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Ski Review 2007: Nordica Hot Rod Jet Fuel

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Skier Info:
Height/weight: 180cm (5foot11inches) / 70kg (154lbs)
Ability: 9
average days/year: 25
Age: 40

Ski tested: Nordica Hot Rod Jet Fuel in 178cm

Resort: St. Anton/Arlberg/Austria, last weekend 11-12 Feb 06
Conditions: up to 18 inch of powder (continuous snow falls the days before), crud, rough groomers the first day, again up to 18 inch of powder when top of mountain opened and all variations from cut-up, soft groomer to hard pack the second day.

My biases: I currently have a Rossignol Slalom Carver 9S Oversize in 165cm. Very quick from edge to edge as all slalom carvers, very good on ice, I love this ski. I also own a pair of 195cm Voelkl Explosive (115-95-113 with a 36m radius) for more than 10 years already. This is a ski from when no one new what shape means and that Allmountain could be something useful. However it does a reasonable good job on days with fresh snow (soft powder and wet snow), but that's about it.

So I was looking for a pair of Allmountain replacing my Voelkl and doing a GS carver job at the same time, not being as nervous from edge to edge as a slalom carver. Was lucky to get an excellent offer for the new Jet Fuel, when I was about to pick the Hot Rod Nitrous from this season.

The 1st day started with powder all over the place and the first impression was amaizing, the ski was floating easily, very reactive and stable at low and high speed. In the chopped and more cut up snow later the ski still was extremely stable at all speeds but can get a bit difficult if you ski too much in the back. This was extremely good fun, how the ski was crushing through cut-up stuff (soft and more havey snow the 2nd day). On 2nd day I had one run with some 0.5inch “crust” on top, again amaizing how stable the ski was cutting through the stuff at any speed.

Not really a ski I’d prefer for bumps, in soft bumps still reasonably good in the hard pack versions the ski is to stiff to for me.

Hard Pack / soft groomers:
This was the biggest surprise! I had some concerns with a width of 84 under foot, that the ski is too slow from edge to edge even for GS turns. As dawgcatching said in his report, the ski is as good as the best high-end carvers, it was so much fun on hard pack (and soft), that I started considering to sell my Slalom Carver. Well time will tell. Even for short turns I had no difficulties at all after a few runs. A skier with a versatile bucket of skiing techniques (and a 40 year old used to do short turns with 205cm a couple years back) should have no problems to even have fun with an 84-under-foot in steep terrain with short turns.

Comments on length and stiffness (maybe that’s a subject for the ski gear discussion part):
Although not knowing the conditions in North America, I’d recommend for the European Alps to go 10cm longer than most recommendations in this forum. I was repeatingly told from US guys I´ve met on piste also during that weekend, that the terrain in the Alps is in average steeper and more versatile and people in average go higher speed (because it’s steeper? At least I don’t think they ski better! ;-)).
Also in my opinion I rather have a stiffer ski than one being to soft, damp, since you benefit from stiffness (and torsion) at higher speed in any terrain (apart from bumps!). What counts for me is footprint (length being the biggest factor!) and length again giving stability at high speed on hard pack.

Have Fun,
post #2 of 6
Great review as I will have a chance to demo the Jet Fuel in the next few weeks at Killington, Vt. and will be able to compare Eastern US conditions with those you had tried.

Question - have you tried the K2 Apache Recon, Volkl AC4's or similar skis and, if so, how do they compare to the Jet Fuel's ????
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
No, didn't try any other ski. Made my selection based on test-magazines (last year's model Top Fuel) and the reviews in this forum as well as talks to some friends who tested the Nordicas and Voelkls. Combined with my own judgement what I'm really looking for lead me to the Nordica Hot Rod Series.

In Europe Allmountain were still very hard to find this season, especially in rental shops. They either had the standard quivers (Slalom, GS like) or the powder-only skis with min. 95 under foot. Next year will be different some shop owners told me after they've been on ISPO in Munich.

I also considered to get the Voelkl AC4 (has been on my short list as well). The K2 Recon is to soft compared to AC4, at least according to this forum and as well to the test-reports I've read in European magazines. But as said, didn't try it.

Have fun,
post #4 of 6
i just got a pair via ups last night and am anxious to try the ski.
post #5 of 6
tried the ski today and liked it. i'm not much for long reviews. conditions were at best odd. a couple of inches of powder on a surface that endured a freeze thaw cycle the day prior. true dust on crust.

i'm not sure this is a good thing or a bad thing, however, not a tremendous difference between the jet fuel and the top fuel. perhaps a tad less "turny" which i liked.

taught a bump lesson in the afternoon and the ski did fine.

i like it, but then again, i'm a big fan of the top fuel and eliminator.
post #6 of 6

Jet Fuel or Afterburner


I am 6'2 and weight 170 lbs. Advanced skier. Grew up skiing at Stowe Mtn in Vermont and currently live in MN. I ski out West 2X a year. I am looking for an all mountain ski and am debating between the Jet Fuel 170 or the Afterburner 178. I like the hardpack, powder, everything except big bumps. Essentially, I need a ski that can handle the crap in MN and perform out West as well. Any suggestions?
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