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Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous Ski


Pros: Quick, great edge grip, stable

Cons: None yet!

What a ski.  Does everything I want from it and more.  Today, I took it through hard-pack, packed powder, and even man-made powder.  This ski carved on command, released where it needed to, and had a nice surf-y feel in the un-groomed.  Best ski I've been on to date.


Pros: Great short-radius carver, easy to ski

Cons: Not the best for high speeds or off piste

All right, here ya go with another opinion.  I skied a pair of 178s at Sugar Bowl March 8, 2009 for several runs, at their free demo day.  Thanks, guys, nice event.  They were beautifully tuned.  Conditions were that it was about three days since the last significant snowfall, snow was mostly tracked out, more or less compacted, depending on location, had been affected by the sun, and then had been chilled again, with a fair amount of wind drift blown in to soften up the surface in many areas.  The bumps were building up in places, but were still pretty soft.  Some of the heavily-traveled groomed runs were getting firm and slick, especially in sunny exposures, but the snow quality was holding up well, and nothing on the groomers could truly be called icy.  Some of the tracked-out off-piste slopes were getting crunchy.  Coverage was excellent.  I'm 6'1", 170 lbs., and would rate myself as a strong, aggressive skier.  I like a little speed.

Nordica states that in the 178 length, these have a 17.5 meter radius.  To me, they actually felt like less.  Carved turns were like largish slalom turns, rather than GS turns.  Note that the stated radius drops rapidly for the shorter models, all the way down to 11.5 meters for the 154s.  For my size, I certainly wouldn't have wanted shorter than the 178s.  That felt like a very nice length for this style of ski.

I skied a variety of groomers, including some fairly steep pitches off of the northwest side of Mt. Disney.  The Nitrous responded to good technique by consistently making smooth, predictable, round, carved turns, under all groomed conditions.  Turn initiation was easy both at the slowest speeds on gentle terrain, and on much steeper grades.  I expect that they would deftly handle the hardest of hard pack.  I found them very easy to ski in this way.  I could confidently lay them way over on edge.  Skiing moderately steep terrain actually felt lazy and rhythmic.  I would rate the Nitrous as having a medium flex, consistent from tip to tail.  They were stable and grippy at the speeds I was mostly skiing.

On the other hand, this was not a ski that naturally developed much speed.  It was too inclined to turn for that to happen.  Very carvy.  Compared to burlier, straighter skis, it could get squirrely when run straight.  I doubt that this would be a good ski for attempting big, high-speed turns, although I know that other reviewers have reported differently.  What this ski really wanted to do at all times was to carve tight turns.

And the Nitrous is not going to develop the energy and pop of a race ski.  It gave the impression of a ski that will naturally settle into a certain speed and rhythm, and will give a non-intimidating ride in a variety of snow and terrain conditions.

I took them into moderate-size moguls on a couple of the runs.  I felt that they were too hooky to be great in moguls, although they were certainly capable of handling them.  I also did a run, the steepest of the afternoon, in broken, tracked snow that had not been fully compacted.  In these conditions, the Nitrous will bounce you around more than a burlier and wider ski, although again, it's certainly capable of handling them when necessary.  The ability to turn them on a dime is a plus, as is the wide shovel.  Personally, I certainly think I'd prefer a larger ski for spending much time in wild, off-piste snow.  What's interesting is that with a 78 mm waist, the Nitrous falls solidly in what used to be considered the mid-fat category.  Today, it would be considered below that range.

To my mind, the Nitrous would be a great choice for a strong intermediate skier looking to improve his carving skills.  It will respond well to improving technique, and give positive feedback and satisfying results.  It will also offer the owner competence in a variety of conditions, both on and off groomed slopes.  For that niche, the quality of this ski is very apparent.

But on the whole, this isn't a ski that suits my style, or that I'd be likely to buy.  I prefer something that will charge harder, and that will be more versatile off-trail.  But it's a matter of personal preference.  The Nitrous should respond well to expert skills.  Really, I was making some of the nicest turns I've ever made, in the style for which this ski is designed.  So I think that it comes down to how you like to ski, and what you're looking for.


(Note that my zero stars rating for "durability" only means that I don't have the information to rate the ski in this category.)


Pros: Even flex, versatile, durable top skin and base

Cons: Marker bindings are vague

I got these to replace some Volkl 6-Stars to be my hard-conditions ski, and at that price by SierraJim, why not?  I have skied these in a variety of conditions in California and Colorado.  They are not as short radius as the six-stars but come around on carve very well.  Good in bumps with a more forgiving tail flex.  The ski is very damp, and doesn't rebound out of compression.  It is quiet on boilerplate and harder conditions, and seems most at home on a more edgeable surface.   In over 6-inches of powder, I would prefer to be on something else for the fun factor, because the Nitrous tends to be a very directional ski, and prefers to be on edge and arcing.  

Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous Ski

"The Hot Rod series is engineered with four different waist constructions including wider waists, for powder and soft snow flotation, combined with with aggressive sidecuts, for ripping turns on hard packed and groomed snow. A little narrower than the hellcat the Hot Rod Nitrous is the ultimate versatile all-mountain ski if you spend time in a wide variety of snow conditions." - Nordica's Description

Dimensions124/78/108 millimeters
Turn Radius
Core Material
Binding System
Binding Included
Recommended Use
Manufacturer Warranty
Recommended Binding
Additional Info
Binding Type
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Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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