2018 Nordica Navigator 85 2018 Nordica Navigator 85

2018 Nordica Navigator 85 Skis

The Navigator 85 is the “middle” ski in a brand new collection from Nordica. The new Navigator series borrows a tip shape inspired by the Enforcer series and a tail from their Doberman race skis. The combination makes for a ski with tremendous versatility and excellent carving prowess, at least that’s what Nordica says. Their Torsion Bridge technology provides the torsional stiffness and dampness demanded by aggressive skiers, yet the ski has a noticeably lighter weight than the Enforcer series skis. What’s more? Nordica has somehow made these skis impressively affordable with the Navigator 85 coming in at a full retail price of $499!

And that’s where David Wolfgang started off his comments on the ski. “This ski gives more bang for the buck than you would expect for $499.” He continued to describe his experience and the performance of the Navigator 85, “the tip floats, but lay it over on edge and it jumps into the turn. Effortless carving.” That’s really the whole point of the Navigator series, so it sounds like Nordica achieved what they set out to: versatile performance with strong carving ability. David was testing the 179 cm length.

James Stewart was on the 186 cm and thought the Navigator 85 “could do it all reasonably well.” James had some experience skiing the NRGY series that these Navigators are replacing. When asked to compare the skis, James commented, “it’s more ski than the NRGY series, but still super accessible.” James thinks intermediate skiers can enjoy the Navigator 85 commenting that it’s a “great intermediate all-rounder.” As you read on, however, many of our testers felt more advanced skiers could find enjoyment out of it as well.

David Marryat had a great reaction to the Navigator 85. He tested the 172 cm and scored the ski 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness, torsional stiffness, versatility, and overall impression. Needless to say he really enjoyed them, but we’re going to tell you anyways. “Freeride playfulness with carving prowess. Stable in variable snow with carving confidence. Reactive in tricky situations and takes skier input without contest. An excellent choice in variable east coast conditions from firm corduroy to spring corn.” Firm corduroy to spring corn accurately describes the conditions we experienced within a single day of testing, so rest assured there’s experience to back up David’s claims.

Mike Thomas described the Navigator 85 as a “forgiving ski with plenty of grip and pop. Very good edge hold on frozen corduroy with a damp feel.” If we go back to James’ comments on the Navigator 85 he thought it would be a great choice for intermediate skiers. Mike Thomas is certainly not an intermediate skier, rather a big, relatively aggressive expert. He gave the ski 5 out of 5 for overall impression, so it’s obvious someone whose ability level far exceeds intermediate can have a blast on them as well. Mike, contrary to James, thought it would be “best for a bigger skier who is advancing from advanced to expert or a lighter weight expert looking for a nimble ski that can do it all.” Keep in mind that Mike did comment on how forgiving the ski is, so just because he says it’s best for advanced and expert skiers doesn’t mean intermediates can’t enjoy it as well. Mike was also on the longest length: 186 cm.

The entire Navigator collection is impressive and the 85 offers both excellent versatility and an excellent value at its impressively low price of $499. It allows you to ski the entire mountain without hesitation, yet can lay down some nice carving turns on firm snow. Navigate your way to a smile on the Navigator 85.

Testers

Mike Thomas Ski Tester Headshot Image

Mike Thomas

Age: 48Height: 6'3"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid nimble, powerful

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

James Stewart Ski Tester Headshot Image

James Stewart

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

Ski Style: Energetic, Playful, Fun to Follow

Rory Burke

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

Ski Style: Smooth, deliberate, balanced telemark backcountry

David Wolfgang Ski Tester Headshot Image

David Wolfgang

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

Ski Style: Strong, deliberate, and smooth

101 Comments on the “2018 Nordica Navigator 85 Skis”

  1. Hi,

    I’m a male, 5’9, around 165-170 and I am ending my first season of skiing. Looking to upgrade to a wider all around ski. I used a pair of K2 Apache X skis 167cm with only 69mm underfoot. I skied about 80% groomed and 20% ungroomed. I skied more ungroomed and crud laden trails later in the season and planning to do more glades/bumps next season. I mainly skied blue trails, blacks with a couple of double blacks for a 10-12 day season i had (albeit 2 days on bunny hills). I guess I’d be an intermediate skier then? I do ski parallel/carve turns, so i’m not snowplowing on these trails. Would you recommend these skis or any other similar skis? Also, what would you recommend for a 10 year old boy, around 5ft, 110lbs? He basically skis everything I ski but looking to do a little bit more terrain park stuff. This past winter was his first season, too.

    1. Hi Thinh Truong!
      I think you’ll like the Navigator 85! Also check out the K2 Pinnacle 85 and the Salomon QST 85 for comparison–all are great choices, with the K2 and the Salomon a bit more forgiving than the Navigator, which is a bit more high performance. For the kid, Check out the Volkl Mantra Junior or the Blizzard Rustler Team skis. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hi i’m 50yo 6’3” and 215lbs. I have been skiing and snowboarding for 47years. I’m an advanced skier that spend most of his time on the east coast groomed runs and enjoy some moguls and some odd off trails. I tried the Navigator 85 in the 179cm and really enjoyed those skis. The only reservation I have is that the front was flapping at high speed, but still a great ski. Would be better with the longer version?
    Thanks!

  3. Hello, i am a female (55kg, 171cm, intermediate). Do you think buying the Navigator (165cm) will be okay, or will it be to difficult and is it preferable to stick with the womens version (astral 84 165cm) which seems to be lighter. Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Nance!

      Certainly no reason why you can’t get the Navigator over the Astral. They’re very similar. The Navigator has a denser, heavier wood core, but that’s basically the only difference. It’s not too much heavier or too stiff, if you prefer the Navigator, go for it!

      SE

  4. Hi there – I’ve been skiing for a few years and now looking to invest in my first skis! I can comfortably do most blues and some blacks, mostly on-piste in the Midwest, but would appreciate some flexibility when making trips to CO. I am 29 5’9 180, used to experience sore knees with shorter rentals (can ski 2 days max), but this year I demoed (1) 2018 Rossignol experience 80HD 160cm and (2) 82HD 162cm for 2 days, I found that 82HD 162cm is a lot more stable and my knees weren’t sore (amazingly) so I decided to buy. I’ve read a few of your comments and you seem to recommend Navigator 85 with 172cm to people with similar stats like me, a few online ski length calculators say 165 should be my size, can you elaborate more on why 172 would be a better choice for Navigator 85?

