This story began with a classic buy/sell/trade post - I was selling a pair of Armada Al Dente 2014 skis. Few days later I got a message from someone local here in Montreal looking to purchase them right away. We began to chat and I quickly realized this guy knew what he was looking for. Being a collector myself, I asked him what other skis he had and his reply was a picture of a dozen pairs of Armada skis, most circa 2014. Turns out he has over 44 pairs - 30 of which are made by Armada.
Meet Sam Fex, 26 year old from Saint-Polycarpe, Quebec.
What do you like so much about Armada?
I like that you can progressively see all the little tweaks from year to year that made for a better ski. The push for different ski profiles in early days: huge rocker, reverse camber, early rise - you name it. JP Auclair and the whole Armada team were also a big influence for me growing up. I love that it started as a core company made by skiers for skiers. Not to mention Armada never shied away from making loud and artistic graphics - something very few brands did at the time.
What inspired you to start collecting Armada skis?
I didn’t set out to be a collector - it just sort of just happened. After accumulating a couple pairs for various conditions I took it upon myself to tell their story through the evolution of their skis. The JJ being my favourite ski of all time and to honour the memory of JP, I wanted pay tribute to him by assembling all of his skis between 2005 and 2011.
Do you have a favourite Armada ski?
A tough choice but I would go with the JJ 2.0 AI (Alpine initiative). It’s a design that pays homage to someone I dearly looked up to. Secondly would be the JP VS Julien ski from 2005- first edition. It’s actually a prototype ski that was never released and belonged to JP himself but he never got to ride them.
Do you have any interesting stories from collecting?
So many- it’s part of the journey for me. Each ski I went to pick up came with a story, a new acquaintance and in some cases a new friend. That’s how I met Antoine Philibert-Marchand. He sold me a pair of Ar7 skis years ago and since we have become really close friends. He helps me find these gems and if it’s a far drive he usually comes with me. I was fortunate enough to meet Sebatien Larose - an OG in skiing who helped design many of the early models over at Armada. My favourite story was how I got the Armada JJ AI ski. The seller was in Calgary and absolutely refused to ship them to Quebec. That same week I found a pair of ARG’s from someone an hour and a half outside of Calgary and he agreed to go buy the JJ’s for me (on his own dime) and shipped both skis for me. Just shows how good of a community we have. I have many other stories and hope to have many more!
Do you collect any other skis?
Yes, I have 11 pairs of K2 classics along with 3 pairs of Liberty skis, 2 of which are brand new Genomes undrilled from 2012-13.
Leave a comment below, let us know how many of these skis you recognize and show us your own collections!