The Enforcer(and Santa Anna) Unlimited series is Nordica’s first line of touring-oriented skis. While the brand is new to the touring ski world, the Enforcer series is an all-time favorite of many resort skiers. The 104 Unlimited borrows the playful, rockered shape and profile of the venerable Enforcer 104 Free, but brings the weight for a 179cm down from ~2100g per ski to a very competitive 1650g in the Unlimited version.
The Blister Review on the Enforcer Free series states, “it combines the damp and stable, yet forgiving feel of the Enforcer 100 with a more playful shape and rocker profile, which perfectly suits my skiing style.” Not specifically a powder-oriented ski, but one able to handle most any conditions thrown at it with aplomb. Going into this test, I wondered how this resort performance would translate into the snow and terrain I encounter in the backcountry. The Enforcer 104 Unlimited was also my first “playful” ski; with a shorter turning radius and generous tip and tail rocker.
The Blizzard Zero G 105 has filled the ~105mm daily driver slot in my quiver the last few years, and while I have enjoyed that ski in many conditions, I was excited about something a little less demanding and softer snow oriented. For reference, the Zero G 105 (180cm) comes in at ~1500g with a 23m radius, flat tail, and a very low slung and short tip rocker. Over the past few seasons, I have had a growing sentiment that the Zero G 105 and similar, traditional shapes like the Black Crows Navis Freebird aren’t a great one ski quiver for the soft snow oriented, intermediate backcountry skier. Some have found a great match in somewhat more radical shapes like the DPS Wailer 112 or fully rockered skis like the Volkl BMT or 4FRNT Hoji series, but middle ground options were few and far between. Voile has been a steady player in this middle ground with the V8 and others, and Line’s Vision series, as well as the Atomic Backland 100/107, bring a nice balance of soft snow performance with great versatility for a variety of skiers in a variety of conditions. The Enforcer 104 Unlimited is a strong entry in this middle ground.
First, the ski’s shipping packaging was impressive and thoughtful. The skis are protected with all cardboard packaging and are held together with two velcro ski straps – zero plastic and all recyclable, nice!
As mentioned, the Enforcer 104 Unlimited fits in this middle ground of versatile, easy skiing ~105mm touring skis and sits firmly in the middle to short end of the turning radius spectrum in its class at 17.5m. Unlike some other heavily rockered, tapered skis (think DPS, Rossignol Soul 7), the Enforcer 104 Unlimited has relatively little taper (e.g., the widest point of the tip and tail are close to the end of the ski) and a longer effective edge. These design attributes give impressive stability and confidence at speed while carving on firm snow relative to similar heavily rockered designs.
Speaking of rocker, the Enforcer 104 Unlimited is aggressively rockered ~35cm from the tip and 25cm from the tail. The length of the rocker isn’t too different from the Zero G 105, but the height and abruptness of the rise are very different – see photo. This increased rocker means a few things in practice. First, the Enforcers float really well for their waist width—the tip stays above the surface in powder and doesn’t hook up as much in variable or breakable crust conditions. The tail sinks into soft snow and helps keep the ski planing above the surface in denser or grabby powder. It also shortens the contact points on the snow surface, which makes the skis feel easier to pivot in tight spots or at low speed.
The Enforcer 104 Unlimited feels quite stiff when hand flexing along the length of the ski. However, the tips are slightly softer than the Zero G 105’s, while the midsection and tail are similar and on the stiffer end of the backcountry ski spectrum. The stiffness adds a lot to the versatility of the Enforcer 104 Unlimited, adding stability at speed and on firmer snow- these things rail on groomers and corn. Here, the tradeoff is that a softer ski would add dampness and playfulness in soft and somewhat variable snow.
Sometimes, lightweight and stiffness combine to make a chattery ski on firm snow; that hasn’t been the case with the Enforcer 104 Unlimited. I think the shorter radius (allowing for tighter carved turns on firm snow) and slightly heavier weight add sufficient dampness and suspension to counteract any chattering issues.
The Enforcer 104 Unlimited core is a mix of poplar and beech, with carbon stringers above and below the wood, adding stiffness along the length. The mostly poplar core is heavier and damper than the ultralight standard Paulownia found on the lightest backcountry skis on the market. On snow, this construction certainly plays into the dampness and stability of the Enforcer 104 Unlimiteds; it’s hard to imagine a paulownia ski that rails this hard on groomers.
In early January, I was lucky to spend my first few days on the Enforcer 104 Unlimited skiing some fast, boot-top powder. The rockered tail shines in this snow, as it sunk in nicely and allowed me to pressure my tips and ski more aggressively. In contrast, typically, in these snow conditions on my Zero G 105s, I focus on skiing balanced and keeping my tips above the surface; not exactly an emptying the mind and forgetting the gear experience.
In the elusive (as of early March 2022 in the Tetons) deep, low-density powder, the Enforcer Unlimiteds punched well above their mid-fat waist. While they didn’t ride the surface quite like a dedicated, 115mm+ powder boat, the tips planed nicely and allowed for floaty, bouncy turns with a centered stance. GS turns driving in the front of my boots weren’t really possible without some tip dive in deeper snow, but that seems like a reasonable limitation at 104mm underfoot.
