One of the better skis G3 has ever produced was the Reverend. It had a weird reputation because so many skiers were put off by the image of a preacher looking back at them. Actually he was looking up, but the religious overtones made a lot of folks uncomfortable. Graphics notwithstanding, they skied great.
So it is with the descendent of the Reverend, the Saint. The similarity in name belies the similarity in performance, without any graphics induced guilt. When the Reverend was introduced, 88mm at the waist was gignormous. Compared to the genetically modified cows being served with girths beyond 120mm the Saint appears svelte with only 93mm underfoot. Like the Reverend though, they rock.
The shovel is at the end of a slow rise tip which improves flotation, whether busting trail or making first tracks. That slow rise lets you dig in the tip when you want it to on firmer snow, so the ski doesn’t shrink when the snow gets firm. Part of that is due to a snappy tail that holds on when you need it to, and gives a lil’ kick into the next turn.
The tail has a slight upturn for when you need to side-slip back and forth on the headwall of a dog-leg couloir before it opens up, but not so much that it creates trouble when you want to jam your skis in the snow, either at a switchback or just to stick ‘em in the snow. Plus there is a nice notch for hooking the tail-hook of your skins on.Thanks in part to a wood core with a composite mix of poplar and paulownia, the Saint delivers a rounded, damp flex, unphased by frozen chunks, chicken heads or icy hard snow. The mid-fat waist feels a lot tighter in the turns than fat boys, and a lot more secure when it’s icy. Besides the early rise tip, the shovel width of 122mm delivers a tip that naturally bobs up, for a delightful ride through soft snow, whether heavy porridge or airy Wasatch pow.
Weight wise the Saint is not the lightest pair of planks out there, but they’re not tanks either. There is enough mass and natural rebound in the wood core to provide a platform you can rely on and not worry that it doesn’t have enough muscle to handle a myriad of conditions. Go too light and some conditions cease to be fun.
Go too heavy and you feel it on the uptrack. Not for the first 5,000 feet. If you notice it there, it’s not the weight of the ski dogging you, it’s you dogging you. You need to get out more. On the otherhand, if you’re going really big, over 7,000, you might want to consider G3′s skinnier brother, Spitfire LT.
Of course, this perception is based predominantly on spring conditions. There was plenty of soft snow to be found, but nothing blower light. I’m sure it handles fluff well as I’ve never known a ski to handle heavy and soft conditions well and not also completely satisfy in blower soft. There were a few turns on spicy hard, and the Enzo’s did an admirable job of digging the Saint’s edges in on the ice and they held.
You might float better with a fatter ski, but the Saint will hold an edge better when edging matters, making this a superb all round ski, in or out of bounds.
Oh, and the graphics are nice and neutral, maybe even smartly stylish but I’ll leave that proclamation to the style experts.
Genuine Guide Gear
Sizes: 185, 177, 170 cm
Weight (170cm): 6½ lbs. (2.9 kg)