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Help Needed: 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl or 2018 Nordica Santa Ana 93

ski64695

Diva in Training
#1
Hi! I need help choosing between the 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl in 166cm or 2018 Nordica Santa Ana 93 in 161cm. I am 5" 4' and I would say I am an intermediate-advanced skier. I have mostly been ski racing slalom and GS, but am now looking to get some all-mountain skis. Unfortunately, I am unable to demo either due to my location.

I am looking for an all-mountain ski that can work as my go to pair of skis for anything since they will be the only ones I own for awhile besides racing skis. I am looking to ski on and off-piste, a ski that can do at least okay on a powder day (I don't own powder skis), I really want something that could do well in tree skiing specifically, work with moguls, and specifically something that is good at going through very choppy snow and not throwing me around.

Please help! I am also open to other suggestions, but I am specifically interested in these two skis.

(edit: black pearl 88s specifically, and looking for skis for trips to the rockies)
 
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marzNC

Angel Diva
#2
I need help choosing between the 2018 Blizzard Black Pearl in 166cm or 2018 Nordica Santa Ana 93 in 161cm. I am 5" 4' and I would say I am an intermediate-advanced skier. I have mostly been ski racing slalom and GS, but am now looking to get some all-mountain skis. Unfortunately, I am unable to demo either due to my location.
Are you thinking about the BP88? These days, there is also the BP78 and BP98.

What region will you ski the most? For instance, might be different for someone in the northeast vs the Rockies.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
Yes, Black Pearl 88. Sorry for not specifying. I am looking for skis for trips to the Rockies!
That helps. You mentioned being 5'4" but not your weight. Given that the BP88 is 166 and the Santa Ana 93 you are considering is 161, that's another factor to be considered.
 

nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
For me the BP's are more playful than Santa Ana's I'm heavier than you and do 'drive' my skis I over powered the SA's. I demoed both in thick 'eastern snow w/ice in between the moguls.

Both are nice skis, paging @contesstant She owns the BP's and I think demo'd SA's.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
The Santa Ana 93s ski pretty short, so I'd consider those in the 169 for you if you want to compare apples to apples between the two skis. Based on what you are wanting the ski to do, I think you could go either way, but the SAs are going to be a bit better in powder. The BPs would get the nod in moguls, I think. They are lighter and more playful (the newer Santa Anas have metal and are more work to ski than previous versions.)
 

ski64695

Diva in Training
#8
The Santa Ana 93s ski pretty short, so I'd consider those in the 169 for you if you want to compare apples to apples between the two skis. Based on what you are wanting the ski to do, I think you could go either way, but the SAs are going to be a bit better in powder. The BPs would get the nod in moguls, I think. They are lighter and more playful (the newer Santa Anas have metal and are more work to ski than previous versions.)
Thank you for the help! Do you think the 161's would be too short? Could you help explain to me the pros and cons of short vs long skis? Thanks!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
What length ski are you currently on? You were looking at the 166 Black Pearl, which is all of an inch shorter than the 169 Santa Ana, so they are much closer in length than the 161 Santa Ana.

A longer ski will be more stable at speed, more stable in crud, but not as "playful" and maneuverable as a shorter ski in the same ski. At your stats and stated skill level, I'd lean towards the longer ski for you, EXCEPT you want it to also do well in moguls. Longer skis are more work in moguls, typically.

Honestly, looking at your post again, I'd encourage you to get on a pair of Black Pearl 98s, too, since you mention you have skis for racing already. The time I spent on the 98s made me realize I want a pair as they are even more fun in crud and chop than the 88s. Can you demo, and particularly demo in conditions similar to what you want the skis for?
 

ski64695

Diva in Training
#11
I know you've said the black pearls are more playful, but are the santa anas still playful? I think I am leaning more towards those.
 

ski64695

Diva in Training
#12
What length ski are you currently on? You were looking at the 166 Black Pearl, which is all of an inch shorter than the 169 Santa Ana, so they are much closer in length than the 161 Santa Ana.

A longer ski will be more stable at speed, more stable in crud, but not as "playful" and maneuverable as a shorter ski in the same ski. At your stats and stated skill level, I'd lean towards the longer ski for you, EXCEPT you want it to also do well in moguls. Longer skis are more work in moguls, typically.

Honestly, looking at your post again, I'd encourage you to get on a pair of Black Pearl 98s, too, since you mention you have skis for racing already. The time I spent on the 98s made me realize I want a pair as they are even more fun in crud and chop than the 88s. Can you demo, and particularly demo in conditions similar to what you want the skis for?
Currently, I don't own all-mountain skis. I just have 155 slalom skis and 176 GS skis.

I was looking at the 166 Blizzard, but I was almost thinking that may be a bit tall too—I'm really not sure. I don't know much about all mountain sizing, but what I've been reading online points to getting skis that are about the same height as you. Since I am 162 cm, I was thinking the 161s would be good except for the fact that the ski so short. I wish there was a length between 161 and 169 for the Nordicas!

Unfortunately, I can't demo :(
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
Are you fairly aggressive and like to go fast? How do you handle crud and chop?
Do you like to make lots of turns, or bomb through crud and stuff?

I actually went to shorter skis in the BP 88s last year, from the 166 to the 159, and love the added maneuverability. But I'm also a cautious skier who is still very much working on her skill set.
 

ski64695

Diva in Training
#14
I used to be more aggressive, but coming off an injury I would put myself in a more neutral area between cautious and aggressive. It especially depends on what part of the mountain.

I don't think I handle crud and chop particularly well.

I like making turns rather than bombing.

It's a tough decision since the two biggest things I'm looking for is a ski that can do well in the chop and crud, but also something that could do really well in moguls and tree skiing.

Thanks!
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
You are an inch shorter than I am. Based on what you want the skis to do, and the fact that going fast is not your priority, I'd push you to the 161 Santa Ana's or the 159 BP. If you want more stability in crud and chop, get the BP 98 vs. the 88. I wish I had more feedback on the Santa Ana 93, but I skied it one run in the snow you say you want it for, and I liked it quite a lot. Easy, smooth, and great in the chop and fresh snow. But, I am an unabashed huge fan of the BP 88s. And, I'm hoping to pick up a pair of the BP 98s, as they were just a bit more stable in the deep chop and uneven stuff we were skiing the day I demoed them.

I had people pushing me to "go longer" (which I did.) Then, last season, with some urging from my boyfriend, who is an L3 instructor, and several other instructors and industry insiders, I sized down and have been really happy. I gained so much more confidence off-piste on shorter skis, which is counter to what a lot of people will tell you.
 

Belgiangirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Can't comment on the specific skis you have in mind, but I'm the same height as you and think either length will work for you. Contesstant makes a very good point that going with the shorter size can be good - it definitely makes turning easier - skied on a 153cm ski most of last winter. Switched to longer sizes because I bumped into the speed limit of that specific pair of skis a little too often and they had a lot of tip chatter.

However you talk of ski racing and GS... If you prefer the Santa Ana, I would consider the 169cm. Turning radius is stated as 15.5m so that's still pretty short.
 

Keepur

Certified Ski Diva
#17
I know that you were helping someone else @contesstant but I would like to say thanks for sharing the above info on length. I loved the 166 BP 88 last year when I tried it at my small local hill but after trying the 166 BP 98 at Steamboat, I was wishing I could demo a size shorter. I'd prefer maneuverability over speed. Maybe I will try to get on either/both BP skis in a 159 this year.
 

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