Now in its seventh iteration, ON3P’s Billy Goat ski isn’t resting on its laurels. 2018 brings change for the marquee ski, including the incorporation of asymmetrical tip taper. This is intended to help the ski shine even more where it already performs best, smearing in soft snow and floating through powder.
2017’s version introduced the Reverse Elliptical Sidecut (RES), a convex elliptical arc from the tip to the boot sole, with traditional sidecut in the tail. This winter sees an update to the RES that blends the radius between the tip and tail. The goal: improve the experience on hardpack to give the ski more all-around versatility for the freeride and big mountain skiers using the Billy Goat on a regular basis.
This directional ski retains a progressive flex into the tips, and a rocker-camber-rocker profile. Like most Portland-made ON3P skis, the Billy Goat is constructed with a 100 percent bamboo core, a durable and environmentally friendly grass. This means it can bend and pop back easily. Carbon fiber provides extra stiffness, helping the ski power through junk with speed.
At Big Sky, we set out by lapping shorter runs on the bowl accessed by the Powder Seeker chair. Here, the Billy Goats easily initiated big, round, and fast turns. Soon, low visibility pushed us toward the trees over in Moonlight Basin. The Billy Goats weren’t the most light-footed ski I’ve threaded through a treed run, but when the pressure was on, they still skipped through tight spots. After finding some untouched snow, the Billy Goats skied smoother with each run.
Despite the new RES, it didn’t feel like these skis genuinely loved the hard stuff. Like my first awkward middle school relationship, it was a bit forced. Classic, soft conditions are still more up the Billy Goat’s alley, and few skis perform in that realm as well, or with as much style. —Clare Menzel