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Extended review: Nodica Hot Rod Eliminator

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Random stats: 2 days of skiing at Copper (Nov 22-23) as a guide for the OHG. Covered most of the open parts of the mountain over the two days.

Conditions: Excellent mid-winter packed-powder snow with beautiful bluebird Colorado days. Terrain from steep groomed to both soft and hard bumps. Some hardpack. Everything but powder, effectively.

My specs: 6’, 170lbs. male, 35th season skiing, PSIA level II cert. Ski fast, love to turn, enjoy the “arc and spark”, and powder. Gearhead.

My own equipment (04/05 season): Tecnica Icon Race XT17 boots, 165cm Fischer RX8 Railflex II and 162cm Atomic Metron m:b5 skis, Goode and Leki poles, Marker helmet and goggles.

This review consists of my thoughts and impressions of these skis. Ski impressions are driven by personal preference, technique, preferred sensations, and so on. Some have said that we prefer skis that mask our technique issues. Probably true. We also probably prefer those that our technique can really use. So, this is not doctrine. Simply what I think about what I felt.

Skiing style/technique: I have asked some ski instructors and race coaches to describe my skiing to give you an idea of my technical ability. Here's what they had to say: "dynamic, smooth, efficient. Good turn completion. Occasional tendency not to move down the hill on initiation that is easily corrected when you think about it." "...skiing looked generally quite good. You seem to ski a pretty aggressive line and generally in balance. Your turns are generally carved, even on the pitches. The thing I did notice that I would comment on if I were coaching you was a stance that seemed a bit narrow, and a turn initiation that seemed a bit steery." "...you are a technically strong, aggressive skier with a bias toward power rather than finesse. Smooth and fast!! "

Preference in skis: If you consider the skis that I prefer, you'll see that I like 'em light and lively. I prefer skis with a tight turn radius. I like a lot of snow feel and energy in the ski. I prefer a slalom racing ski feel for my personal skis, and I love the carve.

Ski Make: Nordica
Ski Model: Hot Rod Eliminator
Length: 178
Comments: I was "between skis" this week, with my RX8s and b5s both sold and my new b5s not here, yet. Thanks to Dennis at the Boulder Christy Sports, I jumped onto these Hot Rod Eliminators to try a narrower Hot Rod than the Top Fuel. The 178s are probably a bit long for me, but the ski is intended for intermediate-level skiers, so I went ahead and tried them.

My first adjustment on them was to get a bit active about working the entire length of the ski, especially getting the tip into the troughs. Given that our "warm-up" run on Tuesday was Copper's CDL, a black bump run off the top, it did take some adjusting. But, once I dialed them in, they performed very predictably.

Given that I knew that they were designed for intermediates, I made an effort to use a more skidded approach to my turns at first. I also paid attention to the overall feel of the skis with an eye towards how an intermediate might think of them.

They are light feeling skis, but very stable. They feel narrow and are pretty quick edge-to-edge. By the time I dialed them in, I found them to be quite predictable, with the only downside being an occational tendancy of the tails to hook up a bit in the larger moguls.

These skis have a (for me) relatively long radius sidecut (17.8m in this length). As a result, pure carved turns were uncomfortable on most of the steeper terrain. So, I usually mixed a lot of steering/rotary in with the turns. On the groomed and terrain of a pitch that allowed me to safely carve, they arced sweetly turn-to-turn, and I could easily get them to engage very early and pull me around the turn. They were very comfortable on the somewhat unusual terrain features of early-season Copper (minimally covered creeks and other dramatic undulations), and easy to keep in touch with the snow at speed.

