The Armada ARVw is a great ski for those women who want to carve fast turns. It still has the off piste versatility most people want in an all-mountain ski, but is a bit more frontside oriented than the Aramada TSTw. It’s still not a carving specialist, but it offers better stability at speed, and more power than the TSTw does. It’s slightly smaller in the waist than the TSTw, so it does sacrifice a bit of playfulness, and float in the deeper snow. This is a great ski for those who like carving at speed more than they like soft snow versatility.
Conditions: Soft Chop (5”), Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
Ski Personality: All-mountain ski with stability
On the Snow Feel: The Armada ARVw feels quite stable, while still offering a bit of playfulness in the softer snow. It’s not quite as playful as the TSTw, but is much more stable, especially at speed.
Powder: The Armada ARVw doesn’t do as well in the deeper snow as the Armada TSTw or certainly the Armada womens VJJ, but with a good amount of rocker in the tip and a 97mm waist, it was capable of taking on deeper snow without feeling too out of place.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Armada ARVw lacks the same 5 point sidecut of the TSTw, and is slightly more challenging to get on edge. Still, the ski is softer in the tip than the TSTw, and with a good amount of rocker in the tip, AR50 construction (cap on the ends), and light-weight wood, carbon, and Kevlar core, the ski was quite easy to maneuver. Get the ski on edge at it’s quite responsive. The carbon and Kevlar stringers in the tail help to increase the snappiness and power out of the turn, and edge to edge transitions were quite lively and fun. The ski has a moderate 18.5m turn radius, but it was easy to break free and vary turn shapes. It was quite fun in both short and medium radius turns, and it was light enough that we never felt too fatigued.
Speed: The Armada ARVw is much better at speed than the Armada TSTw. It still has a light-weight wood core, but with the added strength of the carbon, Kevlar, and fiberglass matrix. The overall longitudinal flex is actually a bit softer than the TSTw, but the tip is lighter and a bit stronger, really helping to reduce any negative vibrations. Overall the ski felt quite stable, even at top end speed.
Uneven Terrain: The ARVw also outshines the TSTw in crud performance. I wouldn’t call the ARVw a crud buster, but it does a decent job of absorbing the variable terrain. We’re not sure if it’s the softer, more forgiving flex, or the carbon and Kevlar layup, but the ARVw offers quite a bit more stability than the TSTw.
Moguls: The Armada ARVw is quick, and maneuverable with a softer forgiving flex. We had a lot of fun in the moguls, but it does take a bit of work to swing the ski around.
Edge Hold: The fiberglass laminate matrix helps to increase torsional rigidity and edge hold of the Armada ARVw, but it wasn’t much better than the TSTw in this area. We felt good on anything from soft to moderately firm, but really firm snow was a bit more of a challenge.
Flex: The ski has a medium/soft flexing tip, and medium flex in the waist and tail. The Fiberglass matrix does provide a stiffer torsional flex for better edge grip and power through turns, but the ski is still quite playful and poppy.
Bottom line, the Armada ARVw is a great ski for those women who like to ride a little faster and want a bit more snap and liveliness on the groomers. It responds well without being too powerful. We really enjoying riding fast medium radius turns, on the soft groomers, but the ski definitely has the ability to be playful in the softer snow. It does a decent job in the crud, and chop but isn’t quite as stable as wider, heavier, or burlier skis. The Armada TSTw offers a bit better float, but the ARVw is much better carving at speed.