Nordica had been one of the few brands that were not making any explicitly touring-specific skis, but that changes today with the introduction of their new Santa Ana Unlimited and Enforcer Unlimited skis.
A limited quantity of these new skis will be sold by a small number of shops this season, and then there will be broader availability for the 22/23 season.
We just got the Santa Ana Unlimited 93 and Enforcer Unlimited 104 in for long-term reviews, but in the meantime, let’s dive into the background and details of these new skis.
The Santa Ana Unlimited and Enforcer Unlimited skis share the same shape and rocker profiles as their standard counterparts, but the big difference comes down to construction.
Most notably, the Unlimited skis ditch the metal layers (except for a small binding-reinforcement plate) and use a lighter carbon / fiberglass pre-preg laminate. The Unlimited skis also get a thinner top sheet material and thinner edges, all of which adds up to a reported 43% drop in weight, relative to the standard versions.
That said, the Unlimited skis use a poplar / beech core, and Nordica could have certainly gone with a lighter wood and/or lighter laminate. So it doesn’t seem like they’re going for the absolute lightest skis on the market, instead opting to try to strike a good balance between low weight and downhill performance. And that makes sense, because while Nordica is targeting these Unlimited skis at those who like to earn their turns by skinning / hiking uphill, they’re also marketing them to people who simply want lighter alternatives to the standard skis for lift-accessed skiing.
Models, Specs, & Sizes
On that note about weight, our pair of the 172 cm Santa Ana Unlimited 93 came in just under 1450 g per ski, while our pair of the 186 cm Enforcer Unlimited 104 came in just over 1690 g per ski.
Those weights are drastically lighter than the standard versions of the skis, though we’re frankly excited to see that the Unlimited skis aren’t extremely light compared to other touring-oriented skis. Instead, they’re in line with a lot of touring skis that we think also tend to perform quite well on the down, even when conditions aren’t totally ideal.
As for specific models, there are two Santa Ana Unlimited models and three Enforcer Unlimted models, though it is worth noting that there’s a good bit of overlap between the two lines in terms of available sizes.
Here are the quick spec highlights for all the new Unlimited skis:
- Available Sizes: 151, 158, 165, 172 cm
- Stated Sidecuts: 118-88-106 mm (151 cm), 118.5-88-106.5 mm (158 cm), 119-88-107 mm (165 cm), 121-88-109 mm (172 cm)
- Stated Sidecut Radii: 13 m (151 cm), 14 m (158 cm), 15 m (165 cm), 15.5 (172 cm)
- Stated Weight per Ski: 1180 g (151 cm), 1250 g (158 cm), 1350 g (165 cm), 1460 g (172 cm)
- Available Sizes: 151, 158,165, 172 cm
- Stated Sidecuts: 124.5-93-111.5 mm (151 cm), 125-93-112 mm (158 cm), 125.5-93-112.5 mm (165 cm), 126.5-93-114.5 mm (172 cm)
- Stated Sidecut Radii: 13.3 m (151 cm), 14.4 m (158 cm), 15.5 m (165 cm), 16.1 (172 cm)
- Stated Weight per Ski: 1250 (151), 1300 (158),1310 (165), 1360 (172)
- Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1443 & 1454 g (172 cm)
- Available Sizes: 158, 165, 172, 179 cm
- Stated Sidecuts: 119-88-107 mm (158), 121-88-109 mm (165 cm), 121.5-88-109.5 (172 cm), 122-88-110 mm (179 cm)
- Stated Sidecut Radii: 14 m (158 cm), 15 m (165 cm), 15.5 m (172 cm), 18.5 m (179 cm)
- Stated Weight per Ski: 1250 g (158 cm), 1310 g (165 cm), 1360 g (172 cm), 1460 g (179 cm)
- Available Sizes: 158, 165, 172, 179, 186 cm
- Stated Sidecuts: 125-93-112 mm (158), 125.5-94-112.5 mm (165 cm), 126.5-94-114.5 (172 cm), 127-94-115.5 mm (179 cm), 127.5-94-115.5 mm (186 cm)
- Stated Sidecut Radii: 14.4 m (158 cm),14.4 m (165 cm), 15.5 m (172 cm), 17.1 m (179 cm), 18.2 m (186 cm)
- Stated Weight per Ski: 1300 g (158 cm), 1350 g (165 cm), 1460 g (172 cm), 1540 g (179 cm), 1560 g (186 cm)
- Available Sizes: 165, 172, 179, 186, 191 cm
- Stated Sidecuts: 133-104-122 mm (165 cm), 134-104-123 (172 cm), 134.5-104-123.5 mm (179 cm), 135-104-124 mm (186 & 191 cm)
- Stated Sidecut Radii: 16 m (165 cm), 16.5 m (172 cm), 17.5 m (179 cm), 18.5 m (186 cm), 19.5 m (191 cm)
- Stated Weight per Ski: 1540 g (172 cm), 1650 g (179 cm), 1700 g (186 cm), 1760 g (191 cm)
- Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1690 & 1695 g (186 cm)
Skins, Packaging, & More
To pair with the new Unlimited skis, Nordica partnered with Kohla for skins. The skins have a 70% mohair / 30% nylon plush and feature Kohla’s new “smart glue,” which reportedly falls somewhere between traditional adhesives and glueless “Vacuum” style skins.
Nordica has also overhauled their packaging for these new skis. The new packaging is made of 100% recycled cardboard that you can also recycle afterward, with no plastic bags. The skis also come with two reusable ski straps in place of zip ties. While not world-changing, it is cool to see brands moving in this direction, despite this sort of packaging being considerably more expensive than the traditional plastic sleeve.
The snow in the backcountry around Crested Butte is slowly building up, so we’ll be getting out on the new Santa Ana Unlimited 93 and Enforcer Unlimited 104 ASAP. They also came mounted with the Marker M-Werks Kingpin, so as a bonus, we’ll also finally be spending time on that binding, too. Stay tuned for Flash Reviews of the skis in the future.