scratch. Considering the amount of times I hit something and said "oh fuck," these things held up incredibly, super durable as of now and I don't see any chips forming on the topsheet or anything poopy like that
Overall: Pow+Trees+Billy Goat=Epic win
I'll update this with a bit on touring and maybe a revised groomer section, and, of course, how they do in pow if i ever get to ski that...and I might post a boring and shitty POV video
01-10-2010, 07:08 PM #2
these skis are simply amazing, I was able to ski them last weekend and they killed it in every condition.
01-10-2010, 07:22 PM #3
Thanks for the review, I've been waiting to see what you thought of them. It pretty much seals the deal that I will be keeping my money in the PNW and buying ski's that are being pressed just across the river from my apartment.
Great review as always."All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
01-10-2010, 08:37 PM #4
get a new avatara positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
01-11-2010, 12:08 AM #5
01-11-2010, 12:35 AM #6
hah another one.a positive attitude will not solve all of your problems, but it may annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
01-11-2010, 07:37 AM #742
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
01-11-2010, 08:21 AM #8
One thing to remember with the billy goat is that there is hardly any shape to the ski from boot center to the start of the tail taper. So the tail of the ski isn't going to support a carve like a traditional shape.
I find that I have no issues carving as long as I am making sure to engage the contact length in front of boot center. When I am skiing them on hardpack, I usually find myself slightly forward, weight on the balls of my feet, and really driving the contact length, not the tips. If you get back and try to let the tail finish a carve on hardpack, the ski isn't going to be super happy because there is hardly any sidecut to finish the turn.
So that is why you might start to incorporate a bit of a slide, especially when making larger, high speed turns on anything hard. I have found that in small to medium sized turns that are more reflective of the skis fairly small turn radius, I don't have the need to ever slide.
In the soft, that all goes out the window and the tail basically lets you make any turn you like, which is really what they were designed for.
If you are considering the BG and wren and really like to rail super hard on hardpack, the wren is pretty tough to beat. I have pushed that on groomers as hard as I have pushed any of my previous non-rockered skis and have never once had an issue. It cruises.
01-11-2010, 09:27 AM #9
wow... nice job yet again scott and the on3p crew... the reviews are rolling in and they are even better than expected... wishin i had the funds during the presale... enjoy the new sticks! i rarely go to mt snow (for all the reasons you mentioned - ice, flat, suck) but if i ever end up there i'll keep an eye out for your beauties
01-11-2010, 11:05 AM #10
Yep I'm pretty sure I just fail at skiing groomers, not the BG's. I didn't spend much time working with them and trying to find the right stance because I was more interested in skiing other terrain. I wanna take these to Killy for a day and actually ski groomers with some pitch and really just dial them down and find the right positioning to get a carve going.
But Scott it makes sense that I was relying too much on pressuring the tails out of the turn. I wasn't riding backseat but I was relying on the tail grabbing so I could throw my skis out of the turn and into the next turn
01-11-2010, 12:09 PM #11
would thisgood be a ski for some one who is still learning but getting better?I'll defecate in a box if I have to.
01-11-2010, 12:30 PM #12
01-11-2010, 03:46 PM #13
Nice review, Wes.
Just wanted to note I had zero issues on the 186 BGs on groomers. I was down right shocked at how easy they were to ski even on slightly firmer conditions. I expected them to be a tad more unstable but I found them to just rail on edge. I mounted them at ball of foot about +2cm of the recommend line. Pretty much ball of foot on center of running length. Free heeler however.
Some further thoughts I posted over in the ON3P thread in main forum:
Like Wes, my first impressions out of the box were all stoke. Super clean construction and just look fun as hell. I've skied them 4 days over the past week in all kind of conditions here in the east. Randomly spewed impressions follow. ....oh, and probably should note I mounted 'em with BD01s to use as my 6"+ east coast days and touring ski. Yes. I'm a free heel'n hippie. ... and on that note, I asked Scott for a slightly softer/lighter constructions which still came out of the gate super stable. Honestly think the standard may have been a bit stiff for east coast tight tele tree skiing. For you agro alpiners out there I think you'll be happy with how burly these boards are. I'm 5'11 190+ as a reference there. So....
