2018-2019 Icelantic Nomad 115

Cy Whitling reviews the Icelantic Nomad 115 for Blister Gear Review.

Icelantic Nomad 115

Ski: 2017-2018 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

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 17/18 Nomad 115, which is unchnaged for 18/19, except for 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?

Flex Pattern

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:

Tips: 6-6.5
Shovels: 7-8
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 9
Tails: 8-7

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:

Size

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…

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.

Shape

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).

Mount Point

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.

Rocker Profile

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

8 Comments

  1. asprague October 26, 2017 Reply

    Hell yeah, just bought this ski as a fatter east coast ski for a two ski quiver with the DPS cassiar

  2. kulharin April 3, 2018 Reply

    I’m a bit torn between these and the Backland 117 for purchase.

  3. Blister Member
    Gregory David April 16, 2018 Reply

    Hey Luke, how are those Salomon QST 130’s treating you? You must have logged some considerable time in them!

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa April 16, 2018 Reply

      Hey Gregory,

      The QST Pro 130 has worked quite well for me. It fits my foot very well (low instep, wider mid-foot / forefoot due to lateral splats, fairly tapered in the toes), and I like the flex (which is definitely softer than most “130” boots). We actually wrote a full review of the boot which you can check out here for more performance info: http://blistergearreview.com/gear-reviews/2017-2018-salomon-qst-pro-130

      If you have any specific questions about the boot feel free to add them to that review and I’ll address them promptly.

      Cheers,
      Luke

  4. Blister Member
    Gregory David April 17, 2018 Reply

    Thanks for the reply Luke! Just wanted to find out if you had anything to add after skiing them for a while. I bought mine on the strength of the full review and have 15 days in them. I had to do the 6th toe stretch, which was easy on the boot but tougher on the lining, I think the liner is too narrow, but they fit great now. I like the flex. Love the lightness for climbing and jump turns in the resort. Just getting into touring. I find control is great in both roll and pitch. Right now this is my only boot, I wanted the best of both worlds and they come close, but it’s not a 4 buckle boot. I find my tibialis anterior muscles get a bit of a beating and one time I landed on my tails and got a nasty bruise on the back of my calf which most likely would not have been as bad in a regular alpine boot. I moved the plastic insert on the back of the liners up about 3/4″ which seems to relieve the pressure point under the power strap. Eventually I will have dedicated touring and resort boots, but I think they will serve me well as I gain expertise in the touring game and especially when I don’t want to travel with 2 pairs of boots! Cheers!

  5. PDX April 17, 2018 Reply

    How is the maneauverability of the ski compared to the Bibby Pro 190?

  6. oscarbwhite July 25, 2018 Reply

    Hi Luke,

    Thanks for the review – very well written!

    Do you think the 181 would have skied very differently? I am little over your size (5’10” & 160lbs) and am looking for something that is stiff in the tails for landings, but very playful in the nose (buttery) and this ski stood out to me, however I would normally for for something in the 186 range…

    Was the 191 a lot to handle/did you think it was buttery? Or do you think the 181 would have fit this bill better? Or would the 181 ski to short for someone a little taller than yourself?

    Thanks again!
    Oscar

    • Luke Koppa Author
      Luke Koppa July 26, 2018 Reply

      Hi Oscar,

      Unfortunately I can’t really comment on the 181 since I’ve never skied it, but I do think it’s important to keep in mind that the 191 cm Nomad 115 actually measures around 188 cm. I also didn’t find it to be very demanding for how long it was. It has pretty deep rocker lines, it’s fairly light for its size, and it’s not super stiff in the tips or tails. All of this makes it feel a bit easier than I expected based on its size.

      If you typically ski stuff around 186 cm, then I’d definitely recommend the 191 Nomad 115 over the 181. I think you’d find the 181 to feel a bit short, especially in deep snow and potentially at high speeds.

      Hope that helps.

      – Luke

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