2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Ski Review

The all-new 2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 utilizes a Double Core technology that’s a big part of the story, but the overall value and range of this ski will really make it stand out from a pretty competitive field of mid-80's versatile carvers. This one slides quite nicely right in between the front side and all-mountain categories, offering a ton of potential and a huge upside for skiers looking to bridge the gulf between on-trail carving and off-trail acumen. While we’ll miss the outgoing Navigator 85, it’s pretty easy to see that Steadfast is going to be a fantastic replacement. We saw this Double Core technology start out with the women’s Wild Belle 84 last year, and the response was so great that they decided to implement it in pretty much all of their front side models, from the Dobermann GSR race-style models to the 85 mm Steadfast and Wild Belle. With a retail price of $799.99 including the TPX 12 bindings, there’s a whole lot of value to this setup, serving well as a one-ski quiver for most, and a narrow ski for some.

To be more specific about this construction, the Double Core Technology of the Steadfast 85, in particular, uses an Energy Ti DC core which is basically a sandwich with two wood core layers on the top and bottom, a titanal laminate below the top one, and a Pulse Core below the metal. This layering system allows for maximum energy, silky-smooth damping, and endless grip to the edges. The Pulse Core layer is an elastomer material that takes away most, if not all, chatter from the ski resulting in a quiet and stable ride at a variety of speeds. The two cores are certainly thinner, and this allows for a kind of independent suspension system that provides a really nice rebound and pop out of the turn. Besides this unique and interesting construction technique, the build is actually pretty simple. There’s not a whole lot of additives or extras, and that makes us think that the way they put these materials together is both simplistic as well as intelligent—if there’s no need for a more complex build, why do it?


2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Skis






162, 168, 174, 179 cm

15.8 m @ 179 cm

137 / 85 / 116 mm

Marker TPX 12 FDT


Shape-wise, this Steadfast 85 is very average, and that’s a huge part of the charm. There’s nothing complicated about the shape or profile of this ski, and it makes a lot of sense when you consider who it’s catered to and who’s really going to love this ski. At 85 mm underfoot, the 179 cm length produces a 15.8-meter turn radius. If you go down to the 162, that arc drops to 13.7-meters. In the 179, the longest length, the tip and tail measure 137 and 116 mm respectively, giving this ski a clean and round shape for all types of carved turns. One of the nice things about the footprint of the ski is that it’s got fairly rounded tips and tails, and that takes a lot of the jarring nature of front side skis right out of the equation. Leave the squared-off shovels and tails to the race skis—this one is far better when viewed as a friendlier front side carver. As more of an on-trail ski, the Steadfast 85 has minimal rocker. There’s a bit in the tips and tails, but for all intents and purposes, this is a fully-cambered ski, and that’s one of the biggest differences between Steadfast and Navigator. The profile of this ski certainly makes it lean more to the front side than all-mountain, while the shape and overall capabilities still keep that versatility squarely in mind. The rocker is mainly there for turn initiation and completion purposes, and we think it marries quite well with the roundness of the tips and tails.

2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Skis: 2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Skis Camber Profile Image 2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Skis: 2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Rocker Profile Closeup Image

As far as performance is concerned, it’s fun to break it down into a few parts: short, medium, and long turns, and then all-mountain capabilities. While 15.8-meters is a good middle-ground for a variety of turns, we found that it did fantastic when you shortened it up and broke free from that radius. It’s easy and playful when you want to skid it out, and that certainly comes in handy when we discuss mogul performance. In the mid-range, these skis are quite happy. In that mix between a pure carve and a slightly shortened arc, the Steadfast is eager to engage, happy to release, and capable of gripping tight to any type of firm snow. For those who live in the not-quite-skid, not-quite-carve land, this is a great ski for that zone. We found this to be especially useful in softer snow, more granular surfaces, and more spring-like conditions. If you want to open it up and really let it run, the name "Fast" is right there in the ski. The SteadFAST is more than comfortable at higher speeds, and while you do have to break from the intended arc in order to get there, it still handles those velocities with aplomb. If you’re looking for top-level stability at speed, that’s where the Spitfire and Dobermann skis come in handy, but not many skiers are living at those speeds, so having Steadfast makes more sense for more people.

