2016-2017 Armada TST

Will Brown reviews the Armada TST for Blister Gear Review
Armada TST

Ski: 2016-2017 Armada TST, 192cm

Available Lengths: 165, 174, 183, 192 cm

Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 190.0cm

Stated Dimensions (mm):  120-133-103-124

Blister’s Measured Weight Per Ski (grams): 2,025 & 2,045

Sidecut Radius: 18.9 meters

Core Construction: Poplar/Ash + Fiberglass Laminate

Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester (DIN 10)

Mount Location: Factory Recommended Line

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 4

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 TST, which was not changed for 13/14, 14/15, 15/16, or 16/17, except for the graphics.]

Armada promotes the all-mountain TST as the most versatile ski in their line, and after four days of testing in a wide range of conditions—from hardpack to light, fresh powder—I think they’re right to do so.

Camber & Flex Profile

We’re testing the 192cm TST, which may sound like a lot of ski because, usually, 192cm is. However, this 192 might be the lightest, most cooperative 190cm+ ski I’ve ever been on. The TST has a lot of tip rocker that significantly shortens its effective edge on hard snow. This frees up the forebody of the ski, making it easy to work through slower, tight skidded turns.

The TST is built with a good amount of traditional camber underfoot and no tail rocker. On the whole, it feels balanced and predictable on hardpack, yet not demanding. The traditional camber doesn’t feel all that stiff underfoot, it just gives the ski a nice, lively snap through scrubbed turns.

The twinned tail of the TST has a workable, supportive, medium flex that helps maintain a very directional feel.

Armada provides a “Flex Pattern” rating for each of their skis, which is something we’d still like to see every company provide. It’s a relative scale, of course, but it is helpful to see how a particular ski measures up against the rest of a brand’s line.

For example, Armada rates the flex of the TST’s Tip, Waist, and Tail as 6, 7, and 6.5, respectively, which is exactly how Armada rates the flex of their very popular JJ: 6, 7, 6.5. And it’s no stretch to view the TST as a narrower, directional JJ.

Groomers / Hardpack

The TST feels very light on your feet, making it that much easier to swing around quickly on firm groomers or in any soft snow. (Armada employs their lightest core construction with the TST, a low-density wood that has an “unusually high strength to weight ratio.”)

The 192 TST has a listed 18.9 meter sidecut radius, which is fairly short for a ski of its length. In opening things up into longer-radius, high-speed smeared turns, I did feel like I needed to work on holding the shovels on track a bit as the relatively aggressive sidecut tried to pull the light, nimble ski farther across the fall-line than I wanted. Some detuning of the shovels with a gummi stone helped alleviate this, and I found I could confidently take quick, aggressive lines down heavily wind-scoured aspects and big patches of manmade snow. In short, the TST’s feedback and responsiveness on smoother, firm snow is great, and its carving performance is superb.

The TST feels a whole lot like a tighter GS ski as far as its sidecut radius is concerned. The ski is easy to tip on edge and will enter into a nice carve without too much speed. The more speed you carry, the more lively the ski feels and the stronger its edge hold seems to become as the camber is depressed and flexed.

The TST can rail like a race ski, but doesn’t have the heavy, metal weight or harsh stiffness to it. It’s an excellent carving ski that, again, considering its light swing-weight, feels surprisingly sturdy on edge. Furthermore, for as manageable as the TST’s flex felt underfoot (and given that Armada actually says the ski is softest in the shovel), I was somewhat surprised that the rockered shovels chattered and flopped very little while carving and skidding around on groomers, even when the snow surface was less than smooth. I was glad to find this, as it suggested the ski could also do well when things get chopped and bumpy, and you don’t feel like dialing back your speed (more on this in a bit).

All in all, the TST’s performance on firm, even snow is great. If you spend a lot of your time on groomers or, like me, really like to carve or smear things up on the way back to the lift, the TST isn’t likely to disappoint.


Christmas Day brought 9-10” of super light powder to Taos Ski Valley. Eager to get the TST in some softer conditions, I snagged several long runs with lots of untracked turns down Zagava, Porcupine, Powderhorn Bowl, and Moe’s on the backside of the mountain.

By today’s standards, 103mm isn’t all that wide underfoot, so I wasn’t expecting the TST to float and surf like a 120mm, more dedicated pow ski. (It, is, after all, an all-mountain ski with some great hardpack capabilities, and one-ski quivers are full of tradeoffs.)

However, I was still pretty impressed with how well the TST did float and track in fresh snow, and the generous splay in the tip coupled with the deep rocker line (that helpfully reduced its effective edge on groomers) certainly came into play here. I was able to assume a traditional, forward stance on the ski in untracked snow. The snow was so light, the shovels were often submerged, but they still felt supportive, and never felt as if they were about to dive on me. The skis tracked very well, demonstrating no real hookiness in fresh snow, thanks to that aggressively tapered tip shape Armada launched with the JJ a few years ago. This, along with the supportive, non-rockered tail helped stabilize the skis in the boot-deep pow, but they maintained their light feel as I was able to throw the tails out in slashes and bob quick turns rather easily. (The TST wasn’t designed to provide that very loose, surfy feel of the JJ, but it is not difficult at all to break the tails free.)


110 comments on “2016-2017 Armada TST”

  1. After 40 days on the 192 TST between all last season and this December I can say that Blister delivers yet another great review. My experience with this ski matches this review perfectly.

    At 6’2 230lb the 192 was really my only choice, although I did ski the 183 before buying. The 192 is a very nimble ski for its size due to the rocker, and the ease of turn initiation was nearly identical between the two sizes. The TST is by far the easiest ski to drive that I have ever been on which I attribute to the rocker profile of the tip. The ski just comes around at any speed and once you are committed in the turn the camber under foot and the tail keep you locked in solid with no fear of the tails washing out. I have yet to truly find a speed limit on this ski when ripping semi smooth groomers. The rockered tips chatter a little at high speeds, but not enough to make you feel unstable.

    Deep snow performance is great for a ski of this width at the waist. Big mellow turns still come easy like on hard pack. About the only downside of this ski comes in when trying to do tighter turns at low speed, especially in tight trees. It requires a good bit of work to get the tail to release in these conditions and it definetely highlights how big of ski the 192 is. You really have to commit to the turn and haul the skis around. I’m curious if the Blister crew has similar thoughts on this. I can’t comment on how the 183 would fare in a similar situation, but I would imagine not better enough to warrant downsizing. When I plan to play in the trees I bring my 185 JJs, but they are meant to live in the trees.

    Overall I find the TST to be a lightweight and nimble yet extremely versatile all mountain ski. I would go so far to even recommend it to an advanced beginner/intermediate skier looking for their first serious ski (although perhaps in 183 for the smaller guys) as the TST is easy to ski but will be rock solid when they are looking to step up their game and go steeper/faster/deeper.

    • Thanks for your input, Alex. It’s always great to hear confirmation from people who’ve put in time on this stuff.

      I have fewer days on the TST than Will, but I certainly agree with you that the TST is a ski that an “advanced beginner / intermediate” would do well to check out.

      And we haven’t had the TSTs in trees yet, but we will in the coming week and will update. I highly doubt it will be MORE work in tight trees than any other 192cm ski that doesn’t have tail rocker, but your experience doesn’t surprise me, and I agree with you about the JJs in trees.

    • Hi canali,

      I’m 6’2″ (~188cm) skiing the 192, so 167cm sort of puts you between sizes of the 165cm and 174cm. However seeing as the TST is very light and skis very short through the shovel, and as you’re a little heavier than me, I think the 174cm would be alright. That also depends on your ability level, the kind of terrain you’ll mostly be skiing, and what length ski you’re used to (so let me know a little more about that and I’ll be able to give you an opinion with a little more certainty) but that’s my inkling.


  2. Thanks so much for yet another excellent review. After having done an excessive amount of research, I feel I’ve narrowed into a few skis, but have so many questions and not that many opportunities to demo (most of my home hills don’t carry skis I’m looking at). But, sounds like the TST at 192 might fit the bill. I’m a 6’4″, 190 skier who comes from traditional racing background. My fatter skis are the Moment Bibby Pro and I’m looking for a daily driver that’s in the 102 – 112 range. Carving performance is just as important to me as a ski’s playfulness (along with crud, powder and mogul performance). The Bibby allows me to charge, so I’m not as concerned about stability at speed for this ski. What interests me in the TST is the ski’s natural arc – I enjoy a ski to come around across the fall line when I’m carving. I don’t like it when I have to force medium radius turns when up on edge (I feel the Bibby and my other skis have a much bigger turning radius and I really have to push them to come around though I do enjoy the bibby’s soft snow carving ability). So the question is, are there other skis that would fit this bill that might excel in other areas better than the TST? Examples: Moment PB&J, Line Influence 105 (stiffer ski though), Line Sir Francis Bacon. I’m thinking Blizzard Cochise might not fit my requirements.

