Ski: 2018-2019 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm
Available Lengths: 171, 181, 191 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 188.0 cm
Stated Weight per Ski (181 cm): 2154 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (191 cm): 2199 & 2196 grams
Stated Dimensions: 150-115-140 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 152-116-142
Stated Sidecut Radius: 22 meters
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 73 mm / 63 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 1-2 mm
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.0 cm from center; 85.0 cm from tail
Boots / Bindings: Salomon QST Pro 130 / Marker Jester Demo
Test Locations: Telluride Ski Resort, CO; Alta Ski Area, UT
Days Skied (total): 7
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 17/18 Nomad 115, which was not changed for 18/19, apart from graphics.]
Intro by Cy Whitling
We recently posted our First Look at the Nomad 105 Lite, Icelantic’s “Free Touring” ski, and I have been logging time on it.
The Nomad 115 is the 105 Lite’s wider, less backcountry-oriented sibling, and Icelantic describes the Nomad 115 as offering “Big Mountain Performance in a Wide, Playful Shape.”
In other words, the Nomad 115 is living in the same category as the Moment Bibby / Blister Pro, the ON3P Kartel 116, and the Liberty Origin 116, so one of the big questions we’ll be looking to answer is exactly where the Nomad 115 fits into this class of playful-but-capable pow skis?
The flex pattern of the Nomad 115 feels very similar to the Nomad 105 Lite, but the 115 is a touch stiffer throughout. I’d rate it as:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9
Behind Heel Piece: 9
The Nomad 115 is a little softer in the tips and tails than the 184 cm Blister Pro, but stiffer than the ON3P Kartel 116. In my book, it’s definitely a flex pattern that’s befitting of a ski that’s supposed to offer “Big Mountain Performance.”
And if that’s not enticing enough for you, here’s an edit of Icelantic athlete, Owen Leeper, on the 17/18 Nomad 115:
Like the Nomad 105 Lite, Icelantic only offers the Nomad 115 in 10 cm length increments, which might put a fair number of skiers in the dreaded “Goldilocks” situation — those used to skiing 185-187 cm skis (like me) fall right between the 181 cm and 191 cm options.
Given that this ski has a good bit of tip and tail rocker, and that I decided to opt for stability over quickness, the 191 seemed to make the most sense. Plus, the ski actually measures 188.0 cm tip-to-tail, which is just a touch longer than the actual length of the 190 cm Liberty Origin 116, 190 cm Blister Pro, and 186 cm Kartel 116. For a ski designed to ride and play in big terrain, especially with the aid of chairlifts, that seems like a good length for my size — especially given the Nomad 115’s reasonable weight…
The Nomad 115 isn’t some chunky, metal ski. At 2199 & 2196 grams, it’s marginally lighter than the Liberty Origin 116 and Moment Blister Pro, and 200 g lighter per ski than the ON3P Kartel 116. So the Nomad 115 should (we think) offset much of the potential unwieldiness of the longer length. It also means this isn’t a stupid heavy ski to put frame bindings on, or Marker Kingpins for shorter, higher impact (bigger lines and airs) touring.
The Nomad 115 is less tapered than the Blister Pro or Kartel 116, which, coupled with its longer length, should appeal to skiers looking for a big, meaty pow ski (without the weight of a bigger, heavier ski).
As was the case with our review pair of Nomad 105 Lite, our pair of Nomad 115’s had some topsheet slip. The “Core Center” mark is about 2 cm behind our measured center on both skis. Icelantic recommends mounting at -9.0 cm from the center, and the top sheet slip we noted is a good reminder to always measure and double check your mount points before handing your skis over to the shop. (Though a good shop will also always check this before drilling.)
-9.0 cm is a fairly traditional mount, especially when compared to the Blister Pro’s -6.3 and the Kartel 116’s -4.1. However, the Nomad 115’s recommended mount is in line with the Liberty Origin 116’s -10.8 cm mount. Per usual, we’ll be mounting the Nomad 115 with demo bindings so that we can play with different mount points. But based on its shape and near-symmetrical rocker profile, the 115 seems like a ski that more jib-oriented folks may prefer closer to -5 or -6, while more directional skiers may find it to be more capable and chargey at the recommended point. So we’ll experiment with a variety of mounts and report back.
The Nomad 115 has a pretty standard rocker-camber-rocker profile. The tip rocker is very smooth and gradual, and its tip rocker line runs just a little deeper than the tail rocker. It’s very similar to the Nomad 105 Lite’s profile, but has a little less camber underfoot, which makes sense given the ski’s deeper snow intentions. Long and short, this looks like a very sensible design for a ski meant to perform in a variety of conditions, and we’re curious to see exactly where the 115 shines.
Bottom Line (For Now)
There are a growing number of skis in the 114-118 mm underfoot range that do a good job of combining all-mountain capability with a playful side, and by the numbers, the Icelantic Nomad 115 seems to follow a good recipe for success in this arena — with maybe a little more bias toward stability in bigger terrain than some of the other options. We’ll see. Stay tuned for the full review.
Flash Review: Icelantic Nomad 115
Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Nomad 115.
(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)
NEXT: The Full Review