The Santa Ana 93 is the narrowest of three skis that Nordica classifies as their women’s all mountain freeski collection. The Santa Ana 93 shares a shape with the men’s Enforcer 93, but uses a lighter weight balsa wood core. It still has two sheets of titanal that provide vibration dampening and stability, but the overall weight remains lighter than the men’s version. This increases maneuverability and forgiveness which helps give the ski excellent ability in variable conditions and terrain. The Santa Ana 93 sure seems versatile when you look at the numbers on paper, but what did our testers think?
Well, according to Elissa DeGolyer, the Santa Ana 93 “is the perfect women’s ski.” While we understand that ski reviews are quite subjective, at least we know they’re perfect for Elissa. Elissa skied a 169 cm and gave the Santa Ana 93 5 out of 5 for flotation, quickness, playfulness, versatility, and overall impression. She described the Santa Ana as having “slightly earlier rise than some are used to, but the turning point of this ski is so neutral it’s a piece of cake to boss this ski around the mountain.”
Carly Monahan also skied the 169 cm and commented that the Santa Ana 93 felt “lively, energetic, and very playful.” She thinks it would make a “great ski for a woman who wants something that will perform all over the mountain in any condition.” Carly did admit that the ski “wouldn’t be ideal if only skiing icy, firm days, but you can set an edge and it will hold its own on firm snow.” We agree with Carly. If you’re always skiing firm snow there’s certainly an argument to go with a narrower, more groomer specific ski. The Santa Ana 93, however, allows you to explore the entire mountain while still providing good performance on those groomers.
Kristi Brown found the Santa Ana 93 to be very forgiving, but also thought it had excellent stability thanks to the metal laminates in the ski. The forgiveness and versatility comes from “a soft tip that eases you into the turn,” while the energy of the ski “surges through the tails, setting you up for the next turn.” It’s difficult to achieve a mix of stability, energy, and forgiveness, but judging by our testers’ reactions Nordica has done a commendable job. Kristi was on a 169 cm Santa Ana 93.
Ali Berlin concurs as she described the Santa Ana 93 as “a stable ski, yet soft and flexible.” She skied the 163 cm and thought it “turned easy and transitioned smoothly from edge to edge.” Ali also felt that it “held up great on steeper terrain,” so adventurous skiers who are always looking for the steeps can rest assured the Santa Ana 93 has the edge grip and stability you need to confidently ski your lines. To emphasize the skis versatility, Ali left us with a nice final comment: “overall a great ski meant for someone looking to go anywhere.”
That really hits the nail on the head. The Santa Ana 93 really does give you the ability to go anywhere. While there certainly are better powder specific skis, better carving specific skis, etc, the Santa Ana 93 offers such a great mix of performance it’s hard to be beat strictly in terms of versatility. Grab a pair and head out on the mountain with confidence that you have a tool that will handle any job you put in front of it in a fun, forgiving, and rewarding manner.