Expert Review: 2023 Armada Locator 96 Skis
Ski Expert Thomas Harari tested the 2023 Armada Locator 96 skis at Powder Mountain Ski Resort in Utah.
Curated Ski Expert Thomas Harari tested the 2023 Armada Locator 96 this spring at Powder Mountain in Utah. Check out how it performed, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different. If you have any questions about the Locator 96 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
One final point before we dive in: It's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What is your overall impression of this ski? This is Armada’s do-it-all touring ski. It's not a ski for the resort. I know we're skiing it at the resort today, but this is a 96 underfoot, a light ski for the uphill and great for downhill as a touring ski. It's a 1350 gram touring ski, which is really, really light. It is not like a freeride ski, but it is going to ski very smoothly. Most skis of this weight are not going to do great on firm snow and ice. They're going to do all right. But if you're looking to ski some sort of soft snow, whether that's powder or corn and either of those, it's going to work great for its weight. It is really solid. It's not going to keep up with other skis that are resort skis that weigh more, but for something that you're going to drag uphill and which is going to actually fly uphill, it's going to ski really, really well.
How is it at speed? These do pretty okay at speed. As long as the snow is soft. As things get more chopped up, it's going to be rough. But that's what happens when your ski is this light.
How would it be in powder? These are 96 millimeters underfoot, so they're not that wide. They do have a decent amount of rocker in the tip, so they will float well in powder. But these are an everyday touring ski. Potentially something you're going to ski most of the time when it's not super deep or when you are looking to shave off a lot of weight.
How is this ski outside of powder? This Locator at the 96 underfoot is going to be really good, it's just an everyday ski. A lot of people think that when they go touring, they're going to ski bottomless powder all the time. Even if it's deep somewhere, you're pretty much always going to ski an icy skin track back to the car. This varies a little bit depending on where you're skiing, but generally I see a lot of customers that think that they really need these really fat powder skis where really 96 underfoot can do a lot for you. A wider ski would be good for true powder days or mid-season. This is going to do much better in the spring or days where you're skiing corn, you're not going to need a wider ski than this for that.
Any other factors to consider in deciding whether this ski is right for someone? This is a great touring ski as far as its stability for its weight. 1350 is very, very light. This is also going to ski pretty smoothly for most anyone. If you want to get a little bit more aggressive in the backcountry, this is going to work great. It's not like a skimo ski, it's also not a ski that you would put on like a hybrid binding width and that you would ski and bounce. This is not a resort ski.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you want to find out if the Armada Locator 96 is right for you or get recommendations on the best skis for your needs, reach out to Thomas or another Ski Expert here on Curated. They’re happy to help you out.