2020 Nordica Spitfire 80 RB

The 2020 Nordica Dobermann Spitfire 80 RB is a strong ski that loves high-speeds and beautiful arced turns. You could call it a recreational race ski and you wouldn’t be wrong. You could also say it’s an all-mountain ski that loves to carve turns on the corduroy. All these things are true. Built like a race ski with a wood core and two sheets of metal, the Dobermann Spitfire 80 also has a carbon race bridge (RB) that really stiffens things up without adding weight. The combination of performance and stability is pretty outstanding, and advanced and expert level skiers will love the precision and edge grip of these awesomely fast sticks. At 174 cm length, the skis have a 16-meter turn radius, so expect to be on edge most of the time. The full camber demands balance and constant attention, so lazy skiers need not apply. Our testers were pretty much over the moon with the stability and torsional stiffness of the 2020 Nordica Dobermann Spitfire 80 RB.

Jeff Neagle skied the 174, and found them to be correct for a carving ski for him. His top scores of 5’s were given for stability, edge hold, and overall impression. Jeff also thought these skis were quite versatile for a carver, and that’s a good sign for a ski that’s 80 mm underfoot. Playfulness and forgiveness received low scores of 3 out of 5, but that’s not really what these skis were designed for. As Jeff says: “I loved skiing these. Similar to the Blizzard Firebird in their overall feel. Precision and power, but a little bit friendlier than some carving skis I’ve been on.” Very important to note, that these skis, although derived from race technology and heritage, are not race-room style skis—they’re definitely in that high-end recreational carver category, but not quite built for the race course.

Also on the 174, James Stewart liked the size, and gave it 4’s out of 5 for torsional stiffness, edge hold, and overall impression. His other scores were all 3’s, showing a well-balanced ski that’s not locked into doing one particular thing. James notes that the Spitfire 80 “really lets the ski flex more evenly along the length of the ski. This makes it a lot more versatile and forgiving.” It’s nice when a carving ski lets you use the whole edge, that’s when you build up some good energy. “Great ski if you want to work on improving those carved turns, but don’t want to commit to an SL weapon.” Slalom skis can be demanding, but really rip turns, and James is insinuating that the RB 80 allows you to carve like that, but are not locked-in like a slalom ski.

Marcus Shakun would have preferred the 180 over his 174 cm test length, but that didn’t stop him from having fun and contributing some valuable information. He scored the skis 5’s out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness, and edge hold. His overall impression looks like a 4.5, and his low score of 2 out of 5 for flotation is not a surprise given the width. He says the Dobermann Spitfire 80 RB is perfect for an “all-mountain skier that mainly stays on the front side. They love the longer-radius turns. You can snap out medium turns as well.” Due to the shape and build, “you can also take them off-trail because their lively, have lots of energy, and are super-stable underfoot with the wider waist.” Sounds like a pretty well-rounded carving ski for sure.

The 2020 Nordica Dobermann Spitfire 80 RB is best suited for advanced and expert skiers who are looking to blur the line between a front-side carver and an all-mountain ski. While not having the width of some of these more versatile skis, the Spitfire 80 certainly holds its own thanks to the build and overall personality. Skiers will love the precision and power from these awesome all-mountain carvers.


Parker Herlihy

Age: 21Height: 6'4"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Freeride fun with big air on the brain

Rick Randall

Age: 45Height: 5'10"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Efficient and technical with a love for speed

James Stewart

Age: 30Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, playful, and fun to follow

Jeff Neagle

Age: 33Height: 5'10"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

Marcus Shakun

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

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

16 Comments on the “2020 Nordica Spitfire 80 RB”

  1. Great review. Just out of curiosity, how do they compare to the Volkl Deacon 84 and the Kastle MX84? I have been on both of those but the Deacon in a 177 felt like a big ski and the MX 84 in a 176 was silky smooth. I am currently on the Head V10 and they are great skis at slow to medium speeds but no the best top end ski for sure.

    1. Hi David!
      I’d put it more in line with the Kastle than the Deacon. Very smooth turn initiation and likes to finish a turn properly, much like the Kastle. I found the Deacon to be more slidy and smeary thanks to the slight tip and tail rocker. The full camber profile of the other skis puts them on another level. Much higher speed limit than the V10 for sure. Have fun!

