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G3 Axle Review

User-friendly performance in a backcountry specific design.
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Price:  $850 List | $848.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheet
Cons:  Expensive to use standard hook clips
Manufacturer:   G3
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 21, 2019
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 10
  • Powder - 25% 6
  • Firm Snow - 27.5% 8
  • Climbing - 27.5% 8
  • Binding Adjustability - 5% 5
  • Playfulness - 15% 6

Our Verdict

The G3 Axle stays true to G3's commitment to the backcountry. The mostly camber profile promotes a responsive and secure edge hold on firm snow, and it's stiff but not hard to manage. It's very user-friendly, whether you like driving turns or need to smear or skid turns to line up to your chute of choice. The carbon matrix added torsional stiffness, which helps the board's climbing and edging abilities. The standard hook style clips do the job to connect the halves but aren't commonly found on premium splitboards; however, the clips don't detract from the versatile and solid performance of the Axle. The Axle is for dedicated splitboarders who require strong up and downhill performance for tours of all lengths.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
G3 Axle
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $848.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$899.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$898.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$919 List$799 List
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Pros Lightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheetStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesDurable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseFun, predictable, solid edge hold, confidence inspiring, great floatDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons Expensive to use standard hook clipsExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseExpensive, switch ridingSlightly soft nose and tail, heavy-ishProficient firm snow performance
Bottom Line User-friendly performance in a backcountry specific design.Provides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives.Climbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid board.An even mix of freestyle and free ride that doesn't neglect flotation.Freeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose.
Rating Categories G3 Axle Jones Solution Splitboard Backwoods Venture Storm United Shapes Covert
Powder (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
6
Firm Snow (27.5%)
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
Climbing (27.5%)
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
8
Binding Adjustability (5%)
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
5
10
0
5
Playfulness (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs G3 Axle Jones Solution... Backwoods Venture Storm United Shapes Covert
Weight 7.15 lbs 7.38 lbs 7.33 lbs 7.91 lbs 7.45 lbs
Tested Length 162 158 157 157 158
Flex Stiff Stiff Medium - stiff Medium Stiff Medium
Weight 3245 g 3346 g 3325 g 3587 g 3382 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.7 0.74 0.74 0.8 0.75
Available Lengths 154, 158, 162, 166 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 157,161, 162, 166, 171 149,152,158,161,166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood Blended wood
Waist Width 25.7cm 24.7cm 25.6cm 25cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional Directional
Radius 9.8m 8.5m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.48m 7.5m
Camber/Rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker Directional rocker Rock camber rocker Straightline rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker

Our Analysis and Test Results

The G3 Axle is specifically engineered to be a splitboard. Often times, splitboards take the design of a solid board and are then cut in half. Usually this works, and other times it leaves a board that excels on the downhill but is limited in its uphill efficiency. This model is a well-blended board that gets the benefits of many attributes without too many sacrifices. The Axle has a light camber profile in between the bindings and rocker in both the tip and tail for stability and floatation. It has an inlaid carbon matrix within the fiberglass for addition torsional stability without a large weight penalty.

Performance Comparison


The bright yellow graphic of the Axle on display.
The bright yellow graphic of the Axle on display.

Firm Snow


The Axle is a beast in firm snow, and the security, edge hold, and responsiveness impressed us. The predominant camber profile has an early rise tip and tail, which encourages strong edge hold and stability at speed. In our use, we never encountered a speed threshold in firm or corn snow that was set by the board; just our sense of self-preservation. When speed control is critical, this model remains easy to produce small radius smeared turns. This is nice for tight areas and very icy conditions. It also makes the board more user-friendly.

Strong and fun corn turns on the Axle.
Strong and fun corn turns on the Axle.

The Axle provides a damp and mostly chatter-free ride, thanks to the flex and amount of damping materials used. It's easy to turn and get on edge, and the torsional stiffness makes this model very responsive and secure on edge.

Powder


The Axle is part of the spring 2019 update. Based on the timing, we haven't had an opportunity to extensively test this model in powder, but the update will be coming as soon as possible. Based on an analysis of the specs and shape, we expect this board to provide great powder performance. Its tail has reduced surface area via its 8mm taper, and the shorter length and slim shape promote sinking of the tail. The long, rocker nose should work to keep it afloat.

Climbing


G3 says the board was designed to perform equally on the way up and the way down. So far in our testing, this seems pretty accurate. The Axle is pretty light, given its length. In our surface area per gram calculations, it boasted one of the best and lightest number values.

The mounted Axle 162 on the scale. We subtracted 442 g  which is the weight of the Spark R and D Attachment system to get the weight of the Axle.
The mounted Axle 162 on the scale. We subtracted 442 g, which is the weight of the Spark R and D Attachment system to get the weight of the Axle.

Its torsional flex provides solid sidehilling capability, and its mostly cambered profile offers additional security. We appreciated the nylon-based top sheet for its durable qualities, which provides impressive resistance to damage caused by the edges scraping the top sheet.

Binding Adjustability


The Axle utilizes the standard splitboard mounting pattern. This requires the pucks or mounting plates to be reattached to the board.

Playfulness


The Axle is stiff; it's not necessary playful in its flex but in its use abilities. It's very versatile and user-friendly, and its turns can be driven or smeared. You don't have to force it to do either one; it is designed for both styles.

Value


The Axle clocks in at a comparable price when we look at other premium high-end splitboards. We were impressed with the overall performance; the construction looks good, and with features like a thicker base, it is designed to last season afer season.

The Carbon Matrix is displayed in a window on the tail. The matrix runs throughout and adds to its torsional stiffness. The added flex has climbing and firm snow benefits.
The Carbon Matrix is displayed in a window on the tail. The matrix runs throughout and adds to its torsional stiffness. The added flex has climbing and firm snow benefits.

Conclusion


The G3 Axle isn't just a solid board cut in half. It's a splitboard by design. It's lightweight, yet doesn't compromise the stability and performance on the down. We appreciate its secure and responsive performance on hard snow, and it can handle the objectives of advanced splitboarders. The Axle is a great choice for dedicated backcountry enthusiasts who demand performance and reliability on the up and down.

The Base of the Axle.
The Base of the Axle.


Isaac Laredo