Model: Santa Ana 98
Overall Ranking: #6
Overall Score: 3.9 / 5
Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)
151, 158, 165, 172, 179
15.6 (165cm length)
Waist Width (mm)
Intermediate to Expert
Multiwood Core, Terrain Specific Metal
Stability at Speed
4.22 / 5
Quickness / Maneuverability
3.61 / 5
3.94 / 5
3.5 / 5
Hard Snow Performance
4.22 / 5
4.11 / 5
Balance of Skills
3.94 / 5
3.5 / 5
The Nordica Santa Ana 98 slipped a little in this year’s rankings, not because this ski isn’t still an all-mountain crusher, but because it’s no longer the only great option for women. Testers still rave about its stability at speed, knack for hardpack, and dependability in crud.
Nothing changed from last year’s model. This year’s Nordica Santa Ana 98 still features Nordica’s Terrain Specific Metal (TSM), which scales down the amount of metal in the ski’s core to match the type of terrain the ski is designed to tackle, and a lighter weight shovel than Santa Anas of yore. Last year’s modifications made the Nordica Santa Ana 98 slightly easier to swing around without affecting the ski’s stability at speed and performance on groomed terrain.
But testers acknowledge that even the toned-down Santa Ana 98 requires strong handling, and it takes a more skilled skier to swing these burlier sticks around in the bumps and in technical lines.
“This ski means business but will get you through cut-up groomers with ease,” notes tester Abby Ghent. “Bumps and off-piste were a little bit more of a challenge—you have to ski these hard, but they’ll reward you if you do. Definitely for the hard-core ripper.”
Most testers found the Nordica Santa Ana 98 really shines when pointed down the fall line and given the chance to arc supersized turns. Strong skiers can make the Santa Ana 98 fire off quick little turns, but it requires some muscle.
That said, the ski’s more generous waist width and rocker profile means it holds its own in deep, soft snow better than others in this category, which earned it the highest marks in Flotation.
Testers still highly recommend the Nordica Santa Ana 98 to strong-willed and strong-legged ladies who find themselves on firm snow more often than not. Intermediates will appreciate this ski’s quiet dependability, but may not be able to access its full potential.
“Keeps you honest in the chunder and moguls, but overall it’s a well rounded all-mountain ski that is on the wider side,” sums up tester Tracy Gibbons.
- Strengths: Stability at Speed (6th in category), Hard-Snow Integrity (2nd)
- Weaknesses: Forgiveness (13th), Quickness (9th)
Nordica Santa Ana 98 – 2021 Women’s All-Mountain Ski Review
Need an all-mountain ride that will also keep you afloat on those surprise snow days? Ask and ye shall receive. Featuring Nordica’s new TrueTip design that removes heavy materials from the shovel, this ski earned the highest marks for Flotation in the category. But Nordica’s Terrain Specific Metal also makes this ski a high-speed carver and crud-buster. Now that the ski has only one instead of two layers of metal, testers agreed it’s more versatile and forgives some—but not all—user errors. Says tester Kelli Gleason: “More energetic and playful than its predecessor.”
- Strengths: Stability at Speed, Flotation
- Weaknesses: Forgiveness, Crud Performance
|2021 Nordica Santa Ana 98 Scores||Score out of 5|
Watch: SKI Reviews the Nordica Santa Ana Line
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