2023 Nordica Enforcer 88 Review
If you’re looking for a a no-nonsense frontside ski that excels in crud, look no further
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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.29/10
- Rank: #7
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 7.88
- Stability at Speed: 8
- Carving: 6.75
- Quickness: 6.75
- Responsiveness: 6.75
- Playfulness: 6.5
- Forgiveness: 6.5
- Crud Performance: 7.5
- Versatility: 6.75
- Price: $700
- Lengths: 165, 172, 179, 186
- Dimensions: 121-88-109 (172)
- Radius: 15.5 (179cm)
- Level: Advanced, Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Crud Performance (#2), Hard-Snow Integrity (#7)
- Cons: Playfulness (#8), Forgiveness (#7)
Confident, dependable and staunchly reliable, the Nordica Enforcer 88 has been one of the top frontside skis on the market for many seasons. And the 2023 version is no different. “This ski just flat-out performs,” said tester Sam Cox.
Year over year, Nordica remains at or near the top of each category for good reason—the brand’s skis are high performers with great versatility. But they aren’t for everyone—they’re stiff and burly, requiring some strength to get them around, and the Enforcer 88, the narrowest in the Enforcer family with the most amount of metal in it, is no exception. However, if you can hit the accelerator, it’s hard to top the Enforcer 88 as a high-performance frontside ski. “So many years as a staple at the top,” said tester Matt Schiller. “It’s a constant reminder of a great ski brand doing amazing things.”
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This year, Nordica decreased the amount of plastic in the tip, extended its lightweight wood core, and added full-length carbon strips throughout the ski to decrease weight. These tweaks increased playfulness in the ski, while maintaining the power and stability that has made the Enforcer series so well known.
Whether shredding hardpack or exploring the soft snow on the side of the trail, the Enforcer 88 does it all. It certainly likes speed and inspires the skier to explore more and see how hard they can push the equipment under their feet. “You just feel confident on every turn that you can trust it and drive it,” said tester Chad Jacob.
Just make sure to eat your Wheaties when taking out this ride. If you’re feeling a little off or consider yourself more of a novice, the ski might feel too stiff and demanding. Testers agreed that stronger skiers who like a beefy stick got much more out of this ski than others who lack the weight and power to turn it or prefer a softer ride. “It’s just not the ski for me,” said Gabe Glosband, who at 5’8”, 155 lbs is lighter than some of the other testers. “But many heavier and stronger people love it.”
For those who consider themselves tough enough to turn the Enforcer 88, it’s a ride that can take you from bell to bell on any kind of surface. Its early rise tip and slight tail rocker make even the cruddiest snow feel smooth and buttery. “It’s a big mountain GS ski that can plow crud and variable conditions for days,” said Schiller. “Don’t be deterred if the snow looks challenging. This is certainly your driver to smooth out any road.”
Courtney Harkins grew up ski racing, starting on the icy slopes of New England and finishing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She now lives in Park City, Utah and works as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team. She also freelance writes and consults in the skiing and Olympic industry. When she’s not traveling with the team, her home mountain is Deer Valley Resort, where she loves to arc turns on groomers, but also knows all of the secret spots for days-old powder. Harkins has been testing skis since 2016 and has been a SKI gear tester for three seasons.