Previous season skis: Head Monster 77, 82, 88
Level: ~8 (bump skiing needs work)
Dimensions: 140-105-130 156cm
Bindings: Tyrolia LD 12, adjusted -15mm
Conditions: All as I have been on them a few days now (except no East coast ice here in the Rockies )
I read about these on the internet and thought they looked interesting and totally different than anything out there. I figured it would be fun to demo them but I was content going into this season deciding between my Monster 77/82s and not buying a new ski for awhile (I bought those two last season and demoed the 88s). I have to admit, I was a little unsure of the width because when I skied the 88s last season, I could not get them to do short turns on the frontside/groomed conditions. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I should try the 143cm Scout or the 156cm when I stopped by the demo tent at Vail. It turned out I shouldn’t have worried at all. Anne and Sam put me on the Nomads and away I went…
The first run was a blast! Not even a quarter of the way down the first run I was laughing out loud and yelling in disbelief. Skis could perform like this?! They did whatever I asked of them. I was flying down with complete confidence – the snow that day was displaced powder and I cruised. I even jumped onto a soft mogul field and kept on flying, undeterred by the conditions. My friend will testify as to how bummed I was when the demo was over and I had to go back to the 82s I had brought for the day.
Needless to say, I was hooked. I subsequently demoed the Shaman and found the Nomad fits me to a T. It has a wonderful combination of stability, maneuverability, speed and stiffness. I have now taken it to the backside of Vail many times and can hardly believe that 156cm can keep me afloat in the Inner Mongolia Bowl! I’ve taken it into the bumps, the trees (my new friends) and Nastar – wherever I wanted to go. I feel the Nomad is the perfect combination of the three Head skis I was on last season: the float from the 88s, the stiffness from the 77s and the stability/speed cruising of the 82s, hence for me it is the perfect 1-ski quiver.
A note about the bindings: The Railflex bindings can be adjusted 15mm front or back from center. I moved them 15mm back (simple adjustment with a screwdriver) and found that improved the stability and powder performance. I am quite pleased about this adjustment.
I’ve learned through this process of finding skis that there are many variables that influence performance and how unique skis truly are. I highly recommend demoing Icelantics, they are like nothing else out there. And it is cool that Ben, the founder, and the crew took time to talk about them when I visited their gallery in Denver.
The bottom line: I have never tried a ski that gave me so much confidence, power and maneuverability. My philosophy with skiing is that you should be deciding where to ski not what to ski.