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Icelantic Nomad 2008-2009

Icelantic Boards

"The Nomad"
(140-105-130) 20m radius @ 181cm

Manufacturer Info:

Icelantic Skis
948 W. 8th Avenue
Denver, Colorado USA 80204
Tel: +1 303 670 6804

Usage Class:

All mountain wide ski

Your Rating (with comments): (1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")

8+ for mostly soft snow terrain with occasional groomer trips


A playful, fun, easy-skiing ski that lives up to the hype of "go anywhere, do anything ski" remarkably well. Remarkably quick and respsonsive for its dimensions, plenty of pop and grip when needed, and holds a carve better than you'd expect on firm surfaces, although it definitely wants to turn rather than cruise. Not a big-air hucking/landing ski, nor a high-speed machine or death-crust breaker, but a great explorer ski for all over the hill, the tighter - the better.

Technical Ski Data:

Poplar wood core
P-Tex sidewalls
Rubber foil between core and base
Fiberglass (unilateral and matte)
Nylon topsheets
Durasurf 4001 P-Tex bases
2.2mm edges

Price: $629 retail usd.

Rumored to be pressed in the NeverSummer snowboard facility in Colorado, USA.

Pre-Skiing Impression:

Somewhat stiffer-than-expected flex, plenty of dampness and nice rebound, with respectable torsional strength. Fit and finish were like the other Icelantic skis: sturdy and effective more than spit-polished. Fairly standard dimensions and radius with adventure-comic graphics (some people like 'em, some don't...I really don't care too much either way).

Test Conditions:

Cold, dry, powder snow 1 day old, boot-deep powder, tracked-out boot-deep powder and nicely packed groomers with small bumps on the sides if you look for them. Les Grand Montets - Chamonix, France. January 2009.

Test Results:

I skied these and the fatter "Shaman" the same morning, both fitted with alpine (downhill) binders. After skiing the Shaman, the Nomad felt like a playful pup ready to bound all over the hill with more spunk and pop than its big brother.  I found the Nomad to be more fun, more nimble and required less concentration at the helm than the Shaman, but it definitely lacked the uber-front-floater feel of the Shaman.  After a couple runs, I realized the Nomad was ridiculously easy to ski (because I forgot all about it really) in the chopped-up powder-turning-to-bumps, fresh stashes of powder or cranking along the groomers back to the lifts.  While the Shaman rewards an aggressive, forward stance with impressive turn-ability, the Nomad could be skied in nearly any position and give you a great ride. Picking precise lines at lower to moderate speeds was effortless. If you got moving into higher-speed situations, the Nomad would let you know it did not appreciate being skied at or above GS-pace on any surface. It was a little flappy at high speeds in chop, but as soon as you got back down to its ideal speed range, it settled right in and was fun and easy. The Nomad could be a good ski for people who venture into the woods looking for good untouched powder runs without dropping big cliffs or hitting mach-schnell runouts. If you run into windcrust, death cookies or any junk on a regular basis, the Shaman might be better. The Nomad is less aggressive and more playful.  Lots of people like the Nomad for fooling around the whole mountain, and I agree.  Muscle-skiers and high-speed fanatics will find the Nomad too turny and "soft" feeling. Treeline poachers who regularly duck branches will probably like it a bunch. Fun ski. Totally different than the Shaman.

Analogies: (this ski is like...)

Playful, do-anything black labrador retriever at that age right before they get fat. Fun, playful, yet easy-going when you want them to be, without being demanding or too business-like. Mellow enough to take to a restaurant or bar, yet mischevious enough to chase rabbits through the underbrush.

After Trying This Ski, I Want To...

Find a pair really cheap on Ebay.

Self-Description of Skiing Style, Ability, Experience, Preferences:

Expert groomed-surface carver, "old-style" race inspired, "foot steerer" with fairly sensitive edging feel who loves the feel of powder floating and banking. Loves to hold long arcs with lots of pressure on the downhill ski (you know the type), but also loves the feel of both skis on-edge leaving tiny railroad track edge tracks. Not an instructor, but 10 year coach for youth race team in New England (bulletproof is the norm).


(I blew the on-site photos away by mistake transferring them off the chip - d'oh) is what they look like:

By: e.edelstein  Posted: Monday, February 16, 2009 1:38:46 PM
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Several companies provide discounts or donations to support our ski testing program.

We can choose any poles. We choose Leki. They never fail & last for years.

Boots are the most critical element when testing ski behavior. We can choose any boots. We choose Dalbello and Salomon.

Distinctive team outerwear.

Halti is our choice to stay dry and warm when testing in Nor'Easter storms.

Green Ice Wax is our choice for non-fluoro, eco-friendly waxes.
Smith is our choice for head and eye protection.

Northern Ski Works is our choice for shop work and bootfitting.