What used to be the name for Armada’s 2015 ski-mountaineering specific skis—the choice of the late JP Auclair on his high-alpine missions—as well as the more recent Declivity X big-mountain slayer, is now being applied to a brand new line of all-mountain freeride planks. With detailed input from Armada athletes Tof Henry and Todd Ligare, as well as time spent in Armada’s prototype incubation process, The ZERO Innovation Lab, the Declivity series is ready to hit shelves in mid-February, before the majority of skis being unveiled at the Outdoor Retailer + Snow Show on January 29 will be.
Following the industry trend of making strong, powerful skis that are also easy to ski, Armada focused on the simple (complex?) art of the turn when constructing the Declivity series. Armada kept “the ability to generate speed, power and flow in all conditions” as the main intention when heading into the building and testing process. It didn’t matter if it’s impeccably sculpted corduroy, deeply cut moguls, super-exposed big-mountain lines or leftover powder in the trees, Armada wanted the Declivity to truly live up to the billing of a “do-it-all” ski.
To boost the horsepower of the Declivity, Armada implemented Titanal, an aluminum alloy, for torsional rigidity, but filled in vertical cut-outs in the tips with a special elastic compound that improves turn initiation and provides more power when engaged than normal Titanal constructions. Armada then opted for caruba wood over poplar in the core, in order to reduce weight by 15 to 20-percent but without any loss of performance. A unique, aggressive tip shape also encourages quick-twitch turn initiation and a sidecut that builds past the rocker start-point ensures power build-up is never lost. The Declivity’s full sidewall construction ensures the ski can wallop a punch and is ultra-durable.
While the ski’s power and turn-capabilities reflect more of a race heritage than what we’re used to with Armada, the skis really round-out the brand’s entire line of more freeride and freestyle oriented offerings.
The Declivity will be offered in four models, a 115-millimeter-underfoot big-mountain charger (Declivity X), an every-day western ripper (Declivity 102Ti), a skinnier version that still packs in tons of versatility (Declivity 92Ti) and a thin on-piste version (Declivity 82Ti). For more information on the launch of Declivity, click here, and be sure to follow #ArmadaDeclivity on Instagram for incredible content featuring the new skis this winter.
Stay tuned for an in-depth product spotlight on the Declivity series dropping next week on freeskier.com.