Expert Review: 2023 Nordica Enforcer Free 104 Skis [with Video]
Ski Experts Brandon Westburg and Daryl Morrison tested the 2023 Nordica Enforcer Free 104 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Experts Brandon Westburg and Daryl Morrison got their hands on the 2023 Nordica Enforcer Free 104 and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every rider is unique; if you have any questions on the Enforcer Free 104, or would like recommendations on what ski would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands, all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Nordica claim about this ski? [Brandon] Nordica claims that this is a versatile free ride option, keeping the core construction the same from the Enforcer series, but just giving the rocker up top, a little more playful and surfy feel on the ski. Nordica claims that this is their advanced to expert option for those freeride skiers that are looking for a little bit more of a playful feel than a typical Enforcer.
[Daryl] Nordica claims that these are going to be a little bit of a more freeride-oriented option in their Enforcer Series. These are going to be a good daily driver, something that is very capable in basically any condition. And I definitely think that that rings true from my experience on these skis—I had a really fun time on them.
What is your overall impression of this ski? [Brandon] I had a lot of fun out there today on this ski smearing it around. I got to ski it switch a little bit as well and was quite impressed by the performance. I had a lot of fun and thought it was a versatile ski. Definitely can understand how this thing absolutely rages in the deeper snow.
How is the Enforcer Free series different from Nordica’s classic Enforcers? [Brandon] What sets apart the Enforcer Free series from just the classic Enforcers is the mostly rocker profile and the partial twin tip of this ski. I felt like it was a full twin tip out there today. I caught some air, rode it switch, landed switch so I can definitely see how this is a great ski to land switch on when freeriding or in any sort of powder. It totally has your back for that. If you're on a typical Enforcer, I wouldn't say so much. It doesn't quite have a partial tail or a full twin. There’s a lot more fun and rocker in the tip, opening up the mountain to be your entire playground.
How is the shape of the ski and the ski profile? And how does it impact the ride? [Brandon] Keeping the same construction and design as the Enforcer series gives this ski a partial twin tip. It felt like a full twin tip out there when skiing switch and also a more playful rocker pattern in the tip. This ski does have two full sheets of metal in it, so is a stiff hard charging ski. You do really have to put the work in to carve the ski and get it up on edge.
The Nordica Enforcer 104 Free does have a powder rocker on this, so it's going to be a little more rocker in your tip and tail than the all-mountain rocker that Nordica puts on most of the Enforcers towards the 100 or the 94 waist widths.
[Daryl] This ski is very generously rocker tip and tail. It definitely makes the tail ski shorter than what you might expect. That being said, it is definitely strong underfoot, so it's very stable in the turn and at speed. One thing is, because there's so much rocker in the tip here, as you can see, it's actually going to make these a little bit floppier when you're skiing at speed, but just in the tips.
Is it a good carver? [Brandon] I took the Nordica Enforcer Free 104 out onto some groomers today, both some harder pack stuff and some chunder towards the end of the day. I would say it is a pretty good carver on this ski length.
[Daryl] Yeah, I enjoyed these quite a lot. They carve very, very well.
How well do these skis turn? [Brandon] I took out the 186 today as an 18.5 turning radius. It felt pretty quick, edge to edge and fairly nimble. Again, it is a little bit of a heavier ski because of those two full sheets of metal in the core. So don't expect this thing to be super snappy or lightweight, but if you're willing to drive the ski and put the energy in, it has fantastic edge hold and is one of the most stable skis I rode all week.
How about edge hold? [Brandon] I truly enjoy a ski that has a lot of metal in it and it takes work to drive. It was fun to get this thing up on edge. Again, you do have to give this thing energy, but it rebounds that energy right back at you as a skier and gives you a great edge grip and overall awesome performance on most all-terrain out there.
How is its stability? What about dampness? [Brandon] I was really excited by how stable this thing was. Obviously there’s no chatter with two full sheets of metal in the core.
[Daryl] I didn't have any issue with feeling underfoot chatter or vibration that transferred through the ski under my foot. These skis were pretty fun. An interesting mix of damp underfoot, but really playful and loose tip and tail. I would say if you like something really damp, there are better options for something that's going to feel damp from tip to tail.
