2018-2019 ON3P Wrenegade 108

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the ON3P Wrenegade 108 for Blister

ON3P Wrenegade 108

Ski: 2018-2019 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm

Available Lengths: 179, 184, 189 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 189.5 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2283 & 2290 grams

Stated Dimensions: 139-108-127 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139.7-109.0-127.7 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 27.5 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 83 mm / 31 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Bamboo + 2” Unidirectional Carbon Stringers (Top & Bottom) + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: 1.8 mm 4001 Durasurf

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.25 cm from center; 84.5 cm from tail

Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: On the line

 

Ski: 2018-2019 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.5 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2230 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2143 & 2194 grams

Stated Dimensions: 138-108-126 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 138.6-109.0-126.7 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 26.8 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 84 mm / 33 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2 mm

Core: Bamboo + 2” Unidirectional Carbon Stringers (Top & Bottom) + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: 1.8 mm 4001 Durasurf

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.25 cm from center; 83.0 cm from tail

Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: On the line

Boots: Head Raptor 140 RS

Bindings: Head Tyrolia AAAttack2 13 Demo

Test Locations: Telluride Ski Resort & Arapahoe Basin, CO

Reviewer: 5’10”, 180 lbs

Days Skied: 7

Intro

In recent years, if you’ve considered buying a ~108mm-wide, directional, all-mountain ski, chances are that the ON3P Wrenegade 108 has ended up on your short list.

And while ON3P’s “Wrenegade” line developed a reputation for being big-mountain guns, we’ve spent quite a bit of time telling a bit of a different story, calling the most recent iteration of the Wren 108 a really nice all-mountain ski, but noting that it was by no means some punishing charger that demanded that you never screw up and never slow down. Fact is, the 184 cm Wren 108 we reviewed was a very easy and intuitive ski.

Here’s what ON3P said about it:

“The Wrenegade 108 remains the big gun when groomers and speed are the name of the game, but our Freeride Rocker profile also provides the best float and maneuverability of any Wrenegade ski to date without overpowering the pilot.”

We’d underscore the part in this description that talks about the Wren’s maneuverability and the fact that it isn’t going to “overpower the pilot” (read: kick your ass.)

But to be honest, we wanted that Wren 108 to offer a bit more “big gun” stability … and we have reason to believe that that’s precisely what this latest iteration of the Wrenegade 108 will do — without becoming some demanding beast.

Here’s why we think this new Wrenegade 108 can have it both ways:

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the new 189 cm Wrenegade 108, we’d sum up its flex pattern like this:

Tips: 8
Shovels: 8.5-9
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Tails: 8.5

And here is how we characterized the 17/18, 184 cm Wrenegade 108:

Tips: 6-7
Shovels: 7-8
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 9-8
Tails: 7-7

So, basically, this new Wrenegade 108 goes a bit stiffer at the tips and tails than the current Wrenegade 108. (Yes!)

Granted, those who ski in a lot of tight spaces or at moderate speeds will likely be the least to notice this stiffer flex pattern. But those who wanted a bump in stability, these stiffer tips and tails ought to really help the cause. But how much? We’ll have to get these on snow to see (and we’ll be doing that in Telluride in just a few days.)

Ok, but what about those out there who love the predictable, intuitive nature of the current Wren 108? Shouldn’t they be bummed that this ski is reverting back to being a pretty one-dimensional charger?

I really don’t think so, since…

Shape / Rocker Profile

These Wrens have a serious amount of tip splay and a pretty deep rocker line — especially when compared to other ~108mm-wide skis like the Blizzard Cochise, Nordica Enforcer 110, Dynastar Legend X106, which means that, just as with the previous iteration of the Wrenegade 108, we aren’t worried — at all — about whether this ski is going to plane well in pow. And of the directional skis of this width on the market, this ought to, once again, be near the top of the category in this respect.

And furthermore, the Wrenegade 108 still has more tail splay than a lot of ~108mm-wide directional skis out there, so again: don’t be hand-wringing about whether or not this ski will be good in pow; if you’re worried about that, then you should simply be looking at wider skis (like maybe the new Wrenegade 114 … which we’ll be talking about very soon).

