Right, ARV's- I bought these a few months ago to take to japan primarily for an all round powder / park / piste ski. My other skis are the Fischer RC4 sc pros 08/09 so wanted something totally different. Living in Australia I didnt get a chance to demo the Armadas (as i did the fischers in Sept) as its like 40 degrees here at the moment!!! But off I went to Hakuba for 9 days of Japanese alps action...
Anyhow. I am an ex racer - can fly on the groomers but a bit new to the world of the fat skis so was eager to see how the ARV's performed. First day it was icy hard pack, no snow over the previous days gave little other option so I railed the RC4's and wasnt let down they fly on the piste in the 170 - almost GS like but still a detuned FIS ski, but an absolute winner in the 170cm length.
There really isnt much this ski cant do on the piste, but boy can they wear you out after a day of fast short turns / jumps etc. The edges I sharpened up something chronic and they eat into the ice. Solid at speed and an awesome groomer ski..... If anything if I had a negative they are very heavy to carry or transport! But maybe thats down to the railflex binding system not sure. All in all strongly recommended if you want a piste basher!!
Onto the ARV - I had heard good and bad things about this ski, that it was a noodle etc.. I must say it is a bit of a noodle, chattery at very high speeds but you need to be shifting it before it starts chattering. I was flying on hardpack with them, able to do short turns shorter than i imagined a 95mm waist ski could do. In fact they were really good at doing short turns on groomers!! amazing really but like i said when you get upto 40 mph they start to chatter but thats to be expected with a ski this flexy and this isnt really their purpose.
The second day it dumped about 50cm of powder over night (nice!!!!) and carried on snowing the next day - we were up at 6am to feast on natures gift although the visibility wasnt great! We were in Powder upto our knees and more, the ARV's were surprisingly effective but YOU DO HAVE TO LEAN BACK!!!! In the 30cm or so of powder they were just great and were smooth and performed really well. They land really well off jumps and drops etc too the flex allows you to do back seat landings and get away with it and I was by far out performing my mate on his snow board (loser)!!!!
Went into the park did a few rails and a few jumps off the kickers and they were great there too although this is the limit of my park skills!
The ARV in all a really fun ski that you can take anywhere really - You could easily use it as a one quiver ski - It doesnt love ice or 40mph plus down hill action but all in all great fun and recommended. I would like to know if another twin has the same abilities but a bit less chattery though?? As I would buy that in an istant!