Nordica Skis 2001-02

Where to Sleep: Choose from the town of Taos about 30 minutes from the ski area, the hamlet of Arroyo Seco about 15 minutes from the ski area, or Taos Ski Valley. The upside to staying at the ski area is you avoid the drive from Taos, which, on a powder day, can take up to an hour. The downside is that there isn't much of a night life and the only pace to get groceries is Bumps, a little market below Lift One. But when part owner and events coordinator Alejandro Blake throws a party at the Martini Tree, it's worth staying in the Ski Valley. Save cash: Try the Abominable Snowmansion Hostel in Arroyo Seco, located between the town of Taos and Taos Ski Valley, where bunks start at $22 per night. [] Splurge: Edelweiss Lodge and Spa, located just down the hill from Lift One, is comfortable and classy, but not over the top luxury. Most units have kitchens, so it's great for larger groups. A two bedroom, two bath condo is $675 per night [].

Nordica Skis 2001-02


A three-year old ski brand, Nordica has rebuilt its entire line for 2001-2002. All-new molds, all-new sidecuts, all-new constructions. And it has simplified the line. What were the Next and Trend series last year become the Freecarve skis. Now the four main categories are Race, Freeride, Freecarve, and Pipe & Park. At the top of the line, the race skis will be actual World Cup stock, skis made for, say, 2000 World Cup slalom champion Kjetil Andre Aamodt. Nordica makes a batch, he picks his, you get the leftovers.

But race is not where it's at for Nordica. At the heart of the 2001 collection are the Freeride skis (also called W skis). "The whole line is built around Freeride; it's the meat and potatoes of what we're doing. That's where we see the market right now," explains alpine product manager Chris O'Donoghue. Backing that up, Nordica has amassed a cadre of hot freeskiers to promote the product, including Brad Holmes, Jimbo Morgan, Richie Schley, and Aaron McGovern. The line contains five new skis, ranging in price from $499 to $729. And on looks: Nordica is committed to changing the face of ski design, with what it calls a "unique graphical approach to ski cosmetics...a clean graphic design." Most skis will come in two different colors. This season will also see new metallic-based colors in the Freeride line.

The new technology in the Freeride line is called Stability Control System. It features a vibration-absorbing Gel Driver box at the tip and a Steel-Blade mechanism (a piece of metal) also at the tip. They combine to add mass and help to settle the tip for dampening and stability. "The system, which comes out of the race program, allows you to dramatically drop in length, but still feel like you have the hold of a longer ski," says O'Donoghue.

The next generation of last season's Titanium Bridge technology (a curvilinear top sheet that goes from edge to edge, providing smooth transmission of power to the edge) is the NordiBridge in the Freeride line. A flex groove now runs down the top of the bridge for more lateral flex in off-piste conditions.

In addition to the following breakdown of Nordica's line, the company offers three Junior skis and four rental models.

Race Series
The new K 11 GS Gel Driver is a true World Cup level wood-core ski with ExoEnergy II Racing plate and the vibration-dampening gel at the tip.

K 11 SL Gel Driver is Nordica's World Cup slalom shortie. The K9 RC, for "athletes, ski instructors, experts, and carvers," is a soft GS ski. The soft slalom K9 SLC has the same dimensions as the RC, but a different construction and shorter lengths (160-180 cm).
New: K 11 GS Gel Driver, K 11 SL Gel Driver, K9 RC, K9 SLC.

Freeride Series
The W 105 super-fat ski (125/105/115) for extreme freeriders is a wood-core sandwich construction with a layer of Titanal in the topsheet. The W 80 Gel Driver is a wood-core ski with the new Gel Driver technology. The W 70 Gel Driver for freeriders and expert carvers has an Exoflex plate and the new Titanium NordiBridge. The W 65 Gel Driver, in three colors, also has the new NordiBridge Ti. Finally, the W 65 S Gel Driver is a softer-flexing ski with NordiBridge Carbon (no Titanal).
New: W 105, W 80 Gel Driver, W 70 Gel Driver, W 65 Gel Driver, W 65 S Gel Driver.

Freecarve Series
With narrower waists and deeper sidecuts than the Freeride skis, the Freecarve skis are headlined by the FreeTen Ti, with NordiBridge Ti and Exoflex plate. The FreeEight Ca has NordiBridge without the Titanal and the FreeSix S is an even more narrow-waisted (62-mm underfoot) laminated ski with a cap designed for easy carving.
New: FreeTen Ti, FreeEight Ca, FreeSix S.

Park & Pipe Series
The Airdrive TT is a 70-mm waisted wood-core ski for halfpipe, parks, tricks, high airs. The "TT" stands for twin tip. The PPipedrive TT is a narrower foam-core ski skied in short lengths-130 to 150 cm-for terrain parks and quarterpipes. The Fundrive TT is a 90-cm or 100-cm skiboard that comes with non-releasable bindings.
New: Airdrive TT, Pipedrive TT, Fundrive TT.

Adventure Series
The Tour Superlight is a new expert-level touring/randonée ski for the backcountry.
New: Tour Superlight.