    • Hey Chris,

      I also come from from a racing backgroud, and believe me, the TST can definitely finish a turn. It feels a lot like a shorter GS ski in terms of radius, response, and edge hold (or very close – as close to one as a 103mm underfoot ski can, I think). It is light, so you won’t find the same damp/crud busting feel of the Bibby, but it will definitely feel snappier and tighter on groomers (the 192 TST has a 18.9m radius and the 190cm Bibby a 26.5m radius). You can rail the PB&J pretty well, but it has a generous amount of tail rocker and doesn’t snap back across the fall line like the TST. I haven’t skied the Bacon, but you could ask Jason about its edge hold over on his review. One other ski I might suggest is the Epic Planks Ripper. It has a stiffer flex and an even tighter radius, but at 185cm I worry it might feel a little short for you, so I think you’re right on track with the TST. Along with the Ripper, I can’t say I know of two all mountain skis that carve as well as it does (except for the Rossi Experience 98, but it’s a lot less versatile and won’t do as well in powder). Hope this helps!


  3. Will I love your guys ski reviews. They are very informative possibly too informative. They have more info than I can process. I have demoed the TST. I did enjoy it in soft snow it was very fun and easy. However I think I need a ski that is geared a little more aggresive. Was wondering if you had any possible suggestions. Looking for something to use during or after a storm for a couple days. steep technical runs, like to ski as fast as possible. Do not ride switch or do any crazy airs. 6’2″ 160 lbs. not looking for somethng for hard snow or groomers as I am set there.

    Thanks Luke

    • Hey Luke,

      Two skis come to mind: The Moment Belafonte and Blizzard Cochise. The Bela is a bit more demanding due to its traditional camber underfoot and flat tail, where the Cochise is a touch more forgiving but you’ll still be able to rage on that ski. There’s quite a bit written about those (and comaprisons between them) on the site. It sounds like they’re more of what you’re looking for. Hope this helps,


  4. Hi, this is a great review as always!

    I’m a 6’1 180lbs advanced/expert skier (~50+ days/season), my current quiver is made of 185 Armada ARV for park and 192 Atomic Bent Chetlers for powder, etc…

    I’m mainly skiing in Europe where I spent 95% of my time offpiste and currently I’m pretty much only using my Bent Chetlers whatever the conditions (which is not the best solution…) so I’m looking for a pair of ski to complete my quiver, for when there is only crud and chop off piste or even hardpack.

    I love the way my Bent Chetlers skis in the powder and a few days after a storm, but I would like a second ski with which I can “charge” a bit more and that can handle better aggressive skiing in crud, windblown snow, week old powder, etc… and with a descent edge hold on the hardpack (in the Alps we don’t have as much powder as in Utah :'( ). I’m not the biggest fan of trees and I prefer open faces where I can make big and fast turns (but I do like to throw my ski sideway sometimes), I jump small to medium size cliffs and I occasionally try to spin off a few things (I won’t be doing any switch with these skis).

    So I guess I need a ski with a width of 105 to 112 and 190+cm length, that is more stable than my BC, with less rocker, while being still a bit “poppy”.

    Finally, I just won a pair of 192 TST, so my question is do you thing that I should keep them? Are they what I’m looking for? Or should I sell then I get something like a Line Influence 115 or a Völkl Gotama (I don’t include the Zealot because I tried then in 18xcm and didn’t like them)?

    Thanks !

    • Hey Tom,

      As I say toward the end of the review: “The TST’s relatively forgiving flex and lighter feel let it get kicked around a fair amount in firmer chop. I didn’t feel like I really wanted to open the ski up and rage. The TST isn’t a demanding, crud-busting comp ski like the Moment Belafonte, it’s a light, quick all-mountain ski….The TST will let an aggressive, advanced skier ski hard through chop after lunch on a powder day, but the expert looking for more of a heavy, damp board to slay chop and crud probably ought to consider the Blizzard Cochise or the Moment Belafonte.”

      I’m I’m looking to cut big turns on an open face through windbuff/crud/the I would opt for wither 187cm Moment Belafonte or the 185cm Blizzard Cochise before the TST (I haven’t skied the Gotama, but it’s essentially a Cochise w/out metal). I’d say sell the TST and look into both of those – we have a lot of content on the site comparing both the Belafonte and Cochise. You should be able to find all of it easily via the Ski INDEX.

      Hope this helps!



  5. Thanks for the great review. I am looking for a new telemark ski–do you think the TST would be a good fit for me? Here’s my background:

    I have been telemarking in CO for a few years. I probably spend about 60% of my time in the bumps, 20% in open bowls, and 20% in the trees. I am 6-2 and 175lbs.

    I currently use a pair (on loan) of 170 K2 PistePipes that are 80 wide. They are pretty good in the bumps, but overall seem too small and flexy for me.

    I’m looking for something that is a little bigger and wider and more stable in the bowls, but also not too heavy/cumbersome in the bumps. DPS Wailer 99, Blizzard Kablooie, and maybe Salomon Rocker 92 are on my list too. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. thanks!

    • Hi mmb,

      Sure thing, from what you’re describing, the TST could be a very good option – it is far from cumbersome. I’m not very familiar with those other skis, but I would guess that the Rocker 92 would feel a little more forgiving, though it wouldn’t provide as stable a ride in soft chop.


  6. I’m 5 foot 10 and 170lbs. Bought the TST’s in 183. I have Noticed what Will said about the skiing wanting to pull you accoss the fall line. Will coud you please explain to me what you mean about de-tuning the shovels? Is this something I can easily do? Or should I bing it to a ski shop and what would I tell them?

    As far as the Ski is concerned, I have skied four days. Great in soft snow, and rails on groomers. I think the elf shoe shape where the ski gets wider after the shovel, creates a longer contact area when you get the ski on edge for long GS turns. I have had trouble with the ski in snow that is broken up. I’m not sure how much is me and he much is the ski. If you have any tips on skiing this Kim in those conditions let me

    The ski is nimble, and skis well in bumps and jump turns in tight places.

    • Hi Harlan,

      The 192cm skis very short, so given your height I’m not too surprised you feel the shovels turning very quickly. I would definitely try detuning and re-asses. A shop should be able to do this for you, but if you want to do it yourself – buy a soft (grey colored) gummi stone at a shop. Anyone who carries tuning equipment should have them. Hold your skis together (base to base) and press the camber together. Find the contact point where the edges/bases separate due to the tip rocker. Starting about an inch in front of that point (toward the tip), you’ll want to run the stone along each edge toward the tips of the skis. Do this repeatedly, checking every now and then to see if the edge on the rockered portion of the ski is smoother/duller than the edge underfoot. This will allow the rockered part (which is normally off the snow) to be less likely to catch and hook on unpredictably on snow, though it won’t sacrifice the edge hold underfoot at all. You might detune a little, test the ski out, and then try some more after a few runs to dial in the feel.

      Hope this helps!


  7. Hi,I am a female, 5’9 and 170#. I ski at Squaw. I can ski anything. Tried a demo last week on the Line prophet 98 in a 172cm, Mantra in 177cm (too stiff, too much ski) and the Blizzard Bonafie 173cm. Like the Bonafide best, but found it a little heavy as all of the above were. Didn’t have time for the Armada TST, bur based on reviews, wish I had. Was wondering a size recommendation, and also, male vs female ski. Currrently on Head sweet fat thing, 174 cm, 94 cm underfoot. A lot of fun, but just can’t hold the ice at Squaw. So, male vs. female TST and what size? Thanks, Lauren

    • Hey Lauren,

      First, the TSTw is the same ski as the TST apart from the topsheet (and the women’s is offered in some shorter lengths with proportionally narrower waist widths and turn radii).The TST will definitely feel lighter and more agile than both the Mantra and likely the Bonafide, and will still provide a strong edge hold, though it may not bust through crud as easily as those skis. Unless you feel like your Heads ski really short, I think the 174 would be the way to go. The mens 174cm will be the same as the women’s – just pic your favorite topsheet. Hope this helps!


  8. Hey,

    I am just wondering what size I should get the 174s or the 183s. I am 5,9 and about 200 pounds.

    Also just wondering if any of you think I should spring for a ski thats more of a eastern ski. I ski mostly Windam and I go to mad river valley around every other week probably less. They both get around the same amount of snow but sugarbush and mad river glen ussally get about 3 or 4 more storms because it is colder and they have the lake to the east. Not really sure what to buy. I have the bandits in 170 something if that helps.And also might take trip out west so also need a ski that will handel it thatsnow…

    ,Thanks Mike

    • HI Mike,

      The TST is definitely an option, but there are a number of other skis that might fit the bill (which you may or may not have considered). Tell me a little more about your ability level and what you’re looking to do with the ski. Given your height and weight, I think the 183 TST would be the way to go, but if you really like to ski hard though chop and the days after a storm, you might want something a little heavier and stiffer – like the Volkl Katana – or more of an all-mountain carver like the Rossi Experience 98.



