Expert Review: Armada ARV 96 Skis · 2023

Published on 12/14/2022 · 4 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I tested for one day in November of 2022.
Evan Wolfson, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Evan Wolfson

Photos by Evan Wolfson

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I tested for one day in November of 2022.

My take

The Armada ARV 96 is a great one ski quiver for anyone wanting a playful fun ski to take all over the mountain.

About the gear I tested

  • Model: 2023 Armada ARV 96
  • Size: 177

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 150lbs
  • Experience: 19 years of snowboarding/skiing

Test conditions

  • When I tested these: November 2022
  • Days tested: 1
  • Mount position: Demo
  • Boots: 2020 Tecnica Mach 1 MV
  • Boot Size: 26.5
  • Bindings: 2023 Strive
  • Where I’ve used it: Copper (Colorado)
  • Terrain: On piste

How they perform

Turn Ease
High Speed Stability

What I was looking for

As of now, I do not have a pair of skis under a 106mm waist, and I wanted something under 100. I was looking for a ski that would be super fun and playful and allow me to ski all over the mountain but still really nice for the front side and the park.

Why I chose to test this gear

I picked this ski because I know Armada is known for being really playful and forgiving, but the somewhat stiff flex of this ski makes it super desirable. It is also one of the top-selling skis, and I wanted to test it for myself. I definitely plan on purchasing this ski.

What I love about them

  • Speed: With a stiffer profile and a cambered shape, the ARV 96 holds really well at higher speeds, turns really easily, and has very little chatter.
  • Edge hold: With lots of edge contact on the snow, this ski has a great edge hold and is very responsive when turning edge-to-edge, making it really fun and easy to turn.
  • Turns: Super easy to turn at high speeds and make nice long carves, but also very nimble and quick when turning at slower speeds, like in the trees and bumps.
  • Groomers: This ski is great for groomers. The shape and design allow the ski to turn super easily and hold in all conditions. It is also still playful, allowing one to have fun on any side jumps or terrain on the side of the groomers.
  • Trees:_ _The ARV 96 is quick and nimble. These skis make it easy to ski the trees and avoid danger. It is super lightweight with some rocker in the tip and tail. The positive camber underfoot makes this ski easy to maneuver.
  • Moguls: Nice, poppy, and playful, yet easy to turn. One can swivel the ski and crush the bumps no matter their skill.
  • Park: With a twin-tip construction, the ski is extremely versatile and great in the park. Thanks to its impact edge, it is ready to withstand any hard landings on jumps and rails.
  • Durability: These skis are extremely durable with their 2.5 impact edge, a sintered base made for durability, and topsheets that will continue to look amazing. The base matched with the edge make for great durability.
  • Weight: Coming in at about 3lbs, the ARV 96 is a nice lightweight ski.
  • Switch riding: With a true twin-tip build, the ARV 96 is great for switch riding and switch tricks.
  • Stability: Lots of pop and play. This ski is extremely fun and holds on a turn well with very little chatter.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Powder: Since it's only 96 underfoot with very little rocker, this ski is not an ideal powder ski.
  • Backcountry: With a construction optimized for groomers and being playful in the front and park, the ARV 96 is not an ideal backcountry ski.
  • Flotation: At 96 underfoot, the ski is not the ideal powder ski, but with the lightweight construction and shape, it will still allow some float in the deeper snow.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with this gear would be the early season groomer laps with my friends. Being on this ski made every run super fun as I could carve around or hit the side jumps and feel extremely comfortable.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Armada ARV 96 is a very versatile all-mountain ski and is priced similarly to other skis like the Line Vision 98, the Faction Dancer, and the Mindbender 99ti. However, the ARV comes in at a lower price point, which makes it worth it for how great this ski performs.

Final verdict

This ski is great for anyone who wants a ski capable of everything, like skiing the park, trees, groomers, bumps, and even back bowls if one wants to. It’s super fun and easy, and it will have one skiing more confident than ever.

Out of stock
  • We price match
  • Returnable

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Evan Wolfson, Ski Expert
Evan Wolfson
Ski Expert
2 Reviews
139 Customers helped
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Written by:
Evan Wolfson, Ski Expert
Evan Wolfson
Ski Expert
2 Reviews
139 Customers helped

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