Nordica Steadfast (2014)
Usually you have to choose. Not with the Steadfast. The category's top-ranked ski was No. 1 in Stability at Speed, No. 2 in both Flotation and Crud. Those are ordinarily opposing characteristics, but they get along so well in the Steadfast that testers scored it the highest by far in Overall Impression. It's energetic and muscular, equally confident railing groomers and dancing through powdery bumps. It prefers decisive input and aggressive attack, but the rewards are ample. Gleason: "It dives into turns on hardpack, but its quickness lets you drive it hard in crud and bumps too."
The Steadfast shares the same construction as the Vagabond and Hell & Back. With a narrower 90-mm waist it's both less expensive and better suited to Eastern/hard-snow conditions, though still sufficiently fat for good flotation in soft snow and crud. Nordica's men's All-Mountain collection includes four high-performance models, all sold flat (Vagabond, Hell & Back, Steadfast and Burner), plus two value versions available with bindings (Avenger 82 and Avenger 75). They cover a broad range of waist widths, from 109 (Vagabond) down to 75 mm (Avenger), and ability levels, ranging in price from $849 down to $449 MSRP. All are intended for all-mountain utility and all-conditions versatility for mainstream resort skiers. (For hard-snow carving specialists, see the Fire Arrow collection; for soft-snow surfers, see the Freeski collection - Bushy Wayne, Helldorado, Patron, El Capo.) All of the All-Mountain models are vertical-sidewall, fiberglass-reinforced laminate constructions, which Nordica deems the most trusted and proven way to build skis. The top four models are built on Nordica's Energy CA I-Core, which has a strip of PU foam down the middle to save weight and wood on either side for edge stability and integrity. The top-of-the-line Vagabond is rockered in both the tip and tail, for maximum maneuverability in deep snow. All other models are rockered in the tip only, for enhanced flotation in soft snow and terrain-smoothing shock absorption. Nordica offers pre-cut climbing skins to fit the top models.
|Awards||Gold Medal Gear|
|Lengths||170, 178, 186|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||4.19 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||2.99 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.56 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.64 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.31 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||2.82 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.40 / 5|