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Volkl Secrets vs. Santa Ana 93- thoughts!?

Volkl Secret, or the Santa Ana 93 for East Coast (including pow and chop)

  • Secret

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Santa Ana 93

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Neither!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
  • Poll closed .

Polly

Certified Ski Diva
#1
Hi Ladies! Happy 18/19 season!

Well, I am finally a strong intermediate and I am advancing into steeper terrain (and having a blast! Just completed Day 31 of the season!). I still have my 154cm 2018 Volkl Yumis (they chatter a lot now, I think I am pushing them to their max speed and they aren't as stable as I'd like) and found recently a 159cm 2018 Black Pearl 88 which wasn't used much and I've been on that a handful of times (mind you, I got this ski for $200 so it was a Hell of a deal) and I loveeee them in groomed/firm/ice, but they're not as long as I'd like (looking for 163 - 166cm) and I want something that will excel more in powder and chop. I've heard the BP can do it, but honestly, not in my experience at all but maybe it's just my skiing..?

Anywho, demo'd the Secret in 12" powder and it handled pretty darn well. Didn't take into as much chop, so if anyone has experience with it in rough chop, let me know... just demo'd it again but on really firm and icy conditions and holy cow that thing rips! Edge hold is insane and I don't think I've ever gone so fast. Def. a ski I can grow into which is what I am seeking...

Now, getting the Santa Ana 93 on my feet is a tough one. It's never available to demo. I keep hearing 'YOU MUST GET ON THE SKI', 'IT IS NOT COMPARABLE TO THE SECRET THEY'RE TOTALLY DIFFERENT'.... what do you ladies feel about this ski for east coast conditions? I live in NH.

Has anyone tried both?! I am REALLY curious what you have to say! I may just need to go on reviews for the Nordica and buy it without trying it. I am an advancing intermediate, getting more comfortable with speed, lives in NH, will be traveling out west, skis a lot in all conditions, starting to learn bumps and trees, enjoys a responsive/playful/poppy ski (despite wanting some metal for stability and strength) and has fun popping off of small things :smile:

Thank you for any feedback you have!
-Polly (Rindge, NH)
 

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VickiK

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
2018 Black Pearl 88 which wasn't used much and I've been on that a handful of times (mind you, I got this ski for $200 so it was a Hell of a deal)
I'll say it was a helluva deal!
 

SqueakySnow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#4
OK, I'm so glad you've asked this question. I've demo'd both of these skis this season and love them both, but my days were in such completely different situations, I'm not sure which ski is right for me. I consider myself a solid intermediate skier who is looking for a ski I can grow into and keep happily for the next few years. Currently, I'm on the Salomon QST 92 Lux and feel like I may have outgrown it this year. Here are my thoughts from my experiences on these 2 delightful skis:

Volkl Secret – I demo'd this ski twice. Once at Alpine Meadows and once at Squaw Valley. The snow conditions were pretty similar both days, lots of relatively fresh snow but no powder. I loved the sense of stability and control of these skis in just about every type of surface I encountered. They ripped down the groomers and gave me all sorts of stability and confidence in the rough chop. I also loved the feel in the intermediate off-piste areas around the Solitude lift at Squaw. They never got hung up in the heavier snow, they just sliced right through. I didn't run into any hard-pack or icy conditions which is key for the east coast, so I'm really interested in everyone's opinion about this ski in those conditions. It sounds like our reaction to this ski is similar, but you were able to experience it's excellent edge hold on slicker conditions. I loved the way it handled heavier snow in the rough chop.

