Ski #1: 2007-08 Nordica Hot Rod Hellcat Mount: Marker DIN-12 Integrated XBI (like the Speedmachine race skis, not other Hotrods) Ski #2: 2007-08 Nordica Hot Rod Top Fuel Mount: Marker DIN-12 Integrated XBS (asme interface as current Hotrods) Length: Both were 178
Conditions: Spring…soft grommers, corn, mashed potatoes, but no gravy Duration of use: About an hour
Skier Info: 5'8", 180 lbs. Ability: Squads were too much for me but I like LP’s Years skiing: 28 Other Skis I Like: Blowers, Gotamas, LP's, Mantra’s, etc…
So Mt. Pilchuck Ski Shop was doing a free demo day yesterday at Stevens Pass, so I thought I would tried some sticks I otherwise wouldn’t look at. The spring conditions also made the idea of getting on some narrower boards a bit more appealing, as well. Since the Hellcat is new for 2008 I thought I’d type out my impressions. I also skied the Top Fuel and will use that as a point of comparison.
HotRod Top Fuel (126-84-112):
After skiing for a few hours on my 184 Mantras, my immediate reaction to these was that they are very quick edge to edge. Also after my first run I really felt like I would have liked to try the 186. They are stable enough, but compared to fatter, longer boards, they felt over-matched. They were generally fun…decent in bumps, plough through corn piles fairly well, and offer a variety of turn shape. I could see how someone who frequented a resort with more groomed than off-piste would enjoy these and still have a ski capable of handling powder and crud. Not really much to add since these have been reviewed ad naseum in the ski rags…
HotRod Hellcat (132-90-118):
Hmm…Upon my first run on these, I could feel that something was different from the Top Fuels. They weren’t as quick edge-to-edge, and I learned quickly that they need a bit more speed before they come alive. I wasn’t as uncomfortable at speed as on the Top Fuel and I was surprised how “right” the 178 felt for the conditions I was in. These prefer bigger turns despite the small radius (which is supposedly 18-m). They plow through everything very well, much like one would expect from a wood-core titanal-laminate ski.
One thing I did notice was that these felt a heck of a lot heavier than the Top Fuels. I asked the Rep what the difference was and if they were stiffer. His response was that the interface that was built into the ski was that from the Speedmachine race line and was “more robust”, but that the lay-up of the ski was more or less the same as the Top Fuel. He also indicated that the ski was only available with the Marker (like the other Hotrods), which I told him was “too bad”.
It’s interesting how the 6-mm in the waist and different interface really changed the demeanor of this ski in comparison to the Top Fuel. I can see this being a big seller for Nordica next year, as it has very similar performance to skis like the Mantra, but can be marketed to the crowd stoked on other Hotrod models.
I personally like the Top Fuel better since it is different than the rest of my quiver and the Hellcat didn’t offer me anythng I don’t already have in my Mantra’s. That by no means is a “knock” on the Hellcat. It is a nice solid ski and will likely take some folks to the next level with its wide performance envelop.
Anyhow, I know this is a very quick, high-level review that is borderline “Gapic”, but since I know there are some closet Marker interface fans out there lurking, I though it might help someone out whose excited about the Hellcat.
I had a ton of fun when I demoed the Hellcat I would be more interested if they did not come with that marker binding, maybe they could have integrated that Marker Duke binder.
People should learn endurance; they should learn to endure the discomforts of heat and cold, hunger and thirst; they should learn to be patient when receiving abuse and scorn; for it is the practice of endurance that quenches the fire of worldly passions which is burning up their bodies.