  9. Hi Will, I am buying a pair Armada TST’s tomorrow in 183cm. What are your thoughts on the mounting point for this ski , Fore and aft of center ? About me, 6 ‘ – 165 lbs, I have been skiing for 25 years and ski every kind of terrain that my knees still allow. Currently skiing Volkl Gotama’s in 186cm and am getting the TST’s for a more turny, softer, but still lively ski. Really like to ski the dry deep powder and trees here in Montana ( who doesn’t ) but also ski the whole mountain with my wife and kids. Any thoughts on the mounting position is really appreciated.
    Thanks , Lou

    • Hi Lou,

      With this ski, I never really felt the need to mess with the mount point. I definitely wouldn’t go forward, if you were to change anything. The contact points are pulled back quite a bit on the shovel already, so sitting even more forward will really exaggerate that shortened effective edge in the forebody and could feel fairly unstable. I suppose you could mount back from the recommended line. But, while the tails are supportive I don’t find them punishing, so I think I would rather not reduce any of the edge hold through the tail that the ski has mounted on the line.



  10. Hi guys. Just came across your site today and it’s awesome! Thanks for the bomber reviews.

    I’m 6’1″, 185lbs and have been a boarder for along time. I wanted to venture into the BC to do some touring and didn’t trust a split board so I picked up some k2 Coombacks (182) last year with some dynafits and have been taking them to the resort. Actually works really well but i’m not the same skier I was a year ago. I would classify myself as intermediate on the verge of taking the next step and spend most of my time bombing the shoots at lake louise Canada. So I’m looking for a ski that has the float necessary for off piste pow but can still hold a groomer and the bumps at times when there hasn’t been a fresh dump.

    How do the TST’s compare to the new Atomic Rituals? The dimensions seem about the same though through reading, I think the rituals will be much stiffer but as I’ve never been on either I can’t say for sure. And last question…is the 190+ Armada too much ski for me? I know it’s an impossible question really to answer but I’m really torn between a 180+ and 190+ as i don’t want a ski that I can’t work in the moguls, but want to rip the chutes on those fresh snow days.

    Thanks guys!


    • Hey Ian,

      The TST is probably the most appropriate for you right now as a strong intermediate, but I think a 182cm Ritual might ultimately be the better choice if you’re progressing and gaining confidence pretty quickly. I haven’t skied the Ritual, but here’s my thinking:

      While I bet you could handle the 192 TST well, I personally wouldn’t want to have to maneuver that length in bumps, so for that reason I would recommend the shorter 183. However, while I’m sure you’d be able to enjoy that ski now and as you become a stronger skier, I’m just not sure for how long. Knowing how easy and short the 192 TST felt for its size (except, of course, in moguls), I worry that the 183 would start to feel squirrely and limited at speed as you developed a more aggressive, advanced style. After all I didn’t find the 192 terribly stable at speed in it’s own right – it can still take some speed, but there are more damp, better crud skis out there.

      Towards the end of Ryan Caspar’s review of the 190cm Ritual, he notes: “The Ritual can be easily slashed and skidded for reliable speed control and playfulness, but is still very suitable for advanced skiers looking for a substantial ski to use as an everyday all-mountain ripper for groomers to light powder. For intermediate skiers, this ski is forgiving and versatile enough to enjoy and grow into.”

      Again, I haven’t skied the Ritual, but based on Ryan’s impression and my understanding of the ski’s construction, I think still you’d be happy with it even though it will likely going to feel a little heavier, stiffer, and a less forgiving than the 192 TST, and definitely the 183 TST. (The Ritual has a titinal, metal reinforced core to give it some dampness and weight that the TST doesn’t have).

      Unless your 182 Coombacks feel like too much ski right now, I think the 182 Ritual might be the better ski to “grow into” over the TST- it should allow you to take a shorter 182cm length for mogul performance but provide more stability than I imagine the shorter 183cm TST will provide.

      Hope this helps! Let us know what you decide.


  11. Nice site! Very informative. Question; 6 ft 230 lbs, agressive advanced skier. Just getting back into skiing after 10 yr break. Ive been out 5 times this year and apart from tiring too quickly its like riding a bike, except for Im on 200 cm toothpicks that do groomers and hard pack flawlessly, I find them wanting in the powder and the skiied of powder, crud etc. Ive demo’ed the Rossi S7 and the JJ’s as well as the Norwalks, and solomon shoguns and today the armanda TST in 192. The shoguns were the 181″s and they and the TST were the best of the bunch for me.My question is, on powdery moguls, and in cruddy little chutes, the TST 192 were really good (I think so far my fave) the tips did get caught up once in a while. The bindings were mounted 1 cm back of center, do you think the 187 would be a good choice or possibly sticking with the 192 and moving forward to ski center. I still plan on using my 200cm force 9 solomons for the packed and soft groomers. Thanks, Sean

    • Hi Sean,

      Just so I’m clear, the 192s you demoed were mounted -1cm back from true center or from the recommended mount point? While I’d have to confirm this, I’m pretty certain Armada’s factory line for the TST is more toward a traditional line (something like -6 or -7 from true center). In any case if you did feel the 192s were too long (which wouldn’t surprise me – that’s a lot of ski length in bumps no matter how light), you could opt for the shorter 183. However, given your height and weight, I worry that the 183 might ski too short. Let me know about the mount location of the skis you demoed and I’ll be able to make a more confident suggestion.



  12. As mentioned I am 5 foot 10 and weigh about 170. I am an aggressive skier with over 30 years experience. Bought the TST’s in 183. Had found the would pull me accross the fall line on steeps. I followed Will’s directions and de-tuned the shovels. Just got back from 4 days in Vail. I can tell you that these skis rock. Incredible in trees, knees deep power, skied out powder, groomers and bumps. The only thing they do not do great is tough crud – the are not as stiff or heavy (like Cochise, Mantra’s etc) enough to be great at that. They are quick side to side. Suprisinly they make great GS turns at high speeds too. I adjusted my form from prior skis Vokl Karma’s where i skied both skies pretty evenly to the TST where you need to have your downhill ski somewhat ahead of your uphill ski, an not as close together. These skies are a blast!

  13. Great reviews! I’m 5′-11″, 193 lbs, 49 year old, been skiing for 44 years. Grew up in WY and UT and skied high school ski team and competed in moguls when I could. I live in PHX now and pretty much only get out every week for spring break. So I don’t have much experience with the newer technology in skis. I demoed the TST and the Coshise in 183/185 length. Coshise was ok but the TST was a blast! Skied the steep chop mostly, but corduroy groomers too. The 192 was not available in demo but I’m considering purchasing them. I used to compete moguls with a 207 slalom ski and even skied my 210 GS cut in the bumps and loved them. I did not get a chance to ski any good moguls on the TST or the Coshise but the TST fit my needs everywhere else. Couple questions: I’m assuming the 192 is my “go to” length, but will they rip in the bumps based on my skill level and experience?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Tod,

      Having not skied the 183, or knowing exactly how you felt about its length, it’s a little hard for me to know, but it sure sounds like the 192 could be the way to go for you. I know you didn’t get the 183 in bumps, but did it feel very short and super maneuverable (or unstable and chattery) at all when you skied it? Did it you feel like you could handle a lot more ski? It sure seems like that might have been the case, given that you’re used to a 207 in bumps. Unless you didn’t feel like the 183s shorter length was limiting in terms of stability, and you don’t think you could handle the extra material in tighter spots, I would go for the 192.



  14. Great review! I was looking for versatility skiis to update mine and then found this one. I am 165 cm and 130 pounds. I though just getting comfortable black moguls and powder (I ski in Canadian rockies, mainly Lake Louise), so I am not an expert, and really like to charge on groomed. Should I go for TSTw 156cm or 165cm?…

    • Hi Nata,

      I think the 165 would be the way to go. The tip rocker in this ski really helps shorten up the running length on hard snow, making turn initiation easy, but you’ll still have the extra surface area in soft snow and stability as you spend more and more time in the steeps.



  15. Hi Will,

    I’m currently deciding on my first pair of skis. I’ve always previously rented but i am keen to get on some better skis. I ski in the alps and like to ski off piste in as much as I can. I want a ski that I can play around on most of the time (e.g. cliffs and some spins) but is still solid enough to push hard on harder terrain. Im considering the TST’s the S3’s and the PB&J’s. How do these skis compare? and do you think they are suitable?


    • Hey Tom,

      Those are all good options. Of those three the TST is going to feel the lightest and at the same time provide the best edge hold in firm conditions. The PB&J will feel heaviest, and will likely be the calmest in chopped, cruddy snow, and be the most playful and floaty in powder (it’s the widest of the three, but not by much). The S3 is probably somewhere in between. It’s not as locked in as the TST on groomers, is probably comparable to the TST in crud, and will be a bit little more forgiving than the PB&J in general- it’s softer in the tips and tails. It seems the PB&J would be a good choice IF you like the idea of a ski with some tail rocker, a more centered mount, and a more playful feel that can still do some aggressive riding. I hope this helps, please let me know if you have more specific questions, given this information.



  16. Hey,
    These are some excellent reviews!
    I’ve been looking for the one ski to rule them all:
    high speeds, big turns, 60 on piste/40 off piste, quicker smaller curves, jumps in the park as well as off piste and whenever i can: a quick 360 on the piste.

