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Armada JJ (185)

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Specs:
Me: 5'11" 195
My Skis:
1) Icelantic Shaman (173)
2) High Society FR (187)
3) Bro Softs (188)

The Ski: Aramda JJ 185's (126-136-115-133-121) <- yes, you read that right. 5 dimensions

The Location: Crested Butte

The Snow: 5 days total
  • 2 days "haven't seen snow in two weeks" hardpack
  • 1 day 4 inches
  • 1 day 9 inches high density
  • 1 day 14 inches medium/low density sitting on top of the high density
The Mount: Marker Dukes mounted boot center on the line

The Terrain:
Anything and everything. Teo, The North Face, glades, front side groomers, Headwall, Spellbound/Phoenix, bumps

My Take:
Okay, as you can see I don't have ski thinner than 99 under foot. And as you can also see, I have a fondness for independent, original skis. It is actually an addiction but hey, admitting it is the first step. This is my first rockered ski. I've spent some time on some Bents and Pontoons but they were borrowed and only skied a few runs each.

The acquisition of this ski proved difficult. You can find 175's anywhere but 185's were impossible. I started by calling every Armada dealer i could find in states where such a ski would be considered (unjustly it turns out) "freakish". Like West Virgina, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina. Thought I would be smart and find a pair that got shipped down there and was overlooked. No dice. Aside from some funny conversations that usually started out with, "what in tarnation would you want a ski shaped like that fer?". I finally started hitting some of the biggest outlets in the PNW and Rockies. Hit pay dirt with a call to Gorsuch in Vail. Last pair.

After four days of waiting they finally showed up. Slapped some Dukes on them and headed out. Probably the best way to sum it up is: if Ullr appears to me at this moment and tells me I have to pick one pair of skis to be attached to my feet for the rest of my life, I will pick the JJ wihtout ANY hesitation. They do everything and everything well. Groomers, hardpack, ice (ice??), powder oh my god sweet powder, trees. Turn on a dime, carve, float, smear, stomp landings. I was even hitting bumps yesterday. Not exactly Scratch Moguls but I certainly won't avoid bumps with these skis.

It's game over for me. Basically, eliminated the need for the Shamans (and oh Ullr how I love them shammies as anyone who has read my reviews on them knows) and the High Societies (loved them too). I am going down to two skis: Bros mounted with Fritchies for touring (can't beat that unless I went Dynafit for the binders) and the JJ's. I can't think of a time when I would pick the Shammies or the High Societies over the JJ. This isn't a a slam on those skis because they FKNA rock. I wouldn't think about getting any sort of low snow year carving ski because, the JJ lays a railroad track that rivals anything else i've been on including some carving skis i've demoed.

Thus, I put to you the universal truths:

1. This year, if you find a pair of 185 JJ's - buy them! Even if you don't ski them sell them to someone who will. They deserved to be skied. You see a pair of 185's in a shop, throw out a PSA.

2. The 5 dimensions of the JJ is the way of the future. It works and works well.

3. Ski one. If you can't ski a JJ ski a rockered ski. Someone said it on this forum that they won't buy a resort ski that isn't rockered. I wouldn't either now.

It is with bittersweet emotions that I reach my final conclusion - i'm pretty much done with looking at any other ski for resort or slackcountry skiing. I'm a two ski guy now. Saying goodbye to my High Societies and Shammies is going to be really hard. I'm going to find them a nice home or two.

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 21
Wow, lucky find. Good chances that was the last pair in NA.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Que View Post
Specs:
Me: 5'11" 195
My Skis:
1) Icelantic Shaman (173)
2) High Society FR (187)
3) Bro Softs (188)

The Ski: Aramda JJ 185's (126-136-115-133-121) <- yes, you read that right. 5 dimensions

The Location: Crested Butte

The Snow: 5 days total
  • 2 days "haven't seen snow in two weeks" hardpack
  • 1 day 4 inches
  • 1 day 9 inches high density
  • 1 day 14 inches medium/low density sitting on top of the high density
The Mount: Marker Dukes mounted boot center on the line

The Terrain:
Anything and everything. Teo, The North Face, glades, front side groomers, Headwall, Spellbound/Phoenix, bumps

My Take:
Okay, as you can see I don't have ski thinner than 99 under foot. And as you can also see, I have a fondness for independent, original skis. It is actually an addiction but hey, admitting it is the first step. This is my first rockered ski. I've spent some time on some Bents and Pontoons but they were borrowed and only skied a few runs each.

The acquisition of this ski proved difficult. You can find 175's anywhere but 185's were impossible. I started by calling every Armada dealer i could find in states where such a ski would be considered (unjustly it turns out) "freakish". Like West Virgina, Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina. Thought I would be smart and find a pair that got shipped down there and was overlooked. No dice. Aside from some funny conversations that usually started out with, "what in tarnation would you want a ski shaped like that fer?". I finally started hitting some of the biggest outlets in the PNW and Rockies. Hit pay dirt with a call to Gorsuch in Vail. Last pair.

