Rating: 3.16 / 5
Waist Width: 100
Stability at speed: 3.66 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.11 / 5
Crud performance: 3.06 / 5
Flotation: 2.89 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.16 / 5
Overall: 3.16 / 5
Metal-free, lightweight, 100 mm at the waist-you'd expect the Santa Ana to be among the most buoyant and playful skis in the category. What's surprising, unless you know Nordica, is how stable it is. Testers warn it's pretty stiff and that it takes a pretty good skier to access that playful side. But the Santa Ana rewards an athletic attack with snappy rebound and reassuring power. Let it rip, and watch the powder fly. Barnes: "Such a pleasure. Stable, playful, fun, and good-looking-like a good boyfriend."
NOTES: The Santa Ana is the skinnier ski out of the two-model Freeski Women's series, the other model being the La Nina. It has a 133 mm tip, 100 mm waist, and 121 mm tail. These specs make the it one of the most versatile women's skis from Nordica, designed to take on hardpack and powder equally well while other skis focus on one type of snow more than the other. Balsa Core CA is constructed with thin balsawood stringers (strips of wood) in place of heavier metals found in other skis, and a carbon layer is designed to lighten the load and make the ski easier to rip around the mountain. Meanwhile, Powder camROCK technology lifts the tip and tail up and off the snow, designed for floatation, and the cambered underfoot section is designed for carving on any terrain. For something similar but wider and more powder-focused, check out the La Nina.
The Freeski Women's series focuses on skis intended for terrain outside of the groomers, whether it's the backcountry, trees, or wherever else gives you a thrill. These skis are intended to rip groomers when they need to, but their main purpose is mow through powder and other various conditions elsewhere. The two models in the series have waists ranging from 100 - 113 mm and radii ranging from 12.5 - 18.5 m depending on length.
Nordica, based in Giavera del Montello, Italy, was founded in 1939. Its U.S. headquarters are in West Lebanon, N.H.