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Deciding between 3 skis - Blizzard Bushwacker, Nordica Steadfast and Volkl Bridge

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Some background. This ski will be my ski for most days working as a patroller in New England and skiing with young boys. I am replacing Fischer Watea 78, 174cm. I am 5'6", 155lbs, raced for many years and now telemark. The last bit does not allow me to demo, so I take in all the info I can and make a decision. What I liked about the Watea's is the quickness, liveliness, solid skiing in crud and overall versatility. It could be better on the New England hardpack. I do like skis with a good solid feel, but at my size and being on free heels, it helps to have a lighter and versatile ski. I also have a a pair of Stockli Laser SL, 155cm, for fun.


In my new ski I want a bit more width and ability to be there for me in crud, on ice, in bumps, carving, smearing, good stability at speed and maneuverability at low speeds. Twin-tips are helpful for tele patrollers when we are bringing sleds down steep bump runs to keep the tails from hanging up when we slide backwards when needed. I come from a race/carving background and love to carve both tele and alpine turns on my freeheel gear. 


Any thoughts on the three skis I listed? Did I leave out any information that could be helpful?

post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

Not an answer but a critism....


Some of the top patrollers across the country are on tele gear. Tele gear has not limited me or others in any situation I have seen to date. I use step-in bindings allowing me to get in and going as quick or quicker than my alpine friends. My bindings also have brakes allowing me to quickly get out at a scene without fear of a loose ski going downhill, just like alpine gear. My lugged hikable boot soles give me more stability walking or standing on ice at scene. I have demonstrated my abilities and skills on my equipment by passing the Senior Ski and Tobogan requirements of the NSP on some of the most demanding terrain in New England, not an easy program and test to get through. 


SJ, I have seen your reviews and information about equipment many times on this board and respect your experience. Based on past posts, I was hoping for some helpful information. Unless you are an expert tele skier and a patroller, you are not speaking from a base of knowledge, but ignorance. This is not what I expect from this message board.

Edited by TeleCarve - 9/29/11 at 12:35pm
post #3 of 19
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

Ummmmmmm...................nope, don't think you left anything out.


BTW....you are a patroller. I assume you take you take your responsibility for the safety and well being of your guests seriously. Sooooo.....why do you choose to accept this responsibility on tele gear????? At best, tele gear is an imperfect solution to the tasks that you may have in front of you. At worst, you may not be able to adequately handle the situations that are before you. Why would your equipment preferences supersede the safety of your guests???





I don't actually tele myself, so I probably should let someone else speak for me.  But I know several serious and highly-skilled telemark skiers and I find the above comments ignorantly categorical -- a surprise considering the source.  I would trust at least three of my personal tele aquaintances to escort me down any eastern pitch I would ever ski or imagine skiing.  Given the range of styles and movements tele equipment allows a skilled skier, I might even argue tele skiers are better equipped to move around onslope and maneuver than those locked into alpine bindings.  Of course everything depends on the individual skier/patroller.....  


Now if you were to question why patrollers are allowed to snowboard, I might understand -- THAT is a limiting equipment choice.

Anyway, back to the OP question:  I haven't skied the Blizzi or the Nordica, but I tried and liked the Bridge.  But...while it can and does bite on hardpack, it is a "light" ski, and did not give me the reassuring feel of solidity that I like in a ski.  Personally, if I were choosing a ski for purposes you propose, I wouldn't settle there.  I think it might feel inconsequential, like driving a Miata on the highway.  YMMV.


post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks tch, from what I have read, both the Blizzard and Nordica are solid on the hard stuff.  Your insight on the Bridge is helpful.


As a patroller we get evaluated each year with an assessment of our ski and toboggan skills. The Senior level goes way beyond the basic requirements, having us prove ourselves in the most demanding conditions available. I have been instructed, coached and evaluated by some of the top and most respected patrollers in the country. If there was an issue with my choice of equipment, they would have said something. While all patrollers have a level of skill on the snow, there are many on alpine equipment that do not have the the level of skill I have. I am not saying this to toot my horn, but it is a fact. I will let my patrol director, trainer-evailuators and certified patrollers judge my equipment choice and my skills. Thanks again.

post #5 of 19

If you ask me I think a ski patroller should ski whatever he wants.  Not sure how Sierra Jim thinks he can make a blanket statement about your ability to ski patrol when he hasn't even seen you ski.  I have seen tele mark skiiers' who could blow most alpine skiiers of the hill in ability.  So I say ski whatever you want being a ski patroler as long as you are comfortable doing it.  Also thanks for your dedication and service to the ski industry.  We need guys like you to help people out when they are in need.  BTW I am an alpine skiier so no I am not sensitive about tele mark comments.



