The Armada guy in NZ didn't tell me what i wanted to hear about the warranty on my AR6, so now i'm trying to go through the people up in the US instead. I wrote them a letter, tell me if you think I should get warranty?? Can't put up pics cause the Armada dick has my skis.
I bought a pair of AR6 in 181 here in New Zealand a while ago, and have enjoyed skiing on them throughout our season. But near to the end of the season, I discovered that a blister had appeared in one of the skis. It is roughly 5-8cm long, and about 2cm wide.
Our initial thoughts were that it has occured because the store that mounted it have done something wrong, as the blister appeared directly below one of the rear mounting screws of the heel piece of the binding. The screw that the blister appeared under, when compared to the screw on the other side, shows clear water damage, and we think that water has gotten in through the screw hole and caused delamination, by freezing/expanding or just compromising the glue.
I have had these skis sent to Jason Woolf, the NZ distributor, to have a look. He has come to the conclusion that the problem is not a fault of the mounting, and that it is not a manufacturing default either. He said that it can not be delamination, as there are no cracks in the edge or anywhere else for water to get directly through. To my memory, he never gave me a real reason for why this blister may have appeared over the phone, only telling me why it is not the fault of the manufacturer/mounting. When we explained to him again that the screw showed clear water damage, he said that this means nothing as screws often discolour when they are mounted. My father earns his living working with metals like copper and zinc, and still feels that it is definate corrosion from water. Also, when we removed the rear screw of the heel piece, which was directly over the blister, at home with a hand screw driver to have a look at, we decided to try having a look at the other screws of the mountings on both skis. While the rear screws of the heel piece on the affected ski were easy to remove, we could not budge any of the other screws on either ski. I don't know about you but to me the blister appearing under the rear mounting screw of the heel piece, the screw showing clear water damage, and the matter of the same screw being easy to remove while the others would not budge does not seem coincidental to me.
Jason has told me that they will not replace the skis, but repair the blister by heating up the skis, passing them once through the 'belt', and once or twice over the 'stone'. To me this seems like it is compromising the performance of the ski even more, but we have asked him to hold off on doing this until we have the process approved by a friend in Davos, Switzerland, Hans Peter Angerer, who owns and runs a couple of large ski stores.
I have enjoyed skiing on the AR6 greatly, they are perfect for the NZ snow conditions and can handle any part of the mountain well. But I have been thoroughly disappointed by the warranty process. At the moment I am quite sure I will not buy Armada in the future, as although the skis perform well, the topsheets are unbelievably brittle, and I have been disappointed by the warranty which I was told before I bought them by people on newschoolers.com was fantastic. I was constantly frustrated when if I crashed out on a jump or cliff, I would get up and see strips of the top sheet in the snow. This is very annoying when I worked 7am-4pm every weekday over a large portion of our 6 week school summer holiday to be able to afford them. I will not be able to get a sale price in the future worth the bother, because of the trashed topsheets, and now the base repairs and work.
I hope you can be of help to me, as I would like to be able to tell others who ask me for ski advice that Armada is a great company and the skis are well worth the money.