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Review: 2011-2012 Nordica Patron

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Product: 2011-2012 Nordica Patron

 

Length/size Tested:  185cm
Lengths available: 185/195cm, sidecut: 143-113-132
"CamRock" design which is early rise in the tip and tail (50% rocker) w/ 3mm of camber

 

Environment of Conditions:

*Location of review:
Okemo - Vermont
 

*Runs Taken: 4

*Snow Conditions: Perfectly dry powder (boot-top deep), packed powder & groomers
 

*Demo or Purchase:  Demo

 

Summary:
 

In my opinion, this is Nordica's first powder ski outside their past realm of stiff, charging designs (think Girish) with a more mainstream waist size (less than 140cm Jah Love), shooting for the masses looking for a powder ski, rather than the ultra-athletic crowd looking for a heavy-duty tool.  The ski is a rocker-camber-rocker design, with wood-fiberglass core (no metal), and has a moderate sidecut...not too straight, not too curvy, so it has no radical handling traits leaning one way or the other.  The carnival-blue skeleton graphics didn't do much for me...but I don't really care about graphics too much anyway...just a note to those who are picky about the look of their topsheets...

 

The Patron is very easy-turning, and the degree of rocker front and rear does the job of preventing any hookiness or catching tips or tails, even when noodling along the tight edges of trails next to the trees.  The Patron can make short little choppy turns or bigger, swoopier turns without any reall effort, which is perfect for the majority of the resort-oriented skier population to whom this model seems designed.  Grip and behavior on groomed surfaces is easy, predictable and contains a surprisingly lively pop if you load the tail section, so you can do a good "ping-ping-ping" bouncy turn series anytime you want..."Playful fat ski" is the phrase I would choose.  The Patron has perfectly good grip on groomers (i did not get a chance to try boilerplate behavior), giving the rider a secure, reliable hold without any special technique or athleticism. Performance in the powder is easy and fun, with simple changes in turn radius and direction on-demand.  This particular design has a somewhat "surfy" feel to it rather than "crud-cutting" feel (if that makes sense to people), and makes transitions between powder and cut-up snow without any problem.

 

The Patron is not a hard-charging ski, and definitely falls into the softer-ski category, so it has some flap at higher speeds, and has some flap at speed across small bumps or uneven surface conditions.  It does not have the solid landing platform feel of some hard-charger big-mountain skis, but I got the distinct impression this is a fat ski for the majority of the market, not the extreme-performance segment.  Overall, I thought it was a very easy, very fun and lively fat rockered ski with the ability to please a wide selection of skiers because it has no real bias toward a particular style or technique of skiing, but works very easily on a wide variety of surfaces.  It's not a barn-burner design, but a good pitch right down the middle of the market segment looking for a powder ski.

 

 

 

Small video showing rocker-camber-rocker profile:
http://www.zapiks.com/presentation-du-ski-patron-n-1.html

 

 

 

Tester Info:

Age: 51

Height/Weight: 5

Average days on snow: 11-25

Years Skiing: 48

 

Aggressiveness:  Aggressive

 

d01c67f3_DSCN2227Large.JPG

233c0e2e_Nordica_Patron2011_tips.jpg


Edited by ExoticSkis - 2/5/11 at 4:00pm
post #2 of 17

One of the best 'fun shape' skis I've skied. I found the handling on firm windswept groomers to be outstanding and they are incredibly quick in the trees, they do ski short though.

post #3 of 17

Is there anything currently similar to this...

 

This sounds exactly what myself and several of my fellow skiers are looking for...

post #4 of 17

The pics don't seem to look like this is a fun shape ski (5 point design).  The tips and tails don't have the taper seen in the S7/JJ/Wailer 112RP.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

The pics don't seem to look like this is a fun shape ski (5 point design).  The tips and tails don't have the taper seen in the S7/JJ/Wailer 112RP.



Nope, the Patron is a fairly conservative shape...moderate rocker tip and tail, but not a real "tip-and-tail-taper-5-point" ski like the S7/JJ/Wailer112RP species of skis.  Think more "floaty-and-surfy" than "cutting" front and rear. Others may have more details and experience with the new Nordicas....

post #6 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

The pics don't seem to look like this is a fun shape ski (5 point design).  The tips and tails don't have the taper seen in the S7/JJ/Wailer 112RP.

Ah yes... studying a bad photo published on the Internet and then debating semantics of a very loosely used discripitive term with no set meaning, instead of actually skiing on the ski or listening to someone who HAS... I like the cut of your jib, sir.
 

post #7 of 17

I spent several days on these in excellent to epic powder in Utah.  They - and the essentially identical "Unleashed Hell" - are spectacular powder skis that, I'm almost sorry to say, make powder skiing too easy!

 

If you want a ski that REALLY works for powder skiing, these will fit the bill.  They have early/high rise rocker as opposed to Salomon Armada/Rossignol whatever mega rise.  They also feature plenty of camber under foot so skiing on groomers or crud to get back to the chair or lodge or wherever is actually pleasant.  

