Individual Review Long-Term Review: 2018 Nordica Navigator 85

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Another year, another Nordica Proto. This year's version is the all-new 2017 Navigator 85 (124-85-109), the middle of a three-ski collection that includes 80mm and 90mm offerings. Actually, when Nordica said it was sending me the Navigator Proto, I assumed it would be the flagship 90mm model, but no, it was the 85mm middle width. I don't think this new Navigator will suffer from middle-child syndrome, even with its $499 price point. It says a lot about the new, aggressively priced Navigator 85 that Nordica has made it part of its Proto Project, a program that is usually earmarked for higher-priced models. It shows confidence in this new design that Nordica is getting it out to their hand-picked #protoproject testers to create awareness of the collection.
    Although the new Navigators share constuction elements from the outgoing NRGy skis, these are not just new names for NRGy, but all-new models taking design elements from Nordica's premier collections, the Enforcer and Dobermann. Nordica has integrated the forebody of the Enforcer, with its hammerhead tip design, and the powerful back half of a Dobermann frontside ski and then added the metal bridge construction of the NRGy. Flex is balanced and smooth with nice rebound. While I have yet to get them on snow, I expect they will have the playfulness of the Enforcer, but, although they sport a Dobermann-derived tail, I do not expect them to launch me out of the turn like a Dobie; I think a nice round finish will happen.
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    Enforcer 100 177cm, Enforcer 93 185cm, Navigator 85 179cm
    These wil be mounted with Attack demos so members and other testers can review them as we get them on snow. I believe @epic has the Navigator in a 186, with the scaled dimensions of 126-85-110.
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    OK, I was finally able to get on these puppies. When you meld multiple designs like what Nordica did here it does not always work, I mean what could go wrong? Remember the original Firearrow ski? The forebody of a race ski, the tail of a twin tip and a heavy SBX system binding, if that wasn't bad enough they were stiff as a board and had graphics that looked like a clown threw up on the ski. If you had forgotten, sorry to remind you. Nordica is trying it again, taking the forebody of the Enforcer, the tail of the Dobermann hatd snow ski and the construction element from the NRGy. So, did they get it right this time? You betcha. What they achieved was a real nice performance ski, and I would say for a solid intermediate to all but the most aggressive experts who will want a more specialized tool.

    The Navigator collection consists of an 80mm, this 85mm and a wider 90mm, the focus here is on the 85mm, the middle size that they feel will be the most popular and focused on model. Why the 85? well the 90mm will probably get overshadowed by the Enforcer 93 but the Nav90 could be the better option for mor skiers. Getting back to the 85mm, it is a darn good ski, it picks up where the NRGy85 reached its limits. The Navigator initiates a turn nice and easy but with a bit more bite than the outgoing NRGy and more on par with the Enforcer where the tip is derived from but with its longer wheel base (contact length of the camber) it is a bit more positive. The tail or back half of the ski is where the Navigator really lights up. While we cannot expect the ski to hold like a race ski, it holds better than any $499 ski should, yes that is the street price and we will talk more about that later. Through the second half of the turn the ski does not bite but holds nicely and can be worked at will. You can easuly release the tail and bring it back in at a moments notice or a slight anglation of the knee or ankle.

    We skied in some beautiful chackly cold snow that could make any ski feel rewardign but the Navigator had a geel that I would expect from a top line Nordica. Where the Navigator really shined was in the bumps and mixed condtions. Multiple times a season I get asked whhat is an all mountain ski that is good in the bumps. Well, we have had some all mountain skis in the past that were worthy in that conversation but the Navigator is one of the best without comprmising the rest of the characteristics that you expect from a ski that makes the claim of being an all mountain ski.
     
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  3. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    Women's comparable version? Sounds precisely like what I am looking for as a compliment to my Santa Anas--in other words, a daily driver ski that isn't as demanding as my Kenjas. One that can handle off-piste garbage and what not, and even get me into the moguls (GASP!)
     
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  4. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Do you think this skis is on par with an enforcer in edge hold and stability?

    I really like my E93 in all bumps except for refrozen hardpack where the Brahma is much better due to its narrow/straighter and stiffer shape.
     
  5. Josh Matta

    Josh Matta Making fresh tracks Instructor

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  6. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Because of the flatter flaired tail I do think it will be better edge hold. It surely finished a turn better because of that.
     
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  7. Coolhand

    Coolhand Putting on skis Skier

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    Anyone get on the Navigator 80 during testing? Same construction as it's wider brothers. Looks like it could be a killer value at $399.
     
  8. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    The Navigator series might be really good as part of a rental fleet. If they are easy to ski.
     
  9. Myles

    Myles Putting on skis Skier

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    Seems like others agree with you, although this is a review of the 90mm Navigator.

     
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  10. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    He sure is PUMPED about the ski!
     
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  11. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    I skied what I believe is the comparable women's version of this ski during testing, the Astral 84, and I loved it! SUPER easy to ski. Hoping to get out on the 88s in a week on our Adaptive Sports demo day.
     
  12. Coolhand

    Coolhand Putting on skis Skier

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    So, Navigator 90 and Enforcer 93. Potentially a lot of overlap in Nordica's 17/18 offering? Or is there a place for both?
     
  13. Slass

    Slass At the base lodge Skier

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    So, I currently own the Enforcer 100 and absolutly love the ski. Residing in the midwest, it is the only ski I now bring with me when I head out west. For the past two seasons I have been trying to find a ski that skis similar to the Enforcer that I can ski exclusively in the Midwest and was wondering if Navigator is what I might be looking for? I ski the Enforcer 100 at 177cm and if I were to get the Navigator with the knowledge that it's just going to be a Midwest ski would is be wise to size down to 172cm? I will be mainly using this ski when i'm on Ski Patrol not season. Thanks!
     
  14. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    Boy, that Natural Skiers reviewer is PUMPED (and appears to know how to rip a groomer).

    Unlike Phil, I found the original FireArrow to be an amazingly well-rounded Big Boy tool that really put a huge grin on my face, so I'm adding the Nav 90 to my short list. It will likely be a contest between that, the Monster 88 and the Vantage 90.

    I'm also really interested in the Enforcer Pro, on which there has been disappointingly little info trickling out, so far.
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The Nav90 could give the best of both of the Monster 88 and Vantage 90.
     
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  16. Dwight

    Dwight Practitioner of skiing, solid and liquid Admin Moderator

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    If you want to stay with Nordica, maybe one of the GT series or an older Spitfire for some real fun. Some Rosi E80s, make great skis for patrol too.
     
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  17. neonorchid

    neonorchid Out on the slopes Skier

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    ...check out SkiEssentials review -
     
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  18. Scotty I.

    Scotty I. Getting off the lift Skier

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    Wow! High praise indeed!
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Notorious P.U.G. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Power (at least the back half of the ski to finish a turn) which happens after the tip eases into it.
     
  20. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    I can feel the cage matches coming!

    No hurry, thoughts are turning to mtb, and I won't be buying until next Fall.
     

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