2020-2021 Nordica Soul Rider

I haven’t gotten the Soul Rider in 3-4” of fresh chop yet—the kind of conditions you might expect at lunch on a light pow day in-resort or in the days following a storm—but I’m inclined to think it’s going to do well there too for its width.

As far as strict soft-snow performance goes, I noticed that the Soul Rider’s tips are very conventionally shaped. This might help the ski float quite a bit, but I have to think that the ski might benefit from a little taper in the tip shape in order to combat hookiness. Obviously, that’s only an inkling, and I may be proven wrong. We’ll see.

The Soul Rider is an all-mountain twin-tip after all, and the freestyle world has every reason to be interested in this ski. I haven’t had the chance to explore this too much, but with such a fun, snappy flex, I’m sure it will show some strong flippy-spinny capabilities in the park and on side-of-the-run jibs.

Personally, I’m just as excited to get on this ski as any other I reviewed so far this season, even the big-mountain/pow-day boards. Like Jason, I’ve also put a couple of seasons on the 09/10 K2 Kung Fujas. I loved that ski for ripping around the whole mountain, but found the flex to be too soft, making the ski outright scary and chattery at higher speeds (no matter what your stance looked like). The Soul Rider is every bit as fun as the old Fujas, but seems even more practical and willing to ski fast, thanks to a little more width and a bit firmer flex.

Will’s Bottom Line:

So far, I’m really happy with the Soul Rider. It seems to be a really forgiving everyday ski for the intermediate skiers out there, and a carve-capable, seriously fun one-ski-quiver for advanced/expert riders. I’ll always look forward to getting back on this ski, and won’t be surprised if we see it in this season’s one-ski quiver selections. Is it better than the Scimitar? No. The Soul Rider is comparable, but different all-mountain ski. It seems tweaked for a skier who prefers more traditionally edged turns by default, rather that smeared/surfy ones, and still wants a lot of pop through a carved turn.


26 comments on “2020-2021 Nordica Soul Rider”

    • Hey Smarty,

      The Scimitar and Bridge are practically identical skis. I’ve only skied the Bridge in a 179, not the more comparable 187, but in my experience they perform very similarly. They both feature the a subtle, full reverse camber profile, and have nearly the same dimensions (The Scimitar is 3mm wider underfoot). So, most everything I’ve said about how the Soul Rider compared to the Scimitar, I feel comfortable saying relative to the Bridge. Thanks to its traditional camber, the Soul Rider feels a little more stable running through uneven snow/chop bases flat or not at a very high edge angle, and it it seems to have a little more pop and energy (especially when carved aggressively). Hope this helps!


  1. How would you compare the bonafide to the soul rider. Obviously one is more charger and one is more jibbery. But in terms of pure skiing and versatility. Which would you guys rather be on and why?

    • Matt,
      First consider that I have only spent one day on the Soul Rider, so I am a little gun shy to say just how great it is at everything. I spent more time on the 187cm Bonafide, and comparing the two I would personally rather be on the Soul Rider.

      The Bonafide is a great ski that prefers to carve down pretty much everything you throw at it. It is very torsionally stiff, damp, and stable due to its (hefty) twin metal laminate construction, and offers a straight forward traditional/directional feel. While I had some fun on the Bonafide, I personally prefer skis that are lighter and offer a more dynamic ride, much like the Soul Rider.

      The Soul Rider obviously is more freestyle oriented, and is much more balanced in flex and shape. I like skis that allow me to rip around the mountain AND play around with presses, kickers, drops, etc, and this is what I consider to be versatility.

      If you define a versatile ski as one that feels cool, calm, and collected nearly all of the time, the Bonafide is more apt to be that ski. If you’re more like me and consider versatility to mean you can take it from steep technical lines, to groomers, and to the terrain park, the Soul Rider takes it between these two.

  2. This ski is now on my radar, and is a serious front runner for my all mountain ski for this year. The 4FRNT Cody is my other top option, but there is minimal info on this ski yet. How about it, any words of advice on the Cody?

    My main goal is to have a ski that can huck cliffs on to hardpack (therefore smaller cliffs), carve hard, and be poppy, playful and buttery ski all at once. The cody seems like it may be this ski, and the Soul Rider seems like it may be this ski as well, after reading Jason and Wills’ review!

    • Though my time on the Soul Rider is significantly less than that on the SFB, I found the Soul Rider to be slightly more damp feeling, and a bit more torsionally rigid. I also found the Soul Rider to be stiffer throughout.
      As much as I love the SFB, for an east coast one ski quiver I’d probably go with the narrower, slightly more hard snow oriented Soul Rider.

    • Hi Tarek,

      I have not had the chance to ski the El Paco. Effectively it is simply a narrower Soul Rider (at 87mm underfoot with the same sort of rocker/camber profile). I would guess that the El Paco is a little lighter and quicker feeling from edge to edge on hard snow, more suited for park/rail riding, will get kicked around more in uneven conditions and chop, and won’t float as well in soft snow. Of course, these are only assumptions I’m making. We’ll be sure to make more detailed comparisons if we get on the El Paco this season. Cheers!


