2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review

In our last Top 5 Fridays video, we asked what Nordica ski you wanted us to review next. The overwhelming answer was the 2022 Enforcer 104 Free, and we are happy to oblige. Interestingly, it was just about 2 years ago exactly that we first reviewed this ski, and although it hasn’t changed structurally since then, we thought that was more than enough time to circle back and take another look.

The Enforcer 104 Free is the narrowest in the Enforcer Free collection, which also includes the 110 and the 115. It’s different than both of those skis in construction, however, as it includes Nordica’s True Tip and Carbon Chassis technologies. Since its introduction, those technologies have trickled their way into the 100 and the 94, and were always found in the 88, but not yet the 110 or 115. To summarize construction, we get a relatively lightweight wood core made from a blend of poplar, beech, and balsa, plus the two sheets of metal found in all Enforcer skis. As a reminder, those metal laminates are a little thinner than what we see in a lot of skis that use metal. True Tip refers to the wood core extending further into the tip, replacing ABS material, thus giving it a lighter swing weight while retaining or even enhancing responsiveness. The Carbon Chassis integrated some carbon fiber into the ski’s fiberglass weave, also designed to reduce weight, while increasing energy and playfulness.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186, 191 cm

18.5 m at 186 cm

135 / 104 / 124 mm

Light Wood Core, 2 Sheets of Metal, Carbon Chassis, True Tip

Stability, Playfulness, Versatility


The shape of the 104 Free is really important to its performance. The shovel of the ski is distinctly an Enforcer. It has that smooth rocker and early taper that we get in the 100, 94, and even the narrowest 88. We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of that tip shape, and it all carries over to the 104, which we’ll get to in a little bit. The tail, however, mimics the shape we see in the 110 and 115. There’s quite a lot of rocker and taper in the tail too, although it’s not quite as long as in the tip. This really changes the personality of the 104 compared to the 100, which features a much flatter tail.

This is a fun ski to review for me as I have been skiing my personal pair of Enforcer 104s for about 2 years now, so you can basically consider this a long term, extended review of the 104 Free. Is it an all-mountain ski or a freeride ski? Truthfully, I’m still not sure. I think it’s somewhere between those two things, or kind of a blend of both, and I think that’s just fine. What’s special about the Enforcer 104 is just that, how it blends different characteristics and different capabilities into one ski. It feels weird to start with groomers for a ski that’s 104 mm underfoot, but I do think that’s a good place to start with this ski.

2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review: Camber Profile Image

Linking carving turns on the Enforcer 104 Free is incredibly smooth and incredibly intuitive for an advanced/expert level skier. The turn radius is basically identical to what we get on the rest of the Enforcer series, and I’m very thankful for that. The 186 cm length that I have been skiing the past couple seasons has an 18.5 m turn radius. That’s pretty short for a ski that’s this wide, with this much metal, and of that length. The flex pattern also isn’t crazy-stiff, even though it has those two sheets of metal. The result is an ability and willingness to be flexed into relatively short, pretty snappy carving turns. It’s one of those skis that leaves trenches behind it as it really cuts into the snow, flexes, but doesn’t lose its grip whatsoever. You do get more stiffness out of the tail of the Enforcer 100, to make a direct comparison, which basically just means you need to ski with a more centered, balanced stance and initiate your turns a little more laterally than in a fore/aft manner, but that’s true for a lot of skis that have this shape. Its quickness and responsiveness on groomers surpasses my expectations. It’s not a dedicated carving ski, in fact it’s far from it, but for something this wide, it sure can hold its own when you just want to link mid-radius carves.

The construction and shape of this ski also lets you open things up when you want to. The Enforcers all have superb vibration damping, and the 104 Free is certainly no exception to that. Despite its quickness and more-rockered shape, it feels comfortable and stable at speeds. If you relax a little bit and just let it do its thing without really trying to get to flex, you can length the turn shape and let them run into more Super-G style turns, which is fun. The benefit of the Enforcer 104 when you start moving the needle of the speedometer isn’t just its stability, it’s also its forgiveness. By using more tail rocker than the Enforcer 100, you can release the tail edge more easily, which will boost confidence in a lot of skiers when you’re skiing fast. It makes it easier and less fatiguing to throw them sideways and dump speed, which is a valuable characteristic.

2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1 2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

That ability to release the tail edge carries over into un-groomed terrain really nicely. It’s still important to call out the fact that these skis aren’t lightweight. In fact, they’re more on the heavy side of the spectrum at just over 2200 g per ski in the 186 cm length. Despite that weight, however, they’re surprisingly quick and agile. For a ski that hits this level of stability and tips the scales this much, they might be the most agile, or at least a contender for that title. I’m consistently impressed with how flickable they are. Are there quicker skis out there? Absolutely… Even something like the Fischer Ranger 102 FR, which is a common comparison to the Enforcer 104 Free and has a lot of similarities, is a quicker, more agile ski, but it’s not as damp, as powerful, or as smooth. That said, an advanced or expert level skier shouldn’t have a problem maneuvering the Enforcer 104 in tricky terrain. It’s become my go-to tree ski for Stowe, which says a lot considering how tight our trees are.