Crazy smooth glide. Bases are sick. Feel like hover boards off the lift.
Took me about 2 turns to feel 100% at home on these skis. Crazy nimble and so easy to engage. I was giddy on 'em within the first 15 seconds. Never was so happy with a ski just out of the gate. Usually a "feeling out" period (some times days for me) which was zilch on the BGs.
Rail on groomers. Crazy easy to arc around on even in the 115mm under foot profile. I expected them to be a bit more to handle on firmer conditions but not the case. Amazing swing weight with easiest turn transition I've ever experienced. They knew what I wanted to do before I did.
Skied a lot of tight trees and they are really responsive in tight conditions. Really nimble for a 186cm yet measure tip to tail same as my 190 Liberty Double Helix. No problems at all in tight spots. Short quick turns and long arc'ers were equally as easy to engage (wide tree lines vs. tight). You pick the spot and they're on board.
Crushed some wind buff days too. Of course crushed the smooth buff with buttery ease and when it go chopped a bit they were stable enough to rail through the crud and continue to offer up an effortless and smooth descent. Had no quams about just charging chop on 'em knowing they'd be game. Didn't waver at all.
A bit thin here in the east too and despite my best intentions, hit a few stumps and rocks with zero effect on the bases. Early impressions is that bases are bomber. Thought for sure I'd have some nicks and scratches (or worse) but nothing to speak of.
Not sure what else to add other than this is the hands down best ski I've ever been on (and I've been on plenty of mag-quality boards). For those growing impatient, trust they're worth the wait. Other than on real firm conditions I can't imagine grabbing another ski in my quiver. Currently planning to dump my Prophet 130s because I can't imagine ever grabbing them over something as versatile as the BGs (D'Helix are mounted alpine so can't really compare).
Edit: Took them on a VT tour yesterday and caught some great pow turns. Obviously these skis killed it in the deeper soft stuff as well - even when the snow was slightly more wind affected at lower elevation. Great float and felt really stable in the deep variable conditions. Surfed the fluff up high and then just man handled the heavier snow down low. I love their crushability. Had them out in slightly chopped pow on Saturday and I was just killing soft bumps with them. Through bumps not around. Basically just aim at pow pile and link turn, repeat. Made fairly tracked pow ski like butter. Their ease of maneuverability make it super easy to point to the soft spots as well. VT inbounds skiing rarely bottomless so its all about reading the snow and turning in the right spots. The BGs are pinpoint in aiming at those spots and tagging 'em. They are at your command.Uno mas
01-11-2010, 05:17 PM #14..let's just say don't charge through a mogul field because you'll end up going backwards through moguls on one ski with the other one held up in the air trying to balance yourself...
Honest & witty review. A ski like this isn't going to rail on groomers. The way you described it sounds like my Lotus120s. But get a shape like this offpiste and the whole terrain opens up.
Very impressed with ON3P as well. Sick line of planks.
01-12-2010, 01:09 AM #15
I will second that the key to skiing BG's on groomers is to stay forward and focus on engaging the tips.
01-12-2010, 01:37 AM #16
Sweet!!! Wish I had bought them for me instead of my wife... Next year...
01-14-2010, 05:04 PM #17Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
At Alpental, today, it was super manky on top with iced groomer on the bottom. They had about 8" of new on chair 2 with a little rain and wind effect. Been charging hard on my new BGs. Have 4 days on fresh heavy stuff and have really enjoyed them. Feel really balanced in the air. Definitely making my landings easier Would be hard to go over the tips, when landing, with these skis. Skis are not twitchy. Might be easier to make bail out turns with a softer tail, but I am not complaining. Charge them hard and they rock. Slow down and enjoy and they will still work. Noticed on groomers (not sure why anyone would care) that pressuring my big toe sets them up to carve pretty well. Today was like rock hard groomers below the snowline and they were definitely not holding an edge well. That said, I am more than happy with their hardpack ability. They will definitely get you to the powder stashes. Thanks Scott!
