Armada JJ Review
The Armada JJ’s are the big mountain skis everyone is talking about. With Armada’s patented EST Freeride Rocker these skis are designed primarily for those who spend the majority of their time chasing powder in the backcountry, but don’t want to have a terrible time skiing the pistes back to the lifts.
The EST Freeride Rocker means that these skis have a rockered tips and tails for flotation in soft snow, and positive camber underfoot for edge-to-edge control on the hard pack. These differ to the Armada TST’s All Mountain Rocker, which has almost no tail rocker, making the Armada JJs slightly more soft-snow oriented. The Armada JJs, at 115mm underfoot, are 13mm wider than the TSTs.
As with everything there is obviously a compromise here, but by all accounts the JJs behave surprisingly well on piste despite their width, and with their profile feel like a much shorter ski. Pure powder skis, rockered along the whole length of the ski, are totally unmanageable on hard packed snow and pistes. The JJs, by contrast, are excellent soft snow performers whilst maintaining decent performance on the hard stuff.
These are big skis, and due to the profile you may want to get longer skis that you might usually go for as they ski short. This means that despite Armada’s efforts to make the ski light with wood-core construction, you may find these a little too cumbersome for multi-day tours. However, they are definitely light enough for short tours, and we’ve seen many pairs mounted with touring bindings. It’s worth bearing in mind that the rockered tip and tail means that these are a nuisance to dig in the snow, so those who are used to using their skis as snow anchors may want to look for a flat tail ski.
You’ll rarely hear a bad word about these skis, with people discovering a whole new love of off-piste skiing. Their go-anywhere ability really opens up the mountain, whatever the conditions.
The Armada JJs come in three lengths, 165cm, 175cm, and 185cm, and the dimensions of the middle lengths are 126-136-115-133-123 (gone are the days when three numbers would describe the shape of a ski’s profile), with a tight 14m turning radius.
- Excellent off piste performer, makes everyone look good
- Deals with a variety of conditions
- Loads of float in deep powder
- Reasonable on piste
- Not for beginners – if you’re only skiing on piste, look elsewhere
- Too heavy for multi day touring unless you’ve thighs of steel
Here’s Amada’s promo on the ski: