Individual Review Nordica Proto Project Santa Ana 88

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews and Comparisons' started by Tricia, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    After skiing them for Pugski testing last week, I can concur. They are FANTASTIC. I personally found them to be VERY playful, but when I was able to open them up, yowza! Fun without the serious side of say, my Volkls.
     
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  2. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    I picked up a pair of these and have skied them in just about everything at both Snowbasin and Sun Valley. They are FANTASTIC. Every time I ski them, I proclaim; "Holy cow, I LOVE these skis!" I used to second guess which pair to bring to the hill: Black Pearl 88, Sheeva 9, Sheeva 10, Volkl Secret. Well, that doesn't happen any more. I even had my Santa Ana 100s out in powder last week, and switched to the Santa Ana 88s because the powder was dense, and I preferred the way they handled and felt in the dense snow compared to the 100s. (I own the pre-2018 version of the Sana Ana 100s, so they have no metal and get deflected easily in dense snow.)

    If I had to describe these skis, I'd say Black Pearls married Kenjas and had the Santa Ana 88. They have the ease of the Black Pearls with the stability and grip and power of the Kenjas, but without the ass-kicking the Kenjas can deliver.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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  3. VickiK

    VickiK Getting off the lift Skier

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    That is some parentage analogy, @AmyPJ ! They're new, so no discounts likely for a while.

    @Tricia it bears repeating, congratulations on being recognized by Nordica as a key influencer in women's ski gear!!
     
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  4. sinbad7

    sinbad7 Getting on the lift Skier

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    Was that at Alpine Meadows? A friend of mine sent me a photo of a pair of the protos at the base of Alpine a few weeks back. I thought it must have been Tricia but then realised she was at the gathering that week,

    Just starting to wax skis and get ready down here.
     
  5. Thread Starter
    TS
    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The Nordica Rep had a few Protos to distribute in the region for influential women in the area.
    He actually reached out to me to get me a pair but Nordica had already reached out to me directly. :D
     
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  6. Dasingttsnow

    Dasingttsnow At the base lodge Skier

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    How would you compare these to the Secret? I ski mainly East Coast and was considering the Secret until I read about the SA88s.
     
  7. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    I own both, so I'll try to answer. The Secret is quite a bit less forgiving. Both are really fun in soft snow and powder. The SA88 has fantastic grip on hard snow that rivals the Secret, but it has a more playful feel to it. I can relax on the SA, I cannot relax on the Secret. If you are a Volkl lover, then you'll probably love the Secret. But, you'll probably also love the SA88 because it has the stability of the Volkl, with added ease and playfulness that the Volkl lacks.
     
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    Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Its been a while since I bumped this thread, while there is some discussion going on over in the @SkiEssentials review of the Santa Ana 88.
    Since March, I have gotten a bunch of days on this as well as a few other 88's and would put this one in the top two of my favorite 88 waisted skis, each for slightly different reasons. The Santa Ana 88 just loves moguls, carves nice on groomers, charges steeps and floats darn well when there's a little spring crud or powder. Look for a cage match soon. ;)

    In addition to my personal time on the Santa Ana 88 Proto, I have shared it with several different women who have had some fun and exciting feedback.

    First, Pugski Reviewer and fellow influencer @SkiNurse
    [​IMG]

    Recently, from a mini gathering at Mammoth. I think @Keys2Ski found a new love, or at least a new lust ;)

    IMG_1169.JPG
     
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  9. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ No longer on the single track. Pugski Ski Tester

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    I still say they are kind of a marriage in feeling between a BP 88 and a Kenja, both which are great skis in their own right but didn't resonate with some skiers. There's something about the SA shape, too, that just works, even in powder:

    I skied my SA 88s on several legit powder days and they were awesome in it. I think the shape being the same as the wider SAs which are very much powder-centric makes these very easy to maneuver in powder, even being narrower. If you are someone who craves being IN the snow in powder, or are someone like me who just doesn't care for wider skis in general except for in deep powder, these are truly a fantastic 80% ski--you'll ski them 80% of your days in just about any conditions and have fun doing it. I have yet to ski on or own a ski that made me smile in every condition I skied them in like these do. I bought mind in mid-February and skied them probably 50 days after that, and never found conditions I didn't like them in.
     
  10. laine

    laine I ski like a girl. Fast. Skier

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    I'm assuming that's the Mindbender 88? ;)

    Looking forward to reading that cage match.
     
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  11. peterm

    peterm Getting on the lift Skier

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    Another data point: my wife (5'11) demoed the Enforcer 88 (172s) recently and liked them, quite a lot in fact. Unfortunately they didn't have the Santa Ana in her length. I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has skied both the Santa Ana 88 and Enforcer 88.
     
  12. markojp

    markojp mtn rep for the gear on my feet Industry Insider Instructor

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    Haven't skied both but the construction is the same, and I'd guess they use a slightly different wood selection in the core composite. A bit softer, but not a lot. Skis care about simple physics, not gender. It's not unusual at all for taller/stronger/heavier women to happily choose from the men's side of the aisle. If she liked the men's ski, you're done shopping. ogsmile
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  13. Analisa

    Analisa Out on the slopes Skier

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    I've talked to the reps about the men's & women's differences for the existing widths (93, 100, 110) during a demo day (to determine if I needed to demo both) - they said I probably wouldn't notice a difference between the two. I ski the 110 in a 169, and it's pretty great to be able to pick whichever's cheapest or have options for topsheets.
     
  14. skiki

    skiki Booting up Skier

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    As far as topsheets go, I loved how the SA 88 at a demo day last year and they had a regular topsheet there that day and the proto. If I had my pick, I would definitely go for the proto topsheet over the regular.
     
  15. peterm

    peterm Getting on the lift Skier

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    Thanks all - sounds like they're pretty similar. We aren't in any hurry to buy, so will probably wait for our next US trip to take advantage of more friendly prices.
     

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