After four days of waiting they finally showed up. Slapped some Dukes on them and headed out. Probably the best way to sum it up is: if Ullr appears to me at this moment and tells me I have to pick one pair of skis to be attached to my feet for the rest of my life, I will pick the JJ wihtout ANY hesitation. They do everything and everything well. Groomers, hardpack, ice (ice??), powder oh my god sweet powder, trees. Turn on a dime, carve, float, smear, stomp landings. I was even hitting bumps yesterday. Not exactly Scratch Moguls but I certainly won't avoid bumps with these skis.

It's game over for me. Basically, eliminated the need for the Shamans (and oh Ullr how I love them shammies as anyone who has read my reviews on them knows) and the High Societies (loved them too). I am going down to two skis: Bros mounted with Fritchies for touring (can't beat that unless I went Dynafit for the binders) and the JJ's. I can't think of a time when I would pick the Shammies or the High Societies over the JJ. This isn't a a slam on those skis because they FKNA rock. I wouldn't think about getting any sort of low snow year carving ski because, the JJ lays a railroad track that rivals anything else i've been on including some carving skis i've demoed.

Thus, I put to you the universal truths:

1. This year, if you find a pair of 185 JJ's - buy them! Even if you don't ski them sell them to someone who will. They deserved to be skied. You see a pair of 185's in a shop, throw out a PSA.

2. The 5 dimensions of the JJ is the way of the future. It works and works well.

3. Ski one. If you can't ski a JJ ski a rockered ski. Someone said it on this forum that they won't buy a resort ski that isn't rockered. I wouldn't either now.

It is with bittersweet emotions that I reach my final conclusion - i'm pretty much done with looking at any other ski for resort or slackcountry skiing. I'm a two ski guy now. Saying goodbye to my High Societies and Shammies is going to be really hard. I'm going to find them a nice home or two.
Great review! Hmm, makes me wonder if my "gotama's are good enough" convictions are right on.
post #4 of 21
very cool, you are correct about the 185, not anywhere. I tried to demo at J-hole and ended up with Obseth's,,, not impressed. Anyway, I can get a killer deal on the 175's but they seem too short.
post #5 of 21
Que,

VERY interesting review and I have the JJ's on my demo short list. My ONLY issue with your great review is that if there really has been no snow in awhile..I can't believe you'd want to pound hard-core bumps on these things. I do believe they are as good on soft groomers and can rail them. Wouldn't it make sense to have these, your Bros and one narrowish pair (90ish waist) to take the load off your knees when the snow is hard? Just my 2 cents. That said, I absolutely want to get on a pair...they have received such good reviews that I would almost feel comfortable buying them sight unseen. I bought a pair of Praxis RX that are unreal in Powder (similar waist dims to JJs) but are a little sketchier on hardpack. I am very curious to see what the difference might be.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Finn - Ya, well, I would demo the 175 and unless you are just in love with it I would wait for the 185. Due to the rocker they ski really short to begin with. If you can get a 185 (and keep looking - just call every dealer on the armada.com site) buy it sight unseen. Slap some decent bindings on it and even if you hate the ski you can probably turn around, sell it and get 100% of your investment back. If you wanted to you could probably get much more.

Locknload - Well, you found my one "out" on my ski buying moratorium.... a bump specific ski. I don't spend all day in the bumps like I used to but that would be the one thing I might be tempted to add. I dunno - I'd need to strap a pair on for a day or two to decide if they really were that important to me. As for just plain old hard snow days that doesn't bother me. These things really carve, are pretty forgiving on the knees and the crew here in CB does a nice job making sure the snow is just hard, not bulletproof. If I lived somewhere else that suffered from ice I would probably rethink things. Plus, I would probably be tempted to just go tour on those days as the avy danger would be nice and low. That or head to the park and make an idiot of myself. As for your comment on buying them sight unseen - see above. At the bare minimum you could recoup 100% of your investment. I'm eager to hear your take on them and how they stack up to the RX's. I think the 5 dimensions... as corny as it sounds... really makes a difference.
post #7 of 21
I hear ya, Que. It definitely does depend on how one spends their time went riding fresh POW--we all want to do that as much as we can . Like you, I don't have to ski much ice anymore since I only ski in UT but I still like to work on my zipperlining if I'm not doing some slackcountry missions. I even ski some bumps on my Gots but for anything really tight or carved out..its just too much ski to do it easily.

Definitely agree though...that you have pretty much all you need with the Bro and these. The main difference between the JJs and the Praxis is the multiple dimensions you speak of and that really has me curious...it sounds as if you're a true believer. The Praxis are unreal in POW and will lay trenches on soft groomers...but as they snow gets harder you do have to really be on top of the ski to make it carve. I also agree with you about supporting smaller companies that are really trying to be innovative. Not to mention, they run 30-50% less at full retail--which is also compelling.

The other skis in this "class" of ski (I use that term loosely based on dimensions and intended use) on my list are the Katanas, EHP pros, Lhasa Pow....have not gotten on any of the other 3 to offer a comparison...have you? (or anyone on the board for that matter).

May definitely grab a pair of these...I heard next year they'll make a 195...have you heard that?
post #8 of 21
Thanks for the review Que!

