2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review

The Nordica Enforcer 88 arrived a couple years ago and immediately took the spot as the narrowest, quickest ski in the Enforcer line. We sang its praises in our 2020 review. It retains the Enforcer versatility and overall feel, but is the quickest edge to edge, has the best edge grip, is the most responsive on firm snow, etc, etc, etc. For 2022, the Enforcer 88 is back with just a new topsheet, but considering it’s been a couple years since we’ve done a deep dive into its performance, and considering there have been new competitors introduced to the market since its inception, we thought we’d take another look.

Before we get into the details, Nordica happens to be the sponsor for our January SkiHappy Photo Contest and also happens to be giving away a pair of 2021 Enforcer 88s. So, if you’re reading this in the month of January 2021, head on over to the SkiHappy Contest to learn more about how you can win a pair. In addition to the Grand Prize, we also give SkiEssentials and Nordica accessories and clothing to 10 runner-up photos.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

165, 172, 179, 186 cm

17.5 m at 186 cm

122 / 88 / 110 mm

Wood / Metal / Carbon

Strong, Energetic, Smooth


Alright, back to the Enforcer 88. Last week, we met up with the Nordica crew to test and film 2022 skis. Nordica has a few new women’s options, but men’s skis carry-forward with no changes other than new graphics. That’s not tremendously surprising, as they have some really good skis right now, and it would feel a little bit rushed if they changed them already. What that day allowed for, however, was a refresher on how good these skis really are. We spent a lot of time on a variety of different Enforcer skis, 88, 94, 100, and 104, and had a variety of different skiers on each width. Biggest takeaway from our recent day with Nordica? These skis are really good, and it’s certainly not surprising that they’ve become so popular.

2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review: Camber Profile Image

Before we get into performance, let’s recap their construction and shape. Enforcers 88, 94, and 100 all share the same construction now, and they all have very similar shapes as well. We get a wood core with two sheets of metal, plus Nordica’s Carbon Chassis and True Tip technologies. Carbon Chassis is basically carbon fiber integrated into what would normally be all fiberglass, which reduces weight, while increasing energy in the ski’s flex pattern. True Tip refers to the wood core extending further into the tip of the ski than on previous Enforcer models. Wood takes the place of ABS materials, which reduces swing weight while giving the ski a smoother feel. An important reminder when discussing the construction of the Enforcer 88, and other Enforcer skis, is that although it uses two full sheets of metal, the metal itself is a little thinner than what’s used in race skis, aggressive dedicated carvers, and even some of the Enforcer 88’s direct competitors like the Brahma 88, RC One 86 GT, and others.

88mm underfoot with two sheets of metal is putting the Enforcer 88 into what we would consider to be “aggressive all-mountain skis.” Even though that metal is thinner, it’s still there, which gives the ski a lot of power, vibration damping, and stability. What sets this ski apart from others in that “aggressive” or “two-sheets-of-metal” category is the shape. The Enforcer 88 uses 30% tip rocker and 20% tail rocker, leaving 50% of the ski camber. That’s a lot of rocker for a ski in this width range with this much metal. The next element that’s really important to Enforcer skis is the amount of taper. Part of the reason why Nordica’s Enforcer collection has become so popular is the way they blend taper with rocker. The taper shape is not abrupt, it’s very smooth through both the tips and tails. The idea is that although it has 50% rocker, by not giving it abrupt taper, when you achieve a high edge angle, you’re actually lengthening the effective edge of the ski. We’ve talked about that concept a lot, and we’ve seen similar shapes show up in skis from other brands recently because, well, it works really well.

2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1 2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

When you’re linking carving turns on the Enforcer 88 it feels smooth, powerful, responsive, and energetic all at the same time. If you could somehow have someone test it without seeing its shape first, if they were just making carving turns on a groomer, there’s no way they would guess it has 50% rocker. It doesn’t feel like that at all. Edge grip is as good as you could ever ask it to be, it’s stable, and it tracks well too. You can also make a variety of different carving turn shapes on it, which is really fun. The 179 cm Enforcer 88 has a 16.5 m turn radius. If you’re driving the forebody of the ski into turns, that radius allows the ski to come across the fall line really nicely. It doesn’t even take that much effort, which I think is partly thanks to the thinner metal and the fact that the flex pattern isn’t crazy stiff. On the other hand, it does feel like you can take your foot off the gas pedal (so to speak) and let it run into longer radius carves than that 16.5-meter figure might suggest. That, in my opinion, is a really valuable characteristic. It allows you to ski with a lot of rhythm, even through crowded trails or narrower terrain. You never feel like you’re fighting the ski if you need it to make a shorter turn, it does so intuitively and naturally, while still feeling very powerful.

