Armada ARW 86 (2017)
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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 86
Lengths: 156, 163, 170
The ARW 86 is a value-priced women’s all-mountain twin-tip, with a “street price” of about $400 in most shops. It’s the same construction as the ARW 96, but in a narrower (86-mm) width and with a softer flex better suited to more moderate speeds.
It’s part of Armada’s new Victa series, women’s versions of the men’s Invictus series of directional all-mountain freeriders. There are three models, with widths of 87, 93, and 83 mm. All are designed for everyday directional freeriding, with slight-twin tails and plenty of edgy traditional camber underfoot. The top model is the middle width, the 87 Ti. It’s the only Victa that’s metal-reinforced. Two full sheets of Titanal (aluminum alloy) give it optimal torsional rigidity (or twist-resistance, for tip-to-tail edge power), dampness (for high-speed calm), and durability. The two low-end models (Victa 93, Victa 83) are metal-free, for a lighter, livelier, more-forgiving performance. Otherwise, they’re similar to the men’s models, with thinner profiles and softer flexes. All are moderately rockered in the tip for shock absorption and powder flotation. All have GS-style sidecuts in the 16- to 19-meter range. All are built on Armada’s Power-Lite Core, which is a blend of mostly lighter wood with denser wood strategically placed for extra power and durability where needed most. Armada’s Impact Edge is cushioned with a strip of rubber for a smoother, damper ride. And all Victa models are reinforced with a Carbon Kevlar Strut, which blends the two fibers for a mix of energy and durability.
Armada, founded in 2002 by a collective of big-name freestyle athletes, is based in Costa Mesa, Calif. -J.C.