I too have switched to rockered this year and won't be looking back. It is great to not have to lean back in the powder and if you get a model with slight camber underfoot, get enough performance on the hardpack to carve.

How is the flex on the JJ's?
post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadpat View Post

How is the flex on the JJ's?
That's a really good question. About 50%-60% of the ski.... the part that has a slight camber and is in the middle underfoot is incredibly stiff. Like plank like stiff. That, with the slight camber and side cut in that area of the ski is what gives it the carving ability and at least to my CB standards - great ice grip. The rockered parts of the ski (front and back) are soft/flexible.

Basically, you can think of it this way
Tip - a little past 2nd Dimension: Soft
little past 2nd Dimension - little before 4th Dimension: Very Stiff
little before 4th Dimension - Tail: Soft

Bizarre I know... But it seems to work like a charm.
post #10 of 21
very interesting, how about torsionally?
post #11 of 21
Yeah but I bet they suck on an icey SL race course!!


Seriously, after skiing Praxis Powders this year I'm thinking of picking up either the JJ's or a pair of Praxis Protests and ditching all my other skis. Bad thin is, both the JJ's and the Protests are pretty much unavailable right now.

Que - you're just slightly taller/heavier than me - are you happy with the length or do you wish they were longer?
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jer View Post
Yeah but I bet they suck on an icey SL race course!!


Seriously, after skiing Praxis Powders this year I'm thinking of picking up either the JJ's or a pair of Praxis Protests and ditching all my other skis. Bad thin is, both the JJ's and the Protests are pretty much unavailable right now.

Que - you're just slightly taller/heavier than me - are you happy with the length or do you wish they were longer?
Heh! I hear ya.

I am happy with the 185 length. Most of my skis are in the upper 180's with the exception of the Shamans. Because of the rocker I would have to say the JJ skis shorter and feel closer to my Shamans (173). To me, I love glades and tight chutes so that is a good thing. I haven't had trouble at high speeds through chopped up powder nor any flotation issues. I really haven't found their speed limit yet. If they had a 195 I still would probably opt for the 185 due to the terrain that I like to ski.

As for the great ski divestiture - found a good home for the High Societies and my wife wants the Shamans. <--- Getting your wife addicted to powder skiing is the gift that keeps on giving.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
very interesting, how about torsionally?


 

Que- bump on this

post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
very interesting, how about torsionally?


 

Que- bump on this

post #15 of 21

Not quite the same ski, but my Maven has a very similar shape (hybrid sidecut and rocker) and it too has replaced all soft snow skis. I'm down to a 2-ski quiver. Soft snow and Hard snow. My gotama is collecting dust. 

 

I agree that this is the 'general' shape of pretty much all resort skis in the future... although I still want a second pair of race skis for my groomer-zoomer nights under the floodlights. The 2-ski Quiver is finally adequate. 

post #16 of 21

Has anyone skied these in the 178cm size??  I see backcountry still has them in this length at a good price..I'm 170, strong but not a 'ripping' skier, just wondering if they'd fit the bill (also looking at the Rossi S6 Koopman and a Stockli Stormrider TT).

 

 


Edited by Liam - Thu, 05 Feb 09 03:23:18 GMT


Edited by Liam - Thu, 05 Feb 09 03:26:49 GMT
post #17 of 21

Hi Que,

 

The JJ's sound pretty awesome. I'm intrigued. Do you know what their performance is like in crud? I'm from Aus and would want such a ski to power through crud, slush and heavy pow, as well as float in the fresh and carve on the groomers..

 

How would they compare to something like a Huge Trouble or Katana with respect to this?

I'm thinking they might do ok with the stiffness underfoot, but maybe not quite as authoritative given tip and tail rocker and softer flex here too?!...

 

What do you think?

 

Cheers,

Vinski

post #18 of 21

I really want to try a pair of these. I road the rossi S7's for a few days last season and was mighitly impressed.  These a alot of squawk about the jjs so im itching to try them.  Unfortunatley, they appear to be impossilbe to demo as they sold out last year all over.

post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 

Guys,

 

Sorry have been away from the board for quite some time.

 

Vin - You got it, in the soft crud they're fine. Power through about anything. In the frozen crud they aren't that much fun. Just too flexible up front for the surface area. I switch to a set of 188 Bro Stiffs or High Society FR's for those condition. Then again, skiing that stuff isn't much fun on any ski. Frozen hardpack is fine with them and actually quite fun.

 

Kbuzz - I haven't tried the S7's. I hear they are a fantastic ski though.

 

 

post #20 of 21
will be intersting to try...
Edited by HaveSkisWillClimb - 8/28/09 at 10:04pm
post #21 of 21
I got a hold of a pair of 185's last year and have them mounted with Marker Dukes. These skis are pretty much amazing. I was in the backcountry on a waist deep day, dropped off a small rock - maybe 10 feet at most - and went completely under the snow on my landing. I Felt the skis flex, and I came right back up and out of the snow and skied away ... pretty much about the most amazing feeling in the world :) I highly recommend them to anyone, the float is killer and at 115 traditional camber underfoot, they'll still hold an edge well and I had no problems with them in the Mary Jane bumps.
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