The Armada Victa 93 is a solid intermediate all-mountain ski that handled everything we threw at it. If you're a woman looking for a ski to go off-piste and sample everything a resort has to offer, this is a solid choice. We cruised corduroy and ventured off the beaten path into fresh powder, feeling nimble the whole time. We awarded the Victa our Best Bang for the Buck if you're looking for a jill of all trades to get you around the mountain. These narrower skis are easy to turn and have enough rocker in the tips to float through everything but the deepest of powder. Our more advanced and expert skiers find them on the softer side and prefer to size up in length to get into the steeps with confidence.
Armada Victa 93 Review
Cons: Soft, skis short, poor crud performance
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hands-On Review of the 2016/17 Victa 93
A screaming deal for $600, the Victas are a great all-around ride. We would recommend this award winner to our friends who are just looking to leave the trails and test their mettle in the crud and powder, while still spending a lot of time carving up the groomed runs. They are just as fun on trail as off and our testers enjoyed their quick edge to edge transfer and snappy turns. These skis hold their own in the bumps because they're easy to turn around or on top of them.
Stability at Speed
The Victas love blue square terrain. They can rip up the blue runs all day as fast as you can drive them. Our testers find that the Victas start to falter when things get much steeper or on very firm packed snow. The Volkl Aura is the stiffest, most stable ski of the bunch and our testers' favorite ski to take on the black diamonds. The Victas are a relatively soft ski and the accentuated tip rocker will get to flopping when you reach mach speeds. We noticed the same phenomenon with the K2 FulLuvit's as they have a similar amount of rocker and big floppy tips.
We recommend sizing up a length if you are a taller lady, or a more advanced skier. We tested the 167cm length, but both our 5'5 and 5'9 expert level testers wished they had the 176cm length. The rockered tip brings the effective edge back and it is difficult for taller ladies to get forward and ski more aggressive terrain on a shorter length for fear of going over the handlebars. Some manufacturers like to move the mounting point forward on their women's skis, to compensate for us riding in the back seat. Although we find this somewhat objectionable, since proper technique dictates NOT being in the back seat, we think this may be what's happening with the Victas. The Fischer My Ranger 98 - Women's have a more forward mounting point, and we noticed that the Nordica Santa Anas ski on the short side as well.
These Armada's don't have the greatest of edge hold and would prefer to slide and smear turns instead of rail on edge through each carve. The turn radius size sits in the middle to large end of the pack, with an 18.5m medium radius turn (the Volkl Aura's have the largest at 21.5m and the K2 FulLUVits have the smallest at 14m). However, it feels like this ski likes to turn more than this statistic would suggest.
They feel quick and snappy edge to edge, with only 93mm underfoot, and they're so soft it feels easy to make that turning radius tighter since you can bend them so easily to do your bidding. We think these skis are really fun on the groomers and easy to turn, especially on those blue square runs. Once things get a bit steeper their performance declines. The Head Great Joys are our favorite ski to carve perfect, round turns on. They have a tight 15.3m turn radius and an exaggerated sidecut that loves to bring you through the turns and snap you into the next one.
At 93mm underfoot, the Victa's are the skinniest ski we tested this year, the powderhound Rossignol Soul 7 HD W were the fattest underfoot with 106mm and ate powder for breakfast. We were a bit nervous to take them out on a powder day in Mammoth when over two feet of snow had just fallen, but these little skis held their own. They performed pretty well, considering how short they felt. In a powder ski we would prefer to have length as well as width and believe it's the combination that brings about floatation and the ability to stay centered on your ski in deep snow. They fall short (so to speak) on length, and we may have enjoyed them more in a longer length.
Nevertheless, we are still impressed at how the shape of the rockered tip kept the skis afloat even in some quite deep snow. The Head Great Joys had the length we needed and a big fat tip that cut right through the powder and kept us afloat slightly better than the Victas. If up to a foot of fresh light powder has fallen, we wouldn't hesitate to take the Victas to the resort with us. Many of the skis we tested this year excelled in the powder, including the Nordica Santa Ana.
The Victas are not as fun when things get tough — they are soft and unreliable in variable conditions. We didn't trust them to turn as easily on steeps and in variable conditions; they are a bit floppy and not as forgiving as the Santa Anas or K2s FulLUVit. Because they ski short and are on the softer side they're less ideal for steep skiing in firm conditions. The massive rockered tip gets deflected by any irregularity in the snow constantly, bouncing the rider around, and they're too soft to plow through much of anything. The Blizzard Samba plows through the crud and absorb the chopped up bumps much better than the Victas.
Armada is very good at making playful skis. The Victas have plenty of rocker, allowing you to butter and smear your way through soft snow or corn, and the quick edge to edge transfer makes these fun and easy to ski. They're so light and soft that they bounce around like little pogo sticks! The Rossignol Soul 7 HD W are the most playful ski — they have a unique, tapered tip and tail shape that lets you wiggle your behind and turn with ease.
Bumps Skiing Performance
These skis can bounce boogie and bump! Because of how short they feel and ease of turning, the Victa 93 are quite easy to swivel around and over bumps. Of all the skis we tested this year, if we had to go ski bumps (not a favorite activity of most of our testers) we'd reach for this pair. The Head Great Joys are more difficult in the bumps because their fat tips want to catch and deflect when things get bumpy and tight.
We recommend this ski for someone who wants to take their skiing to the next level and venture off trail. They are a fun, soft, easy ski that can hold their own in deep, soft snow. Great for intermediate groomed runs and bumps. A jack of all trades. If you're looking to take that step from advanced to expert skier, we'd recommend something more like the Volkl Aura.
We awarded this ski our Best Bang for the Buck because we found it to be a quality, fun ski for only $500. At the time, this was the cheapest in our lineup. The price of this ski is now $600, so it's no longer the cheapest, but we still think it's a solid deal. The Atomic Vantage 95 C - Women's is also a great deal, but not quite as fun in the powder or groomers as the Victa. If you're looking for an excellent deal in a more advanced ski, check out the Blizzard Samba.
A great deal for a quality jack-of-all-trades, intermediate ski. The Victa is lots of fun to swivel around bumps and butter and slide around on groomed runs. A great choice for ladies who want to venture off trail about 30 percent of the time and want a quiver of one ski. We trust it in the powder, but when things get chopped up, steep or variable we'll reach for the Volkl Auras or the Nordica Santa Ana first.
Armada makes the Victa in a narrower 83mm waist and our 93mm waist. They also make a Victa 87 TI, claiming to be a more stable and damp (and more expensive) version. The men's line is called the Invictus and comes in several waist widths, from 85mm to 108mm, the closest to our Victa being the 95mm.
— Jessica Haist
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