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Advice needed on Armada TST or JJ ski length

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have been thinking to add a pair of Armada TST or JJ to my quiver, and would appreciate some advice on what length would best fit my needs.

 

I am 42 years old, 5' 5" tall and weigh 152 lbs.  I would rate myself as an high advanced to low expert level skier.  I feel very comfortable coming down most black runs but not at a very fast speed.  I like to be in control and make lots of small turns.  However, moguls have always been my weakest link, but under almost all other snow conditions I would find quite manageable.  In the past I mostly ski on the groomed runs, but next year I am planning to spend more time in the trees, on powder, and maybe go off-piste a bit.  Thus adding one of the Armada all mountain skis is a natural choice.  As I live in Hong Kong, I don't get to ski a lot, but when I get the chance, I would usually go to Niseko, Japan, which is a heaven for powder skiing.

 

As we are now toward the end of the season, there are many great deals and I want to take advantage of the sales.  I think the JJ's are really cool and would be plenty fun in the deep pow, but since I need to travel with my family (2 kids + wife + 4 pairs of skis & boots!!!), I probably would get the more versatile TST and be done with just one pair of skis.

 

I heard that the tip rocker design would make both of these models ski a lot shorter.  So instead of the 165cm length, I should be looking at the 174cm TST or the 175cm JJ, but these are almost 4 inches taller than me.  I know I am rather on the heavy side so that makes it up a little but still, I am concerned that these lengths would be way too long for me.  Although I will be doing more adventurous runs I will still spend a fair share of time on piste, especially with my kids who have grown to love skiing a lot.  Any thoughts?  It would be great if there are guys who are of similar build and have experience with these skis before...  Anyway, thanks in advance for your inputs.

 

Ken

post #2 of 10

Ken, there have been a lot of threads on the TST, if you search for them.  I am 5'10" and bought a pair of 183's.  Very fun in powder, but waaaaaay to short on hard/firmish snow.  Sold them and bought the 192's.  Even better in powder and now stable on firm snow. 

 

For me, the TST is a quiver ski that should only be brought out on soft days.  Maybe you start the day with up to a foot of fresh, but know it is going to get tracked out quickly, so you use the TST rather than your deep powder day skis.  That is the day to use the TST IMO.  It is snowing or just snowed, there is powder, but not enough for your big boards.  If I am thinking a piste day, it hasn't snowed for some time, the off piste is hard and really difficult and I am using a different ski than the TST for piste skiing, but that is me.

 

Don't get me wrong, it will work on groomed snow, but that isn't the skis strong point in my opinion.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

liv2 ski, in fact I have read almost all the TST related threads before I posted my question.  The problem is that I am significantly shorter and stockier than most of the other OP's, and so I wasn't able to make a conclusive decision, hence my inquiry.

 

I do agree with you that TST is only good on soft days.  In fact, for the past 5 or so trips to Niseko that I made, there was not a single day that I didn't see new snow, and that accounted for approximately a total sampling size of 30+ days.

 

Currently I am using a pair of Atomic Crimson and they are great for carving purposes.  I think what I am eventually going to do is I will rent a permanent locker and store either one of my skis there.  That way, even if our family does travel elsewhere, I will still get a pair to use.  I just think that not having something with a wider waist I would be missing out big time with the abundant powder that they get up there in Niseko.

post #4 of 10

Abundant Powder!!!!!  Based on that and you being relatively new to off piste/powder skiing (from your comments) you will not find an easier ski to ride than the TST.  Again I am about 179cm tall and could use the 183 in soft snow, but it was just to short feeling on hard pack, so I bought the 192. Your 165 cm tall, so the 174 is the size I would suggest for you.  If you had more experience off piste/in powder, than I would say to buy the 183 as on hard pack, the 183 has about 165cm making contact with the snow.  The ski has a bunch of tip rocker, that makes them float in soft snow very easily and turn on a dime.  Combined with your Atomics, I think that will be a fun 2 ski quiver.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks liv2 ski! Your analysis is absolutely in line with my thinking. However, there is a Blister review on the ladies' TST which suggested that because of the stiff tail the TST actually doesn't ski very short, but rather pretty much like a normal ski. And if this is true then I would find the 165cm length to be more appropriate. The tester is a 5'3" 120 lbs professional and she skis the VJJ at 175cm regularly but finds the 165cm TSTw a better fit for her than the 174cm TSTw. Thus my concerns...

