Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 90
Lengths: 145, 153, 161, 169, 177
The Nordica Belle 88-formerly the Wild Belle-returns unchanged, other than its name, for 2017. With its 88-mm waist width, it's the fattest (and most expensive) ski in Nordica's Belle series of all-mountain midfats. That makes it a likely choice for everyday skiing in typical Western resort softpack conditions. The Belle series includes three midfat all-mountain generalists, with waist widths of 88, 84 and 78 mm. As with the corresponding men's NRGY series, all are identically constructed, with the same level of performance from top to bottom. So it becomes a choice of width-wider Belles for women who expect to ski in predominantly soft-snow locations, narrower ones for Eastern and Midwestern applications. (For wider-waisted soft-snow specialists, check out Nordica's women's Freeski collection: La Nina, Santa Ana, and Santa Ana 93. For narrower groomed-snow cruisers, see the Sentra collection.) All three Belles are built on balsa cores-super light but still delivering the benefits of wood (durability and responsiveness). All are metal-free constructions reinforced with carbon and glass fibers to keep them light and lively. Full-length, full-height sidewalls and traditional camber through the mid-body give them secure edge grip for carving, but a tapered tail shape makes them easy to skid for quick direction changes and speed control. Moderate rocker, tip and tail, adds a bit of soft snow flotation and terrain-smoothing shock absorption. All Belles are sold flat (no binding).