Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

All-Mountain Skis

The Best Women’s All-Mountain Skis of 2022: Nordica Santa Ana 98

This perennial favorite continues to impress with its versatility.

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All Access
Fall Sale
$1.52 / week*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Outside, Climbing, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Video: Learn to Bump with Plake and Backcountry Basics with Mike Hattrup
  • Access to extended ski and gear reviews
  • Discounted monthly gear box to try the best adventure and fitness products
  • Access to the Warren Miller film library and first access to annual film tour
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
Join Outside+
Ski Mag

Print + Digital
Special Price
$0.50 / week *

  • Annual subscription to SKI magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content and gear reviews on SKImag.com
  • Ad-free access to SKImag.com
Join SKI

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

Brand: Nordica

Model: Santa Ana 98

Overall Ranking: #6

Overall Score: 3.9 / 5



Specs

Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)

131-98-118

Lengths (cm)

151, 158, 165, 172, 179

Radius (m)

15.6 (165cm length)

Waist Width (mm)

98

Gender

Women's

Level

Intermediate to Expert

Rocker Technology

Yes

Core Material

Multiwood Core, Terrain Specific Metal

Stability at Speed

4.22 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

3.61 / 5

Playfulness

3.94 / 5

Forgiveness

3.5 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

4.22 / 5

Crud Performance

4.11 / 5

Balance of Skills

3.94 / 5

Flotation

3.5 / 5

2022 Nordica Santa Ana 98

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.

Related: How to become a smart, tactical skier in any terrain

“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.”

2022 Nordica Santa Ana 98
(Photo: Courtesy of Nordica/Mike Schirff)

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)

Shop for the Nordica Santa Ana 98 online:  REI | evo | Skis.com | Amazon

Learn More

These are the best women’s all-mountain skis of the year
Learn more about Nordica and its lineup of award-winning skis
What you need to know before buying skis

Nordica Santa Ana 98 – 2021 Women’s All-Mountain Ski Review

The 2021 Nordica Santa Ana 98 Women's All-Mountain Ski
The 2021 Nordica Santa Ana 98 Women’s All-Mountain SkiPhoto courtesy of Nordica

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
Flotation 3.94
Quickness 4.22
Playfulness 4.11
Forgiveness 3.89
Hard-Snow Performance 4.17
Crud Performance 3.94
Versatility 4.22

Watch: SKI Reviews the Nordica Santa Ana Line

Video not displaying correctly? Watch it here.