Finally, the Wrenegade 108 doesn’t have much tip taper, and it has even less tail taper. (And perhaps just a touch less tail taper than the 17/18 Wren 108 … but don’t worry about that / any difference here; it’s marginal.)

Dimensions / Sidecut Radius

The 17/18 189 cm Wrenegade 108 has a stated sidecut radius of 28.3 meters. The 18/19 189 cm Wrenegade 108 has a stated radius of 27.5 meters. I have nothing to say about this “0.8 m” difference. Mostly, I’m just pretty happy to see that there are still at least some “big gun” skis being made these days with a 27+ meter radius.

Weight

The 18/19 Wrenegade 108 comes in at an astonishing 450 grams-per-ski lighter than the 17/18 Wrenegade 108. Yet ON3P’s Scott Andrus says that zero stability has been compromised, despite the weight loss.

Just kidding, I made all that up.

The Wrenegade 108 still comes in at a reasonable / not-idiotically-low weight for a ski of this type.

Comparisons — Measured Weights

1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm
2022 & 2047 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110, 185 cm
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm
2530 & 2570 Head Monster 108, 184 cm

Sizing Recommendations / More on Shape + Rocker Profile

Time for some conjecture that we will be weighing in on soon:

Given how much tip rocker the Wrenegade 108 has … if you are on the fence about sizing, go UP.

In hindsight, I think we probably should have reviewed the 189 Wrenegade 108 last year rather than the 184, but we were looking to do direct comparisons to skis like the 185 cm Blizzard Cochise and 185 Nordica Enforcer 110.

Looking at the 189 Wren 108 straight on, it looks big and long. (And It is.)

But then look at our rocker pics on the next page; there is a massive amount of tip splay here for a ~108 mm underfoot ski — it has more tail splay and a deeper tail rocker line than a Rossignol Soul 7 HD. (And it has way less camber underfoot than the Soul 7 HD.)

In short, the shape of the Wren 108 very much makes it look like a powder ski rather than an all-mountain ski. So again, I have zero doubt that this ski is going to perform well in pow.

But what I am super interested to see is how well this powder-optimized rocker profile works in variable and firm / weird / tricky conditions. Because if this thing holds up as an “all-mountain” ski, I can’t imagine complaining about the flotation of this ski even on a 24” pow day.

And so getting back to sizing recommendations / conjecture … what I can’t wait to find out is if the 189 cm Wren 108 still offers the all-mountain stability of a ski like the 185 cm Blizzard Cochise … but with far superior powder performance to boot.

If it does, then I think this iteration of the Wrenegade 108 is going to interest quite a few people.

Bottom Line (For Now)

Versatile pow ski? Pow charger? Maneuverable, directional, all-mountain ski? All of the above?

We’re not sure, but testing begins this week in Telluride, and we are excited to find out.

NEXT: The Full Review

21 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    George February 19, 2018 Reply

    Did the mount point get moved back for 18/19? For the 17/18 version you have -8.95cm as compared to -10.25cm on this pair. Or is the difference due to comparing two different lengths and the mount point goes further back as the skis increase in length?

    • Author

      Hi, George – it’s the latter; the mount point didn’t get moved back, it just scales back on longer-length models.

    • flimflamvanham July 6, 2018 Reply

      although it is curious (to me) that the 184 mount point is further forward by about 1 to 1.5cm relative to the 189.

      Based on that and wanting a more powder focused ski I went with similar mount point on my 184’s: so about -1 from the rec line.

  2. Blister Member
    Jeffrey February 19, 2018 Reply

    How consistent do you feel your stiffness measurements are?

    These new stiffness estimates are very close to the Monster 88, though a bit stiffer behind the binding. The old stiffness records as softer than nearly every non-park ski I can find a recent review for. Is the change that substantial? The old one less stiff than most other skis you’ve been on in the last couple years, the new one stiffer?

    Am I misreading something? Stiffnesses for new/monster below.

