EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Demo day: Nordica Helldiver, Volkl Bridge, Fischer Watea 84
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Demo day: Nordica Helldiver, Volkl Bridge, Fischer Watea 84

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Me: 5’11” – 195 lbs level 8/9 or so skier -

Nordica Helldiver: 178 cm - tip/waist/tail: 132/90/118
 
Volkl Bridge: 177cm – 130/92/112
 
Fischer Watea 84: 178 cm – 126/84/112

Skiing at Copper Mountain – 3” of new snow with packed powder conditions. Lots of wind out of the west was pushing deeper drifts into Spaulding, so there were stashes of 6 – 12 “ powder Again, spent the day skiing the bowls to try to work these skis where they are at their best.
 
Quick synopsis: All three are good skis, each with their own strengths. Of the three, the Watea 84 made the biggest impression. Very light ski, but handles the crud well, and got better the faster I went. The Helldiver was very good in the deeper snow, a marvelous powder ski. The Bridge was a typical Volkl, stable and craving speed.
 
In order that I skied them:
 
Helldiver: After picking up my Jet Fuel’s this season, and absolutely loving them, I was expecting great things from the Helldiver’s. While these skis did a great job in the deeper snow, I was disappointed in their performance on the groomed runs back to the shop. I didn’t find them as nimble as the reviews I’d read elsewhere lead me to expect. Some reviews have pegged these skis as a great 1-quiver ski. I’d put the Jet Fuel’s way above these skis in that category. If I wasn’t already on the Jet Fuel’s, my reaction to the Helldiver’s would probably be different. These are still a very good ski. They had good float in the powder, powered through the crud with no hesitation, and were quick and responsive when I did a little glade skiing. On the groomed runs, I found them a bit slow side to side, but once on carve they arced nicely, but seemed to like one turn shape. The biggest surprise to me: they felt a bit squirrelly when running flat. I haven’t felt that from a shaped ski in years. All in all, if I called the Jet Fuel a perfect Western resort ski, I’d say the Helldiver makes for a very good Alta/Snowbird/Tahoe area ski, but I wouldn’t want to ski it as my everyday ski at Copper. Would make a great addition to a quiver if you already have a frontside/groomer ski.
 
Bridge: A very interesting ski. The ski is fairly stiff, so I wasn’t expecting great things from it in the powder, but really handled very well. Of the few 90mm+ skis I’ve tried, this is the one that I liked the best. Typical of a Volkl, it took some speed to get it up and responding, especially on the groomed runs. However, once on edge, it gripped very well and did a nice job of carving good sized GS turns. Again, I wasn’t particularly impressed with the skis quickness side to side. Making short swing turns takes a bit of effort with this ski. Flip side, even at a 177 length, this ski handles all the speed you want to give it. Rock solid arcing nice GS turns whether through the deep snow or on the hardpack. In the powder, the width underfoot made for a stable platform. I was concerned that the stiffness of the ski would contribute to some tip diving, but the ski didn’t feel like it was sinking at all. Similar in feel to my old AC4’s, the ski feels like it’s powering through the powder rather than floating over it. Not a bad thing, per se, just a different approach.
 
Watea 84: A very pleasant surprise. Was expecting due to the lightness and softer flex of the ski that it would not be a strong performer in the end of the day crud. But overall, this is another really good ski. It handled beautifully in the powder and cut-up powder, carving nicely and with a bit more of a floating sensation than the Bridge, but didn’t feel like it was getting knocked about by the chop at the bottom of the bowls. Once into the trees and in tighter quarters, the ski felt very quick and nimble. I was expecting the ski, due to its softer flex to be a bit lacking once back on the hardpack, but it carved well and the faster I skied, the better the ski responded. All in all, I would put it just a tiny notch behind the Jet Fuel in terms of its all-mountain versatility. My only regret: I wish I had had more time to try the Watea 94 too!

 

edit: fixed some typos.


Edited by Tag - 3/16/2009 at 03:28 am
post #2 of 9

Nice reviews.  I demoed the Helldiver early in the season & really liked it.  I felt it did pretty well on the groomers but different strokes for different folks.  I did not get to try them in the powder or crud since it was a pretty firm day when I demoed.  I've never tried the other 2 skis but would like to check them out.  Very interesting.

 

BTW, the dimensions on the Helldiver are actually 132 90 118.  I got these from the Nordica website.  When I first read your review, I thought your listed dimensions seemed a little off.  Just thought I'd clarify that.

post #3 of 9

195 level 9 that thinks the 169 bridge is stable at any speed you want to throw at it? the 185 would actually float you and be even easier to turn.

 

hmmm interesting.

post #4 of 9

I skied the Helldiver in Jackson, I didn't find it anywhere near as fun as the 8.7 or even a AC50, skied like a truck.  

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by madskier6 View Post

 

BTW, the dimensions on the Helldiver are actually 132 90 118.  I got these from the Nordica website.  When I first read your review, I thought your listed dimensions seemed a little off.  Just thought I'd clarify that.


 


 

My bad.  The Helldiver shares the same sidecut as the Hellcat and would be 90mm underfoot.  Not sure where I copied those numbers.....

post #6 of 9

I, too, am having trouble reconciling the reviewers weight, ability level and length of skis.  I'm 185 and have the Volkl Bridge in the 185 length.  I wish it was a bit longer.  I think you'd find it super floaty at the longer length.  i also find if quite quick for a 90ish ski...its now my skinniest ski bc I can do anything on it that I can do on a narrower ski.  I haven't tried the Watea but am curious about it.  Tons of people love the Watea 94. 

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

 

195 level 9 that thinks the 169 bridge is stable at any speed you want to throw at it? the 185 would actually float you and be even easier to turn.

 

hmmm interesting.


 

Actually demo'd the 177 length, not a 169.  I didn't find any sense of instability at the speeds that I thrrew at them.  However, speed is a relative term.  My idea of fast skiing may not equate to yours.  I found the Bridge's to be typical Volkls: damp, able to absorb speed and keep a good grip on the firm snow.  Like any free advice, it's worth exactly what you paid for it.   However, if I was looking at the Bridge for myself, I might agree with you that a longer version would suit me better.

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by locknload View Post

 

I, too, am having trouble reconciling the reviewers weight, ability level and length of skis.  I'm 185 and have the Volkl Bridge in the 185 length. 


 

I demo'd the lengths that the store had available.  There wasn't any choice to the matter.  If I was seriously shopping for new skis, I would have focused more on trying different lengths and hit a shop that had more lengths to try.  In general, I think a 175 - 180 length for a mid-fat(ish), all mountain ski is a good starting point for me.  My only regret for the day was not taking the Watea 94's instead of the 84's.  The 84's are too close to my Jet Fuels and I should have tried something different.


Edited by Tag - 3/7/2009 at 04:12 pm
post #9 of 9

I hear you, Tag.  That's helpful to know that.  I get frustrated demoing cuz i can never find the ski in the length that I'm looking for.  Try that Watea 94...its supposed to be pretty sweet.  It may be slightly softer than what I like but it seems to have broad a appeal to a wide range of skiers.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Demo day: Nordica Helldiver, Volkl Bridge, Fischer Watea 84