Expert Review: Armada Tracer 108 Skis · 2021Published on 08/10/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.
All photos courtesy of Evan Wolfson
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2020.
The Armada Tracer 108 is a great ski for all conditions and terrains. The weight and versatility makes this a terrific ski for anyone looking to get into backcountry and for someone who loves resorts. It’s a terrific one ski quiver.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Armada Tracer 108
- Size: 180 cm
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 160 lbs
- Experience: 19 years skiing
- When I bought these: October 2020
- Days tested: 80 days
- Boots: Dalbello Lupo 2021
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: Armada Shift 2021
- Where I’ve used it: Breckenridge, Abasin, Snowbird, Alta, Backcountry in UT and CO.
- Terrain: Trees, backcountry, groomers, cliffs, steeps, park, couloirs.
How they perform
What I was looking for
As I was expanding my skiing and getting into more backcountry terrain, I needed a ski that was less focused on the park and being playful. I was looking for a ski that could do it all but, most importantly, was lightweight and suitable for touring.
Why I chose this gear
I chose the Armada Tracer because of the ski's size, construction, and flex pattern. I had other options, such as the Armada JJ, K2 Mindbender 108, or the Line Sick Day. I went with the Tracer because, like some other models, it has a 108 waist width which is good for deep powder days but also allows me to ski well on the hardpack. The flex was also a huge factor. They were a middle flex range with a little softer flex in the tip. It allows for reasonable control when going fast but still leaves some room to be playful and smooth on jumps or cliffs.
What I love about them
- Speed: The Armada Tracer has a traditional camber of 3-4mm and a flatter tail which helps to build and maintain speed. The ski’s flex also makes it good at higher speeds, with a softer nose to bounce over crud and a stiffer waist to add stability and control when carving.
- Edge hold: The flatter tail on the Armada Tracer helps to initiate the turn, and the shape of the ski allows for more edge contact, which makes this ski hold an edge well.
- Turns: At higher speeds, the Tracer is very quick to turn over. I could carve this ski really well at high speeds and felt comfortable making a slalom turn or a super G turn.
- Groomers: With excellent stability and little chatter on the hard pack, the Tracer is good on groomers. I can take it easy and slow or turn it up and ski fast, and the ski always feels in control.
- Powder: With the shovel in the nose and the 108 underfoot, the Tracer is amazing in deeper snow. The shovel allows the ski to lift on top of the snow, and the waist keeps it afloat. The ski turns well in powder, too.
- Trees: Even with the wide shape, the Tracer still performs well in trees with good control and quick turns. Lightweight and snappy but easy to control, these skis perform well in trees.
- Backcountry: Lightweight and a 108 waist width make this ski great for backcountry. It performs well in all conditions due to the shape and size but is still lightweight and easy to carry on longer steeper days in the backcountry.
- Weight: Lightweight but not to where I feel like there is nothing underneath me.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Park: This ski is very solid when hitting jumps. The design makes landing smooth and easy. However, this ski does not perform well with other aspects of the park. The flat tip doesn't allow for skiing backward as easily and causes balance issues when grinding rails.
- Durability: The durability of the topsheet is great. After two years, the topsheet still looks good with only some scratches. However, at the end of this last season, the base started to delam, which is not good.
- Switch riding: The flat tail does not allow for switch riding.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these skis would be the day we toured Cardiff Pass in Little Cottonwood Canyon. I started out with a normal skin up the pass to the top. While getting to the steep part, these skis felt amazing and allowed me to tour up the steep section easily. Once to the top, we scoped out what we wanted to ski, and I picked this little chute that was only accessible from hiking the ridge. I put my skis on my pack and hiked the ridge. I had to climb over some rocks and very skinny parts along the ridge. The skis on my back did not cause any issues, and I did not feel super weighed down. The ski down started with some small hop turns on a small face until I reached the chute. After that, I had to straight line until the small mandatory air, and then I could carve and have fun all the way to the bottom.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Tracer is similar in price but slightly more expensive than similar skis such as the K2 Mindbender 108, Atomic Bent Chetler 110, and Line Vision. However, with its versatility and ability to be used in resort and backcountry, the Tracer offers exceptional value for its price.
The Tracer is a super fun and versatile ski that will have one confidently skiing any terrain.