01-14-2010, 06:26 PM #18
01-14-2010, 08:42 PM #19
01-18-2010, 11:17 PM #20Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2006
- buffalo, ny/Jackson
Don't really have enough for a full review yet but my impressions so far are very similar to the OP. They do take some getting used to on groomers. I also found a weird tendency for the inside ski to really grab in a carve, especially at lower speeds on lower angle stuff. I could get them to carve but it takes some effort. It Was much more fun to add a bit of sliding and make shorter radius turns in a mix of sun-softened hardpack and some slushy stuff. Also feel a lot more comfortable on steeper stuff.
They were surprisingly quick and not bad at all in fairly hard/tight moguls. Also super stable everywhere, you can feel the torsional stiffness, and hold a very strong edge on ice. Overall way better than expected in these conditions.
I will agree with everybody else on the construction, they are seriously beautiful.
01-22-2010, 09:02 PM #21Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
Finally got mine out today with 13'' new overnight at Telluride. Here's my two cents:
Awesome. Absolutely dynamite in the trees and in the pow. Super light but easy to ski aggresively and strong. Once I figured out how easy it was to release the tails out of turns I found myself skiing tighter and tighter lines in the trees. The skis definitely ski shorter then they look on your feet and are super poppy if you wanna hop around on stuff. I was definitely a little concerned buying skis I hadn't even seen, but they exceeded my expectations in every way possible.
One note on the groomers. It definitely took me a couple runs to figure out how to engage and disengage on hardpack. I think Scott has it right on the money. It's important to stay forward and use the tips of the skis. After I figured that out, they ripped the hard stuff just fine.
01-23-2010, 09:19 AM #22Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Northern San Juans
01-23-2010, 03:14 PM #23
The more I ski the Billy Goats, the more I like them. They do take some getting used to when carving on firmer conditions, mostly due to the pintail I think. Firm just isn't really their thing. Duh. But if there is any soft snow, even a few inches over a firm base, they kill it; they turn the mountain into a playground, so loose and easy but still stable. With such a big tip and a wide base, they shouldn't be so easy and quick to roll through short turns, even through bumps. But they are. Hauling ass over variable and bumped lines, which is not what my older knees and limited skillz should be doing, I find that I like skiing them loose and light -- they dance and come alive, never letting go of that stable platform. When I need a hard edge or get into oh shit mode, they are there for me, very solid. These are skis that encourage me to relax the boots a bit and go experiment and play.
I've skied these in a modest range of conditions now (footer, footer leftovers, hardpack, and 4 inches over firm base) and really want to get them in some more funky chunky temperature roller coaster wind hammered crap snows that tend to get under my skin and expose every weakness I have as a skier, which is a long list. I have a hunch the BGs will give me some needed help there. I also think mother nature will be more than happy to help me out for such testing. She's bitchy this year.
Nice skis. Edges of the top sheet are taking a beating, but nothing so far that raises any red flags with me. Bases and edges seem very solid.
07-21-2010, 08:58 PM #24
I'll chime in since I sold mine, and folks are wondering why quite a few pairs have been for sale.
I'm 5'10, 175- make up for mediocre technique with strength.
Favorite Skis- Explosives, Bro Models soft and stiff, Lotus 120's
I originally ordered Wrenegades (I ended up wishing I had), but switched to Billy Goats because I ski trees a lot. I had previously skied S7's which I liked but didn't love, and bought the Billy Goats hoping their stiffness would address the S7's instability at speed. The BG's are more stable in softer snow, especially crud, but were less predicable on hard snow.
As a soft snow only ski Billy Goats are great (if a bit skinny). If you ski somewhere where snow seldom gets really hard, and you make a lot of turns, it is great. It's a great East Coast powder ski. It is easy to pivot and has good pop, but it isn't a one ski quiver .
I've since decided that I simply don't like tail rocker or turning radii much under 30. I'm no badass skier, and I don't need need (or like) super-stiff skis, but that's what works for me. So it's no surprise that BG's weren't my favorite. I have friends who love their Billy Goats, and I have recommended the ski to others, but if your strategy is, like Lane Meyer (the film character, not he of the user name) “Go that way, really fast. If something gets in your way, turn,” or, you're still pissed that they put a turned up tail on Buddha Explosives, you should look elsewhere.
I want to be clear that it is in no way a noodle, it is just happiest when it's transitioning from edge to edge.
09-13-2010, 06:38 AM #25
thanks for your update. I would be interested to hear how the 11' BG may be different?Be more like your dog...