    Your review is really convincing, but I’m not sure about the size: I’m only 5’8″ and 152lbs. Go with the 175?

    Also the part about soft chop worries me a bit: I wouldn’t want to slow down or feel uncomfortable when snow starts piling up (as in the Alps there is more of that than there are fresh slopes)
    But I’m an very expierienced skier and i’m not lazy.

    So what do you think? Is this the ski for me?


    • Hi Jan,

      Sorry about my slow reply. At 5’8″, I think would go with the 174s.
      The TSTs aren’t a disaster in chop by any means. I was able to do some aggressive, fast skiing through chopped up snow on them, I just had to be a bit “on my toes” – I couldn’t mindlessly hammer through crud the way you can on a big, heavy, stiff big-mountain ski, but needed to work with the terrain, help the TST absorb and avoid more prominent undulations. With that expectation, if you’re spending the majority of your time on-piste and want a light swing weight, I think the ski would suit you well – it’s awesome on hardpack. Hope this helps!


  17. Expert female, 5’7″ 160lbs…should I go with TST 165 or 174? Ski mostly in the West. Moving to Alaska. Love trees…will the 174s be nimble enough?

    • bko,

      I would go longer with this ski – so the 174. The turn initiation is so easy with the TST, and the ski is relatively light, so I think it will do very well in the trees.



  18. Hi

    I just bought these skis at 183. I’m 5’8 160 I was wondering if these would be too big for me as I was considering the 174, but a friend told me to size up on these so I did. I’m and intermediate-advanced skier, was looking for something to push myself further skillwise. Thanks for help.

    • Hi Clint,

      I’m 6’2″ (so ~ 188cm) and I skied the 192, some 4 cm taller than me. If you’re 5’8″ (~173cm), I’d worry that the 183, at 10cm taller than you might be a bit too much ski. it’s hard for me to say, but I’d feel more comfortable suggesting the 174 for you. That’s my thinking given the information I have.

      Hope this helps,


  19. HI Will,

    Just picked up a pair of TST’s in 192 and wanted to see if you had a binding recommendation. I’m a 6′ 1″ 185 lb agressive skier and was thiking of getting Marker Jester’s in 110. I wanted to check in to see if that would be too wide for the 103 TST waist or if you had another suggestion. Thanks for the reviews they were very helpful and informative.


    • Hey Brian,

      Marker makes a 90mm, 110mm, and 130mm brake. I’d go with the 110 as you’re thinking – you’d only have 3.5mm of clearance between the ski’s sidewall and brake, which is just fine. I don’t think bending out a 90mm brake to make it fit would work too well.



      • Speaking from experience, bending a brake to fit a larger ski is difficult, even with a large vice and good tools. I’m fairly sure the brakes are not as structurally sound as they once were.

  20. Looking for a fun, playful powder specific ski to complement more serious race skis on powder days.

    Would I regret the “rocker in the front only” on the TST or would something like a Sir Francis Bacon or S7 with rocker in the tail be better on these days and in the tighter trees?

    • Hey John,

      I think you’re right. While it doesn’t have nearly the same weight or stiffness of a race ski, the TST has a race-like feel to it on edge on groomers and firm snow. It’ll satisfy if you’re set on maintaining this firm, dependable hold through the tail with a more powder oriented ski. If you want some thing decidedly more playful and looser in the tail in a similar width, I would certainly take a look at the SFB, or maybe the 190cm Rocker 2 108 (you could ski those on non-powder days if you wanted a more playful feel in the trees or bumps too.) The S7 is significantly wider than either of those and is more of a dedicated powder ski, in a different class from the TST or those others I’ve mentioned. It won’t be quite as versatile.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions,


  21. Great reviews. I’m enjoying reading your reviews and the comments. I’m 43, live in Jackson Hole and am looking for a new everyday Jackson Hole ski. I tour and backcountry ski on 185 G3 Tonics with G3 Onyx tech bindings and my Teton Village ski is a 192 Salomon Shogun. I’ve found the 192 Shogun to be too much ski for me. I live in Jackson, but have work and family commitments, so I ski at Jackson Hole maybe 15 days/season with 15-20 days in the backcountry. My fitness level isn’t what it needs to be to move the 192 shogun around. I’m 5’11 – 200lbs, but am looking at the 183 TST as an everyday Jackson Hole ski. I do pull out GS skis, when the mountain is skied out and only groomers remain, but that is only 2-3 days/year. Do you think the TST might be the right ski for me? I’m not a charger, so I don’t need a super stiff agressive ski like the Cochise, however, I’m an expert who needs a ski to take me everywhere. thank you.

    • Hi Steve,

      I haven’t skied the Shogun, so I can’t be sure how much more friendly the 192 TST would feel in comparison. However I’m pretty certain that the 183 TST would feel like a lot less ski to you, with a lighter swing weight and easier turn initiation. The 192, as I’ve said in the review, skis very short and easily for its size. I’m pretty sure the 183 would be too short for me at 6’2″, and for any aggressive skier around 6′ looking for high-speed stability in chop. But if you’re not looking to “charge” though cruddy snow, and just want something with some nice stability through the tail that’s still going to be quick and light in the bumps, I think it would be just fine. You might also consider taking a look at the Nordica Hell & Back. It’s going to be a little sturdier than the TST in firm, variable conditions, but maybe not quite as demanding as the Cochise.

      Hope this helps,


  22. Hi all,
    What a wonderful review, so much information I can almost see/feel the reviewer skiing on the ski as he describes what the ski is doing! So I think the 192cm tst(2014) is for me. I am 6ft and 75kgs and expert skier! I will be replacing a rossi scratch bc 188cm. I know I know it’s an old ski but its been fantastic for the last 5 years!!!! If they were good enough for Rory Bushfield they were good enough for me!!!!
    I only have a couple of questions….What are the tips on the TST like when skiing fast through a field of soft pillowed moguls say like the head walls at Silver Star resort BC??? Also I have a pair of FKS’ with only a 95mm brake, can they be worked to fit the 102mm waist?? Also I was thinking of mounting a binding 10mm/15mm forward of the mark on the ski?? I ride my scratch on the modern mark which is 20mm forward of standard…
    Thanks again for all the information…

    • Hi Chris,

      The tips of the TST stay relatively quiet compared to the rest of the ski in chop, but in general there are skis that will out-perform the TST in the conditions you’re describing.
      I’ll just quote the review here, as I think the answer is there already: “The TST’s relatively forgiving flex and lighter feel let it get kicked around a fair amount in the firmer chop. I didn’t feel like I really wanted to open the ski up and rage. The TST isn’t a demanding, crud-busting comp ski like the Moment Belafonte, it’s a light, quick all-mountain ski.To be clear, the TST will let an aggressive, advanced skier ski hard through chop after lunch on a powder day, but the expert looking for more of a heavy, damp board to slay chop and crud probably ought to consider the Blizzard Cochise, Epic Planks Ripper, or those Moment Belafontes.”

      And yes, I would imagine you should be able to bend a 95mm brake to fit the TST without a problem – that’s only a 3.5mm bend on each side.

      To your question about mount point – I definitely wouldn’t go forward on the TST. It’s not the same ski as your Scratch BC. The contact points are pulled back quite a bit on the shovel already, so sitting even more forward will really exaggerate that shortened effective edge in the forebody and could feel fairly unstable in chopped conditions.

      Hope this helps,


      • Hi Will,
        Thanks for the feed back, I think the other skis suggested such as the Blizzard Cochise, Epic Planks Ripper, or those Moment Belafontes are more geared to big mountain skiing, the radius’ are that little bit longer, so the TST might give me the best of both worlds, ie trying new technology and still have some float at 103mm waist with the 19m radius.. I do worry about going 192cm, I said last Feb ” I am getting to old to be skiing on 188cm, I might go shorter!!!”
        I am a expert skier(6ft, 75kg) so I know I will be able to ski on them(192), the 183cm just looked so small when I placed them on the shop floor, They didn’t have the 192cm in the shop to do the same…What is the length between the contact points of this ski at 192cm???
        I love charging moguls and I keep asking myself will I enjoy this ski at 192cm???? That’s a lot of ski to manage!

        The more I find out and read the harder the choice seems…. I love my Rossi Bc Scratches!!!!

        Thanks for you help,

        p.s Have you skied at Silver Star near Kelowna/Vernon BC?

        • Hi Chris,

          I have to say, when it comes to making length recommendations to readers, we’re finding it a little frustrating that Armada only offers the TST in a 183 and 192. In general, a size range in the middle – 185-187cm – is what seems to suit most people that are 5’10” – 6’1″, and strong skiers.

          I don’t know the exact effective edge of the 183 at the moment, but you’re correct; for a 6′ tall person, with that much tip rocker the 183 measures up pretty short. As a result, I worry you wouldn’t find the stability you wanted if you were to pick up some speed in chop, or when you’re “charging moguls”. BUT with the 192, while you’ll have the stability you want over the 183, you’ll have to deal with threading 192cm of material through moguls (which isn’t ideal, at all).

