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Help Needed: Nordica Santa Ana 98 or Volkl Secret 96?

ColoradoAmber

Diva in Training
After tons of reading of ski tests and research I've narrowed it down to the Nordica Santa Ana 98 and the Volkl Secret 96. They are both highly rated all-mountain skis. I'm an advanced skier (not expert) and spend 80% of the time hard charging down blues and blacks. I don't do a lot of bumps or tight trees, though I'd like to learn to bump ski better. I do enjoy going off into some fresh powder but mostly ski groomers. I currently ski Icelantic Oracle 175cm".
I would love some input from anyone who has skied these skis. Which would you choose? Thanks!
 

Scribble

Angel Diva
I tried both on a demo day last spring. The Secret felt incredibly heavy and I didn't enjoy them in half-thawed bumps, but I haven't skied anything else at that width that grips the way they do. They obliterate everything in their path and have a complete aversion to air. I thought they were boring, and they made my knees ache on the lift. The SA 98 is a bit lighter and more versatile if you're planning to spend more time off-piste in the future, IMO. I didn't end up buying either of them and enjoyed the Nordica Unleashed 98 better that day - but I already have Santa Ana 88's that I love, so I'm probably biased. :smile:
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
paging @mustski (think she has the Secrets) and @contesstant (think she has the SA 98's)
Well, my first thought was why such a wide ski to use primarily on groomers? Narrower all mountain skis are so much more fun in those situations but can still go off piste and in some powder just fine. And to improve in bumps, wider is definitely not better.

With that, the Santa Ana 98s are so damned much fun. But they are not a light ski, which makes them quite damp. The tails are not ideal on firmer groomers, which I rarely take them on because that’s not what they’re designed for.
 

Mudgirl630

Angel Diva
You really need to demo them. You cannot go by what other people say because your height, weigh, the way you ski( how you turn, most people do not carve), changes things.

But like Contesstant said, why so wide ?
If you spend most of the time in groomers, all you really need is up to very low 80s.
Getting on 70s or low 80s in waist would help you to really learn how to carve but you can still do bumps.
 
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nopoleskier

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
You really need to demo them. You cannot go by what other people say because your height, weigh, the way you ski( how you turn, most people do not carve), changes things.

But like Contesstant said, why so wide ?
If you spend most of the time in groomers, all you really need is up to very low 80s.
Getting on 70s or low 80s in waist would help you to really learn how to carve but you can still do bumps.
Totally agree, I didn't like either of those skis.. what one of us love another hate- Look at the Black pearls- lots of love and lots of hate, lol.

I love my Sheeva 10's for powder days, my Liberty 76 to carve and my Renoun 90's are my buicks- go thru anything but being a carver the fatter skis hurt my knees if on them too many days in a row.. and I want the Stockli CX 69 underfoot- pocket rockets for awesome carving- east coast I need razors..

I will add when reading Reviews- DO LOOK AT The skiers doing the reviews- often they are Ex Racers and professional skiers- so their opinions are totally different I think-than what recreational skiers will say about a ski. Demo demo demo preferably on the same day same conditions.
 
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Mudgirl630

Angel Diva
Totally agree, I didn't like either of those skis.. what one of us love another hate- Look at the Black pearls- lots of love and lots of hate, lol.

I love my Sheeva 10's for powder days, my Liberty 76 to carve and my Renoun 90's are my buicks- go thru anything but being a carver the fatter skis hurt my knees if on them too many days in a row.. and I want the Stockli CX 69 underfoot- pocket rockets for awesome carving- east coast I need razors..

I will add when reading Reviews- DO LOOK AT The skiers doing the reviews- often they are Ex Racers and professional skiers- so their opinions are totally different I think-than what recreational skiers will say about a ski. Demo demo demo preferably on the same day same conditions.
Yep, we are in the same tribe.

I am on 68, 75, 88, and 90.
My favorite is my heavy slalom 68 carver because that is how I ski. I spend most of my time on them.
If you do not like to turn A LOT, they will take you for a ride.

I am in the "hate the BP with passion" team. They are the most popular women's skis.
 
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mustski

Angel Diva
I love my Serets, but I never met a Volkl I didn’t like. I find them great in all conditions. But I particularly enjoy them in soft cut up snow. I also like them in bumps- a lot- and I’m not a great bump skier. I find them super responsive and they looove to turn. I bought them because I needed an in between ski for glades. My Stormrider 85s don’t do well in deepish, heavy, wet snow and my Volkl ones are overkill. I had left my 90eights in Big Bear and needed something more versatile than the Stockis. The Secret was it.
 

kmb5662

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I demoed the Secrets and personally loved them but they wouldn't be my choice for skiing bumps and trees. They carve amazingly well for their width, super super stable, and have an incredibly precise feel however they are definitely on the heavier side and I found them fairly fatiguing in the bumps. Since you describe yourself as a hard charger who spends more time carving I think you probably would really enjoy them but if you're looking for something that will help you progress in moguls I think there's better options out there.
 

mustski

Angel Diva
Have you all tried the 22/23 Secret? It definitely doesn’t ski heavy and is very pivotty. There is barely a difference in weight between it and the Santa Ana 98.

Weight
1917 & 1935 Nordica Santa Ana 98, 172 cm (20/21–21/22)
1933 & 1975 Volkl Secret 96, 170 cm (21/22)

source:
Blister Review



Again, I am a terrible bump skier and found them super friendly in the bumps.
 