Are there other skis out there in this width range that achieve the same level of power and precision on groomers? Definitely. Skis like the Brahma 88, Kendo 88, RC One 86 GT, MX 88… they can all hang with the Enforcer 88 on a groomer. What really makes the Enforcer 88 different is its versatility and the fact that it does have a touch of forgiveness to it. That shaping concept with the smooth taper and 50% rocker means than if you’re keeping the ski relatively flat, it’s going to feel more maneuverable than similar skis with more camber. Releasing the tail edge feels easier, and you can get the Enforcer 88 to pivot in spots that would feel more challenging on some of those other skis. It’s still probably too much for most intermediates, so don’t take that idea and run too far with it, but on the feet of an advanced or expert level skier, it does feel like a more versatile tool. It’ll hop around in the moguls, likes to play in soft snow on the sides of trails, and if you find yourself in a bad situation you can throw them sideways pretty easily and dump all your speed without feeling like you’re trying to stop a runaway freight train.

Bob St.Pierre has developed a fondness for the Enforcer 88. You’ll often find him at Stowe ripping around on his personal pair of Enforcer 88s. As he’s spent a lot of time on them, I reached out and asked him simply “what are your favorite things about the Enforcer 88?” His response… “Energy out of the turn, rock-solid stability at speed, freeride shape and profile but in a narrower and quicker package, heavy but not bulky, pretty good mogul performance, great in the trees, not jarring, floaty for an 88, grippy for an 88, quick for a ski with dual-metal, and looks great with a Jester 18 Pro Orange binding.” We probably could’ve skipped the rest of this review and just left you with that quote, because that really does a good job explaining the Enforcer 88. “Floaty for an 88, grippy for an 88” really stood out to me as it’s pretty hard for an all-mountain ski to be a standout contender both in soft snow and on firm snow, and that’s a true testament of just how good the Enforcer 88 really is.

2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review: Coming Soon Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 01/14/21

11 thoughts on “2022 Nordica Enforcer 88 Ski Review

  1. “ Are there other skis out there in this width range that achieve the same level of power and precision on groomers? Definitely. Skis like the Brahma 88, Kendo 88, RC One 86 GT, MX 88… they can all hang with the Enforcer 88 on a groomer.”

    I don’t agree with the implication that the new Brahma, mx88 and kendo can merely hang with the E88 on a groomer. Haven’t skied the others you mentioned but cmon guys - the E88 doesn’t carve on groomers like these skis. E88s are awesome skis but they’re not perfect and the ones I mentioned outperform the E88 in a lot of ways on groomers. Definitely not as versatile as the E88s though.

  2. Thanks for the great review and I’m a total enforcer fan. I currently ski the 2019/2020 104 free’s at 172. I’m 5’11” at 200lbs advanced aggressive skier. I got the 104’s because I demo’d them and love them. I ride a little park and terrain but am looking for a better groomer ski for Southern California. 80% of our days are spring conditions. I am having trouble deciding between the 172 or 179, any help would be appreciated. I also ride switch often but would probably never land a jumó in switch on these skis.

    1. Hi Joe!
      I think the 179 is the way to go given your size and aggressiveness. Very fun complement to the 104's!
      SE

  3. Another great review !
    Can you describe the main differences between the Enforcer 88 and the Brahma 88 ? I already have a pair of Enforcer 104 free 186cm. The 88 would be mostly a frontside ski for carving on groomers. I am 6 foot 190 lbs. My fist 2 choice are the E88 186cm or the Brahma 88 183cm.
    Thanks

  4. Own them, from you guys. Review is spot on. Amazing range of performance in different conditions, along with ease of use. Swiss Army Knife of skis.

    1. HI Morten!
      The 179 is just under 2100 grams per ski, so it's pretty heavy. It's way more solid of a ski than the Rossi, but isn't as quick or agile. Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi, thanks for the update on the skis! I have a question on these 88s vs the 94s. I am an advanced skier 6’ 165lbs and ski mainly east coast. I’m looking to move into bumps and trees. I’ve heard people say that the 94s are better for off piste, but are they too much for east coast ice?

    That being said, are there any other skis I should be considering? I do like to ski groomers as well.

    Thanks!

    1. HI Alex!
      For eastern bumps and trees, I think the 88 is the better choice. Fantastic on groomers, as well!
      SE

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