Ski: 2019-2020 Nordica Enforcer 88, 179 cm
Available Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 177.9 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2098 & 2105 grams
Stated Dimensions: 122-88-110 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 122-87.6-109.2 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (179 cm): 17 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 62 mm / 16 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm
Core: Poplar/Beech/Balsa + Titanal (2 layers) + Carbon & Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.1 cm from center; 80.9 cm from tail
[Editor’s Note: We ended up wanting to get on both the 179 cm and 186 cm Enforcer 88 before posting our full review, so as soon as we get back on both lengths in December, we’ll post our full review. In the meantime, you can read about the ski in our 19/20 Winter Buyer’s Guide.]
We’ve already posted our First Look of the brand-new Enforcer 104 Free, but Nordica is also adding some narrower skis to their line. The new Enforcer 88 and Santa Ana 88 are designed with firm-snow performance in mind, and they reportedly bring essentially the same construction from the other excellent Enforcer and Santa Ana skis into a narrower package.
This move by Nordica makes good sense, and since we really like the current Enforcer and Santa Ana skis, we were very curious to see how similar or different the new Enforcer 88 is compared to the other skis in the line. And now that we have the Enforcer 88 in hand, let’s take a look at how its design compares to the other Enforcers, and other skis in the ~90mm-wide all-mountain category.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Enforcer 88’s shape looks very similar to that of the Enforcer 93. In fact, apart from the difference in width, the two skis’ shapes look nearly identical. Both the Enforcer 88 and Enforcer 93 have a bit of taper in the tips and tails, but the taper is very subtle.
The Enforcer 88’s shape is less tapered than a lot of wider all-mountain skis (e.g., Nordica Enforcer 100), but the Enforcer 88 does have notably more tip taper than carving-oriented skis in its class like the Renoun Z-Line 90 and Liberty V92. For an all-mountain ski — one that’s supposed to perform well not only on groomers but also off-piste, in bumps, etc. — we really like the shape of this Enforcer 88. While skis like the Z-Line 90 are great on groomers, their wide “hammerhead” tips can be a liability in bumps and in variable, off-piste conditions.
The Enforcer 88’s rocker profile is also quite similar to the Enforcer 93’s, with the Enforcer 88 having slightly shallower tip and tail rocker lines. Compared to other skis in its class, the Enforcer 88’s tip rocker line is pretty deep and its tip splay fairly high. The Enforcer 88’s tail rocker line falls more in line with other skis in its class — its pretty shallow, and its tail splay is pretty low.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Enforcer 88:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
The Enforcer 88 is a very strong ski. Of the other Enforcer skis, the Enforcer 88’s flex pattern is the stiffest overall, and it is most similar to the Enforcer 93’s. The Enforcer 88 is a bit stronger throughout than the 93, and its flex pattern ramps up quicker than the Enforcer 93’s.
Compared to the Enforcer 100, the Enforcer 88 is notably stiffer throughout, especially in the tails and shovels.
Compared to the Blizzard Brahma, the Enforcer 88 is again a bit stronger through the entire ski, with the most notable difference being in the tails.
Like the other Enforcers, the Enforcer 88 falls on the heavier end of the spectrum. (Insert that smiley face emoji where the face has two big red hearts for eyes.)
At around 2100 grams per ski in the 179 cm length, the Enforcer 88 is one of the heavier ~90mm-wide skis we’ve reviewed. You’ve probably never heard us say this before (cough), but given that the 88 is designed to perform in firm, not-very-forgiving conditions, we love the fairly hefty weight of the Enforcer 88 since a heavier ski will often do a better job of smoothing out rough snow.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. As always, pay close attention to the length differences to keep things more apples-to-apples.
1790 & 1831 Salomon XDR 88 Ti, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
1839 & 1842 Black Crows Orb, 178.3 cm (17/18–18/19)
1864 & 1882 Armada Invictus 89 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
1869 & 1894 Atomic Vantage 90 Ti, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1920 & 1940 Volkl Kendo, 177 cm (15/16–18/19)
1931 & 1932 DPS Foundation Cassiar 94, 185 cm (18/19–19/20)
1943 & 1968 Liberty V92, 186 cm (18/19)
1959 & 1985 Renoun Z-Line 90, 180 cm (17/18–18/19)
1997 & 2001 Blizzard Brahma, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
2008 & 2015 Folsom Skis Spar 88, 182 cm (18/19–19/20)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–19/20)
2062 & 2063 Rossignol Experience 94 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2077 & 2092 K2 Ikonic 84 Ti, 177 cm – weight includes binding plates (17/18–19/20)
2098 & 2105 Nordica Enforcer 88, 179 cm (19/20)
2114 & 2133 Nordica Enforcer 93, 185 cm (16/17–19/20)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2171 & 2176 Head Monster 88, 184 cm (18/19)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) One of the defining characteristics of the Enforcer series is that the skis are all pretty stable while also being pretty forgiving. So with the Enforcer 88’s stiffer flex pattern, will that still hold true with this new ski?
(2) Skis in the ~90mm-width range can vary greatly, from dedicated, wider carvers that feel like they basically belong only on groomers, to true all-mountain skis that can do a bit of everything. So where in this spectrum will the Enforcer 88 fall? And will this be one of the few ~88mm-wide skis that feels equally at home on groomers and in moguls?
(3) The Blizzard Brahma is one of our reference skis in this category, and one of the best skis being made today. So this is an inevitable comparison, and we are very eager to A/B the Brahma against the new Enforcer 88.
Bottom Line (For Now)
Overall, we’ve been quite impressed by Nordica’s other Enforcer skis, and we have high hopes for the new Enforcer 88. It looks like it has the potential to be a versatile all-mountain ski that brings more firm-snow performance to the Enforcer lineup. Stay tuned for our full review…