The Navigator 90 is part of a brand new collection of skis from Nordica for 2018. They combine the versatile tip shape of the Enforcer series with the stiffer, more squared off tail of their Doberman race skis. The idea is to provide skiers with an all mountain ski that makes a snappier turn than the Enforcers on firm snow, much more like a dedicated carving ski or race ski. Because they use a tip inspired by the Enforcer, however, they remain much more versatile than such dedicated firm snow skis. The core of the Navigator series uses their metal “Torsion Bridge.” Instead of a full sheet of metal Nordica strategically removes geometric shapes leaving a web of metal across the ski. It provides the torsional stiffness and dampening benefits, but at a much reduced weight.
According to Joe Cutts the Navigator 90 “takes a page right out of the Enforcer’s ‘easy-but-playful’ handbook. They’re supposed to be lighter than the Enforcers, but there’s still plenty of beef and reassuring heft for high speed arcs.” We think part of what Joe was experiencing comes from the race-inspired, squared off tail. It gives the ski some excellent stability and a confidence inspiring feel when charging down groomers. Joe tested the 186 cm length and classified it as “more charger than player, but really well balanced.” This corresponds perfectly with how Nordica describes it. The Enforcer errs on the freeride side of things, while the Navigator errs towards on-trail use.
Jamie Bisbee has come up with a lovely little jingle to describe the way he felt on the Navigator 90. We’re not sure Nordica will pick it up at the catch phrase for this ski or not, but we really like it: “A favorite short turner for making your legs feel the burner.” Alright, so it’s not 100% grammatically correct, but you get the idea. The Navigator 90 does have a relatively short turn radius (16.5 m at the 179 cm length that Jamie tested) and definitely has the power and energy to give your legs a working if you’re taking a non-stop, short turn, top-to-bottom run.
Bob St. Pierre tested the 186 cm and thought it was “the best carver of the day by a good margin.” You have to remember that within a given day Bob wouldn’t have skied everything available and this ski fell into somewhat of an all mountain category, so this comment was in comparison to other similar skis, not dedicated, narrower carving skis. Bob thought it had “great edge hold” and “awesome construction”. Nordica has definitely taken their torsion bridge technology to the next level. We saw it first in the NRGY collection, but it now has less metal removed and provides a stronger feel.
Mike Anglin also skied it in the 186 cm length and scored the Navigator 90 5 out of 5 for stability, playfulness, and versatility. Those are three traits that we definitely look for in all mountain skis and it’s nice to know the Navigator 90 performs well in that regard. Mike thought it was “a strong and stable ski that loved all the snow and terrain I threw at it.” He went on to say the Navigator 90 “loved medium to short radius turns and felt strong underneath me.” He thinks it’s an appropriate choice for a wide range of ability levels from intermediate all the way through experts.
The Navigator 90 is going to be best for the skier that spends the majority of their day on groomed slopes, but doesn’t want to be held back or completely limited to that terrain. With the rockered, forgiving tip shape and the 90 mm waist width the Navigator can certainly handle off-piste terrain while delivering high end, snappy performance on firm snow. Great job, Nordica!