2020 Nordica Enforcer 88

Watch out Kendo/Brahma! Heads up Experience 88! Better rip it up Ripstick 88! The all-new 2020 Nordica Enforcer 88 is looking to take you all down. Over the years, the 88 underfoot all-mountain ski has been a versatile performer, and every company has its own version. For 2020, Nordica removed its Navigator 90 and added an Enforcer 88. Built much like the wider versions, the Enforcer 88 has a wood core, two sheets of metal, and carbon stringers. It’s a bit stiffer than the Enforcer 93 thanks to extra carbon, but that’s felt mainly in the tail. The tips are lightened by trimming excess plastic and replacing it with lightweight wood. This increases the playfulness and maneuverability of the ski without sacrificing carving power. The end result is a strong, powerful, precise, and quick ski that excels on the trails, but is versatile enough to be used all over the place. The tip is still very playful and floaty, so it does handle deeper snow than its waist indicates. Our testers pretty much ate it all up.

Josh Wolfgang skied the 179 and found it to be a good length. Josh is pretty tall, so it stands to reason that his high scores for maneuverability, quickness, and playfulness are all really high. His top score was a 5 out of 5 for versatility, and that’s what this ski is really all about. “This is my favorite Enforcer. It’s super-versatile both on-piste and in the woods. I feel like there’s a lot of skis that do everything pretty good but nothing very well, but this ski changed my mind because it really does everything well.” Good stuff, Josh!

Kelby Furrer wished he was on the 179, as his 172 cm tester was a bit short. Nonetheless, scores of 4’s rained down on his test sheet, including stability, edge hold, versatility, and overall impression. These top marks are ideal for that versatile all-mountain ski, and Kelby picks up on it pretty quick. “Despite the short size, I still had so much fun on these. Fantastic all-mountain skis. Felt comfy and stable on everything. For sure an advanced ski, not for beginners or intermediates.” While some larger intermediates may find comfort on these, advanced and expert skiers will surely glean the best performance out of them.

Marcus Shakun loved the 186 length and had a ton of 4’s on his card, with a lone 3 for flotation. “Quick edge to edge. Softer through the ski which makes it forgiving in the woods and bumps. Good on groomers, but a strong skier can probably find its limitations.” While nobody would mistake this for a race ski, it is accurate and true to point out that, like any ski this wide, does have a speed/g-force limit.

Mike Thomas calls the 186 “Nirvana.” The 2020 Nordica Enforcer 88 “just a perfect every-day, all-conditions ski. Powerful, smooth, grippy, and good in bumps.” His overall impression was a 5+, and that’s a good sign.

Benny Wax made some smooth turns on the 179, and like Marcus, was pretty much 4’s down the score card with a 3 for flotation. “Down the mountain we go! Turny and stable. Lively with energy and spunk. They like to turn.”

Mike Aidala was another skier on the 179 who scored a 5 for overall impression. “Ripper! The E88 are such an awesome addition to the Enforcer family. The edge hold and quickness make these skis the perfect all-mountain ski for advanced to expert skiers who spend the majority of their time on the frontside.” Yup, sounds almost like the Nordica catalog!

The all-new 2020 Nordica Enforcer 88 is a smooth addition to the family, and many skiers, like our testers, will welcome it with open arms.

Testers

Mike Aidala

Age: 42Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: As fast as the terrain allows

Bob St.Pierre

Age: 41Height: 6'2"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Adaptable, versatile, ex-competitive mogul skier and coach

Dave Carter

Age: 61Height: 5'9"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: They don't call me "carving" Dave Carter for nothin'

Benny Wax

Age: 68Height: 5'6"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and creamy, lots of turns

Mike Thomas

Age: 50Height: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

Marcus Shakun

Age: 39Height: 6'5"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

Kelby J. Furrer

Age: 29Height: 6'0"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Awesome blend of speed and style

Josh Wolfgang

Age: 23/24Height: 6'1"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and carvy with a love for the fall line

23 Comments on the “2020 Nordica Enforcer 88”

  1. Appreciate all the reviews and well-rounded feedback on all these skis. I’m a newer skier in terms of seriousness around the sport and improving my craft. 31 years old, 5′ 11′, 250lbs but losing weight and expecting to get back to a more comfortable 220 and eventually 200. Intermediate to advanced skier, comfortable on blues and approaching blacks. East coast skier, 1-2 trips west but probably would just demo skis out west depending on the conditions if powder. Mostly on-piste but wanting to begin exploring off-trail and in some powder but not expecting crazy powder in the East, but one hopes.

