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2019 Santa Ana 93 consensus

brewski

Diva in Training
#1
Hello Ladies!

I'm coming off the Atomic Vantage 90cti (169cm) and demoed a pair of the 2017/2018 Santa Ana 93 (169cm), and am debating pulling the trigger on the 2019 version of them.

Does anyone own a pair, thoughts on coming off of a similar ski?
Is there any drastic differences between the year models?
Anyone feel bullied by this ski with the new two sheets of metal?

I'm a advanced intermediate - like to charge down the hill with friends, but enjoy a nice cruise down the groomers towards the end of a day. Also, like the flexibility to go where I want without feeling bullied by my ski.


Thanks for your feedback!
Amanda
 

GaSkier

Certified Ski Diva
#3
I just bought a pair of 161cm Santa Ana 93s while I was skiing in Solitude, Utah a few weeks ago to replace a pair of brand new Blizzard BP88s (didn't like them). I loved the Santa Anas from the first run on! Skied them in knee deep powder, hard pack, soft crud, scraped (icy), and groomed (blue/black runs). Performed really well for me (advanced intermediate that will ski blue and black runs, off piste, pretty much anything that is NOT a mogul). I'm 5'5" and 125 lbs (depending on my daily cookie consumption during my ski trip). :smile:

During the same trip, a friend bought the same ski in last year's model and loved it for the same reasons. According to the ski shop employee (shout out to Zack at the LiftHouse Salt Lake City), only difference between last year and this year is the top sheet.

The 2 sheets of metal gave me plenty of stiffness without any chatter at high speeds. The early tip rise kept me from getting in trouble in crud and powder. I was able to flex them with little effort and to get them up on edge quickly for perfect control ripping high speed down groomed corduroy and packed, icy conditions (carved much better than I had expected). Powder flotation was awesome for a 93 underfoot. Had a blast and felt like they were very responsive and playful. Had no trouble getting them to turn quickly (almost effortlessly) and could bounce through the crud on them really well. Love the shorter turn radius. Best pair of skis I've ever tried. At the end of the day, I realized that the skiing was what wore me out, not the skis. Put a pair of Atomic Warden bindings on them and am really happy. I would say that they are definitely an all mountain ski and I hope to ski them for several years.

I had a pair of brand new, never been skied before, 166 Blizzard BP 88s and didn't feel the love of an all mountain ski across multiple conditions. BP 88s didn't have the flotation I assumed they would have, but performed well on hard pack, icy, and groomed conditions very well (they like speed). I didn't find them as responsive to my skiing style as expected (advanced intermediate that likes to also ski blacks unless they're moguls). Skis seemed to require more effort on my part than should have. Ski shop employee who sold the Santa Anas to me said he had heard the same thing from several other women. He wondered if the performance of the BP88s as an all mountain ski had been oversold and over-hyped.

Hope this helps and enjoy your new skis. Now, if I could only find some gals to join me in another ski trip in March to enjoy my new skis yet again this season.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
Ski shop employee who sold the Santa Anas to me said he had heard the same thing from several other women. He wondered if the performance of the BP88s as an all mountain ski had been oversold and over-hyped.
While obviously there has been plenty of marketing for the Black Pearl and later on the BP88 when Blizzard renamed the entire line, there is no reason that just become one woman or even many women like a particular model that it means other women would also find it fun. That's why Divas always suggest demo'ing before a purchase if at all possible.

Here are a couple recent threads that make it clear the BP88 is not for everyone. Also a bit confusing for newbies to ski shopping because the Black Pearl keeps evolving in terms of design and materials but the name stays more or less the same.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...y-is-black-pearl-so-popular-polarizing.23134/

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/i...k-pearls-help-please-with-alternatives.23518/

I happen to be a petite advanced skier who likes the current BP88, BP98, but not the BP78. I don't like Volkl skis in general, but obviously that's a popular brand with many people. I own the Black Pearl 2011 (bought from another Diva in 2012) and am keeping them as rock skis but have since replaced it as my all-mountain skis with a different brand. Different strokes for different folks.
 

LauraVa

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#7
I demoed them a few weeks ago and really liked them. I'm 5'4" and 155 lbs and I skied the 161s in 6 inches of very skied up new snow. They felt stable, but fun and turny at the same time. I'm really thinking of getting a pair, but based on reviews, I should be on the 169s, which sound so loooong.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
I just took my Santa Ana 93s in the 161 length to Jackson Hole. They took everything I could throw at them and asked for more. I don't think these skis are bullies at all, especially compared to taming my kenjas in the steep bumps. I was also not fond of the black pearl and feel totally at home on these skis. One thing I really appreciated is that you can make them do any turn shape you want. They pivot on a dime once you get to know them.

The only con I can possibly put on the table for them is that the edge hold on true blue ice isn't as good as my kenjas.... But I haven't found any skis that grip east coast ice like a volkl.

I picked up a demo set off of ebay last year so that I could easily flip them if I didn't fall in love with them. The more I ski them, the more I love them.

Oh, and I'm 5'1" and 126lbs.
 

SquidWeaselYay

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
FWIW, one of the boot fitters in PA said that the black pearl is something that older finesse skiers tend to gravitate towards....he said he mostly sees it on very petite older women who don't really get up on their edges. I'm not sure if that is his bias, but I did find that it didn't feel stable enough to me when I tried to charge on it, which is ultimately why I flipped them after getting my Santa Ana's.

Jackson Hole boot fitter also made a comment about them not being great for true all mountain expert skiing.
 

GaSkier

Certified Ski Diva
#10
I like the 161 length of the Santa Ana 93s I bought because a longer length worked my knees too much when making turns in powder and fairly deep chopped powder. Of course, I'm certainly not an expert on skiing powder. I'm sure my technique, or lack thereof, in knee deep powder keeps me working harder than I need to. Oh, and I'm 5'5 125 lbs.
 

GaSkier

Certified Ski Diva
#11
Interesting comments regarding the Black Pearl's by the boot fitter. I, too, felt that they didn't work for me as an all mountain ski even though I'm a fairly small woman. And I agree with squidweaselyay about stability in certain instances. Of course, there are so many factors that affect how much one likes or dislikes a certain ski. No single ski model will please everyone. Kind of fun to to have that moment when a pair of skis feels 'just right'.
 

Tryin2Ski

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
I demoed the Santa Anas with @LauraVa . I really enjoyed them in that chopped up snow. A lot of fun but felt very stable. I ended up buying them in 169. I am 5'8" 160 lbs.
Today I skied them in chopped up somewhat slushy groomed snow and they were very stable and solid. They carved through that stuff nicely. I have never had a ski like this - playful and with rocker. Am really having fun on them. I have so much more confidence skiing the chopped up stuff than before. Would like to try them in deeper snow.
 

brewski

Diva in Training
#14
Hi Ladies - Thank you for all the info!

I just pulled the triggered and purchased the Santa Ana in a 169 with Atttack 12 bindings - I can not wait to ski them in Breckenridge soon! I went with the 169, since thats what i'm riding now on my Atomics and they have quite a large rocker like the SA's.

I also have owned a pair of the Black Pearls 88, prior to my Atomic Vantage 90CTIs, and did not like them at all. I felt I couldn't be as aggressive and didn't feel right to me charging down the mountain holding a edge. Just wasn't my cup of tea!

Very pumped that you all love the Santa Ana's as well!!!
 

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