Ski Canada Test 2019 On-Slope Reviews
FRIENDLIER DOG, BIGGER BITE
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? To make its Dobermann GS and slalom race skis a little more approachable without losing any of the performance, Nordica narrowed the width of the ski and eased up on the aggressive shape. The result is the Dobermann SLR and GSR. Designed as recreational race skis and high-performance carvers, the shovel on both skis is easy to engage and control, the waist is narrow for quick transitions, and the tip-tail proportions are optimized for versatility and easy skiing. Both skis are an all-wood core sandwiched between carbon glass layers, a combination that’s powerful and damp with a playful edge. Carbon bridges at the tip and tail add power to the start and end of the turn. ($1,100; nordica.com)
NORDICA DOBERMANN SLR
$1,100 * BEST FOR: Beer-league racers.
LENGTHS: 170, 175, 180, 185 * RADIUS: 13@165 * SIDECUT: 120/69/104
Like the Rossignol Hero Elite MT, the Dobermann SLR and GSR are approachable versions of full-on race skis. But where Rossignol added girth, Nordica took it away. Along with thinner waists, the ski has a softer tip and the shape is hacked to make turn-shape selection a little easier. That’s subjective and relative, according to testers. The SLR, a tweaked slalom shape, still only really wanted to make short turns, said Erin Keam: “Stuck to the turn shape like a rally car on steroids. Arc-to-arc was lightning quick, but still stable when you opened up the turn shape.” The GSR model was more versatile, but both skis wanted to stay on edge at all times. They demanded precision and power. Light, finesse skiers need not apply. The sweetspot is small and you have to stay on the gas. But when you do, they’re amazing, said Keam: “Let gravity pull you down the hill and shave seconds off your fastest time.”