    I demoed a couple of Atomic vantage skis last year and liked their feel (I think 83 and 86) and I tried the Brahma 88 while out west but it was on-piste still and liked them. I’m trying to find a solid ski with versatility enough to enjoy some snow days and trails but makes me enjoy on-piste while honing my skills and comfort on the blacks. If crazy pow, I would plan to demo until I feel the investment is worth it.

    I see the 88-90 range of ski as a good fit but wanted some feedback. I assume the ski width helps with my heavier weight but I am unsure whether that range is too wide for my skill level and my typical expected conditions. Would it make sense to look at something like the Brahma 88, Enforcer 88, Vantage 90ti, or something similar (Experience 88, Mindbender 90ti), or go down to the vantage 86ti or 86c, Brahma 82, or Kanjo?

    Any input is appreciated, and i know a lot is there. Looking forward to spending some time in Stowe this winter with an Epic Pass and excited it includes Poconos ski resorts!

    1. Hi Geoff!
      I don’t think I’d go narrower than 88 underfoot,and I’d say the top end would be about 92. There’s a lot of great skis in that span, so the good news is that you can’t really go wrong. I’d say that based on your size, even when you do get down to 200 or so, you’re still going to like the stiffer and more supportive skis such as the Brahma and the Enforcer 88. I’d say the Vantage 90 is too light for you, as you’ll likely overpower it. The Enforcer and the Brahma both have two full sheets of metal while the Experience and the Mindbender do not. I’d say at your ability level, the Experience and the Mindbender will be more appropriate choices, unless you know you prefer a stiffer and more demanding ski. I think you’ll get great performance out of either the Rossi or the K2. Of those, the Rossi is more on-trail oriented and a slightly better carver, while the K2 is a better off-piste performer and probably more versatile for all-mountain skiing. I’d say the upper-170’s to low 180’s is appropriate for length. Hope that helps!
      SE

  2. For some reason the reply button take me to a dead page but no worries.

    Appreciate all the feedback, this definitely reinforced where I was thinking of going. I am curious where you came up with that length range. I always demoed in the low to mid 170s range last season, based on ski shop feedback, so wanted to make sure I understand that guidance and appropriately pick my demo sizes for testing, even if that means testing a few ranges.

    Thinking through other options in that range, seems like the Kendo would fall in that enforcer/brahma category but maybe the Elan ripstick 88 falls in the category with the Mindbender and experience. Would you say the Kendo is more demanding and the ripstick is in that category or it’s too light like the vantage? Any other suggestions as well?

    1. Thanks, Geoff, we’ll look into the page.
      In terms of length, you’re about 180-182 cm tall and have some weight behind you, so that’s why I’m erring on the longer side, but if you know that you prefer a shorter length, don’t let me talk you out of it. I’d be interested in hearing your preference if you were to demo a 170 and a 177 Kendo (or something like that).
      I’d put the Ripstick in the Vantage category. When you pick it up alongside the Mindbender, it’s a pretty significant difference in terms of weight. And while the Kendo should be listed in the same range as the Enforcer and Brahma category due to its build and shape, it actually feels more accessible, even at lower speeds. The Enforcer and Brahma need a bit of speed to really come to life, while the Kendo seems compliant to make shorter and slower turns (along with high-speed capabilities as well), so I’d say it’s a tad more versatile than the other two. Hope that helps!
      SE

  3. Hello! Your reviews are amazing, thank you so much.

    I’m an expert skier who spends most of my time Masters racing in California, so our snow here is much softer than the East. I haven’t had a new all mountain ski in years. I ski the 183 Atomic G9 Masters ski. I’m looking for a shorter (around 172) all mountain ski with more playfulness that I can still rip great turns on piste and also have something more forgiving because I’m less skilled off piste. I’m also looking for something that can blow through crud the day after a dump of sierra cement. I’m a woman but not looking for a woman’s ski.

    The Nordica Enforcer 88 is appealing, but I’m also considering the Blizzard Brahma 88 and the Atomic Vantage 90 TI. Do you have any recommendations?

