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2013 Nordica Helldorado


Pros: Balance of skills

Cons: Swing weight?

I spent the day at Alta today - amazingly good snow, especially for November.  I am 6'1'' and 220 lbs and consider myself an "average joe" skier.  I can hold my own in most terrain, though high, high speeds and serious steeps can be a bit spooky for me.  But I thought it might be helpful to offer some thoughts on the ski from the perspective of a "normal guy" if you will...


I spent the day on three skis - the Helldorado in both 193 and 185 lengths and also a 2013 blizzard Cochise 185 cm for comparison.  It was an interesting day and I learned a lot, and had a ton of fun in the process.  So here are a bunch of random thoughts:


The 185 helldorado:  Very stable in virtually all conditions, including groomers.  Surprising edge hold on the groomers.  I have an RTM 84 and a blizzard bonafide and the edge hold rivaled both in terms of just sheer grip on hard pack - I was floored.  Now this is NOT the primary purpose of this ski, but unlike so many wider skis, you can actually have fun on the groomers.  I was skiing with my wife who enjoys groomers and spending time on hardpack with her was surpisingly fun.  In the powder and mixed conditions, the ski was stable and could push through anything.  Pretty buttery and smeary in the soft stuff.  Later in the day when conditions were a bit more wet, it was a relief to have a ski "heavy" enough to support a bigger guy when smearing around in the cut up junk.  I spent some time in the trees and was surpised, considering its weight, that the swing weight was very manageable.  I was worried that in the trees, the skis (or I) would struggle, but not so.  I wouldn't call it "playful" or "light" - I imagine the patron would be better for that.  Easy to throw sideways to scrub speed.  Not hooky at all - unlike a pair of 188 super 7s which I just sold for that very reason.  


193 helldorado:  Just too much for me... It felt like the ski was dictating everything and I was just along for the ride.  I would rather tell the ski what to do and not the opposite.  I felt like I had to work on balance and be really focused or I was one move away from blowing up in the crud.  Incredibly stable and could imagine the ski being enjoyed on big lines in the deep stuff, but for the average guy who shows up after the pow has been skied out a bit, the 193 was just too much to handle and I wore out quickly trying to steer and control.  Felt like a barge.... which surprised me considering my size - 220 lbs.  I know others feel different about this length - but thought I'd offer just an opinion.  


185 cochise:  more playful and smeary than the 185 helldorados.  Less sidecut (28.5 vs 18.5) and spent more time slarving turns than carving like the helldos - not necessarily a bad thing, just different.  Felt quite a bit lighter than the helldos, even though I think their actual weight is close.  In the trees and on the sides of runs, you could spin and dance with much more ease.  While edge hold on hardpack was reasonable, it did NOT match the grip of the helldorados, in either size.  I wondered if the edge tune, but the skis were practically new and seemed tuned well.  My hold fall of the day occurred on these skis when the tail slipped out and I slid for a bit on my butt.  Stability at higher speed equal to the helldos.


At the end of the day, I find myself ruling out owning the 193 helldorados for sure.  But I found myself torn between the other two if I were "buying" today.  I enjoyed the playfulness of the cochise more than the nordicas, but, the reality is, all skiers spend a fair amount of time on hardpack, even on the best powder days and I absolutely loved the carving ability of the helldorados.  It was simply shocking.  So here was my conclusion:  If I had to buy ONE ski - I would probably buy the helldorados, primarily because there was NOTHING that they couldn't do at least reasonably well, if not exceptionally well.  However, if I were pairing this purchase with a narrower, carving or sub-100 mm ski, I would select the Cochise, knowing I would grab it on "new snow" days.  


Anyways, random thoughts from a 38 year old, larger guy, average skier.  I hope that helps as you all fill your quivers this year.  


By the way - snow is already stacking high at Alta, Snowbird and Brighton and other Utah resorts.  Hopefully this year will be a good one.  




Pros: high speed control, floatation, turn ease in tight spaces, weight to bust through crud, great mountain ski

Cons: I got in the back seat a couple of times not sure if the rockered tails might contribute?