Overall impression: A light yet stable ski for anyone from solid intermediate to advanced skiers who prefer a longer radius ski, a mix of skidding and carving, and the sense of imperturbability that is a big part of the Hot Rods' reputation.
post #2 of 19
Thanks for the great review ssh! I just bought the Nordica Nitrous and I hope I enjoy them as much as you liked the Eliminator.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
The Nitrous is to the Top Fuel as the Eliminator is to the Modified. I think you'll like it a lot...
post #4 of 19
why do you say it's "designed for an intermediate".
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
why do you say it's "designed for an intermediate".
Because I only know about the ski what I read about it on Nordica's web site: "Driver Qualifications: Intermediate all-mountain skiers, ideal for 70% groomed and 30% powder.
Performance Features: The most user-friendly Hot Rod ski features a 74mm waist and a wide tip to help initiate turns. The vertical sidewalls and wood coreadd stability not found in other intermediate level all-mountain skis."

You certainly know far more about them than I do. What's your impression?

FWIW, I think that they are a fine ski for a broad range of skiers, up to and including solid advanced skiers.
post #6 of 19

Now that you've tried a few of these

Is the effect of the X Balance plate equally as noticeable on the Modified/Eliminator as on the TF?*

Does your perception of the effect of this plate change with the tactics you use?*

Was there a 'forward' position available on this binding and is that where you used it?






*Merely asking for a personal impression not a generally applicable statement.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex
Is the effect of the X Balance plate equally as noticeable on the Modified/Eliminator as on the TF?*

Does your perception of the effect of this plate change with the tactics you use?*

Was there a 'forward' position available on this binding and is that where you used it?
I didn't find the X-Balance as noticeable, no. I'm assuming that's at least partially because the Eliminator isn't as beefy a ski as I am used to. Of course, it could also be due to the length.

I wasn't thinking about the X-Balance much during these two days. I was more looking for an overall impression of the skis. It was tough for me to do that, since I was coming off the b5s, and they are very different skis.

The demo bindings on the skis had independently adjustable toe and heel (very cool demo bindings, btw), so I believe I was set at the normal mounting point on the ski.
post #8 of 19
after i posted i looked at the website and saw the intermediate label. i was surprised. none of the nordica reps here are using that label per se. it may be from the parent company and/or lose something in the translation from the italian website. who knows. perhaps it's proof positive that i'm an intermediate skier.

i wonder if they simply aren't trying to broaden their spectrum of skis in terms of appeal.

I got a chance to try it on hero snow. it could not have been better conditions and i was amazed by the ski.

to be quite honest.....couldn't feel much difference between it and the considerably more expensive top fuel.

the mounting point can be moved on any of the hot rods.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Rusty, what length were you on? I'm starting to think that the length probably biased me a lot...
post #10 of 19
You lot living near slopes makes me very jealous!! I'm having to settle for looking at my new Hot Rods (Nitrous) for the time being (will not be skiing until January, but going to Winter Park so worth the wait!)
post #11 of 19
conor stop by the ski school and say hello.

i was on the 170
post #12 of 19
Will definitely be doing that as we'll be booking 1 or 2 lessons
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by conor
Will definitely be doing that as we'll be booking 1 or 2 lessons
Book 'em ahead with Rusty. He's an exceptional teacher (I've had the benefit of his teaching both in and out of clinics).
post #14 of 19
thanks ssh....somedays i'm OK and somedays i miss the mark.:

i always give 100%

we have a lot of good teachers.....various examiners, a new zealand demo team member, a former US demo team member.
post #15 of 19
i have a pair of TF's and LOVE EM!!!
post #16 of 19
Rusty Guy, it's interesting that the TF compares favourably to the Eliminator. Just hope the Nitrous is a winner as well.

Would definitely be interested in some private lessons from your good self or someone from your company. Believe me, there's LOTS of room for improvement in my skiing!
post #17 of 19
this is how i see it

Modified (waist 74) is a higher performence verison of the Elminator
The TF (waist) is a the highest performence model in the series and the Nitrous is a lower performence verison of it
post #18 of 19
for a serious expert skier the Modified or the top fuel would be ur choices...better construction, better cores, better systems, and Piston if u go with the TF
post #19 of 19
their all good though
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