Just like the two other Armada skis I’ve ridden (the AR7 and the THall), the Al Dente’s edges have proven to be very strong. After a week of riding, I couldn’t find a single edge crack on the ski, and that’s very unusual given my experience with other skis. I am harder on my equipment than anyone I’ve ever met in my twelve years as a park skier; I’m used to noticing a couple of edge cracks after only 2 or 3 days on a ski, and the number of cracks usually increases steadily with use until the edge pulls out.
Not so on the Al Dente, and it doesn’t even incorporate Armada’s thickest edge; the Al Dente is built with a 2.2mm edge, where the AR7 and THall have 2.5 mm edges. I’ll certainly keep an eye on the Al Dente’s edges as I put more time on them, but so far, I’m impressed with how well they’ve held up.
While the Al Dente’s edge has remained rock solid, the brunt of rail impacts was apparently transferred to another area of the ski’s construction that wasn’t as resilient. Throughout the testing period, I designated one ski as my left ski and the other my right ski, so the same two edges always took the brunt of the rail damage. About four days in, ~12” of the topsheet began to pull away from the sidewall/core on one side of each ski, directly underfoot. However, I continued to use the skis, and this didn’t seem to affect their performance at all. So for the moment, I’ll say that this damage is really only cosmetic, and I will update this review if anything changes.
The Al Dente is the widest, softest park ski I’ve ever ridden, placing it in a class of its own as the most jib-oriented ski I know of.
It can feel fairly cumbersome in the air and doesn’t provide much stability when landing bigger jumps, so I don’t recommend it if you’re looking for a serious, stiff comp ski.
But if you want a super-playful, very fun jib ski that can take on some mellow jumps, the Al Dente is a great choice.