Crud/tracked/wind affected snow
The combination of rocker and dampness allowed me to ski relatively fast and confident in variable and tracked snow. The tips rarely got hung up in breakable crust and the tails were easy to break free and slide/slarve to shed speed and keep things under control. A 1700g ski will never ski crud like a 2200g+ alpine charger, but for normal ski touring speeds and conditions, the Enforcer 104 Unlimited handled the spectrum of variable surfaces well.
I was initially hesitant to take the Enforcer 104 Unlimiteds out in steeper and potentially firm terrain. The rockered tails and short turning radius gave me pause coming from the flat tails and straighter sidecut of my old Blizzards; these specs make the Blizzards more at home in steeper firmer conditions. While the Enforcer wouldn’t be my top choice for a firm couloir ski, they performed admirably in every situation I encountered. The shorter radius felt a bit “turny” and wanted to pull me across the fall line while making steep jump turns. While the tails didn’t feel super locked in, the dampness and resultant lack of chattering helped the ski feel more confident on edge than its rockered profile lets on. When the firm snow turned to sluff piles or wind skin in aprons, the Enforcer 104 Unlimited was back at home and delivered an easygoing ride for my frequently tired legs.
Resort touring (groomers/bumps)
I was able to test these for some resort touring and lift-served runs at Snow King Mountain in Jackson. Snow King is generally steep, and the north-facing slopes don’t see the sun for most of the winter. The shorter radius and long effective edge allowed me to carve tight turns and maintain reasonable speeds without sliding the tails at the top of turns. The edge grip and stability were impressive in such a lightweight and rockered ski. The rockered tails and shorter wheelbase pivoted easily in bumps, and I appreciated the lightweight for quick moves over tight, icy moguls and in the trees. I wouldn’t hesitate to put a resort binding on the Enforcer Unlimited – especially knowing how hard on my legs a few days a year on heavy resort gear can be.
A few months of near-daily use usually does a pretty good job of exposing durability issues in skis – especially in a low tide year. Thus far, I’ve been unsuccessful in damaging the Enforcer 104 Unlimited in any meaningful way. More and more, I’ve noticed that there are big differences in base and edge resilience between brands, and these have survived many rock hits without core shots or edge damage. The full sidewall is unsurprisingly durable, and I haven’t had any issues with topsheets chipping or peeling. I frequently end up damaging tips/tails when jamming them into rock walls in safe zones or getting into rappels, but I haven’t experienced this with the Enforcer 104 Unlimiteds.
Black/dark topsheets on touring skis are a constant complaint with touring skis, and the Enforcer 104 Unlimiteds are no different; they pick up snow and require frequent scraping on sunny days. Otherwise, they perform well on firm skintracks, and the rocker isn’t so extreme as to inhibit edge grip or skin contact area.
Nordica provided pre-cut Kohla climbing skins that have worked pretty well for me. The attachment hardware has held up well, too—the tip hardware seems much more durable than Pomoca’s brittle plastic, and the tail straps are pretty standard rubber with a plastic clip. The ski tails have a notch (why isn’t this standard across the industry?) that keeps the tail clips in place well. The skin glue has worked well on all but the coldest days, where it has started to lose its stick a few times. The durability of the skins seems good, with no noticeable loss of fibers and only one small nick along the edge caused by a rock hit.
Throughout my time as a ski shop tech, guide, and general gear nerd, I am frequently a resource for ski recommendations for friends/customers/clients. I always struggled to derive options for a soft snow-oriented daily driver and an intermediate, friendly ski. My previous recommendations that fit the bill have included the Voile Hyper V8/Manti, Line Vision 108, and 4FRNT Raven. The Enforcer 104 Unlimited is a solid addition to this category and enjoyable in a huge variety of conditions.
It wouldn’t be my top choice for frequent forays into steep, firm couloirs or the deepest powder days, but it is certainly passable in these snow/terrain genres. The Enforcer 104 Unlimited has continued to be my top choice for tree skiing, settled pow, and variable or tracked surfaces – encompassing most of the day-to-day conditions we encounter throughout the winter. Cheers to Nordica for a well-done first entry into the touring world!
Available lengths (cm): 165, 172, 179, 186, 191
Dimensions (mm): 134.5 – 104 – 123.5 (179cm)
Radius (m): 17.5 (179cm)
Mass (g): Claimed: 1650; Measured: 1693g
Mount Position (cm from center): -9 cm
Construction Highlights: Carbon Chassis LT – “Lite Performance wood” core (poplar/beech) w/ carbon stringers, titanal mountain plate.
Shape: Minimal taper, medium turn radius, slightly squared-off tips, tail notch for skins.
Profile: “60% rocker, 40% camber” read – relatively deep tip and tail rocker lines.
Binding & Boot Pairing Tested: Mounted with ATK Kuluar 12, no brakes. Tested with both Alien RS (318mm bsl) and Technica Zero G Tour Pro (323mm bsl).
Similar Models: Blizzard Hustle 10, Line Vision 108, Voile Manti.
Buy the Nordica Enforcer 104 Unlimited.
Gavin is a mountain guide and gear fanatic based in Jackson, WY. His endless pursuit of gear perfection led to starting a pack company, Apocalypse Equipment in 2019. He has a degree in Nordic skiing and mechanical engineering from the University of New Hampshire and worked as a ski shop tech prior to getting his dream job as a WildSnow contributor.