 

They are light.  They ski short, but that's to be expected...  if you ski wild (as opposed to gladed) trees or tight chutes don't go for the 195s... stick with the 185.  I'm 6'0 and 175# and an expert and the 185 is just really fun.

 

For big mountain powder ripping, I'd be on the 195s because they are a bit beefier and hence will hold up to the forces of higher speed.  Contrary to what is published, they make these in a shorter length (177 I believe) which will be for smaller skiers/women.

 

Pretty much PERFECT.

 

PS - I noted above that they are game changers for powder skiing, making it almost TOO easy.  That's true and cool...  I had a friend from back east who is not the most advanced skier nor does he get lots of days on snow.  He came out and skied these or the Unleashed Hell and could readily keep up with me and had the best skiing of his life.  

 

Simply a great ski.

post #8 of 17

The Patron, eh?  It's gonna make a hell of a shotski someday!  

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rspacher View Post

Is there anything currently similar to this...

 

This sounds exactly what myself and several of my fellow skiers are looking for...



Skied the Patron for a couple days at Alta, really liked them. The whole time I was thinking how similar these felt to the 184cm MOMENT Bibby Pro, one of my favorite skis.

 

The Patrons lacked a little bit of the POP of the Bibbys (the Bibby Pros have 2 more mm of camber than the Patrons), and boosting off the tails definitely feels a bit easier on the Bibbys.

 

But for straight up powder skiing, I agree with Sk1bum73 - super easy, really fun.

post #10 of 17

Thanks for that info...

Been trying out several fat skis this year..Radict's, Obsethed, Gotama, Keeper, S7...

The only one that really jumped at me was the Nordica Radicts...most fun by far...and easiest to ski...

I have narrowed my choices down to the Patrons, Radicts or DPS RP112...

Those seem to fit the bill of huge sweet spot, nimble, light and fun to use...

Although I more than open to other skis...

I am not a charger and love to milk each run for everything its got...

I am not set on just a specific ski, if I can get a good deal on one of the skis on the list I will get that one...

I dont think there is a bad one in my list...

Will have to bibby Pro to the list...

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 17

Skiing is meant to be really fun. If Radicts are most fun by far why think of anything else. Esp being that widde and that easy to ski!

post #12 of 17
That thought has crossed my mind... But at 127mm under foot, they might be too wide for anything other than those exceptional days..we have had quite a few this year... But I still like the idea... One of the sales guys at the Colorado Ski and Golf shop uses them them if it snows more 2"...
post #13 of 17

skied 'em yesterday on a snow starved Vail day. What a fun ski! Maybe the must fun I've had on a new ski in a long time... and like other's have said, isn't it about having fun? 

 

post #14 of 17

I have a pair of Radicts in the garage...

just need the snow...:(

post #15 of 17

I had a chance to demo these when Nordica had a demo day at Vail in December. Wow, total game changer for me! I've been coveting them sense. 

 

I'm a pretty advanced skier with some mogle comp and racing history and two repaired ACLs who goes in about 20 days out west a year. This year in particular I've dropped about 35-40 lbs and am in the best cardio shape of my life :) which isn't too relevant but it just feels nice to report. 

 

I spent about 4 hours on a pair of 198s. I'm 5'8, 180# and was worried they'd be too much ski since I ride a Nordica Enforcer 173, or Vokl Mantra 188 now. They were nothing short of amazing. It was a hard pack, icy day in Vail. I was able to get the Patrons up on edge with almost too much ease. They held a turn gracefully and whipped around. My first thought was "these things are brining a new level of fun to skiing." It's like, as others have reported, they make it effortless. You  go out and bomb down some goomers and they just do it all for you. 

 

I'm headed back out in a few days and, if the weather keeps up, I'm hoping to get them in some powder and back country. I'm going to rent a pair for at least a full day and hope I don't fall so much in love that I have to explain to the wife how I bought a 3rd pair of skis. 

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dawson View Post


I'm headed back out in a few days and, if the weather keeps up, I'm hoping to get them in some powder and back country. I'm going to rent a pair for at least a full day and hope I don't fall so much in love that I have to explain to the wife how I bought a 3rd pair of skis. 



Use the search function, there is an app., i mean an excuse for that!  biggrin.gif

post #17 of 17

I skied on the Nordica Radicts almost every day last season at Snowbird. Groomer days, ice days and powder days. They really are a great ski but the width was a little too much some days. I skied on the Patrons in Colorado and really liked them a lot but felt they were a little too soft. Luckily for me this up coming season Nordica is releasing the Helldorado! I got to ski them at the end of last season during a demo day. They had the width of the Patron, stiffness of the Radict with tons of pop! I loved them and I plan on picking them up for this up coming season. I will probably keep my Radicts for the deep powder days this winter.

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