What is the speed like? [Daryl] When I first got on this ski, I immediately noticed that it doesn't like to go very slow. It gets a little catchy in the tip if you're skiing it at slow speeds. But once I got up to speed and I started hopping around on it a little bit, it was super fun, very agile and maneuverable for a ski that's this heavy and this wide.
Any playfulness in the ski? [Brandon] I really enjoyed jumping around, jibbing it, and having a nice playful time, which you really wouldn't get on the typical Enforcer.
[Daryl] These are a much more playful, poppy option. If you like the feeling of getting a little bit weightless in the turn and popping off of side hits, this is a really good option for you. They do have basically a full twin on the back, so if you want to ski them backwards, that's possible. I definitely wouldn't recommend these as a park ski or something that you're going to be skiing switch consistently, but they are capable of doing that.
How would it be in powder? [Brandon] It was definitely fun in a couple of inches of snow out there on Powder Mountain today. It drives nicely and skis really hard.
[Daryl] In powder, I would say that these would also be a very capable ski. They are heavier than other skis in the class. They're not overly heavy, but they are going to sink just a little bit more than somewhat lighter skis. But I do think that these would do very well in powder. They have generous tip and tail rocker. They'll definitely float for you, but they'll still be nice, nimble, agile and able to jump around in the trees and basically do anything you want.
How does it handle chop and chunder? [Daryl] I skied these in a little bit of chundery snow and they were totally competent. They are a great ski for punching through things. This ski is very capable in variable terrain.
How is its maneuverability riding in the trees? [Brandon] I had a ton of fun out there freeriding this thing through the trees.
[Daryl] As far as tree skiing goes, I was expecting these to be a little bit more dead and struggle with quick turns and really jumping around in the trees but I really had no issue with them. I would like to ski them in some tighter terrain than I was skiing today, but I don't foresee them being a ski that's limited by being in tight terrain. They're a great ski if you're someone who likes to ski a little bit of groomer during the lap and then jump into the trees for a little bit and then come back out. They're very easy to transition to different types of terrain.
Where would you take these skis? [Brandon] This does have the powder rocker, so if you live in snowier regions of the United States, this would be an amazing daily driver for you.
[Daryl] As far as locations that I would take these skis to, I would take them lots of places. These would be a really fun ski to have as a directional daily driver for Colorado, or here in Utah, or really anywhere, but I'd say the hard Midwest or Northeast.
Are there any places that you would avoid? [Daryl] I probably wouldn't ski them in the East. I would want something a little bit stiffer in the tip and tail and maybe slightly narrower.
Who would you recommend this ski to? [Brandon] For those advanced to expert skiers, this ski is right up your alley. It is literally designed for you guys. Advanced to expert freeride skiers looking for a nice, stiff, supportive ski, the Nordic Enforcer 104 Free is definitely for you.
[Daryl] I would recommend these skis to an advanced to expert skier. While they are pretty easygoing, they do take a confident rider to be able to get the most out of the ski. If you are transitioning from something that's a little bit softer, or maybe has a little bit less shape to it, these are a good option to go up to. They're definitely a ski that you can push very hard and ski very fast, but they are also a ski that's going to be competent at more moderate speeds.
Who should avoid this ski, there are other better options for them out there? [Brandon] If you're a beginner, I definitely would not suggest this ski for you because of the two sheets of metal in the core. It's definitely stiff to drive. If you're looking to get into powder skiing or all-mountain skiing, there are definitely better options out there for you that are a bit more flexible, playful, fun, and overall easier to turn in general. If you're someone that's a more chill groomer skier or freeride skier who doesn't like a heavy ski with a lot of swing weight, this 104 Enforcer Free may not be for you.
[Daryl] The main reason that I would not suggest these for someone who is getting more comfortable on their skis is that they really do not excel at slow speeds. And they might just feel really cumbersome to you and they just won't perform well if you're mainly skiing them slow.
Skis work differently for everyone, so if you want some help finding the right skis for you, reach out to Brandon, Daryl, or another Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations on the best setup for you.