I know I am 2" taller and 30 lbs heavier, but while she is at a much higher level I just wasn't sure if I should be a little more conservative and go with the 165cm instead. I think if I were going to buy the JJ instead of TST, then I wouldn't even have to start this post because all the sources I have read would point me to the 175cm length.

What you have written leads me to the understanding that I would need a longer ski for the hardback but for the powder/off piste a shorter length is enough. Sorry to repeat my question but if I regularly ski a 165cm Crimson and if I am not a very fast skier then would I be better off with 165cm?

Your analysis has been very thorough and I am 99% convinced that the 174cm would work for me. Even if I might find this length a little long at the beginning, I have no doubt in mind that after 1 or 2 seasons with more off piste skiing I would find the 174cm length to be perfect for me. But for now I just wanted to point out the arguments made by the review and see what you think?

As there is no way for me to test either one of these right now, I will have make my decision based on any information I can gather. So thanks again for your patience in bearing with me!

Ken
post #6 of 10

Ken, the review you read may not have been really clear and frankly, I doubt the tester had as much time on the TST as I do.  The TST skis normal length in powder, but very short on firm snow.  The TST does not have a rockered tail. Rather it is a flat tail with just a small flip at the end (which I prefer, as it is more solid/in control) than a ski with a rockered tail.  Because of the recommended mount point and the tip having a deep rocker pattern in it, the tail may look a bit long compared to other skis, but trust me, the tails on the TST are great.  Can't tell you how many times I landed goofy and the tail was nice and solid and saved me from getting all squirrley or I got in the back seat and the solid tail helped me pop forward again.  If you buy the shorter one you will be bummed out.  Just get the 174s and enjoy.  I just want to add, that like yourself, I am a bit heavier for my size.  When I first started skiing powder I was buying skis my height (179ish) and they sucked.  It wasn't until I went all in and purchased some 195 Praxis Powder Boards that I finally had that A-Haaaa moment in powder.  That is the great thing about the TST, you can buy them longer for powder performance, yet you will still be able to rock the groomers on them.  They are a really fun ski.


Edited by liv2 ski - 4/13/13 at 5:51pm
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much. Now I am 100% convinced to go with the 174cm length. Can't wait till the next season begins!
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksklo View Post

Thanks so much. Now I am 100% convinced to go with the 174cm length. Can't wait till the next season begins!


Me too Ken,  This season was a bit of a bust for me, but I spent a bunch of cash on new gear and I am praying next season is my best ever.  Enjoy your summer and I will be thinking about you next season when I am out on my TSTs.  I hope you have a great time in Japan on them.  I am so envious.  Definitely intend to ski there someday.

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksklo View Post

Thanks so much. Now I am 100% convinced to go with the 174cm length. Can't wait till the next season begins!

Good call. I'm a similar size (taller but lighter) and enjoy the 174. 165 definitely way too short. (I tried them.) Maineskiaddict had a pair for sale on here recently.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

I am already planning my skiing next season.  Since I live in HK, everywhere I go will have to be planned well ahead, especially to ski resorts that are popular in Japan which are full of Asians and Australians...

 

This week I already have to place my deposit for the apartment which we are renting for Christmas.  It it a lot more expensive for us to ski in Japan (actually only a 4 hours flight) than for us coming all the way over to Colorado, Utah or BC.  The snow conditions are guaranteed to be beautiful (even by Christmas time) but the mountains are not as big.  The only advantage is that there will be no jet lag and we don't have to fly 15+ hours each way, including transit etc.

 

Next February I am going on a business trip in Germany, during which time I am now planning to go to Courchevel France for a nice ski vacation.  Really can't wait to try out the TST!

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