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What happened to Nordica skis

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I remember sometime around 2001-2002, it seemed like Nordica skis were the shit. This was the period where the graphic was either plain matte black or matte grey/silver with a single "N" on them. My friends lusted after them, especially the mid-fats. Then, the next year, they seemed to have totally jumped shit. No one liked them that I talked to and they seemed to be completely different skis, complete with a garrish graphic and funny-looking shovel.

Anyone know what happened? Were they sold to someone eles that changed them?
post #2 of 9
Well, I can sort of give an answer (before checkracer jumps on it and gives you the compay history)... In 2000/2001 Nordica was brand new - meaning they had just formed their own company from the ashes of Kastle. There is another thread around here somewhere that discusses the transition between Kastle and Nordica. The first few years of production of the skis, there were no graphics and the skis were very bare bones minimum in terms of features. The race skis were exactly that - race skis from the world cup that the sponsored racers didn't want. There was essentially no difference between their race stock skis and the retail models. In years following those first two, the company started to begint o commercialize. They introduced a "binding" for their skis over the course of two seasons that was ultimately a flop and was sold to VIST, and started to get into the twin tip ski market with the Beast series. They seemed to dabble in the system category, but nothing seemed to materialize.

The high end race skis were still very good, but the line began to have holes in it. Since Marker made the move to start building "system" bindings for Nordica I have seen an improvement. The improvement that I have noticed is that they are focusing on performance, just as they did when the skis were first introduced. Look at the race line, the new Hot Rods, and the Speed Machine skis (note the name - resurrecting a legendary Kastle ski). The SUV skis never really took off, but I think they have hit something recently with the Hot Rods and Speed Machine series. They are building good skis, and have a great binding manufacturer behind them. I personally choose to race on Nordica skis (made the switch last season), and have loved the stuff they are building right now. Their skis are a good mix of Austrian/German power and French dampening/smoothness - if that meas anything to anyone.

I think that the company tried to go the route of mass producing skis for the general public - kind of like Salomon has recently - and realized that they needed to change their brand image, fast. Hance the reason for the very high end skis recently. I think that the market is changing rapidly, forcing maufacturers to push the performance envelope of their products... there seems to be less brand loyalty recently - meaning consumers will buy a great ski regardless of what company it is from. The image they want to convey is performance. I hold them at the top with Atomic, Fischer, Head, and Volkl in terms of performance... and ironically enough they ski like an Atomic crossed with a Fischer who had a Volkl parent... born and raised in France.


post #3 of 9
I hoped you would be the man to answer, Greg.
I couldn´t and was curious myself.

The answer fits well into the very few pieces of info I have.
Thanks for the input.

Btw, the history of N. skis is too short to deserve a description. Besides, you did so. The history of the company is a different story but not discussed here.
I hope no one asks, it´s nothing I could say offhand.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Interesting. The speedmachines are making a return. The ghost of Kastle past...
post #5 of 9
Having skiied on next years ones, I'd say they are more than making a return!
The 14.1 was great, the 16.1 was amazing - at least for me. (shame I already have 2 great pairs of skis, a third would be complete overkill... honest. No, really.... )
post #6 of 9
i can get some speedmachine 10s for a good deal.
how are they as an all mountain ski?
post #7 of 9
"Speed Machine skis (note the name - resurrecting a legendary Kastle ski)."

what? other than being acid green there was nothing legendary about the speedmachine, possibly the only skis slower in SG and DH than the Rossi Dualtec speed skis.
the gs were two years behind in sidecut and base technology and the slaloms were three...
typed by a person who watched 6 or 7 athletes go from noram/national development team contenders to "i guess i better star looking at college/university" in less than a season after being sold the "these are race room ski" crap from the race manager at Kastle/Nordica
post #8 of 9
Okay, so maybe not legendary... but i thought the name went a lot farther back than just the late 90's... anyhow, you still knew what I was talking about. A lot of people recognize the name. To appeal to that era of consumers it would make sense to use the name if youre looking to instill any kind of brand equity.
post #9 of 9
disclaimer: i am the pro rep for Nordica at Winter Park.

I've been on the skis for two years. I think the most interesting thing about their line is turn radius. Pick a length in the recreational skis and they all have the same radius (for instance 15 meters at 170).

So the only decision that needs made is material, ie, metal, and width underfoot.

Last year I had a big quiver. Now? All I'll need is one pair of Top Fuels.

I tried on the Hot Rod Boot last week and will switch from the Doberman 130 pro. I'm told they are the same "last" and that the Hot Rod is a little softer.
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