Model: Reliance 88 C
Overall Ranking: #10
Overall Score: 3.55 / 5
Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)
152, 160, 168, 176
16.7 (168cm length)
Waist Width (mm)
Caruba, Carbon Stringers
Stability at Speed
3.67 / 5
Quickness / Maneuverability
3.54 / 5
3.88 / 5
3.67 / 5
Hard Snow Performance
3.54 / 5
3.46 / 5
Balance of Skills
3.75 / 5
2.79 / 5
The new Armada Reliance line really impressed our testers on the slopes of Solitude and earned rave reviews for blending high performance with fun and playfulness. The new Armada Reliance 88 C, one of the two models in the line that doesn’t feature Titanal, isn’t as chargy as her sisters, but she sure is friendly.
Featuring a caruba core reinforced with woven carbon stringers, the Armada Reliance 88 C was designated to be a lightweight, playful frontside tool. While testers did award it higher scores in the Playfulness department, they found that what the lightweight construction really does is make this ski super user-friendly and approachable.
“Most ladies will find this ski to be an enjoyable way to play on groomers and little side shots, even if they’re only half paying attention,” notes tester Erika Northrop.
The one downside of the lightweight construction is that the Armada Reliance 88 C doesn’t perform as dependably on edge or at speed as the frontside skis with beefier core materials. “It was a little hard to roll them up on edge and get them to engage at the start of the turn. And then I couldn’t get them to bend to snap off a tight arc,” comments tester Forreste Peterson.
A handful of the other testers also commented on the lack of responsiveness or rebound at the end of each turn, which can probably be attributed to the carbon in the ski’s core—carbon just isn’t as snappy as Titanal and other metals.
On that topic: What ski designers mean by “metal” and why it matters
But what the Armada Reliance 88 C lacks in quickness and responsiveness it makes up for in versatility. Testers commented that this ski will follow your every lead, on or off the groomed, and please intermediates to experts alike—especially those looking for a ski they can set and forget.
“It’s like a nice glass of merlot,” sums up tester Tracy Gibbons. “It’s smooth, predictable, and relaxing. It has just enough energy to make you smile and is just a very well-rounded ski.”
- Strengths: Versatility (9th in category), Playfulness (8th)
- Weaknesses: Quickness (11th), Stability at Speed (11th)