Nordica Santa Ana 93 – I demo'd this ski a couple of weeks later on my trip to Vermont in completely different conditions. FYI, The Alpine Shop in Burlington has last year's SA93 to demo in multiple lengths. My first demo day was at Mad River Glen with a reasonable amount of fresh snow. I intended to take it pretty slow as this was my first time skiing the East and had heard stories about ice and multi-surface conditions. My concerns were unfounded on this day with a reasonable degree of fresh show and an awesome pair of skis. They performed so well that I was jumping into the ungroomed stuff and ripping the blue runs quicker than I expected. We even dipped our toe into the legendary black terrain of MRG and had a great day! The SA93 did feel different from the Secret. They were more playful while maintaining that solid, confident feeling in all snow types. Solid at speed and solid through the piled up natural snow. I think the tip has a bit more rocker and that helped it float over deeper snow a bit better than the Secret. A couple of days later I was skiing at Sugarbush and experienced what I consider a more typical East Coast surface. Mt. Ellen felt a lot like MRG which was awesome, but when I switched over to Lincoln, I found the famous ice. This is where the SA93 and I struggled a bit. It definitely slipped a bit in the ice and didn't leave me feeling as confident. I know part of this is my inexperience on the ice, but I didn't feel like it had the edge grip I needed in that extreme condition. When I got back to the base, I noticed I wasn't the only one commenting on the icy conditions and lots of folks were calling it an early day.

So, with those two wildly different experiences, I am torn between which ski is right for me. I find myself leaning towards the SA93 because I feel like it's a bit more versatile with more rocker in the tip and maybe a bit less stiff than the Secret. But, the edge grip of the Secret is appealing for those unexpected slick surface shifts that can happen anywhere. Of course, the turning radius of the SA93 is tighter than the Secret, so they might be better in bumps or glades. So, do I want to be a bit more prepared for an icy patch or would I rather be more flexible for just about every other snow condition I could encounter? This is complicated by the real possibility that I'll be moving to New England in the near future and will be dealing with those icy conditions on a more regular basis. If I was staying at Lake Tahoe for my home mountain, I'd definitely buy the SA93. If I make Burlington my new home, maybe it's the Secret... ugh. Or, maybe I just work on becoming a better skier on the icy bits and it won't matter that much because my technique is better... the mind spins round and round...
 

mountainwest

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#5
I demo’d both on a rare hardpack day at Grand Targhee and I liked the Santa Ana (tried both 93 & 100 underfoot) a lot better. Amazing stability at speed, very damp & great edge grip on groomers, and cut through crud nicely as well. They will be the next ski I buy.
 

Polly

Certified Ski Diva
#6
I'll say it was a helluva deal!
I know! Isn't it crazy!? They're a little shorter than what I would have gone for but for $200 I mean who cares! I was planning on selling them for their used going rate and putting that towards the Secret or SA 93, but I'm really having a lot of fun and can't part!!! I will be selling my 154cm yumis tho. That'll be tough. I am emotionally tied to those skis.
 

Polly

Certified Ski Diva
#7
think @ski diva.......has the Santa Ana and also tried the Secret.
Ohhhhhh @ski diva do you have the Santa Ana 93 and have you tried the Secret!? If so, please give me your thoughts! I LOVED the Secret, I need to grow into it more ways than one (what I am looking for), but I can't seem to demo the darn SA 93 so if I pull the trigger on it, it's going to be "sight unskiid" which makes me nervous. I am in NH and ski everything, but we are getting deeper days these days. Edgehold is also really important to me. I want to be able to get faster, but maintain control. Good for bumps and trees as well. Help!!
 

Sparky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
Yes I demoed the Secret at Loon and really liked the way they held an edge on the hard pack that day. What I found weird was I thought it was a loud ski. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Santa Ana in my size to demo that day to compare. But I bought the SA93 after demoing at snowbird with about 5-6” of fresh snow. It was great on soft groomers, held decent in the few slick areas I hit and was a lot of fun everywhere else, including some super soft medium bumps. I had so much fun I went back to the top again. I was just ripping it on them and I’m usually not a ripper at all! Lol. It wasn’t until after I returned them for the day that I remembered I wanted to try the Secret but it was too late as the only lift still open was a little bit of a hike away. So I never did try both skis on same conditions.

Now that I’ve skied them 12 days, overall I’m pretty happy with them. However I feel like they’re a bit hard to turn on firmer bumps and tighter trees but not sure if that’s the skis or me since they are a bit heavier than any of my other skis. Ah well, perhaps I just have to build leg strength and improve technique!
 

Sparky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#10
Oh also, I did ski with quiverqueen who loves her Secrets and she says they carve great but also great on several inches of pow. We also skied some trees together and she didn’t seem to have any issues at all.
 

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