2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Skis: Full Width Action Image 1 2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Skis: Full Width Action Image 2

In an off-trail, soft snow, and mogul capacity, the versatility of the Steadfast is pretty darn apparent. The only real limitation is the weight, but even then, it’s so easy to turn that it doesn’t feel like you’re putting in too much effort. We got some rough and rugged snow conditions on one of our test days, and the Steadfast handled it with ease. With a warm 4-5 inches of snow, even when it turned to crud and moderate slop, the stability of the ski certainly stood out. Sure, there are better performers out there, and something like Enforcer 88 would have handled those same conditions with more confidence, but for a more on-piste ski, Steadfast held its own for sure. In more technical terrain, it’s great to have that edge grip, the easy turning ability, and the stable nature of the ski underfoot to help you navigate tricky situations. It’s got an intuitive feel to it that a lot of skiers will enjoy, mainly because you don’t have to think about it too much. For moguls, as with any mid-80's all-mountain ski, we’re expecting to see pretty quick turns and a fair amount of mobility. We get that for sure with Steadfast 85, as it’s a very agile ski when moving at slower to more moderate speeds in the bumps. From narrow zipper lines to wider-spaced bumps on the trails, these skis are some of the best out there, especially considering the on-trail carving capabilities. If you’ve ever skied bumps on a stiffer and more squared-off ski like a Spitfire, you’d know that they can be quite a handful. By bumping down just a bit to something like this ski, it makes a world of difference. Those rounded ends and that slight rocker, combined with the single-metal laminate of the Double Core create a fun-loving bump ski that can hop out at any time and make clean and round turns on the corduroy. The limitations of the ski are mainly focused in the off-trail realm, but even so, we found a lot to like about the versatility of the Steadfast 85.

For a set of skis and bindings, this price is fantastic, and the performance is perhaps even more noteworthy. This Steadfast 85 is certainly competing with some heavy hitters out there, allowing skiers to achieve carving confidence and off-piste versatility. They’ve taken a proven Double Core technology and brought it into the future with this ski. There’s definitely something to the smoothness and overall performance that can only be attributed to Double Core, which begs the question, when will we see Triple Core? Are horizontally laminated wood cores the future? All we know is that it works really, really well in this ski and the others that employ this build, so we’re definitely excited to see where it goes.

2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Ski Review: Shop Now Image

Written by Bob St.Pierre on 02/15/23

8 thoughts on “2024 Nordica Steadfast 85 DC Ski Review

  1. Hi,

    Looks like a great ski. I am looking for ~15M carver that will be very good in bumps. Wil they be making other skis in this line? Looking for a ski in the 74-78 width and the Thunderbird WB and Forza 70D is what I am considering now.


  2. Great review. How would you compare the edge hold & stability of the Steadfast compared to the Enforcer 94? In other words, you previously rated the Enforcer 94 edge hold and stability as a "5", how would you rate the edge hold and stability of the Steadfast? Thanks.

    1. Both the Steadfast 85 DC and the Enforcer 94 performed very well in terms of edge grip. The Steadfast I would say, based on design and construction, would be the better carver as it is a frontside oriented carving. The Enforcer 94 is still an incredible carver and is going to be a more versatile ski than the Steadfast in terms of all-mountain performance. Hope this helps!

  3. Hey Guys!

    Thanks for the awesome review, you really caught my attention!
    I am from Germany and riding several times per year in the Alps in Austria. Currently riding Fischer 94 FR besides some powder skis. The Fischer is my all mountain ski and daily driver. Love to be on groomers, moguls and in afternoon conditions, but do not need the freestyle aspect of the Ranger.
    In addition, I think about some narrower, more dynamic ski for frontside purpose. Love to charge in the morning and skid and smear around in the afternoon and Ranger is a great match, after I sold my Enforcer 94 which was too burly and heavy with a too strong tail for my style of riding.
    Really think about Nordica Steadfast 85, Salomon Stance 84 or Volkl Kanjo 84 as they perhaps fit my style.
    I am an expert skier with 30 years of experience, 169cm tall, just about 64 kg and not a very strong rider (which might also be a reason why Enforcer 94 did not fit despite being a great ski).

    Looking forward to your reply!

    Btw, really enjoy your deep reviews and honest opinions on skis - keep going like this!

    Best wishes,

    1. The Steadfast 85 DC sounds like a great fit for you! It is going to be the most playful compared to the 2023 Stance 84 and Kanjo 84. However, the 2024 Salomon Stance 84 is going to be a bit softer and more playful than its predecessor, so that may be one to consider as you are searching around. Hope this helps and have fun!

  4. Bob, Nice review on the Steadfast. I am currently skiing 2019 Navigator 90's and hesitate to switch away from the Navigator line-up. I will demo the Steadfast 85 DC when I see them available. I am a 73 male and would put myself in the advanced skier category. I can ski anything but at this age I am sticking to carving on groomers. The Steadfast looks like a potential replacement for my Navigator 90's . Thx, Mike

  5. I'm currently skiing Nordica Enforcer 93 in a 185 length. I'm not in love with them. I demo'd Volkl Deacon 79's and Elan Wingamn 82cti. Both turned and stopped better for my type of skiing. I think the Deacon 80's would be better to get a longer length. I ski entirely in the Northeast...I'm 6'2, 240lbs. I'd say I'm a intermediate that spends 99% of my time on the frontside. Would this make sense?

    1. I'd say the 182 in the Deacon would be the proper length for your stats and application. Have fun!

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