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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    837

    09 Armada JJ Review

    Length: 185 (Measures 183)
    Dimensions: 126-136-115-133-121
    Weight in this length: Pretty fkn light all things considered
    Boots used: Agent 110
    Bindings used: Atomic FFG14 (914)
    How many days on the skis: 1
    Resort or backcountry: Resort
    Geographical region: New England
    Skier: 5'10 175lbs Aggressive
    How long have you been skiing: 20+
    How many days a year: ~30+
    Other skis: 183 Bro

    As promised (threatened), I took these out on early season man made hardpack. It snowed about a foot over the course of this week, but it was punctuated but some warm rain that froze up everything into a nice edgeable crust. It snowed another 2-4" on top of that last night. This is obviously not the conditions these boards were made for, but I wanted to see if the hype was true and that this ski was really as good on the hard pack as marketing would have you believe.

    The short answer is yes, they are that good.

    These skis are so fun, they slash quick turns with ease, carve up the hard pack and are surprisingly quick edge to edge. I even had an encounter with some ice and they far exceeded my expectations for edge grip (as in, I expected none, and got some). They are stiff throughout the cambered/trad. side cut running length, and softer through the rockered tips and tails. This translated to a ski that could run over everything in its path and remain stable doing so. I was on some pretty mellow terrain but I was unable to find any sort of speed limit, and one thing that really stood out was the overall lack of any noticeable tip-flap while letting them run. This is something I was expecting given other rocker reviews out there.

    I started the morning out on some mantras and we ventured into the fresh snow/rain crust ungroomed terrain and it was a very normal crust experience. Attention must be paid as not to catch an edge and I couldnt comfortably rail turns without feeling that hooky feeling. Taking the same run later on the JJ's I no longer had to even think about the crust, I could just point them and ski the run like it was corduroy. I sought out every bump, chunk of frozen snow and waterbar and the JJ smoothed it all out. Im really going to enjoy skiing these in variable conditions that normally are a pain in the ass.

    I didnt get a chance to take them into any bumps to see how theyd do, but aside from the obvious width disadvantage I think they would be fine.

    So in summary the JJ could definitely be your only ski if you call the cottonwoods home. On the EC I still like my bros for they day to day, but I would not hesitate to take out the JJ's for even 4", they are just that much fun. Im really glad that Im going to get more days out of this ski than I originally thought given its versatility, and it will be the only ski I pack for my SLC trips.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    367
    Nice Review! Just what the doctor ordered.

    What resort did you break 'em in on?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    837
    None other than Bretton bump.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    ice coast
    Posts
    139
    sweet they work on the east coast

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    102
    Stoked to hear your review. I have been thinking about trying to track down a pair and actually putting a dynafit on them for touring. I tour a lot on lotus 138's and wanted something smaller and more versatile with the fun factor of a rocker. I'm glad to hear they feel light given their size and that they are as versatile as advertised.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    837
    Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
    Stoked to hear your review. I have been thinking about trying to track down a pair and actually putting a dynafit on them for touring. I tour a lot on lotus 138's and wanted something smaller and more versatile with the fun factor of a rocker. I'm glad to hear they feel light given their size and that they are as versatile as advertised.
    Try and track down the weight of them, I forgot to weigh them before I mounted them. I think for the amount of ski, they are pretty light, Im guessing somewhere in the ballpark of 8.5 lbs per pair unmounted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Chucktown
    Posts
    84
    Thanks for the review, glad to hear the JJ's are versatile. I picked up a pair after watching a video of the Armada guys shredding pow on them. The way they turned and slashed looked like the most fun skis ever. I can't wait to ride them. From what I saw it looks like these will be more fun and playful than some of the other offerings this season.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ogden
    Posts
    512
    4.3 kilos for the 185

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    837
    Quote Originally Posted by westoxified View Post
    4.3 kilos for the 185
    Thanks, looks like I was off by a pound overall. You really don't notice it because most of the material is concentrated under foot, so the effective swing weight feels like that of a much lighter ski.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    The base of the wasatch
    Posts
    61
    Swwweeeeeeeettt! I've been waiting for a review on these from someone lucky enough to get a pair.
    NOTICE- Our public bar is presently not open right now because it is closed. Manager

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Nice review.
    "Have you ever seen a monk get wildly fucked by a bunch of teenage girls?" "No" "Then forget the monastery."


    "You ever hear of a little show called branded? Arthur Digby Sellers wrote 156 episodes. Not exactly a lightweight." Walter Sobcheck.

    "I didn't have a grandfather on the board of some fancy college. Key word being was. Did he touch the Filipino exchange student? Did he not touch the Filipino exchange student? I don't know Brooke, I wasn't there."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    24
    Length: 185
    Dimensions: 126-136-115-133-121
    Weight in this length: just over 9 lbs
    Boots used: Scarpa TX Pro
    Bindings used: Rottefella NTN
    How many days on the skis: 6
    Resort or backcountry: 50/50
    Geographical region: Montuckey
    Skier: 5'10 150lbs
    How long have you been skiing: 20+ (10 tele)
    How many days a year: 70+
    Other skis: 181 Solly Thrusters, 2 year old JpvJ 188, 179 Team 100

    Couple of resort days on settled pow, soft small bumps, manmade. BC days on varied conditions from 8" nice pow to upside down snow (10" medium soft wind slab on low density) to windscoured gnar.