    1. Hi Hans!
      I have a buddy who’s your size, a good skier, and he’s on the Navigator 85 in the 172 and loves them. They look to me like they’re the perfect size. If you really are looking for a shorter ski that can make a lot of smaller turns, then go ahead with the shorter ski, but based on your stats, I’d recommend the 172. Hope that helps!
      SE

  5. Looking to get into an intermediate level ski. I will be spending the majority of my time on piste in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I am an athletic beginner quickly heading towards the lower intermediate ranks. With that said I am struggling with the length of ski to go after. I am 6’6″ and 200 lbs. As a result of my height I was thinking of jumping to the 186. Any insight would be welcomed.

    1. Hi David!
      I think the 186 is the right length for you and your size. Any smaller and I think you’d lose some stability. Hope that helps!
      SE

  6. Hi!
    I’m considering the navigator 85. I’m an advanced intermediate and ski mostly on piste but like to venture off from time to time. I’m 5’8” and 165 lbs
    What length of skis do you recommend?
    Other similar options to consider?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Ram!
      The Navigator 85 is a great ski for on-piste performance! The Rossignol Experience 84 is a bit more versatile in the off-piste realm so that’s something to consider as well! I’d say anything between 165 and 170 would be the right size for you. Have fun!
      SE

  7. Hello,

    I want to buy a pair of Nordica Navigator and have some doubts regarding widths (85 vs 90) and length (1.72 vs 1.79)

    I’m 36 year old, 1.78 cm height and ~70kg weight. So, I’m a bit on the lighter side but I’m fairly athletic. Being lighter I was thinking that i need less width for flotation and stability but I’m not sure.

    I sky mainly on piste but I want to start venturing off-piste. I’d say that I’m advanced on piste but with no real experience off piste.

    I don’t want to spend a lot of effort to work the skis (plus I’m a bit lighter at 70 kg) so I was gravitating towards the 85.
    But it also depends on how much flotation the 85 provides. If 85 is not enough for 70 kg then I’ll go with the 90.

    But then I’m sure I’ll not go off-piste every day I ride so the flotation needs to be there “just in case” and mainly because of the on-piste crud. I’m sure I’ll mainly stay on piste like 70-80% of the time.

    Regarding the length I’d say that 1.72 should be enough but please advise.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Valeriu!
      If you’re on-piste 70-80%, go with the 85 in a 172. Everything’s a compromise, right? We usually tell people to get the skis for the conditions that they ACTUALLY ski versus what they WANT to ski, and in your case, sounds like you’re a Navigator 85 skier! They’re great skis, you’ll love them.
      SE

  8. Hello. I have just returned from a ski trip to Val D’Isere in France. Much to my friend’s amusement I am still using my K2 Apache Recons! I still think they are great skis albeit are very heavy compared to the latest skis available. Subject to visibility we mixed it up between off piste and on piste. Not much groomed due to daily snowfalls. K2’s great everywhere except on powder where I had to really work hard. My friend had Rossignol Sky 7 which I tried and they were good on the powder but I preferred my K2 ploughing through the tracked snow on piste. I hired a pair of Nordica Enforcer for a day but found them hard work – it was snowing with flat light that day so difficult skiing conditions. They seemed to flap a lot going down the pisted runs.

    I want to find a replacement for my K2s. The Ski Club of GB recommends the Navigator 85 as good all round ski. I am 179cm and 180lb, 55 years old advanced skier who likes to ski powder when its available but also likes a blast down a pisted run as well. So, 50/50 I guess.

    Are the Navigator 85s for me or would you recommend something else? So many skis out there to choose from these days.

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Kevin!
      Yes, so many to choose from, but they’re all pretty good, so that’s a silver lining! I think the Navigator 85 is a great choice. There’s a lot in the ~88 mm underfoot range that are the versatile, all-mountain skis of the day. Check out the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti, K2 Pinnacle 88 and the Blizzard Bushwacker for comparison–they’re all great for what you like to ski. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Many thanks for your helpful advice and suggested alternatives, I will have a look at them.

        How do you rate the Rossignol Sky 7 in comparison to the Navigators?

        If I went for the Navigator, what length would you suggest?

        Best regards,

        Kevin

      2. Hi Kevin!
        The Navigator 85 is a much more front-sided oriented ski than the Sky. If you’re looking for a wider all-mountain ski that excels in trees and soft snow, the Sky is a great choice, but if you’re on-piste more often than not, the Navigator is the way to go. Have fun!
        SE

  9. hello ! Ben here , 5’7 , 190 lbs .

    Looking at the Navigator 85, Salomon Xdr 88 and Atomic 90 CTI , as an intermediate advance skier with some knee pain, which you recommend most and size for my size and weight?

    thank you

    1. Hi Ben!
      I wish skiing were good for the knees! I think the XDR 88 in the 165 would be a good option for you. I like the natural feeling of the XDR, although there’s certainly nothing wrong with any of those skis. Hope that helps!
      SE

  10. I had the chance to try these skis and like it! It was way bigger than any other ski I ever skied with but it didn’t feel harder to ski. They also have a great price now (under £400)That said I’m not sure if I get this or go for a piste ski since I’m pretty much on piste skier.

    Would you have any suggestion for on piste ski so I can compare them to decide ?

    1. Hi Gustavo!
      Check out the Volkl RTM 84, Blizzard Quattro 8.4 Ti, or the K2 IKonic 84 for a nice system ski comparison. Hope that helps!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the prompt response! I wonder if these aren’t too technical skis for an upper-intermediate skier?

      2. Hi Gustavo!
        I wouldn’t think so. They do require a decent balance point because they are rather precise, but they are not too stiff for that ability level.
        SE

  11. Appreciate all your reviews and I think I’m sold on the Navigator 85 but not sure if the 80 makes more sense. 5′ 11″ 250lbs but shrinking (soon I hope). Newer intermediate skier who started to ski again after 12 years off. Comfortable on blues, East coast skiing, trails but would like to be able to learn to ski powder eventually, as I just skied the storm in PA with fresh snow and really enjoyed no ice and the technical side of more powder/”moundy” conditions.

    All comments on other skis are welcomed and appreciated.

    1. Hi Geoff!
      I still think the 85 is the better choice. You’re size and desire to ski more off-piste conditions steers you to the wider ski. You’ll appreciate the extra stability of the wider ski. It’s not really that much wider, after all. Hope that helps!
      SE

  12. Hello,

    I am an intermediate skier 191 cm height and about 104 kg fully equiped. I just ordered the Navigator 85, 179cm lenght . Should i have gone for the 186 cm lenght?

