The Armada Invictus 89ti is new to Armada for the 15/16 season. It’s loosely based on the Invictus from the past, but is now offered in 108ti, 95ti, 89ti, and 95. It’s also a ski style that’s relatively new to Armada. They have always been known for playful twin tip or directional twin skis, and now enter the realm of powerful directional skis with the Armada Invictus 89ti. This is a fun ski that is made for hard charging skiers. It’s definitely a bit more frontside oriented, but it’s very at home at speed and on roughed up terrain.
2016 Armada Invictus 89ti On Mountain Video Ski Review
Riders: Matt and Laura
Conditions: Chopped up groomers, soft snow (5”), hard pack
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
Ski Personality: All-Mountain Frontside charger that feels smooth and stable
On the Snow Feel: The Armada Invictus 89ti feels stable. It’s not a very playful ski, and it definitely likes to be driven.
Powder: We haven’t had the chance to test out the Armada Invictus 89ti in deep snow, but in the soft chop the ski seemed to plane fine. It does have the AR Nose Rocker profile that helps to keep your tips afloat. I feel like it would be a great ski in variable conditions, but at 89mm underfoot, it’s just not going to have great float. In addition, it’s quite stiff, and feels like it would rather blast through the snow than float on top.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Armada Invictus 89ti is much more frontside oriented than any other ski in Armada’s lineup. Although they are relatively new to this genre, the Armada Invictus 89ti feels right at home carving the frontside groomers. It’s a ski that likes to be pushed hard, and with a stiff construction it’s not the easiest ski to get on edge. I found I had to work pretty hard to get the ski to turn, but it did seem happier when I picked up a lot more speed. At high speeds the ski becomes a bit more responsive, but again I felt like I still had to work hard to turn the ski. Once on edge, the Armada Invictus 89ti feels pretty locked in. It likes mid radius turns the best, and when you are able to get the ski to bend it does offer powerful and energetic rebound. It’s not a forgiving ski, and definitely not suited to beginners. However, those that like to drive their skis and really know how to work them through the turn will be rewarded. Medium to large radius turns were fun, especially at high speeds. What I liked most about the Invictus 89ti is that it’s not necessarily a carving specialist, but it does a fantastic job on roughed up groomers. This is a ski I could see taking out when I just want to fly down the frontside and not worry about what type of conditions are in my way. To us it was a ski that was slightly sluggish and unresponsive at slow speeds, but fun and powerful when driven hard.
Speed: The Armada Invictus 89ti is a ski that likes speed. It’s built with two sheets of titanal that do a great job dampening any negative vibrations. When letting them run they feel at home, and it’s easy to push these skis hard. They do a great job in the crud (more on that below), which also help to increase confidence when flying down the mountain. These skis aren’t super easy to maneuver, but they definitely become more responsive and lively at higher speeds, and you can shut them down pretty quick when you need to.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Invictus 89ti is built with pretty burly construction and definitely felt solid and stable underfoot. Now at 89mm underfoot it’s not necessarily a great crud busting ski (in deep chop), but on roughed up groomers this ski feels at home. The day we tested the Invictus 89ti we had about 5 inches of new snow. As the day dragged on, the frontside become roughed up with patches of soft chop. It was easy to blast through the chop, especially at speed. As things firm up I’d suspect that the Invictuc 89ti would be a bit more challenging, but the stiff construction and titanal layers would help to keep them damp and stable.
Edge Hold: The Armada Invictus 89ti felt quite locked in when we got them on edge. The faster we went, the better the skis held an edge. It probably wouldn’t be my go-to for icy conditions, but for hard packed groomers they seemed to hold okay.
Flex: The Armada Invictus 89ti feels quite solid and stable underfoot. It has a stiff to very stiff construction with the tip and tail being slightly softer than center. We found it a nice mix of blast through attitude and yet soft enough to absorb terrain pretty well.
Switch: This is one of the first times we have seen a direction ski from Armada. You may be able to ride switch for a brief period of time if you got yourself in trouble, but the Armada Invictus 89ti is made to go in one direction.
Jumps and Park: This is a direction frontside ski and would not be a great ski for the pipe and park.
Personally I like a slightly more playful and forgiving ski, but those skiers who like to blast through variable terrain on the frontside groomers will find the Armada Invictus 89ti to be a fun and capable ski. It’s most responsive and lively at speed and offers a damp and stable ride in both smooth and roughed up snow. It’s not for the beginner or intermediates, and does take some work to get it to perform well.