Featured The Steadfast Rule

Discussion in 'Hardgoods: Skis, Bindings, Poles, and More' started by Philpug, Sep 6, 2018.

  1. Philpug

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

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    Steadfast Rule Slider 3 - Pugski - Dave Petersen.jpg
    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"?
     
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  2. ZionPow

    ZionPow Getting off the lift Skier

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    Interesting read on the Steadfast! I have a pair of the Nordica Hell and Back which is the same ski with a 98 waist. These were my "go to" skis for patrol work for 3 or 4 seasons. For some reason, I cannot get rid of them and keep getting them tuned every year for early season rock skis before I bring my new quiver to the mountain. Must have been a pretty good all round ski.
     
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  3. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Which begs several questions, for example.

    1) If a ski is less good than the Steadfast in condition (x) and condition (y) but considerably better than the Steadfast in condition (z), is it an overall better ski?

    2) if a ski is less good than the Steadfast overall, should it bother competing on price point?

    3) if the questions in the last paragraph are hard to answer - isn't it really a rental ski?
     
  4. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I have to disagree Phil, I thought the Steadfast was the best ski of those three. Where did it rule? The Front Four baby!
     
  5. Philpug

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

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    Now that you say that..I recall you liking the Steadfast. :thumb:
     


  6. Jim McDonald

    Jim McDonald My Sunset View Skier

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    I bought theat 177 Hell'n Back 98mm for my first trip to the Alps.
    Loved it in the conditions -- lots of hard, fast groomers, nothing but baked crap off-piste. Often wish I hadn't sold it.
     
  7. Shawn C.

    Shawn C. Putting on skis Skier

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    Is that a Chrysler K Car? There's some subtle genius at play in that graphic!
     
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  8. Philpug

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

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    So, @epic what ski is your "Steadfast"?
     
  9. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I can hardly think of a ski that fits your rule. The Trek that I demoed last year at NEMBAfest fir the criteria. It was very competent, it was the bike that I should like, there was nothing wrong with it. There was nothing great about it.

    To be honest, when Nordica stopped making the Steadfast and started making the NRGy line that's when I lost the love of Nordica. I'd say NRGy was the Steadfast, but I thought they actually were bad skis. When the GT line came and it looked like they had NRGy'd the Firearrows, it was time to go.

    There are plenty of skis that I don't get though. The MX99 for example, when I demoed that last year I was like "great, world's widest carving ski", what's the point?
     
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  10. Philpug

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

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    Interesting. You bring up point that everything could have a Steadfast. My 2009 Forester was a Steadfast, it was absolutely fine, but had no sole/feel like my previous 06 Legacy wagon. Your comment about the MX99...widest carvng ski (taken from the discontinued Experience 98/100), the MX99 is 11/10th MX89, that hard snow ski for bigger guys. I think the MX99 does have a place. There are days that I have been out and said..."Hmmm..the MX99 sure would be fun today..." these tend to be solid windbuff days on exposed terrain, top of Squaw...Mammoth....
     
  11. epic

    epic Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    I think one thing you accused the Steadfast of is being "safe". Safe is good too, isn't it better to push on a ski that is safe than on something that makes you pay attention?
     
  12. cantunamunch

    cantunamunch Meh Skier

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    Sort of - the "pay attention" gear might be better at giving one ideas of where to push, and might give greater jollies per push.

    Meadowskipping on Solly Q series is a snoozefest no matter how fast I go - but getting it right on 210cm Tua Escapes with Rivas is wheeeeeeeee!
     
  13. Guy in Shorts

    Guy in Shorts Tree Psycho Skier

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    Nordica Enforcer 93 would be one ski that falls in my steadfast category but I am a outlier as usual.
     
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  14. Brian Finch

    Brian Finch PT, CSCS, Cert- DN, FRCms, M|WOD Coach Industry Insider

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    NRG offer little rebound or energy. For myself, the 104 Renoun is my barometer.
     
  15. AngryAnalyst

    AngryAnalyst Booting up Skier

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    It’s weird to think about this for me. Not all versatility is the same - I think condition versatility is good but “style” versatility has less value. The distinction I would draw is that having one ski that works well on groomers and moguls is a plus. However, that ski doesn’t necessarily need to deal equally well with high edge angle carving and a “loose” approach to moguls (because those things require close to opposite performance characteristics).
     
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  16. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I want a ski to be thrilling or else to cover my ass, comfortingly but not soullessly. If it can do both, so much the better.

    First group: Pretty much any decent slalom ski. My old but not forgotten Blizzard Supersonic.

    Second group: 100Eight, Nrgy 90 ( :eek: had to sneak that in, ye many haters)

    Third group (both): MX 84, older Rossi FIS GS.

    The price you pay in the "both" category is in order to get either the thrill or the comfort - let alone both - you have to wind it up a bit and get the skis' juices going.

    I hated the Steadfast, btw. Plank.
     
  17. François Pugh

    François Pugh Out on the slopes Skier

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    I never got to ski a Nordica Steadfast, but the name and the definition of the word, suggest that the ski would excel at skiing at high speed through cut up snow after a 1 foot or more dump of snow. Maybe you didn't ski it fast enough? Kind of like my old SGs. They are a great ski, but you would never know it if you didn't ski over 50 mph.

    Meanwhile, after test driving a few cars with my wife, according to your take on the Steadfast (not mine), the Toyota Camry is automotive's steadfast imho (even the revised in 2018 model).
     
  18. graham418

    graham418 Out on the slopes Skier

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    A mountain biking analogy from back in the day: When a lot of indy manufacturers were coming out with new stuff, we would often compare it with Shimano LX. Did it work as well as LX ? Was it as durable as LX ? Did it cost less than 2x as much as LX? ( some stuff was stupidly expensive . If it only cost twice as much as LX it would be considered) Shimano LX became the benchmark by which others were measured
     
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  19. Wendy

    Wendy Trying not to face plant Skier

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    I owned the Hell’s Belles, which I believe were the female version of the Steadfast. I had some breakthrough moments on those skis. Maybe I never felt that “wow” sensation on them, but they did everything I asked and every day on them was a fun day. I sold them to a friend who still skis them and loves them. They are one ski I regret selling.

    FWIW, I did not like the Navigator.
     
  20. markojp

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

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    hmmmm. I liked the Steadfast. Loads of rebound and snap for me, but then again, I like the Navigator skis better than the Enforcers, so I guess the Enforcers are my Steadfasts.
     
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