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Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review – Tried and Tested
What to expect in the narrowest waist width Enforcer
Since its inception, the Enforcer Series has been rapidly growing as the most sought after skis in the industry. Nordica has been careful to release new waist width options and technological tweaks steadily over the years and people are eating them up. With this year’s release, all the ski industry aficionados are buzzing about the two newest additions to the pack, the Enforcer 88 and Enforcer 104. We were fortunate to ski the new waist widths for both men and women (so be on the lookout for the Santa Ana 88 review) and have a good feeling of how the industry will accept the skis, and what customer s should expect out of them.
This review is solely regarding the Nordica Enforcer 88, though we’ll get a review out about the 104 as soon as we can. Luckily for us, we hold one of the biggest Nordica accounts in New England and have access to early release gear like the Enforcer 88. This particular waist width caught our eye because we live in New England and very rarely do we really need to ski on sticks wider than 100.
The Enforcer lineup is reminiscent of an old Helldorado but with less rocker and metal- and that’s one of the reasons it excels in the east. But the Enforcers of yesteryear are bulky and some would describe as brawlers, not ballerinas. So to alleviate some of this extra meat the Enforcer 88 has vibration dampening tips. This helps alleviate some the meat, the weight and adds more nimbleness to the skis maneuverability.
These tips in technological terms are called True Tip Technology and essentially reduce weight and tip chatter. Basically, Nordica has trimmed the amount of ABS plastic in the sidewall in the tip and extended the lightweight wood core into the area now void of plastic. Plastic is not exactly a pliable material when it comes to skis, and will impact something with a thud, not a spring or rebound. That’s one of the reasons why True Tip Technology works. It makes the ski more lively and snappy. It’s also lighter so you can turn more effectively and build energy in and out of turns.
The other new construction is the Carbon-Reinforced Chassis. As mentioned early, the Enforcer could be referred to as a brawler. Where it would rather plow and power through snow than glide over snow. The Carbon chassis essentially makes the Enforcer more nimble. We’re not going to get full ballerina status on snow but it won’t feel like a brawler either- Nordica is finding a happier medium between brawler and dancer.
Another notable difference in the Nordica 88 Is that it comes in different lengths than previous enforcers. That means a completely new mold and serious “back to the drawing board” concept. With the Enforcer 88 you get to choose from the sizes of 165, 172, 179 and 186. This could throw a rope in the Enforcer Collectors wheelhouse but, if then again it could be a good thing. This ski is considered a hard carver and that divides the skiers into two categories- the slalom skiers or the super g skiers. I myself like to shorten up my carving skis. I like to make fast precise and short turns so I lean towards a shorter length. But, if you like to go fast, take minimal turns on piste and lay over edges then go longer. It’s all in how you ski.
So our first day of testing was at the New England Ski Industry Demo Day. This is where people in the industry have a chance to demo skis for the 19/20 season. This was held at Pico Mountain this year and the temps were hovering at 32 degrees so the snow was hero like. When we were able to ski the 88 we got next to perfect conditions for New England so yes, this review is biased towards the conditions we tested in. That being said the Enforcer 88 did just fine on and off-piste. On-Piste, the 88 was quite responsive and was easy to maneuver. It glided across the snow easily and was powerful yet forgiving. One notable change in turning was that the ski powered out of turns. In the past, the wider widths would lose some of that momentum in turns because of the rocker and its width. That’s not the case here and we truly feel the 88 is the perfect ski for the east. This ski is distinctly focused on performance on piste, and it does okay off-piste too. But if you’re a bump lover and tree hugger then consider the 93- otherwise you should consider this nimble machine to be in your quiver.
The Enforcer 88 will be fine off-piste but it wasn’t designed to do that. It was designed to be an on-piste carver and it does that well. The 88 wants to stay on edge and hold that turn, making consistent and thoughtful turns down the slopes. Compared to the Navigator 85 the Enforcer 88 is heavier and has more rocker to it. Edge to edge the Navigator will win- it’s quick and lighter. All around maneuverability and being as All-Mountain as they get, the Enforcer 88 will win. It just does everything well and really defines what an all-mountain ski should be.
To summarize, the Nordica Enforcer 88 for 2020 is going to perform best on firm conditions. It’s going to slay groomer runs and turn well. It’s light, but not as light as a navigator. It’s well-rounded too and when you’re in a pickle it will perform at a level that’s just plain necessary. As an east coast Enforcer lover, this is the ski you need in your collection. It works, it does its job well and is fun.
Convinced and want one? We have the 2020 Nordica Enforcer 88 and 2020 Nordica Santa Ana 88 available for purchase.
Not convinced and need to ski it first? We have full-size runs of demos available at the shop. Call us for more info regarding that. 802-422-3234