  13. Hey Guys,
    Thanks in advance, you guys do a great job of fielding these questions! It’s much appreciated.

    I’m looking for an everyday-Colorado trail ski that is quick (fast in the bumps), energetic (when loaded up in a turn you have to hang on) and playful (I like to be about two feet off the ground never more never less 😉). The ski will be mounted with a pair of Outlaw X tele bindings. (Hence the need for guidance—it’s impossible to demo a variety of skis. I’m not griping, I get it.)

    I’m an expert skier and love every aspect of the mountain. If I’m not blowing up and going head over heals, I’m probably not having as much fun as I should be. I’m 5’11” 165lbs. Quick in the bumps is important. That being said, I don’t prefer a twin tip only because I personally struggle with lack of support if thrown in the backseat, and it seems to be happening more and more these days.

    Currently own a pair of the Enforcer 100 at 185. LOVE THEM!! That’s an awesome ski! Considering the Navigator 85 at 179 unless you advise me otherwise.

    Thanks again for your insights!

    1. Hi Chad!
      You’re on the right track with the Navigator. The tail is supportive, and you’ll love the carving performance. I’d throw the K2 Pinnacle 88 into the mix as well, I’ve always thought it would make a great tele ski. Have fun!
      SE

  14. Hi SE!

    Thanks for all the information above!
    I am looking for a new pair of skis, I am an experienced skier in Europe, usually 70% piste, 30% off-piste, depending on the snow during the holidays;).

    Currently I have the Nordica HotRod Nitrous and I am looking for a worthy replacement.
    I doubt between the Navigator 85 / Elan Ripstick 86 / Salomon XDR 80 Ti.

    Which one do you recommend? I am 1.93 tall and weigh 85 kg.

    Many thanks!
    Jeroen

    1. Hi Jeroen!
      I’d go with the Navigator 85. The Ripstick is a great ski, and is on the lighter weight side of the spectrum. If you like light weight skis, it’s a great one, and its performance goes up when on edge. The Salomon XDR is another great option, and that model comes in an 84 and an 88 in addition to the 80 if you’re looking for a bit more width. Overall, I love the versatile performance of the Navigator 85, and if you’re doing 70/30 on piste skiing, that’s a great choice. Go for the 179 or the 186 depending on level of aggressiveness. Have a great winter!
      SE

  15. Hi, great reviews as always! Quick question on the Navigator 85. I’m an advanced skier who, on average, spends 75% on piste and 25% off. I’m 6’1″ and 195lbs. I prefer shorter radius turns. Should I go for 179 cm or a longer length? Many thanks and best wishes, Guy

    1. Hi Guy!

      Considering your preference for shorter radius turns, I would go with the 179 cm. I’ve seen quite a few skiers that size pick up a Navigator 85 in that length and no one has mentioned they feel short. Could you ski the longer length? I’m sure you could, but I venture a guess (and a confident guess at that) you’d prefer the 179 cm.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Hi, many thanks for responding so quickly – your confident guess is indeed correct! May be unsurprisingly this has made me think about a few other things. 1. Are there any differences (other than the graphics) between the 2018 and 2019 models? 2. Given that I do very much enjoy a good powder day (not that we have too many of these in the European Alps) , should I go for the Navigator 90 instead or is there too little to chose between them? 3. If I did opt for the 90, should I also go for the 179 length? Once again, many thanks 🙂

      2. Hi Guy!

        1. Nope, no difference in shape or construction from 18 to 19, just a graphics update.

        2. You could get the 90 for a little more float! Realistically there’s not a huge difference in performance between the two, but you will get a little better performance in deeper snow conditions with the 90.

        3. Yes, because they’re so similar, there’s no reason to change lengths.

        Hope that helps!

        SE

  16. Hi SE,

    Thanks for a very nice review and some very good answers to all the questions you have got. I’m also considering the Navigator 85. But I do also have a few questions. I’m looking for a pair of skis that first of all is fun to ski. Recently I have spent a few weeks on telemarks, but this year I’m back to alpine. My last ski was a pair of troublemakers. I like going outside of the piste, if the conditions doesn’t really allow it (the truth is that at least 50% of the time is spend on-piste ). Its always nice to take few rides on a newly groomed piste, but I tend to seek towards the moguls, bump, chops to challenge my self. I just like play around in terrain doing a little bit of everything. Therefore the most important is that the skis are fun to ski. For power days a wider pair of skis. Would you go for the Navigator 85? You also mentioned the Revolt in another post, which also could be an option I think.

    I have been skiing a lot, so I would consider my self as an experienced skiier.

    Best,
    Mathias

    1. Hi Mathias!

      I get the impression from your description that you prefer off-piste terrain over groomers. Am I right? If that’s the case, even if you realistically only get into that type of terrain about 50% of the time, you might consider getting a ski that’s more off-piste focused. The Navigator, while it is a ski you can take into different terrain, really prefers groomers over un-groomed terrain. The flat, squared off tail makes it a little harder to pivot and maneuver in tight off-piste terrain. Have you considered an Enforcer 93? It’s a little wider, yeah, but its intended performance feels like it aligns with how you ski more than the Navigator 85 does. The Revolt 95 is also an awesome ski, and quite a bit softer-flexing and lighter than something like the Enforcer. More forgiveness and playfulness in the Revolt.

      What do you think? Have you considered an Enforcer 93?

      SE

      1. Thanks for the reply SE! Yes you are completely right. I thought about the Enforcer, but thought it would be a little too wide for the on-piste part. As said I have a wider ski for the powder days and I thought the Navigator might be a good choice for the non-powder days. But it sounds like I should look more towards the Revolt if I want more playfulness. I that case you will go for the Revolt 95 and not 87? I also looked at the Salomon XDR 84 as an option?

        Thanks a lot.

        M

      2. Hi Mathias!

        Yeah, because the Revolt 95 uses tip and tail rocker, it’s more playful in varied terrain and different snow conditions than the 87. If you wanted to go narrower you could consider the Soul Rider 87. That’s quite similar to the Revolt 95, but obviously a little narrower, so quicker edge to edge. In my opinion, however, 95 shouldn’t be too wide for what you’e looking to do.

        SE

  17. Hi Again SE,

    I am still trying to decide between the 90 and the 85. Like I said I do most of my skiing in the NE and try to focus on groomers and on piste skiing. But I’ve found that even skiing up here the trails can be filled with moguls and rough patches. (And lately some powder) Part of me feels that if the difference of 5mm is so minuscule it may make sense to go with a wider ski and get the extra float. That being said, I really like to carve and get those snappy turns. If you could shed some light and try to steer me in the right direction I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks !

    1. Hi Joe!

      You really don’t lose much edge to edge quickness between the 85 and 90. If you’re concerned about off-piste skiing and softer snow conditions, I think that’s enough reason to go with the 90. You will get a touch more float, but more importantly you’ll get more stability in choppy snow conditions and the ski will be less likely to get bogged down.

      Realistically there’s not a huge difference between the 85 and 90 in performance anywhere on the mountain, but I think you can justify going with the 90.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  18. Hi,

    I am a weak intermediate skier that is 6’1, 200 pounds and skis on the east coast 90% of the time. (on-piste) What form of the navigator would be better for me? the 90 under foot or the 85? what are the pros and cons?

    Best, Joe

    1. Hey Joe!
      I’d go with the 85. At the end of the day, we’re only talking about 5mm, so if you skied one and not the other, you’d probably never know the difference. They’re both very nice skis. If you’re spending 90% of your time on-piste, go with the slightly narrower version–you’ll get better edge grip and carving ability. The downside is that if it snows, you have 5mm less flotation than the 90. I’d recommend the 179 unless you really like longer or shorter skis. Have fun!
      SE

  19. Hello and thanks for all the great reviews. I’ve had my eye on the Navigator 85 and Brahma CA/Bushwacker but haven’t had any time on either yet. I’ve been leaning towards the Navigators but I’m able to get a two day demo in on the Brahma CA in a couple weeks so I’m excited to see how they feel to me. I’m an east coast 90% on trail skier and I don’t ski bumps often. Love to carve up steeper groomers at decent speeds but also need something that’s manageable and less work while skiing with my less aggressive friends and family. Experienced Intermediate trying to progress to advanced skier as I get more opportunities per season. I’m curious to know what you think I should pay attention to while skiing the Brahma CA to decide if they’re right for me or if there’s something I might notice to steer me towards the Nav 85’s. Thanks for any insight!

    1. Hey WC!
      Great comparison of two great skis. The Brahma Ca/Bushwacker is going to be a bit more consistent from tip to tail whereas the Navigator sometimes feels like two different skis. What I mean by that is that the Navigator has a wider and softer shovel, and a stiffer, more aggressive tail. This makes the ski float better in powder and carve better on hardpack. On the other end, the Bushwacker has consistent construction throughout the ski, and is therefore a bit more easygoing. I personally prefer the Navigator because I like how the tail holds you in the turn. The other big difference is that the Navigator has a titanium hexagonal layer which serves as a metal layer, albeit not a full one, whereas the Bushwacker has no metal but rather carbon. Metal is better for damping, plain and simple, but carbon is lighter and stiffer. They’re both really nice skis at the end of the day.
      SE

  20. Hi there,

    I am currently 58 yrs old, 5’8″ weighing at 150. Having been a former mogul skier, I consider myself an accomplished skier; however, with 3 surgeries on my right knee, I’ve considerably scaled back my bump skiing over the years. I ski mostly out of Vermont and consequently, I am now skiing on mostly firm icy hardpacked trails. However, I still love to ski bumps & moguls when the condition is right and decent. I am in search of new all-mountain skis that would well accommodate my situation. I am seriously considering Navigator 85 to replace my current skis. i have been skiing on Dynastar Troublemakers for last so many years — had gone thru about 5 pairs (@ 168 cm) of them. Please advise if Navigator 85 would well suit my need (i.e., nice grip on icy surface, do well in the bumps, and good overall versatility). Thank you,

    Tony

    1. Hi Tony!
      It’s like you’re describing me! I see a pretty natural transition from the Troublemakers to the Navigator 85. They are certainly better for on-piste skiing than the Dynastars, and you’ll love how quick they are. The tails are on the stiff side, so you’ll get a good amount of edge grip and rebound out of them. They’ve borrowed the tip shape from the Enforcer line, and as a result, they motor through fresh and broken snow despite the “narrower” waist width. Just throwing it out there, but the Nordica Soul Rider 87 and the Volkl Revolt 86 are the newer iterations of all-mountain twin tips, if you’re still interested in going that route. Have fun!
      SE

      1. thank you so much for your prompt response. Your prompt and insightful feedback is really appreciated, thanks again,

        Tony

  21. Good morning! Great reviews on your site and thorough answers to everyone’s questions! Thanks for taking the time.
    I’m the 46-yr-old dad (5’9”, 155 lbs) who wants to ski alongside his kids as they grow, is presently low-to-middle intermediate, skis a few times a season in the Pacific Northwest, and wants to have the one ski that I’ll enjoy now but that will also get me to the next level. The Navigator 85 seems to answer the call, so long as it doesn’t over-challenge me at this point in my skills. I don’t imagine I’ll ever go further off the beaten track than through the trees just off-piste. If you think the Navigator 85 fits the bill, great; if not, would you please recommend one or two other options? And with the tip and tail rocker, would I be looking at the 172?
    Thanks again very much for your help!

    1. Thanks for the props, Jeff!
      There’s a lot of talk about “dad skis” these days, and the Navigator 85 fits that bill perfectly. From one dad to another, you’re on the right track! The Navigator series is perfect for skiers like yourself–they’re light, responsive, and all-mountain oriented. I’d go with the 172 for sure. Other options in the “dad ski” realm are the Rossignol Experience 84 Ai, and K2 Pinnacle 85 (the 88 is a bit more of a step up, but not unapproachable). Thinking a bit outside the box, the Volkl Revolt 86 and the Nordica Soul Rider 87 are twin-tipped skis that are originally designed for terrain park skiing, but actually function as perfect all-mountain skis that are playful and easy to use. A lot of skiers are put off by their “freestyle” character, but they actually make a lot of sense for skiers like you–they’re a bit softer and more maneuverable than the other skis that we’ve discussed. Let me know what you think!
      SE

  22. Hi,
    I have a very similar question to the last one. I’m trying to decide between Navigator 85 and Vantage 85 CTI. (I think the 85 would be better than the 90 in my scenario).
    I’m advanced intermediate, located in the East so that’s where I ski mostly, but I do some occasional trips to Colorado and Alps. Mainly staying on groomers, but do like to venture off as well. I would also like a ski, that would help me learn moguls better.

