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.