          As I suggested to a reader above, have you checked out Jonathan’s review of the Nordica Hell & Back? It’s a ski that’s going to offer a similar stable feel on hardpack as the TST, is fairly light, has some tip rocker for easier turn initiation and better planing in chop, and comes in a more compatible 185cm length. Give his review a read and see what you think.



  23. Hey guys, the review is a blast – thanks a lot! I’ve loved the brand Armada from the first time I saw them on the market… Ever since I wanted to have a pair! Now I have finally the $$$. I am 6 foot(183) 215lbs. Intermidiate-Advanced… I should go for 183cm right?

    What would be the advantage/disadvantage of 174cm compared to 183cm?

    P.S. My area doesn’t get much powder snow in the season, so it’s 75% hardpack, 25% powder.

    • Hi Zurab,

      Yep, I would certainly go for the 183. The potential disadvantages of the 174 could be a loss of stability at speed and in choppy snow, which you would be more likely to notice as you improve and start to ski harder and more aggressively. As I say in the review and a number of comments, the TST has a drastically reduced effective edge in the front of the ski. While this is nice in that it makes the TST so easy to push into a turn, you do need to account for that reduced edge hold in the front of the ski because it affects other aspects of its performance and handling. You don’t want it to be TOO easy to turn in that you’ll actually find yourself overpowering the ski, and I would worry about that happening with the shorter 174.

      Hope this helps!


  24. Hey im a smaller Guy 5 foot7 150 lbs I already ski the 175 jj and im in love on Pow days but im on the east coast looking for a more everyday ski thinking about getting the tst in the same length. But worried the camber tails will get in the way in the trees what r your thoughts .. Thanks Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,

      The traditional tails of the TST won’t “get in the way” any more than the tail on your JJs – there’s no additional length to them – but they will feel like they’re biting the snow more, not letting the tail skid/wash out as easily as those on your JJ’s do. This just means you’re going to have to get used to that feeling a bit, but I don’t think it means the TST couldn’t be a great tree ski. Even though it has a non-rockered tail, you can still pivot and turn the ski very quickly, it’s just going to need a little more input than your JJ to do so.

      Hope this helps!


  25. Hey guys, the review is awsome! Thank you a lot! Im going to buy a pair of TST for this coming season. Should i go with 183 or 192? Im 5´11 and 175lbs. Im a very agressive skier, and im afraid i would overpower the 183 at high speeds (groomers and chopped). But on the other hand i love skiing trees, bumps and doing 180`s, 360`s and aim afraid the 192 would be to long for that stuff. I will be mounting them with dukes (for resort touring) if it helps.
    My area doesn’t get much powder, so i will be using them 30%powder 70% hardpack.

    So what are the main differences and which one do you recommend me?

    PS: I allready have a pair of skis for hardpack, groomers and ice conditions. I was looking a ski for softer conditions and some powder

    Thank you a lot!

    • Hey Jhon,

      Especially given the nature of the ski, the length options with the TST are pretty frustrating and make recommendations difficult sometimes. I wish they made a 187cm size!!

      I’ll say this. I would think you would be far more disappointed with the 183 at high speeds than you will the 192 in bumps and tress. 192cm is a lot of material length to work through bumps, and it’s not going to be an ideal bump ski, but it can be done. With how light and maneuverable the 192 TST is, I would expect to be overpowering the 183 in any sort of crud or chop pretty quickly, and it sounds like you would do the same. So while the 192 might not be ideal in some areas (bumps particularly), on the other hand the 183 will be insufficient in some very important ones.

      Hope this helps.


  26. Hi All,
    I went out and bought a pair of 192cm TST. When I got them home, first thing I did was measure the effective edge….. Measured 137/138cms! From the factory mount line to where the tail lifts is about 74cms…..

  27. Thanks for the reply. Im still undecided between the Armada TST, salomon rocker 2 108, and rossignol soul 7. thinking about the Tyrolia adrinaline bindings for a 50/50 side country/ everyday all mountain ski. any suggestions

  28. Hi Will.Looking for some advise on a second ski for my quiver that wont overlap too much with my 192 TST,S. I picked up a pair last year and they rock! I put the marker jester demo bindings on them, and found that 1 cm back from recommended mount point was for me. Im 6′, 225 lbs and have been skiing 25 years and I am advanced/expert. I find the TSTs work awesome everywhere, even at top speed on groomers with the binding mounted back a little. What Im looking for, is a ski that doesn’t get tossed around in the frozen and wind swept powder. The skis work good in crud, but that refrozen 6-10″ chopped up powder is what Im trying to tame. Ive been reading up on possibly the bonafides, cochises, or maybe the mantras. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. I would only be using this ski on those refrozen days or icy groomers. Thanks

    • Hey Sean,

      Great to hear you’re liking the TSTs. If you’re trying to blast through nasty frozen crud, the best skis for the job (that I’ve been on) are the Volkl Katana, Moment Belafonte, and Blizzard Cochise. The Cochise and Katana are extremely similar in terms of their camber profile – the notable difference being that the Katana is 111mm underfoot and the Cochise 108mm. You might say the Katana is more of a big-mountain/powder ski where the Cochise is more of a wider all-mountain ski (as if the Belafonte, which is a touch more demanding than the Cochise) Jonathan Ellsworth loves the Mantra for ripping groomers and firm snow (also more of an all-mountain ski at 98mm underfoot), though I haven’t skied it.

      So if you’re thinking you want something similar in width to your TST, I’d definitely recommend the Cochise or Belafonte. (I should note that Moment has tweaked the Belafonte for this season, so I’d only reccomend last year’s). You can find some comparisons between those two in my 3rd Look of the Belafonte. I think the Mantra could probably out-carve either of those skis, but they would be preferable if you’re just trying to smooth out the ride in really funky, chopped snow.

      And if you want something that’s a bit more powder-oriented. but still awesome in bad snow, definitely take a look at my review of the Katana.

      Hope this helps!!


  29. Great review as always. As a fairly new skier, I learn so much from reading your reviews.

    I’m a 5’11” , 200+lb “advancing intermediate” skier, that lives I the southeast. Ski here a few days a year and take several trips out west every year. Last season began playing around more off trail and in the trees, which is the direction I want to take my skiing. Was taught more of the ‘tip to turn’ technique more than pivoting. But realize that it’s a dynamic sport depending on the situation and conditions. As of now, I’m definitely not a speed demon.
    Currently on an older Prophet 90, but want a bigger ski for soft days.

    Was able to demo a few wider boards at Steamboat last year in 6-8″ of fresh, then chop. Demoed the S3 which I didn’t care for too much, demoed the SFB which I really liked, although I believe the one i was on was too short (can’t remember length, but def not the 190) and wasn’t great in chopped up powder. I’m sure it was part my lack of skill, and partly being on too short of a ski.

    So I’m looking at skis in the 100+ range. Was initially interested in the Soul 7, but have concerns might not be burly enough for my weight. Others I have on my radar are the Nordica Vagabond, the PB&J, and now after reading this review, the TST. Honestly I’ve read so many different reviews of skis, I’m in an analysis paralysis situation…ill be in Utah at the end of January and plan to demo some skis, but finding some of these to demo can be a challenge.

    Some of the 110+ skis are also interesting, but I’m trying to be realistic of what conditions ill likely see on my trips that will be planned well in advance. But. If there is one that might be a good fit for me, I’d still consider it…

    So, to end up a long winded confusing post, would you say I’m on track with the TST? Is there something else I should have on my radar?

    Thanks guys!

    • Hey William,

      It does sound like you’re on track with the TST and the Bacon. Those skis are narrow enough to give you some edge-to-edge quickness for bumps and trees that a wider 110mm+ ski, wouldn’t allow as much, but will definitely float better than your Prophet 90s.

      It’s good to know you liked the way the SFB handled (I bet you were on the 184). We’re in the process of reviewing the 190cm Bacon right now, so keep an eye out for that in the next few weeks. It could be a great option for you. I would imagine the TST will feel a little stronger through the tail than the SFB, and won’t release quite as easily – you could say it will feel more like a wider, lighter version of your Prophets, I suppose. So if you’re keeping your Prophets, it might make more sense to go with the SFB, because you’d then have a wider, more playful ski with some tail rocker that might be best for your tree skiing (and when things are soft). Maybe try and see if you can demo the 190 SFB when you’re in Utah , ideally along side the 192cm TST?

      As for the PB&J, that ski is rather stiff in the tips and tails, which also have a good amount of rocker, and has a fairly centered up mount point. So unless you’re really looking to us it as a freestyle all-mountain ski, I think it makes sense to go with something slightly wider (like the SFB), that has mellower rocker lines, and a more supportive tail. It’s a good ski, but makes less sense for you than the SFB, given you have your Prophets.

      Hope this helps a bit! Let us know what you decide.

      Will B

  30. Thanks again for another great review.

    I am considering the TST for an all around backcountry/occasional resort ski for the Tahoe and Cascade areas. I currently have a pair of the 191 Voile Chargers which are great but don’t handle the hard stuff as well as I like.

    The Praxis Backcountry is also on my radar. I was wondering if you could compare the two?

    This will be the first of my two ski quiver, with the fatter pow specific ski coming later.

