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Awesome powder ski and holds up surprisingly well in other conditions!

A Review On: 2012 Armada TSTw Ski

2012 Armada TSTw Ski

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Review Details:
Value
Durability
Maneuverability
Performance
Purchased on:
Price paid: $500.00
shima
Posted · 349 Views · 2 Comments

Pros: very floaty, turns on a dime, soft and flexible, rocker tip

Cons: chattery on tough hard pack and icy conditions

The more I ski these the more impressed I am with these! 

 

I demo'ed the 2 weekends ago during some awesomely epic powder at Northstar. I demo'ed the men's 165cm TST because the woman's demo was too short and I consulted with Armada who told me the only difference between the men's and women's version of these skis is the graphic. 

 

The tip is rockered, but the tail is not, which intrigued me since that was supposed to make them more stable when you get out of the soft powder in the trees and back on groomers. I didn't get to compare them to a fully rockered ski to see how much more stable that makes them though, as I fell in love with them and just wanted to keep them. Instead I went back at the end of the day and purchased the women's 165cm brand new from the shop and got Marker Squire bindings mounted on them because I like the graphic better on the women's version. 

 

Back to performance... so I originally demo'ed these because I had been struggling in the trees with my Volkl Kenja's. My legs would ache from how hard I'd have to drive them and they just felt like they were fighting me when I was trying to turn in the trees. Completely not the case with the TSTw though! I thought "turn" and they turned on a dime. So brilliant and easy to turn, super floaty in the deep powder, a real joy! I was contemplating going and demo'ing the JJ/VJJ too, but honestly I just felt so comfortable and secure on the TSTw that when the day was over I couldn't pull out my card fast enough to buy my own pair. They were ready for me the very next day and I spent another day in the amazing powder continuing to just love them more and more. 

 

The only thing I didn't care for much that weekend was that on the groomers I could feel everything under my feet too easily. The stiffness of the Kenja covers this feeling up for me, but with the softness of the TST, you can feel what's under you a lot easier. 

 

I took the skis out again this past weekend at Heavenly. Saturday started off very icy and hard packed and I did one run on them on the NV side to see how they'd handle the super hard pack and decided that in those conditions they were just too chattery for my liking and switched back to the Kenja for the rest of the day. However by the end of the day things started to soften up and get a bit slushy, so I decided to give the TST another try and pulled them back out for my last few runs. They handled quite fine in the slush so I went out hunting for the good mogul runs and took them down the bottom half of The Face (top half was closed) and they were definitely a lot easier to turn in moguls than my Kenja's. 

 

Sunday we had an inch or two of snow at Heavenly so things were a bit softer, and so I decided to take them out all day. We ended up staying on lots of groomed runs and I have to say, I wasn't expecting much after the chattery response from Saturday, but they actually held their own quite well. As long as you aren't lazy on them on groomers, they can hold an edge pretty well. I think my Kenja's can go a bit faster and they hold a nicer edge, but the TST really does hold it's own, which I wasn't expecting it to do as good as it did! 

 

Overall I find these to be very versatile and a super pleasant surprise in more conditions than I originally anticipated them. I may find myself using these for more than just powder days I suspect...

 

 

 

Tester Info:
Age: 26
Height/Weight: 5'4" 125 lbs
Average days on snow:  30~
Years Skiing:  12 
Aggressiveness: I love a good challenge!

2 Comments:

Nice review. I think the reason the TST feels chattery or squirrely on hard pack, is because it has such a short running length for it's stated length. My 183's are like a 168 on hard pack, so I can not expect the same performance from them as my normal 178 and 185 skis. As you said, if a person wants a quick turning ski in powder, the TST is great. Works well in bumps due to the rockered tip and short running length and is ok on firm snow. On a day that I know will be soft, maybe up to a foot of pow, this is the ski I ride. I have other skis for firm or deep days.
Yeah if I want stability and speed on the hard pack days, I grab my Volkl Kenja's which are traditional full camber and fairly stiff. If I want a playful day though and the snow isn't crappy, I find I reach more for the TSTw. I've skied this in really deep powder and it hasn't let me down yet.