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EpicSki › Ski Equipment and Resorts  › Ski Gear › Alpine Skis › All-Mountain Skis › 2009 Icelantic Nomad Ski

2009 Icelantic Nomad Ski


Pros: good flotation

Cons: torture on firm snow, unstable edge hold at high speeds

 I am glad to see that so many people love this ski.  However, this was not the ski for me.  I am reluctant to write negative comments because I don't want to ruffle anyone's feathers.  I feel some affection for my favorite skis and I know that many others do too.  From reading the other reviews I can see that many people have been happy with this ski.  However, for me, this ski was a bad fit.  

I tried the 181 SFT. I'm 6 feet, 175 pounds, aggressive level 9 skier.  I spend nearly all my time off-piste looking for good snow.  I demoed lots of skis this year in hopes of finding something that would be fun in deep snow but still good enough on firm snow to enjoy the inevitable laps back to the chair.  I found these to be pretty good in deep snow but not the best powder skis I have tried.  In heavy powder, turn initiation was not effortless and they got knocked around a fair bit in crud.  They were also fine on firm snow at low speeds.  However, they could not hold a stable edge in high speed turns on firm snow.  They would hold briefly, then release and skip sideways, then re-engage, release, skip... you get the idea.  They didn't do this at low speeds, only at high speeds.  This was very unpleasant... actually it was painful.  I think that the problem was that this ski is way too soft and lacks the torsional stability that is needed for someone my size who skis the way I do.  It's not the width.  I have skied lots of skis wider than these that perform well on firm snow and blow these away in powder.  

I hope I have not hurt anyone's feelings, but I felt obligated to share my opinion on these skis.  Obviously, no one ski works for everyone, and this one was not for me.   


Pros: Unstoppable in varied soft snow, surprisingly good on groomers

Cons: Clumsy in true moguls, rough on hard varied surfaces

Can someone PLEASE get this damn Chevy advertisement off my post!?  I can't see what I'm writing and it doesn't have a "close" button!


This review is for the 2010, not the 2009 (sorry).  I don't know if there's a difference.  Anyway, the 2010 Nomad just rocks.  I'm 5'11, 180 pounds, strong aggressive skier, prefer steeps and soft snow if I can find it.  If not, I'll gravitate toward any part of the mountain that has moguls.  The Nomad is great everywhere except the moguls.  In fresh deep powder (recent 20" of new snow here in Breckenridge), the Nomad floats nicely, with only the very occasional off-camber dig by one ski or the other.  In cut-up powder, including giant chucks of softies and the beginnings of huge, powdery moguls, these skis






absolutely rule.  The stiffness and power of these boards is


Pros: damp, foregiving, predictablly playful

Cons: waashed out on the hard stuff, drew a lot of stares

Demoed for 1 day @ Crystal Mt, WA.  Conditions 9" over three days, very well set up in places, dust over crust, buried death cookies, crispy base, Depending on the aspect just about everything was there.  Skier: 6', 200lbs, athletic, used to be good, normally ski a very round turn, "don't go very fast but I go pretty far".  Skis, the 181 Nomad Soft. 
WOW!  These things did almost everything really well.  In variable crud no deflection, even the occasional surprise chunks did not send them sideways.  Carve, swivel, steer, peddle turn, these skis will initiate anyway you choose,  They would rail on the groomers, would do a zipper in the bumps (under some protest), piles over slick they washed out (the Soft thing).  Did not know these were the 'Soft' till lunch time when I looked at them, for my weight the standard Nomad should help a lot with the few complaints. 
You can not ski off the ridges on this mountain without leaving P-tex as alms for the granite gods.  Stomped some pretty firmly with nearly no damage, you got to love that in a ski.  These had not been skied many days and the edges of the top sheets were really starting to show the lumps. 
The graphics; you will meet people.  Might paint mine black and put a silver dot on the tip.  Fear that these might be popular with those that choose not to pay for skis.
Icelantic Nomads will be my next skis.  Have tried 2010 Gotamas, Czars, Prophet 100's, Lords, Obseths, and some others.  For this left coast skier, these fit best


Pros: Versatile - can do everything from pow to hard pack

Cons: Edges aren't too solid if icy; artwork is easy to chip away

I got the 168 nomads a couple weeks ago after demo'ing at loveland.  saw the 2010/11 line showcased at SIA, really cool graphics with a music theme; then i skiied them both days after the show.  there wasn't a ton of snow at loveland but still loved the skis so i bought the '09s with Marker Griffon bindings

Skiied them in the powder at heavenly and kirkwood and they were just awesome, i was in the trees all day and had total control and they floated really well

Then skiied them the next weekend in north lake (sugar bowl and alpine and mt. rose).  in the corn snow, they are great, they can float even if the snow gets really soft.  in winter conditions where its shady all day, great as well - you can definitely carve with them.  BUT when its icy, like if the sun melts and then it freezes in the shade late in the day, they do not hold the edge very well.  they just slide/chatter too easily in those conditions

Also, this may be an issue with my technique but I'm chipping the artwork pretty bad on the inside edge of my right ski - I hit with my left tip as I turn to the right and it causes the topsheet to chip off.  The skis still look cool but they are no longer mint condition :(

in summary, tho, these are awesome skis.  and they love snow of all kinds


Pros: Wood Core, relatively tight turn radius, vertical sidewalls

Cons: no special dampening devices

I bought these toward the end of the season.  I like the light weight and the agile nature of the ski.  The turn radius is a relatively tight 20m, although up on the mountain a skier can open the radius without a problem.  The 105mm underfoot is solid.

