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Hot Rods Good and Bad (really bad)

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I spent the whole day skiing Front Four bumps at Stowe in a clinic. The Nordica guy came up for a private demo, and I tried a couple of his boards. I am 6' 195 lbs, and I think I ski pretty well. The snow was very springy. It rained hard on Thursday night and then froze up a little. There was one groomed swath down to the bottom, but it was turning to sugar and getting bumped up by the 2nd run or so, by the 3rd, you couldn't tell it had been groomed. Most trails had coral on skiers right while the sun was still low.

The demo guy had Hot Rods, SUVs, Speedmachines, and some kind of a women's ski. I liked the looks of the Hot Rod, so I asked about them. They had Modified, Nitrous, and Top Fuel. All in 170. All of them had a 16m turn radius, the Nitrous and Top Fuel were 78mm waists, the Modified had the exact same shape, but 4mm less in all dimensions. He said that the Nitrous had no metal, but the Modified and Top Fuel both had two layers of metal.

I got up there last, so the one pair of Hot Rods and the 2 pr of Modifieds were already taken. I went with the Nitrous. I probably would have picked that anyway. First impression, they had the right wax on 'em. Got on the lift and looked down. That's a big ski! Looks bigger than my Karmas. ot off, waited for the group to assemble, and then we took off for a run on the groomer. First turn was nice. Just laid it over and let it carve. 2nd turn was nice too. 3rd turn, what was that? Boot out? I never get that. On a 78mm ski. A few turns later I got it again. Adjust my skiing to stand up more. They're pretty nice, they really like to make this 16m turn. Then it got a little steeper, and as I added steering to keep myself from runing over the pack, I find that the tail just doesn't want to let go. It feels like there is a hand under my foot pushing the other way. Tip feels like it's not even there, tail won't let go. It's like this anytime I want to try a turn smaller than the ski wants. Halfway through the run, I want my Karmas back. By the bottom of the run, one of the other guys is going back to the Nordica tent to get his skis back. He feels the same way. I gave them 3 more runs (on Hayride and then National), but my impression never changed. Too much tail, not enough tip. Nice shape, and they rip on the hardpack if you want that 16m turn. Heck, if that's all you want, they're probably good everywhere. Nobody liked this ski. I would never buy it, or recommend it to anyone. I skied my Karmas the rest of the morning, and it was so good to have them back. I would have tried the Modified which the other guys had already gotten rid of too, but I din't want to hold up the clinic with changing skis and adjusting bindings.

After lunch, I decided to try the Top Fuels. Might as well give the Nordicas a fair shake even though these probably suck too right? I was prepared to hate this ski if necessary, but everywhere that the Nitrous was bad, this ski was good. It took a run, but I ended up liking it a lot. Somehow, this ski was much more controllabe. It listened to what I had to say and responded. Sometimes, the tail felt like it was going to launch me, but on this ski, it jst made skiing fun and energetic. When you got used to that and were ready you didn't have to play catch up, and it would make any size turn I wanted. I'd buy these. The ski felt very big and heavy. Bigger than my 177 Karma, which actually is quite a bit bigger in reality than the Top Fuel. I had to give the Top Fuel back so the Nordica guy could go home and skied the rest of the afternoon on the Karmas. Both of those skis were nice, a different way to do the same thing.

I wish I could have tried the Modifieds too, but there was no time, the verdict from the others that tried them wasn't too good, but if they are the same construction as the Top Fuel, I think I might have liked them. I also wish I could have tried the 178 Top Fuel.
post #2 of 20
Excellent reviews. Thanks Epic. How does the Top Fuel compair to the SUV12? I deoed the 12 at Stowe in early March, great runs.
post #3 of 20
There may have been something horribly wrong with the Nitrous you rode.

It should not be that different from the Hot Rod. The differences should be in feel and noise, not turn shape. The construction materials are different, but the setup is similar and the shapes are identical.

I would say that for either of these skis, you are more or less locked into a 16 meter-ish feel. They are not as forgiving as many of the other options out there.

I've only skied both skis in the 178, not the 170. Would be interesting to try the 170s. The 178 Top Fuel is kinda scary at times, particularly with the very aggressive Nordica factory tune.
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by froto25
Excellent reviews. Thanks Epic. How does the Top Fuel compair to the SUV12? I deoed the 12 at Stowe in early March, great runs.
The SUV 12 is a very nice ski. The Top Fuel is the best all mountain ski I've ever been on. It seems to do everything well. I couldn't get the smile off my face. They are a blast.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I tried the SUV earlier in the year, and it wasn't anything special. The Top Fuel is.