Bought these from the rental shop manager at Bridger Bowl two days before 13 inches of new snow during wind blown mixed conditions.   They were a great deal at $300 and came with Marker demo bindings.  I changed out of my Rossignal Pursuits and brought them to the top of the mountain.  The skis were great in the choppy mixed conditions allowing high speed GS sized turns and quick speed checks.  The Helldorados were quick enough to take through the trees where my carving skis had dove and had left me laying with one leg in a tree well earlier in the day.  When pushed to speed they responded well carving or sliding with varied edge pressure. 

After a 13 inch snowfall on Friday night I took the skis to the top of the steepest non hike terrain available and ripped turns at speed, floating and feeling nearly invincible.  The skis also preformed great in small chutes swinging side to side with ease.   I did find my legs and feet were very tired after four days on the skis and the width challenged lateral foot and ankle strength a little.  The great experience has left me motivated to train a little more and be powerful enough to ski all day in the new terrain and conditions opened up by the Helldorados. Overall these are very good skis.

 I may be slightly intoxicated by the experience and conditions so personal bias may be measured. I am 5'10 and 165 lbs skiing on Heldorodos at 185cm.  I am an experienced skier (slalom raced way back in high school) that likes turns at speed, more carving than smearing. I don't avoid moguls if they are not bullet proof ice.  And I ride lifts 98% of the time.


Pros: The Devil, he has a plan

Cons: Finesse skiers might get worked but that is who the Patron & Unleashed Hell are for



Nordica is taking their HELL theme up a notch. There are so many things you can say about an all black ski and if a product chooses to me offered with this type of appearance it better ski damn well. The Helldorado does not disappoint. While the other skis that are derived from the same mold, the Patron, Unleashed Hell and upcoming La Ninia ski super playful for that resort powder type skier, the Helldorado has, dare I say, a dark side. The Helldorado skis with tremendous power and and yet does has a playfulness to it, thanks to it's  shape and fantastic early rise tip and tail design combined with being cambered underfoot. 


I skied the Helldorado in both lengths offered, the 185 and 193. I really liked the 185cm for my size and how and where it would be using it. It felt like a more powerful version on my Gunsmoke (well, duh)  especially on the flats and groomers coming back in and it was able to handle the crud a bit better. I do feel the Patron and even the Unleashed were more compliant in the trees though. The 193 surprised me, I expected it to handle bigger and need more room to maneuver but it was surprisingly easy for a ski in it's size. 


Overall do not be afraid of this dark souled ski, it has a lighter playful side. 



Length Tested: 185cm & 193cm

Dimensions/Turn Radius:  143-113-133, 19.5M@185cm

Camber:  Early Rise, Tip & Tail w/camber, 

Binding: Demo or Suggested

Mount point: Suggested or Other 


Environment & Conditions:

Location of Test: Mt. Rose & Alpine Meadows

Number of Runs: 3

Snow Conditions: Powder

Demo or Own: Demo


Tester Info:

Username: Philpug

Age: 48

Height/Weight: 5'10" 185lb

Ski Days/Season: 60+

Years Skiing: 35

Aggressiveness: Moderate (Finesse) 

Current Quiver: 13 Blizzard Bonafide, 13 Blizzard Gunsmoke, plus various vintage skis

Home Area: Squaw & Northstar

Preferred Terrain: bumps, off-piste, trees


2013 Nordica Helldorado

The Helldorado incorporates - Nordica’s “High Rise” camROCK rocker technology that includes a rockered tip and tail and solid camber under foot for stability. Making the Helldorado the perfect ski for ripping lines all over the mountain.

Lengths177, 185, 193
Turn Radius19.5M @ 185cm
Constructiontip / tail rocker
Core MaterialEnergy 2 Titanium
Binding Systemnone
Binding IncludedNo
Recommended BindingN/A
Recommended usePowder
Binding TypeFlat
Recommended LevelExpert
Model Year2013
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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