Expert Review: 2023 Armada ARV 106 Skis [with Video]
Ski Expert Brandon Westburg tested the 2023 Armada ARV 106 skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Brandon Westburg got his hands on the Armada ARV 106 and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every rider is unique; if you have any questions on the Armada ARV 106 or would like recommendations on what ski would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands, all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Armada claim about this ski? Armada claims that this is a fun ski anywhere from pow to park. Being 106 underfoot, it wouldn't be my first choice in the park, but it is seen as a pretty versatile ski. You're able to ski this thing on anything from groomers and powder to park. This ski is a little stiffer in nature, so it does take quite a bit of work to work this ski. You have to put a ton of energy into this ski to ski it properly.
What's your overall impression of the ski? I've never skied an Armada before, so this was really exciting for me to get on. I was surprised by, first of all, how heavy the ski was, but upon looking at the ski weight and actually feeling how damp the ski was, I began to like it after a couple of runs. I initially thought it was a little bit too stiff for my liking, but when catching some air or putting this thing edge to edge on groomers, I did really appreciate that dampness and didn't quite mind the weight of the ski. It was just fine on most all terrain out there today.
How is it edge to edge? The Armada ARV 106 was definitely fun to carve out there today. I would pick it if I was a groomer skier or liked carving all of the time. As mentioned before, this is a little bit stiffer of a ski, being about an eight out of 10 flex, as Armada claims. So you do have to work a little bit harder to get this ski edge to edge. I did have a ton of fun on the groomers today and found this ski to be pretty damp and hold an edge on just about anything.
How is it on firmer snow? We got to ski some firmer snow that softened up towards the end of the day, and it was good on the firmer snow, as well as we trenched this thing in the corn snow at the end of the day. It was super fun to lay edge to edge. Certainly not the quickest ski edge to edge because of its weight and turning radius of about 21 meters, but overall, a really fun ski to carve with.
How playful is the ski? The Armada ARV 106 certainly could be seen as a playful ski to some skiers. It really depends on your skiing style. If you are used to a super noodly ski that doesn't have a lot of metal or support in the build of the ski, then this might seem extremely stiff to you. For me, I generally ski something that doesn't have a ton of metal, but also isn't a full wood core. So this was somewhere in between playful and stiff for me.
How would it be in powder? Unfortunately, I didn't get to take this ski into any powder. The Armada ARV 106 would be awesome on a powder day. As Armada claims, this is their number one ski for pow to park. Because of the rocker profile up top in the tip, this would be an excellent ski in the powder. There is some camber rocker towards the bottom of the ski as well. I think this would do just fine in any sort of pow, from two inches all the way up to a foot plus of powder. This would certainly float just fine. I wish we were able to get into some today, but if you're looking for a fun, versatile pow ski that can also crush the rest of the mountain, this would be an amazing pick for you.
Who would you recommend this ski to? I would recommend the Armada ARV 106 to any intermediate or advanced all-mountain, park, or powder skier. It’s a super fun ski to ski anywhere from the groomers to all-mountain to get into powder. This has plenty of capabilities in the park. Of course, we'll have some swing weight with its weight and turning radius. It won't be the quickest edge-to-edge. But, most intermediate to advanced skiers looking for a versatile all-mountain powder and park ski all in one will have a blast on the ARV 106.
Who should avoid this ski, and are there better options for them out there? It’s a bit stiff in nature, so I wouldn't recommend it to those beginner skiers just getting into all-mountain. There are better skis out there that will be a little easier to move edge to edge and won't take as much work to drive or require as much energy to get the most out of this ski. If you're looking to buy your first pair of powder skis, there are better skis that will be a bit easier to use so you can have a great time out there.
All skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you need help finding the perfect pair of skis for yourself, connect with me or another Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations. We're happy to get you on the proper skis and help you find a ski that you'll love for years to come.