Expert Review: 2024 Nordica Santa Ana 93 Skis [with Video]Published on 10/06/2023 · 9 min readSkiing Experts Charlotte H. and Allie Staffen tested the 2024 Nordica Santa Ana 93 skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Experts Charlotte H. and Allie Staffen got their hands on the 2024 Nordica Santa Ana 93 this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different; if you have any questions about the Santa Ana 93 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Nordica claim about this ski? [Charlotte] Nordica claims that these are all mountain rocker skis for advanced and expert skiers.
[Allie] Nordica claims that this is an advanced to expert, all mountain ski.
What is your overall impression of the ski? [Allie] My overall impression of the ski is actually more intermediate than what Nordica claims. If you're wanting to take it conservative, slow, and into a little bit softer snow, this is the right ski for you.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? [Charlotte] These Nordica Santa Ana 93s are 93 underfoot. They have a decent sidecut which is going to kind of help them get up on edge a little more easily than a ski that's wider in the waist. But, because they're 93 underfoot, they make a really nice all-mountain ski for both East and West Coast.
[Allie] This is an all mountain rocker ski, so it does really well on blues and greens, and it's really maneuverable. This ski wants to do what you tell it to do.
What is the flex like? [Charlotte] When I'm just flexing the skis on their own, they're pushing back against me and they feel like a sturdier, more heavy duty constructed ski. You would expect that to carry over as you're skiing; however, when I was skiing them downhill, especially at higher speeds, I felt like the tips were flopping a little bit on me - which was a surprise for me given how heavy duty they are in general.
How does the ski turn? [Charlotte] The 93 width in the waist means that they can get over on edge pretty easily. It doesn't take a whole lot of effort to get them carving down a groomer in comparison to the 88 model. You need a little extra umph to get them up on edge, but they're nothing like 100 millimeter underfoot. So, they're going to be a little bit easier to get on edge and to make quicker, shorter radius turns.
[Allie] This ski turns very easily. You’re going to be able to get it to do exactly what you want it to.
What is the edge hold like? [Charlotte] They are a little bit easier than a wider ski to get up on edge. They didn't wash out too easily on harder packed snow, icier conditions. However, when I was skiing them, I felt myself gravitating towards parts of the trails that had softer, more kicked up snow because I didn't feel like I could totally trust these guys to be sturdy and stable underfoot. I was a little nervous about them sliding out on me. So, in terms of edge hold, I've skied more stiff, stable, reliable skis on icier conditions.
[Allie] Because it's a little bit more underfoot than the Santa Ana 88, it doesn't do quite as well on ice. However, I was not completely washing out when I was hitting icey patches.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? [Charlotte] I didn't feel like these skis were especially damp. I felt like the tips were flopping around on me a little bit, a little noodle-y for me. So, I was checking my speed quite a bit while skiing down the mountain. They're rated for advanced and expert skiers - I might bump that down a little bit as an expert skier is going to be cruising down the hill. I didn't feel super confident at higher speeds. So someone who's middle of the pack, cruising at their own pace, and not leading anyone down the hill, I think it's going to be a better ski for you. But overall, I didn't feel like they were especially damp and when I slowed down that's when they felt more comfortable for me underfoot.
[Allie] At slower speeds, the ski actually feels very damp. However, if you get into the faster speeds, you're going to start to feel that underfoot chatter.
How does it feel in terms of speed? [Charlotte] These skis are great for a more easygoing skier or someone who is more aggressive on their skis but not necessarily flying down the mountain. They definitely instill confidence at slower speeds to the point where they encourage you to go faster, and that's where I felt the main drawback of the ski. As I was progressing from medium speed to really cruising down the hill, I had to speed track, I had to check myself, and make sure that I wasn't getting into something that these skis couldn't quite handle.
[Allie] This is a ski that wants to go fast; however, it doesn't handle speed incredibly well. At more moderate speeds, this is where the ski really shines.
