I just stumbled across a Armada TST review over at TGR and after Googling it too, it looks like a strong contender for my $$$ this fall.
- 156 cm, 165 cm, 174 cm, 183 cm, 192 cm
- Turn Radius:
- (156cm) 11.5 m, (165cm) 12.6 m, (174cm) 14.7 m, (183cm) 16.8 m, (192cm) 18.9 m
I have only skied them three times; twice at Alpental (WA) and once touring. That's not an extensive test, but since these skis are so new and there is a lack of info, I thought I'd start with my initial impressions, plus I was lucky enough to encounter a fairly wide variety of conditions. I'll provide an update after I have more days on them. The fist time at Alpental was night skiing on a mix of icy groomers, soft groomers, hard moguls, pretty stiff crud, wind compressed fine snow, and all topped by the end of the night with 3 inches of new. The next day Alpental had officially 6 inches of new, but there was a fair amount of boot top, fairly dry powder, as well as soft smooth groomers, followed later in the day by a variety of crud and cut-up snow, with some icy, scoured sections. The touring day was a bit over a foot of fairly dry powder. My summary is that I was truly amazed and impressed.
I had almost complete confidence in them right away. I thought they were very precise and I had near absolute control of where I'd turn and where I'd end up. They are very quick and lively. They handled everything well, and many things exceptionally well. I didn't really expect this, but I think they would be great for very technical terrain like a narrow couloir (even with fairly harder snow), and tight trees. Their grip on ice was better than any other 100ish ski I've tried. The real eye opener for me was how easily they skied the night's stiff snow and old crud. It was about 6-8 inches deep and the type of stuff I usually try to avoid for the sake of just not having fun and to save my acl. With the TST I was actually skiing around looking for the most challenging conditions like that and really enjoying myself. Turning was almost effortless, and was very controlled. There wasn't any hookyness like I usually feel in this type of snow with a standard type ski. It was just smooth skiing. I liked them in powder too. They were very easy to ski, they floated well, and the tips rode up nicely. For their length and size, I had good float and was able to lay them over a fair bit and arc some turns. They seem to prefer a medium radius turn in light powder, and I was able to ski them with fairly neutral stance. In the afternoon crud they were stable and I did not feel like I was getting knocked around too much. Longer radius turns in the crud was doable, but not the TST's forte. On the groomers they can be skied fast but prefer short to medium radius turns. I could carve long radius, but I felt I was kind of forcing the skis to do it. It wasn't bad, but just not their natural arc. Another huge surprise was that I enjoyed skiing moguls for first time since my mid-twenties. I like skinning in the powder since the tips easily popped up through the power with each stride. I also figured out that tips plunge into the snow pretty well, so that may take care of one of my concerns about having a twintip for backcountry".
If you read the entire review, it sounds like a really great ski. I like stiffer skis and the flat tail is very appealing to me as is the shorter turn radius of the 183. I never get to demo the skis I am interested in, so at this point the TST and Bone are the two skis that interest me most for next season. If any of you have rode them both, I would be very interested in hearing the contrast between the two skis.
Edit: From reading reviews of the Bones on Epic and the TST on Google, the skis get similar raving reviews. I do like the the deeper tip rise rocker of the TST compared to the Bone. Also at 5'10" the TST in a 183 sounds perfect, where as the Bone in a 180 or 187 has me torn which way to go. Both top sheets are fugly, so no advantage to either there. Any dealers on Epic selling Armada, as that looks like more the direction I will take for a great All Mountain ski to compliment my 178 Sultans and 196 Lhasa Pows at Mammoth.
Edited by liv2 ski - 5/23/11 at 6:29pm