The NRG represents a departure from D3’s reputation of conservative and incremental ski development. This ski looks different than previous D3s. The one thing that the NRG shares with all previous D3s is that it feels comfortable the first time you ride it.
The NRG turns smooth on both sides, makes ample speed to the wakes, and then slows down quickly approaching the next turn. From the gate pull out to the exit gates, the ski does nothing unfriendly or unexpected but getting the most out of this ski is a nuanced affair.
Ball to the wakes:
If mistakes are made at the ball, one of the NRG’s best attributes is that it allows the skier to regain position and repoint the ski across the lake.
Skiers who do not lean harder than necessary will generate enough speed to be wide and early at the next ball. Skiers who apply excess load heading into the first wake may find the path to the next ball to be not as fluid as it could be.
Wakes to the ball:
The NRG creates plenty of space in front of the ball and slows down quickly approaching apex. The ski is very stable both side to side and front to back making it easy for the skier to stand where they need to. As noted below in the On Side section, keeping the handle close to the skier’s center of mass after the second wake is the key to unlocking this skis full potential.
The Off Side turns on the NRG are absolutely phenomenal. The ski consistently carves a smooth tight arc under the line and heads for the other side of the course. Its stability in the pre-turn is especially apparent approaching Off Side.
When running wide and early it is recommended that the skier temper aggression at apex to avoid over turning.
When the skier is at their hardest pass and starts to scramble, the Off Side turns happen automatically. This one characteristic of the NRG will result in additional balls.
On Side turns on the NRG can be almost as good as the Off Side turns but require the skier to maintain connection and outbound direction off the second wake. Skiers who release the handle (lose connection) too early after edge change will experience inconsistent On Side turns. This issue is more critical on the NRG than on any other ski tested to date.
Skiers whose technique emphasizes connection off the second wake will find that the On Side turns are as dependable as the Off Side turns. The NRG is remarkably tolerant to other technical mistakes approaching On Side.
Is the NRG a fast ski or a slow ski? Impressions of the amount of work the ski requires are dependent on fin and binding settings. The NRG consistently gets wide enough even if the skier makes technical mistakes so I would call this ski “fast-ish”.
Another outstanding quality of this ski is how it preforms when the skier is desperately scrambling to run a pass. After a substantial mistake is made, if the skier can stay calm and just keep skiing they will round more additional balls than expected.
Skiers may have to adjust their gate pull out technique to avoid losing width before turn in. This is because the NRG slows down so effectively. This trait is not a bad thing, but it does require an adjustment.
For a skier who maintains good connection off the second wake and can resist being too heavy on the line, the NRG draws a very smooth path through the course. For a skier who struggles with connection, the NRG still offers nearly magical Off Side turns but inconsistent On Side turns.
Over 35 rides I tried 6 or 7 different settings. The below two worked best for me on the 67" ski.
Crawford / Bush