Ski flex numbers are not like golf shaft flexes, were with a shaft, you are working with one swing plane, skis are in a 3 dimension environment. Sorry, but you cannot compare a Blossom Pure 99 to a Augment 99Ti to a Kastle MX99 and a Bonafide and since this thread stared with Nordica's an Enforcer 100 based on flex numbers, they are all different shape skis, and the same goes with turn radius and widths, skis are more than the sum of some numbers.The article referenced is absolutely true when the only numbers you're working with are those printed on a ski top sheet. SoothSki changes the game...
Ski flex numbers are not like golf shaft flexes, were with a shaft, you are working with one swing plane, skis are in a 3 dimension environment. Sorry, but you cannot compare a Blossom Pure 99 to a Augment 99Ti to a Kastle MX99 and a Bonafide and since this thread stared with Nordica's an Enforcer 100 based on flex numbers, they are all different shape skis, and the same goes with turn radius and widths, skis are more than the sum of some numbers.
The only numbers that matter in skiing is times in a race, past that any number is purely subjective ... even what shows in your binding window because there is an at-use range.
Ski flex numbers are not like golf shaft flexes, were with a shaft, you are working with one swing plane, skis are in a 3 dimension environment.
I've been tinkering around with soothski a bit too, my trust in their numbers for stiffness measurements is not 100%:
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I compared 2020, 2021, 2022 versions of the Enforcer 88 and 94, all in 172cm length. The only change within the same model between model years should be a different topsheet design, yet the stiffnesses between years can vary quite a bit (especially in bending stiffness). One has to wonder if the differences (between same model, different years) are due to manufacturing tolerances or just measurement variance (maybe when the 2021 versions were measured the temperature or other conditions were slightly different for example, or the ski wasn't measured exactly centered, etc.).
For reference, compared the 21-22 enforcers against a 2020 navigator 90 in 172cm, a ski often recommended as more beginner friendly within Nordica's lineup:
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All things considered, the enforcer 88 and 94 seem more similar than different. You could sub the navigator 90 for other similar length all mountain skis (brahma, kendo, mantra m5 or m6, bonafide), the result I found is quite similar. The Enforcers form a pretty tight cluster whereas the compared ski is usually a ways off (generally to the bottom left of the "enforcer cluster", i.e. less stiff in both dimensions).
To rein in the soothski ski nerdery a bit and return to actionable recommendations/insights for @Tbone ....
I bought the Enforcer 94 in 172cm last season. I am 5'9"ish (174cm), 140 lbs, advanced skier. I am pretty happy with the skis overall, could easily be my one ski quiver in Tahoe (I own a pair of Fischer RC4 WC SC from my days living in New England too). I myself was mulling between the 88/94 as well as the 172cm and 179cm lengths when I was buying last year. I am sure the 179 would have been fine for me too, maybe better on groomers and crud but worse in bumps and trees though. If I didn't already have a narrow ski I would have more strongly considered the 88 as well.
Having skied the 94s in 172 for the better part of a season, I wouldn't size down to the 165 length.
Would be the ideal option, but where I am, I don't have the demo option easily available. I have a trip planned for Mid January, and want to have skis set for that. Obviously, could rent and demo when I am in Deer Valley/Alta (prior skis got swipped at end of last season!)If you’re set on the Enforcer, why not demo both the 88 and 94 in different lengths to take the guesswork out of it? If you share a bit more about how you ski technically and what you generally like about a ski you’ll likely get some recommendations about other skis that might be better match for you than the Enforcer or it could confirm that it’s the right ski for you.
This is a good question we have asked ourselves a few times in the past. We even debated this with some known shops such as Dan Lachance in Tremblant. He used to measure racing skis to ensure a perfect match. Back in those days (a few decades ago), it made sense, manufacturing was not what it is today. We carried the discussion to Utopie (Quebec based manufacturer who has J-Skis, G3..., and a bunch of smaller brands). The answer there was that yes there could be some variability, which can be fought back by using pre-preg and measuring wood cores (or getting expensive certified ones). But according to them, once the the batch is launched, within this batch, there is very little variation and they QC it with 3 point testings and have set tolerances. Where it can be a problem is if you start a batch, stop and relaunch it later in the year or elsewhere on the planet. This is actually a problem big brands are facing, especially when they transfer manufacturing at another location. Wood cores vary as they are not from the same batch, may not have the exact same epoxy and fiber properties... Could be difficult to get back to the exact original. We actually did some work for some large brands to help them "find" back the original spec of a ski they liked.So this does beg the question regarding how SoothSki gathers its data. Is there a representative sample set tested or is it simply one pair of skis? There will always be variances due to the manufacturing tolerances.