2011-2012 Nordica Girish, 185cm

2011-2012 Nordica Girish, 185cm, BLISTER

Ski: 2011-2012 Nordica Girish, 185cm

Dimensions (mm): 139-110-129

Turn Radius: 26 meters

Boots: Will: Salomon Falcon Pro CS ; Jonathan: Lange RX 130

Bindings: Look PX 12, DIN at 10

Mount Location: factory recommended

Test Location: Alta Ski Area

Days Skied: 1 each

Spending only one day each on a piece of equipment is not BLISTER’s typical approach to gear reviews. While the time we were given to test some of Nordica’s new 2011-2012 lineup was – by our standards – quite limited, the range of conditions at Alta on April 22ndand 23rd was unusually broad. That spectrum of snow conditions has allowed us to draw some conclusions that are more comprehensive than they might ordinarily be, given the time frame.

Furthermore, the 2011/12 Nordica Girish pretty much blew our minds. It was one of the most impressive skis we’ve tested this season, and we wanted to make sure it’s on your radar sooner than later.

Of course, when we get on these skis again, we will be sure to update this review and fill in the gaps.

Will Brown:

Aside from no shortage of mellow groomers, Friday brought five inches of light, fresh Utah powder in the morning; shallow but demanding chop along West Rustler; laps in the trees along Stone Crusher and Lone Pine in the early afternoon; and copious amounts of heavier, tracked snow just before closing bell. And thanks to drastic temperature gradients that made the snow at the top of the mountain very different from the bottom, I believe we found a greater variety of conditions in one day than you might typically encounter in the week after a storm.

Riding up the Collins lift, I was surprised at how weighty the skis felt under my feet. As I flicked them back and forth to get a sense of their swing weight, I had a feeling that the Girish’s titanium / wood laminate core was going to make for a burly ride.

With 5-dimension skis becoming increasingly common on the slopes, the Girish’s dimensions aren’t revolutionary: no crazy shape, no over-the-top tip rocker, flat tails. But the 110mm’s underfoot that widen smoothly to a 139mm tip measurement, though not revolutionary, are certainly confidence inspiring. There is nothing wimpy about the way this ski sets up under your feet.

For a first run, we took a cruising groomer lap down Mambo and Mainstreet. Laying the skis over into a turn was easy, and became even easier with speed. I was surprised at how quickly the Girish turned across the hill. While they aren’t exactly snappy, the skis are in no way sluggish in the way a comp ski might feel on corduroy. With 3mm of regular camber underfoot and a flat tail, the Girish’s edge hold was very solid, pulling the ski through the turn to make a long, completed edged turn. Thanks to a longer running length, the gradual early rise in the tip was virtually unnoticeable, with no discernable chatter from the shovel. In terms of stability while carving, these skis felt every centimeter like a 185.

Nearing the base of the mountain, I pointed the Girish into some firm, slightly baked chop, skiers’ left of Collin’s Face (directly under the lift) and opened the throttle.

The skis killed it.

Nuking through the crud, the ride remained smooth when most other skis would’ve been a chattery mess. I am not a heavy guy by any means (6’2” at 155 lbs.), so the dampening qualities of the Girish were especially apparent charging down to the base of Collins. So far, impressions were nothing but positive, and I was immediately certain about one thing: while “Girish” is a fitting name for this ski (it’s Sanskrit. “Giri” = mountains, “Eish” = Lord,) you could also call it The Cadillac Cruise Missile.

After moving out along High Traverse, it was time to show the Girish some tighter turns in the trees. Heading down a tight shot skier’s right of Lone Pine, I was surprised at just how willing the ski was to make quick maneuvers. These skis are extremely directional, so throwing them sideways will take some effort. But this is a small trade off, especially when considering just how bomber their wide-open performance is.

Fast, scrubbed turns on older snow at either side of Alf’s High Rustler were a blast. Opening things up again, I came to appreciate this skis tendency to annihilate heavy chop later that afternoon. While I can’t say the Girish felt especially stiff in the trees, it certainly skied as such as I made sweeping GS turns down Greeley Bowl and High Nowhere for a last run. All I know is that I cannot wait to ski these again.

To be fair, I didn’t ski these in monstrous, hardpack bumps with tight, steep troughs. With a flat tail, I would imagine making a zipper-line run through big bumps would be a chore on the Girish. And I sadly admit that I haven’t had the opportunity to shred these in untracked pow – but Jonathan has, so I’ll let him fill you in.

2011-2012 Nordica Girish, 185cm, BLISTER
Will Brown, laying it down, Alta Ski Area.

What I can say is that, while the Girish is a formidable ski, its surprising manageability in tighter terrain would allow me to recommend it without hesitation to a strong intermediate or newly advanced skier. I would label the Girish as a gentler, fairly forgiving beast that shares some of the best attributes of a monster comp ski: stability in chop and at speed. Given that, I think most any expert skier will really enjoy this ski as an everyday charger. The Girish will deliver when the snow is fresh, is always ready to charge HARD, but isn’t going to murder you in the backseat if you’re not 100% on your game. Well done, Nordica.

19 comments on “2011-2012 Nordica Girish, 185cm”

  1. And we were all glad to have you there. We’ll definitely have to do it again (and again, and again….)

  2. Excellent writeup, boys! Two thoughtful reviews about a model of skis I’m now very excited to buy. I’ve been a great Nordica fan the last few years, and have been looking for a replacement for my Hellcats. This replacement must be an everyday ski that powers GS turns, plows through the crud, and while maybe not truly shining in the powder, certainly won’t disappoint. The Girish’s sound like just the ski for me!