    My current ski, that I’ve been using for over 10 years is Atomic Izor 9:7 at 159cm. I’m 174cm about 160lb, 45 years old. Being, that I’m coming from 159cm ski, and I’d prefer maneuverability to speed, I’m looking at the 165cm length vs the 172 Nordica/173 Atomic. Would you agree?

    Would the Vantage be better to turn/navigate in moguls and off piste with its tail rocker than the Navigator? Or would it be better to have the square tail of Navigator, being that most time I will be on piste? Does the Navigator’s tail makes it noticeably harder on bumps comparing to the Vantage CTI rocker tail? (Nordica’s site shows the Navigator’s tail as rocker, I guess it’s not as much as Vantage?).

    Thank you

    1. Hey Peter!
      I would give the mogul advantage to the Atomic, but not by much. You are correct in that the flatter and more squared off tail of the Navigator will be a bit more difficult in the bumps, but as you say, you’ll be spending more time on-piste. In this regard, you will be better served with the Navigator. Overall, I’d still recommend the Navigator 85 in the 165. It’s fantastically light, stable, and responsive. Hope that helps!
      SE

  23. Hi there,
    I’m trying to decide between the Navigator 85 and the Atomic Vantage 90 CTI.
    I’m 176cm and 165lb, quite athletic. I think my level would be advanced Intermediate as I’m comfortable on reds and groomed blacks, not so great technically. I’m reasonably aggressive and like the speed. I want to improve my skills, become better in the bumps and moguls and venture off piste and explore more of the mountain.
    Which ski would you recommend?
    Also, would the 172 or the 179 Navigator be better for me?
    Finally, do you have any more recommendations in this All Mountain, 70% piste favoured category?

    Thanks in advance,
    Adam

    1. Hi Adam!
      I am a huge fan of the Navigator 85. I love how they carve, float, and plow through snow. They are very quick from edge to edge and have a natural and smooth feeling to them. The Atomic is surprisingly stiff. I’d recommend it more for advanced and expert level skiers, as it can be difficult to manage for intermediate skiers. In the Navigator, I’d recommend the 172. Other recommendations would be the K2 Pinnacle 88, Salomon XDR 84 (or 88), and Rossignol Experience 84 Ai. Everything in this category skis quite well, and that’s a good thing. Happy skiing!
      SE

  24. Hello there,
    I am trying to make the choice between the Nordica Navigator 85 and the Soloman XDR 84 ti / 88 ti. I am 63 years old, 6 feet 185 lbs solid intermediate skier 80% piste, ski all different speeds and mess around just off piste. I like to ski short to medium turns. I have been skiing on the Rossi Experience 88 HD which I found pretty good on groomers but a little hooky in crud at mid day. If we get a lot of pow I ski the Rossi Soul 7 HD. I would appreciate any comments on the skis I mentioned or if you have any other skis you feel would be better suited that would be great. Also the length you would recommend. Thanks a lot !

    1. Hey Barry!
      The good news is that you are looking for skis in a very competitive field. I loved the Navigator series, as well as the XDR 84. If you have a Soul 7, I’d get one of the narrower skis on your list (so not the XDR 88). They’re both fairly comparable skis. The tail of the Navigator is stiffer than that of the XDR, but the XDR has a more stout feeling underfoot. I’d give the off-trail edge to the Navigator, but it sounds like you spend most of your time on the trails. As such, have you considered something like a Volkl RTM 84 or K2 iKonic 84? These system skis are better suited for front-side skiing, but are wide enough to handle some late day chop or crud. What do you think?
      SE

      1. Hi, thank you for the quick reply. I think I will give serious consideration to your recommendations. Between the two frontside skis K2 and Völkl which one would you say is more forgiving ? Will either ski be able to skid a turn or do you have to be on edge ? I tend to wear out as the day goes on. Thanks

      2. Barry,
        I’d call it a wash between the two in terms of forgiveness. They both have metal in them, so they lean to the more demanding side. If you’re looking for a softer system ski like those models, check out either the K2 iKonic 80, Salomon XDR 80, or Blizzard Quattro 8.0 Ca. They’re a bit narrower with no metal, so they’ll be lighter and more manageable for all-day use. Let me know what you think!
        SE

  25. Am an advanced/expert level skier with 50+ years on the slopes under my belt and have been skiing on Kastle BMX78s in a 188 length for several years. Love them for medium radius and big arcing turns, and the edge hold is terrific. That said, when in tight spaces or trying to string together some shorter turns I really have to crank them up to do that. Am mostly a front side skier, and would probably characterize myself as a technical/finesse type of skier at this point, but will still venture back occasionally to do bowls or some other challenging terrain. The Navigator 85s have caught my attention because they appear to be quick, easy to turn and have good edge hold. Am also considering the Blizzard Rustler 9. How do these skis compare? I’m 6’3″ and weigh 180-185 and although my first thought was to go with the longest lengths (186/188) in each am considering going with the 179/180 length instead for the maneuverability. Are there other skis I should consider with all this in mind?
    Thanks

    1. Hey Nick!
      Both are great skis! The biggest difference between the two is the width. The Blizzard (at 94 mm underfoot) is almost 10 mm wider, giving it a big advantage in softer and fresh snow. If that’s where you see yourself most of the time, then that’s a great choice. They also make the Navigator in a 90, so that sort of splits the difference if that’s something you’re interested in. Both Navigator skis are very maneuverable and super-fun, and I’d actually recommend that you get the longer length. Overall, I’d recommend the Navigator 90 in the 186. They’ll handle all of your on/off trail needs quite well. If you do want slightly more mobility and on-trail performance, the 85 will be a bit better, but the 90’s are pretty sweet. Happy skiing!
      SE

      1. Thanks for the info! Want to run one more idea past you. Saw your review on the Liberty V92 and been doing some more digging on these skis as well as their V82s. The construction looks quite interesting. A bit pricier but could maybe fit the bill as well?