In addition to my go-to tree ski, it’s also become my powder ski for 95% of our powder days at Stowe. If I were out west, it wouldn’t see as much action on a powder day, but here on the east, it feels just about perfect. Anything up to around a foot of fresh snow feels great on the 104. It floats nicely thanks to the extended rocker in the tip, and planes out at slower speeds than some skis thanks to the tail shape. They’re not exceptionally surfy in deep snow, but they also aren’t hooky or too challenging to ski. For me, on the east coast, it’s a perfect blend of smeariness and float with quickness and responsiveness for later in the day when things get tracked out. Only on really, really deep days do I reach for the wider skis in my quiver, which are all over 110 underfoot.

Now, we get a lot of people asking about park application and mount points on the Enforcer 104 Free. I’ve skied it in probably more positions than anyone else on the planet… partly because I doubt many people have gone as far forward as I have. For reference, I have a freestyle background and still ski a center mounted ski a lot (the Soul Rider 97). A couple years ago, after having thoroughly tested the 104 already, it became time to decide where to mount the bright orange FKS 18s I had set aside for these skis. I wanted to have some freestyle/freeride influence in how the skis felt. I wanted to be able to ski them switch whenever I wanted to and I wanted them to feel balanced in the air. With that in mind, I measured what I found to be the center of the camber, measured true center, looked at the recommended line, and ultimately put my midsole about 5.5 cm forward from the factory line. That’s about 3 cm back from TRUE CENTER, and I can confidently say you shouldn’t go any further forward than that. I love it for what I do and how I like to ski, but any further forward would be too far forward in the camber, and would start to take away a lot of what makes this such a great ski. When it comes to actual park skiing, however, they’re a bit much, in my opinion. I love being able to hop to switch play around on natural hits, but when I take them into the terrain park, they feel pretty heavy. I would certainly not recommend it to anyone other than a very skilled park skier if you’re going to use them for that application. I’d also add that the 179 would be easier than my 186, but to me, it still feels heavy for someone who spends a lot of time in the park. I’ll stick to my Soul Riders for that.

Is it an all-mountain ski or a freeride ski? I think that depends on the skier. Here on the east coast, you better be spending a lot of time off trail if you’re going to use it as your all-mountain ski. Out west, however, I could see it being a daily driver for a lot of skiers. Regardless, it’s impossible to ignore the benefits of this ski. The way it blends power and stability with playfulness and maneuverability is very impressive, and something that very few other skis can claim to offer.

2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 01/27/21

7 thoughts on “2022 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free Ski Review

  1. Best all around skis in the enforcer lineup imo. Nice improvement on the old 100 with no real downside, which is nice now that the new 100 is beefier, stiffer and heavier. I mounted mine -1.5 from the line for a more directional feel (bigger guy on the 186) and still super maneuverable in bumps and trees. Fantastic ski!

    New graphics are slick and much better in person - big improvement over last years. Looks great with pivot 15s (put forza on mine and looks sick!). Thanks for getting these bad boys out to me quickly and for having the prerelease early.

  2. Loved my old 100’s. Felt like the 104 frees were a bit too much ski. My local shop Start Haus Truckee recommended I detune back beyond tail contact point. Almost a foot in. I’m thinking this is a key to use on harder snow and to be “free” to truly slash this powerful ski.

  3. Living in Jackson Hole the past 8 winters I have been fortunate enough to test a lot of skis. The Casper demo tent and TVS make testing very easy and fun. I also went to MRA demo test fest at Boyne Mt in Michigan from 1975 until 2012. Back in the day I would ski 20+ pairs in 2 days and I would find 2 or 3 pairs of skis you wanted to purchase. Now, maybe 2-3 you don’t like. Once I found the Nordica Enforcer 104 in a 172cm I fell in love. An amazing ski that loves groomers, bumps and powder. Now at 74, the wider skis > 104 waist are a bit much on the knees. One of the first powder days on the Nordica we cruised down Ranger in butt deep pow. OMG !!! This ski eats up old powder as well and the tip just keeps carving thru troughs, bumps and crud. The tails release in bumps and speed is no problems. I never thought I would use a 104 waist ski for everyday usage. Love this ski....thank you Nordica!!!

  4. Off question, I’m looking to replace my 2015 Atomic Theory’s. Do you have a general comparison. I would like something that’s fun on the blues, bumps, and small hits when hanging with my son. But, still be manageable when opening it up in variable snow. Thanks

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