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.
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.
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.