      2. Nick,
        We’ve been interested/excited about the Liberty VMT series as well. I got a chance to ski the 82 this past year and loved it. The vertical metal technology seems to really work, and it’s amazing how agile and precise they are. There’s a bit of tip rocker, but camber throughout the rest of the ski, so I wouldn’t expect too much out of it in terms of powder performance. But that notwithstanding, it’s a similar feel to the Navigator 85 insofar as the tail really brings you around nicely. I was really impressed with the skis–after skiing so many upper 90/low 100 mm skis for testing, getting on a front side ski with decent camber and a unique construction was a real treat. Hope that adds clarification, not confusion, to your search!
        SE

  26. Hello,

    I have spent past couple of days reading your excellent reviews and superb advises for troubled skiers if it comes to choosing right equipment.
    I am 178cm male about 170 lb skiing mostly in the Midwest hitting Colorado occasionally . Currently own K2 Rictors 2012 in 175 cm. I was torn between Brahma CA/ Enforcer 93/ Navigator 85. After considering where I would be skiing mostly I came to a conclusion that Navigator 85 will suit me the best. I like to ski fast on the front side slope and groomed terrain, not crazy fast but to feel the speed from time to time. I also wanted to start trying moguls more often and have skis with better playfulness and turn initiation and less heavier than my Rictors that I currently own. The mostly groomed Midwest slopes tend to get icy so I also wanted a good grip and edge hold. Also which size would you recommend 172 cm or 179cm ? As for the bindings Marker Griffon and Tyrolia Attack ill be the best choices? Thank you in advance.

    Martin.

    1. Hey Martin!
      There’s a lot to like about all the skis you mentioned. As far as the terrain and the way you describe your needs and wants in the sport of skiing, I agree with the Navigator 85 assessment. The Enforcer 93 is the most “expert” oriented ski on your list, and the Brahma CA is probably on the stiff side for moguls. The Navigator sits right in the middle, the wider and more playful tip is great for maneuverability in the bumps, and the camber underfoot and the flat tail make carving turns an absolute blast. In terms of sizing, I’d go with the 179 due to your height and weight. The bindings are kind of a wash–it’s more about what you’re comfortable with. The Tyrolia’s seem to be a bit easier to step in and out of, is the main difference I’ve noticed. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
      SE

  27. Hi SE,
    I”m an athletic 48 y/o male, 184cm in height and weigh 170 lbs. I’m currently consider myself a solid intermediate skier tipping the balance towards advanced intermediate. I picked up skiing 3 years ago, and I’m looking to buy my first pair of skis. I mainly ski the west coast, but I’m planning to take skiing trips to Europe and South America in 2019. I’m mainly a front side skier who can go down groomed black and blues with confidence at moderate to high speeds. I do tend to get more cautious at the end of the day when coming down the mountain or when going off trail from time to time. This year’s goal is to be able carve entire turns, become an advanced intermediate, and hopefully ski on some light powder. So, I want a pair of skis that will be right for my level and will help me continue to improve with confidence over the next 3 to 5 years.
    Initially I was set on buying the blizzard brahmas (173 cm) based on the fact that I have skied on the 2017 version 2 years ago. However, after reading your reviews on the Nordica Navigators 85 and 90; I believe that the Navigators will be better suited for me. Am I being too cautious here?
    Now, if the Navigators are the right choice, would you recommend the 85 or the 90? If it is the 85, which size will be right for me: 172 or 179 cm? And which size for the 90?
    Thank you
    Pat

    1. Hi Pat!

      Nope, I don’t think you’re being too cautious at all! In fact, I applaud you for really thinking it through.

      I agree. I think the Nordica Navigators are a little better suited for you. The Brahma is a great ski, but it’s not a ski I would say promotes progression in intermediate skiers. It’s relatively stiff, and relatively heavy, which makes it more difficult to learn new turn shapes, techniques, etc. It might improve your confidence going fast on groomers, but that’s about it. The Navigators, on the other hand, will help you continue to progress your carving turns more easily, are a little more forgiving, yet still perform at a relatively high level. You’re not going to grow out of them within 5 years so to speak, and I think they’ll help you become a better skier too.

      I think the Navigator 85 in the 179 cm length is probably the right choice here. Turn initiation on these skis is impressively easy, so I think that 179 cm length will feel approachable and relatively user-friendly for you. It’s also going to provide a little more stability at speed than the 172 cm, which is always nice. 85 mm feels a little more appropriate than 90 mm for waist width as you’re spending most of your time on groomers. It’s a little quicker edge to edge and doesn’t require as high of an edge angle when linking carving turns, so it’s probably the better ski for progression.

      Let me know if you have any other questions! Hope that helps.

      SE

  28. Hi,

    I’m 19 years old, 178 cm, and 150 pounds and I began skiing last season rather consistently on East Coast resorts (generally twice a week throughout the winter) and I progressed rather quickly from the beginner stage towards the entry level intermediate range. I’ve found skiing to be really fun, so I’ve decided I want to invest in a solid pair of skis that I could use consistently as I continue to advance. Would you recommend the Nordica Navigator 85 for someone like me? I figure the 172 cm size might be ideal if that was the case.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sebastian!
      You’re right on the money! The only thing I’d say is that you should consider the 179 cm length based on the fact that you might grow more, and you’ll definitely progress your ski skills. If you have the chance to demo, try the longer length. Happy skiing!
      SE

  29. Hello,

    I am 189cm, 95 kilograms. I am buying a ski pair for a first time. I haven’t been skiing for a long time, but two years ago I started again. I consider myself as an intermediate advanced level due to my past experience. I am riding mainly on the piste, very rarely I try to do it off piste and I want to learn carving. What advice can you give me? Is Navigator 85 172cm appropriate for me?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Vasil!

      The Navigator 85 will be a great ski for you! It’s good for someone your ability level, and it will definitely help progress your carving. The tip shape is designed to help carving turn initiation and it has a relatively small turn radius, which also helps when learning to carve. For length 172 cm could work, but I also think you could probably handle the 179 cm. In the long run I think the 179 cm is more appropriate, and I don’t expect it would be too challenging for you at first. Do you remember what length skis you’ve been skiing on in the past couple years? If they’ve been significantly shorter than 179 cm, that length might be a tough adjustment, but if you’ve been anywhere near that I think you could go with the 179 cm.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  30. Hello , i am from the UK and ski mainly in France and Italy…I am in my early 50’s 5’11” and about 180lbs…i currently have a set of Avenger 82 2015 which i have used for 3 seasons now . Now i am looking to progress from them…I ski at a decent intermediate level . Would you recommend the Navigator 85 as the next step ? I ski mainly on piste but not every slope is perfectly groomed so i do like a good all mountain ski. If not this ski what would you recommend for the 2019 season ..TIA

    1. Hi J P!

      Yes! I think the Navigator 85 would be an excellent next step for you. It’s a great ski. It performs really well on groomers, but also handles those softer conditions well too with the rockered, early tapered tip shape. It’s a really good ski for skiers who are progressing as well. It’s very intuitive and actually helps with carving technique as it has easy turn initiation, but then holds very well through the turn. Sounds like you’d love it. It’s also an impressive value, in my opinion.

