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Nordica Top Fuel...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
(non-technical review!)

Me: advanced, not expert...5'11", 200 lbs. Ski Vermont mostly, with two trips west each year
Conditions: Varied: ice-glazed groomers, very hard groomers, softening groomers, and some late day slush at Okemo and Stratton, VT this past weekend
Other skis I own and like: Scott Mission, Scott Aztec
Jury is still out: Head iXRC 1200 (less than 2 days on these)
Previous Skis: Bandit XX, RX-9, Metron M11 (did not like these-bought them way too short...)

Review: I bought these Top Fuels (170 cm) over the summer (thanks SJ!) at a can't go wrong price. Never had the chance to demo these, but based on reviews all over the net/ski mags the past few years, decided to see if they might be the new hard-snow groomer ski I needed for VT. Normally I would not think of buying skis this powerful-I'm not always that agressive, I enjoy slow speeds sometimes, and I can be lazy at times, but the deal was too sweet to pass up. Even though I love soft snow and the skis made for soft snow, I also knew that I needed a beefy carving/ice ski for where I ski most.
After skiing these Top Fuels, words like wow and thrilling come to mind. These skis really came alive when I decided to just let it all hang out and ski very agressively. I probably have never skiied as well or as fast-and when I was as top speeds I felt in total control. Really stable. These skis made me (helped me?) ski better by rewarding my focus and agressiveness. My body was hugging the snow more than on any other skis. I also was skiing these mountains, which I know very well, like never before, zipping all over the place with a big grin on my face. The feeling of being rocketed out of big turns was really fun.
Whenever I read ski reviews that say "the more you put into this ski, the more you get out of it", I think "what a bunch of BS"...now I can relate to that statement. My only question now is what I'm going to do with the Heads, which I also purchased as a contender for my groomer go-to ski.
post #2 of 18
The Top Fuel, Jet Fuel, and Hellcat are all awesome skis. I'm 6'2" 190# and an aggressive skier so I really appreciate the substantial nature of these metal reinforced skis. I work in a ski shop and do many product testing days and have always considered Head and Nordica as my favorites. Monster 82 has been my everyday ski for the last 2 yrs. After skiing the Nordica lineup this year I am going to make the 2009 Jet Fuel my everyday ski, rumor has it that the XBI binding system that is used on the Hellcat and Mach series will be implemented on the rest of the Hot Rod series. It has a noticeable effect on the responsiveness of the ski. So going forward I will have to consider Head as my number 2 brand. This is not a knock toward Head but a tribute to the Nodicas.
post #3 of 18
Didn't ski them, but I saw a ton of nordicas at Taos when I was there..Must be something to it..

Lee
post #4 of 18
there is something to it.

they rip. The Jet Fuel is my non-deep snow ski.

tanks on speedskates.
post #5 of 18
The key to the TF for someone not at the top of their game all the time, is to not getttum too long. Although a 178 would be the first blush choice for somebody of this size, that length can take some serious game to stay on board. OTH the 170, skis big and does almost anything that most folks could ever ask. Top to bottom, the Nordie line delivers performance that is honestly better than most. In some cases, (like the Nitrous for instance)....they are about the best bang for the buck available.

SJ
post #6 of 18
I'll concur with Mr g.

I straddle that upper intermediate/advanced line and am on the Top Fuels for my 3rd year in a row. I ski mostly out west and while I'm not always aggressive, I definitely ski faster than most of similar ability outside of bumps.

This ski has tons of grip and while on the stiff side it's very smooth and I've skied it in almost every condition likely to be encountered over the course of a season. It's never dissapointed me.

