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Demoing 2021 Santa Ana 93

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#1
About me: 5'3, 115lb cautious intermediate skier in New Zealand (ski blues and reds). Demoed at Mt Hutt ski field.
Current daily drivers - 2020 Black Pearl 88 @159cm.

These demos will come to an end pretty shortly, don't worry, I'm running out of companies who have skis I'm interested in! Lately though the brands have been up at my local ski area in full force, and it's fun to try skis I've always heard of but never been on.

In this case I had heard of - but not ever demoed - the 2020 (and the years prior) Nordica Santa Ana 93. Last season I wasn't vastly interested in it anyway so I didn't mind that I never got on it - it sounded like a heavy advanced ski, not really what I was after. After hearing so many positive things about it, I became really interested in trying it out, especially to see how different it might feel to my current ski (2020 Black Pearl 88) - but they went and changed it! Among other changes, Nordica removed one of the two sheets of metal. Obviously I can't demo that ski anymore now, it's gone! - but - I figured I'd have a crack on the ski it was replaced with.

It was a beautiful day -

sa93 2021 4.PNG

- as long as you stayed on the groomers ;)

sa93 2021 1.PNG

Nordica/Blizzard/Head were at the ski area. I've already demoed a couple of Head skis (great skis, too) and wasn't particularly interested in trying the more updated version of the BP88, just in case I liked it more than my current one and felt bad!! That left Nordica as the obvious choice, so I went and asked for some Santa Anas. I was given them in a 158cm size which seems pretty much perfect given I ski the BP88 in 159.

I did a total of four runs on this ski - two in the morning, then two in the afternoon. I was interested to see if the ski felt very damp and stable compared to my BP88, considering that's kinda what I'd heard about the previous version, with the two sheets of metal.

I found that honestly, it didn't feel super damp compared to the BP88. I've been on damper skis (though some of those were pretty boring skis too). Turn initiation felt quite similar to the ol' BP so I think the skis might have quite similar shapes and profiles. I find them both fairly quick edge-to-edge, and they both feel similarly pivoty/light (which is interesting because I know that the SA93 is a heavier ski). In that sense it felt quite familiar so there wasn't really a getting-to-know-the-ski period. However, the Santa Ana has noticeably more energy coming out of turns. Each time I turned, I felt that the ski was springing me into the next turn. It was FUN! I jumped back onto the BP88 directly after I demoed the SA93, just to check I wasn't making it up, and no - the SA93 really feels very springy to me in comparison. It makes you want to turn more, and put more energy into your skiing because it's so rewarding.

Keep in mind that I am comparing a 2020 BP88 to a 2021 SA93 here - the 2021 BP88 was changed and I can't say anything about it, having not been on it!

The demo tech said that the extra springiness was due to the sheet of metal in the Santa Anas. I jumped back on my own skis for the middle of the day, then in the afternoon when it started to get quieter, wandered back over to see if I could have another go on the SAs, to see if they were still fun when the conditions had deteriorated and I didn't have as much energy as I did in the morning. The answer - yes. These skis really feel to me like a much springier, more energetic version of my ski. I just love how they almost seem to be pushing/helping you into the next turn. I didn't get a chance to take them off the groomers due to the conditions, unfortunately.

In conclusion - maybe Nordica messed up by making their Santa Ana 93 into a slightly softer ski and removing some of the metal in it - and maybe the 2021 ski will appeal to a different range of skiers because of it - but in my opinion, the ski they have made is a bloody fantastic ski, at least for the segment of the market that includes me :smile:. If I didn't already own the BP88 I'd be sorely tempted to rush out and buy this ski right now. I could see a lot of people enjoying the 2021 SA93.

sa93 2021 2.PNG sa93 2021 3.PNG
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I think the 2021 models are just chock full of coolness everywhere you look! I rode the 2020 SA 93 in a 3-day ski clinic back in January. I traded it for the 2020 BP 88 and Volkl Yumi for the remainder of my week. Although it ticked all boxes on paper, we just didn’t gel. I’ve had this same experience, sadly, with Volkl Secret.

At the end of February I got to demo the 2021 SA 88 and it was the bomb! I I was not able to demo the 93 like you did, but I really liked both the 2021 Black Pearl 88 and the Santa Ana 88. The changes, for me, are significant enough to warrant lots of exclamation points in my notes.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
I think the 2021 models are just chock full of coolness everywhere you look! I rode the 2020 SA 93 in a 3-day ski clinic back in January. I traded it for the 2020 BP 88 and Volkl Yumi for the remainder of my week. Although it ticked all boxes on paper, we just didn’t gel. I’ve had this same experience, sadly, with Volkl Secret.