I did find it helpful to put a 3* base bevel w/1* side to get them to be a bit more versatile and less grabby on the firmer snow.  My tuner thought I was crazy, but I had tried 1*, then 2* but I wanted the ability to float a bit more through the turn.

We had a number of nice powder days in the late season and I was able to test out the skis.  I hiked into SnowWhite at Breck.   12" of creamy powder.  The sun hit it for a few hours.  These ski were AMAZING!  Perfect flex with no bogdown or hangups.   The turned tightly, and opened up and handled speed extremely well.  They work equally well if you drive the ski, or float them.  I look forward to big back bowl days with these bad boys.   Even at full retail price $599, these are great deals when compared to other skis.    The graphics are quite eye-catching as well.



Pros: Nimble

Cons: Not as floaty as I had expected.

I am 160# / 5'10 & ski the 156 ( so it's short - I don't care).

I have a blast on these skis - I bought them with the intention of using them for powder days, but I've found them great fun for just about everything except solid ice (which I try not to ski anyway).  I was a bit concerned about the width (which as Finndog says in his review is a tad over 110) since my other ski is a Head im72. However my concerns were unfounded, I just needed to widen my stance a tad to stop the edges knocking.  The Nomads are a blast on groomers, in trees and on the steeps.  I found them easy to put on edge and perhaps because of their short length, very easy to turn.  I had a super time with them last season on soft bumps at Copper Mountain but have yet to try them on hard bumps.  I can't comment on their energy, since I haven't enough experience on different skis to compare them with.  What I can say is I enjoy throwing these about in short turns as much as I do my Head im72's so I figure they seem to be very agile for a wide ski  and the Nomads have significantly better float than the Heads (Duh!)

Downsides are minor - The reviews used phrases like 'Bomb- proof bases' which I have not found to be the case, thought the bases are no worse than anyone elses.  The top sheets are highly glossy and so show scuffs  and scratches easily.  I was slightly disappointed with how much tip dive I got in 15" at Taos last season - but then again these are only 156 long and I am a complete gaper in powder.

Bottom Line An amazingly versatile ski suitable for everything except hard ice and megadumps.  If you get the chance ski them, I expect you'll enjoy them.


Pros: Fun, nimble, bomb-proof bases, Unique feel

Cons: tops can chip a bit

Icelantic ski's made by Never Summer are in class by themselves. Intended to be skied shorter, the Nomads excel in all conditions but on real EC hardpack. Published dims aer 140-105-130 but actual dims are 146-110-136 (?) not positive on the tail dims. I love the feel of these wood core skis, lots of energy and pop, but no overly damp, nice feeling under foot. The ski's are stiff torsionally but have a nice flex to them.. I am 6' 170 and ski the 168.  I love them in trees and for exploring around Steamboat. Decent in the soft bumps too. Mount BC.

2009 Icelantic Nomad Ski

Built to roam in the untracked backcountry, the Nomad is Icelantic s touring, pow-shredding ski-of-all-conditions, handmade in Colorado with an eye for western terrain. Its fat 105mm waist and huge 140mm shovel pop to the surface like a beach ball at a Phish concert in even the lightest powder. And yet, with a short 17-meter turning radius and damp, solid poplar core, the Nomad can tackle hard snow, crud, and even the occasional groomer with style and grace. A twin tail lets you ride switch if you want, but more importantly, lets you sneak back out of a dicey situation if you don t like the looks of that chute as much as you thought from the bottom. A powerful fiberglass-reinforced sandwich layup makes the Nomad ski larger than it looks Icelantic recommends going with a shorter length than you would typically ski for best results.

Lengths156cm, 168cm, 181cm
Dimensions140 / 105 / 130mm
Turn Radius[168cm] 17m
ConstructionTraditional laminate, P-Tex sidewall
Core MaterialPoplar
Binding SystemNo
Binding IncludedNo
Recommended UseAll mountain, backcountry touring, powder
Manufacturer Warranty1 Year
BaseSintered P-Tex 4001
Binding Type
Model Year
Recommended Binding
Recommended Level
Recommended use
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
Size: 168cm4305
Size: 181cm4309
Size: 156cm4301
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