      Hope that helps

      SE

  31. Hi, i am trying to decide between the Navigator 85 and 90. I am a skier in my late 50s 5’ 10” and about 170lbs. We ski in the alps reds and blacks on and off piste but not too aggressively. Which should I go for? I am looking at the 179 length.
    Meanwhile my wife is looking at the Nordica Astral and is trying to decide between the 84 and 88, is there much of a difference?

    Thanks

    Tim

    1. Hi Tim!

      The overall flex and feel of the 85 and 90 is very similar. Both would work great for you just based off the terrain you ski and how you describe yourself, so it’s really just a matter of choosing which waist width you feel is most appropriate. How often are you skiing soft snow? If it’s fairly regularly that might be enough reason to go with the 90 over the 85. If you find yourself on relatively firm conditions most of the time the 85 is a little quicker edge to edge and you might not need the extra float and stability in soft snow that the 90 would have. I think the 179 cm length will work great, so definitely on the right track there.

      You can say the same about the Astral 84 and 88. Performance and overall feel is very similar between the two, you just need to decide whether you’re skiing soft snow regularly enough to justify the extra width.

      Another thing to consider is the 85 and 84 are a little less expensive than the 90 and 88, just because they use less material, not because they’re “worse” or anything like that.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  32. Hi there,

    Im 6’4 and 185lbs, pretty agressive skier at an intermediate advanced level. Most of my time is spent on piste but I like going to the park and venturing off piste when the snow is good. I’ve been struggling to decide between the navigator 85 or the enforcer 93? Also, if there are any other skis that match my description, please let me know so I can research further!

    Thanks,

    Alex

    1. Hi Alex!

      I think the Enforcer 93 would be more appropriate than the Navigator for what you’re trying to do. I personally wouldn’t want to ski the Navigator in the terrain park, mostly because of the tail shape. The Enforcer 93 is also more versatile and performs better in soft snow. Within the Nordica line I would also consider the Soul Rider 87. Right in between those skis in terms of waist width, but the twin tip shape makes it much more capable in the park. It’s also still really fun to ski around the whole mountain. No metal, but still good edge grip and a responsive feel.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  33. Hi there!
    i’m totally buying a pair of Navigators for next season (God, it looks too far away now!) I love venturing off piste but realistically most of the times conditions are not there. My doubt is with the length and width. I am 5.10 and 145lbs so I’d be looking to the 179cms not the 172 right? I like to go down pretty fast and push from time to time. Therefore also hesitating between the 85 or the 90. From my lightweight I’m leaning more towards the 85, but not sure if I’d miss some stiffness, stability when needed.
    thank you SE!

    1. Hi James!

      I am about your size exactly and describe myself similarly (pretty fast, fairly aggressive) and I do prefer skiing the 179 cm length. I think it’s nice having the extra stability of the longer length, although the 172 cm would probably be enough and would feel a little more maneuverable. I personally am usually willing to sacrifice some maneuverability for more stability, so keep that in mind when you’re making your final decision. I wouldn’t worry too much about your weight on the 85 vs the 90. Although the 90 is a touch stiffer, it’s honestly a marginal difference between the two. I would say just pick which waist width speaks to you and you’re good to go.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  34. Thank you for your input! It is very much appreciated. One more question for you. Are the 85s stable at higher speeds, or with their lighter weight do you get too much chattering? Thanks again!

    1. Hey Mike,

      They are nice and stable at speed thanks to the Hex Titanium Bridge construction. Not quite the vibration damping of a ski with two full sheets of metal, but still really good. I wouldn’t worry about chattering at all.

      SE

  35. I’m 6’0, 160lbs, 50 yrs old, and live out west (sierras). I’m an intermediate / advanced skier that stays on the trails. I don’t go into the parks (but I do like small jumps), and will rarely, if at all, go off trail into the trees, etc. Where I live (Reno / Mt Rose mostly) the conditions are typically groomed, hard pack and crud by the end of weekends (loose bumpy cruddy snow with deep ruts). I’m skiing on 20 year old Elan parabolics (narrow waist) that can still carve pretty well. I’ve looked at a lot of skis, and have received a lot of conflicting advice from various shop people. They have been steering me to a 93-96 waisted ski (which to me seems like more like a a powder / off trail waist size, and overkill for my specific skiing). Everything I’ve read about this ski (Navigator 85) seems like a better choice for my specific style of skiing. I’m more aggressive on groomed trails, and sometimes struggle on very cruddy trails (partially me / partially current equipment at fault). I’m looking to improve overall, and want to become a solid advanced skier over time (trying to keep up with my 15 year old!). Does the Navigator 85 fit the bill for my specific needs, or would the 90 (or another ski all together) be better? I’m thinking the 179 length is my size(?). I’m possibly going to pair them with the Solomon XMax 120 boots (can remove a bolt to make them less stiff if they are a little stiff / need a little more flex). Thank you. I appreciate your input.

    1. Hi Mike!

      I think a 179 cm Navigator 85 would be a great ski! They rip on groomers, so they’ll work well for your aggressive style on groomer trails. In softer snow conditions and choppy snow the tip shape really gives them a smooth feel, and they are nice and stable, so I think you’ll find they help you improve your ability in different terrain and snow conditions. The X Max 120 will be a nice match to the Navigator 85 too. It’s not overly stiff, which is how I would describe the skis. Both the boots and skis are high performance equipment, but with a slightly softer flex pattern than real expert-level, aggressive skis.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  36. Dear SE
    Thanks for the helpful advice which reinforces my choice. I know what to shop now!
    Can’t wait to step on the pretty Navigator 85 pair in the next winter….
    Best regards!