At the end of February I got to demo the 2021 SA 88 and it was the bomb! I I was not able to demo the 93 like you did, but I really liked both the 2021 Black Pearl 88 and the Santa Ana 88. The changes, for me, are significant enough to warrant lots of exclamation points in my notes.
Re: the 2021 models all being chock full of coolness - I agree! I regret not asking if the SA 88 was available in my size as well, I should have hopped on that for a comparison but I just asked for a "Santa Ana" and was given the 93 and looooved it. 2021 is shaping up to be a great year for skis; I also tried the new-for-2021 Head Kore 87 W a couple weeks ago and it's an excellent ski as well. Though the SA 93 is #1 for me so far!
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#4
I think the 2021 models are just chock full of coolness everywhere you look! I rode the 2020 SA 93 in a 3-day ski clinic back in January. I traded it for the 2020 BP 88 and Volkl Yumi for the remainder of my week. Although it ticked all boxes on paper, we just didn’t gel. I’ve had this same experience, sadly, with Volkl Secret.

At the end of February I got to demo the 2021 SA 88 and it was the bomb! I I was not able to demo the 93 like you did, but I really liked both the 2021 Black Pearl 88 and the Santa Ana 88. The changes, for me, are significant enough to warrant lots of exclamation points in my notes.
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#5
Hi ... curious If you could add to your exciting comments about what you loved the BP 88 and SA 88—I am interested in learning a bit more detail summary about your experience on ea and their differences... would you suggest get 2020 at great discounted price or go all out splurge, treat for the 2021 version??
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
Hi ... curious If you could add to your exciting comments about what you loved the BP 88 and SA 88—I am interested in learning a bit more detail summary about your experience on ea and their differences... would you suggest get 2020 at great discounted price or go all out splurge, treat for the 2021 version??
First, a little background. I’ve been skiing every year since 2005 and live in Florida. I get to ski about 20 days a year and rent skis. I truly enjoy demoing new models. I don’t ski chutes or steeps. I fell in love with the Volkl Kenja years ago in Alta when it was a 90 waist. I loved the power, dampness, weight and stiffer ride. I like a ski I can trust, and for me that means a beefy and grippy. The only reason a pair of Kenjas isn’t in my closet is because I can’t commit to a length. I’d need both the 156 and 163 to be happy! So, I began a multi-year quest to find a Kenja-esque ski. Enter the Black Pearl 88, totally opposite, but it was popular and had a kinder, gentler ride that’s always compliant, not to mention very comfortable in 159 length. The wow factor, for me, just wasn’t there enough to own it, even though it’s my go to rental ski. I’d read the 2021 BP 88 had added wood in midsection making the ride stiffer so I was beyond excited to demo it. For me, this version is the best ever. It feels like a more serious ski, the grip is incredible and it’s still fun. Of all the Nordica’s I’ve been on, from Hell’s Belles to Santa Ana’s, the 2021 SA 88 in 158 length (rides long) was the most exciting. It’s similar to the BP with the 88 waist and rocker camber rocker, but the SA just simply rocks, maybe it’s stiffer. I demo’d 7 skis that day and the SA was just exceptional and powerful. I took all the skis on the same route; a long steep blue then into a long black mogul run. Here’s my personal ranking of the skis I demo’d. Stockli Nela 88 (#1) BP 88 (#2) Volkl Blaze 92 (#3) SA 88 (#4), Sheeva 9 (#5) Stockli Nela 96 (#6) Head Kore 87 (#7). Because I’ve spent more time on Black Pearls, I’m able to appreciate the changes in the 2021 model so I’d recommend it over the previous one. Although I’m not familiar with SA 88 in previous years, the 2021 is smooth like butter, but kicks ass and takes names. I think it’s more a hard charger.
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#7
Oh what great information. I have ski just about every year since a child and since I have move down south 7 years ago go only one or two weeks, however I want that to change. I want more extended trips to come or go more often. But since I have usually gone with a ski club I am not familiar with, and now I realize I’ve been missing out, on these demo days. I’ve seen that they are mentioned quite often in these Ski Diva posts but I know nothing about them. I need to do my research. I rent and have rented every year for so many years the top skis available (do I was told) spent the $$$ and very rarely have I gotten I have not had a fun time on.
