Armada ARV 96 (2017)
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Waist Width: 96
Lengths: 163, 170, 177, 184
With a more real-world 96-mm waist width, the ARV 96, an all-mountain twin-tip, will still hold its own, flotation-wise, in powder and crud, but compared to the wider flagship model (ARV 106), it’s quicker and stronger to edge, a better fit for those who expect powder to be the pleasant exception rather than the rule. It’s identical in construction, but with a slightly softer flex than the 106.
The ARV name has been a mainstay of the Armada collection since the company’s founding in 2002. The expanded 2017 collection comprises a trio of bi-directional (twin-tip) newschool freestylers, with waist widths of 106, 96, and 86 mm. (In 2016 there was just a single model, the metal-reinforced 99-mm ARV Ti.) All are rockered tip and tail, for maximum looseness and creativity as well as powder flotation. (For something edgier and more directional, see the similarly wide models of the newer Invictus series.) All ARVs are metal-free, for light, lively performance, with edgy, full-length-full-height sidewalls. Armada’s Pop-Lite core blends lighter, airier woods with denser stuff where needed for extra power and durability. The core is reinforced in all models with Armada’s CK Strut, which blends carbon and Kevlar fibers for added strength, responsiveness, and durability. All models get S7 base materials-Armada’s densest and fastest-for generating speed.
Armada, founded in 2002 by a collective of big-name freestyle athletes, is based in Costa Mesa, Calif. -J.C.