2023 Icelantic Nia Pro 105 Review
This powder ski for ladies is as playful as it is pretty
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 5.51
- Rank: #9
- Flotation: 6.33
- Playfulness: 5.67
- Responsiveness: 5.67
- Quickness: 5.83
- Crud Performance: 4.5
- Stability at Speed: 5
- Forgiveness: 4.67
- Versatility: 4.67
- Price: $849
- Lengths: 162, 169, 177
- Dimensions: 135-105-127
- Radius: 17.5
- Level: Intermediate, Advanced
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Flotation (#9), Playfulness (#9)
- Cons: Crud Performance (#9), Versatility (#9)
Playful and smeary, the fun-loving Nia Pro 105 is Icelantic’s female pro collab ski, a buttery mid-fat powder ski designed for getting creative on the hill. Ideal for stacking pillows and finding pow stashes in the trees, the 105mm-waisted Nia is a reminder that skiing powder should be fun, not work. This season, the Nia Pro gets a colorful new topsheet, adorned with eye-catching artwork by Icelantic’s in-house designer Travis Parr. “Icelantic dazzles again with beautiful skis that make powder day dreams come true,” said tester Erika Northrop.
The surfy feel and easy pivot is thanks to the fully rockered profile (Icelantic’s Reflective Rocker design, which mirrors the sidecut to provide a little more edge control than fully rockered skis), and the ski’s springy poplar wood core. Combined, this technology makes for a lively ride in wide-open bowls, slushy bumps, and tight trees. “This one is for a buttery pow seeker who knows what to do with a generously rockered ski,” said tester Elyse Schreiber. “Definitely not just for a novice, although it is surprisingly forgiving.”
The fiberglass laminate contributes to a smooth, gradual flex, making the ski stiff enough to provide a solid platform while cruising down steep faces off-piste, without making it challenging to control and maneuver. “Steep pow is best to take advantage of the full rocker profile,” said tester Jordan Garrett. “Blower snow is preferred, as this ski gets pushed around a little in variable conditions.”
If you’re in terrain where you can relax and lean into a smeary and surfy style, the Nia Pro 105 will have your back. Otherwise, testers found that it struggles in crud, where it feels “twitchy” and “like it has a mind of its own,” said Garrett. Testers also felt the Nia skied shorter than advertised due to the rocker profile, so don’t be afraid to opt for a longer length if you’re looking for a more stable platform.
While it might not be the ideal pick for experts who want a ski to do it all—including rip on firm snow—it’s a great choice for those with a more relaxed style and anyone who can’t often count on soft turns. “If you know you’re going to ski soft snow, this ski is playful and inviting, encouraging creativity on the mountain,” said tester Lily Krass. “If you’re in some champagne pow or blower snow, grab a pair of these,” added Garrett. “The rocker profile isn’t for everyone, but those who can tap into what this ski was designed for will have a blast.”
Lily Krass is a freelance ski journalist based in Jackson, Wyoming with work featured in SKI Magazine, Powder Magazine, Freeskier, Teton Gravity Research, and Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal. She spends winters backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park and riding lifts at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with the occasional trip to the Alps (for the food, obviously). While she’s been in ski boots since she learned to walk, Lily has been professionally writing about skiing, gear, and all things outdoors for the past seven years. In addition to an all-consuming addiction to powder skiing mixed with heavy doses of Type II fun, Lily takes snacking seriously, and when she’s not writing or sliding on snow, she’s likely deep into a baking project in her tiny kitchen. She is the co-author of Beyond Skid: A Cookbook For Ski Bums, a collection of dirtbag-friendly recipes inspired by life in a mountain town.