The Soul Rider 87 is the “middle” ski in what Nordica refers to as twin tip all mountain skis. The two wider skis in the collection, the Soul Rider 87 and 97 both use wood cores, camber under foot, tip and tail rocker, and a directional sidecut (unlike some symmetrical twin tip skis). While Nordica’s Park and Pipe athletes gravitate towards this ski, it also retains excellent ability around the entire mountain. It has a distinctly playful feel, a softer flex than skis like the Enforcers and the Navigators, and is a whole lot of fun. Don’t believe us? Just ask our testers:
Bob St. Pierre was very impressed by the Soul Rider 87 after testing the 185 cm length. He commented that he was “very surprised how stable this skied. It has lots of pop and snap out of the turn.” That snap and pop out of a turn is largely thanks to Nordica’s Energy 2 Carbon construction. This construction technique uses two sheets of carbon over the edges of the ski along with the wood core. The carbon provides tremendous energy and that’s likely the source of the energy and pop Bob was feeling. He went on to describe the Soul Rider 87 as “highly versatile. It’s a great all mountain ski.” Bob is a bit of a purist with a background in mogul skiing. He had kind of bizarre comment of “twin tip seems annoying, but hardly noticeable once skiing.” After asking Bob to clarify this comment he told us that he simply doesn’t like the look of twin tips, and that the fact it had a twin tip might discourage him from choosing it on a ski wall if he hadn’t already skied it.
Marcus Shakun had a similar experience on the Soul Rider 87 after also skiing the 185 cm length. He referred to it as an “all mountain twin tip that can do a little bit of everything,” which corresponds nicely to Bob calling it “highly versatile.” Marcus thought it liked to make “medium radius turns,” although did say that you “can wiggle out short turns when you drive the shovel.” Marcus had a similar reaction to Bob in terms of the ski’s pop and energy out of a turn as well: “Energetic and lively ski. You get good rebound out of every turn.” We think this really says a lot about the ski. It’s easy to look at an all mountain twin tip and assume it’s going to be soft, somewhat unresponsive, and lack torsional stiffness, but it doesn’t seem that’s a fair assessment of the Soul Rider 87. Marcus went on to add some detail to his reactions to the ski. “It has a damp shovel that allows for versatility in mixed terrain, with a stiffer tail to hold the edge giving the ski some nice stability.”
According to Marcus the ski is “not overly aggressive and would be great for a skier that wants playfulness and the ability to slide turns.” This might seem like a contradiction to his statement that it can hold an edge well, but Marcus is really just referring to the skis ability to release its tail edge when you want to. We think the Soul Rider 87 is a great choice for an all mountain ski for anyone who would describe their skiing as playful. It’s also a superb choice for park and pipe skiers that don’t want to sacrifice performance across the rest of the mountain, not just in the terrain park. Although park skiers can relax, it’s still super fun for sliding rails, hitting jumps, and other jibbing trickery.