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#8
I completely understand! I finally faced my fear of commitment and bought skis summer and added a ski carrier that holds 2 pairs because I’m probably going to add a wider ski. I’ll continue to partake in demo days because I find trying out skis quite fun! We have many ski clubs in Florida. I don’t belong to any of them, but have considered some of their trips before. I’m the only one in my party who wants to explore outside of our normal Big Sky. Due to this, I’m looking for more ski camps. So, let’s connect if there are southern clubs heading to places of interest. I might join!
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#9
I completely understand! I finally faced my fear of commitment and bought skis summer and added a ski carrier that holds 2 pairs because I’m probably going to add a wider ski. I’ll continue to partake in demo days because I find trying out skis quite fun! We have many ski clubs in Florida. I don’t belong to any of them, but have considered some of their trips before. I’m the only one in my party who wants to explore outside of our normal Big Sky. Due to this, I’m looking for more ski camps. So, let’s connect if there are southern clubs heading to places of interest. I might join!
Hi, I’d like to connect and exchange trip possibilities info... every year by about September I do research of many different ski clubs (typically Charlotte NC, Raleigh, Richmond VA, Asheville, Charleston, etc) and their trips. I then choose a trip by ski resort and price. This year however covid has really changed some of the clubs decisions and I think my trip decisions will be influenced by what I am able to, opportunities through ski divas (yay) or other. I have never been to ski camp although I have researched them in recent past years...also never have had the chance to do demo days, just renting the highest level of skis and switched based on conditions...
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#10
So I bought new skis!!! I'm hopeful and faith that the ski season will happen with snow! I decided on 2021 Blizzard Black Pearls 88 with Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings and got Scott Team Ski Poles. Now onto a hard case with wheels, maybe a slightly used good deal out there for the case
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#11
First, a little background. I’ve been skiing every year since 2005 and live in Florida. I get to ski about 20 days a year and rent skis. I truly enjoy demoing new models. I don’t ski chutes or steeps. I fell in love with the Volkl Kenja years ago in Alta when it was a 90 waist. I loved the power, dampness, weight and stiffer ride. I like a ski I can trust, and for me that means a beefy and grippy. The only reason a pair of Kenjas isn’t in my closet is because I can’t commit to a length. I’d need both the 156 and 163 to be happy! So, I began a multi-year quest to find a Kenja-esque ski. Enter the Black Pearl 88, totally opposite, but it was popular and had a kinder, gentler ride that’s always compliant, not to mention very comfortable in 159 length. The wow factor, for me, just wasn’t there enough to own it, even though it’s my go to rental ski. I’d read the 2021 BP 88 had added wood in midsection making the ride stiffer so I was beyond excited to demo it. For me, this version is the best ever. It feels like a more serious ski, the grip is incredible and it’s still fun. Of all the Nordica’s I’ve been on, from Hell’s Belles to Santa Ana’s, the 2021 SA 88 in 158 length (rides long) was the most exciting. It’s similar to the BP with the 88 waist and rocker camber rocker, but the SA just simply rocks, maybe it’s stiffer. I demo’d 7 skis that day and the SA was just exceptional and powerful. I took all the skis on the same route; a long steep blue then into a long black mogul run. Here’s my personal ranking of the skis I demo’d. Stockli Nela 88 (#1) BP 88 (#2) Volkl Blaze 92 (#3) SA 88 (#4), Sheeva 9 (#5) Stockli Nela 96 (#6) Head Kore 87 (#7). Because I’ve spent more time on Black Pearls, I’m able to appreciate the changes in the 2021 model so I’d recommend it over the previous one. Although I’m not familiar with SA 88 in previous years, the 2021 is smooth like butter, but kicks ass and takes names. I think it’s more a hard charger.


