Ski: 2021-2022 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 172 cm
Available Lengths: 151, 158, 165, 172, 179 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 171.0 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1903 & 1917 grams
Stated Dimensions: 126.5-93-114.5 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 126.6-92.4-113.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (172 cm): 16.1 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 63 mm / 24 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3 mm
Core: balsa/poplar/beech + titanal layer + carbon & fiberglass laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.3 cm from center; 77.2 cm from tail
[Note: our review was conducted on the 20/21 Santa Ana 93, which was not changed for 21/22, apart from graphics.]
Back in January of 2020, Nordica made a surprising announcement: for the 20/21 season, they’d be overhauling their popular (and very good) line of Santa Ana all-mountain skis.
If you’ve read our reviews of the Santa Ana 100 & Santa Ana 110, our reviewers’ ski-quiver selections from the past few years, or our Winter Buyer’s Guide, you’ll know that many of us at Blister are big fans of the Santa Ana series. The previous versions have been both pretty easy to ski, but also quite stable. This meant they could work for everyone from those just looking for a casual day on the mountain to some of the hard-charging ladies out there.
While the updates to the men’s 20/21 Nordica Enforcer skis looked a bit more minimal on paper, the changes to the Santa Ana skis look more dramatic. This past season I spent time in Crested Butte on the 20/21 Santa Ana 98, Santa Ana 104 Free, and the ski we’re discussing today, the new Santa Ana 93. Blister Members can check out my Flash Review for my initial impressions, and then we’ll be rolling out First Looks and full reviews of all these skis in the future.
2020-2021 Nordica Santa Ana Lineup
We went into more detail in our initial writeup on these new skis, but here’s a brief rundown on the 20/21 line of Santa Ana skis:
- Santa Ana 88
- Santa Ana 93
- Santa Ana 98
- Santa Ana 104 Free
- Santa Ana 110 Free
The big difference between the Santa Ana 104 Free and Santa Ana 110 Free and the other three Santa Ana skis is that the “Free” versions feature deeper rocker lines and a more “twinned” tail for a more playful ride, while the others have more directional rocker profiles. There’s also a construction difference between all the skis in the line, which takes us to…
This is arguably the biggest update. While the 20/21 Santa Ana skis maintain a similar wood core, just about everything else has been changed vs. the previous 18/19–19/20 versions.
First, the 20/21 Santa Ana skis use a new carbon and fiberglass laminate that’s designed to decrease weight (something that’s a theme with the new Santa Ana skis). They also feature Nordica’s “True Tip” construction, which basically means that the wood core of the ski extends farther into the tip of the ski, decreasing the amount of heavier ABS plastic that’d normally be used there. The goal of this is to particularly decrease swing weight.
Then there’s Nordica’s new “Terrain Specific Metal” construction, or “TSM” for short. For reference, the previous generation of Santa Ana skis featured two layers of titanal metal that extended fully from edge to edge and along the whole length of the ski. The 20/21 Santa Ana skis’ TSM construction consists of a single layer of titanal, and that titanal layer is tapered in the middle of the ski so that it’s not totally edge to edge.
The “Terrain Specific” part of the name refers to how Nordica changes the metal layer between each model in the 20/21 Santa Ana lineup — the narrower the ski, the more surface area the metal layer covers, and vice versa. The idea with this is that, for the narrower skis that you’ll typically use on firmer, rougher, more challenging conditions, you’ll have a more damp and powerful ski. And then for the wider skis that most people will use in softer, more forgiving conditions, you don’t need as much damping and can get away with a lighter ski with less metal.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The shape and rocker profile of the Santa Ana 93 haven’t changed very much compared to past versions. This ski still has a pretty modern, tapered shape compared to other ~93mm-wide skis, many of which look more like wider versions of piste-oriented carving skis. I loved the all-mountain versatility of the previous Santa Ana 93 and its shape was likely a big reason for that, so I’m glad to see the shape hasn’t changed a whole lot.
