Nordica’s opportunities as a ski brand took a fundamental turn for the better when the Tecnica Group bought the Blizzard factory and shifted Nordica production over to their new, refurbished facility. Prior to this happy development, Nordica skis had endured a checkered history. It began when the self-important sweater-maker Benetton owned Nordica – an investment they would live to rue – and decided to acquire the venerable Austrian ski manufacturer Kästle. As Benetton managed to do with all their sport properties – it single-handedly destroyed the in-line skate market with its shrewd stewardship of Rollerblade – it drove Nordica and Kästle directly downward. By the time Nordica was re-acquired by its original ownership for dimes on the dollar, the Kästle brand had been euthanized and replaced with the first Nordica skis.
Nordica’s sustained importance as a boot brand allowed the ski line to survive a rocky adolescence. Now that it has a permanent home, it also has emerged as a major player. As Nordica developed as a ski brand, it earned a foothold in the Carving world with a series of exceptional Frontside models, then busted into the critical All-Mountain categories with the Steadfast and the Hell-and-Back, two of the best all-fiberglass skis in recent years. They proceeded to hit a series of home runs – technically if not commercially – with the Big Mountain models Patron, Helldorado and El Capo.
He who sits still gets run over, so Nordica modified their all-terrain construction by adding a latticework of Titanal on top of their already torsionally rigid I-Core construction in the NRGy series introduced in 2015. In keeping with Nordica’s technical heritage, the NRGy models were strong skis that all but required the skier to drive them from a high edge.
When Nordica launched the Enforcer, back before it needed the suffix “100” to differentiate it from its offspring, it was a tipping point for the brand. The first Enforcer spin-off, the Enforcer 93, immediately became a benchmark model in the crowded All-Mountain East market. In 2018, Nordica added to the Enforcer family, creating the Enforcer 110 and Enforcer Pro, both avatars of excellence in their respective categories.
Nordica has always taken the women’s ski project seriously. The eternal quest for a lighter structure began with I-Core, with a central wood stringer replaced with foam, followed by WI-Core, with 2 foam channels, then Balsa Core CA, with balsa microlaminates as the ski’s core component. In 2018, Nordica rolled out its latest innovation, Energy 2 Titanium Balsa, which uses the weight savings inherent in carbon to slip two sheets of Titanium into several women’s models. Nordica is now hitting on all cylinders in its women’s collections, whether the on-trail Sentra series, all-mountain Astral models or off-trail Santa Anas, all of which come in at least 3 iterations. It’s as complete – and powerful – a collection of women’s models as you’ll find anywhere.