Ski - Armada ARV 84
Length Skied - 170
Shape - 113 - 84 -106
Sidecut - 17.5 Meters
Bindings - Armada NL10
Days skied - 1 Season
Reviewer Height / Weight - 5’8”, 120lbs
Location - Tyrol Basin Wisconsin
Conditions skied - Ice, Crud, heavy and shallow pow, groomers, slush, soft chop, park, trees
Last season was the first season that I really got into freestyle skiing. I bought the ARV 84 because I got a killer deal on it at a ski sale. As far as bang for your buck, these skis are right up there. As you’ll see, these skis do a bit of everything.
The ARV 84 is a near symmetrical ski with a full camber profile and no taper. The flex is medium. I’d say from tip to tail that the ski feels like this - 6 - 7 - 8.5. - 8 - 7. Overall, it's a pretty stout ski, but it's forgiving and, if you have good technique (which I don’t) you can butter them. The flex I’d say is more on the poppy side of the damp/poppy spectrum. The skis are freaky light and feature a 4 piece edge construction with 2.5mm edges and are full cap (no sidewalls). The bases on these are really durable but are a bit slow. The ARV 84 also has a full poplar core.
These skis are in the ARV family, so it is expected that they do well all mountain on top of their park performance. On groomers, these things rip. The camber and flex make these a good hard snow ski that you can really get on edge if you want to. The radius is nice and small, which I like as I ski a small hill in Wisconsin. In crud and choppy snow however, I found these skis to get deflected and bounce around very easily.
These skis encourage an active skiing style where you ski around the bad parts of the snow and pop off mounds of crud etc. These are not a good ski to just plow through chunky snow. In slush, they did decently, nothing too exciting, they did get a bit hooky in the deeper slush, but other than that they did pretty good.
In powder, these did decent for their size. We don’t get much pow in the midwest, but I got to ski a couple of days in around ~6 inches of fresh. These did surprisingly well for their profile. They stayed composed and nimble, but if you encounter a lot of fresh snow, I would definitely recommend sizing up to the ARV 96 or bigger.
In moguls and trees, these did really well, they are surprisingly easy to get sideways and the narrow waist allows you to sneak through small areas with relative ease. I had a really good time hitting narrow tree runs and the occasional mogul run.
Okay, so these things are amazing on jumps. They are super light and easy to throw around, and the camber/flex pattern are really nice on landings. The camber keeps you steady and is poppy, and the flex is stiff enough to not wash out but is forgiving enough to let you shuffle out of sketchy landings.
I am not very good at rails, but pretty much every day I was in the park trying to not suck as much. So I hit rails pretty often, but I didn’t do any technical stuff. These skis are nice and poppy, but the narrow waist can make them a little unstable on rails, but it's really nothing I noticed too much. The weight can make techy tricks pretty easy, but the full camber profile may be a little bit of a hindrance when doing surface swaps. The lack of taper made 50-50s really easy. If you want to butter, I’d say there are better skis. The camber and flex make butters and swervy stuff possible on these skis for sure, but they aren’t the best option. It also should be considered that I am only 5’8” and only 120 pounds, so I don't have as much leverage over the tips and tails. I think a heavier rider wouldn’t have much trouble buttering these.
I skied these for a whole season in a variety of conditions. I don’t go very hard on rails, so it's kind of hard to assess the durability there, but overall these things have held up really well. The edges have no cracks (I take care to detune pretty heavily and de-burr). And the base is kinda slow but I ran over rocks, sticks, dirt, rails, etc. and I only have some mild scraping, with no core shots. The topsheets are also really durable. They only have light scratching with 2 tiny holes that show wood. (like, really tiny). So overall, these things are really durable for having cap construction and for the price point.
If you are a teen with little money like me, and if you are trying to get into the world of freeskiing, also like me, these are really good skis. In terms of value for your money, these are up there at the top. I’d say they didn’t particularly excel in any particular area, instead, they did pretty much everything well. That is a good thing for someone who is new and doesn’t have a dedicated style yet. There are better skis for swerving, better for pow, crud, etc. But those are going to be more specialized. These skis are a jack of all trades and I think that they are a really good option for the aspiring freestyle skier.