    Monster88
    Tips: 8
    Shovels: 8.5-9
    Underfoot: 10
    Behind the Heel piece: 9
    Tails: 8.5-8

    New Wren:
    Tips: 8
    Shovels: 8.5-9
    In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
    Underfoot: 10
    Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-9
    Tails: 8.5

  3. Author

    Short answer: quite consistent. We actually verified this last Fall, when we were putting my numbers up against a very sophisticated / sensitive ski flex machine. Turned out, my numbers were very much in line with the machine’s. (The engineer was extremely surprised.)

    But then again, I would resist the temptation to stare too closely at any individual number. They are best used when taken overall, to see where the softer & stiffer sections of a ski are located.

    (And as for the previous Wren 108 … yes … it was soft. When we called it probably the easiest, most forgiving ski in its class, we weren’t kidding.)

    And finally, bigger discussion here, but there are big material differences between the Monster & the Wren, and those materials make a difference. So while I stand by those numbers, again, keep in mind that a mere “8.5” is by no means a stand-in for teasing out exactly how easy it is to get into the flex of the ski, how quickly it stiffens up, etc.

    And since nobody is sitting there trying to decide whether to fill their quiver spot EITHER with a Monster 88 OR a Wren 108 … such direct comparisons aren’t very helpful – though getting into some of those details if we were talking Monster 88 vs Blizzard Brahma could be.

    So, long and short: I think the most telling and important thing here is to look at the numbers for the previous Wren and this new Wren.

    • Blister Member
      Jeffrey February 19, 2018 Reply

      Thank you. And, yeah, I’m obviously not planning to sell my M88s (though maybe my M108s…) for a pair of Wrens, just curious about the substantial difference and points of reference.

      • Blister Member
        Andrew February 19, 2018 Reply

        Jeffrey, curious your thoughts on your monster 108. Love my monster 88s and always considering picking up one of their big brothers, but don’t like over 25M Turn radius unless open pow. Any thoughts on how hard they are to lay over compared to the 88 which is super easy?

        • Blister Member
          Jeffrey February 20, 2018 Reply

          I have only ridden the m108s a few days. This season in Tahoe I’ve been pretty much living on the 88s, since, there has been absolutely no snow. So, take this opinion with a grain of salt. Also, I’m 6’2″, 230#, and strong, ymmv. I like long turn radius skis for everything. I skied the Lhasa Pows as a DD for years, then the 2011 191 BGs whenever there was at least a dusting of soft. For me:

          They are workable at low speed, but not a lot of fun. Once you’re moving, they’re easy for their mass. They are entirely as stable as you would expect as well. I wouldn’t take a pair out to practice small radius turns or something silly, they have a purpose. That said, the few days I’ve had them out, they’ve happily done what I wanted.

          I’m still not sure I will get much use out of the 108s on a better season. If I’m going to charge chopped up hard snow, I think skinnier heavy straight skis might do as well. If it’s soft, a little bit of float could be more fun.

  4. Blister Member
    David February 20, 2018 Reply

    My selection of potential Bodacious replacements just keeps getting bigger: this, Blister Pro, Devastator, another Bodacious…

    • Blister Member
      Tom February 20, 2018 Reply

      I am going to go out on a limb here and say there is no way these would even remotely ski like a Bodacious.

      More cowbell, err rocker!

      Better have them both in the quiver…..

      • Blister Member
        David February 21, 2018 Reply

        Good point, Tom. I already have a nice pair of Atomic Atlas 192’s for fresh pow, and they’re plenty playful. I should probably be thinking Liberty Variant/Head Monster 108/Dynastar Legend Pro/Blizzard Bodacious. Most of my days are spent trying to ski chop/crust/weird snow.

  5. Blister Member
    Isaac February 20, 2018 Reply

    thank you for getting this out!!! I have been on the Wren 102s / 186 for the past few 4 years and am now looking to replace them. they no longer make the 102 OR a 186 length, so I have been struggling to figure out where to go next. am thinking the 98? but would be very interested in 2019’s version. I am not psyched at the increase in splay, and loss of sweet spot length at 186. I look forward to seeing how on3p’s 2018-2019 wren compares to the new moment commander series. seems a direct competitor. i am 6’1″ / 250lbs and have loved the silky smooth ride of the 102. at my weight i have no issue bending/carving it, and love the stability / crud crushing feel.

