The Nomad 105 was already my favorite ski from Icelantic because of its shape and rocker profile. New this year, Icelantic trimmed the fat on their most popular freeride ski, building the Nomade LITE to suit the uphill market.
Over the years, I have really started to prefer lighter and lighter ski equipment, whether it’s the skis, boots, bindings, or the beer. (OK, maybe that last one was a little too far for my Double IPA homeland, Vermont!) In all honesty, lightweight ski equipment allows your body to attack the hill harder and longer, and that is always a plus.
By using an Ochroma core, more commonly known as Balsa, a very lightweight wood, the Nomad LITE drops 30 percent of the weight compared to the straight-up Nomad 105. I appreciated the lightness, especially when conditions got deep. The ski was easy to navigate and manage, even in the 191-centimeter size. The 105-millimeter waist keeps the ski versatile. It can be an all-mountain fun tool or a straight park stick. It has a decent amount of rocker in the tip and tail connected by just a touch of camber underfoot, a profile that allows the Nomad LITE to swivel and slarve around the mountain like it’s a playground.
I only found a few negatives. Just 2 millimeters of camber make the LITE less snappy out of a turn. The softer core is not great for big skiers in chunky or firm conditions and makes the ski a little chattery.
Overall, the new Nomad LITE is for the person who wants to escape the crowds. That’s an enviable mission, as is Icelantic’s commitment to make all their skis in the USA, and their three-year warranty that’s supported by their bombproof construction. For the fun havers that like to slide around on the mountain, give the Nomad LITE a spin. —Ryan Rubino