The matte black Nordica Helldorado was without a doubt one of the most badass looking skis in the Earlyups Test Sessions. Did the murdered out stick perform as awesome as it looked? Read on to find out…
Tester Quote: “One of the best do-everything skis I’ve ever been on”
The Nordica Helldorado has gone virtually unchanged for a number of seasons. We first had a look at the ski a number of seasons ago and Jeff Brines quickly grew fond of the ski. But things change, product gets better and trends move. How would an unchanged ski perform against a slew of the latest and greatest offering? Turns out, pretty damn well. This was a stand out ski in the test.
- Sizes: 177 185 193 (tested)
- Tip: 143
- Waist: 113
- Tail: 132
- Radius: 21M
- Camber profile: tip/tail rise. camber underfoot
- Taper: No
- Construction: metal & wood
- Weight: Heavy
- Skied By: Patrick, Paul, Brines & Byl
Summary… In one word – solid. The Helldorado does everything well so long as you can handle the skis weight. Damp, powerful, agile and fun everywhere (except side steps). A surprising blend of playfulness and down-to-business charging. Stay out of the back seat (there isn’t much there).
Buy If… You are a strong balanced skier in “JacksonBirdAltaRevy” looking for a damp and versatile ski that’ll make a variety of turn shapes at just about any speed. Just be prepared to deal with the skis weight.
Look elsewhere if… You are looking for something to tour with, you like light weight skis, you often land airs in the back seat, you want to only make hudge radius GS turns, you like the power a flat tail can provide, this is your only ski and you don’t live somewhere to warrant a 113+ waist width.
Would you buy this ski: Yes – 4 No – 0
Rating: 4.5 stars (damn good)
“This was among my favorite skis in the test,” said one tester. “This ski is perfect for charging big lines at Jackson,” said another. All that skied the Helldorado commented on how surprisingly easy the Helldorado was to ski despite its weight and stiffer flex. It may be intimidating to look at, but on snow it is quite easy to ski.
In harder conditions the Helldorado will carve medium radius turns with ease. Although the ski is rockered in both the tip and tail, there is still plenty of effective edge to give the skier confidence at speed with an ample sweeet spot. In more technical terrain, or the odd bump line, the ski was far more well behaved than every skier’s initial inspection led them to believe. Shutting things down and releasing the tail to shorten the radius and scrub speed is shockingly easy due to Helldo’s camber profile. One tester noted the ski to be “extremely loose if the pilot demands”.
Skied out powder performance was very good. The Helldorado stayed true to its line most of the time despite the lack of tip taper. One tester described these conditions as if he was in one of those awesome monster trucks you see on TV. “Hit the gas. Blow shit up.”
Utilizing a partial twin tip and more forward mount point, the ski was actually somewhat playful in more jib-oriented environments. This is a rarity for skis with metal in them only otherwise seen in the likes of the Line Supernatural line.
In powder the ski floated, offering more on-the-top surfy performance & McConkey turn prowess than all but a few skis such as the Hoji. The only issue was that accessing the goods could often be tiring with the skis boat anchor-like weight. Still, charging big lines in virgin snow was one of the stand out attributes of this ski.
Landing airs were as expected – stay balanced, go for the stomp and you’ll be rewarded time and time again. With an ample amount of tail rocker the ski didn’t offer much forgiveness to heavily backseated airs.
The only real downside, to be clear was just how heavy the ski was. This left even our more conditioned skiers a bit off their game late in the day. Or cursing the fact they were on long sidesteps such as coming out of Granite Canyon.
Overall, this was the stand out of the test in the 110+mm waisted skis. Sure there are better skis on a groomer and better pure powder skis, but very few, if any, offer this skis level of charger and playfulness in one package. Just make sure you have the legs to keep up as it can be a bit much at the end of a big day.
Additional thoughts here
Editor’s Note: For those looking for a softer, lighter offering in the same shape – Nordica offers a number of options. Though we were unable to test these it is worth mentioning as we dug the ski.