    My vitals: 6’5″ 190
    strong intermediate to advanced
    70/30 backcountry/resort


    • Hi Greg,

      The TST should do better than your Voiles on hardpack, these things can rail, through I can’t imagine they’ll float quite as well (which wouldn’t be too much of a problem if you’re planning on picking up a more powder oriented ski later on anyway). Unfortunately, I haven’t skied the Praxis Backcountry, so I can’t chime in there.


  31. Another nice review. I’m looking for an all around tele ski for Summit County.5’10”, 165#. Currently on 186 Nordica Steadfast and 186 volkl gotama. NTN bindings. I have a set of old bibbys mounted alpine for the deeper powder days and choppy days afterwards. Wanting something a little quicker and more playful and quick than my current skis. Not a fan of the full rockered Gotamas unless everything is nice and soft.

    I’ve been eyeing the DPS wailer 99’s and specifically wondering if anyone could offer a comparison between the TSTs and the DPS. Seem like they have a lot of elements in common. I’d probably be looking at the 183 TST, 184 wailer.


    • Hi Jack,

      The 99 has a little touch of tail rocker, so given that I think the TST is going to feel a little more locked down on edge than the 99, which will smear out the end of turns a little easier. Depending on which core layup you get (hybrid vs pure), the 99s could also feel a touch more stable in crud/chop, but not significantly. I think the edge hold through the tail is probably the most important distinction between the two, but other than that they are quite similar.

      Hope this helps!


  32. Hi i am 5 11″ (1.80cm) and 190 lbs (86kg). I am advanved to expert skier agressive and used to ski on piste with SL skies of 13 to 13.5 radious. I mostly carve in a swing vendel mode sort fast and powerfull turns but i don’t reject larger carves as well. I usualy use the s power 6.8 blizzard skies for that. Last year
    I bought the bonafides for off piste runs. Really good skies but not my style at all as they are very stiff and not turny (21 radious) hudge for my taste and for the places i use to ride. So i will go for the TST’s. Only for powder off piste or on piste when then snow is absolutly fresh. I deal ice or hard pack with SL skies. The question now is 174 or 183 TST’s. Normaly i should go with 183 but i am 80% towards the 174 for really sort fast and continious turns inside the powder like a swing vendel mode. Will the 174 size do the job for me?

    • Hi tas,

      I would say stick with the 183. As I’ve said, the TST skis very short through the shovel, so I think you’ll still have a very easy time initiating turns on the 183.


  33. Hi Will,
    don’t need to ask you length, as I’m a similar size to Jan & Clint (back in April), height 174 cms, or 5’8″ and a half (that 1/2 inch is very important!), 70.5 kgs (155 lbs), so 174 TST for me.
    The only quandary I have is: should I really go for an all-mountain ski that wide for a 1-ski quiver?

    I’m going to ski only 12 days this season (in Whistler early March), would love to ski powder 80% of the time, but the reality is that I might get 50/50?

    I was an advanced skier in the 80’s, spent several entire seasons in the French Alps, could ski any snow on my narrow, stiff Dynamic VR27’s (SL model). Gave up skiing for 24 years, took it up again on Blackcomb for 2 days in May 2012, then 8 days last year in Japan. Adapting to carving technique after being told my style was “very 80’s”. My powder technique also is very rusty, managed to awkwardly make my way thru some heavy crud in Japan on 83mm wide skis.
    So I guess I’m an “intermediate” skier now, still like to go moderately fast, but no jumps, don’t mind some gentle moguls, love powder, & hoping to work my way back to “advanced” level. Skied blacks in Japan january 2012, no problems, but need some improvement.

    A ski instructor in Canada that I know, about same vintage as me, said for my size and ability I should be considering 84-88mm wide skis, maybe 90mm max, for an all-mountain ski. He said they will float me just as well as a 107mm ski will float a 200 lb guy, difference is I won’t look like a dork trying to carve a ski that’s too wide when I make my way back to the lift! He reckons a lot of people think they’re carving on fat (or semi-fat, like the TST) skis, but the results “aren’t pretty”.

    I would like to buy this season, rather than rent (hoping for some March sales), will demo a few at Whistler’s free demo centre before I commit. They don’t have an Armada TST unfortunately, but they have the Atomic Crimson in a 170 (86mm width, Eastern skier??), Atomic Vantage Alibi in a 173 (98mm width), The Salomon Q90 & Q98 (169 & 172), & Head Rev 90 in a 170cm.
    The TST is 15mm wider than the Crimson, & 3 mm wider than the widest skis in the group above, I can’t see myself noticing a 3mm difference at my current level…??!!

    The turning radius of the TST is only 14.7m (in the 174), shorter than a lot of narrower skis! What does that actually mean for the TST, & an intermediate skier like moi?!

    Thanks Will!

    • Hi Mike,

      Generally speaking, today a wider ski isn’t guaranteed to perform more poorly on edge than a narrower ski, nor is it necessarily going to be more difficult to ski. There are so many possible combinations of dimensions/sidecut and camber/rocker profiles out there that waist width is one part of the equation.

      That being said, the TST may well be a bit wider than you need to be on if you’re going to be skiing about 12 days a year. I would say first try and look into/demo skis in the ~95mm underfoot range. Those skis are still going to provide a more predictable, stable feel in powder and in chopped up powder than some of the others you’ve mentioned (non of which I’ve skied, unfortunately), but will still be able to carve a great turn on groomers. Take a look at my review of the Fischer Watea 96 (I’ll assure you that ski can lay down a carve), Jonathan’s review of the Nordica Hell & Back, and Jason/Jonathan’s reviews of the Blizzard Kabookie – they’re all directional skis with a more “traditional” feel, but that have incorporated subtly rockered designs that will let you adapt to really enjoy a more modern style of skiing, in a range of conditions.

      Hope this helps,


  34. Thanks Will
    that does help, much appreciated! I’ll demo a few when I get to Whistler next week. Next year hoping to get more days in.

  35. Wow Will, I want your job……I could read this stuff all day long!
    My question is this: As a 5′ 9″ 175lb northeast skier, I’m looking for a third and final ski in my quiver and currently roll with Salomon Sentinels (177cm, 94mm waist, full camber) in the crispy early morning groomers and hardpack days where I need to hold an edge and break out my Surface Live Life II boards (179cm, 112mm waist, flat with exaggerated tip and tail rocker) on powder and soft snow days,….they even make the late day cut up fun. I love them both, but for totally different reasons….and each ski is limited. The Sentinels rip going fast and in the steeps but their firmness, camber, and distance between contact points makes them too much work in the bumps and trees…in fact I don’t even bother. The Live Lifes have enlightened me to the wonders of surfing the powder and are crazy fun wedeling a million tight turns on any soft snow, but their size can be clunky in the bumps for me. My research, and especially this site, has sold me on the TSTs and that it is a perfect tweener ski for the days with my teenagers on the bump runs (and basically on anything else)….and all the specs of this ski work for me and what I need…especially at the 174cm. However it seems that you’ve encouraged more than a few in this forum to err on the side of the longer ski….say 183s for me. The idea was a a shorter, more easily maneuverable ski in tight areas……are you that set on recommending the longer ski?

    • Paul, you are describing almost exactly what I’m looking for as well. I’m similar in size to you, 5’9″, 160 lb, and I’m having a hard time deciding on size. I already have a traditional full cambered ski for hard/icy days, but I want to add a softer, shorter, more maneuverable ski for pow days. I too am leaning toward the 174, but there is so many conflicting opinions! In fact, more people than not seem to recommend the 183…but man, I just can’t get past a ski that’s taller than me! I don’t plan to use this for hard charging, I just want to move around more quickly through the trees and through pow/softer chop, but not necessarily fast.

      I hope to hear an(other) opinion about this, but right now I’m leaning toward the 174. I have to remember that for those days when we haven’t had snow in a while, or we just want to cruise groomers, I have another ski to go to specifically for that.

  36. 5’8″ and a half (174cms), 71kgs (155 lbs), going to Whistler on Sunday (March 2nd), will try to demo a 174cm TST hopefully, I’ll get back to you!

  37. Allan:

    Let’s see what Mike says…..but I think I’m set with the 174s anyway. Agreed on a ski longer than my height…..and nothing skis shorter than my Surface Live Lifes from contact point to contact point, and quite frankly I dig it……I’m getting old and like the feeling of being able to swivel on a dime. Great site though, the reviews, comments, and follow up comments are fantastic to a gear junkie like me.

    …and thanks in advance Mike for getting out there this weekend….I’m envious!!

    • Hey Paul,

      Per your initial question (174 vs 183), I think I would still be inclined to tell you to go with the 183. If you look at the rocker profile pictures on p. 3, you’ll see that the effective edge of the ski is way, way shorter than it’s actual length. A 174 would probably feel like a 150-something cm ski on edge, and while you might love how crazy quick that feels in bumps, I’m just thinking that you might like a bit more stability elsewhere on the mountain – and that the 183 will provide that, while still being very maneuverable in the bumps.