Scribble

Angel Diva
Those appear to be the ones I tried, forest green. I wonder if their mount point is what made them feel so heavy to me?
 

kmb5662

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Have you all tried the 22/23 Secret? It definitely doesn’t ski heavy and is very pivotty. There is barely a difference in weight between it and the Santa Ana 98.

Weight
1917 & 1935 Nordica Santa Ana 98, 172 cm (20/21–21/22)
1933 & 1975 Volkl Secret 96, 170 cm (21/22)

source:
Blister Review



Again, I am a terrible bump skier and found them super friendly in the bumps.
I demoed the 2022 Secrets but I haven't skied any version of the Santa Ana so I cannot say how they compare. I am also not a great bump skier but my different experience could be blamed on length, size, skiing style, or the mount point as Scribble said.
 

ColoradoAmber

Diva in Training
Thanks everyone for all your replies! I like a wider width because I LOVE to chase powder, and my schedule is allowing for more of that these days!! I do love to charge hard down groomers, but quite frankly I am getting a little bored with skiing only groomers, and find myself wanting to get better at bumps and trees. I'm also REALLY enjoying soft cut up snow lately, once the powder has been skied off a bit. So, I need something that is going to be a great all mountain ski for me as I'm becoming a better all mountain skier. I do agree it would be helpful to demo different options!

Has anyone tried the Rossignol Rallybird 92 or 102? Or the Salomon QST 98s?
 

beane

Certified Ski Diva
Thanks everyone for all your replies! I like a wider width because I LOVE to chase powder, and my schedule is allowing for more of that these days!! I do love to charge hard down groomers, but quite frankly I am getting a little bored with skiing only groomers, and find myself wanting to get better at bumps and trees. I'm also REALLY enjoying soft cut up snow lately, once the powder has been skied off a bit. So, I need something that is going to be a great all mountain ski for me as I'm becoming a better all mountain skier. I do agree it would be helpful to demo different options!

Has anyone tried the Rossignol Rallybird 92 or 102? Or the Salomon QST 98s?
Skiessentials.com has a youtube channel where they put up a lot of reviews, including running through a whole bunch of ~90mm and ~100mm waisted skis. I agree with others that you should demo to see what you like, but the videos could be a helpful starting point.
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My initial thought about your request was the same as @contesstant . Why the wider ski for hard charging on groomers? Now you also mention you want to ski in powder. Not sure how often you encounter powder, but these are two very different ski types. Buy a ski the conditions you will use most of the time.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
My initial thought about your request was the same as @contesstant . Why the wider ski for hard charging on groomers? Now you also mention you want to ski in powder. Not sure how often you encounter powder, but these are two very different ski types. Buy a ski the conditions you will use most of the time.
I think that a ski in the low to mid-90s width would be ideal. A Santa Ana 93, for example.
 

Skiing2BFreeInYYC

Certified Ski Diva
Sounds like I’m a similar type of skier and I love my Sheeva 9s I got in Dec. I ride at Lake Louise in the Rockies and blasting through the soft snow and finding the powder stashes makes me smile. I’m working on bumps and tree runs. I know this ski gets hyped here a lot, but I have to say everyday I take them out I love them more and more. I haven’t tried in very deep snow yet. I have powder skis I’ll probably bust out for those days, but I definitely haven’t found the 92 underfoot to be limiting at all as I dive into the soft snow and then slide across icey patches on “regular” snow conditions for LL. My other skis are icelantic maiden 101s and they’re pretty good on groomers, but I love having the option of the more narrow 92, especially when the snowfall has been sparse like this year.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Thanks everyone for all your replies! I like a wider width because I LOVE to chase powder, and my schedule is allowing for more of that these days!! I do love to charge hard down groomers, but quite frankly I am getting a little bored with skiing only groomers, and find myself wanting to get better at bumps and trees. I'm also REALLY enjoying soft cut up snow lately, once the powder has been skied off a bit. So, I need something that is going to be a great all mountain ski for me as I'm becoming a better all mountain skier. I do agree it would be helpful to demo different options!

Has anyone tried the Rossignol Rallybird 92 or 102? Or the Salomon QST 98s?
A friend of mine did Outdoor Divas demo day last Thurs. at Loveland. She demoed 9 skis. The one she liked best was the Rallybird 92. She's a hard charger and skis anything. Outdoor Divas does free demos the 1st Thurs. of the month so there will be another one in March. Here's their comments about the ski. https://outdoordivas.com/snow/womens-skis/rallybird-92/
 

RandomSkier

Certified Ski Diva
Sounds like I’m a similar type of skier and I love my Sheeva 9s I got in Dec. I ride at Lake Louise in the Rockies and blasting through the soft snow and finding the powder stashes makes me smile. I’m working on bumps and tree runs. I know this ski gets hyped here a lot, but I have to say everyday I take them out I love them more and more. I haven’t tried in very deep snow yet. I have powder skis I’ll probably bust out for those days, but I definitely haven’t found the 92 underfoot to be limiting at all as I dive into the soft snow and then slide across icey patches on “regular” snow conditions for LL. My other skis are icelantic maiden 101s and they’re pretty good on groomers, but I love having the option of the more narrow 92, especially when the snowfall has been sparse like this year.
How do you find the older 22-23 season model (92 width) on the hard pack and icy conditions? Do these skis feel sloppy or unstable at higher speeds? How is the edge hold? Did you get tossed around in crud and tracked out powder? I ski in similar conditions and am debating the older (sale!) Sheeva 9s because I might favor the narrower waist for carving and being quicker edge to edge. But I have heard the edge grip and firmer snow performance is so much better on the newer 23-24 season model.
 

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