Tricia

The Velvet Hammer
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Santa Ana 88 vs 93.png

This Cage Match is more like a sibling throwdown. With the introduction of the Santa Ana 88, Nordica has forced the question, "Which is better for me, the 88 or 93?" At first glance, the differences in waist width and turning radius seem negligible, which may leave you scratching your head. After all, the predecessor to the Santa Ana 88 was the Astral 88, which was clearly more frontside-biased and left no doubt whether it or the Santa Ana 93 was the right ski for you. While the Santa Ana 88 is a closer sister to the 93, there are enough differences that you will find one a better fit than the other.

For starters, some women have found themselves in limbo between lengths in the Santa Ana 93 with the leap from 161 to 169 cm. Nordica has switched the sizing in the 88, offering it in 151, 158, 165, and 172, which will fill the gap for women who weren't quite sure where the sweet spot was with the 93. Beyond sizing differences, the Santa Ana 88 has a slightly (emphasis on slightly) shorter turn radius, making it a bit quicker in a tight spot, while still having the strength to power through crud. The Santa Ana 93, which is wider but not too wide, obviously offers the platform to serve as a one-ski quiver for the woman who is likely to venture off piste.

Some might say that the Santa Ana 88 is more of an East Coast-biased version of the Santa Ana 93, but I may argue that the Santa Ana 88 makes for some fun chuting with its nimble yet stable build; it is the perfect pairing with the Santa Ana 100 in a two-ski quiver.
  • Why choose the Santa Ana 88? You are between sizes in the 93 or are looking for a complement to your powder ski.
  • Why choose the Santa Ana 93? You want a one-ski quiver and spend more time off piste more than on.
 

AmyPJ

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^^^ Nailed it :)
I'm one of those who's a tweener on sizes on the 93 and has found the 88 to be an absolute blast in a 165, in all conditions. And my complimentary ski? An older Santa Ana 100 in a 169. There's something about the shape of these skis that makes them super easy to initiate turns on, super easy to drift and skid on, yet they'll hold an edge very well. I can see why this line of skis, extending to the Enforcer series, are so popular.
 

AmyPJ

No longer on the single track.
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I'm coming back to this thread to reiterate for those who aren't sure which ski to get--go with the ski that comes in the length that suits you better. I have now skied the SA 88 in powder, 20 inches of powder, 6 inches of cream cheese powder, and all the leftovers from that. They would not normally be my first choice for 20 inches of powder but they were all I had that day and they were absolutely fantastic in it. In the denser powder, same thing. Back to the groomers, which were getting free refills of dense powder that was getting skied out, and they just blasted through stuff and made turn initiation a breeze no matter what was ahead. The two sheets of titanal smooth things out nicely without making them super stiff or unforgiving. In the untracked, the titanal gives a nice feel in and out of the turn--a good amount of smooth energy that makes it much easier to link up turns and get a good rhythm going.

A true one ski quiver--this is a Swiss army knife of skis. I personally prefer skis under 90mm which might be one reason the 88s are my first choice. When you aren't sure which ski to grab out of the quiver, you really can't go wrong grabbing the SA 88 OR 93.
 
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