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Nordica Hell & Back first impressions.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
In hopes of posting a proper review later, thought I'd post my first impressions of my new Nordica Hell & Back skis.

A couple ski areas have opened early in these parts and I had the chance to go to one this past Saturday. I hesitate to do a full review yet as it was my first day out this season, conditions were not ideal, and I am lacking my ski legs yet. biggrin.gif

Snow conditions: A mix of things from loose packed, to soft groomed, to slush, to probably the hardest pack snow I'll see all year.

Skis: 2012/2013 Nordica Hell and Back 185cm mounted with Look Px12 bindings.

Seem pretty light for their dimensions. Nimble and very quick. Can make short & medium radius turns with ease, long radius were more effort, but that could be my summer chicken legs.

Ate up the mostly soft conditions, it was +5 degrees Celsius at the bottom, maybe 0 up top.
After the entrance to the only run open at the top got skied off, things were hard packed, and the skis didn't like that snow nearly as much. Chatter city and was very glad to get into something softer a little ways down. There again, could be my legs/technique on day 1.

They handle speed quite well too, little to no tip flap, and the edges held on like a much narrower ski.

I am pleasantly surprised and can't wait to get them into something deeper.

C'mon Snow!!
post #2 of 12
Hey Wink, thanks for your first impression! I am interested in how my Nordica Enforcer will behave, seeing that the Hell & Back is basically the same ski without the metal. Will the metal give the ski a better grip on the hardpack, I wonder?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Not sure about the Enforcer but given that it has metal in it I would suspect it could be more stable than the Hell&Back. I was actually surprised at how these held an edge at speed ( perhaps the flatter tail helps). Also, I don't think my old 70mm waisted skis would have done any better on the hardest packed slopes, I despise those conditions.

I am impressed so far and think these skis will be a very capable daily driver here in Western Canada.

Regards,

Steve
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink73 View Post

Not sure about the Enforcer but given that it has metal in it I would suspect it could be more stable than the Hell&Back. I was actually surprised at how these held an edge at speed ( perhaps the flatter tail helps). Also, I don't think my old 70mm waisted skis would have done any better on the hardest packed slopes, I despise those conditions.
I am impressed so far and think these skis will be a very capable daily driver here in Western Canada.
Regards,
Steve

On the other hand the metal could also adversely affect the short and medium radius turns, and make the ski prefer longer radius turns instead.

All this speculation is driving me batty! I can't wait until opening day. Nov 22 for Whistler out here on the BC coast.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by roastpuff View Post

On the other hand the metal could also adversely affect the short and medium radius turns, and make the ski prefer longer radius turns instead.

 

I doubt it.  Turn radius is turn radius whether there is metal in the ski or not.  The metal will make the ski somewhat stiffer and more damp and powerful.  Lack of metal, as in the Hell and Back and Steadfast, make the ski quicker and livelier.  

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtcyclist View Post

I doubt it.  Turn radius is turn radius whether there is metal in the ski or not.  The metal will make the ski somewhat stiffer and more damp and powerful.  Lack of metal, as in the Hell and Back and Steadfast, make the ski quicker and livelier.  

 

Having skied both, that's about my take on it.  Note that what primarily effects a ski's edge grip is torsional stiffness, and that's not what metal brings to the party.

post #7 of 12

Hey guys.  My 2 cents....I am physically the same as you Wink.  6'0, 190lbs, aggressive Utah skier.  I have skied the Nordica Steadfast for 2 seasons now and can't say enough about the ski!  I do not miss the metal at all.  I much rather have a lighter quicker ski and have not had any issues with edge hold in any conditions (even last years horrible snow season).  In fact I am selling my other skis (Salomon X-wing Fury) because I enjoy the Nordicas so much more.  Here's my question.  Looking to get a set of the Hell and Back just to be a little wider underfoot for aid in flotation on the pow days.  Also considered the Patron which is a full rocker. The Patron however, 115 underfoot and full rocker, I don't want to lose the "all condition" feel I have with the Steadfast.  That's why I keep leaning toward the Hell and Back.  My Steadfast's are 177 but I am thinking of upping to a 185 on the Hell and Back.  Any thoughts?  Thanks for the post.

post #8 of 12

Are you talking about replacing your steadfast with the H&B?  Or keeping your steadfast?  The difference in float between a 90mm ski and a 98mm ski, assuming similar design and construction, isn't huge.  I would see no point at all to adding the H&B to your quiver, way too much overlap with your steadfast.  The patron would be a much better compliment instead.  If you're looking to stay at one ski, though, the H&B might give you a little of what you're looking for, without being hugely different from your existing steadfast.

post #9 of 12

I've been skiing the Hell & Back 185cm since early last season and before that 177cm Mantras. I thoroughly enjoy the H&Bs but recently have decided that I may have to go shorter since I seem to be having more difficulty in the bumps with the 185s.  I'm 6'1" 200lbs and a senior citizen.  I ski the bowls of Vail mostly but on any given day I will ski some bumps. I ski 50+ days/year but I think age is more of a factor lately then it has been before (what a profound statement that is?!) and think I may need to rethink my equipment.

 

My question is, do you think dropping down to 177 would make much of a difference or would a better choice be to go to a 170? I don't want to give up the all mountain capability of the H&Bs but I also have dedicated powder skis for the 6"+ days.

 

Thanks.

post #10 of 12

I am 5'11" and 175lbs -- I have the H and B in 177 and personally would not go any shorter.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSkier View Post

I've been skiing the Hell & Back 185cm since early last season and before that 177cm Mantras. I thoroughly enjoy the H&Bs but recently have decided that I may have to go shorter since I seem to be having more difficulty in the bumps with the 185s.  I'm 6'1" 200lbs and a senior citizen.  I ski the bowls of Vail mostly but on any given day I will ski some bumps. I ski 50+ days/year but I think age is more of a factor lately then it has been before (what a profound statement that is?!) and think I may need to rethink my equipment.

 

My question is, do you think dropping down to 177 would make much of a difference or would a better choice be to go to a 170? I don't want to give up the all mountain capability of the H&Bs but I also have dedicated powder skis for the 6"+ days.

 

Thanks.

I would go shorter in your case. I'm about the same as you. Agressive skier in the east. I'm 58y/o. My Volkl Kendo's are 177cm. I think the 177in a 88mm or so waist ski would be a good choice.

 

But you should start your own thread.

post #12 of 12

I would go shorter in your case. I'm about the same as you. Agressive skier in the east. I'm 58y/o. My Volkl Kendo's are 177cm. I think the 177in a 88mm or so waist ski would be a good choice.

 

But you should start your own thread.

 Probably the best thing to do is demo the different lengths and that would tell me for sure.  Thanks.
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