    • Matt February 23, 2018 Reply

      I haven’t skied it, but the W102 is commonly known as a very easy going Wren. I think it’s direct replacement is the Wren 98. At your size, I’d say the 189 is a no brainer. As for the 184 vs 186: Look at a 2cm on a ruler. Now image about half of that is taken off your tip and half the tail of the ski (for simplicity). Do you really think that’s going to make or break your ride? I believe contact length remained the same when the skis went from 186 to 184 (at least on the Billygoat it did…just 2cm off the old full twin tail). The current year W108 in a 189 might be a great replacement for your W102 if you’re ok with the extra width.

  6. Jantzen February 21, 2018 Reply

    “The 18/19 Wrenegade 108 comes in at an astonishing 450 grams-per-ski lighter than the 17/18 Wrenegade 108. Yet ON3P’s Scott Andrus says that zero stability has been compromised, despite the weight loss.”

    Gold Jerry, gold.

    I know how Scott feels (and I wholeheartedly agree) about the lightweight trend and this will be a huge selling point for ON3P (people still looking for damp and durable). …just my opinion.

  7. luke March 29, 2018 Reply

    When you review the 18/19 wren 108, can you mention how you feel this would work as a resort powder skis. I am specifically interested to know if this can be used as a narrower replacement for a more traditional wider powder ski and how much float it may have compared to wider skis with less rocker.

  8. Blister Member
    rhino July 4, 2018 Reply

    interesting. nudges the ski quite a bit to the center of the radar.

    any behavior that you think comes from the “bi-raduus” sidecut ?

    • Author

      I can’t say that I noticed anything in particular. Mostly, I tend to get nervous when I start hearing about things like “bi-radius” designs, but these skis just feel quite good. And while I didn’t think it warranted spending too much time on how the Wren 108 carves, for making bigger turns at speed, the shovels of the Wren 108 do initiate a turn nicely and naturally, without pulling you harder into a turn than I’d want from a bigger ski like this. And yet, you can actually engage the shovels in a carved turn, unlike skis like the Dynastar Legend X106, etc., where you’re really just carving from the middle of the ski.

  9. Blister Member
    George July 6, 2018 Reply

    When you do the size comparison in the last section of this article are you speaking of the 17/18 or 18/19 184? I just received my 18/19 184s and they weigh 2300/g per ski, which is more than your stated weight for the 189s. So im wondering if “notably lighter, notably quicker, and definitely has a lower swing weigh” still will hold true on mine…

    • Author

      Hi, George – when I originally wrote that First Look with the sizing recommendations, I was mostly thinking of the 17/18 184 cm Wren vs the 18/19 189 cm Wren.

      But see my updated thoughts on sizing in my full review & accompanying Deep Dive Comparisons.

      Finally, are you sure your skis weighed 2300 g per ski?? Our measured weights on the 18/19 184s were 2143 & 2194 grams each. So I suspect that something is off with the 2300 g measurement you got?

  10. Ian Wagener July 6, 2018 Reply

    Hmm.. Well it sounds like the wren 184 is right up my ally. Been looking for something to replace my scimitar 185s (i know they measure like 181~) for my western trips and when i feel like nuking midwest groomers. I’m 5’10 but i’m a really light guy, so i don’t think i need the extra stability the 189 would add. This is an excellent review. Now i just have to decide if that new ski you and folsom (talked about in recent podcast) are working on is a better choice for me since i basically re-learned to ski well on decambered skis (skied in my youth, started before shaped skis, but they caught on as i got older) didn’t ski much in my late teens and early 20s, started skiing again in mid 20s and bought some scimitars and basically learned to be a competent advanced intermediate on scimitars, and just don’t feel the stability at speed i want. I have come to really love gunning it when there isn’t fresh to play in, and the scimitar seems to feel like it loses stablity at 40-45mph, and i’d like another 10-15mph of stability, and better pow performance (basically ability to ski past 10-12″ of fresh). I’ve hit 50mph on the scimitars, would like to hit 60-70 on my next skis..

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