A few winters ago, a true powder ski had to be fatter than 115mm underfoot to offer the floatation we needed for storm days. But thanks to a now well-refined mix of lightweight materials, reduced swing weight, and rocker, a 106mm-waisted ski like the ARV is all that most of us will ever need. Here too, a “Spin Tip” with less mass makes it easier to control the front of the ski in deep snow; a Pop-Lite core keeps the ARV from sinking like an anchor; while ample rocker lets you pivot in crud. On the hill, the ARV 106 is loose and playful, but it’s not a limp biscuit. Carbon and Kevlar struts add stability, vibration damping, and dynamic rebound. “Nimble and playful, but it holds an edge really well on hardpack,” said a tester. We see young guys running the ARV 106 over the whole mountain, searching out leftover powder and booters in the woods—kudos to Armada for equipping it with durable and impact resistant edges backed by rubber.
Swami gripe: Not a complaint but a distinction: If you make race turns all day, the Armada might be a bit too jibby.
Swami like: Pricewise, it’s a killer deal.
Overall: 4.6 Sluffability: 4.9 Hard Snow Pleasure: 4.4 Dimensions: 133/106/123