Longtime sponsor @SkiEssentials is having a sale on two under-the-radar skis, the Blizzard Brahma SP and Nordica NRGy 85 R. These skis will prove difficult to research, because they are not “in line” skis, which means they are not in the catalogs, in regular product mixes, or on a ski shop's wall. But leave it to SkiEssentials, which has a knack for finding diamonds in the rough.
Why do these skis exist? Well, a growing segment of skiers own boots but not skis; when they travel, they bring their boots and rent skis. These skiers don't want a typical “rental ski" but neither do they want to pay the premium for a demo ski -- which is more of a sales tool than a rental anyway, and this customer doesn't want to buy skis. So, cousins Blizzard and Nordica took two of their popular all-mountain skis and turned them into high-performance rental skis for people who don’t want to look like they are on rental skis. If you have been out of the sport for a while and are just getting back in, or if you are looking for a transition ski for a tweenager, or if (a lot of other things), either of these skis is a great option that won't break the bank.
First, the Brahma SP. A staple in Blizzard's line for a while, the Brahma has a name that Blizzard knew it could capitalize on. When we saw the SP last year, we immediately noticed that although it looked like the regular Brahma, there were differences in shape, weight, and profile. It has a bit more sidecut than the regular Brahma, the metal was removed to lighten it up, and the top design was shorter and more abrupt -- all changes that we heard were going to happen on the 2018 Brahma CA. Hmmmmm. Was this ski a look into the future of the Brahma? Yep.
Nordica's NRGy 85 R is a completely different ski than the Brahma, but that's not a bad thing. For some reason this collection just never took off. The roots of this ski go back to the El Capo and Vagabond, two One Oh Somethings that defined the segment at the time. I recall telling Nordica's then product manager, “If you can bring this shape down under 100mm, you will have a winner.” He just smiled, and I knew the NRGys were on their way. A few years later, the NRGy 85 was the last addition to the collection, but it was too little too late. The NRGy's fate was sealed with the success of the Enforcer and its spawn, the Navigator. But don’t fret: even though this is a discontinued model, it still has some awesome attributes, especially for someone who likes to drive the tips.
Closing: Yes, this is an advertisement for @SkiEssentials; however, these skis, which come with bindings, are a great way to save a boatload of bucks over their 2017-18 counterparts. It is hard to argue with either deal. Spend what you save on boots or feel free to donate back to the site .
- Why choose the Brahma SP? The Brahma is a bit more powerful, and more precise. Lay it over and it will come around and carve a beautiful turn. A great option for firmer conditions.
- Why choose the NRGy 85 R? This is a ski that says, “Relax, I got this.” With the NRGy’s gradual tip rise and taper in the tail, it does not demand your attention all the time. Whatever you want to do, the 85 R will do it with surprising ease.
Featured Cage Match Comparison SkiEssentials Blizzard Brahma SP vs Nordica NRGy 85 R