When going through test card data, when every tester uses the same rating per criteria there's no question about the results. With this year's Nordica Sportmachine3 130, that was the situation. One portion of the test app's question fields looks like this: cosmetics, entry/exit, closure, length fit, flex feel, tongue cushion, cuff height, fore-aft stance, lateral stance. Testers' unanimous replies to these questions looked like this: cool, easy, great, standard, ideal, ideal, ideal, ideal, neutral. Being so universally loved must get boring for the Sportmachine, but our test team was pretty excited to experience its newer, stronger build-out this year (mirroring medium-width Speedmachine3's revisions of last season). Our crew gave it two thumbs up for every aspect of its debut, from fit to stance to downhill performance.
The previous Sportmachine was also well-liked, but definitely had a fluffy, warm personality--it wasn't impressing anyone with its street cred or toughness. This new iteration changes that. The liner is firmer feeling, with a more sculpted, anatomical fit around the ankle bones and heel that gives the impression that it will break in nicely, not pack out hugely. The shell conducts skier movements directly to the ski for a strong and stable edging game (in fact it received a perfect 5.00 for Edge Power) and with enough foot and leg stuffed into its still cavernous space will also uncork some legitimate quickness from arc to arc when called for. The Sportmachine3 130 was still a comfortable ride and there's no need for the larger advanced intermediate to shy away from this stiffness level--it's supportive and forgiving simultaneously, testers said.
Our testers said the stance angles are nicely neutral and made proper skiing movements easy, which translated into good skiing through a variety of different terrain and snow surfaces. They said the hardware and features found on the Speedmachine3 were in line with the category's best and suggested that for skilled skiers with a high volume foot and leg, this year's Sportmachine3 130 should be ranked high on their try-on list.
“Very comfortable contact around my foot and ankle. No fit work needed. The forward lean and lateral angles are awesome and led to deep trenching on the hardest of snow. Beautiful! Precise and quick at all speeds and pitch angles. The comfort/performance ratio was real high on this one. Each year I am hopeful that some supplier will produce a wider, higher-volume boot (102mm last) that will ski as well as its 100mm and 98mm last models in a stiff 130 flex. Well, Nordica has delivered the goods with the Sportmachine3 130. ” -- Jim Schaffner
“Great boot--very nice amount of room over the top of the midfoot and also in the calf. Wasn't super wide in the ankles and heel, so had mediumish levels of fit control for steering. Skis very well.” -- Kevin Gabriel
“Much improved over former Sportmachine--great skiing, great fit, excellent update. ” -- Mark Elling
“Very comfortable throughout, no issues. Easy entry, and plenty of width equates to warm, right? ” -- Erik Korman