Cage Match Comparison 2018 Blizzard Brahma and Brahma CA vs 2018 Nordica Navigator 90 and 85

Philpug

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Brahmas vs. Navigators.png

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.
 

Superbman

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The navigators are better bump and low snow tree skis than the brahma CA?? 'cause the original bushwacker set the standard for those conditions
 
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Philpug

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The navigators are better bump and low snow tree skis than the brahma CA?? 'cause the original bushwacker set the standard for those conditions
I think with the Navigator's Hammerhead tip they have the edge. Did I like the old Bushwacker in these conditions? Absolutely, it was one of my favorites but I think in 5 years, designs changed and Nordica did a great job with this new collection. Is the new Brahma CA not good in the bumps? No, it is still better than most but The Nav 85 is slightly better. It still comes down to what your priorities are...the whole idea of these Cage Matches.
 
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So what about us SE skiers, it's either icy or slushy. It seems we are the ignored demographic.
To an extent you are..you are a really small segment of skiers, sorry but that is just the case. I have been in a few design meeting and if anyone stood up and said "Ya know...we don't have a ski that would be great in the Southeast? " It is a growing segment and I think we could corner the market and sell tens' of them. That person would be updating their resume and looking for a new job. So, with nothing designed for your region, what will work the best? Between these skis I would day the Nordica, the flatter flaired tail will hold on the firm snow and the gratual rise in the tip will be good in the slush or refrozen granulated sugar that you get there.
 

KingGrump

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So what about us SE skiers, it's either icy or slushy. It seems we are the ignored demographic.
Icy and slush. No problemo. Most large areas out west will those conditions in the spring. Refreeze in the morning and slush by noon. A pair of FIS SL will do the trick. Great edges on ice and enough beef in the tip to slices through the slush. One of my favorite set up for spring skiing.
 

Carolinacub

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I've been looking at the Nordica's but I'm just too cheap to pull the trigger right now. I've been skiing some 2012 Head I9's and they are surprisingly good for our area. Being a lower level skier ski they seem to be a little more forgiving in all conditions we get. In other words not great for anything but not bad for anything either. I wish they were nimbler in transition but hey you take what you can get.
 

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If I'm say 6" 200+ lbs, and ski the 2016 Brahmas in a 180 - wondering if the 179 or 186 Nordica Navigator would be the better length as my East Coast only ski knowing my Brahma might be a bit much anymore coming off some serious injuries. If it were Enforcer, I'd go with the 185 easy, but the Navigator has that flatter tail, so leaning to 179 but worried may be too short?? Great looking ski either way too - Nordica's graphics this year are really up there with the independent makers.
 
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If I'm say 6" 200+ lbs, and ski the 2016 Brahmas in a 180 - wondering if the 179 or 186 Nordica Navigator would be the better length as my East Coast only ski knowing my Brahma might be a bit much anymore coming off some serious injuries. If it were Enforcer, I'd go with the 185 easy, but the Navigator has that flatter tail, so leaning to 179 but worried may be too short?? Great looking ski either way too - Nordica's graphics this year are really up there with the independent makers.
I would say the 186 in the Navigator. It is a bit easier to ski than the Bonafide.
 
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fasteddie

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Day 5 on my new 2018 Brahmas 180 and love em! Great energy, track really nice and I can fly on them!, highly recommended by a 5’10” 230 aggressive 70-80% on piste Nstar centric ski fanatic!!!
 

surf carve

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I have the 2016 Brahma, 180 cm. The brahma definitely skis like a rockered ski, has a great pivoted skid turn, loose in the terrain, but it only carves on its side cut. it doesnt steer that well, nor respond to shovel pressure. I am trading in the brahmas for the head monster 88 177 cm
 

fasteddie

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Demo. 2018 is different for Brahma. Heard good things as well about Kore 93 and monster 88!
 

Stephen Witkop

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I have the 2016 Brahma, 180 cm. The brahma definitely skis like a rockered ski, has a great pivoted skid turn, loose in the terrain, but it only carves on its side cut. it doesnt steer that well, nor respond to shovel pressure. I am trading in the brahmas for the head monster 88 177 cm
Funny I have the original Brahma and I don't feel like they like to pivot or skid that easily and they love to carve when I pressure the shovel. Just goes to show how different skis can feel for different people.

I demoed the 2018 Brahma and it has a similar feel but is more responsive at the tip and got a run on the 2017 Monster 88 that was awesome and made me want a pair so yeah, demo if you can!
 

BMC

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Yeah I also have an earlier version of the Brahma. I certainly don't feel it carves only one radius and nor have I found it to be a super pivoty ski. I really enjoy carving on them actually. I did own the Head Rev Pro 85 and for me the Brahma is a superior ski. I've never skied the Monsters.
 

gilgamesh0

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Funny I have the original Brahma and I don't feel like they like to pivot or skid that easily and they love to carve when I pressure the shovel. Just goes to show how different skis can feel for different people.

I demoed the 2018 Brahma and it has a similar feel but is more responsive at the tip and got a run on the 2017 Monster 88 that was awesome and made me want a pair so yeah, demo if you can!
Stephen, how would you say the 2018 Brahma compares to the Monster 88? Torn between these two as a stable damp groomer, crud and choppy conditions ski. My impression is that the Monster might have the slight edge there, but the Brahma in turn might be pretty close and also add a bit more tree/powder versatility. (But I haven't been able to demo, so just an impression from what I've read..)
 
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Stephen Witkop

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Stephen, how would you say the 2018 Brahma compares to the Monster 88? Torn between these two as a stable damp groomer, crud and choppy conditions ski. My impression is that the Monster might have the slight edge there, but the Brahma in turn might be pretty close and also add a bit more tree/powder versatility. (But I haven't been able to demo, so just an impression from what I've read..)
I only had a couple of runs on the 2017 Monster 88 on hard and fast conditions so I can't say how it will handle crud and chop but as balanced and solid as it felt I can only imagine it would be good in those conditions.

I own the original Brahma and I've never had them get knocked around in any conditions and the 2018 I demoed felt much the same, just a little fine tuned.

I honestly don't know which I want as a replacement but I don't think you can go wrong with either. They do have a different feel to them so I would try to demo if you can to see if one is more your style.
 
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