  3. Hey, Todd. Given what you say you’re looking for, it does sound like the Girish is a good choice. If you pull the trigger on them, you’ll have to check back in next season and let us know what you think.

  4. Thanks for the comprehensive review once again!

    Girish is high on my list for this coming year. My current skis, and favorite ever, are the Dynastar 187 XXL. Sadly looking to move them over to rock status only this year.

    If you did a comparison between the Cochise, Girish, and Legend 105 that would be about the coolest thing to ever happen.

    • Hey Krick, Jason Hutchins is actually getting time on the Patron right now. He probably won’t have time to complete the review before we leave for Japan on Wednesday, but expect it by the end of February. (But he did just tell me that he’s never had more fun on harpack on a ski that fat. But then I told him that was because he hasn’t skied the Line Influence 115….Um, anyway, yeah, end of February.)

  5. Hi Alex, this is one of those times when I would really need to get back on both skis, because now you’ve got me wondering the same thing. Will hasn’t skied the Jag Shark yet, so he’s not in a position to weigh in. Hopefully, soon after we return from Japan, we can A / B the Girish and Jag Shark. Till then, it’s probably safer to stick to the original reviews and see which ski sounds like the better fit for you.

  6. Thanks for the great review guys!
    I’ve been thinking about an all around ski with a metal laminate because I also like to open it up a bit. I checked out Brown’s and Ellsworth’s stats (height and weight) to get an idea of what length I should look into: I’m 6’4″ and just under 190. Did you both end up skiing the 185 due to its having camber? I’m also interested in the Katana, but the review was for the 190+, and, according to the review, that larger size may be a bit too big for me to handle. Finally, I ski most of the Summit County resorts in CO. Thanks for any advice you could offer.

    • Hi Creighton,

      The 191 Katana is a big ski, there’s no doubt about that. The 191 and 198 lengths have a stiffer “athlete” flex profile, while the shorter lengths are supposedly a bit softer. As I say in my Northern Hemisphere update (which you can give a read here: http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/update-2011-2012-volkl-katana-191cm/2), I would probably kill myself if I skied the 191 Katana every day in resort. They are surprisingly maneuverable at low speed considering how dangerously stable they are during a strightline pin, but are still a VERY burly ski that like wide open terrain.
      For Summit County, which of course includes a good deal of tree skiing and bumps, I think the 185 Girish or 183 Katana would serve you better. If you were a local at Snowbird, Las Lenas, or spent 100% of you time lapping Imperial at Breck, I might speak differently. Now, in choosing between the two skis, you’ll have to decide which camber profile sounds more appealing, the flat, more slarve prone Katana or the slightly more energetic Girish.
      As I have told another reader, I have a slight preference to the way the Girish feels on edge thanks to 3mm of traditional camber underfoot and a truly flat tail. I found that the hint of early rise in the Katana’s tail along with a flat profile underfoot, while they help make the ski so versatile and predictable, produce little energy in carving through a turn or boosting off a knoll/rock.
      I’m addicted to airing off any little feature I can find and carving a ski as hard as I can on my way back to the lift, so I prefer having a bit of energy in store when riding a heavier damp ski. I feel the Girish provides that more than the Katana does.

      Hope this helps,


  7. Thanks for the great reviews guys. I have been skiing the Rossignol S6 this year based on your review, and I like it a lot, but have decided I would rather go back to a little camber and no tail rocker. Thus I am back to thinking about trying to pick up a pair of the Girishes (not sure about the plural) at the end of the season. Do you know if they will make the ski next year? The 185s are getting hard to find, and like Creighton I am wondering about the 185 vs 193. I am 6’2′ 195. Also ski mostly in CO. Did you guys get to ski the 193 Girish at all? I am wondering if it will be too long for a wide range of skiing including bumps/trees? I have skied the 185 Enforcers (pre-rocker) and liked them a lot, but last year was also skiing a 189 Seth (also fully cambered, and really about 192) and it rarely felt too long. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi, Ben. While I’m awaiting confirmation from Nordica just to be absolutely certain, it looks like they will not be bringing the Girish back.

      Neither Will nor I skied the 193, though neither of us felt the need to go longer, and personally, I wouldn’t want a 193 Girish for bumps and trees.

      Will and I are both big fans of the Moment Belafonte, and that’s a ski that certainly shares some qualities of the Girish. (I’ve been skiing the new 187cm Belafonte at Taos and really liking it, though it’s certainly not the best zipperline bump ski in the world – but neither is the Girish. But the 187 Belafonte should go on your short list if you don’t pick up a Girish.

  8. Hi there! Love the site, you guys write by far the best/most informative and detailed reviews on the net! Just wondered if there was any update on the Nordica Patron or indeed next years Helldorado? Would be very interested to here about about comparative stability and how much difference the metal makes.



  9. Snagged a pair of 193 cm Girish in the previous year graffic for $200 on fleabay. I am so psyched. I had always searched for these on line and they just didn’t seem to be outthere. I was holding out for a deal on the cochise but that wasn’t happening. And then these turned up. I will be re-retireing my beloved xxl 194 cm, for these. Flex on these are sweet. Sometimes you can just tell how nice a ski is going to be by their flex and feel. 6′ & 215 lbs.

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