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.