When a ski tester says, “Would bang 10/10, every time,” about a particular ski, it’s clear that whatever they were riding was something special. In this instance, our tester was making a claim about the redesigned Santa Ana 93, an all-mountain powerhouse from Nordica.
The designers at Nordica worked tirelessly to revamp this ski for the 2020-21 season—making it more approachable than ever. Marketing Director, Sam Beck, says the ski had gained a reputation for being an experts-only choice, so they went back to the drawing board and looked for ways to make it more enjoyable for everyone.
“It was all about finding the balance between a lightweight ski that’s easy to maneuver, and a ski that has the torsional rigidity and strength to hold up,” he said. “No matter what, we wanted to make sure skiers can still trust it with confident feedback.”
The changes began with a new poplar-beech wood core, paired with a carbon chassis that’s a bit more forgiving. Then came a critical look at the ski’s two metal laminates. Nordica removed one sheet and then redesigned the remaining sheet with an approach they call “Terrain Specific Metal,” a construction applied to the entire Santa Ana series. Wider skis meant for floating now have metal focused toward their center to allow for more playfulness, while narrower, carving-focused skis benefit from metal that extends out toward the edges. The Santa Ana 93 falls in the latter category—a ski meant for ripping turns—so its metal creeps out from underfoot to provide extra dampening and a smooth ride.
Our testers flooded review sheets with positive comments about these changes to the Santa Ana 93. “Love the feel of these,” one said. “The ski is soft enough to keep things playful but retains enough stiffness to give you power and strength through all terrain.”
A notable finishing touch to this ski is its rocker profile, which varies according to length. Opposed to applying the same rocker profile to the shortest and longest Santa Ana 93s, Nordica has given custom profiles to each size, so you know you’re getting a finely tuned ski no matter the length. If you’ve heard about the Santa Ana lineup but have been hesitant to try it out, now is the time.