2020 Nordica Astral 84

The 2020 Nordica Astral 84 returns unchanged aside from a graphic tweak, but the bones remain strong and intact. These things rip. Reading the test forms, it’s pretty clear that our testers were impressed, surprised, elated, and enthusiastic about the performance of the Astral 84. It’s one of those skis that punches way above its level in terms of poise and versatility, and skiers love the lightness as well as the strength. This comes from the combination of a Balsa wood core for reduced weight, a titanium hex bridge that provides power, and a party up front/business in the back shape that can handle a variety of terrain and snow conditions. At 84 mm underfoot, it’s on the narrow side for all-mountain performance, but the wider and more playful tip make it float above its width. Conversely, it’s on the wide side for a true carving ski, but the Dobermann-inspired tail really holds on tight to the hardest of snow.

On the properly sized 165, Carly Monahan gave top scores for quickness, playfulness, and forgiveness. All other scores were 4’s, indicating that Carly was pretty darn impressed with the Astral 84. “Playful and powerful for its weight and look. A great ski for someone who mostly sticks to groomers but also ventures into the woods or side-country from time to time.” In terms of its lightweight nature, the Astral 84 “won’t wear you out on a full day on the hill, but can hold its own when you’re ready to speed things up a bit.” Great commentary from Carly, and sage wisdom, for sure. Lighter skis are less tiring.

Another 165 skier, Shelby Parenteau gave 5’s out of 5 for quickness, maneuverability, and playfulness. It appears as though we needed a higher score box for overall impression, as Shelby rated it a 5 ??. Not quite sure what that means, but it’s probably good. “Loved this ski! Best of the day. Fast, floaty, playful, and reliable. I LOVED the Astral 84! This ski felt so stable and so fun. I could lay an edge down very easily. I was able to ski the fastest on this ski as well.” Great comments for stability! Shelby finishes with a NSFW score of “10/10. Would Bang.”

Allison Ruschp also skied the 165 and felt it was the proper size. She gave a lot of high scores with nothing lower than 4. 5’s for stability, maneuverability, versatility, and overall impression give us a strong glimpse into the success of the Astral 84. “Another ski that surprised me! That one sheet of metal makes all the difference. Easy to turn, glides in and out of turns easily. Stiffer than some competitors.” In terms of the Santa Ana tip and the Dobermann tail, “the shape of the ski handles a variety of conditions. Strong edge hold on ice, smooth ride in crud, and moderate flotation in powder.” Great analysis from Alli, noting that the shape and intended use of the ski actually works!

Sam Purnell skied the 165 and found it to be the right length. Sam gave the skis 5’s out of 5 for versatility and overall impression. The rest of her scores were all 4’s indicating that the Astral 84 is a versatile and impressive all-mountain ski with few, if any, weaknesses. Sam “truly enjoyed this ski. Took it down hard groomers, bumps, and corn, and it performed well throughout. Very responsive and dependable.” Sam’s a pretty strong and aggressive skier, so her input on a ski like this that bridges the gap between light weight and high performance. “It’s a lighter, versatile ski for intermediate to expert skiers who are less aggressive but want to ski technical terrain.”

This ski just seems to hit a ton of high notes and never seems to flinch or crack under pressure. We had a good variety of testers who all claimed the ski to be one of their favorites of the test, and that’s saying a whole lot given the deep and talented field of skis in our test.


Sam Purnell

Age: 26Height: 5'5"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong and athletic with an adventurous spirit

Allison Ruschp

Age: 32Height: 5'5"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer who's calmed herself down

Catherine Ferguson

Age: 26Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Freeride and freestyle oriented with a flair for fun

Shelby Parenteau

Age: 27Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Snowboarder

Carly Monahan

Age: 33Height: 5'4"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Athletic and active, but laid back

8 Comments on the “2020 Nordica Astral 84”

  1. Hi! I was wondering if you could give me some advice? I’m trying to decide between these Nordica Astrals, the Volkl Yumi and the Elan Ripstick 88s. Currently I’m skiing the Black Pearl 78s in 163 which I do like, but I’d like a ski that can carry me into more advanced skills/terrain and I don’t think the BPs will do that. Self described “cautious intermediate” who for now sticks mostly to greens but wants to up my skills! Just really can’t decide as they all sound like great skis!!

    1. Good news, Kristen, they are all great skis!
      It’s a lot harder to choose a bad ski versus a good one, and pretty much anything on your list will do what you need. The Astral has a titanium hex bridge, so this metal layer makes the skis more responsive and stable than your 78’s. You’ll love the added strength. The Ripstick accomplishes much of the same stability, but with carbon versus metal. It’s a lighter ski and is more maneuverable, but the Astral is higher-performing overall. The Yumi has a Titanal band, so it’s going to perform more like the Astral–a bit heavier and more stable, but not an “expert” ski by any means, although they do have a high-end feel, which is nice. Have fun!

  2. Hello,
    my daughters are very interested in the Nordica Astral 84. I am only not sure about the ski length. Both are 175/173 cm tall and weigh about 60 kg. What length would you recommend? Both have been skiing for 12 years and are 17 years old.

    1. Hi Alexander John!
      Great ski choice!
      I think the 158 is the shorter option, and depending on level of speed/aggressiveness, the 165 should be in the conversation as well. The shorter length will be quicker and easier to turn, while the longer ski will offer more stability at speed. They are pretty light and maneuverable, so I wouldn’t be too concerned about them feeling too long. Hope that helps!

  3. Hello!
    Could you please tell me what the differences are between the Astral 84 versus the Astral 78? I see that the 78 has a narrower waist size. Are there any other differences?
    Also, are these Astrals a good choice for me as a skier, or do I need a “higher end ski”? I am an intermediate to advanced skier. I ski on blues and blacks. I love to go fast on groomers, but I also love to play in the powder and have fun with moguls. I often encounter “sheer” snow and ice, as well, and I would like something that has edges that can really grip on that dicey stuff. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica!
      Same ski build, just a different width. The narrower one will be quicker edge to edge and have better edge grip, but isn’t quite as versatile as the 84. I don’t think you need a higher-end ski, these have very high ceilings in terms of performance, but aren’t quite as burly as some of the more expert-level skis. If you’re exclusively on groomed terrain, the 78 is a better choice, but if you’re doing any amount of adventuring (which it sounds like you are), I’d go with the 84. Hope that helps!

  4. Looking for a replacement for my Fischer Maunga’s (121-84-105, 159 cm) which I currently ski in all terrain and snow conditions at Whistler. Would prefer to stay in the 82 – 88 mm range as at 105 lb, I really don’t need the float of a wider ski. I ski steeps, powder and moguls and leave the groomers for days when the off piste terrain is no fun (closed, icy, whiteout). Given that most of the newer skis have significant tip rockers, I expect I will want a longer length to get more edge on the snow when skiing on piste. I’m an aggressive expert skier but past the days of taking air or attempting tricks.

    1. HI SAHM!
      In addition to the wonderful Astral 84, I’d also add the Volkl Yumi 84 and Rossignol Experience 84 to the list. If you were happy with the 159’s I’d stick to that range, but depending on availability, you could certainly go to the low 160’s in these skis. Have fun!

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