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Armada Ant Review

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Lately, the big-surf type skis that have become popular here in the Tahoe, have begun to intrigue me. I’ve had various powder skis in my quiver: Atomic Powder Pluses and Powder 8’s, 185 Volant V2 Chubs, and even a pair of the original Atomic Big Daddies, but these new generation, big mountain skis like the PM Gear Bro’s, Moments, Ants, and others, represent an evolution beyond the old style “fat boys”.

Skier type:
Able to ski without adult supervision. Can get on and off most lifts unassisted. Level? If Vonn, Liggety, and Raich are 9’s, and a never-ever is a 1, I guess I’m somewhere in between.
Male, 6’ 190 lbs.
Manufacturer: Armada, this model is manufactured in Austria by Atomic. Laminate construction.
Model: Ant
Length: 191
Category & Dimensions: Big Mountain 133/106/123 - R 27.3m

Bindings: Atomic 10.18 mounted –9 cm from chord center.
If mid-fats are like SUVs, these are Off-road Racing Trucks. The Ants are made with heavy-duty bases and 2.5mm oversize edges. These tools are made to be ridden over and through most anything.

Powder and Crud
This is a ski that thrives in a 3-D environment. It is an incredible piece of gear in Tahoe crud and powder. To really surf these skis I’ve found that I’ve begun riding through the snow like a snowboarder or a surfer. Big turns with minimal energy expenditure. Lots of fun. I can still powder-8 them through the trees when needed, but it is easier to plan ahead and make longer surfy turns. They actually feel lively and smooth at the same time.

Hardpack In the 2-D world of the hard pack, well they ski like fat SG skis. They will carve nicely, at about 40+ mph. With a turn radius of 27.3m this no surprise. I can crank out short and medium turns by scarving or stivoting them around. They are very damp and soak up an amazing amount of bumps, bangs, and potential chatter.
On these planks? Soft after storms bumps are no problems but I would definitely avoid any real mogul runs. That’s when my PE’s and Dynastar Assaults come out of the closet.
I left my bandana at home so I didn’t venture into the park, dress codes you know.
Overall Impression
I really, really enjoy these skis. I can’t wait to take them into Chutes at Mt. Rose when they (hopefully) open for the first time this season, tomorrow. Would I use them as an everyday ski? Definitely not. I will however, ski them as long a conditions allow. I don’t want to get into an argument, but for me these skis will never replace my slalom and GS skis. The Ants are however, really, really fun to just drive through most anything.

The conditions I skied:
Day 1: Hard packed groomers at Northstar before the “Monster Storm”. There were no off trail opportunities, just rocks, stumps, and dirt.

Day 2: Very wet and heavy snow. First day of the monster storm.
Day 3: Monday after the monster storm. Soft groomers. Soft groomers with 2-3” of cream cheese of top. Ankle to thigh deep crud of various densities. Untracked powder ankle to knee deep. Later on in the day some soft bumps and chopped up clumps of snow.

post #2 of 5
nice review most on this site would be scared off by the 191cm size9they shouldnt be) but these ski are pretty easy to ski and love to go fast.
post #3 of 5
I would like to hear how you feel about them with the conditions we had @ Mt. Rose Saturday and sunday.

That was allot of thick snow
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, I had to work Saturday and Sunday so I missed out on all the excitement at Rose last weekend.

I went to Northstar again today as NW and Zepher at Rose were on wind hold at 0700. It was windy and snowing all day. The snow was somewhat wet and heavy. As an experiment I skied a pair of 182 Foils for the first 1 1/2 hours. After the Ants yesterday, they just weren't much fun. I strapped on the Ants and skied them until the lifts closed. Much better.

I like my Ants so much that I just bought a new pair of Volkl Sanouks. The power of the darkside is now very strong!:
post #5 of 5
Nice review

Originally Posted by Snow7 View Post

I left my bandana at home so I didn’t venture into the park, dress codes you know.
Just for curiosity: The "nameholder" (Anthony Boronovski) of the skis can spin all direction (normal, "unnatural", switch, switch "unnatural") 900s on these planks. I'd say that's IMPRESSIVE!
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