The Nordica Navigator 80 is the narrowest and least expensive ski in Nordica’s brand new Navigator collection. These skis replaced the previous NRGY series and are designed to offer a mix of all mountain performance characteristics rooted with a solid carving ability. They use a new Titanium Hex Bridge, which is similar to the construction we saw from the NRGY skis, but uses more metal designed to give the ski better vibration dampening and more torsional stiffness. The entire Navigator collection borrows a tip shape from the Enforcer series and the tail shape of their GS race skis: the Doberman. Before we dive into our tester’s thoughts on the Navigator 80 we need to start with an important fact: these skis are only $399.
We had four total testers on the Navigator 80 and although it didn’t receive top scores in any category, it consistently received relatively high scores across the board with 3 out of 4 testers giving it 4 out of 5 for overall impression. Keep in mind these testers were, at times, coming off a ski that costs twice as much before taking their runs on the Navigator 80.
Rory Burke, a very experienced skier, tested the 179 cm length and commented that they’re “playful. All there.” He added that it could be a “perfect east coast every day ski” and that it did a great job “carving the front” and “plowing the bumps”. We think these are impressive words to be using to describe a ski that hits a $399 price point, and the rest of our testers seemed to agree. Dave Marryat, who gave the ski very even scores across the board, commented, “more power than the NRGY 80 it replaces.” Dave is the head ski tuner in our physical store here in Stowe, VT and gave us a piece of advice. Because the tail of the ski is squared off like a GS ski he recommends skiers should “de-tune the tips and tails if you want to smear.” Dave skied the 172 cm.
James Stewart tested the 179 cm and scored the Navigator 80 highest in quickness, playfulness, and forgiveness. We think he has a great way of describing the ski: “This is a great easy-going do-it-all ski for the aspiring weekend warrior who likes to ski all over the mountain. It sacrifices some edge hold and high speed stability for easy-going versatility.” Those who are worried it might sacrifice too much edge grip and stability will find that moving up in width within the Navigator line results in slightly increased “strength”, largely due to the increased surface area of the metal in the ski.
The overwhelming response from our testers was that the Navigator 80 is one of the most impressive “price point” skis we’ve seen in a while. David Wolfgang, who is well versed in ski value, gave the ski the highest scores out of all of our testers after testing the 179 cm length. He also had some insightful feedback, “The name says it all. It will navigate all terrain.” Skiers who want a high performing ski, but don’t want to empty their bank account, can look to the Navigator 80 as providing both an excellent skiing experience and an impressive value. We’ll leave you with David’s final thoughts about the ski, which sums it up nicely:
“At $399 it goes up against much more expensive skis and shines.”