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

MissySki

Angel Diva
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.
I would just caution to define “firmer snow” in reviews and who is reviewing. I ski them in the East even on actual ice.. when I take them West I’ve never found anything they weren’t great on. I also don’t usually consider most anything I’ve found skiing in the West to be exceptionally firm in comparison to where I ski in New England though. If I skied in the West exclusively it would probably be my daily driver along with something fatter for lots of powder. In the East it is my often daily driver (it was essentially before I got the Volkl Blaze 86 which I skied a ton for bump practice this season being a little shorter and narrower) with a better ice ski for the very icy days.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
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.

I have the 22-23 Sheeva 9's, and I absolutely love them. Really, they're great in everything, from crud to ice to powder. I'm an advanced skier, 112 lbs, and I got them in a 156.
 

Sokolva

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hmm...now that you mention wanting to ski trees and powder, and the waist width you are looking for, have you looked into the Moment ski lineup? I personally have only tried (and ended up purchasing after demoing several others) the Moment Sierras. They are 95 underfoot in my length (162), and are designed to be all mountain and work well for me in bumps, off-piste, and trees, but excel in chasing powder while remaining nimble. They aren't the best ski for hard charging or carving groomers--they are still on the wider side underfoot. But personally they suit me so well I find myself carving better on them than I did on many other skis. And if you are wanting to chase powder and go for a more playful and exploratory style of skiing, they sound like they might be along the lines of what you could consider. They are the women's version of the Moment Deathwish, and have been around a long time, and are very beloved by those who enjoy them, myself included. But they are a bit different than the Secrets and the Santa Ana in shape and rocker design, though they have a similar, slightly narrower waist underfoot, so this suggestion is based more off of what you said you want to start skiing and exploring rather than suggesting a similar ski to what you are already looking at.
 

Elizabeth.I

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hmm...now that you mention wanting to ski trees and powder, and the waist width you are looking for, have you looked into the Moment ski lineup? I personally have only tried (and ended up purchasing after demoing several others) the Moment Sierras. They are 95 underfoot in my length (162), and are designed to be all mountain and work well for me in bumps, off-piste, and trees, but excel in chasing powder while remaining nimble. They aren't the best ski for hard charging or carving groomers--they are still on the wider side underfoot. But personally they suit me so well I find myself carving better on them than I did on many other skis. And if you are wanting to chase powder and go for a more playful and exploratory style of skiing, they sound like they might be along the lines of what you could consider. They are the women's version of the Moment Deathwish, and have been around a long time, and are very beloved by those who enjoy them, myself included. But they are a bit different than the Secrets and the Santa Ana in shape and rocker design, though they have a similar, slightly narrower waist underfoot, so this suggestion is based more off of what you said you want to start skiing and exploring rather than suggesting a similar ski to what you are already looking at.
I loved my sierras. Excellent float for their width and really fun in bumps and trees, quite maneuverable! That being said, with the twin tips you are totally not going to get that real carving experience so decide what you value more! They are way better in the trees than the volkl secrets but the carve isn't as snappy. I also found that the sierras aren't quite as planted. They don't deflect but you need to ski them a bit more dynamically at speed. Maybe a bit of a different opinion from others but I really didn't like the secrets off piste. I found you have to turn them constantly off piste otherwise they are a bit hooky. I didnt enjoy demoing them. They also felt soft to me but I think I have different preferences to most people on the forum which is why demoing is such a good idea. Everyone likes different things in a ski! Can't speak to any of the other skis.

Also, not relevant to your question but since it was brought up, shoutout to the deathwishes for being one of the best freestyle skis out there! I love mine!
 

mickey823

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!
So curious about which you chose and how you feel about your choice after (presumably) skiing on them for a bit!? Thanks!
 

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