I bought Mantra's this season for a soft snow ski and while I like it a ton, the Nordica will still get used somewhere between 60-75% of my days this season and I've seen or heard nothing that has me looking anywhere else for my usual "everyday" ski.
post #7 of 18
I got the 178 Nitrous on SierraJim's summer sale. The Nitrous has the same profile (123-78-108) as the Top Fuel, but lacks the metal. The Top Fuel was a consideration, but, I've come to appreciate the slightly more forgiving Nitrous (and Afterburner vs Jet Fuel), and prefer to ski it in the slightly longer length. After skiing a half day at Sugar Bowl on icy conditions on-piste and breakable rain crust off-piste, I switched from the Sugar Daddys to the Nitrous. The ski really charged the tough conditions and broke through the stuff that was deflecting the SDs. They were best on the groomers where any speed was fine, and the faster the better. I did not experience any tip flap or chatter. The slightly softer ski is a bit easier to bend into a turn and more forgiving in bumps, and are a bit lighter in weight. I still have a ways to go the get the most out of these in really challenging conditions, but a very nice ski that complements the wider skis.
post #8 of 18
love my nitrous ski is great binding system XBS N 30 11 has some real problems there is a tun of slop between the binding and the traveler / car the traveler / car to rail is ok but the binding is so sloppy after app 100 days of use there on the shelf for now. level 7-8 skier app. 30 to 40 days a year mostly north east Nh, Vt, Me,
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by samhop View Post
love my nitrous ski is great binding system XBS N 30 11 has some real problems there is a tun of slop between the binding and the traveler / car the traveler / car to rail is ok but the binding is so sloppy after app 100 days of use there on the shelf for now. level 7-8 skier app. 30 to 40 days a year mostly north east Nh, Vt, Me,
I guess I'm not understanding you, but are you saying there is some slop in the binding system? I recently bought the Nitrous earlier in the season to complement my Blizzard CMX 11s for the days I'd prefer a wider and more GS like ski (as well as an Eastern midfat ). If there is slop in the bindings I haven't noticed it yet. Perhaps this is some cause for concern no?
post #10 of 18
yes MassHat that is what i am saying its happened over time they were tight to start and have gotting progressively worse over time. at first i thought it was rail ware but it is not, its between the binding and the slide and they are riveted so its not a loose bolt. its gotin to the point where im going to have to replace them
post #11 of 18
I picked up my Top Fuels in response to the discussions on Epic. The ski is a perfect match for me at 5'10" 205. It's a high end ski, but it has a nice sweet spot. It skis best with some speed.

Great review.
post #12 of 18

Jet Fuel or Afterburner

Guys:

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?
post #13 of 18
don't forget about the hellcat. There is little the Jet Fuel can do that the Hellcat can't.
post #14 of 18
I haven't had a chance to ski the hellcat yet. I would suggest that the Topfuel/Enforcer split might be better than skiing a hell cat or as I currently have a Jetfuel/Enforcer. Choosing between a 170 JF or a 178 AB I would, and did, choose the 170 JF.
post #15 of 18
Both are good skis, sounds like you're on the right track especially if you're not in the bumps much. The Hot Rod Modified is a good ski as well. I've heard good things about it but haven't skied it myself.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by swampyankee View Post
The Top Fuel, Jet Fuel, and Hellcat are all awesome skis. I'm 6'2" 190# and an aggressive skier so I really appreciate the substantial nature of these metal reinforced skis. I work in a ski shop and do many product testing days and have always considered Head and Nordica as my favorites. Monster 82 has been my everyday ski for the last 2 yrs. After skiing the Nordica lineup this year I am going to make the 2009 Jet Fuel my everyday ski, rumor has it that the XBI binding system that is used on the Hellcat and Mach series will be implemented on the rest of the Hot Rod series. It has a noticeable effect on the responsiveness of the ski. So going forward I will have to consider Head as my number 2 brand. This is not a knock toward Head but a tribute to the Nodicas.
They're on all except the Overdrive.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weiery View Post
Guys:

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?
I have skied them both, and like both alot. If I had to pick one of these as my one and only I'd take the Jet Fuel. I perfer a stiffer ski.
post #18 of 18
Sierra Jim has a screaming deal on the JF right now.
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