Pugski Ski Tester
- Nov 1, 2015
- Reno, eNVy
In trying to outmaneuver Blizzard, Nordica has been sneaky smart, and to an extent it is working. Nordica caught its cousin a bit flatfooted when putting the Enforcer 100 up against the Bonafide. When the Enforcer 93 came out, Blizzard’s Brahma and Regulator were left to rely on their reputation to compete -- and age and wisdom go only so far in the battle for market share. The Brahma had a strong reputation, but it felt like the Regulator was sent immediately to the discount racks. Now, not only has Nordica come out with a new collection of skis, but they are priced well below the market points, undercutting their cousins by $50; to some, that isn't much, but to many others, it is make or break, especially when quality is on par.
The Blizzard Brahma's shape, like the Bonafide's, was getting long in tooth, and its two sheets of metal made it a lot of ski for some skiers. Hmmm, if only there were a lighter and more compliant version of the Brahma not named “Bushwacker” .... I'm sure you saw what I did there. Yes, before there was a Brahma, there was the Bushwacker, which had the same shape but no metal, a ski that skied very well with a light and playful manner. Blizzard was smart to bring it back: the Bushwacker name is gone, but the spirit of the blue bull lives on in the Brahma CA. Both of these skis have Blizzard's new flex and shape, making them the best Blizzard has offered in this segment.
Nordica has had some hits in this 80-90mm segment, but it seems like it has had more misses. The NRGys were blah, the Steadfast and other Hell & Back skis were warmed-over Hot Rod molds. Nordica went back to the drawing board, took what was working, and put it all together: the forebody of the Enforcer, the flex of the NRGy, and the flatter tail of a Doberman. What could go wrong? Eureka, nothing.
- Why choose one of the Blizzards? As with many of these comparisons, are you biased more on or off piste? The Brahmas work super on the firm snow: the new, more aggressive sidecut and tip profile will be there when you want them, but won't force you to engage all the time.
- Brahma: Stronger skiers who want, err, need to drive.
- Brahma CA: Lighter, more finesse skiers who are still athletic.
- Why choose one of the Nordicas? You spend time in bumps, trees, and more fun stuff but still want railroad tracks on the way back to the lift. This is the best collection of skis Nordica has offered in this range in a long time, maybe ever.
- Navigator 90: The Eastern one-ski quiver of the two.
- Navigator 85: A bit quicker and slightly better in bumps and tighter trees.