Armada TST Review
Cons: Soft, skis short, graphics
Our Analysis and Test Results
Stability at Speed
The short effective edge, floppy tip and soft flex made the TST a bit spooky at speed in most conditions. In varied terrain the soft tail made it difficult to scrub speed when you wanted it most. We felt that this ski was a bit unreliable when skied fast and hard. At more moderate speeds it liked to carve turns as long as things didn't get too choppy, then it tended to bounce around a lot. In consistent snow conditions at moderate speeds, not many worries here.
The TST skied short due to the tremendous rocker in the tip of the ski which reduced the effective edge dramatically. Once adjusted to the size, the ski was fun at low and moderate speed when you could carve short radius turns. We think that this ski is surfy and smooth edge to edge. Turned up tails allowed for quick release from the turn. At higher speeds this ski did not like to stay on edge. It was chattery on firm snow and at speed.
Powder Skiing Performance
Although short, these are a decent powder ski. In consistent conditions the TST was fun and easy to ski. In chopped up snow we felt like it was too soft unless you were skiing slow. In varied terrain, the best course of action with the TST is to stay light on your feet instead of trying to bust through things. In soft spring snow, the TST felt like a pair of water skis, cutting through the mush and floating through thick snow.
Thick snow was no problem for the TST. The ship's bow of a tip on this ski kept it from diving in the manky early afternoon spring conditions. But when that snow started to set up as the sun dipped down, we started to get bucked around a little bit more by this ski. Although it didn't hook up quite as much as the more carving oriented skis like the Rossignol Experience 100, it lacked the fortitude to remain stable in the breakable and refrozen surfaces common late in the afternoon on a sunny day.
Volkl Mantra was the only fully rockered ski in our review and it was rated to be just as playful as the TST. We think the Mantra is playful in a different way though. It has plenty of pop but prefers playing around at high speed.
Bump Skiing Performance
Despite the wide chasis the TST handles moguls fairly well. Its easy to turn and prefers skidded turns which are both good attributes when you need to move quickly in the bumps. Its flex lends itself to smearing off the sides of the bumps and isn't prone to getting the tips or tails hooked up.
This ski is best at powder skiing. When we consider the versatility of a ski, we prefer skis which adapt well to changing conditions. Skis that are comfortable in one snow type and don't tolerate others aren't eligible for high marks as an all-mountain ski in our opinion. One might expect that the TST would be best suited as a powder ski just by looking at it. The big rockered tip and 102 mm waist stand out in our review. However, with camber underfoot and no tail rocker we expected some more on-piste performance than we got from the TST.
Since we don't believe this is a very versatile ski, it is hard to say that it is a good value for someone looking for an all-mountain ski. It belongs as part of a quiver of skis, each with a specific purpose in which you prefer them.
The Armada TST is a good ski for someone who is light on their feet and seeks out consistent soft snow. It doesn't like too much speed but it can play all over the mountain. We prefer more versatile skis like the Atomic Vantage Alibi and the Volkl Mantra which are lighter and stiffer, but were also very playful.
The Armada TST is available in four lengths (165,174,183 and 192). All of the dimensions change slightly in each size.
— Mike Phillips, Nate Greenberg, and Scott Donaghey