Expert Review: Armada ARV 116 JJ Skis · 2022
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in 2018.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in 2018.
The Armada ARV 116 JJ is in my opinion one of the best all-mountain skis for anywhere that gets a decent amount of powder days every season and is my daily driver. These skis are geared towards experts who want to float through powder but also be able to link GS turns on the groomers.
About the gear
- Model: 2019 Armada ARV JJ UL
- Size: 192 cm
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 200-ish lbs
- Experience: 15 years of skiing
- When I bought these: December 2018
- Days tested: 60+ days
- Mount position: Armada’s recommended
- Boots: Salomon S/Lab 120
- Boot Size: 29.5
- Bindings: 2018 Salomon S/lab Shift MNC 13 Ski Bindings
- Where I’ve used it: Stowe, Sunday River, Loon, Wildcat, Mt. Snow, Keystone, Eldora, Arapahoe-Basin, Winter Park, Aspen, Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper
- Terrain: Trees, ice, powder, crud, park, groomer, moguls
How they perform
What I was looking for
When I went through the buying process for these skis, my top priority was that I wanted them to be fun. I wanted something that would be flexy with pop, but I also wanted to still be able to charge hard on groomers and most importantly have something wide enough for deep powder.
Why I chose this gear
The number one reason I bought these over other options was that they are one of the few skis this wide that can be taken out and ridden as if they were a bit slimmer than they actually are. When I bought these I was debating between this option and another wide pair of skis, the Rossignol Blackops. The reason I went with the Armada ARV 116 JJ’s is that they were a softer ski that would be more playful than the Rossignols.
What I love about it
- Speed: They are hard-charging skis that will go over pretty much anything I point it at due to the width these skis have. However, they chatter a bit at high speed due to the amount of rocker and lack of stiffness in the ski, but this is due to the lack of stiffness in the ski, which, in my opinion, is what makes it so enjoyable.
- Turns: When initiating a turn with this ski, it seems effortless, with the ability to hold its edge like it is on rails on the groomers, yet be able to turn effortlessly in deep powder.
- Groomers: These skis do surprisingly well on groomers despite how wide they are.
- Powder: These skis float effortlessly in powder due to the width of them.
- Backcountry: In the backcountry, these skis do more than hold their ground, and they are built for it with Armada selling pre-cut skins specifically for these skis.
- Durability: I consider these skis to be extremely durable with me being rough on them yet no major issues
- Switch riding: These skis are a full twin tip, so they are perfect for skiing switch.
- Other: These skis also contain a fun little design in it called smear-tech, which is a 3D cut in the tip in the tail to create a beveled base that improves the ease of butters, helps stabilize the ski, and makes it near impossible for the tail or tip of the ski to catch on anything. All this combined makes a hard-charging powder ski that can be used every day and has the durability for it.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Edge hold: There are minor issues on edge hold with these skis, but this mostly stems down to the fact of how wide they are and that they are not a downhill race ski but a powder ski.
- Trees: Tree skiing on these is not a huge hindrance, however smaller skis would be more capable to maneuver, but this will be hardly noticeable.
- Mogul: I personally love moguls and have skied countless mogul runs with this. However, a ski with not as large of a profile would be more nimble to maneuver and less cumbersome.
- Park: With the full twin tip, the bevels on the tips for butters, and the poppiness, this looks like a perfect park ski, which it is to an extent. It excels in the park more than most skis however I would not consider it a park ski because it is not the best fit for in the park with the width making it more difficult for big air rotations. But for having fun around the mountain and side hitting, it is perfect.
- Any workarounds: With this ski I do not think there are workarounds. I think that one has to accept what the ski excels at and what might be some of its hindrances because the hindrances this ski does have is almost completely minimized.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this gear is a pretty recent one of this past season at Beaver Creek on a day that was just absolutely empty, and there were about two feet of powder. These skis let me appreciate the amount of snow by being able to constantly float effortlessly.
Value for the money vs. other options
I believe that the Armada ARV 116 JJ has an equal amount of value that is being provided as other options in this price bracket. It skis like a high-quality ski and is extremely durable to hold up for countless years. Another option I considered was the Rossignol Blackops 118, but I chose to go with the Armada because of the more playful flex profile as opposed to the Rossignols. I wanted a ski I could have fun with in any condition and in all parts of the mountain.
I believe that the Armada ARV 116 JJ skis are capable of getting down anything from groomers all the way to deep powder. Along with this, I think that these skis allow one to enjoy what skiing is all about, which is the fun of it.