Why we chose the Armada ARW 106 UL: Lightweight, playful, versatile
Lengths (cm): 164, 172, 180, 188
Sidecut (mm): 133 / 106 / 123 (172cm)
Radius: 19.5m (172cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,750 g (172cm)
Price: £540 / €600 / $700
Armada’s ARV all-mountain freestyle series has been going strong since the brand’s inception in 2002. The ARV’s sister series – the ARW – consistently provides a leading line-up of women’s-specific freestyle-oriented skis: the ARW 86 and 96 for the park and the ARW 116 VJJ UL for the powder. But what about those days (let’s be honest, most days) when you want to do it all – piste, park, and powder – or when there’s just not enough snow to merit a fat ski? Enter the 106 UL.
Armada has gifted us with a wide-but-not-too-wide twin tip ski to weather the storm in most conditions. We’re stoked about the 106 UL’s creation, which fills the previous all-mountain ski gap in the ARW range and ensures that Armada’s women’s line now matches the men’s quiver in its exciting offering.
Armada ARW 106 UL Build
Like its bigger 116 VJJ UL sister, the 106 UL is constructed from Caruba wood, Armada’s lightest core material (hence the ‘UL’ for ultralight). The 106 also shares the VJJ’s edgeless and bevelled ski tips and tails. By eliminating potential for edge catches and unwanted vibrations, this ‘Smear Tech’ construction allows your skis to seamlessly glide over varying snow types – ice, crud, chop, and powder. (If this feature sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Atomic’s similar HRZN tech, built into the Bent Chetler, to limit both tip/tail hook-ups and drag in the deep stuff).
The 106 is not, however, simply a slimmer copy of the VJJ. It’s a uniquely constructed ski in its own right. In particular, the 106’s flex pattern jumped out at us. While the VJJ is extremely soft underfoot (a 4 on Armada’s scale of 1-10), the 106 is a far snappier ski – an 8 in the tips/tails and 7 underfoot. With its sturdier flex, the 106 is primed to rip on groomers and charge through crud and bumps.