Product: 2011-2012 Nordica Steadfast
Length/size Tested: 178cm
Lengths available: 170/178/186cm - sidecut:132-90-118
"CamRock" design which is early rise in the tip and tail (35% rocker) w/ 3mm of camber.
"iCore" woodcore with center strip of core replaced by a polymer section claimed to reduce weight while retaining performance and durability (see pic below).
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
The Steadfast is the 90mm waisted model in the "sidecountry" line for 2011-2012. Nordica intends the sidecountry models to be used by people who occasionally venture off the sides of lift-serviced resort pistes...but not longer-distance enthusiasts who hike longer distances for their powder runs. The Steadfast is really a frontside-biased ski with some perfectly decent 3D snow handling. My first turns were in the soft, fresh snow, and the Steadfast behaved like a well-designed 90mm-waisted ski, with really good response underfoot and no deflection whatsoever when hitting old bumps and clumps covered in powder. It cut through variable surfaces and stayed right on-track, going exactly where it was pointed, no matter what the pressure...slight or hard, high angle or low angle. The first impression I got was "stable and reliable", with plenty of pop and snap when loaded and released. The Steadfast had no problem wiggling in and out of the trees along the edges of trails, and never sank unpredictably in the soft stuff, as long as you skied it like a 90mm waist ski, not a powder ski...adjusting your expectations accordingly. I felt I could go anywhere I wanted without any protest underfoot. After exiting the powder in the narrow tree-filled sections onto the groomers down to the lift, the Steadfast lit up like a thoroughbred on fresh turf. As with nearly every Nordica frontside ski, the Steadfast sank into turns on the groomers more like a racecarver than a 90mm "sidecountry" ski. While showing remarkable security and grip underfoot at slow to moderate speeds, the Steadfast shined when you turned up the speeds to GS-level and started digging trenches under power. Above 20 miles-per-hour, the Nordica Steadfast wanted to grip-and-go with really impressive power, finesse and quiet authority, almost like a race ski. The harder it was pressed, the better it performed. I got a fat grin on my face as I found myself arcing harder, faster, longer turns at higher and higher angles. The Steadfast really has the feel of a racecarver's security and performance at speed on the groomed runs. Very impressive, especially considering it behaves without being "burly" in the softer snow. Nordica's reputation for building excellent carving and race skis is evident in the personality of the Steadfast. Kevin Warnock from Nordica told me the reports from all the on-snow demos were coming back wth the same result for the Steadfast: This ski rips on groomers and is fun and friendly off-piste (as long as you are not looking for powder-ski performance in the deep stuff). It truly could be an Eastern one-ski quiver solution and people should get a ride on it if the can. My only reservation is the Steadfast might be a bit demanding for very lightweight skiers or those with less-than-advanced-intermediate skills. Experts will most likely find the Steadfast to be really fun and versatile. Western skiers will probably want to check out the Hell & Back model which is slightly wider, with the same construction and design elements.
Height/Weight: 5'11 - 178lbs.
Average days on snow: 11-25
Years Skiing: 48
Nordica Hell & Back (left) and Steadfast (right)
Closer view of Nordica "iCore" woodcore showing strip of polymer replacing center section of core. (said to reduce weight without sacrificing core performance or durability)
Edited by ExoticSkis - 2/6/11 at 4:00pm