stead·fast
/ˈstedˌfast/
adjective
resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering. "steadfast loyalty"
synonyms: loyal, faithful, committed, devoted, dedicated, dependable, reliable, steady, true, constant, staunch, solid, trusty

Nothing in the definition of the word “steadfast” makes anyone think, OMG, that's what kind of ski I want to own! It was that way with the Nordica Steadfast, a ski I refer to from time to time when I am testing skis, which is why I came up with the Steadfast Rule.

So, what is the Steadfast Rule? Going almost a half decade, Nordica offered a ski called the Steadfast as part of the Hell & Back collection. It had dimensions of 132-90-118 and a lightweight construction that was a variation of the mold from the Helldiver, a trucklike system ski from the Top Fuel collection from around 2010 or so.

Why did I create the Steadfast Rule? Just like the definition, nothing really differentiated the Steadfast from anything else. To an extent, it suffered from middle-child syndrome: the narrower 84mm Burner was better, as was the 98mm Hell & Back; not surprisingly, all three had the same construction. I recall skiing the Steadfast and thinking, What conditions and terrain would make me say, “Boy, if I were on the Nordica Steadfast, today would be the perfect ski day.” Nothing, nada, bupkis. It was a fine ski, but nothing special. From that point, I have used this ski as a point of reference.

Was the Steadfast a bad ski? Absolutely not. Was a great ski? Not really. Was it a good ski? I guess so, but mostly it was a safe ski. It didn’t do anything wrong, but it didn’t really excel either. It was just that, average -- exceptionally average, in fact. And in today’s age of some great skis, exceptionally average just isn’t good enough.

This process is not really a knock against the Steadfast (or Nordica); every brand at one point or another has offered a ski with little to no personalty, but in most cases they bounce back -- hell, right now Nordica has the very good Navigator 90 in the same spot, a ski that has received acclaim from many respected reviewers and a Tester's Choice award from us.

So, when I am testing and can’t figure out a ski, I resort back to the Steadfast and think, What was the designer thinking when he/she designed this ski? What conditions and terrain was the ski designed for? What would make a skier say, “If I were on this ski, today would be the Best Day Ever?"

So, what is your "Steadfast"?
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Philpug
I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time as a Gear Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

Replies

Maybre pretty much every ski in the 88-90 category? :(
 
It has become apparent there are those on this forum who were less than enamored with the Nordica Steadfast, which is a little surprising since Start Haus in Truckee probably sold a million pairs of them. To those I say it was (is) a good ski. (I still use a pair as my rock skis). Is it a Stockli Stormrider 88? No and I consider the Stormrider a very good ski. What does the Steadfast do well? It manages most conditions in the Tahoe basin well which is why I used it as my "I don't know what the snow conditions are so I'll take the Steadfast with a 90mm waist to get me through most conditions".
I remember several years ago, cruising along and when I stopped, another skier who had been following me pulled up and asked what ski I was on, so the ski must have been doing something well.
Maybe it is because the skis characteristics mirrored my style, but based on my experience with the ski over several years, it was a good ski.
 
It's funny, but I actually agree with you Phil. I don't see where you are bagging on the Steadfast, just pointing out that it was good not great. And I agree with you Calbearski. I had a first year Steadfast, and I really liked it. And while it wasn't great at anything, it was good everywhere. It never sucked. That's kind of the mark of a good ski. I have always thought that skis are to a degree a compromise. And to Markojp's point, that waist width kind of falls into a no mans land of "can't carve like a 72 mm ski and can't float like a 115". And while I have never skied a Stormrider, my guess is it is better in every way compared to the Steadfast. I know my FX 94 is.
 
Maybe pretty much every ski in the 88-90 category? :(
I have to disagree with with. The Kastle MX88 was stellar. the Renoun Z90 is one of my skis that if I don't know what the conditions are, it is a safe bet and unlike the Steadfast, a very enjoyable ski for me. Yes, these are two premium skis. If I can talk about some main stream options, Liberty Evolv 90, IMHO a better Mindbender 90Ti (but I like the Mindbender 99Ti better than the Evolv 100). The first Brahma was very good. A ski that shocked me that I really liked, the current Kendo, once Volkl integrated the 3D sidecut, it set the Kendo apart.
 
I agree with you Phil... I was lamenting the general public disinterest with the entire category of 85-90 width skis.
 
... and yes, the new Kendo is a very good off piste ski!
 

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