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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    --> coast
    Posts
    1,991

    09 Armada JJ Review

    I finally got to ride these in enough conditions to write a review about them, I know I'm way behind the curve on this, there are already many JJ reviews, but i thought I'd put in my $0.02 on these boards. I purchased these skis in December, yes, odd and terrible time to buy skis, but I don't regret it, so just now am I able to dissect their performance in lots of different conditions

    Stats
    5'11
    175
    Been skiing my whole life minus 2 years of infancy, racer, I like to ski fast, etc.
    Located in southern VT, ski was ridden at mt snow, stratton, and haystack

    185 JJ's
    mounted with Dukes at recommended
    I rode these skis wearing Tecnica Race 110's but will soon adjust them to my Radiums

    Groomers
    These feel like big goofy slalom skis on groomers. They hold an edge fine on icy east coast groomers. They feel very short for obvious reasons, and with a 14.3 radius they turn very sharp, so if you've ever skied slalom skis before, these feel like those just very slow edge to edge. I took these out for a day at Mt. Snow just to get a feel for them and I was carving on icy groomers the whole day and these totally satisfied me. Only gripe is that when you really dig your edge in the skis sometimes like to go 2 different directions but that's only when you do hard SL turns on them

    Moguls
    Rarely have I found a fat ski with soft tips and tails that is good in bumps. My search continues...these aren't great in moguls. I don't really ski bumps that much and if I were to go ski groomers and bumps for a whole day I'd take out my Tahoes. These just get bounced a little and because they're fat they don't go in the trenches too well

    Crud
    Wow.
    The other skis I'd ridden in crud this year were Hellbents (don't use them in crud) and Bacons. The bents naturally got destroyed in crud and the Bacons were fine but they were missing something and I couldn't really figure out what it was. The JJ's fill all those holes. Despite the soft tips and tails these are sick in crud. The rockered and reverse camber tips make it so you don't hook through soft patches and so you get up out of the trenches. Then the stiffness underfoot carries you from soft patch to soft patch and doesn't bounce you in and out of the ruts like Hellbents do. In light crud the JJ's feel like you're on a groomer, in heavier harder crud they feel like you're on a bouncy groomer, I was very impressed and surprised. These are no Garbones but they do damn well in the chop

    Pow
    Well this is pretty obvious, this ski contains everything you would want for pow. It doesn't hook at all and because of how turny it is it can handle GS turns or nice little short turns. It doesn't charge that hard, but I find I'm able to charge harder on these than on my Bacons, they just feel more stable in pow and crud. They also do well in crusty windblown shit. There was some of that at the bottom of Haystack when I skinned it and they float fine in it and don't hook at all. These are also fun switch in pow

    Trees
    I took these in the Trials at Mt. Snow on Sat. and I was impressed. If you take an opposite mindset of the gapers and ski in a different direction, there're plenty of pow stashes so I got to test these in pow in trees. They turn fast naturally, for trees it's always fun to have a super soft ski so these don't really come through on that but nonetheless they're very fun. Only problem is that when skiing them they feel like they're about 155 cm's so you look down and see that the tip is about to hook a tree, that just takes 5 min of getting used to

    Sweet Jumps
    I did a lap through the park, no rails but hit a few jumps, when you land on hardpack on these they slap down really hard, I tried changing my weight and way I landed but they seem to hit the landing hard for some reason. So then you get a loud noise but it's not really a big deal. They feel a little big in the air but because recommended is only -5 they spin fine, I didn't do anything more than a 3 on these but they do fine. As for jumps in the pow or trees these things are dope

    Hope that was helpful to some people on the fence about these, if you're deciding between JJ's or something else, I'd recommend JJ's. Also unless you're a midget, get the 185's, these things ski really short
    Quote Originally Posted by other grskier View Post
    well, in the three years i've been skiing i bet i can ski most anything those 'pro's' i listed can, probably

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    On the Prairie
    Posts
    263

    How much does size REALLY matter?

    Outstanding review -- thanks. I've now read all the JJ reviews here and elsewhere that decent search efforts can provide. Universal that "these ski short!" But most every reviewer skied them in a 185 and most every reviewer LOVED them in that length while lamenting the lack of a 195 --- so I'm at a loss as to why the hell they made the JJ in a 175?? You would think a manufacturer as seemingly astute as Armada thought that was enough ski for some portion of the target market. I'm 5'8", 150, just turned 50 and ski 183 Goats mostly at Alta --- no switch and no huckin (see aforementioned age description). I demoed the HB in a 179 the other day and really enjoyed them when it was deeper and softer but they felt sloppy when it got bumpier/skied off - I certainly didn't need 'em to be any longer and they are a full rocker ski. Is it just a dead-on certainty that a 175 JJ is too short for "anybody other then a midget"?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Sully

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    norcal
    Posts
    1,255
    My 185s measure 183, and personally I think they would be better off offering a 178 and 188 or something like that. They are a LOT easier to ski than my 186 Bros, so I would say demo them if you're unsure-but I bet you'l pick the 185 as well.

    Wes-SFB's as well? Shit, thought I had quiver overlap with the Lhasa Pows!!!
    Last edited by otto parts; 02-23-2009 at 11:38 PM.
    Life of a repo man is always intense.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    The Other Side
    Posts
    715
    Skied mine all day yesterday at Jay in mostly glare ice and slush and had a great time. I really doubt I will ski my Karmas anymore.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,521
    Nice review. These are supposedly very hard to find, for obvious reasons.
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