Nordica Wild Belle (2013-2014) Review

August 24, 2013
Nordica Wild Belle (2013-2014)
GEAR INSTITUTE RATINGS
88
Edge Hold
9
Turn Initiation
9
Versatility
8
Stability
8
Forgiveness
7
Value
7

The Good

  • Damp and stable without feeling dead
  • Cruises like a Cadillac
  • Favors medium to long radius turns
  • Stays smooth at speed
  • 84mm waist adds versatility in different snow conditions
  • Can entertain experts and stay stable for intermediates

The Bad

  • Can be stiff for lightweight women
  • Women's specific core reduces weight and stiffness from unisex ski so it's still stiff for someone women
THE VERDICT

The Wild Belle is a slightly softer flexing and lower weight version of a men's ski and remains on the stiffer side for women's skis. Because of this, however, it carves extremely well, stays smooth at speed and can handle a variety of terrain and snow conditions. All in all, it's a ski for advanced intermediates through expert skiers. It rewards skiers who can edge both skis with full-length edge hold and a hug-the-mountain feel.

FULL REVIEW

Nordica skis have an inherent richness when you get them up on edge. It feels like a combo of a well-balanced wood core with ski-length edge grip. Chalk it up to Italian and U.S. invention (where the R&D happens) and Austrian craftsmanship (where production happens).

I felt comfortable cruising at high speeds on the hardpack with the Wild Belle. Nordica’s “Energy Ca Wi-Core” technology means they add lightweight composite stringers in the hardwood core in order to lighten and soften the ski. It makes the ski quite easy to flex if you’re skiing it aggressively but it still feels really solid and heavy enough throughout the turn. It feels narrower than its 84mm waist suggests.

Carving
The Wild Belle carves slalom or GS turns without feeling squirrelly as you pick up the speed. I didn’t feel any noticeable vibration at speed. The turn entry and exit feels smooth and quick even in transitions from groomer to cut up snow.

Versatility
It’s like a fat carver. I didn’t take it into a lot of soft snow but the platform felt like it could handle soft bumps and crud. It’s a bit heavy for a lot of flotation in soft snow. It feels more like it’ll cruise through anything.

Stability
The ski has no governor on speed. It doesn’t have a lot of excess vibration or chatter at speed. It feels like there’s a big sweet spot, an accessible flex underfoot. Nordica has been focusing on lateral movements for years now.

Forgiveness
The Wild Belle is a little stiff compared to some other skis in the category and might feel less forgiving for lightweight women. I recommend it for advanced intermediates because the tips and tails (though the tip is rockered) are fairly stiff. For skiers who are edging consistently, then I think it feels forgiving in terms of remaining steady if you move fore or aft or travel into bumpy snow.

Value
For an advanced intermediate looking to improve or an expert skier looking for a fun, stable carver, $599 flat is a good value for a high-quality full wood core ski.

 


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WHERE TO BUY
MSRP
$600.00
ALSO AVAILABLE AT
$599.00
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