2018 Nordica Navigator 80 2018 Nordica Navigator 80

2018 Nordica Navigator 80 Skis

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.”


Rory Burke

Age: 37Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, deliberate, balanced telemark backcountry

James Stewart Ski Tester Headshot Image

James Stewart

Age: 28Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, Playful, Fun to Follow

David Wolfgang Ski Tester Headshot Image

David Wolfgang

Age: 65Height: 6'3"Weight: 230 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong, deliberate, and smooth

Dave Marryat Ski Tester Headshot Image

David Marryat

Age: 28Height: 5'11"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Snowboarder trying to make the most of these skinny things

23 Comments on the “2018 Nordica Navigator 80 Skis”

  1. I’m a 70 yr old former patroller (205 lb, 5’7″) who used to spend the entire day in the moguls. Unfortunately I’ve slowed down a bit and now my legs a good for only have a couple of mogul runs a day. I have Rossi SOLs for powder and a pair of 96mm Icelandic patrol edition skis. Both are 182 cm length. Want to expand my quiver. Looking for a narrower ( approx 80mm) and shorter (172 cm or shorter) frontside ski with good grip on hardpack (ice) and a ski I can take in to the moguls. I roll over the tops instead of skiing the zipper line. I tried the Nordica Navigator (172 cm) on very good conditions this AM and liked it. It initiated turns smoothly and was good for quick turns and medium radius turns. Any other skis that I should try to demo before i buy. What length? Worried about dropping below below 172 cm but going fast is not a requirement for me. Recommendations ??

    1. Hi Bill!
      On the slightly stiffer side, the Blizzard Brahma 82 is worth a look in that range, and on the slightly softer and wider side, the Volkl Kanjo is a suitable option. I’d say those low to mid-170’s are appropriate sizes. Have fun!

  2. This will be my 4th season after a long hiatus, and have been skiing on Fischer Fire 160, and though super short for my 6′ 170 lbs they where just what I needed to ski all day in anything New Hampshire weather could throw at me. I would call myself a strong intermediate who likes to stick to the greens and blues, because I like being in control 100%. I enjoy carving but need to be able to switch it up fast and slow down to make my way around the crowds and terrain I wish to avoid. The navigator seems to fit the bill , but have recently liked what I have read about the Liberty V76 because of the narrow waste(more like my Fire), but stiffer. I am also thinking about the Fischer Pro MTN, now the RC One. I would like to stay on the shorter side (165-172) to retain leg strength and playfulness but stiffer than what I am on so that I can connect more carves without having to slow down because of loosing stability. Though I would like to have a bit more control on days when it dumps, getting from edge to edge with ease is a bit more important for me, so have doubts about the wider waist All Mountain offerings . Writing this in July should confirm I am fully back in the saddle and live to ski, and of all the sites I read and videos I watch you guys are my fav, so will most likely be buying from you when it is time to pull the trigger. Thanks for any input you might have on my next pair of skis.

    1. Hi Clemson!
      Sounds like the ~80 mm underfoot is just about right for you. The Liberty is quite a bit stiffer than the Navigator, so take that into account. The Navigator is easier to turn, but still pretty solid and stable. The RC One comes in either an 82 or a 78, with the 82 being the stiffer (and obviously wider) of the two. There’s a lot to like about these new offerings for sure. At the end of the day, I think you’ll like the Navigator 80 in the 172 the best. Hope that helps!

  3. hi, lookin at the NORDICA NAVIGATOR 80 SKIS, i went skiing for the first time last year and made it onto the blues, im wanting a easy to use ski that has no bindings on it because i want to use KNEEBINDING bindings because ive had ACL damage to my knee afew year back! are these skis easy to use? and are there any outher skis u would recomend?

    basically want a easy to use ski that has no binding system on it so i can have kneebindings fitted

    1. Hi Jon!
      The Navigator 80 is a great choice for your application. Also check out the Rossignol Experience 84 and the K2 Pinnacle 85 for comparable models. Have fun!

  4. Hello, I’m looking to buy my first set of skis and could really do with some advice!
    I’m quite new to skiing (I always boarded previously but have switched and skied 4 weeks in the last 2 years) would say I’m an intermediate standard with quite an aggressive style.
    Mainly will be skiing piste/groomers with the odd bit of powder in Europe for approx 2 weeks each season so would love a recommendation for a set of skis which will match my current ability but will also allow me to grow into them.
    Am currently holidaying in Japan on a ski holiday and have been riding some K2 Pinnacle 95 TI 170cm, I’m 5’10” and about 170lbs but there’s no powder so have been on groomers virtually the whole time.
    Looking for a good all round ski, but don’t really know where to begin, help!?! X

    1. Hi Michael!
      I think you should split the difference between the Navigator 80 and the Pinnacle 95. There’s a lot of great skis in the ~88mm underfoot category that will both carve and float pretty well. Check out the K2 Pinnacle 88 if you liked the 95, Rossignol Experience 88, and the Blizzard Bushwacker for comparison. They’re all pretty competent all-mountain skis with a high-performance ceiling. Have fun!

      1. Thanks ever so much for your quick reply!
        Out of interest I was initially looking at the Rossignol experience 84 HD’s as thought from previous responses they might suit me best, any thoughts?!
        Thanks, Michael

      2. Hi Michael!
        Certainly another great option! They’re a bit more versatile than the Navigator 80 (and the 85 for that matter) and have polished and poised nature to them. This year’s 84 is a bit different, and more versatile than the 2018 version. Hope that helps!

