Nordica Conquer (2011) - Ski Mag

Nordica Conquer (2011)

One would expect a hard-snow ski with a waist width of 84 mm to be the most versatile in the category (No. 1 in Flotation, Stability and Crud Performance). But what surprised us was that it still managed a No. 2 ranking in Quickness edge-to-edge. The Conquer is everything for everyone. It’s solid and predictable yet humming with energy; smooth and powerful yet—with a 20-percent lighter wood core than last year’s model—surprisingly easy to ski. Simply put, it’s fast, and it’s a blast. “The Conquer will never give up on you,” said Moscarella. “It continues to provide tenacious grip no matter what you throw at it.”
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Nordica Conquer

Rating: / 5
Price: $1199.00
Year: 2011
Level: 2
Gender: Female
Waist Width:
Tip/Tail/Waist: 126/84/112
Lengths: 162

Stability at speed: 4.37 / 5
Hard snow performance: 4.06 / 5
Crud performance: 3.71 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.41 / 5

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2011 Nordica Jet Fuel

Nordica Jet Fuel (2011)

The Jet Fuel makes a lot of skis in the category feel like river barges. That’s how light, lively and quick it is. The layup is classic: wood core, vertical sidewalls, two sheets of metal. But this year Nordica lightens it up by using a less-dense wood core and replacing a section down the middle with foam. Nordica says it’s 20 percent lighter, and that weight savings is immediately apparent. Testers loved it in bumps and short-radius turns, especially, but they warned that it gets knocked around some in crud. “Slingshot turn finishes and nimble quickness; a high-energy ski,” said Gleason.

2011 Nordica Girish

Nordica Girish (2011)

Girish—Sanskrit for “lord of the mountains”—is an apt name for this versatile multitool. Every other ski in the category has one weakness, usually lack of quickness or hard-snow grip. The Girish puts up high scores across the board. A wood-core, metal-reinforced laminate layup gives it power and stability (and a No. 2 ranking in Hard-Snow Grip), while a touch of tip rocker—40 cm long, up to 4 mm high—gives it a nice looseness and creamy flotation in powder (and a No. 2 ranking in Quickness). There are bigger, stronger skis, but none more versatile. “An all-mountain fat super-G ski with the godsend of rocker; perfect combination,” said Elling.

2011 Nordica Radict

Nordica Radict (2011)

The first thing you notice is how huge it is. Then the scary clown. Then the tip profile: There’s almost no upward curve to it. The new Radict has traditional camber underfoot—about 60 percent of its length—with pronounced rocker tip and tail. The tip rocker starts 40 cm back and rises almost a full 3 cm—so high there’s no need for much additional tip curvature. The combination of width and rocker adds up to supreme flotation in the deepest pow. Testers had to punish it for lack of versatility, but still gave it the No. 2 ranking for Overall Impression. “Surprisingly maneuverable for its size; super fun,” said a tester.

nordica conquer thumb 2010

Nordica Conquer (2010)

Category: Women's Freeride; Category ranking: No. 1; Average score: 3.61; Balance of skills: 3.6; Best for: Eastern freeriders; Not for: Deep powder, where its attributes are wasted

Nordica Nemesis 2011

Nordica Nemesis (2011)

Nordica took last year’s burly, damp Nemesis and lightened it up, replacing the two sheets of metal with carbon to make it significantly easier to handle. One thing hasn’t changed: It’s still an aggressive charger with a more demanding feel. Pro: It carves cleanly on hardpack, making it one of the more multitalented skis in the category. Con: It doesn’t have the buttery smooth feel of some of the powder purists in the category, and it requires a skilled, powerful driver. (It scored last among winners in Forgiveness.) “Solid at speed and holds a nice edge,” said Humes. “This is definitely a ski for an aggressive woman.”

2011 Fischer KOA84

Fischer KOA84 (2011)

We’re still scratching our heads: A tank that plows through crud like this one does shouldn’t be able to effortlessly dice up tight trees, too. The Koa 84 is a standout for striking the perfect balance: a solid powerhouse that’s ridiculously easy to ski. Its hallmark is a glued-to-the-snow feel (it’s No. 1 in Hard-Snow Grip), which lends the driver the assurance to send it into the trees without checking speed. It’s predictable, stable, and has a ripping, racy feel. Its heavier weight is comforting, but it sinks more than most in powder. “A stable ski that rips in all conditions,” said Beale. “I was a charging animal on this ski!”

2011 Atomic Seventh Heaven 79

Atomic Seventh Heaven 79 (2011)

The Seventh Heaven has a quick, racy feel that’s ideally suited for harder snow. (Not surprising, given that it has the narrowest waist of the group.) Most testers wrote “good frontside ski,” or “great for an East Coast everyday ski,” which means it’s the least versatile in the group. But what it does—carve—it does well. (Atomic edge-grip? Check.) A slight rise in the tip (Atomic calls it “adaptive camber”) makes it easy to pivot in transitions between turns, which accounts for a high score in Forgiveness (No. 4), but otherwise it’s built like a traditional groomer ski. “Feels powerful underfoot, but easy to initiate,” said Moscarella.

Blizzard Viva

Blizzard Viva 8.1 (2011)

Every ski has character traits. This ski has personality. It’s snappy, lively, bubbly—and so responsive, it seems to read your mind. Just think about turning, and you’re ripping perfect GS turns down the steeps. Powerful, yes, but polite, too—patiently skidding when you need to scrub speed. Though most at home on hardpack, its 81-mm waist is wide enough to bust crud and float though pow. Are we gushing? Absolutely: It was No. 1 in Rebound Energy, Forgiveness, Hard-Snow Grip and Balance of Skills. “This ski blew my mind,” said Humes. “Quick, stable, snappy—everything I love in a carver.”