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Rating: 2.83 / 5
Waist Width: 95
Lengths: 167, 176, 185
Stability at speed: 2.35 / 5
Hard snow performance: 2.02 / 5
Crud performance: 2.15 / 5
Flotation: 2.48 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.23 / 5
Overall: 2.83 / 5
The 2017 Armada Invictus 95 offers a waist width (93 to 95 mm) that splits the difference between the 89 Ti and 99 Ti-a likely width for either Western or Eastern freeriding. And with its metal-free construction, it’s lighter, livelier, more forgiving and less expensive (around $500 in most shops).
Armada’s Invictus series of widebody all-mountain freeriders, which fared remarkably well in 2016 tests, includes five models for 2017, up from four models last year and including two new models, the Invictus 99 Ti and the Invictus 85. (The metal-reinforced version of the 95 was dropped.) All are designed for everyday directional freeriding, with slight-twin tails and plenty of edgy traditional camber underfoot. Waist widths range from 108 down to 85. The top three models (108 Ti, 99 Ti, and 89 Ti) are metal-reinforced for optimized high-speed calm and edge grip that aggressive experts will enjoy. The two low-end models are metal-free, for a lighter, livelier, more-forgiving performance. All are moderately rockered in the tip for shock absorption and powder flotation. Most have GS-style sidecuts in the 18- to 20-meter range, though the flagship 108 Ti has a long-arc 20- to 26-meter range (depending on length). All are now 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 Invictus 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.