Stats: 6', 217 lbs, 60 yrs young, 36 years on the slopes, level 8 aggressive - skiing all => glades, groomers, bumps, steeps, 30+ days/season
Boots: Dalbello Krypton Pro
Additional Quiver: Volkl AC50, Volkl Goats, Icelantic Shaman, Kastle MX88
Test Location: Killington Vt, 3/2-3 => spring conditions on 3/2 => winter zoomer groomers / hard pack / ice on 3/3
I bought the Nordicas to serve as a front side ski targeting Eastern hard pack / ice. For all else the MX88 I bought at the beginning of the season will be the chosen ones, except on "Shaman Big Dump Days".
The first day began on 2" of soft snow/fine sleet on a groomed surface and 31 F. After a few runs on the MX88's to allow for comparison I switched to the Nordicas. While I skied the Kastles with a centered stance I found the Nordicas responding best with forward pressure. The snow was soft so the outstanding edge hold was to be expected. Turns, both gs and slamon were equally easily initiated and stability at speed was excellent. As the snow became chopped the smoothness of the Kastles was replaced with some chatter but with forward weighting the control remained excellent and speed was still enjoyable. As the chop was replaced by spring moguls, now almost 50 and sunny, I was pleasantly rewarded with being able to charge with tight turns, blasting through the tops I hit without loss of stability or direction. The stiff tail was not noticed. In the trees, again able to quickly maneuver and carve easily through the soft snow. The MX88s were a better ski as the snow approached spring corn but the Nordicas also were more then satisfactory with only a somewhat more bumpy ride compensated with a forward stance.
Day 2 opened at 23 F and all had been groomed to corduroy. First run was down Outer Limits and WOW !!! Mixed slamon and gs turns reaching a speed that kept my SOLID attention but remaining rock stable. As the day progressed corduroy was replaced by hard pack which was then sprinkled with icy patches. These were the conditions I had bought the skis for. Edge hold remained excellent - much better then my Kastles or AC50s - as did stability at speed without losing any of the turning quickness experienced on the groomers. Bumps, although small, were definitely hard. Now the stiff tail would slap you if you even trifled with a back seat visit. Driving the tips into the tops of bumps was avoided but again, with a forward stance, I could make quick turns around the hard bumps.
Bottom line - as a high end front side ski I could not be more satisfied and the firearrows are a welcome addition to my quiver.
PS - SJ and FD - thanks for your input helping me select a front side ski.
Edited by falcon_o - 3/7/12 at 4:02am