Nordica Steadfast (2014)
This is the full-meal deal for East Coasters who value superb carving ability blended with just enough looseness for trees and bumps—or Westerners skiing during low-snow periods when excessive width can be a handicap. Almost a centimeter narrower than Nordica’s similar Hell & Back, the Steadfast is a power-hungry ripper that engages early and grips relentlessly throughout the turn. All but a couple of testers praised it for disengaging on demand when they needed to dump speed.
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.
|Lengths||170, 178, 186|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.88 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.32 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||3.63 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.32 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||3.30 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||3.15 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||2.62 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||3.24 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.32 / 5|