Alan Trimble - Director of Research and Development
Ski dimensions: 120-133-103-124 @ 192cm
Available length of skis: 192, 183, 174,165, 156
Target market with the featured skis: EST All Mountain Rocker, All Skiers, All Mountain, Deep POW, Variable Snow Conditions, Big Mountain Point & Shoot skiing
Two-sentence description of featured skis: The is an all/mountain tool designed to let you explore the entire mountain; air the biggest cliffs, ski the deepest pow, and straight-line the steepest lines. A portion of the proceeds of this ski are donated to Travis Steeger’s Memorial Fund and the “Avalanche Awareness beyond the Boundaries Society”
Ski dimensions: 126-136-115-133-123 @ 165cm
Available length of skis: 165, 175
Target market with the featured skis: EST Free ride Rocker, Women’s specific, All Mountain, Deep POW, Variable Snow conditions Backcountry skiing
Two-sentence description of featured skis: A women’s specific version of the original JJ utilizing the patented EST Free ride Rocker. The VJJ floats through deep pow, performs in the worst conditions with less effort, carves on hard-pack, a true all mountain performer. In the backcountry, the VJJ handles everything you can throw at them, the perfect ski for the whole mountain.
What’s on the horizon for next year’s skis?
The TST is actually a new model for 11/12.
What are three of the biggest forces shaping the changes and developments you’ve made?
1st - Is our new patented EST rocker technology. We design skis with various types of rockered/cambered shapes for powder, free ride, all mountain and park skis.
2nd - Our AR50 cap/sidewall technology allows us to lower the skis overall weight. There is an ABS sidewall embedded into the wood core underfoot. This cap/sidewall design helps lower the swing weight as well the overall weight of the ski and as a result is less fatiguing for the skier.
3rd - Combined with making the AR50 cap/sidewall work, we developed an new Hybrid Wood Core The ABS sidewall underfoot this all gets wrapped into a torsion-box laminate construction using Carbon/Kevlar tail stringers which improves durability as well performance and torsion control.
Any completely new models (including pro models)?
We always have something new. The problem isn’t having new ideas; it is in choosing which ones to produce. We never wait to hatch a new idea, so that is why we just launched a limited amount of TST’s to select retailers. There are other new model’s being released, but you will have to come by the booth to see them.
Of course, as we are technology driven and strive to stay on the leading edge, we will retire some great skis soon.
What will be your best selling ski? Why?
The Ar7 and JJ maybe the TST, but I think the JJ killed it this year. If you had only one ski to take with you on a trip and you had no idea of what the conditions were going to be, the JJ is the ski to take. From powder to ice the JJ performs effortlessly, in the worst conditions where usually most skiers retire to the lodge the JJ slices through the crud like its butter. I wouldn’t count the TST out because we released the ski in a limited production and dealers got enough of a tease they just might load up on these.
Any new materials or construction technologies?
We are always looking for ways to improve durability and enhance our skis performance through the use of better materials. We wanted to improve the old AR6 that used a heavier ABS sidewall sandwich construction, so on the new Ar7 we introduced the AR50 cap/sidewall technology into our core park model. The Ar50 cap sidewall design utilizes a new Hybrid Wood Core technology where the ABS sidewall is built into the wood core at the skis center only, this helped to lower the skis overall weight as well as swing weight. A new torsion-box improved laminate construction using Carbon/Kevlar tail stringers have helped increase performance and improved the durability for all of our new park and pipe models.
What themes are you seeing for colors/graphics?
I’m the wrong guy to answer that question. We have always pushed the limits graphically, and our extremely talented design & graphics team turns our skis into Picasso’s.
What are price points doing?
Armada is a premium brand we don’t discount our skis. I doubt we will ever be the cheapest brand as long as the word quality means anything. We are competitive price wise when you compare apples to apples. We refuse to compromise our exacting standards, finding ways to lower costs without sacrificing durability or performance isn’t easy but we find ways and still offer our customer’s quality made skis. I think in the end you get what you pay for.
What market segment are you focusing on? How and why?
We are a ski company made up of a lot of talented people. We are athlete, design and art driven and our team is composed of a group of athletes at the top of their game. Our designers are seasoned professionals who are passionate about the sport. Together we design and build skis for today’s youth market who thrive on the alternative side of skiing. Armada’s focus is solely on twin tip designed skis with rocker and camber for backcountry, big mountain, and all mountain adventures. These skis are the ultimate in all-round performance.
Another huge part of our business is park & pipe skis. These skis are developed for skiers pushing the limits beyond imagination to levels no one ever thought were possible. These skis have to handle the abuse from hitting all the features and rails in today’s top ski parks.
After years of designing skis we realized there wasn’t any clothing made to fit the specific needs of freeskiers so Armada responded with a full line of technical outerwear for men and women.
What types of skiing do you see leading sales next year (racing, all-mountain, park, etc) and why? How are you planning ahead for that?
Backcountry skis like the JJ, all mountain skis like TST, will continue to grow in popularity. All Mountain skis are split by two types of skis rockered for pow or performance high speed twin tips. Along with these skis, park and pipe skis have grown into a competitor’s sport and soon will become an Olympic event. The more television coverage the more recognition and creditability it brings to the sport, better the opportunity for the sport to continue to grow. We see a whole new group of kids dreaming of being the 1st American to win an Olympic medal in Half-pipe. We already see the golden opportunity; we’re excited for the sport and our athletes are excited they may get to compete at that level.