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.