  3. Ski Magazine (November 2012) Testers “found performance they could love at prices they could live with” and the Soul Rider was on their list. At $799 MSRP it was considered a “Value Ski”–of course we won’t actually pay the MRSP so it is even a better priced value. Testers thought “it could hold its own against the big guns of the full-price category” Looks like it is a great ski to have in your quiver!

  4. Hi There,

    I’m looking at buying these skis but I’m new to the concept of adjusting to rocker (which from what I understand makes the ski “shorter”) based on effective edge.
    I’m 5’11” and weigh about 150 lbs. I’m looking at the 185’s right now because I do like to ski pretty hard. Is this the right ski for me or is the 177 better suited?


    • Hi Paul,

      You and Coach Krinkle (who has replied below) are both right that the rocker in the ski reduces it’s effective edge, which makes a 185cm ski a little shorter than it actually is. All in all, the Soul Rider is a very intuitive, cooperative ski, especially on the feet of an advanced skier or someone who likes to ski hard like you do. I think the 185 will suit you well. I can’t imagine you would feel it is too much ski (I’d be a lot less surprised to hear that you wanted more stability out of the 177). Hope this helps,


  5. Paul,
    Not enough information to tell you the right length. Add on: What you like to ski most–grommers, chutes, crud, powder, moguls, all of above? Plus, what type of boot are you in right now–flex, skier level.?

    The Soul Rider has an Early Rise camRock which pulls the traditional contact point of the tip back about 25% creating increased flotation, velocity and maneuverability in soft snow and all other conditions. If you like short and medium radius turns–go shorter. If you like eye watering GS and Super G turns, go longer. If you like moguls, chute skiing and park/pipe skiing–go shorter. If you want all around–either will do but shorter always creates smiles!

  6. Thanks so much for the help both Will and Coach Krinke!

    I really do appreciate the feedback and advice.

    While trying to find an answer to both of your follow up thoughts, I find that I do like to do it all. I really do enjoy charging hard on some days carving GS type turns, but I also like to dabble in the park with jumps as well as making quick turns in the bumps or on steep chutes.

    Although I don’t think the 185 would be too much ski, I might be giving up a bit of the playfulness I tend to look for as well.

  7. I guess I forgot one point above. I’m an advanced skier but fairly light. I’m in Dalbello Voodo’s right now. I find it’s progressive flex suits my weight and freestyle ability.

    And although I will be taking these skis in powder and big mountain, I will be spending about half my time on groomers.

  8. Hi,
    Thanks a lot the good reviews. I’m surprised that noboday asked, but how does it compare to Nordica’s Enforcer Ti? They share almost the same shape, but the construction is different if I got it right?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hey Jerry,

      The Enforcer and Soul Rider are very similar, though the former is a little more traditional with only slight rocker in the tip and a flat tail (unlike the Soul Rider’s twin, rockererd tail). I’d really like to get on the Enforcer myself for a comparison. I’d expect it to be more stable on hardpack and even more energetic through a carve. It might be a great option for people who aren’t looking to ride switch, or just like the feel of a more standard tail from a more forward stance. Thanks for the note!


  9. Hi,

    What size of Marker Jester did you use with the Soul Rider, 90mm or 110mm. Would you recommend buying a schizo binding to be able to adjust position on ski easily.


    • Hi Fabrice,

      With a little bending, you’ll be able to use a 90mm brake on the Soul Rider without a problem (you could also use a 110 brake if you had to). The schizo binding does work very well and would be great on the ski if you do want to have the option to play with the mount point.


  10. Hi,

    what size do You suggest for me (I’m 6.1 ft and my weight is 194 lbs), I’m a little more than an intermediate skier.
    What do You think about the Marker Tour (12) on this ski?

    • Hey Max,

      The 185 will suit you well. I worry that a shorter version could start to feel to short in another season or two as you progress. The 185cm ski is still quite easy to direct and skid around on, but will still feel adequate on down the road.

      If you’re looking to do some touring, then yes, the Marker Tour 12 would certainly be a nice pairing.



  11. Wondering if you had any thoughts on these vs 4FRNT Codys as an east coast all mountain twin? You mention planning to review them above, but I don’t see such a review.

    • Hey Comet Jo,

      We’re still working to get our hands on a pair of Codys (called the Gaucho for the 14/15 season). I’ll be sure to let you know when we get time on the ski. As for the Soul Rider as an East Coast all-mountain ski, it would be great for someone looking for a more forgiving, playful ski that could be taken in the park and would have a nice, looser feel in soft snow. But if you’re looking for something to bite into true ice/hardpack, then I’d look for a more traditional ski with a bit more burl like the Rossi Experience 88/98 or Volkl Mantra.


  12. Hi,

    I’m looking for a second “play” ski, for bumps, trees, etc. I’m thinking about the 15-16 Soul Rider or the 15-16 Sir Francis Bacon –– any advice on how these skis compare and how they’d work for this purpose?

    I’m an aggressive, strong skier, but am only 5′ 9″ & 160 lbs. I currently ski a pair of 177 Volkl RTM 84s.


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