G3 Synapse+ 101 Elle
No gimmicks, no flashy graphics - just an impressive all-round touring ski with genuine backcountry heritage
The Company - G3
In an industry where corporate consolidation has led to many cult snowsports brands becoming subsumed into the vast sales-driven portfolios of media giants, G3 Genuine Guide Gear continues to stay true to its roots.
Born in British Columbia, Canada in 1995, the independently owned and operated company have only ever had one goal in mind – to manufacture the best backcountry skiing and snowboarding gear possible. Innovative yet authentic, if you want to keep it real in the backcountry, then G3 are a genuinely safe bet.
A versatile, ultralight ski, the G3 Synapse+ 101 Elle is a good-looking guaranteed crowd pleaser with a subtle injection of fun.
The Justin Trudeau of the women’s backcountry ski market if you like….
First Impressions – Out of the Box
The G3 Synapse+ 101 Elle immediately looks like a serious ski. With no fancy dumbing-down flowery, girly graphics to be seen on either the topsheet or the base of the ski, the intentions of the Synapse+ 101 Elle are instantly obvious. Described by G3 as an ‘ultralight performance touring ski’, it looks and feels like a lightweight yet sturdy rig that’s built for speed and power.
The no-nonsense approach to design is equally reflected in the profile and construction of the ski. At a sensible 101mm at the waist, the Synapse+ Elle is clearly intended to provide a sufficiently stable platform underfoot to cope with everything from crud to powder without losing that all-important edge control. The 130-101-118m sidecut and moderate tip rocker (for improved flotation) and low-profile ‘Stealth Tail’ (for greater freedom in the turn) of the ski are further evidence that this ski is built to deliver on the descent when faced with the full spectrum of backcountry conditions.
The construction may have an ‘all-mountain’ powerful feel but as soon as you take them out of the box, there’s no mistaking that these skis are equally optimised for the ascent. Weighing in at 1.38kg per ski in the 170cm version, they’re surprisingly (and reassuringly) light for such a sturdy looking rig.
First Impressions – On The Mountain
A serious ski deserves a serious test so we decided to take the Synapse+ 101 Elles on a trip of a lifetime to the iconic spring ski touring destination of the Norwegian fjords. Other than arriving a little late to the party (having got a tad distracted en route in Amsterdam airport) the Synapse+ 101s put in a pretty faultless performance over the course of one of the best week’s ski touring we’ve ever experienced.
Faced with a variety of conditions ranging from shin deep, sparkly light hero powder (oh yeah) to challenging sticky, rain-affected snow (boo), the versatile Synapse+ 101 Elles not only coped with every card the unpredictable Suunmore Alps decided to deal over the course of the week, crucially, they managed to make it a whole lot of fun. Whilst it goes without saying that cruisey, life-affirming powder descents are guaranteed smile makers, even when the snow dial turned a little more in the direction of sub-optimal, we were still having one hell of a good time courtesy of these pink powerhouses.
The moderate tip rocker, balanced sidecut and 101mm platform of the Synapse+ 101 Elle provides just the right combination of float and beef to cope with everything from powder to crud. The notoriously Norwegian forests were a breeze for this agile and lightweight ski which was easy to maneuver even when the trees were super tight. Having only managed a handful of ski tours over the course of the season owing to the less than impressive winter season, I had been concerned that I would struggle on the ascent but the skis were so light that I didn’t feel tired once over the course of 5 consecutive days of 1,200m+ of ascent.
The spring snowpack meant we weren’t exactly having to break trail through knee high pow but the tip rocker of the Synapse+ 101 Elle suggests it certainly has the build to cope with tough ascents on the deepest of days.
The terrain we were targeting was fairly benign in difficulty so I am unable to confirm how the Synapse 101s would hold up in a narrow couloir with consequences or an a steep icy skin track. Quite frankly I was having too much fun skiing summit to sea fresh powder lines under an impossibly blue sky to be too concerned with seeking out more gnarly terrain. I am however looking forward to trying them out in grittier conditions next winter season and will report back.
The Synapse 101 Elles are destined to appeal to serious backcountry skiers with a penchant for the playful. Equal parts stable and agile, dependable yet responsive, they are an ideal choice if you’re looking for a quiver-of-one backcountry ski for a variety of conditions.
The Nitty Gritty
Buy this ski - if you’re looking for a no nonsense all-round performer and a smooth ride
If you buy this ski – people might think you're a bit boring but you’re unlikely to care because you’ll be having too much fun
Don’t buy this ski – if you’re partial to trends and attention-seeking gear
Where to buy:
Suunmore Alps with Fjord Adventures
Other Product Used During Test:
G3 ION 10 Touring Binding and G3 Scala LT Skins
Get in touch for more information, advice and feedback on these products
Designed For: ULTRALIGHT PERFORMANCE TOURING
Lengths: 160,170, 175
Weight (kg): 1.34, 1.38, 1.44
Turning Radius (m): 14, 15.2, 16.4
Camber: Tip Rocker & Stealth Tail
- PolyUrethane sidewall – durability & dampness
- Premium carbon fibre – strong, light & torsionally stable
- Poplar Paulownia wood core – lightweight & high performance
- Textured co-extruded nylon topsheet – durable & sheds snow/ice
- Full thickness hardened steel edges – corrosion resistant
Place of Manufacture: CHINA
Brand Nationality: CANADA
WEBSITE - www.genuineguidegear.com/dealers