post #6 of 19

Maybe we can get back on track and someone who's skied all of them can answer the original question, tele or alpine or AT bindings. wink.gif



post #7 of 19

As a fellow patroller, I am really confused at why Tele gear makes any difference whether or not TeleCarve can handle a sled or not.Skills are skills regardless  of which discipline he chooses. If I am injured I don't care if he is on 2x4's as long as he can get me down without doing further harm. By the way some of the highest ranked patrollers in this region and across the country are TeleMarkers. Respectfully  Dave

post #8 of 19

I also would like to get back to the original question, as I am facing a similar choice. My BD Crossbows are wearing out, I'm 30 lb heavier, probably 3 decades older, and I almost certainly don't ski as well as TeleCarve. But I want a versatile ski, as in the Sierra we often encounter a whole range of snow conditions on a single run. I would like to have a ski light enough for backcountry use too, but I will hang on to the Crossbows so that criterion isn't a driver.

post #9 of 19

Without further guidance, I bought the Nordica Steadfast, 178 cm, and mounted BD O-1s on them. I love them. Even at 98 mm underfoot, they carve on hard snow reasonably well (about all we've got in the Sierra Nevada but a dump is on the way), and the early rise handles the soft stuff. I have yet to try them in the deep, but we're all hoping for the opportunity soon.

post #10 of 19

I too recently purchased the nordica steadfast although I mounted marker griffons on em. Excellent skis with very good versitity as you said. Underfoot they are 90mm though not 98mm. They are awesome in deep powder and I feel there biggest strength is that they are lightweight, lightest skis I've ever owned. Thought I would follow up on this post because there is very little info on Nordica skis both on epic and teton. Would strongly reccomend any nordica skis in the backcountry line specificly both the steadfast and hell and back. Happy skiing.

post #11 of 19

I've skied both the Bushwacker and Steadfast.  The Steadfast is really amazing on hardpack.  It carves really well.  It also handled bumps and crusty snow in the trees without any complaints.  I'm 5'8", 150 pounds and also liked that it is not a heavy ski.  And they are only 90mm underfoot, the Hell and Back is 98mm.

post #12 of 19

Dr. Deeg:

You might be surprised by the line prophet flite. Very light ski. Carbon instead of metal. 90 under foot and good in crud and bumps. Or you could just go for the Atomic Coax, even lighter with no metal at 105 under foot. Thi ski would excel in the Sierra's.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

I did not realize that there were recent posts to this thread, so here's is my update. I am now skiing on a pair of 170cm Nordica Steadfast and I am very happy with them. As stated by others, they are lightweight, great in crud, responsive and yet can really carve and are very stable at speed. Great ski for New England.

post #14 of 19

What sort of bindings did you put on them Telecarve?

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

JimD, not sure if this helps, but these are my everyday tele skis. I have RTX Bulldog bindings (from Burnt Mountain in VT) mounted on them. 

post #16 of 19
Originally Posted by TeleCarve View Post

JimD, not sure if this helps, but these are my everyday tele skis. I have RTX Bulldog bindings (from Burnt Mountain in VT) mounted on them. 

 I happen to love the volkl bridge.  Its my everyday ski at Jay Peak. 


FYI "Burnt mtn" is not a place but a mountain in the town of Montgomery Center.  Dr Louise Dandurand is the inventor of the bulldogs and lives on the side of burnt mtn. They're great bindings!

 I tele'd for 4 years exclusivley before I changed back to alpine.

post #17 of 19
Bushwacker holds real well on hard pack, I post ran a gs course that was polished and they held. This year I will also ski the Kabookie same construction as the Bushwacker but wider,same as the Bonafide. I ski mainly alpine and I have a tele set up for my blizzard atlas with the slider plate. I wish the Bushwacker and Kabookie had the slider plate. Blizzard makes a great product.
post #18 of 19

Did everyone miss the fact that the OP bought a pair of Nordica Steadfasts?

post #19 of 19
Interesting discussion! The bit about tele skiers from SJ was strange. I ski with a lot of tele skiers, many of them far better skiers than the folks on alpine gear at my hill. I ski backcountry with tele skiers and have no reservations about their ability to help an injured fellow snow rider, and definitely don't think their tele gear limits them in any way.
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