      Of course, Mike is the man to chime in and prove me wrong, We’ll have to see what he says!

      Thanks for reading,


  38. Hi guys,
    in Whistler having a ball. Sorry to disappoint but I’ve decided not to demo the TST as I didn’t want to rent it for a day when I could demo several skis at the whistler demo centre for $5, the TST was going to cost $35 (being a tightwad, & they don’t have the TST unfortunately). Would have been free if I’d decided to buy. But found something else.

    Our first day’s skiing (2 days ago) there was some powder, but not much left now. Decided to join the 3-day lesson group. My skiing’s a bit rusty, & still a bit “80’s” after 24 years’ absence. I’m a “strong 5” now (they go up to 6), hoping to improve soon on the “new” carving skis.

    Because it’s mainly groomers & moguls at the moment, & no signs of a big snowfall (5-10cm each day so far), I bought some ex-rentals Salomon rocker2, 2013 model, in a 90mm width. Works out better for me than renting!! And obliterates the dilemma of which ski to buy!

    I tried the 177cms first, but have decided to go for the 169’s, following the advice of my instructor yesterday. He’s 6′, but another instructor, who’s around 5″ shorter than me, thought the 177 would be better for me!
    The first instructor, J, said that he gets to ski powder maybe 10% of the season, and I’m probably going to be lucky to get around that. Course there’s the chance that next year’s trip will be deep stuff the whole trip! Chance I’ll have to take.
    So it makes sense to get a ski that’s going to perform well on piste & moguls, & still be fun in powder (I had a ball in the 80’s on skis that must have been somewhere around 70mm!).

    As for length………as mentioned above, depends on who you talk to! Sorry, haven’t been much help, good luck!
    p.s. if we do get a big dump before I leave (15th) I’m gonna have a go on the Atomic Access Alibi at the Demo Centre, 173 cms, 98mm width.

    • Well, I ended up going with the 174. It is short, quite short in fact. It’s about 20cm(!!!) shorter on edge than my older cambered Dynastar Legends, which are 165’s. I haven’t had a chance to break them out yet, and it looks like the Tahoe season may be winding down (it’s been terrible this year). I may try them out one day even if the conditions aren’t ideal for these particular skis, but I can tell these are gonna feel short on the hardpack.

      Oh well, the one-ski-quiver is still a myth I think. Even if I went with 183’s, that would be almost 20cm longer overall than my current skis! Though the effective edge would have been similar, the whole point (for me) was to get a quick ski for bumps and trees, and something much better suited for powder days (though will Tahoe ever see a true powder day again?). Getting a ski that was almost 20cm longer would have been just as difficult to maneuver and kind of missing the point of getting new skis. My new setup is pretty light too, just under 2,600 grams for each ski. My current setup is about 3,100 grams, so that’s a huge weight difference. Again, just trying for as different a ski as possible for different conditions.

      So, I guess in the end, I could have gone with the 183 and been “on average” happier with true all-mountain skiing, but I’d rather be REALLY happy for the conditions these skis were really made for, and have the trade-off when conditions are harder. I’ll just haul both sets up to the resort and swap them out depending on what is working best that day.

      Of course…all of this could change once I actually try them out!

  39. Right on Allan. Even though I understand Will’s desire to get me on a ski that performs on a more broad range of conditions, that is the antithesis of my goal…sounds like we’re on the same page. I do believe in the one quiver idea for some, but I like the diversity…..to match conditions to a ski properly can make things go from good to great. OR….really interesting. While we had to read Mike living it up around the grandeur that is Whistler over the weekend (he didn’t give us anything!!!lol!), I took a crew up to lowly Windham, NY expecting to get bombed with powder, bringing my surf board Surface Live Lifes, and sure enough the storm goes below us and I’m scraping around on the hardpack with a million city folks that can’t ski……and in the end I found a bunch of neat glades and lightly skied trails and dabbled around in their mellow bumps….places I would have never gone with my hardpack crushing Salomon Sentinels.

    My decision is made but I’d like to hear about it when you finally get on them. I predict you’ll love em. Sorry to hear on Tahoe. I did Heavenly with the family (and Kirkwood with my son on a midweek powder day…outrageous!!) last year and had a good time. Sorry, but I dig it much better back east (not referring to Windham of course)….the ski culture that is, just about everything else about it actually….and we get plenty of pow…..you just gotta know where to go.

  40. hi will! for the second year in a row now, i’ve missed my chance to demo the tstw… that being said, i am just going to bite the bullet and purchase them with high hopes that i will fall in love. my question, what length… 156 or 165? i am 5’1″ 110 lb and will mount with the 22 designs bombshell bindings. thanks!

    • Hi Meg,

      Really sorry about my delayed reply here. I’m fairly confident you would be fine on the 165s, as the 155s are going to ski more like a 140-something on hard snow (really short) but just for a little more information, what ski are you used to skiing on and in what length? Thanks.


  41. Hi guys,
    still in Whistler, glorious sunny days last couple, nice snow up high, getting a trifle slushy & icy in the mornings on the lower slopes, crowd factor NIL today (apart from first Whistler Gondola load, so we took Blackcomb, breezed straight up).

    Rode up the lift with a lady who had Armada TSTw with 2013 graphics, considered buying those ’cause a guy I know back home has a new pair cheap, same ski as TST of course, who cares if it’s purple!!

    Decided the Salomon Rocker2 90’s in a 169cm length weren’t really for me (shoulda listened to the other instructor!) & scored some ex-demo Atomic Alibi’s, 98mm underfoot, 180cms. Love ’em. No powder, but they perform pretty well on the hardpack for a mid-fat.
    Lose a tiny bit of manoeuvrability, but more stable at speed.

    Snow forecast Friday (our last day, sob….), hope to give ’em a run in some soft & fluffy stuff……

  42. A bit late, but I finally got a chance to try out the TST’s. It’s been a terrible year in Tahoe, but we finally got a decent storm cycle with a few feet of fresh pow. Typical Sierra Cement, but seemingly even more dense than normal. Just a quick review, some good points, and some not so good.

    I’ll start with the not so good:
    -They definitely ski short. I’m 5’8″, 160 lb, and I went with a 174. They feel a lot shorter than my older cambered 165’s. Not as fun on the groomed stuff.
    -Not as easy to link turn to turn carving groomers. I don’t know if it’s the width of the skis, but they are seemingly harder to engage from edge to edge without thinking about it. I have to actually think about what I’m doing with my feet instead of just smoothly flowing from turn to turn.
    -Flexy tip rocker. Again, the snow was very dense the day I tried them, and I really could feel all the micro-terrain. That’s snow conditions…but the ski tips definitely bounced around on this stuff, almost flapping in the snow.
    -Because of the greater tip rocker, it’s fairly easy to cross tips. On my old skis, I could basically pin my knees together and keep the skis almost as one, on these I have to be conscious not to cross tips because it’s easy to do.
    -Sketchy in firm chop. Most of the runs were ungroomed, and after a few hours became very chopped up. The dense snow made for very difficult conditions, some soft stuff, some packed, and some hard bumps. In this type of condition, the skis were harder to control, but that could be a skier problem (ie, skills!).

    A lot of the above could be because I’m not used to them yet. Perhaps after next season I’ll feel differently about these things, but for now, those are some minor gripes.

    However…there was a lot of good:

    -So easy to turn. These skis turn on a dime, even in choppy snow. In soft chop, I could cut any turn I wanted and it never felt like I was swinging a lead ball around on my feet. The skis are very light, and paired with a lighter binding, my knees thanked me!
    -Float through powder. This is why I got them…I wanted a true powder ski and I think I found it in these. I was able to float through pow with ease, and it was much less work on my legs. I didn’t have to sit so far back, I let the ski’s rocker keep them on top of snow. Felt almost like an expert, even though I’m far from it haha!
    -Work really well through soft chop. I floated over, through, and around soft cut up snow. With the old skis, I kind of just plowed through it, unless there was a hard enough bump where I could make an easier turn. These just whip turns through cut up stuff without any hesitation, very light swing weight.
    -Easier in the trees. Again, the old skis are much slower and harder to cut nice turns through unevenly spaced trees. It was a real workout and the knees begged me to stop. With the TST’s I had no problem and had more confidence buzzing through glades, no matter the spacing. You stay up higher on the snow, making turning much easier.

    So…bottom line for me is there is still no “one ski quiver” that works for me. I’d be much happier on my old cambered skis on machine groomed or packed snow. Some days I just feel like cruising, taking it easy, and I’d probably stick with the older skis on days like that. However, for days with the freshies, I’m definitely busting out these guys for finding the powder stashes in the trees. The skis definitely feel short, especially when on-piste, but I’m totally fine with that. I wanted something different enough to compliment my other skis. I would recommend if you are spending most of your day within the confines of the resort’s colored lines, you’ll probably not need these skis. But if you spend most of your time on bumps, trees, or in powder after a good dumping, these skis are an excellent choice. 4 stars overall, 3 for groomers and crud, and 5 stars for most everything else.