  5. Hello,

    I am a strong intermediate skier looking to buy his first pair of skis. I am looking for an all mountain ski for use on track and on the side of the track.I am between rossignol experience 84,salomon xdr 78 , salomon xdr 80 ,nordica navigator 80 and blizzard bushwacker. I am 6’3” and 85kg.I would like to know your opinion about which ski suits my best and which height.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Nikos!
      I think you should stick to the wider choices, and maybe narrow your search to 84-88 mm underfoot skis for increased versatility. I recommend the Salomon XDR 84, Nordica Navigator 85, and the K2 Pinnacle 88 for all-mountain skis that carve and explore. In terms of length, I’d recommend anything in the ~180 cm range. Hope that helps!

  6. Hiya,

    I’m in Colorado and am new to skiing, riding front-side at the CO High Country ski resorts. After last season (one lesson), I bought my own Nordica boots and am still renting skis. This season (two times only), I’ve been on rental K2 ‘s and Rossignol P200’s (both in the mid-70’s waist width range), and both are foam core.

    I’m wondering if my height/weight combo is better suited to wood core ski. I’m still only hitting the green runs and the occasional blue. I’ve been researching beginning-to-intermediate skis; something from Atomic or Nordica (I want something that not everyone else is using. 🙂 )


    1. Hi RCK!
      I think you’ll really like the energy and rebound of a wood core ski. The Navigator 80 is a great choice for on-piste skiing, as is the Atomic Vantage X 80, another great choice. Have fun!

      1. Thanks!

        I just got back from the High Country and rented Salomon XDR (75’s) – foam core – and whooboy, were they flexible and had a lot of chatter to them. Even my ski partner noticed how much they chattered (spent more time on Blues this trip).

        Since I’m 6’3 and 210, think next time I rent, I’ll try the Atomic Vantage 85’s (shop doesn’t carry the 80’s). While jumping from mid-70’s waist to mid-80’s might be a definite change for someone like me, I’m way more interested in a wood core ski (given my weight). Of course, I want a ski that I can “grow” into as my proficiency level increases.

        Again, thanks for the solid feedback – much appreciated!


      2. Hello SE!

        Following-up on my posts, recently, I demo’d Dynstar Legends in 80 and 88 underfoot, both 173cm. The 80 felt pretty good whereas I really struggled with the 88 (a big jump from the 75 width’s on rentals). Based on that experience, I think 88 (or even 85) is too much for me right now

        It would seem that my experience level, amount of skiing I expect to do a season (8-10 times), and laid-back style (form over speed), and type of snow I will ski 90% of the time here in CO, an 80mm at 172-ish length is my best bet. Even though industry standard states I “should” be on a longer ski, I like the shorter ski for maneuverability at slower speeds.

        I checked the Atomic Vantage 80’s and they come with bindings, and appear to be a more “advanced” level ski. The Navigators come flat so I could use Marker bindings (several fellow skiers rave about Marker) and appear to be more at my level of skiing.

        One can go crazy researching skis! Think I’m on the right path!


      3. Hi RCK!
        There’s a lot out there, that’s for sure! I think you’re on the right track. Did you try the Legend X 84? There’s no metal, and it skis very nicely–one of my personal favorites. They’re fun and easy to turn, but also have a high-performance ceiling. At the end of the day, if you got the Navigator 80 in the 172 and threw a Marker binding on it, you’ll have a blast. Hope that helps!

  7. I’m just starting out skiing and after talking to a few people, I came to the conclusion that starting with your own skis from the beginning can help you. Don’t know if that’s true or not, but in any case, I was thinking of these as my first pair.

    I’m 6’2″ and 190 lbs.

    What do you think ?

    1. Hi Caius!
      Get proper boots first. If you have them already, the Navigator 80 is a great option for someone your size. Normally they’d be on the stiff side for true beginners, but at your size, you will over-flex a beginner ski pretty easily. 179 cm would be a good length. Have a great time!

  8. Hi there. I’m 57, 6’ and 195 lbs. I’ve been a 3 times a year skier for decades. Very comfortable on front side blues. Recently bought a cabin in NM and I’m looking forward to much more skiing and hopefully improving skill level. I’m looking for skis that will let me venture off piste some, get better in the bumps, but still provide confidence on the corduroy. I’m looking at Volkl RTM 80s and Nordica advantage 80s. Am I in the right ballpark? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Kelley!

      I’d focus on the Navigator line over the RTM collection. While similar. the Navigator will help promote progression and help you in off-piste terrain more than the RTM will. Also, you could actually consider bumping up to the Navigator 85. A little extra width helps in softer snow conditions, and it still performs really well on frontside cruisers too.

      Hope that helps!


  9. I am a 75yr.old man in eastern Canada, standing 5’6″ tall, 157lbs. Long time skier who now prefers the groomed trails I am looking for a ski to ride off into the sunset on. I am presently on a 160cm. FICSHER ski and find them too long and too heavy. I want to carve the frontside groomers and not much else. Any ski suggestions you can make would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi John!

      Are you considering the Navigator 80? It’s a fantastic ski for groomers and is a tremendous value in my opinion. Not many skis hit the same price point with comparable performance. It sounds like you’re probably not too aggressive as a skier? Some super aggressive skiers can push it past its limits, but I don’t expect that would be an issue for you. What Fischer are you on? I wouldn’t expect you’d find the 158 cm Navigator 80 too long or too heavy, but if you know what model Fischer you’re on let me know and I’ll see if it changes my opinion.


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