2nd Look: 2013-2014 Nordica Hell & Back

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Nordica Hell & Back, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back, 185cm



Nordica Hell & Back, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back



Nordica Hell & Back Tip Profile, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back – Tip Profile



Nordica Hell & Back Tip Profile Decambered, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back – Tip Profile, Decambered



Nordica Hell & Back Tail Profile, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back – Tail Profile



Nordica Hell & Back Topsheets, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back – Topsheets



Nordica Hell & Back Bases, Blister Gear Review
Nordica Hell & Back – Bases


10 comments on “2nd Look: 2013-2014 Nordica Hell & Back”

  1. I got to demo a Hell & Back last year. I agree with much of the review– I think a lot of skiers will feel really comfortable with the ski on day 1 in a variety of hard packed conditions. I would simply add that the tail and camber had me wishing for a more nimble ski in the trees. In wide open spaces the ski was great because the goal is to carve a nice turn. In tight spaces, I felt like these aspects of the design kept me from really throwing the ski around like I wanted to. This impression is just from a couple of runs with the ski on a cold/icy day with no new snow at Stevens Pass.

  2. I have the Enforcers and love them. They are definately more damp than the Hell and Backs, and are snappier than the Mantras. Awesome crud ski for midsize GS turns and railing on hardpack. I am 190lbs and ski it in the 186. They are findable online for cheap and worth it. The rocker in mine look a little less than the Hell and Backs. I think the Enforcers were only rockered the last two years of production.

    I trade back and forth with a buddy the has the Hell and Backs. The crapper the snow gets the more he likes the Enforcers.

  3. After your second look at the hell and backs, in any soft snow conditions like moguls, trees, crud, powder would you choose to be on a kabookie, bonafide or that Hell and Back? Pretty much a no brainer that the hell and back must just tear apart groomers with that profile but if looking for some thing with a broader range of versatility what do you think?

    • Hi,
      I haven’t skied those other skis yet but they ARE on the hit list. That said, I found the Hell and Backs to be pretty versatile in soft snow and crud. I didn’t get to ski trees with them yet, but those fat, stiff tails, they might not be the easiest ski to slide and pivot around in the trees. For a primarily groomer-oriented ‘all-mountain’ ski, they’ll do pretty well in softer, beat-up snow. If I get on the Blizzards, I’ll try to add a note of comparison.

  4. Great follow up review! As an east coaster I am happy to see this ski reviewed locally. I ski more in southern VT, Stratton, Okemo, Killington… I am now leaning toward the Hell and Back for my next ski and was almost certain that the 185 would be the right length for me but every time I go to a local shop they either say I should go to the 177 or don’t even carry the 185 as they consider it a “west coast” length. (I’m in CT). It’s making me second guess my first instinct. I’m 6′ 220’ish lbs with my gear and ski somewhat aggressively (for an aging man). I’ve always preferred GS type skis in the past. Do you have any advice based on your experience? Thanks in advance! I was also considering the Bonafide but I’m not sure I’m ready to give up a more traditional tail design.

    • Hi Chuck,
      177cm for you sounds crazy. I’m 5’10”, 185#, and would feel like I was on snowlerblades. Well, maybe not that bad, but I don’t think that a 185cm would work all that well for me. If you WANT to make really fast and small turns, then downsize, but I think that you’ll find you overpower those puppies pretty quick. Sounds like your shops are giving you the run around – there are tons of shops up in the Stowe area that sell and stock the 185cm.


  5. Thanks Dana,
    I appreciate the input. I have fallen behind the times in ski design and sizing. One of the local shops has a pair of 185’s down here and is having a sale next week. I’ll check them out then and if they’re sold out ill head north to find a pair.

    Thanks again,

  6. Thoughts on sizing … 5’10”, 165#, expert skier. I ski a mix of open bowls and moderately tight trees (Summit County, CO), so I want something that i can charge on but is still maneuverable.

  7. After evolving from 2.05m straight 60 mm width Kastle skis in the seventies (how did I ski in those????) , to 67 mm carver racers, to 84 mm all round carvers and finally now I’m now on second hand 100mm Mantras. Totally loving these Mantras; best allround ski I’ve ever had by a mile. Even short sharp turns on steep slopes, relaxed wide carving on the groomers. Carves up melted heavy ‘global warming’ new snow fall. Where I ski at low altitude light powder is history, so I need “meat” carving skis; in spite of their lightness, the Mantra does it.

    I’ve got a pair of Nordica Enforcers too but I find them too stiff and heavy so I don’t feel I turn smoothly. But my 14 year son took ’em out for day and totally loved them and skied great and with confidence. He loved the stability, grip on hard snow and powering through the choppy stuff. Just shows how personal which skis suit you.

    Reading reviews, (thanks!), I’d love to try the Hell & Back. With wood only they’ll be lighter than the Enforcers and I think I’ll get a smoother turn out of them.

    General comment 100mm is fantastic for allround skiing; you transition from the piste to off piste easily.

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