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2016-2017 G3 FINDr 102

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the G3 FINDr 102 for Blister Gear Review

G3 FINDr 102

Ski: 2016-2017 G3 FINDr 102, 184 cm

Available lengths: 174, 179, 184, 189

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 182.8 cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 133-102-120

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 132-101.5-119

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (with G3 ION 12 demo bindings):

2118 & 2123 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 21-25 meters

Core Construction: Poplar/Paulownia + Carbon Fiber Laminate

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 58 mm / 13 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2-3 mm

Factory Recommended Line: -10.8 cm from center; 80.6 cm from tail

For the 16/17 season, G3 is introducing the “FINDr” series. We’re about to start getting time on the FINDr 102, and this ski looks very interesting, for a number of reasons.

Shape

The FINDr 102 has minimal tip rocker: a relatively shallow tip rocker line is paired with a modest amount of tip splay. The same thing can be said of the 102’s tail rocker. End result is that there is a good bit of effective edge here, so this isn’t going to be a super loose, surfy ski like the G3 Synapse 109.

The FINDr 102 also has a blunted tip shape that I like quite a bit. There is some taper to it, but I have a general theory that as you lighten up a ski, you should be very, very careful about over-tapering the tip. The less mass you have up front, the more twitchy a ski is going to be and the more inclined it’ll be to deflect all over the place. So when you’re already starting with a lightweight ski, I’d argue that it’s a bad idea to pull a bunch of weight from the front of the tip. (Unless you don’t actually care how well a ski goes downhill. If you don’t, then never mind.)

The FINDr 102 certainly qualifies as a lightweight ski, so it’s good to see that G3 left some surface area and mass up front.

Flex Pattern

There is a serious consistency here. The FINDR 102 is stout, but it’s not as stiff as the G3 Zenoxide 105. I love the consistency here, and I’d sum up the FINDr 102’s flex profile like this:

Tails: 8
Underfoot: 8
Shovels: 7
Tips: 7-6

Yep, pretty even front to back. I expect this flex pattern + shape to make for a ski that feels supportive on snow, and that offers a big sweet spot to stand on.

Suspension & Weight

My primary question about the FINDr 102 is what the suspension of this ski will feel like. This isn’t the profile of a deep-pow touring ski (again, if that’s what you’re after, see the G3 Synapse 109). Instead, the FINDr 102 has the shape and rocker profile of a ski you’d take out in decent conditions or mixed conditions. I don’t expect this ski to shine in deep snow (too little rocker), but I would expect it to perform well in firm and fairly difficult conditions — with the huge X-Factor being the question of its suspension: given how stiff it is, will this lightweight ski feel jarring in refrozen coral?

I’m on record as saying that the G3 Zenoxide Carbon Fusion 105 is my favorite ‘bad conditions’ touring ski. It’s like a touring version of the 13/14 Volkl Mantra. And it is much heavier than the new FINDr 102, so I’d basically bet my life that the Zenoxide 105’s bad-snow performance will be better. But the question is, How much better?

Because if the FINDr 102 is still decent / adequate in tricky conditions, it sure saves a hell of a lot of weight over the Zenoxide 105 on the ascent. With the same G3 ION 12 demo binding the FINDr weighs ~2120 grams per ski vs. the Zenoxide 105’s ~2538 grams per ski. For the mathematically challenged, that’s a substantial difference of more than 400 grams per ski.

Construction

The FINDr 102 looks quite a bit like the Volkl V-Werks and BMT series. G3 says the FINDr has four layers of carbon, plus a CNC-milled wood core that pulls material away from the edges of the ski:

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the G3 FINDr 102 for Blister Gear Review

G3 FINDr 102 & Volkl V-Werks BMT 109

The FINDr doesn’t go quite as thin as the V-Werks BMT 109—it has a couple of additional millimeters of material that I am very, very intrigued by. That extra material is a full-wrap, polyurethane (PU) sidewall, which is intended to increase dampness (always an issue for carbon skis) and enhance durability (which is basically the only concern we’ve had with the very good BMT series).

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the G3 FINDr for Blister

Top: G3 FINDr Construction Profile. (Bottom: Rocker Profile of the FINDr 94)

So getting back to the suspension question, we’ll see how effectively those PU sidewalls help dampen this lightweight and relatively stiff ski.

The G3 FINDr Lineup:

The FINDr series includes the following models:

FINDr 102
Available lengths: 174, 179, 184, 189
Stated Dimensions (mm): 133-102-120
Stated Sidecut Radius: 21-25 meters
Stated Weight per Ski (174 cm): 1480 grams / 3 lbs 4 oz

FINDr 94
Available lengths: 167, 172, 177, 182
Stated Dimensions(mm): 126-94-113
Stated Sidecut Radius: 19-22 meters
Stated Weight per Ski (167 cm): 1370 grams

FINDr 86
Available lengths: 167, 182, 177, 182
Stated Dimensions (mm): 122-86-109
Stated Sidecut Radius: 16-19 meters
Stated Weight per Ski (167 cm): 1270 grams

NEXT PAGE: ROCKER PROFILE PICS

4 Comments

  1. andy January 24, 2017 Reply

    Let’s hear it: What did you think of these? Thinking about these vs. Helio 105s….

  2. Buba February 19, 2017 Reply

    Yes, I’m wondering as well. the backcountryskiingcanada website likes the G3’s much better than the Helios 105s. But then I heard some really good things about the BDs.

  3. Andy February 20, 2017 Reply

    Demoed both the 175 Helio 105 and 172 FINDr 102 back to back this past weekend. Despite similar dimensions and weight, they skied very differently. The Helio felt more like a slarvy powder ski than I would have guessed, drifting around on the wet crud I was mostly on. They did ok on the icy sections once the edge engaged, but it did take a minute to get there. It skied like a powder ski, in other words.

    The FINDr only really got good for me when the snow was smooth and you could carve medium radius turns. On the slightly deeper, more roughed up snow at the start of the run, they didn’t feel either locked into turns or slarvy. Kind of neither. A big vague. They didn’t get tossed too badly, but just didn’t feel locked in either. Hard to explain. Once the pitch backed off and the snow was smoother, they felt really nice. Damp for a carbon ski.

    Only a couple runs on each at a demo, so no deep snow or touring, so YMMV.

  4. J April 28, 2017 Reply

    Jonathan,

    I’m 5’11”, 175lbs, aggressive skier….would you recommend a 184 or 189 in the G3 FINDR 102? I ski in western Montana, all conditions, 2000-6000′ average climbing/day…mix of trees and open glades, chutes, and bowl skiing.

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