2014 Nordica WIldfire
Initial impressions: The Wildfire is a new addition to the women's line up for Nordica, and sister to the men's Vagabond. While the Wildfire has two bands of I-Core and is 25% lighter than the Vagabond, she is ready to stand up to her brother.
The Wildfire has tip and tail rocker, with camber under foot which is hard to find in other skis in this class. Nordica has also followed through with proportional progression in dimensions as the lengths change, to optimize the flex, and allow the skis to perform the same for the proportionate sized skier. (161 & 169 = 135-105-123, 17.5 TR & 20 TR respectively. 177 = 137-107-125, 22.5M)
On the Snow: Let me start by saying that I'd normally pick a ski in the 169 length but since it was unavailable I took out the 177. I was fortunate enough to ski this ski in a variety of conditions from firm snow at Winter Park, to soft stashes at Mammoth and spring varieties at Alpine Meadows to put it through its paces in moguls, steeps and low angle trees. The light weight construction of the Wi-Core offered up a super nimble feel that quickly made me forget that this was a 177. As I entered a mogul section the ski just powered through and made me feel like I was in control of every move, charged through the spring glop, and while I expect to struggle with a ski this size when its time to hit the groomers on the way back to home base, the Wildfire engaged nicely and made tracks that put a huge grin on my face.
In Conclusion: As ski construction evolves I'm continually impressed with how versatile skis have become, but this series from Nordica and specifically the Wildfire has earned a spot at the top of the class.
Other Skis in Class:
Product: 2014 Nordica Wildfire
Length Tested: 177 CM
Dimensions/Turn Radius: 137-107-125, 22.5M
Camber : Camber with Tip/Tail Rocker
Binding: Salomon Sth2
Mount point: Suggested Boot Center
Environment & Conditions:
Location of Test: Winter Park, Mammoth, Alpine Meadows
Number of Runs: Multiple
Snow Conditions: Firm, chalky groomers, spring yuck
Demo or Own:
Height/Weight: 5'6" 130 lbs
Aggressiveness:Finesse skier with a sense of adventure
Current Quiver: Blizzard Samba 166cm, Blizzard Dakota 170cm, Nordica Wildfire 177cm
Home Area: Northstar and Squaw
Preferred Terrain: Trees, moguls, and the occasional groomer