  2. Appreciate the information. Just curious how did the 80 RB perform with the hard snow and and icy? The edge hold scores are stellar but just curious when under these conditions, how did they perform? Or would you suggest moving into the 76 RB or 72 RB?


    1. Hi Chris W!
      At the end of the day, narrower waists grip better, but at the cost of balance and versatility. I like the 80 because it’s almost crossing to the all-mountain range, but not quite due to the build. For straight-up racing, the narrower skis are certainly better. Have fun!

  3. Finally manufacturers are offering skis of this quality in the technical area FLAT. Great review, you guys at Ski Essentials are doing a great job offering info and education. Can you please tell me the weight (grams) per ski WITHOUT binding and plate (FLAT) for whatever ski length you have available to weigh? I am specifically interested in the 162, 168 cm lengths. I am look to buy this ski for my daughter who is quickly becoming a very good skier. At 163 cm and 68 kg would the 168 cm length be to long considering the following: We are looking for a longer turn radius than her current Elan Fusion 12 (10 years old) 13 m Radius full camber ski. If you are not familiar with this ski it essentially is equal to the NORDICA SPITFIRE 80 RB less the carbon tech. She can drive this ski hard and can carve a turn as pure (theoretically) as any upper 20% of rec skiers who can ski technically sound.



    1. Hi Spiros!
      We’ve got the 162 (which I’d recommend in terms of length) coming in at 1746 grams per ski flat. The 168 is 1882. The shorter length just seems to jive more with her size and ability. Have fun!

  4. Hi, i am about to buy these Nordica or the Blizzard firebird HRC. Beside the 4mm wider underfoot for the Spitfire RB what should i Know ??? The Nordica are around 100$ Cheaper. What is your recommandation ?
    I have some Blizzard Rustler 10 for occasionnal powder days but i am on the east cost. I like them for soft days but they are not stiff enough for my taste on a régular basis.

    Thanks a lot !

    1. Hi Eric L!
      Are you getting a binding with that Nordica? The 80 comes both flat and with a system (FDT) while the HRC is a system-only ski and binding. Other than that, you’re getting fair comparison in performance–the Blizzard uses more carbon so it feels a bit lighter. Also comes in different lengths, so you might be more interested in one over the other based on size. Have fun!

  5. Considering the Spitfire 80 vs the Blizzard Competition 76. Besides the 4 mm and that I believe that the Comp 76 is only offered with the plate binding, how would you say they compare, edge hold and carving ability on hard pack, versatility. I saw a previous answer to a question comparing the Firebird HRC but was not sure how different the answer might be with the Competition 76.


    1. Hi Jeff!
      Pretty similar answer as the HRC, as the skis share a mold, just a slightly different build. One less sheet of carbon in the Comp, as well as a slight downgrade in system binding. As such, I’d give the performance edge to the Spitfire, but not by a whole lot. Have fun!

  6. Thank you for the review!
    I am looking GS like race-ski but with a wider footprint for all day on-piste skiing, even in fresh snow or warmer spring days. Do you think the Spitfire 80 is the best ski for that wider GS-like ski category or would you prefer skis like the Salomon s blast bold, Völkl deacon 84 or the k2 disruption.

    1. Hi Stan!
      I’d put the Deacon and the Disruption 82 Ti in the same category as more all-mountain skis that rip GS turns while the Spitfire is definitely a race ski, only wider. The Salomon is more of a pure carving ski with very abrupt sidecut and flat tails. Not great for much other than carving. If you’re looking for that bit of extra versatility and user-friendliness, I’d go for the Deacon 84, but for race-feel without compromise (and certainly more demand required), the Spitfire is a pretty sweet ski. Take care!

  7. Hey thinking of getting a pair Really want a ski that can help me carve with strong edges but can handle itself off the beaten path as well, how would you say these handle off trail?

    1. HI LF!
      The width is fine for off-trail, but you must keep in mind that they’re fully cambered, so turn initiation and completion is more challenging. Have fun!

  8. How do these skis compare to the previous Volkl RTM 81? I have skied the RTM 81 for 5 years and I am looking to replace with a similar ski.
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Kelsy!
      The Spitfire 80 has more of a race build, and is stiffer and more demanding than the RTM 81. That ski morphed into the Volkl Deacon 80, so if you’re looking to replace with similar, that’s the way to go, but if you’re looking for the next level up in performance, the Spitfire 80 is a very strong and stable ski. Have fun!

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