The Santa Ana 100 from Nordica is a women’s freeride all mountain ski that shares a shape with the Nordica Enforcer 100, but uses women’s specific construction. At the core of the ski is balsa wood, a super lightweight material. This is then augmented with two sheets of titanal (just like the men’s ski) resulting in plenty of power, stability, torsional stiffness, and energy, but in a package with an overall weight that’s less than the men’s version. The 100 mm waist width and tip and tail rocker is designed to deliver excellent performance in off-piste terrain, while still retaining the ability to carve some nice turns on groomers. What did our testers think of it? Each of these ladies tested the 169 cm length.
Maggie MacDonald “love love loved” it! She scored it 5 out of 5 for every single category on our test form, which is saying a lot as we didn’t see reactions like that very often across the entire ski test. Maggie described the Santa Ana 100 as a “versatile ski for all conditions. It’s fun, responsive, and handles both high speeds and tight slalom turns.” It really is one of those skis that can handle just about every type of terrain with its 100 mm waist width. Maggie thinks it would make a “great all mountain ski for an aggressive advanced skier” and we can concur.
Julia Gill felt that the Santa Ana is “definitely a lot of ski for a beginner, but still forgiving.” In fact, Julia scored the Santa Ana 100 5 out of 5 for forgiveness (as well as versatility). This makes a lot of sense to us as we often hear skiers refer to the Enforcer 100 as being impressively forgiving despite the two sheets of metal in the ski. The same can be said for the Santa Ana, but because it’s lighter than the Enforcer the feeling is somewhat accentuated. Julia went on to describe the versatility of the Santa Ana 100: “Held its edge great on the hard stuff and turned playful in the softer stuff.” Well geez, that sounds pretty perfect to us.
Karly Acker echoed this playful, fun feel. She described the Santa Ana 100 as a “fun ski overall. It’s light and easy to maneuver.” She found that it was “easy to change turn radius,” which is largely due to the rocker profile of the Santa Ana 100. It’s easier to manipulate than, say, the Astral series that uses a stiffer tail. Karly “would recommend to any advanced or intermediate skier who enjoys all conditions.” We don’t throw around the term “one ski quiver” very often, but this is certainly a ski that could fall into that category.
While Kristi Brown didn’t think the Santa Ana 100 was quite as forgiving as the 93 mm width version, she did think it had an awesome mix of performance from laying down carves on fast groomers to first tracks down fresh snow. Kristi had an interesting way to describe the ski: “if you’re an early morning skier that likes getting first chair the Santa Ana will reward you with either fast groomer skiing or fresh tracks in powder.” Having that kind of versatility in a ski allows you to confidently head out on the slopes no matter what the conditions are like.
Just like the men’s Enforcer 100, the Santa Ana 100 is one of the best and most popular women’s all mountain skis on the market. While there are skis that can compare and compete with it, there’s not really anything that outperforms them for what they are intended to do: offer a wide range of performance characteristics for relatively advanced skiers. If 100 mm sounds too wide the Santa Ana 93 retains a similar feel in a narrower ski.