Splitboard.com Forums

The World's first exclusive splitboard discussion forums






It is currently Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:27 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: G3 Blacksheep
PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
There is not much out there on the G3 Blacksheep so I thought I would post up a review. I have now ridden it on 40* chutes, 32* to 38* open bowls, low angle run outs, low angled treed slopes and steep trees. Conditions have been deep powder, not so deep powder, wind buff, heavily wind affected snow, very firm scoured windbuff, hard and soft breakable crust, mank, and just a touch of corn. I weigh 142 pounds, am 5'9 and bought the 158. I love trying boards and have ridden a lot of different ones over the last number of seasons. I am quite particular about what I like and am generally a quiver guy for different conditions.

For comparison in the splitboard world, I have a 162 Furberg solid (first year), a 159 Gnu Billy Goat solid, a 160 Prior Khyber split, a 158 Prior BC split and have recently had a 156 Jones Hovercraft solid, 166 Prior Spearhead split and solid, a 157 Venture Zephyr solid, a 162 Venture Storm split.

I had been spending winters in Utah and spring in Oregon so my Khyber was for powder and my custom 11m sidecut BC split was for volcano corn. This year I went to the eastern Sierra and found that neither board was working well in the wide variety of conditions one finds on each tour there. I really loved the specs of the G3 for a do everything board when I first saw them last season so I ended up picking one up. Though I liked the specs, the flex, flex pattern, or dampening can still be off and it is hard to know how a board rides before you try it. This one did not disappoint.

This chart is taken from a post in another thread by maniacdave.
Image

Its weight is moderate. It is quite stiff both torsionally and longitudinally and it feels quite beefy. It is stiffer than all the boards listed above except the Venture Zephyr (which was too stiff for me). The rocker is very subtle to flat and the edge is fully engaged when the board is put only slightly on edge. In any reasonably soft skinning conditions, the skins are down on the skin track. The board has sidewall construction through the middle and cap construction at the nose and tail. It is a bit wider than I would choose for my smaller feet, but the torsional stiffness helps make up for this and for riders with normal sized and bigger feet, the width is a good thing.

I really like this board.

Its stiffness rewards assertiveness. It is very stable at speed and handles well at lower speeds with a variety of turn options. The G3 has solid edge hold when I want it but it is easy to release the edge to slide or slarve a turn. It does not catch a nose or tail when I lift it above the snow, redirect it, and lock the edge back in to change direction. It has a good turn size for me when I lock in the sidecut (more of a carved turn). Those are some of the top things I want out of a board and the G3 is the best balance of them of any board I have ridden to date. I had it inbounds briefly and, especially for a split, it is very solid carving groomers. It was a lot of fun to carve off the groom up onto a bank, slide the tail, lock back in and drop back to the groomer. I asked about a solid, but already knew the answer, "no plans to build one."

It responds very well when going between hard wind scour and softer windbuff snow during a turn. It does not hook. I expect it will also be solid when transitioning between firm corn and softened corn. It is stiff enough to slice though inconsistencies in the snow and track well through wind affected snow. With its subtle/flat rocker, 8mm taper and stiffness, it handled breakable crust quite a bit better than my Khyber or BC split.

Float in powder is great with its rocker, taper, and moderate width. It might be a bit stiff if I was only riding deeper, light density powder but I only got a short length of that on one run so I am not sure yet. In medium or heavy powder, its flex works great.

I feel like the 158 rides a bit bigger than its length for me. The torsional stiffness and width requires a bit more aggressiveness initiating turns. I do not know how the 162 and 168 sizes will feel for a heavier rider. Interestingly, the sidecuts listed in the chart above are the same radius (I have also seen 9.2 for the 158 and 9.4 for the 168) for all three sizes but the nose/waist/tail widths in the chart above show the same depth which would mean the longer lengths have a bigger radius. I do not know about the flex on the longer lengths.

It seems to have some dampening as it did not give me as much feed back as I expected and never chattered. I will know more once I get it on frozen corn.

It skins great. I am pretty sure it is the torsional stiffness providing solid edge bite. Skinning in deep powder was great. I had no issues with the slight rockered/flat profile on firmer snow. I had a number of patches of firm wind scour when you can just barely leave a mark at all and it acted fine both sidehilling and straight up the slope. That is even though I was using the standard G3s instead of the better gripping high traction or BD skins. I have also skinned it up a couple of 35 degree slopes. One was shallower heavy powder and windbuff, the other was dense windbuff.

The nose is black but at least the topsheet is a gloss finish. I was happy enough (never perfectly happy with any split) with the snow shedding abilities of the top sheet and did not notice any issues relative to other boards I have had. The Sierra has some sticky snow but I could often flick the snow off the nose with a quick upward kick. Other times I had to scrape it off. It is showing a few more touring related scuffs than I would like, but they are surface marks only.

