Armada Tracer 118 CHX 2019 – 2020 Ski | Review

The Armada Tracer 118 CHX has been designed with big mountain terrain in mind, at the lowest weight possible

Lengths (cm): 180, 188 & 195
Sidecut (mm): 144 / 118 / 135 (188cm)
Radius: 20m (188cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker (subtle)
Weight: (per ski): 1875g (180cm)
Price: £640


Why we chose the Armada Tracer 118 CHX: Damp yet lightweight.

When you go and strip a stonking 8% off what was fast becoming a classic big-mountain powder shape – the Tracer 118 – you’d better hope you don’t harm the stability characteristics of the ski.

We’re glad to say that Armada have managed to preserve the damp nature of the all new Tracer 118 CHX 2020, and that this one has now become a badass ski touring machine.

About that additional CHX label. If you’re Armada, and you’re going to add the infamous resort town of Chamonix to the name, you’d also better hope that this ski can handle a variety of terrain and conditions. It’s in this town afterall where many of the best skiers in the world live, breathe, and play amongst some of the most mind-blowing freeride terrain.

“You’d better hope you don’t harm the stability characteristics of the ski”

Featuring a tapered tip and tail similar to that of Armada’s classic JJ range, which used to be identified by the “Elf Shoe” tip and tail shape, the Tracer 118 also carries this ridiculous name for what’s usually known as five-point sidecut (widest point of the ski is set back, coupled with rocker). It’d been given more cojones through the toning down of the taper, giving it less of an aggressive sidecut and with that a more badass turn radius.

This larger (20 metre) sidecut along with a setback recommended mount point has led to the Tracer 118 CHX having a much more traditional, directional, style that’ll feel most at home arcing high speed turns in the soft stuff.

So how exactly do you knock weight off, create a more directional ski, and keep things stable at speed for those that like to point-and-shoot? That’ll be through the use of a hybrid core of Caruba/Poplar paired with a traditional fibreglass laminate which has been weaved to optimise vibration dampening along the full length of the ski.

“Love charging down the nearest couloir in sight?”

You’re going to appreciate this lack of weight when looking to slow things down a little; say when in a tight couloir or through trees. You’ve got a low swing weight to help you throw these skis around, and get them lined up for the straightline couloir exit – a beveled top sheet also helps shift snow off the top of the ski, in an effort to help swing the skis round.

We had to include a hard charging, progressively shaped powder ski into this roundup and as you can see, the Armada Tracer 118 CHX fits the bill perfectly.

That beveled topsheet has been designed to shed snow

Love charging down the nearest couloir in sight? Feeling yourself outgunned when it dumps half a metre or more of fresh in resort? This ski is the one to reach towards when you’re looking to ski fast in and out of bounds – that tail is going to support you at all speeds.

Whilst the Whitedot Ragnarok ASYM is designed to scrub speed at the flick of the tails, the Tracer would rather keep the speed up and get you out of trouble via the fastest possible exit – the fall line – strap in and enjoy the ride.

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