While the Polyurethane sidewall improves dampness and durability, the real benefit is how playful it makes the skis. For me, this is the FINDr’s biggest benefit (coupled with their more than reasonable price tag). A similar ski from Volkl (like the Katana Vwerks) will run you an additional $400. They float in backcountry powder, climb easy on the skin track, and are super fun and playful in bounds, while still being able to carve and lay down hard charging lines on groomers—It’s the do-it-all ski.
G3 has integrated their FLYRIDE PLUS construction into the three variations found in the FINDr line-up: The 102 (reviewed here), the 94 – for those who want something a little lighter, and the 86 – which is at the other end of the freeride spectrum (great for those who want to go light and fast). With FLYRIDE PLUS, you get a lightweight ski that still offers the high performance you’d expect from a much heavier, more expensive ski. Like the Volkl 100Eight skis, the FINDr skis utilize a thicker spine (that runs down the center of the ski) and thinner side walls. This saves weight at the edges of the skis, while positioning the mass in the center for better torsional stiffness and a lighter swing-weight.
While all FINDr models have traditional camber underfoot with early rise in the tips, the 102 has the most camber and longer tip and tail rises making them the most adept at taking on deep pow days and variable snow conditions.
What’s not to love about theFINDr 102s? G3 got all the numbers right on this one: 102 underfoot, sub 7 pounds in weight, camber underfoot for pop and energy, enough rise in the tips for pow, and enough side cut for fast edge-to-edge turns. If you prefer bouncing in the bumps or playing in the crud piles, the Polyurethane sidewalls keep the energy level high. While not a real fast charger, the FINDr 102s are very playful and have fun all over the mountain.
The real secret to the FINDr’s success is the integration of Polyurethane into the ski’s sidewall. This is the same material that skateboard wheels are made of, and it does an incredible job of dampening and eliminating the chatter found in most carbon layup skis. The result is a go-anywhere ski that feels smooth and flowy on even the roughest terrain.
A true quiver of one ski has to be versatile in various snow conditions and terrain, and possess the ability to lap the resort as well as put in long days on the skin track with ease. Given the FINDr 102’s stability and performance in bounds and out, as well as its appetite for fun, it’s no wonder that it receives high marks for versatility. I’ve never used a ski that’s this much fun anywhere on the mountain, regardless of conditions.
Dedicated backcountry skis which are ideal for long day tours and multi-day traverses typically weigh in the 5.5 to 6-pound range (depending upon their dimensions). Skis that are designed for resort laps are generally in the neighbourhood of 9-10 pounds (again depending upon the ski’s dimensions). The sweet spot for a ski that can ‘do it all’ is found in the 6 to 7-pound range, and this is right where the FINDr 102s reside. At 6.6 pounds, G3 was not looking to make a super lightweight ski; They wanted the FINDr 102s to be more ‘forgiveness and fun’ than ‘spandex and skimo’.
Even though the FINDr’s have a healthy amount of camber underfoot, they still employ a reasonable amount of early rise in the tips which enables them to float well in deep snow. Their 102mm waist width also helps with buoyancy, but given the amount and frequency of pow-pow storms we get here in the south Selkirks, I can’t help but wish for a slightly fatter version of the G3 with something in the neighborhood of 110mm under foot.
*Your purchase helps to support the work of Gear Institute.
HOW WE TESTED
Skis were tested while ski touring at Whitewater Ski Resort in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia. All skis are tested in bounds on groomers, and out of bounds in powder and variable snow conditions.
Brad Steele is the co-creator of BackcountrySkiingCanada.com, a one-stop-shop for skiers and riders seeking timely, on-the-money information. BackcountrySkiingCanada.com is where you’ll find route descriptions, product reviews, guides, videos, comps and other like minded people who are as amped on ski touring as you are.