So I bought new skis!!! I'm hopeful and faith that the ski season will happen with snow! I decided on 2021 Blizzard Black Pearls 88 with Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings and got Scott Team Ski Poles. Now onto a hard case with wheels, maybe a slightly used good deal out there for the case
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#12
So I bought new skis!!! I'm hopeful and faith that the ski season will happen with snow! I decided on 2021 Blizzard Black Pearls 88 with Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings and got Scott Team Ski Poles. Now onto a hard case with wheels, maybe a slightly used good deal out there for the case
That's so exciting, I'm sure you'll love them!! Fingers crossed you get plenty of chances to use them once winter rolls around :smile:
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
So I bought new skis!!! I'm hopeful and faith that the ski season will happen with snow! I decided on 2021 Blizzard Black Pearls 88 with Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings and got Scott Team Ski Poles. Now onto a hard case with wheels, maybe a slightly used good deal out there for the case
Glad to hear it! Those 2021’s are just incredible. You’ll be hollering woohoo, a lot! I wound up buying a new case and a lock through eBags. They were a good price. There were many cases for sale locally here in Florida but they were pretty beat up, missing pins, or otherwise asking too much.
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#15
We stole your thread pretty much. Apologies! Are you still getting on those Santa Ana’s?[/QUOTE
I decided on 2021 Blizzard Black Pearls 88 with Marker Griffon 13 ID bindings and got Scott Team Ski Poles. Now onto a hard case with wheels, maybe a slightly used good deal out there for the case
 

MoreSkiing

Certified Ski Diva
#16
Glad to hear it! Those 2021’s are just incredible. You’ll be hollering woohoo, a lot! I wound up buying a new case and a lock through eBags. They were a good price. There were many cases for sale locally here in Florida but they were pretty beat up, missing pins, or otherwise asking too much.
Lol Thanks for the re-remembering the wonderful feeling of woohooo while skiing! It’s been sooo long. Thanks for the eBags tip.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
We stole your thread pretty much. Apologies! Are you still getting on those Santa Ana’s?
Nothing to apologise for, I'm happy that the discussion sparked by my thread helped someone buy some great new skis! :becky:

So, I still think a lot about those Santa Anas, haha. I asked my ski shop about them and their opinion was that if I were to upgrade to those, I should probably go with the 88s rather than the 93s. However I haven't actually been on the 88s! Unfortunately there aren't any more free Nordica demos this year. I can demo them through my ski shop but it will cost me money (which I can credit against a ski purchase.... if I buy it.... agh)

For now I've opted to spend money instead on lessons to improve my skiing but I could see myself upgrading to the SA at the end of the season or next season!! Out of interest - I also haven't been on the 2021 BP88, though I am extremely familiar with the 2020 BP88 since i own it - I note you said you rated the BP88 above the SA88, what made you enjoy the BP more?
 

gingerjess

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#18
Unfortunately there aren't any more free Nordica demos this year. I can demo them through my ski shop but it will cost me money (which I can credit against a ski purchase.... if I buy it.... agh)
Would they be willing to give you credit for demoing the SA88 against a purchase of the SA93? That'd at least make sure your demo money can go towards something you like.
 

bsskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
Nothing to apologise for, I'm happy that the discussion sparked by my thread helped someone buy some great new skis! :becky:

So, I still think a lot about those Santa Anas, haha. I asked my ski shop about them and their opinion was that if I were to upgrade to those, I should probably go with the 88s rather than the 93s. However I haven't actually been on the 88s! Unfortunately there aren't any more free Nordica demos this year. I can demo them through my ski shop but it will cost me money (which I can credit against a ski purchase.... if I buy it.... agh)

For now I've opted to spend money instead on lessons to improve my skiing but I could see myself upgrading to the SA at the end of the season or next season!! Out of interest - I also haven't been on the 2021 BP88, though I am extremely familiar with the 2020 BP88 since i own it - I note you said you rated the BP88 above the SA88, what made you enjoy the BP more?
I’m more familiar with the Black Pearl 88 because that’s the ski I’ve used every season. The extra wood those Blizzard geniuses added to it checks all the boxes for me personally. I also like Blizzard’s sizing.
 

fgor

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#20
Would they be willing to give you credit for demoing the SA88 against a purchase of the SA93? That'd at least make sure your demo money can go towards something you like.
Yes, ski demoing credit can go against any ski you buy from them, and IIRC you can credit up to 3 demos towards a new pair of skis, so that's handy at least if I do go that route :smile:

I’m more familiar with the Black Pearl 88 because that’s the ski I’ve used every season. The extra wood those Blizzard geniuses added to it checks all the boxes for me personally. I also like Blizzard’s sizing.
Gotcha, thanks! I wonder if I should see if I can try out the 2021 BP88 as well. I found that the 2021 SA93 felt not dissimilar to my 2020 BP88 except with a lot more spring and power out of the turns. Maybe the extra wood in the 2021 BP88 gives a similar effect :smile:
 

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