    Best ski I've ever been on.

    Obviously pretty darn fun in soft. I haven't been in super deep yet, but on regular ol' run of the mill pow/fresh, they let you ski completely upright, no need to lean back to keep tips up. No thought of tip dive, even on back ski when dropping tele turns, even on upside down snow that was grabbing my buddy's Verdicts.

    Hard stuff (by Rockies standards) is better than my Team 100s, (that may be related to fresh edges on JJs, but I think it feels like you can really sink the short running edge in -- your weight is distributed over a smaller edge distance, so it feels like you get more pressure on your edge). For a ski this size, they are quick to turn and easy to throw around. It feels like most of the ski's mass is close to underfoot since the shovel/wide part of the tail are moved closer to the boot, so swing weight is nice.

    Letting them run over bumpy chop runouts is pleasant. When I would look down to check tip flap, it wasn't noticable. They do move around a little bit under you when letting them go, but there is no hook with these pups, so I never felt uncomfortable with letting them haul over this type of snow.

    Medium soft wind slab on top of hollowness was the only condition so far that these did not blow me away. I'm not saying that I was disappointed by any means,as they are a huge step up from any traditional shape that I've been on, but I can see where this type of snow could be slayed best on a full R/R. This snow did still require some user input. I got pretty much no tip dive, but when edging/turning hard, I could still break through the windslab and have to deal with that hollow layer to firm layer transition. When skiing this snow with any speed and keeping it fall line, these skis were money. I know this sounds somewhat mixed for these conditions, but it's just that with these skis in any other snow condition you can turn when and however you want, and I felt slightly less freedom to do that in the slab.

    Touring on these so far has been no different from any other ski of this size. No traction or edging issues any different from my Team 100s.

    These are definately my daily drivers. Sold my Teams, which I love, but the JJs have them beat in soft snow and don't really give up any hard snow performance.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    837
    Day 2:

    Location: Cannon, NH
    Conditions: Anywhere 6" on top of groomed to 18" of blower on rocks and grass.

    Finally got this ski out into conditions its best suited for and here are a few additional observations.

    There is a lot of tail on this ski, and it makes its presence known to you. Its almost impossible to fall into the back seat because there is so much ski there to throw you back over the tips. The sensation isn't like when you get tossed on some boards with really stiff tails, in which case you generally lose control, but its more like a corrective forgiveness. Any time I got tossed for any reason, as soon as I got on the tails, they launched me back into the right place. The oft described hellbent-style tail wheelies seem out of the question on this ski.

    This is not a bump ski. I found myself bumping a few quick turns, and then resorting to the natural desire of the ski which was to haul ass and mach gs turns over everything in my path.

    In the deeper pow I could not hang this thing up at all. I drove the tips like I was on a groomer and never once went OTB. If you wanted to take a more traditional approach to milk some short turns, you could do that too with ease, but I felt the ski was truly at home hauling ass at all times. I went faster in pow on these things than I ever had before, it really was a religious experience. Unfortunately it made a place like cannon seem a lot smaller. Top to bottom runs could be had in fewer turns than you can count on 2 hands. With that in mind I still have yet to find a speed limit for the JJ. I felt totally comfortable going as fast as I could in a variety of conditions on Saturday.

    I threw myself off any drops I could find in 4-8 ft range and the landings were very quiet in every scenario. Landed really far forward in the fresh in one case, and did not eat shit, which was a pleasant surprise. Popping off of crud, bumps, water bars and anything with the slightest amount of incline was insanely fun. The JJ is so playful, yet so stable at the same time. The more I ski them the more I realize how stiff that cambered length really is.

    Here is a quick clip of myself skiing the JJ's a little more traditionally as to get maximum milkage of the low angle turns. I hit a little water bar towards the end and you can get an idea of how much pop and energy this ski has when you ask for it.



    The tele 360 to lift pole at the end was a friend of mine, I was certain I was going to have some faces of death footage...
    Last edited by skibumnh; 12-22-2008 at 11:18 AM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4
    Nice review. Where did you mount yours ? Have you skied the K2 Obsethed ? Do they compare at all ? Any thoughts appreciated....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    837
    I mounted mine on the line. I have been skiing them this week in the ice/cust that is the current Utah conditions and not once have I felt out of place. Just further reinforces my belief that this can be your quiver of one. I have skied a 179 Obsethed and the 185 JJ is stiffer and more stable at speed overall, with no sacrifice in maneuverability.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1

    hey

    how do they compare to the k2 hellbent? I'm having a little trouble deciding which one to buy. Been thinking about the czar as well....any suggestions?

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