How is its energy/acceleration? [Charlotte] As I was powering into the ski, it kind of just ate the power and didn't really didn't bounce me back into the next turn. I can see camber underfoot, which would mean that these skis would give you some energy back. But, I didn't especially feel it. I felt skis that have that packed much more energy than these Santa Ana 93s.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Charlotte] It’s not a super playful ski and not a super poppy ski. It absorbs energy, so when I got into tighter woods and I needed them to wash out for me that was no problem. Whereas while I was in moguls and I wanted to weave through them really quickly, it didn't have a whole lot of pop, energy, or bounce from turn to turn.
[Allie] This ski is definitely more playful than skis that have titanal. And, it had a little bit of pop, but I didn't really feel it power out of those turns for me.
Is it good for skiing switch? [Charlotte] In theory, you could ski switch on these skis as they’re a partial twin tip. But, primarily they're a directional ski, so that's kind of the way that they want to be skied and the way that you'll feel best skiing them.
[Allie] This is not a ski that I would ride switch.
How is the ski with jumps? [Charlotte] I found some side hits, and these held up. At the medium speeds they’re landing those jumps pretty stably and then skiing out of them. At the higher speeds as I was going over lips of trails and really cruising, I felt a little nervous and they didn't feel like the most stable option. But, they land a jump no problem.
Can it handle the park and what features is it best for/should avoid? [Charlotte] I don’t think these skis would be your primary park ski - they’re not a twin tip so they don’t lend themselves super well to that. Now, if you were skiing down, headed to the lift, and wanted to hop into the park really quick, they’d be totally fine and could do it. But, they’re not your first pick, I wouldn’t say.
[Allie] I definitely would not take it into the park; however, on side hits, because it has a little bit more underfoot than the 88, it was decent on landings.
How is it in powder? [Allie] I did take the ski into a little bit of softer snow and a little bit of powder. It was sinking because it is 93 underfoot, but it was not completely sinking. This is something that I would probably stick to softer snow of like 2 to 3 inches and groomers. I would definitely not take this out on a powder day - there are better skis for you.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? [Allie] This is not a ski that I would really want to ski in chunder or deep powder.
How is it skiing in the trees? How is its maneuverability? [Allie] Whenever I took it into the trees - that’s where it really shines. I was able to get it to do exactly what I wanted and it was really nimble.
What terrain is this ski good for? [Charlotte] At 93 underfoot, these skis are really going to be a jack of all trades, daily driver on the East or West Coast. They’re for someone who wants to do a little bit of everything: a little bit of bumps, a little bit of trees, a little bit of groomers, and all at moderate speeds.
[Allie] I would take these skis into soft bumps, softer groomers, and trees.
What terrain should skiers avoid with it? [Allie] I would avoid taking these skis into the terrain park, deep powder, and icy, East Coast groomers.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Charlotte] Because they're not super narrow underfoot (they're 93), they're going to instill a bit of confidence for you. They have a bit of rocker in their tips, which is going to help initiate the turn a little bit easier than a true cambered ski. So, somebody who wants to be going at moderate speeds and just wants to feel really safe and comfortable skiing down, these are going to be a really fun option for you. And, you're going to be able to ride them all day, which is awesome.
[Allie] I would actually recommend these skis to intermediate skiers and advanced skiers.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? [Charlotte] Skiers who are really looking to push their limits, go fast, and be on the front of their skis - you're going to notice that their tips are a bit floppy. So, for anybody who's going fast, I would go with something that is a little bit stiffer in the tips.
[Allie] I would say that if you're a beginner and expert, there are better skis out there for you.
If you could pack these skis for anywhere in the world, where would you take them? [Charlotte] I think these skis would be happiest primarily on the East Coast at a resort that isn't super icy. They cruise through whatever you want to take them through.
[Allie] I would take it to the Midwest slopes. And then also, if you're a conservative skier, I would take it out West.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Santa Ana 93 is the right ski for you, chat with Charlotte, Allie, or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.