stead·fast
/ˈstedˌfast/
adjective
resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. "steadfast loyalty"
synonyms: loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, true, constant, staunch, solid, trusty

Nothing in the definition of the word “steadfast” makes anyone think, OMG, that's what kind of ski I want to own! It was that way with the Nordica Steadfast, a ski I refer to from time to time when I am testing skis, which is why I came up with the Steadfast Rule.

So, what is the Steadfast Rule? Going almost a half decade, Nordica offered a ski called the Steadfast as part of the Hell & Back collection. It had dimensions of 132-90-118 and a lightweight construction that was a variation of the mold from the Helldiver, a trucklike system ski from the Top Fuel collection from around 2010 or so.

Why did I create the Steadfast Rule? Just like the definition, nothing really differentiated the Steadfast from anything else. To an extent, it suffered from middle-child syndrome: the narrower 84mm Burner was better, as was the 98mm Hell & Back; not surprisingly, all three had the same construction. I recall skiing the Steadfast and thinking, What conditions and terrain would make me say, “Boy, if I were on the Nordica Steadfast, today would be the perfect ski day.” Nothing, nada, bupkis. It was a fine ski, but nothing special. From that point, I have used this ski as a point of reference.

Was the Steadfast a bad ski? Absolutely not. Was a great ski? Not really. Was it a good ski? I guess so, but mostly it was a safe ski. It didn’t do anything wrong, but it didn’t really excel either. It was just that, average -- exceptionally average, in fact. And in today’s age of some great skis, exceptionally average just isn’t good enough.

This process is not really a knock against the Steadfast (or Nordica); every brand at one point or another has offered a ski with little to no personalty, but in most cases they bounce back -- hell, right now Nordica has the very good Navigator 90 in the same spot, a ski that has received acclaim from many respected reviewers and a Tester's Choice award from us.

So, when I am testing and can’t figure out a ski, I resort back to the Steadfast and think, What was the designer thinking when he/she designed this ski? What conditions and terrain was the ski designed for? What would make a skier say, “If I were on this ski, today would be the Best Day Ever?"

So, what is your "Steadfast"?