Expert Review: 2024 Nordica Unleashed 98 Ice Skis [with Video]Published on 10/06/2023 · 7 min readSkiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz tested the 2024 Nordica Ice Unleashed 98 skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz got their hands on the 2024 Nordia Ice Unleashed 98 this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different; if you have any questions about the Nordica Ice Unleashed 98 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Nordica claim about this ski? [Ian] Nordica markets this as a playful, all mountain type ski that’s not super fat.
[Luke] The Nordica Unleashed 98 is the mid fat ski in Nordica's Unleashed lineup. There's the 90, the 108, and then there's this, the 98. Nordica made the Unleashed to be a more freestyle, softer, and more playful brethren to their ever popular Nordica Enforcer line. Whereas the Enforcer has two sheets of metal and a flatter tail, this ski only has one sheet of metal and has much more rocker in the tip and tail. Nordica claims that this is a freestyle ski best for people who are skipping the groomers so that they can go off piste, go find powder stashes, go through the trees, and even go hit the park.
What is your overall impression of the ski? [Ian] It's a good one ski quiver. If it’s not super deep snow or super icy hardpack, then this is a super fun, playful ski to be on. Overall, I really liked it.
[Luke] These skis are super, super fun. They were surprisingly damp and stable for me being a bigger guy. But, at the same time, they had a ton of pop and energy.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides?
How does the ski turn? [Ian] It was nimble edge to edge and felt quick.
[Luke] I was impressed by how they carved. I could tip them on edge and crank out some really tight turns on them.
What is the edge hold like? [Ian] It held an edge really well.
[Luke] They had a really strong edge grip, which I was really surprised by. Usually when you're on freestyle skis, they tend to be softer and maybe not as good of edge grip. But, these definitely held their own.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? [Luke] When I really opened it up on groomers, the tips and tails could start to chatter a little bit. That being said, it wasn’t terrible. Just know that, if you’re looking for a dedicated carving ski, there are better options than this ski.
How does it feel in terms of speed? [Ian] It skied really well fast, and I wanted to go fast on it!
[Luke] They're not the most high speed, hard charging carving ski out there, but they felt really good underfoot.
How is it for freestyle skiing? [Ian] You can go fast on it, do tricks on it, you can jump, you can slash - it's a fun park ski.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Ian] It’s a really fun ski for the playful skier as it’s not super stiff.
[Luke] I was surprised by how much pop these skis had. Even though they do have rocker in the tip and tail, they have enough camber underfoot that they just have a lot of pop and rebound in them. As long as I was staying light on my feet, it was very surfy, very slarve-y on these.
Is it good for skiing switch? [Ian] It skied really well switch.
[Luke] With a good amount of twin tip and rocker in the tail, these skis are ideal for skiing switch. They’re super easy to flip around and are really easy to navigate when you’re skiing backwards, which for an older guy like me was super fun.
How is the ski with jumps? [Ian] I really enjoyed hitting some jumps on it! It felt stable when I aired off stuff.
[Luke] We got to go off some natural hits and cornices. They felt really good in the air and they’re really easy to land on.
How is it for freeride skiing? [Luke] They were a jack of all trades and felt really good all around the mountain. They were fun and playful off trail, had just enough float in the deep stuff, and were easy to slash with. They were also super fun when I wanted to get creative and ski tighter.
How is it in powder? [Ian] This is a great one ski quiver that will handle up to a foot of pow well.
[Luke] It was kind of lacking in really deep snow. I was wishing for a little bit more girth underfoot. But, that was a tradeoff because these actually felt much more nimble than wider skis I had been using.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? [Luke] As the day wore on and the powder got more skied out, the skis were just a little bit trickier to maneuver in the more variable snow and crud. They’re just not quite as stable as some other options. But, that’s the trade off, right? They’re super maneuverable and fun in powder, so they just didn’t perform quite as well as the snow got beat up.
How is it skiing in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Ian] It’s super playful in the trees and easy to slash.
[Luke] They were easy to maneuver in trees and tight spots. They were also easier to flick around in the trees, slarve, and turn on than wider skis.
What terrain is this ski good for? [Ian] Overall, in steep terrain and in the trees it did fine. I felt comfortable.
[Luke] If you want something that’s going to be versatile for off piste, powder, side hits, and park, these are definitely worth taking a look at.
What terrain should skiers avoid with it? [Ian] Honestly, I would ski it most days except if it's really icy or there’s really deep powder. The downside of really any mid-width ski, like the 98, is that it's not perfect for any conditions. On deep days, it won't have enough float and on icy days it will be too wide to really grip perfectly.
[Luke] If you’re looking for a dedicated carving ski or you’re going to be spending time mainly on piste, there are probably better skis out there for you.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Ian] I would really recommend this ski to playful skiers, especially in places where you don't get a ton of really deep powder. I would also recommend it more for progressing beginners getting into lower level intermediate all the way up to experts.
[Luke] These skis would be great for an intermediate who is looking to progress rapidly and wants the option to go into the park as well. This would also be great for someone who is looking to explore more terrain off trail, wants more versatility when it snows, and wants something a little bit softer and playful for when they're going into more advanced terrain and skiing powder.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? [Ian] Because it is 98 underfoot, it is a little bit harder to get from edge to edge, so for people learning to ski this isn’t the best option. Also, it’s not super stiff, so it’s not the best option for people that really want to charge and want a directional ski. This is more of a twin tip, playful ski.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Ice Unleashed 98 is the right ski for you, chat with Ian, Luke, or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.