Same goes for the rocker profile — the Santa Ana 93 still has pretty deep rocker lines for a 93mm-wide ski, especially compared to some other skis in its class like the Blizzard Black Pearl 88, Black Pearl 98, and Head Kore 93 W. Like all of the Santa Ana skis, the Santa Ana 93 has camber underfoot.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Santa Ana 93:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Not much change here. The 20/21 Santa Ana 93 has a pretty accessible, yet still fairly strong flex pattern. Its tips are pretty easy to bend, it pretty quickly and smoothly stiffens up as you move to the middle of the ski, and its tail is a bit stiffer than the tips, but it’s not a massive difference.
Compared to the Rossignol BLACKOPS Rallybird & Rallybird Ti, the Santa Ana 93’s front-half is similar, but the Rallybirds have much stiffer tails. Compared to the 20/21 Nordica Santa Ana 98, the Santa Ana 93’s flex pattern is extremely similar, while the new Santa Ana 104 Free is slightly softer overall. Compared to the Head Kore 93 W, the Santa Ana 93 is much softer overall.
Nordica changed up the lengths of the Santa Ana 93 for the 20/21 season, with the 20/21 Santa Ana 88, 93, 98, & 104 Free all sharing a similar sizing scheme (the lengths for the 20/21 Santa Ana 110 Free have not changed vs. the old Santa Ana 110).
The 18/19–19/20 Santa Ana 93 was available in 153, 161, 169, and 177 cm lengths, while the 20/21 version will be available in 151, 158, 165, 172, and 179 cm lengths.
Interestingly, our pair of the 172 cm 20/21 Santa Ana 93 is actually coming in heavier than our pair of the 169 cm 18/19–19/20 Santa Ana 93. For reference, the average weight per ski of those two is 1910 g and 1755 g, respectively. At 1910 grams per ski for the 172 cm length, the 20/21 Santa Ana 93 sits on the heavier end of the spectrum for a ~93mm-wide ski.
That said, I was curious to see how the skis actually felt on snow, given that Nordica removed a layer of titanal and they say their True Tip design decreases the swing weight of the new Santa Ana skis.
It’s also worth noting that, at least on paper, Nordica’s “Terrain Specific Metal” construction seems to reflect in our measured weights of the new Santa Ana skis. Despite being narrower, the Santa Ana 93 is not much lighter than the Santa Ana 98 (which should have a bit less metal than the 93) and the Santa Ana 104 Free is actually the lightest of the three.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.
1507 & 1523 Liberty Genesis 90, 165 cm (19/20–20/21)
1533 & 1537 Armada Trace 98, 172 (17/18–19/20)
1535 & 1555 DPS Alchemist Uschi 94 C2, 171 cm (18/19–19/20)
1556 & 1575 Liberty Genesis 96, 165 cm (19/20–20/21)
1596 & 1608 Head Kore 93 W, 171 cm (19/20–20/21)
1622 & 1638 Blizzard Black Pearl 88, 165 cm (20/21)
1635 & 1646 Blizzard Black Pearl 98, 166 cm (17/18–19/20)
1687 & 1695 Elan Ripstick 102 w, 172 cm (20/21)
1709 & 1710 Blizzard Sheeva 10, 172 cm (17/18–20/21)
1748 & 1763 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 169 cm (18/19–19/20)
1762 & 1801 K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance, 168 cm (19/20–20/21)
1792 & 1792 Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free, 172 cm (20/21)
1812 & 1817 Salomon Stance 94 W, 174 cm (20/21)
1839 & 1797 Rossignol BLACKOPS Rallybird, 170 cm (20/21)
1852 & 1831 Rossignol BLACKOPS Rallybird Ti, 170 cm (20/21)
1881 & 1895 Salomon QST Lumen 99, 174 cm (19/20–20/21)
1903 & 1917 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 172 cm (20/21)
1917 & 1935 Nordica Santa Ana 98, 172 cm (20/21)
2104 & 2115 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm (19/20–20/21)
Bottom Line (For Now)
The 20/21 Nordica Santa Ana 93’s shape, rocker profile, and flex pattern haven’t dramatically changed, but its construction is very different. Blister Members can check out my initial impressions of how it compares to the previous version in my Flash Review linked below, then stay tuned for more info in our upcoming 20/21 Winter Buyer’s Guide and full review.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Santa Ana 93 for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.