Armada ARW 106 UL Women’s All-Mountain Skis 2021 – 2022 | Review

The Armada ARW 106 UL offers a playful ride for women who want to shred the entire mountain

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.

In line with a flex pattern that’s geared towards firmer snow conditions, the 106 also comes with the ARV and ARW’s typical beefy and hard-wearing 2.5mm edges, instead of the VJJ’s slimmed down 1.7mm metalwork.

Armada ARW 106 UL Shaping

The standout aspect of this ski’s shaping is its 106mm width, placing it bang in the middle of their current park/powder offering. If a 96mm waist sounds too narrow for fresh snow but 116mm too wishful, Armada are now offering a happy medium. The 106’s classic tip/tail rocker with camber underfoot allows for float in the soft stuff, combined with the edge hold required on firmer days.

As expected from Armada, the 106’s twinned shaping begs you to integrate butters, handrags, and switches into your lines. We weren’t expecting to see the 106 come with its significant 19.5m radius (at 172cm) which, combined with the relatively stiff flex pattern, gears the ski towards high-speed and uninterrupted lines. To give a comparison, Faction’s twinned 106 ski, the 3.0/X, offers a medium 17m radius. Armada skis usually fall on the soft and steerable side (in particular, for their women’s line), so we’re excited to see a shake-up in their offering with a stouter flexed and longer radius ski.

Who Is The Armada ARW 106 UL For?

If you’re more concerned with traditional alpine technique or getting from top to bottom as efficiently as possible, the ARW 106 UL (and really Armada’s whole collection) isn’t for you. If you’re into discovering the most creative route downhill, stamping your style on the mountain, and experimenting with trickery whilst charging on multiple terrain types, you’re going to enjoy this ski.

Additionally, the ARW 106 UL is available from 164cm to 188cm making it an option for folks of all heights. If you value an ultra-light all-mountain ski, opt for the ARW 106 UL. For a slightly stiffer and heavier version go for the equivalent ARV.

With its twinned shaping and all-mountain width, we’d liken the ARW 106 UL to Atomic’s Bent Chetler 100 and Faction’s Prodigy 3.0/X. Dubbed by Armada as ‘quiver-killing’, we reckon the 106 UL will be giving freestyle-focused one-ski-quiver models a serious run for their money!

What Is The Armada ARW 106 UL Good At?

Weight: 8/10
Versatility: 9/10
Playfulness: 8/10


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