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G3 Axle Review

User-friendly performance in a backcountry specific design
G3 Axle
Photo: G3
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Price:  $850 List
Pros:  Lightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheet
Cons:  Expensive to use standard hook clips
Manufacturer:   G3
By Isaac Laredo ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 28, 2020
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 11
  • Powder - 26% 7
  • Firm Snow - 26% 8
  • Climbing - 28% 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. It's stiff but not hard to manage, the board remains very user-friendly. Whether you like driving turns, hippy turns in trees, or need to smear and skid turns to line up to your chute of choice, this board can provide. The carbon matrix added torsional stiffness, which helps the board's climbing and edging abilities. The Axle is for dedicated splitboarders who require strong up and downhill performance for tours of all lengths.

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G3 Axle
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Price $850 List$899 List$900 List$650 List$799 List
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Pros Lightweight, responsive, carbon layup, durable topsheetDurable topsheet, great powder floatation, excellent climbing, snappy turn experience, bolt-less baseStable, stiff, lightweight, solid, predictable, reliable, supports diverse riding objectivesDurable, affordable, versatile, easy to adjust stanceDurable topsheet, versatile, responsive, good offering of sizes
Cons Expensive to use standard hook clipsExpensive, switch ridingExpensive, narrow waist width, shallow nose riseGeneralist, soft for aggressive riding or heavy snowChallenging to smear turns in firm snow at slow speeds
Bottom Line User-friendly performance in a backcountry specific designClimbs like a bird in thermals, rides like your trusted solid boardProvides versatile performance to support daily or ambitious backcountry objectives, the Solution is a satisfying rideA minimalist board that has everything that you need and nothing that you don'tFreeride, freestyle, or powder specific; now you don't have to choose
Rating Categories G3 Axle Backwoods Jones Solution Spli... Voile Spartan Ascent United Shapes Covert
Powder (26%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Firm Snow (26%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Climbing (28%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Binding Adjustability (5%)
5.0
5.0
5.0
9.0
5.0
Playfulness (15%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Specs G3 Axle Backwoods Jones Solution Spli... Voile Spartan Ascent United Shapes Covert
Weight 7.15 lbs 7.33 lbs 7.38 lbs 6.08 lbs 7.45 lbs
Tested Length 162 157 158 158 158
Flex Stiff Medium - stiff Stiff Soft Medium
Weight in grams 3245 g 3325 g 3346 g 2794 g 3382 g
Weight Per Surface Area 0.7 0.74 0.74 0.62 0.75
Available Lengths 154, 158, 162, 166 152, 157, 160, 163, 163 (w) 154, 158, 159W, 161, 162W, 164, 165W, 166, 169W 154, 158, 162, 166 149,152,158,161,166
Construction Type Sandwich Sandwich Sandwich Cap Sandwich
Core Material Wood Wood/ bamboo Wood paulownia, carbon Blended wood
Waist Width 25.7cm 25.6cm 24.7cm 25.7cm 25.7cm
Shape Directional Directional Directional Directional twin Directional
Radius 9.8m 7.3/6.5/7.5m 8.5m 7.7m 7.5m
Camber/Rocker Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker Rock camber rocker Directional rocker Freeride camber Rocker/ Camber/ Rocker

Our Analysis and Test Results

The G3 Axle is specifically engineered to be a splitboard. Often, splitboards take the design of a solid board and then cut it 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 displays the benefits of its 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 additional torsional stability without a large weight penalty.

Performance Comparison


The G3 Axle has a versatile shape that is ready to ride anything in...
The G3 Axle has a versatile shape that is ready to ride anything in sight.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Firm Snow


The Axle is a beast in firm snow. 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. We never encountered a speed threshold infirm or corn snow that was set by the board; just our sense of self-preservation. When speed control is critical, the AXLE is easy to perform small radius smeared turns. The ability to smear turns becomes critical in tight areas and or icy conditions. Additionally, it makes the board easier to manage for riders of different ability levels.

Strong and fun corn turns on the Axle.
Strong and fun corn turns on the Axle.
Photo: Laredo

The Axle provides a damp and mostly chatter-free ride, thanks to the flex and amount of damping materials used. Overall, 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 purpose-built to excel in many conditions, and powder is no exception. This board was fit for all types of powder riding, whether you need to wiggle through trees or make big open turns in powder.

The Axle had impressive agility paired with plenty of stability...
The Axle had impressive agility paired with plenty of stability making it a great choice for open and treed terrain.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

The tail reduces its surface area through an 8mm taper and set back profile. This increases the floatation and agility of the board by encouraging the tail to sit in the snow. The tail is driven down by rider weight and positioning rather than effort. In tight trees, the rider can pivot off the back foot for impressive maneuverability. The long rockered nose planes well over the snow to give confidence-inspiring floatation at high speeds in any terrain.

Climbing


G3 designed the Axle to perform equally on the way up and the way down. So far in our testing, this seems pretty accurate. The Axle is a lightweight splitboard. In our surface area per gram calculations, it boasted one of the lightest number values.

The Axle's durable top sheet should last in order to keep bringing...
The Axle's durable top sheet should last in order to keep bringing you to places like these days after day.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

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.

The mounted Axle 162 on the scale. We subtracted 442 g, which is the...
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.
Photo: Laredo

Binding Adjustability


The Axle utilizes the standard splitboard mounting pattern. This requires the pucks or mounting plates to be shifted for micro-adjustments or be reattached for major changes to the stance.

Playfulness


The Axle is stiff; it's not necessarily playful in its flex. However, it can be used by a variety of skill levels due to its maneuverable and smearable turning character. It's very versatile and user-friendly, and its turns can be driven or smeared. You don't have to force the board 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 and nylon-based top sheet, it is designed to last season after season.

This carbon matrix works to stiffen the torsional flex of the model...
This carbon matrix works to stiffen the torsional flex of the model to increase edge to edge response.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

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 an excellent choice for dedicated backcountry enthusiasts who demand performance and reliability on the up and down.

The black and simple base of the G3 Axle makes p-tex repairs easy.
The black and simple base of the G3 Axle makes p-tex repairs easy.
Photo: Isaac Laredo

Isaac Laredo