Construction wise, all the components line up well and the inserts are in the correct place. The board halves slide together smoothly, are tight, and it feels amazingly solid when riding. Finish quality could be a bit higher. Some of the screws on the base for the Voile hooks are proud and some are recessed. That is not uncommon though on splits.

Bottom line is the G3 is very confidence inspiring and they have built a great board. Next year I will be looking at switching to the carbon version for sure.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: G3 Blacksheep
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 5:06 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
A bit more on the finish quality.

The G3 is mostly sidewall construction with about a foot at the nose and tail that is cap. When I got the board, I had noticed a bit of bubbling in the resin in the cap construction where it is transitioning from sidewall to cap but did not think much of it. I eventually looked closer and found that the bubbling was a bit worse than I realized. I have a K2 Gyrator with this same cap/sidewall construction and the resin on it is solid with no bubbles or defects.

I contacted G3 and they say that there is nothing to worry about and if I wanted, I could fill it with epoxy. They also said that the core starts about 4mm from the edge of the resin material. When I responded that one of the holes is 4mm deep and there is a lighter colored material at the back of it, I was again told I could fill them with epoxy.

I am not really sure where this falls on the quality control scale. Somewhat minor I figure, but I don't like needing to do work to fix a construction quality issue on a new, first quality board. It is probably luck, but Rebecca and I have owned a lot of boards and, aside from a defectively stiff 161 Spearhead split, I have never had a construction quality issue with any board.

I still really enjoy the board. I had it out in some firm snow and some good corn on Shasta and Lassen last weekend and it worked as well as hoped on the bullet proof and firm wind buff and rode super well in the corn. It surfs natural half pipes really well. Hopefully they can get this construction issue resolved.

Here are some photos. These are from both sides near the nose and both sides near the tail.

Image Image

Image Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: G3 Blacksheep
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:36 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2005 10:05 am
Posts: 1505
Location: Colorado
Thanks for the review Buell, always nice to hear some good details on a relatively new board. I have seen voids like that before in other cap boards. In a sandwich board one does not usually see the voids because of the tight fit of the sidewall material., but the board still might have voids in the internal laminations. Most cap boards I had (back in the day when caps were prevalent) had some voids like this. I have done some glass and carbon layups, and I have seen two board companies doing layups, sometimes they go a little too lean on the resin (it is costly if they use good stuff), and this can result in voids. Or they might not distribute the resin well enough, or the mold might not be precise enough, or... etc. The board is probably still plenty strong, and it will likely not be an issue, but for sure I would like to see no voids.
I have even seen voids like this in at least one Venture where the sidewall material blends into the tip fill...

_________________
Never Summer Prospector 167X, furberg 173 DIY, Dynafit TLT5/6 Mountain , Phantom Bindings, BD Glidelite Skins
Quiver Killer inserts

http://protectourwinters.org/
http://14ersnowboardproject.homestead.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: G3 Blacksheep
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:05 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
I am not concerned about strength of the board. Between this and the imperfect elevations of the Chinese hook screws on the base, I would like to see a higher level of finish quality on a G3 splitboard. I expect they will get it right.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: G3 Blacksheep
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
I wanted to update this thread after some solid corn season days and a bit more abuse.

Tough board. It is holding up really well. I don't tend accidentally to drop boards very often onto hard surfaces, but I have done that twice to the G3. Both times it landed hard on a small part of the rail near the nose. Both times I figured it was damaged. Not a scratch, nothing. I had a Gnu Billygoat solid board hit the same way and it required repair to the delaminated rail and topsheet. Damage from riding is limited to topsheet scuffs from skinning. The base and edges are in great shape (I don't tend to do much damage during corn season though because the snow is consolidated).

Riding wise, my impressions are similar. Skins well, rides well. It performs very well in spring conditions. Never catching an edge yet having great edge grip when I want it. It is very confidence inspiring.

With the torsional stiffness, the moderately wide G3 holds together extremely well, but as a smaller rider I would love a 154 x 25 with the 9+ sidecut for corn season and a 158 x 25 for winter on the West Coast. For most riders though, the sizing is great.

Image

photo by Morgan Lipscomb
Image

photo by Morgan Lipscomb
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: G3 Blacksheep
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:38 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 387
Location: Eugene and Coos Bay, Oregon.
I found this board's limits for me on the NFNWR in rather firm conditions. In all other conditions I have ridden this season, including other lines of just as steep (less exposure), but softer corn, I have really enjoyed this board. In the steep, firm conditions we encountered on our NFNWR descent, I found the G3 to be big and clunky. It was a lot of work to lock the edge back in after completing my turn and it required a bit of time feathering the edge until it was completely under control.

In fairness, some of that is to be expected on any board on that slope and I am not sure at the moment what board I would have preferred to have been riding (I have some design thoughts, but no one makes it). With only so much base contact (mostly edge) with the firmer snow, I do feel like the width was at least a part of the issue.


TR from the trip with video of conditions.
http://splitboard.com/talk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=16993

Looking down the line
Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  





Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group