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Frontside Skis

The Best Frontside Skis of 2022: Nordica Santa Ana 93

Like its narrower sisters, the Santa Ana 93 likes to live life on edge. But that's not all this ski can do.

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Brand: Nordica

Model: Santa Ana 93

Overall Ranking: #2

Overall Score: 4.11 / 5



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

125.5-93-112.5

Lengths (cm)

151, 158, 165, 172, 179

Radius (m)

15.5 (165cm length)

Waist Width (mm)

93

Gender

Women's

Level

Strong Intermediate to Expert

Rocker Technology

Yes

Core Material

Wood, Terrain Specific Metal (TSM)

Stability at Speed

4.46 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

4.25 / 5

Playfulness

4.08 / 5

Forgiveness

4.08 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

4 / 5

Crud Performance

4.21 / 5

Balance of Skills

4.25 / 5

Flotation

3.29 / 5

2022 Nordica Santa Ana 93

By now the Santa Anas have been around the block and realized that they don’t have to try so hard to impress us anymore. They ditched one of two layers of metal in an effort to tone it down, and testers now describe the Nordica Santa Ana 93 as a supremely balanced ski, a frontside tool that is happy to show off its versatility on and off the groomed.

“Step up the drive a tad and you can go anywhere—moguls or crud,” says tester Tracy Gibbons. “You can make short, medium, and long turns and get stability and predictability in return.”

Like the narrower Santa Anas, this version excels on hardpack and on edge, but it’s slightly more versatile than its narrower sisters thanks to a wider waist and Nordica’s Terrain Specific Metal (TSM) technology. TSM, which adapts the amount of metal in the core to the type of terrain the ski is designed to tackle, makes the Nordica Santa Ana 93 a smidge more forgiving and maneuverable than its predecessors.

Related: Learn how to ski short-swing turns with these pro tips

But like all Nordicas, the Santa Ana 93 still loves to go fast, and true to form, it bested all the other frontside skis in the Stability at Speed department. The ex-racers in our crew loved this quality, calling this Santa Ana particularly speedy and commenting on its stiffness, which allows aggressive skiers to really push against the ski in the middle of the turn to get a nice rebound through the turn finish.

Featuring a larger turning radius than many in this category, the Santa Ana 93 requires a stronger skier to get it to make short turns or shut down speed on the fly. But testers predict that intermediate ladies will appreciate the confidence this ski inspires while cruising down the fall line. It’s not the most forgiving or approachable ski in the bunch, but it’s one of the most stable and dependable.

Says tester Courtney Harkins: “The Santa Ana 93 is a really solid ski. You have to stay on it to feel its energy, but when you do, you can trust this ski all the way around.”

Testers didn’t score it high in Crud Performance, saying the ski’s stiffness made it trickier to maneuver in chopped-up snow unless you have the muscle to stay on top of them in every turn. That said, these are nit-picky criticisms of a very appealing frontside ski. Though Crud Performance is listed as a weakness, the Santa Ana 93 still scored the second-highest marks in that skill department. That just goes to show how strong this ski is across the board.

“The Santa Ana 93 is going to help so many ladies break off the groomers and explore the rough with style,” says tester Erika Northrop.

  • Strengths: Stability at Speed (1st in category), Versatility (2nd)
  • Weaknesses: Crud Performance (2nd), Forgiveness (4th)

Learn More

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Explore all of Nordica’s award-winning skis
Frontside vs. narrow all-mountain skis—what’s the difference

Nordica Santa Ana 93 – 2021 Women’s Frontside Ski Review

The Santa Anas of yore liked to flirt with the fine line between burly and strenuous. For 2021 Nordica scales them down a notch, removing one of two layers of metal in the construction to make the skis more accessible to intermediates. And it worked, though the ski still prefers a strong skier. Testers ranked this ski the most versatile in this category and also praised its spunkiness. It hums with energy that just begs to be put to work on groomers especially, but also in the rough. Says tester Kelli Gleason: “Makes ya feel like a badass. Confidence-inspiring at all speeds and terrain.”

  • Strengths: Hard-Snow Integrity, Versatility
  • Weaknesses: Forgiveness, Crud Performance
2021 Nordica Santa Ana 93 Scores Score out of 5
Quickness 4.5
Playfulness 4.45
Forgiveness 4.3
Hard-Snow Performance 4.45
Crud Performance 4.1
Versatility 4.4

Watch: SKI Reviews the 2021 Nordica Santa Ana Ski Line