Product: 2013 Nordica Enforcer
Length Tested: 185
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 135-98-125
Camber (select one, delete the rest): Early Rise Tip w/camber,
Mount point: Suggested (boot center)
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Squaw/Alpine
Number of Runs: half day
Snow Conditions: 4 inches of dust on crust
Demo or Own: Demo
Ski Days/Season: 50
Years Skiing: 30+
Aggressiveness: (select one, delete the rest): Aggressive(Driver)
Current Quiver: 187 Bonafide + 190 DPS112
Home Area: Squaw
Preferred Terrain (select one/all, delete the rest): off-piste
The title of the review relates to this ski being phased out for the next season. This is a pity, because it is a great ski. I got to take it out on a day where a storm that started in the morning deposited only a few inches of new snow on top of icy crust that covered the mountain that was beat-up by three weeks of no snow and the biggest ski holiday weekend of the year. Suffice to say that the conditions were challenging for any ski with big hard and icy bumps lurking beneath smooth-looking powdery snow. The Enforcer is Nordica's take on the 98mm Western daily driver and its is well-equipped for it with decent amount of early rise up front, flat tail in the back and metal construction that promises to be damp and solid. In the past I always felt that Enforcer was a bit too stiff for the way I ski, but this year when I flexed the Enforcer I noticed that the flex was fairly moderate and that the ski flexed very well into one continuous curve that blended the rockered section very well. The only other ski that gave me that impression were my Bonafides. So, when I got a chance to take the Enforcer out, I jumped on it. BTW, the graphics on these skis is pretty ugly, the graphics department at Nordica is not known for great designs, and Enforcer got no love on top of that. The graphics grows on you, but not much.
Skiing impressions. While the flex is moderate, this is still a Nordica, so it's a serious ski, damp, solid, with very good edge hold. It handled ice underneath the snow well, floated on the wind-piled snow, and turned in the trees without much thought. When I felt the need I had no hesitation just pointing it, and the ski never failed me. Despite decent sidecut, the feel is definitely GS-y, it likes smooth round turns, still quick to initiate, tail gives you pretty strong finish out of the turn, and does not like to slide as much as the Bonafide (no surprises there, the tail rocker of the Bones makes it easier to slide the tail when you need to). The Enforcer had a better edge hold than my Bonafide (probably due to the difference between Starthaus tune on Enforcers and garage-tune on my Bones), so it was perfect ski for the day. I never felt the speed limit on the ski, although the day was not very conducive to speed testing.
Probably the best summary is that after a run I forgot that I was not on my Bonafide. Still those to ski a bit differently. The Enforcer needs a bit more forward stance, and it felt a bit more demanding with a tad higher top end, so you need to be a decent skier to get the most out of that ski. The Bonafide "magic" where the ski feels longer at higher speed was not there- the Enforcer felt like a very good 185 at all speeds. The Bones also have a bit more versatile turn shape (a pathetic euphemism for the Bones being easier to slide around...). That would help in soft snow but be more of a liability on harder snow. So, the Enforcers get an edge on a hard day.
Bottom line- This ski somehow got no love, but its a terrific 98mm. If you cannot get a Bonafide, you could do much worse than buying an Enforcer. It has 95% of the Bonafide performance, its arguably better on a hard day, and should be a better bargain. In fact with a sale price it will be a screaming deal on a great ski.
P.S. I hope that Nordica will bring it back with a Vagabond shape and the same metal construction. That would be a very strong contender in the 98 category.