    This was a long post! But if Armada doesn’t change their design too much on these skis, my review should hold true for a few seasons :)

  43. I am 6’2″ about 165, but 175 with gear and boots. I currently ski 177’s and 176’s , I’m looking for a better ski going into this season for the days that I’m skiing everything and not just groomers. I ski southern Utah and I do trips to alta. I am looking at this ski, 4frnt cody, and the sfb. I like to charge groomers, but also like to spend 60% off piste. These will be my go to skis all day everyday. I ski fast groomers, and technical off piste conditions (bumps, powder, crud, steeps, chutes, etc) I’m thinking in the 183 cm on this ski. Solid advanced skier.

    Would this be your suggestion of the 3?


    • Hey Matt,

      It depends, and unfortunately I haven’t put any time on the SFB or the Cody/Gaucho, but maybe I can help. Are you looking for more of a freestyle oriented ski or something that’s more directional like the TST, not really made to spin or ski switch?



  44. Hello, I’m 1’69cm with 57kg
    Which size of de armada tst should I go..??? 1’65 cm model for my weight maybe..??
    My level is medium, now Im with a 1’69 K2 ext with 80mm and I need wider


    • Hey Marc,

      As I’ve said to other folks, I thin you can definitely size up with the TST. If anything, the 174 model would probably ski a little shorter than your Ext (thanks to the TST’s dramatic tip rocker). So I highly doubt you would find the 174 too long, but the 165 might start to feel pretty short as you got more comfortable on the ski.

      Hope this helps!


  45. Hi Will,

    I like my TSTs so much that they have become my one-and-only ski. In fact, I like them so much that I’m considering buying the 138cm Tantrums (youth’s TSTs) for my little one – this is the shortest length in this line.
    He skis everything (double blacks, trees, cliff areas, couloirs, deep powder, less-than-ideal snow, you name it) at our home mountain (Red Mountain, Rossland, BC) with a fluidity I wish I had. The thing is that he is 7 years old and weights 53 Lbs (no clothing), and measures 4’1.5″ (no shoes) or 4’4″ (with ski boots and helmet).
    I know TSTs are meant to be skied “long”, but does that apply to the Tantrums and, if so, to what degree? After reading your in-depth review of the TSTs I would really appreciate your opinion.


    • Hi Jorge,

      Yep, the Tantrum should be like the TST in terms of sizing. Could you tell me a bit about what he’s skiing on now – what ski and what length? That would help determine whether or not the 138 Tantrum is likely too be a little too long or not. Thanks!


      • Hi Will,

        Thanks for your reply. Pablo was skiing fully-rockered 118cm Volkl Gotama Jr’s (113-80-105) for the last two seasons. He was 5 years old and was 109cm tall barefoot when he began using them , versus 126cm tall now.

        It may seem like the Gotamas were too big in the beginning, but he has pretty strong legs and we only ski powder and trees so he had no trouble and loved them from the first moment.

        My only concern is that the Tantrums are not fully rockered (though the have a nice long early rise) and hence the 138cm length just might be a bit too long (swing weight?). On the other hand the active edge with the classic camber in the 138cm Tantrum is about 94cm which, to me, sounds maybe a bit short for his age, height, and weight. Also the turning radius is quite similar 8.3m vs 10m. I’m not overly concerned about the 80mm waist increasing by 23% to 98mm. They will be used mostly in powder and I’m sure the extra float will be welcomed.

        So there you have it, I’m not sure I looked at all the factors. What do you think?

  46. Good for Tele? Summit county? One ski to rule it all? NTN setup-15+ years on the freeheel in the east, west and alps.

    Do tell?

    • I was really eyeballing these for the exact same purpose (also Summit.) I think the combo of light weight, easy to turn, with a supportive tail is pretty ideal for a tele ski.

      Dave at AMR might have an opinion. I didn’t see any in their demo fleet, but they do sell Armada.

      I ended up with the Rossi Soul7 after really liking them during an alpine ski demo and enjoyed my few end of season days on them last year immensely. Kind of the same principles in a bit wider package (and slight tail rocker.) I still need to get over the “me too, in every rental fleet, boring graphics” stigma, but oh well.

      A Ski Patrol buddy of mine who rips tele is on the RMU apostles and loves them (if you can find a pair.) Sweet CO graphics this year too.

      • I like the writeup on the apostles-is the flex pattern similar? I’m coming off a dead rossi phantom that i will not be sad to see go-loaded that one up and got nothing back in short radius turns-decent on the ice in the east but now that I’m here in CO its not whats for dinner. I need a one to do it all-bumps trees and steeps, with a good amount of the broken chunk and side country access that I expect to get at Eldora, Abasin, Key and Breck.
        Thoughts? I have my eye on the Armadas, Nomads and Helix’s…I know i’m probably not going to go “wrong” with any of those but would be nice to get steered a little bit.

    • Hey Tom,

      That’s a good thought. I can’t say, as I haven’t skied the 102 yet – just the Automatic 109 – but I would guess they would feel pretty similar, though the Autos should be a bit more playful, even easier to pivot at slow speeds, and a little less locked down on groomers. That’s about all I feel comfortable saying.



  47. Great review. I’m in the market for an all mountain ski and was wondering if you could point me in the right direction. I currently have a front side dedicated ski as well as a park ski so I’m looking for something a little fatter (100mm) that will perform in deeper snow without sacrificing much hard snow performance.

    I am:
    160 lbs
    Midwest/East Coast aggressive skier

    I’m considering:
    Armada TST
    Blizzard Peacemaker
    K2 Shredditor 102
    RMU Apostle

    The TST reviews I have read on here (and the comments) have really piqued my interest in this ski but I’m a little uneasy about the offered lengths.

    Will a 183 ski too short? Will a 192 be too much for someone recently recovered from knee problems?


  48. Will/Blister,

    Just stumbled upon this website and loving it.

    I wasn’t sure if this question should go in here of in the PB&J review but here goes. I’m 5’8″ 170lbs. Have been a boarder for a long time and now a newly converted skier and loving it. Am a solid intermediate skier and hoping to get to a advanced level within the next couple of seasons. Unfortunately I only get in 10-14 days per season. 60% of the days are spent in Japan and the rest on the west coast. I avoid moguls and look for the powder when I can. Enjoy the groomers and really letting it flow on those as well. I wouldn’t call myself a hard charger…. yet. Haven’t done much backcountry but the side country in Japan is pretty amazing. Have been renting and want to buy my first pair. Don’t think I’ll build a quiver yet so looking to get one pair of skis for most of what I do and rent when I need to fill in other gaps (such as letting it rip on hardpack days or super deep powder days).

    Had the opportunity to demo the 174 TST’s for 5 days this season in Japan. They were fantastic in the powder and handled the groomers extremely well. I also loved how the skis felt underfoot and how it felt like I wasn’t being pushed around by the ski). However, felt like they struggled a bit more through the harder crud and sometimes felt a bit washy on icy/harder conditions. A good skiing friend that logs over 40 days/season thinks that a better solution might be to move up to the Moment PB&J. Was curious to get your thoughts and others here on the PB&J. More specifically, how would these compare to the TST? Would I be able to reduce some of the issues I had by sizing up to a 183 TST? If moving to the PB&J, would the 172 or 182 be more appropriate?

    As I progress, I’d like to take my skiing further into steeper slopes of varying conditions all over the resort and side country and hopefully more powder skiing.

    thanks in advance for all of the help and keep up the great work!


  49. Hey so I’m a 5’6-5’7 skier and I am looking into the TST but not exactly sure. I’m only 110 pounds which is underweight but I’m not so sure how much the weight will effect the skiing. I am able to ski most black diamonds that I have come across and if I do purchase a ski, I’m not 100% sure about the binding and shoes thing. So I would like to know a recommendation about what I can do in terms of buying skis and all that. Thanks!

  50. Have these skis changed at all since their original release in 2011/12?

    I’m looking at buying an old pair and can’t figure out if it’s the exact same ski.


    • Hey Mufasa,

      I can’t be sure about the first season for the TST, but for what it’s worth, while our review was conducted on the second-year 12/13 model, the ski wasn’t changed for the 13/14, 14/15, or (this) 15/16 season, except for the graphics.

      Hope this helps,


  51. Hi, I am 5’7″ and 175 pounds. My height and weight seem always putting me in between ski sizes. So far, I always go for the longer one (180cm Rossi Soul 7 and 179cm LINE Sick Day). And I seem getting use to the longer skis. My local store has a great deal now for over stocked 183CM TST. Just wondering if 183CM TST would be too much ski for me? Any advice?

  52. Hi, I am 6’1″ and 215 lbs. I would consider my self to be an intermediate (a 4 on a scale from 1-10) I primarily ski in the Northeast. I have never skied a twin-tip ski before and looking to get away from being “hooky” in the tail. After doing ample research it sounds like a Rocker/Camber/Rocker profile would be the way to go. The TST has been suggested to me by one of my friends. Should I be concerned with the 100+ waist width, especially being a fairly new skier?

  53. Will, Are the 192s pretty unwieldy in the trees or are they pretty easy to ski. I know they ski short but thats still alot of ski to turn quickly in tight spots. Thoughts?

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