Nordica Hell and Back
Credit: Nordica

Why this ski is best for those who ride hard

Tested: Nordica Hell and Back (135-98-125)

Best for: Hard charger, A-types

The Hell and Back is specifically marketed as a resort/sidecountry, do it all kind of ski. It also lives up to Nordica's reputation for stiff, burly skis. So if you're new to skiing, are lighter or feel like having a cruisy ski, look elsewhere. But if you can drive these skis, they'll reward you with a stable ride and poppy personality. However, the traditional underfoot camber has a tendancy to override the rockered tip and create some tip dive in wet or crusty conditions. We found the Hell and Back shined in chopped up pow that would find other skis noodling-out and chattering underfoot. Nordica calls them a light ski but at 3800 grams, they really aren't, so this wouldn't be a good bet for long traverses or multi-day backcountry trips. But for hard-charging folks looking for a good all-rounder they plan to keep at (or at least near) the resort, the Hell and Back is a winner.

This ski test was performed by Ryan Stuart & Paul Karchut