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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    121

    175 Armada JJ Review

    Stats: 5'2" and 125 pounds on a good day.

    Skis I have skied and liked: 159 K2 PE(a little short) and 158 Legend 8800 (only in powder on a snowcat trip). Before that doesn't count because I was smaller and less aggressive.

    Bindings: Marker Griffons

    So this year I bought my Armada JJ's hoping they would bring versatility with their rockered design. After skiing them at A-basin monday and Breckenridge Tuesday and Wednesday I think they rock. With their wide waist(115) they took a few hours of getting used to, but now I beleive they hold an even better edge than the PE's. Here's a breakdown of the different conditions I encountered.

    Groomers: Likes larger turns...but holds an edge extremely well. Is actually very stable at speed. To put into perspective, I straightlined Spruce (a steepish groomer) early in the morning Wednesday and felt comortable doing so.

    Hardpack: Didn't ski true ice, but hardpack was handled surprisingly well with these skis, especially at speed.

    Moguls: There were some mini-moguls skiers right of Duke's, but they weren't of the zipperline...close together sort. Because of the rocker, it was easy to turn the skis on a dime so they did well. Don't know about tight moguls, probably would have a tough time fitting in them.

    Powder/Crust: Skier's right of Northstar was some crusty powder with pockets of non-crusty powder. As expected, these skis rocked in these conditions. Although I couldn't really open it up because of rocks, these skis cut through the crust and did any turn shape with ease.

    Park: Didn't try any rails, but the ski spins like a top. 180's were completely effortless.

    Durability: I hit plenty of rocks, but no real damage. That may have something to do with a 125 pound person on skis with a waist of 115.

    Overall Conclusion: This may become my daily driver. They rock.

    Disclaimer: You will get dumb questions and comments. Examples include:"Don't you need powder for those?",and ,"Are those water skis?"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The Other Side
    Posts
    715
    Nice... I will be riding mine for the first time at Jay this weekend this has got me super stoked!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Out There
    Posts
    1,750
    I just got the same skis, W/ Barons, same length. Me: 5' 10", 195. Thought they would be good for no new days, slackcountry. Also thought about 185's was concerned re: weight. Skis+bindings+skins=16#, ouch. Slackcountry? My others are pontoons. Should be interesting. Got our first dusting in town today. Give thanks.
    "We need sometimes to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what. -George Santayana, The Philosophy of Travel

    ...it would probably bother me more if I wasn't quite so heavily sedated. -David St. Hubbins, This Is Spinal Tap

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    121
    Update:

    I have had several more days on these in a variety of natural snow conditions. They fucking rule! I don't even notice the wideness anymore.

    Powder: I skied these in ~2 feet of heavy pow with a very slight crust and a day with a foot of light fresh. These skis, as expected, kick ass. They are so lively and kind of slingshot you out of one turn into the next. It's hard to describe but it's so easy to find a rythm and bounce in and out of the snow. Additionally, slarving is a new concept to me, but it is so easy/fun on the JJs.

    Variable: I had one day on these at Loveland of 4 inches of VERY windblown fresh. I was a little scared riding up the lift and seeing how many people were faceplanting. But no fear, these skis destroyed the variable snow and cut through it like butter. Didn't even lose balance when one ski went in the deep and the other was still on hardpack.

    Bumps: On Cats at Loveland, which admittedly don't have super deep/troughy bumps, these skis were surprisingly quick. Sometimes when the bumps got tight it was difficult but all things considered not too bad. Obviously not a dedicated bump ski.

    Trees: O MY FUCKING GOD. I'm still having orgasms. In tight trees these things slither through the tightest spaces and shut down instantly. So effortless...I suspect that I'm going to ski really tight trees A LOT more this season because of these skis.

    One more note...t's easy to ski these foreward in deep snow. Which is a new feeling for me.

    Overall...SUPER STOKED

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Alta
    Posts
    110
    Nice review man, I just bought my brother a pair of these. He loves skiing trees and it seems like these kill it in the trees from everything I have read.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    121
    Update on durablity.After 7 days on the JJ's I have many superficial scratches, 1 core shot, 1 somewhat imploded edge/delam on the tip. And I'm only 125 pounds, although I did hit a few rocks at a high rate of speed. While I'm still super-duper stoked on the way these things ski, I think K2s/Head's are much more durable and I'm not super stoked on the durability of the JJ's...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The Other Side
    Posts
    715
    Quote Originally Posted by skierbiker View Post
    Update on durablity.After 7 days on the JJ's I have many superficial scratches, 1 core shot, 1 somewhat imploded edge/delam on the tip. And I'm only 125 pounds, although I did hit a few rocks at a high rate of speed. While I'm still super-duper stoked on the way these things ski, I think K2s/Head's are much more durable and I'm not super stoked on the durability of the JJ's...
    Yeah Skierbiker, I hear you. I also have seven days, on my JJs, with a couple of coreshots, and I am confused.

    The first one would have really fucked any ski as it was a full out mach 10 gs turn over a slightly buried rock. I was actually surprised there was any base left at all

    Second was probably from some tree branches/roots not sure, did'nt feel like I hit anything that would warrant a core shot.

    Right now I can't decide whether its the base durability or all of the ridiculous shit I have pulled on these skis so far this year. I literally drove the tip into the side of an uncovered stream bank that I was trying to hop over coming back from a bushwhacking expedition.

    Like you it hasn't reduced my stoke for these skis in the slightest, and I will probably buy a pair of the 09s when they come out and save them for midwinter deep days only, and use these as my daily drivers.

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