The Armada VJJ 2.0 not only makes your inner child laugh a little bit, but it’s also a solid women’s powder ski that is designed after the popular men’s JJ. Although many would consider the VJJ 2.0 to be a powder ski, it’s definitely not a one trick pony. It offers enough versatility to be an everyday ski, just don’t expect it to rail groomers like a carving ski.
Conditions: Powder, Groomers, Chop
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
On the Snow Feel: The Armada VJJ 2.0 doesn’t feel as loose or surfy as one might expect from a powder ski. It does have a small amount of camber underfoot to help increase stability, while the upturned tip and tail help to decrease swing weight. The result is a ski that is semi-stable but easy to break free and smear when you want to. It doesn’t feel nearly as surfy as the Hoji W, nor quite as playful as the Savory 7.
Powder: The VJJ 2.0 is definitely worth grabbing when the snow is coming down in sheets. At 116mm underfoot, the VJJ 2.0 has plenty of surface area for floatation. When combined with the EST Freeride Rocker profile the VJJ is maneuverable and playful, allowing you to surf down the mountain. The widest points of the VJJ 2.0 have actually been reduced, but with a more gradual taper through the tail, the ski floats better at slower speeds. The narrower tail also helps to aid in stability in powder as it’s more likely to sink deeper and keep the tips up higher.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Armada VJJ 2.0 skis shorter than it is and even in the 175 length the ski was easy to maneuver. Like most of Armadas lineup the women’s VJJ 2.0 has the 5 point sidecut. This helps to aid in maneuverability and allow you to vary turn shape easier. With the widest points of the ski closer to the boot it also allows the ski be tipped on edge sooner, and at less of an angle. It still takes some speed to get all 116mm of waist on edge, but it’s much more maneuverable than you might expect. Thankfully Armada kept the weight low, and with a decent amount of rocker and taper the JJ 2.0 is actually quite easy to turn. The Armada VJJ 2.0 has a slightly longer turn radius than previous years, but at 16m it’s actually quite happy making short to medium radius turns. It’s by no means a super lively or powerful frontside ski, but it’s actually quite fun on the frontside groomers.
Speed: The Armada VJJ 2.0 isn’t a super damp ski, but it also wasn’t necessarily unstable. The new design has a slightly more gradual rise in tip and tail helping to reduce tip flap more than in the past. It does have a relatively soft flex in the tip that is noticeable at really high speeds. Despite this we were still able to push the VJJ 2.0 pretty fast. You just need to be aware of its limitations and adapt.
Uneven Terrain: Again the Armada VJJ 2.0 isn’t the most damp ski out there, and not what we would consider a crud buster. But it is a ski that can handle the crud well enough to have some fun in less than ideal conditions. When skiing chop we found a bit more dynamic and fluid approach goes a long ways in keeping the skis riding over chop. The soft flexing tip can get overwhelmed if you get a bit too far forward, but for the most part we never had any issues with deflection as long as we remained balanced.
Edge Hold: The Armada VJJ 2.0 has surprisingly decent edge hold. The widest points of the ski have been moved out increasing the overall length of the effective edge. It’s still not great on steep icy pitches, but then again you wouldn’t necessarily expect a powder ski to be great on ice.
Flex: This Armada VJJ 2.0 has a progressive flex. It’s a medium flex in the tip, medium stiff underfoot, and medium flex in the tail.
Switch: The Armada VJJ 2.0 has a directional twin shape. It’s possible to ride switch pretty well.
Jumps and Park: We didn’t take the Armada VJJ 2.0 in the park, but it was great for dropping some smaller cliffs at Arapaho Basin. It feels light in the air and has a large enough platform for dampening the landing.
The Armada VJJ 2.0 is definitely still a powder ski first and foremost, but it also offers plenty of versatility to make this an attractive one ski option. It floats like a dream and yet still has the edge hold and carvability to take on the frontside groomers. It wasn’t the most damp ski, but plenty capable of speeding over crud with the right technique. It also wasn’t great on steep icy runs, but we didn’t expect it to be. If you’re looking for a versatile powder ski to surf the deep days and be able to take you on a large variety of terrain when the snow isn’t deep, it’s worth checking out the Armada VJJ 2.0.