Expert Review: Armada Declivity 92 TI Skis · 2021
This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in January of 2021.
The Armada Declivity 92 TI are perfect all-mountain skis for the advanced to expert level skier looking for a ski that emphasizes carving like a champion. They have a carbon, metal, and wood core, allowing the ski to be extremely light but not compromising the ability to carve and rebound well. They carve like a race ski, absorb vibration like a freeride ski, and pop and rebound like a park ski.
About the gear
- Model: 2021 Armada Declivity 92 TI
- Size: 180cm
- Height: 6’0”
- Weight: 175lbs
- Experience: 26 years skiing, 16 years ski racing
- When I bought these: January 2021
- Days tested: 25+ days
- Mount position: Factory recommended
- Boots: 2020 Salomon S/Race 130
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: 2021 Armada Warden 13
- Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor, Lake Tahoe, Mt. Hood
- Terrain: Groomer, mixed snow, wet snow, 2-5 inches of new snow.
How they perform
What I was looking for
Knowing Armada has always had a background of park-style riding and freeride DNA in their skis, it was a breath of fresh air to hear that they had created a carver ski, but wide enough to ski everything for PNW skiing. Being 92mm underfoot, it allows a skier to have a ski that is a hard charger on the groomer but also gives a little float underfoot to go ski just about everything.
Why I chose this gear
I was searching for a ski that could carve hard but also give me a little more versatility than my previous race skis to be able to ski more than just the groomer. The 92 Declivty gave me some room to ski hard on the groomer but be able to ski the mixed snow off the side and go ski a little soft snow if there was a light powder day. There were some other options I was looking at, like the Volkl Blaze 94 and the Kastle FX95. The Volkl and the Kastle skis are great but don’t carve as well as the Armada Declivity.
What I love about them
- Speed: The speed of the Declivity 92 TI is phenomenal. Right out of the plastic, these skis are ready to ski and ski fast. The Declivity 92s have a polyethylene base with added carbon to create a fast base but add durability for longevity.
- Edge hold: As for the edge hold, the Declivity 92 has a great hold to feel confident and secure in small or large turns. I am sure Armada gave that some thought as they made these skis because the final result was incredible. These skis hold well with a lot of powder put into the turn and are quick and nimble when needing to make short turns.
- Turns: I skied the 180cm Declivity 92 TI, so for me, it was a learning opportunity to get used to these skis. I usually ski 182cm to 186cm, but the 180cm was a great fit. They turn well at high speed with lots of power through the turn and are agile and nimble when I want to move the ski quickly. They can be both a quick slalom ski and a stable and charging giant slalom-type ski. Great sidewall cut from the 100% sidewall to provide maximum torsional rigidity for hard carving.
- Groomers: The Declivity 92 TI absolutely crushes the groomer conditions. These are great carving-focused all-mountain skis. I can ski like a ski racer and feel confident in the ski.
- Powder: These skis perform excellently in about 3-6 inches of new snow. The 92mm underfoot allows a good amount of ski to float through the soft stuff. And the Declivity 92 has a Caruba core, a type of wood material that allows the ski to be lightweight while having great dampening characteristics.
- Trees: Skies very well through tree terrain, as the 92mm underfoot allows for quick skiing and easy side-to-side movement for turning.
- Durability: Great durability. I skied these over 25 days, and the topsheet doesn’t appear to be beaten up that badly. The additional carbon added to the base helps the longevity.
- Weight: Very light and very nimble. The Caruba core helps reduce the ski's weight but doesn’t compromise the ability to hold hard turns. The core makes no performance compromise to be ultra-light and a hard-charging ski.
- Stability: Cruises through all conditions like a dream. There is no chatter if I don’t engage the ski as some skis do with a metal-reinforced core.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Switch riding: These skis are directional carvers, so trying to ride these backward was a challenge. They do have a gentle rise rocker off the tail, but they are not large enough to ski backward all day.
Favorite moment with this gear
My absolute favorite moment with these skis was in late spring 2021, the first season I had the Decivity 92 TIs. I was skiing Mt. Bachelor in some great spring skiing conditions, and the night before, it had snowed a few inches of powder. As I was skiing all over the mountain with a smile on my face, I was able to conquer everything. The soft snow, the mixed snow, and the groomer. These skis were cruising through it all; it was incredible. It opened up the opportunity to use one set of skis all day for conditions that usually needed two sets of skis for different conditions. It mended the gap to create an awesome all-mountain ski that could also rip the groomers.
Value for the money vs. other options
Are they worth the money? Absolutely. They bridge the gap between a high-performance carver ski and an all-mountain ski. Some other similar skis are the Volkl Blaze 94, but don’t carve as well and aren’t as dynamic of a ski. Also, the Kastle FX 95 is a good alternative, but they only turn like a giant slalom ski. The FX 95s are not as nimble or quick as the Declivity 92 TI.
The Armada Declivity 92 TI is an awesome new modern all-mountain ski with a carving emphasis with some excellent frontside ambition. This is a high-performance one-ski-quiver that can shred anything on the mountain. Geared for the high-end carving junkie who wants a ski to ski everything, these are the skis.