  37. Hello!

    I’m a female ski racer currently still in school, 5’9″ 155 lb. I’m looking to get a pair of all mountain skis that are good for mostly piste skiing in the East but would take some powder/trees/bumps. I haven’t had much experience with moguls and the skis I currently free ski on are more GS style, so something slightly mogul oriented would be great. I also prefer a more aggressive ski with good release from turns (I love racing slalom). I’m looking at the Nordica Navigator 85, but I’m not sure what length would be better: 172 or 165. Additionally, do you know of any other skis that would be good for what I’m looking for? Also preferably budget-friendly 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Arina!

      I think you’ll love the Navigator 85! It’s really a great ski for someone like yourself because it gives you the ability to go into some softer snow conditions, but still can rip turns on firm snow too. The flat tail will likely give you the release out of a turn that you enjoy, but the overall shape and performance of the ski will definitely be more user-friendly in un-groomed terrain. At your size and considering you’re a ski racer I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be able to ski the 172 cm length. 165 cm seems a little short for your size and ability level.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  38. Hi,
    I’m Hong Kong chinese, 49, 167cm tall and weigh 140lbs. Usually ski in the groomed runs (85% I’d say) in Japan ski grounds where they never lack in soft powders. Skillwise I’d consider myself somewhere in between intermediate and advanced because I can get down the red runs with confidence and ease but I’d struggle quite a bit when it comes to black runs especially those ungroomed with variable snow. I definitely wanna improve my carving skills on groomers, my performance in the black runs and spend more time exploring trees and powders skiing, which mean a little too much for my current beginner ski (Salomon X Wing) bought 12 yrs ago!

    Having gone through the reviews online I’ve narrowed down to 3 all-mountain skis:
    1. Nordica Navigator 85 (165cm)
    2. Salomon Xdr 80 TI (162cm) or
    3. Salomon Xdr 84 TI (165cm)

    I’m not agressive at all and all I’m looking for is something stable and light. I’m under the impression that the Salomon Xdr 84 is the heaviest and stiffest and so I might not be able to handle it too well. For the other two although I think Salomon Xdr 80 may suit my style and fill my wishlist better, I kinda lean towards Navigator 85 simply because it looks better (LOL) and Nordica is rarer in Asia. I’m still scratching my head and I understand that I must listen to some expertise advice from SE before I conclude my choice. In addition, are the lengths right for me?
    Million thanks!

    1. Hi Zagato!

      Realistically I think the Navigator 85 and XDR 84 are quite similar in terms of how demanding they are. You don’t have to be a super aggressive skier to ski either, really. I think the Navigator would help you improve your carving more than either XDR, as it really focuses a lot on turn initiation, the feel and edge grip when you’re in a carving turns, etc. The tip shape also helps give them a nice feel in softer snow. The XDR is designed to be a little bit more playful and probably leans more towards soft snow use than the Navigator. We found it to be a blast to ski in moguls and trees on days when there wasn’t deep snow.

      I think the Navigator 85 is perfectly appropriate for you if you decide to go that direction. In my opinion it aligns well with your 85% groomer ski style, as that is kind of how I would describe the intended use of the ski, about 85% groomers, 15% ungroomed, soft snow.

      The lengths you listed sound perfect to me considering your size and ability level.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  39. Hi, how does the Navigator 85 compare to the Atomic Vantage 85 CTI, my daily driver is a Fischer Motive 95Tti, but I need a good 80ish, light all day ski for my local resort skiing at Whitetail, PA, really like the Kendo but my knees can’t handle it, I’m 53 5’11, 205lbs advanced skier. Thanks

    1. Overall they’re relatively similar skis. They share a waist width and have pretty similar turn radii (off by .5 m or so). Even the construction results in a pretty similar feel. They both have good torsional stiffness and edge grip on firm snow. The Vantage 85 CTI uses Carbon Tank Mesh and a strip of Titanal running down the center of the ski where the Navigator 85 uses Torsion Bridge, essentially a grid of metal across the entire ski. The inclusion of carbon in the Vantage 85 CTI makes it feel very responsive and energetic, but on the other hand the Navigator 85 has a flatter, squared off tail that also makes it feel quite responsive as it finished a turn on firm snow extremely well. I would say if you want a more versatile shape go with the Atomic, if you want a more dedicated firm snow “feel” go with the Nordica. They both undoubtedly would accomplish what you’re looking for, but they do have a slightly different feel.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

  40. Hi,
    I am probably an entry level advanced skier, I am 175 cm tall and weighing 155 lbs. I am looking for a pair of skis that I can be aggressive ripping (stable at high speed) the groomer, playful on the side piste or just cruising along with my family. My initial thoughts were the standard Blizzard Brahma but thought that it may not fit in the category of ‘cruising’. After reading a few reviews, I am contemplating between the Nordica Navigator 85 or Blizzard Brahma CA, I wonder if either is the one for me and if so, which is more suited for my ability. Length wise: I should consider 172 for the Navigator and 173 for the Brahma CA?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Khye!

      I think you’ve narrowed it down to two skis that both should work really well for you. I do think the Brahma (metal) could work too, it kind of depends on how aggressive you are. Between the 3 skis you mentioned the Brahma is definitely the most stable at high speeds thanks to the two sheets of metal. It is heavier, of course, which combined with the stiffer flex does demand a more aggressive skier, but it’s a great ski for what you’re describing if you’re up for it.

      That being said, both the Navigator 85 and Brahma CA sound like they could be great skis for you. The Navigator 85 would give you the “feel” of metal, but is much lighter as it’s a single sheet in the form of a metal “grid”, not a two full sheets like the Brahma. The Brahma CA is very responsive and fun, but it’s not going to be exceptionally stable at high speeds, especially compared to the metal Brahma.

      I think you’re looking at the right lengths for Navigator 85, Brahma, or Brahma CA. Getting up closer to 180 cm would make them more challenging when you’re playing around on the sides of the trail, while the shorter lengths likely wouldn’t have the stability you’re looking for.

      Hope that helps!

      SE

      1. Thanks SE, very insightful. Much appreciated! 1 more question, as the Navigator 85 is light, does it handle crud and uneven snow well? A friend who has the 2015/16 Brahma says his skis cut through crud like butter.
        Best,
        Khye

      2. It still uses metal, so it will stay relatively quiet and calm through variable snow conditions. It’s not going to be quite like the Brahma with two sheets of metal, but it should do quite well. In Nordica’s line the Enforcer 93 would be more of a crud-busting all mountain ski, but then you’re moving back to two sheets of metal. I think the Navigator series has a pretty nice mix of performance characteristics for an all mountain ski. Stable, quiet, but still energetic and responsive.

        SE

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