Product: 2014 Nordica Vagabond
Length Tested: 185cm (but it's really closer to 188cm)
Camber: Early Rise Tip & Tail w/camber
Binding: Marker Griffon
Mount point: Suggested (boot center)
Conditions: Crud, hardpack
Location of Test: Alpine Meadows
Number of Runs: 7
Demo or Own: Demo
Height/Weight: 5' 11" / 170 pounds
Ski Days/Season: 25+
Aggressiveness: Moderately Aggressive
Current Quiver: 2013 Salomon Rocker2 115, 2012 Blizzard Cochise, 2011 Volkl Kendo
Home Area: Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar
Preferred Terrain: off-piste
I had the chance to try Nordica's new 107mm offering for next season (2013/14) - The Vagabond. Flexing the ski it's what I would describe as a moderate flex and despite the lack of metal it's definitely not a noodle.
While I didn't have a chance to ski the Vagabond in powder, it's pretty obvious with the flex and shape of the ski that it's going to be fun in those conditions (what isn't?). What I was more interested in was how it would perform in chopped powder and hardpack, and those were precisely the conditions Alpine Meadows had on the menu that afternoon.
If I had to summarize this ski in one word it would be lively. It provides a good amount of pop and playfulness as you come out of each turn and it performed admirably in tougher conditions so long as you didn't attempt to murder everything in your path and worked with the terrain.
The edge-hold was also very impressive and despite a generous turn radius of 25 meters it had no problem making turn shapes of all sizes. The light weight made it easy to pivot quickly in tight spaces and perhaps as a result of this in many ways it felt like a 98mm ski instead of 107mm. The El Capo, which I skied for a few runs on the same day and is the exact same design but with a sheet of metal, has a slightly higher speed limit, but the Vagabond didn't leave me wanting much and was considerably more playful. I'd really like to take it out on a softer day and hit a few jumps.
I could definitely see a western skier using this as a back country do everything ski or even a resort daily driver if you tend to avoid the pure boilerplate days. I suspect it's going to be very popular.
Here's some video footage of my Vagabond demo...
Edited by JayT - 8/12/13 at 10:29am