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Backcountry Skis

2023 Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimited Review

This quick and reliable backcountry ski for ladies gets the job done on all but the deepest of days

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Brand: Nordica

Model: Santa Ana 93 Unlimited



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

125.5-93-112.5

Lengths (cm)

151, 158, 165, 172

Radius (m)

15.5

Waist Width (mm)

93

Gender

Women's

Level

Intermediate to Expert

Stability at Speed

9 / 10

Quickness / Maneuverability

9 / 10

Playfulness

7 / 10

Forgiveness

7 / 10

Crud Performance

7 / 10

Versatility

8 / 10

Responsiveness

9 / 10

Flotation

5 / 10

The Nordica Santa Ana Unlimited 93 is a new offering from Nordica this season. The Unlimited series takes the power and control skiers love in the Santa Ana and Enforcer skis and combines it with a nimble, lighter chassis capable of taking big mountains by storm on the ups and the downs. This 93mm-waisted ski is the widest ski in the Santa Ana Unlimited line, which also includes a slim 88, a super solid daily driver for everything but deep powder skiing. A unisex Enforcer 104 Unlimited rounds out the line for those looking for something with a little more meat on its bones.

Learn more: Understanding the basics of backcountry ski gear

But for our lady testers, the Santa Ana Unlimited 93 got the job done in most all terrain and snow conditions they encountered. They loved how well this ski adapts to a variety of terrain—it’s quick in the trees yet quiet and stable while arcing long radius turns down wide open bowls. Testers found the Santa Ana Unlimited easy to flick around thanks to Nordica’s True Tip LT technology, which trims the amount of ABS plastic in the tip and lengthens the wood core to create a maneuverable feel with a low swing weight.

Skier on the Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimited
SKI editor and gear tester Jenny Wiegand tests the float of the Nordica Santa Ana 93 in Greenland. (Photo: Brad Kaminski)

“It’s  great backcountry ski for longer missions into the high alpine,” said tester Jenny Wiegand. “Light enough to make the slog doable but offers great performance for the downhill, especially in steep or technical terrain because it’s so quick.”

At 1,350 grams per ski, it won’t trash your legs on the climb, and testers were impressed with the power and responsiveness, even in crusty, hard snow. If trust is what you’re going for, this ski is a safe bet. But those who like a more playful ski to smear and pop might feel a little let down by this ski’s all-business vibe. That being said, they’re forgiving and intuitive to drive at the end of a long day, something that makes them approachable for intermediate skiers who don’t always have the gumption to keep the throttle going lap after lap.

This ski’s only real kryptonite is deep snow or heavy mank. Wiegand sums it up with some real talk: “A great ski for Colorado backcountry skiers who are realistic about the type of snow they’re likely to find in the backcountry (crust, or dust on crust). Not ideal for Utah backcountry skiers since they’re just not wide enough to float in the deep stuff, or for PNW skiers, who will want more heft for the Sierra cement out there.”

Compare the Nordica Santa Ana 93 Unlimited to the other best backcountry skis of 2023

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