If the problem with the Nitrous was the tune, then all 3 pairs had a bad tune because everyone had the same comments about them. I tried to reserve judgement on them as long as I could, and rode them londger than I wanted to in order to so if they would grow on me. I really don't think it was the tune, and because the skis are ostensibly so similar, I didn't expect to like the Top Fuel, but I did. I was pretty cautious at first on them expecting them to ski like the Nitrous. I really didn't feel that they were locked into the 16m carve like the Nitrous was. They were much more willing, and they wanted to play.
post #6 of 20
That is really bizarre.

Its really quite interesting what actually happens when the skis hit the snow...defies logic and predictions pretty often.

I have a Blizzard kinda like that right now...skis totally different than it "should" and different than all of my expectations.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
After a while, I was thinking "Didnt they make a prototype of this and test it before they went to production?" It's hard to believe someone liked the Nitrous enough to give it the greenlight. Sad thing is, I'll bet a lot of people end up buying them.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
After a while, I was thinking "Didnt they make a prototype of this and test it before they went to production?" It's hard to believe someone liked the Nitrous enough to give it the greenlight. Sad thing is, I'll bet a lot of people end up buying them.
Sounds to me like the problem is tune related.

Railed or hanging burr in the tail or not enough base bevel in tail. Maybe too much bevel in tip.
post #9 of 20
Well I also demoed the Nitrous skis at a demo in March and I hated them.

I couldn't wait to get them off my boots. Maybe the Atomic Metrons have spoiled me as far as turn initiation goes but I couldn't get the tips on the Nitrous to catch the way I wanted.

The rep was like maybe you don't like the feel of wood core skis. He was kind of a jerk.

Then I went on to try 3 pairs of Elans that I loved which have a a wood core. Their tents were right next to each other so I made sure he could hear me when I praised the Ripstiks.
post #10 of 20
Think the rep at Stowe and Sunapee are the same guy?
Maybe he just does a terrible tune, but the skis could also not be right for some people.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
I don't see how a burr or edge bevel could make it ski bad in slush.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
I don't see how a burr or edge bevel could make it ski bad in slush.
I quote you:


1. Just laid them over & let them carve?

2. They rip on hardpack if you want a 16M turn?

So you are carving on hardpack slush???????

Can you really judge a ski by a demo in slush? Which from your post is not what you did?


?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
I said there was one groomed strip down the mountain which was unrecognizable after just a few runs. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that I was skiing them in a bump clinic. I may have mentioned the coral next to the trees. Obviously I was not laying them down and letting them carve down the bumps in Upper National.

And yes, I think I can judge the ski by the demo I had. I had other skis in the same conditions including as I said, the Nordica Top Fuel which performed very nicely, and my 177 Karmas which by the way have more burrs on the edges than my dad's hunting dog in October. Maybe it's just me. Maybe these skis are the best in Nordica's line. You are welcome to demo or buy a pair and find out.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
I said there was one groomed strip down the mountain which was unrecognizable after just a few runs. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that I was skiing them in a bump clinic. I may have mentioned the coral next to the trees. Obviously I was not laying them down and letting them carve down the bumps in Upper National.

And yes, I think I can judge the ski by the demo I had. I had other skis in the same conditions including as I said, the Nordica Top Fuel which performed very nicely, and my 177 Karmas which by the way have more burrs on the edges than my dad's hunting dog in October. Maybe it's just me. Maybe these skis are the best in Nordica's line. You are welcome to demo or buy a pair and find out.
NO THANKS! I have 172cm 06' B5 Metrons, won't be needing other skis!

Still haven't said slush, did you mispeak and mean bumps??
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Slushy and sugary bumps. Springtime bumps.
post #16 of 20
I too thought that the Top Fuel is one heck of a ski. It is like It was made for me. I would have no reason to try anything else in the line out as The Top Fuel felt spot on for me. Big turns little turns it just did not matter. For such a powerful ski it was easy for me to handle and never missed a beat, I mean NEVER. Skis are getting real good. It is a good time to be a skier with all the great skis that companies are putting out these days.
post #17 of 20
I have owned SUV12's, SUV14's,Speedmachine14's.

The Top Fuel is by far the best ski that I have ever used. 78mm underfoot with a 16 meter turn radius is just the ticket for Colorado.

We got 30 inches of wet heavy snow last night and more in store. This ski does very well in these conditions.
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic
Slushy and sugary bumps. Springtime bumps.
So these will be your springtime slushy sugary bump ski?

Yeah, great conditions for a demo comparison?

That all aside, demo skis I have skied have rarely had a good tune.

But I assure you, I have no interest in Nordica skis!
post #19 of 20
I had a similar sensation of the tails not wanting to let go with a Nordica I demoed a couple years ago. I wondered later whether it was the binding location.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
I had a similar sensation of the tails not wanting to let go with a Nordica I demoed a couple years ago. I wondered later whether it was the binding location.
One of the nice things about most of the current Nordica products is the ability to move the mounting points quickly and easily on their XBS plate.

I spent a day this week with a group of peers and every single skier in the group was on a Hot Rod.
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