2020 Nordica Santa Ana 100

Much like it’s Enforcer 100 brother, the Santa Ana 100 is just about out of superlatives to use that describe its all-mountain versatility and performance. Built with a Balsa wood core for lightness, two sheets of titanal for dampness, and a unique shape and profile for playfulness and maneuverability, the Santa Ana 100 is a top-end performer for advanced and expert level ladies who are looking to rip the whole mountain to shreds. We’re not quite sure how Nordica has made a ski that carves like a narrower ski, floats like a wider ski, and still is lightning-quick and super-stable all at the same time. Skiers looking for that one-ski quiver can pretty much stop their search right here. Our testers, as usual, were pretty enamored with the strong personality and iron-willed character of the Santa Ana 100.

Kristi Brown ripped the 169 and liked that length for her. She scored all 4.5’s and 5’s out of 5 for all categories, showing that the Santa Ana 100 is in a class all of its own. She calls it “100% go time as the Santa Ana 100 continues to charge and be in charge of the all-mountain category.” In terms of the ski’s ability to continue having success despite undergoing structural changes, Kristi appropriately notes: “Why change a good thing?” They certainly seem to have hit the nail on the head, at least as far as modern ski technology and design is concerned, so our guess is that they’ll run it until they can’t anymore.

On the 161, Jana Ross, like Kristi, gave all top marks for this sublimely versatile ski. She notes: “Pretty awesome ski—pretty awesome series, actually. This ski is wider than what I typically ski, but it felt pretty awesome in long turns as well as shorter turns. I actually enjoyed the “extra” as it made me feel powerful leaning into it while flying down the mountain. Very impressive ski for an expert skier.” We pretty much agree 100% with all of that, Jana. It’s no small feat to make a ski that can literally handle anything you throw at it.

Danielle Nichols usually skis the Enforcer 100, so it’s interesting getting her perspective on the similarities and differences between the models. She skied the 169 cm test length and found it to be appropriate for her. Her top score was a 5 out of 5 for forgiveness, so it seems like she notices the Santa Ana 100 as a bit softer than the Enforcer, which is totally true and accurate. “Another solid Nordica but not quite enough in the tip for me. Other than that, I would recommend this ski to any of my strong skier friends.” Her lower scores for stability and edge hold are not surprising given her comments, so stronger skiers who can ski a 169 or longer should at least check out the beefier Enforcer 100 if you fear the lack of stiffness at all with the Santa Ana.

Kelsey Boleski found the 161 to be short, but she still gave it a 5 out of 5 for overall impression, so Nordica is clearly doing something right. “Shorter length than I would normally ski, but it’s still apparent how versatile and bomber these skis are. Great all-mountain weapon for intermediate to advanced ladies looking to explore the hill.” Certainly, the lighter weight and the softer flex can make the Santa Ana 100 accessible for intermediates, and is a confidence-inspiring ski.

These skis have been the staple for the all-mountain ski for a few years now, and it’s amazing to see how fun, versatile, and stable these things are. Ex-racers love the feel of the metal laminates, and aspiring freeriders get a ton of performance in a relatively light-weight package. Here’s to another great year on the Santa Ana 100!

Testers

Annie MacDonald

Age: 56Height: 5'7"Weight: 118 lbs.

Ski Style: Lots of style, grace, and power

Kelsey Boleski

Age: 29Height: 5'8"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Freeride oriented with a competitive background

Danielle Nichols

Age: 42Height: 5'4"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast fall line ripper

Kristi Brown

Age: 49Height: 5'9"Weight: 133 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, precise, very smooth and skis with a lot of finesse

Jana Ross

Age: 42Height: 5'8"Weight: 142 lbs.

Ski Style: Silky-smooth and deliberate with styles for miles

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