    1. Thanks, Melissa!
      I’d say the Vantage is going to be a bit light for what you’re looking for. If you’re used to a G9, the Vantage might be on the chatty side. Between the Brahma and the Enforcer, I found the Enforcer to be livelier and more fun while the Brahma was on the planky side for my taste. Both have the same race-style construction that you’re used to, so either would be a fantastic choice. Personally, I prefer the Nordica, but not by a whole lot. Hope that helps!
      SE

  4. Hi guys, you do a very good job with these reviews and I really find them very helpful!
    I’m looking to buy a new pair of all-mountain skis and it seems that I have a lot of options to choose from! I considered so far the Brahma, Enforcer 88 and 93, Navigator 85, Ranger 92 Ti, QST 92, Rustler 9, and others too :))
    I’m 43, 182cm and 87kg without gear, advanced skier, and I like fast carving on piste, but also more and more having fun off-piste for the last couple of seasons, sometimes even venturing in deep snow and much rarely in trees.
    I’m pretty used to fast carving on stiff skis with 2 sheets of metal (used for 2 years Supershape i.Rally 177cm, and before that Dobermann SL Pro), but I would like to make the transition to the all-mountain category, to own just one pair of skis that will allow me to be a lot more versatile, and pretty much be able to ski whatever terrain and snow condition with confidence.
    I find it important to have a pair of skis that will dampen the vibrations very well in order to maintain good control at high speed, for when I feel like going fast, but will also allow me to have fun off-piste and in deeper snow, and … without being very demanding and tiring. Do you think there is such a ski out there for me? :))

    1. Hi Alex!
      You have a lot of good skis on that list. The Brahma and Enforcer 88 will give you the best on-piste and carving performance while the QST 92 and Rustler 9 are on the other end of the spectrum. The Navigator is a great ski, and with a partial metal laminate, it’s pretty quick and stable, but not as burly as the first two. The Ranger 92 falls somewhere in the middle, with the wider shape, but the more on-piste build. The only other one I’d add to your list is the K2 Mindbender 90 Ti–lots of stability and a mid-wide shape. Hope that helps!
      SE

  5. Hi, as I have the enforcer 110 2019 in 185 cm lenght I am looking to add a less wide ski to my quiver. IT would still have to be all mountain as I love to ski sidecountry and trees. Also it should have an playful and poppy vibe to it. Would the 88 be up for the job and would the 186 length be advised? I am 80 kg and 183 cm… No problems skiing the 185 lengt in the 110’s. Thanks a lot for the great reviews!

    1. Hi Thom!
      Yup! I’ve been on the 88 for a few weeks now and love it. I’m a few inches taller than you on the 186 and I think it’s just about right. If you’re on the 185 in the 110, then the 186 will be right up your alley. A wonderful quiver!
      SE

  6. Hi, Thanks for the great reviews and personal impressions. I’m helping my busy son (31, 5′ 11”, 155 lbs.) research new skis. He’s a high-advanced skier looking for a versatile all-mountain ski that leans towards the front side. Something that carves well on the groomed, but that is versatile enough to roam off-piste (e.g. Climax and Scotty’s at Mammoth) and playful enough to cut through side stashes of shallow powder in the trees. He’s in good shape but has skied less the last few years due to school and work. He has been skiing on 2011 (all camber) Mantras and has K2 Sean Pettit skis for powder days. He’d like something that requires a little less muscle than the old Mantras but can still be pushed hard.

    He’s considering the Enforcer 88 but is also curious about the Head Kore 93, and maybe the K2 Mindbender 90. (The Brahma sounds a bit planky.) Will the Enforcer allow him to sometimes relax a bit if he wants, along with the capability at speed? He’s read good things about the Kore 93, but questions whether they will get knocked around through crud and whether he might reach their speed limit on-piste. The Mindbender sounds about in the middle but perhaps less of a stand-out? He’ll get a chance to demo some skies at Mammoth next month. Do you have any other suggestions.

    Would 179 likely be the recommended size for the Enforcers? He’s looking for something that can easily make short as well as long turns at both relaxed and higher-end speeds.

    Sorry for being long winded. Thanks for your input and any suggestions.

    1. Hi Gary!
      I’ve been skiing the Enforcer 88 for a few weeks now and love it. It’s my on-piste ski for sure, but still does great in the trees and crud (for an 88). That said, I’ve found the tails to be pretty stiff, and even though I’m a fairly relaxed skier, I have found the hardest part to be bending the tails. I know about it, so I don’t mind too much, but it is a thing that I notice. You won’t find the same type of abusiveness out the K2 or the Kore, but neither to they have that same top end. If you can live without the top end (and it’s really up there), I’d stick to the K2 or Kore. Of those, the K2 is more stable and damp, while the Kore is lighter and quite stiff. Overall, it sounds like the K2 is the way to go, but at the end of the day, you’ll find more similarities than differences with these models. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks for your insights! A couple of quick questions… The three skis are on my son’s short list to demo at Mammoth next month. Given his quick bio, above, would you suggest he start with the 179 E88, 180 Kore and 177 K2? (His old skis have been ~172s and 177 for the Pettits, though it seems all-mountain skis are designed to be slightly longer now.)

