Cage Match Comparison Nordica Navigator 90 vs Rossignol Experience 88 Ti

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Philpug, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Screen Shot 2018-10-11 at 10.25.40 AM.png
    The upper 80-90mm category is one of the more contested and important categories, period. There are a lot of really good skis here, from every manufacturer, and really no bad choices; because of these skis' versatility, there are very few wrong choices, either. You could make a case for almost every ski offered as a one-ski quiver, east or west, depending on preference.

    When Nordica introduced the Navigator series, it focused on the middle model, the Navigator 85. This was a safe decision, considering that the late-to-the-game NRGy 85 replaced by the Navigator 85 was the best of that collection. The 90 is the sleeper of the Navigator collection because of what I just stated along with the fact that the Enforcer 93 is so popular, which is a good problem for the brand but not so much for the Navigator 90. The Navigator was supposed to be a bridge between the Enforcer and Dobermann design with the forebody of the former and the tail of the latter. I will give Nordica the Enforcer DNA but the Dobermann tail? That is a bit of a stretch, and IMHO that square flat tail would have been too much for this ski; whatever tail design they did use is the winning ticket. I like the gradual top design that allows the ski to turn into any condition from hard pack to half a foot of snow -- but back to the tail, it is the back half of the ski that really makes it special. It will hold a turn with ease yet release beautifully. The Navigator 90 is a ski that I would choose 10 out of 10 times over the Enforcer 93, and it's a shame that the Enforcer will out sell it 20 to 1.

    It was time for Rossignol to replace the Experience skis. They were great skis for what they were, but what they were was one-trick ponies. The specific turn shape built into the ski made it about the least versatile in the segment. For 2019, Rossignol changed all that with a brand new shape, brand new construction, brand new this and that and .... The only thing that carries over is the model name and the fact that this one is 88 underfoot. In my Evolution vs Revolution piece, I discuss the revolution of the Experience 88 Ti; in fact, this ski was one of the main inspirations for the article. The new EXP 88 Ti has a shape pretty similar to the Navigator 90, but when you flex the skis or put them base to base, you see the differences -- and those differences translate to a ski with more power.
    • Why choose the Navigator 90? You want to err toward smoothness and relaxation. While the Navigator does not lack power, it has a slightly larger sweet spot and is an Nth degree better in mixed conditions.
    • Why choose the Experience 88 Ti? You want to charge a bit more. The new Experience doesn’t have the tenacious grip of the outgoing collection, but it actually has a tighter turn radius.
     
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  2. Ksurby

    Ksurby Booting up Skier

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    How does the Armada Invictus 89ti compared to these two? I am looking for maximum versatility in a western Canadian Rockies, hasn’t snowed in a week ski.
     
  3. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Wow. I'm going to have to check this out.
     
  4. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The Invictus 89Ti is a sweet ski, it is still a favorite. I would say, it is a bit more playful than either of these but not as strong as the Rossignol, clsoer to the Nordica. Downfall...might be the "younger" graphics, but that is completely subjective.
     
  5. Gorilla Stance

    Gorilla Stance Booting up Skier

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    Thought the same thing myself. Although I probably won't be looking seriously at the two until after the season (too many ski purchases already), I wonder if the Enforcer is simply the much more "charge-y" of the two (what I'm looking for), versus the more laid-back sounding Navigator.
     


  6. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Phil, you should get the current nav 90 graphic up.
     
  7. TimothyD11

    TimothyD11 At the base lodge Skier

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    What would you say the best 90mm powder ski would be? I know that it seems kind of automatic to want to move up in waist width for powder but if someone wanted that one ski quiver in the 90mm range, would the Navigator 90 be a good choice for a 90mm ski that performed well in powder?...particularly light mid winter blower pow?
     
  8. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I did get on this for half a day at Taos. 172cm. Very nice ski. It didn't wow me, but it works. Skis that wow are sometimes amazing and sometimes just loud or different without being better. It's like wine or speakers: the one that stands out isn't always the one you want to live with.
     
  9. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Mindbender
     
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  10. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    .... '19-'20 Kend for a narrow'esque off piste ski.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  11. mdf

    mdf entering the Big Couloir Skier

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    Since I love my Navigator 85 so much, I'm curious to try the 80 and 90 too. I guess I should have made time for the demos at Big Sky.
     
  12. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Okay Marko and Phil, spill some dirt.
     
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    My review is being finalized but I will say, I was pleasantly surprised..dare I say Kästle like in dampening.
     
  14. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    You're fine. No point in trying to date the girlfriend's sisters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  15. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    I thought it was an excellent narrow off piste ski. On piste good, but there are others that check the personal preference box in that part of the 88 bandwidth.
     
  16. TimothyD11

    TimothyD11 At the base lodge Skier

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    Well I figure 2 things that could give you float in powder: substantial rocker and / or waist width. The Navigator 90 and the Kendo are pretty much the same waist width but doesn't the Navigator 90 have more early rise / rocker?
     
  17. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    No. The sidecut (or relative lack of in the ends compared to underfoot) of the '19-'20 Kendo plays an important role. You're also forgetting the role of how a ski flexes ( the navigator is a nice, round, even flexing ski) . Ski design isn't rocket science, but it IS a simple calculus, and sometimes simple is very tricky.
     
  18. trepet12

    trepet12 At the base lodge Skier

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    Hi all! I’m tall (6’1’’) but light (150-155) intermediate skier from Europe. I don’t ski fast: I reach 45-50 mph max on not very steep runs, but usually, I ski slower and prefer short and medium turns. At the moment I have Volkl RTM 77 from 2013 (full rocker skis). They are 171cm which is on the shorter side for me, I think. For the next season, I’ll be looking for a 75/25 (on piste/off) all-mountain skis. These Volkls RTM 77 were also positioned as 70/30 all-mountain skis, but I didn't feel that comfortable on them outside trail. Do you think a 179/180cm Nordica 85 (90) or Experience 88 Ti would be a good upgrade for me? Thanks!
     
  19. Thread Starter
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    Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two skis. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I think either one of them will be a significant upgrade for you and yes go the length closer to 180.
     
  20. trepet12

    trepet12 At the base lodge Skier

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    Thank you for your reply! One more question regarding the Navigators: do you think with my weight, level and piste focus I should go with 85mm or 90mm?
     

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