        Also, he had written off the Volkl Kendo based on prior year reviews but is intrigued by descriptions of the new 2020 model. Any thoughts on whether/how this ski would fit into the short list?

      2. Hi Gary!
        The Enforcer and Kendo have a lot of similarities while the Kore is the wider and lighter option. The K2 sits in the middle, and has an interestingly damp feel to it. It’s not sluggish, but is also not quite as energetic as the Kendo/Enforcer. Lengthwise, if they have the shorter sizes in any of those skis, I’d try at least one in the low 170’s just for reference. Have fun!
        SE

  7. Hi, appreciate the detailed reviews! I’m looking at either the Enforcer 88 or Brahma 88 as a versatile all-mountain ski, leaning toward the frontside at maybe 70:30 though. I’m a fairly advanced, powerful skier and want something that is steady at higher speeds. I have been skiing the Stockli Laser GS, but want to transition more into the allmountain category. Which way would you lean?
    Also, I am 189 cm and weigh around 205, so would you recommend the 180 or 187 length on either?
    Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hi Jan!
      I’ve been skiing the Enforcer 88 for a few weeks now and love it. Recently skied the Brahma and was surprised at how much stiffer and heavier it was than the Nordica. For front side, that is a good thing but I’m using the skis for more all-mountain versus front side specific. I’d go 186/187 in either model. Have fun!
      SE

  8. Hi there –

    Looking for a second ski. Currently on Head Kore 99s in 180 cm. I am a 35 year old, 6’1″ (185 cm) male, 195 lbs, advanced/aggressive skier, happy with the Kore and like that it is easy to turn due to weight but would like something more damp and front side oriented. Considering Kendo/Brahma/Enforcer/Head Supershape iTitan and trying to decide on length. I just demo’d the new (2021) Brahma in 177 and it felt short to me. When I ski lengths of skis in the high 180s, they are too long (tips cross). Kendo has 177/184, Brahma (last years 180, next years 182), Enforcer 88 179/184. I enjoy skiing as fast as possible, but still in control. Thank you – great website.

    1. Hi Peter!
      The Head will offer you the biggest difference in ski type–not sure if that’s what you’re looking for. The 88’s on your list are all very comparable, but with that Enforcer in a 179, I think that might be a strong candidate. The Titan, as a system ski with little rocker and no taper, you’re getting way more carving/on-piste performance. Have fun!
      SE

  9. Hi there – have been reading your reviews for a week now and wanted to say thank you.

    I’m an intermediate/advanced skier with 12 years experience, all skiing done in the northeast (hard pack/groomed runs). I’m looking for a ski I can push on hard-pack but is also playful and not too unforgiving in the bumps/trees/messing around. I’ve narrowed down my options to the Elan Ripstick 88, Nordica Navigator 85, Nordica Enforcer 88, and Rossi Experience 88 Ti. Which of these would you recommend? From what I think the Ripstick 88 suits me best. However the top end of the Nordica Enforcer 88 is attractive.

    I am 5’8, 165 lbs.

    Cheers

    1. HI Reed!
      Right you are, and I’d also point out that the Enforcer and the Ripstick are on opposite ends of your list, with two great choices in between, so if you’re really stuck on either the Enforcer 88 or the Ripstick, I’d encourage a second look at the Experience. While the Enforcer is built with two full sheets of metal, the Ripstick has none. Both the Navigator and the Experience have one(ish) metal laminate, so those fall in between in terms of stiffness and stability. I thought the Experience and the Nav were two of the best turning skis I’ve been on in that 85-88 category while the Ripstick was a bit soft for my size (6/2 220). I personally own and love the Enforcer, although it did take a bit to get used to the stiffness. You’ll certainly be happy with the Ripstick, Nav, and Experience while the Enforcer may be a stretch. Have fun!
      SE

      1. Thanks a lot for your quick response. That’s good advice, I think sticking with one of the options in the middle of the Enforcer and Ripstick would be best for me. What would be the main differences between the navigator 85 and experience 88? I’ve watched/read reviews on both but am having a difficult time comparing the two to eachother. Is the premium I pay for the experiences going to be worth it?

        Thanks again.

      2. Hi Reed!
        IN terms of value, we often remark at the Navigators and what a great dollar/performance ratio they have. Very composed and quick in all conditions. The Experience, being a bit wider and with a more forgiving tip and tail, will be a bit more versatile, but at the end of the day, you’ve got two really solid choices here. Hope that clarifies!
        SE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *