Ski: 2020-2021 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, 180 cm
Available Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 179.3 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 1825 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1810 & 1828 grams
Stated Dimensions: 132-92-118 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 130.5-91.5-117.1 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (180 cm): 17.5 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 53 mm / 21.5 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4 mm
Core: Caruba + titanal + “elastic compound” + fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered “Comp Base”
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.75 cm from center; 78.9 cm from tail
Back in January of 2020, Armada announced that they’d be overhauling their directional freeride skis for the 20/21 season. They’re discontinuing the Invictus series and replacing it with the new Declivity line, which will consist of the Declivity 82 Ti, Declivity 92 Ti, Declivity 102 Ti, and the 115mm-wide Declivity X.
We got our hands on the Declivity 92 Ti right as the ski resorts were closing down so for now we’re diving into the design of the ski, and will be getting it on snow as soon as we can.
What Armada says about the Declivity 92 Ti
“Built off a platform that excels in any conditions, the Declivity 92 Ti screams versatility; from ripping high-speed groomers to chopped-up powder. A full AR100 sidewall partnered with our Articulated Titanal Banding provides confident grip on hardpack and allows power to build in a smooth yet predictable way. Pairing lightweight Caruba with a triaxial glass lay-up we created a high-performance ski that doesn’t carry the weight. No matter what the mountain throws at you, from turning and burning on hardpack to sliding down silky pow, this one-ski-quiver will conquer anything on the hill.”
As we’ve noted in the past, the ~90mm-wide category seems to often be split between skis that are basically “fat carving skis” while others look more similar to wider all-mountain skis. Based on Armada’s description and the design of the Declivity 92 Ti, it looks like it very much falls into the latter category; versatility is the big theme here.
There’s also a lot going on with the construction of this ski, so let’s get into that:
The Declivity 82 Ti, 92 Ti, & 102 Ti all share the same construction, which starts off with a lightweight Caruba wood core (Armada says Caruba is “15-20% lighter than Poplar” with “equal performance”). They also claim that the Caruba wood they use is a more sustainable option than some other woods as it only takes “5 years from seed to harvest.”
In addition to their lightweight wood cores, the Declivity 82 Ti, 92 Ti, & 102 Ti feature a fiberglass laminate, full-length “AR100” sidewall, and Armada’s unique “Articulated Titanal Banding” or ATB.
Essentially, ATB is a full-width, full-length sheet of titanal but that sheet has channels cut out from the metal sheet near the shovels of the skis. Inside those channels, Armada inserts an “elastic compound.” The goal of this construction is to get much of the damping of titanal, but the cutouts and elastic inserts are designed to make for both smoother turn initiation and increased rebound / energy after the ski is flexed.
Shape / Rocker Profile
When it comes to shape, the Declivity 92 Ti looks pretty similar to the Salomon Stance 90 (First Look coming soon), Head Kore 93, & Nordica Enforcer 94. The Declivity 92 Ti is notably tapered than some of the “fat carvers” in this class like the Liberty V92, Renoun Z-Line 90, & Head Monster 88 Ti. Compared to the Armada Invictus 89 Ti that it effectively replaces, the Declivity 92 Ti has a more tapered shape overall.
Looking at the rocker profile of the Declivity 92 Ti, it’s not super far off from the Invictus 89 Ti. The Declivity 92 Ti has a similar amount of camber underfoot, a slightly shallower tip rocker line, and a bit less tip splay, but it’s still got deeper rocker lines than many skis in this class, such as the 20/21 Blizzard Brahma 88, Renoun Z-Line 90, & Liberty Evolv 90. Overall, the rocker profile of the Declivity 92 Ti is fairly similar to the Nordica Enforcer 94, though the Enforcer 94’s tail rocker line is a bit deeper.
One thing that Armada notes about the Declivity 82 Ti, 92 Ti, & 102 Ti is that the widest points at their tips and tails extend a bit past where the rocker begins, which is designed to give you more power / edge grip as you lay over the skis higher on edge. That said, on the Declivity 92 Ti, the widest points of the tips and tails are only slightly past the rocker points (about a cm or two), which is in contrast to the very minimally tapered Invictus skis which had their widest points several cm past where the rocker started.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Declivity 92 Ti:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
The Declivity 92 Ti is a pretty strong ski, particularly around the middle and behind the bindings. Compared to the Invictus 89 Ti, the Declivity 92 Ti has stronger tips and shovels but a softer tail. The Invictus 89 Ti was a pretty game-on ski so we’re curious to see if the Declivity 92 Ti will be notably more forgiving. The Declivity 92 Ti’s flex pattern is also pretty directional, though the difference in flex between its tips and tails isn’t as pronounced as the Invictus skis.
Compared to the Nordica Enforcer 94, the Declivity 92 Ti is similar in the front half and behind the bindings, but its tail finishes notably softer than the Enforcer 94.
Compared to the 20/21 Blizzard Brahma 88, the Declivity 92 Ti is a bit softer at the tips and at the very end of the tail, but pretty similar everywhere else.
Compared to the Volkl Mantra M5, the Declivity 92 Ti is similar in the middle but notably softer at the tip and tail.
In line with its directional design, the Declivity 92 Ti has a very traditional, rearward mount point of -10.7 cm from true center.
Like the Invictus 89 Ti, the Declivity 92 Ti is not a super heavy ski. Our pair of the 180 cm Declivity 92 Ti is coming in at an average weight of 1819 grams, which is much lighter than the Volkl Mantra M5, Nordica Enforcer 94, ON3P Wrenegade 96, & J Skis Masterblaster. That said, there are still many fairly lightweight skis in this class, and the Declivity 92 Ti’s weight isn’t super far off from skis like the Moment Commander 98, Blizzard Rustler 9, & Salomon Stance 96. And the Declivity 92 Ti is not as super light as some of the outliers like the Head Kore 93, Renoun Endurance 98, & Elan Ripstick 96.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.
1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1758 & 1758 Head Kore 93, 180 cm (19/20–20/21)
1790 & 1828 Black Crows Orb, 179.1 cm (19/20–20/21)
1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1810 & 1828 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, 180 cm (20/21)
1863 & 1894 Blizzard Rustler 9, 180 cm (18/19–20/21)
1864 & 1882 Armada Invictus 89 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
1896 & 1919 Dynastar Legend X96, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19–20/21)
1928 & 1933 Moment Commander 98, 178 cm (19/20)
1931 & 1932 DPS Foundation Cassiar 94, 185 cm (18/19–19/20)
1936 & 2013 Salomon Stance 96, 182 cm (20/21)
1937 & 1945 Fischer Ranger 94 FR, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
1947 & 2022 Liberty V92, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19–20/21)
1976 & 2028 Parlor Cardinal Pro, 182 cm (19/20–20/21)
1985 & 2006 Parlor Cardinal 100, 185 cm (16/17–20/21)
1990 & 2036 Blizzard Brahma 88, 177 cm (20/21)
1994 & 2011 Fischer Ranger 99 Ti, 181 cm (19/20–20/21)
1997 & 2001 Blizzard Brahma 88, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18–20/21)
1999 & 2060 Line Blade, 181 cm (20/21)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–19/20)
2008 & 2015 Folsom Spar 88, 182 cm (18/19–20/21)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–20/21)
2050 & 2080 ON3P Wrenegade 96, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
2055 & 2080 Salomon QST 99, 181 cm (19/20–20/21)
2062 & 2063 Rossignol Experience 94 Ti, 187 cm (18/19–20/21)
2078 & 2138 Black Crows Justis, 183 cm (20/21)
2085 & 2096 Dynastar Menace 98, 181 cm (19/20–20/21)
2114 & 2133 Nordica Enforcer 93, 185 cm (16/17–19/20)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (16/17–20/21)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
2171 & 2176 Head Monster 88 Ti, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2256 & 2284 Nordica Enforcer 94, 186 cm (20/21)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2324 & 2359 Kastle MX99, 184 cm (18/19-19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) Our main question is just how different the Declivity 92 Ti will feel compared to skis with more traditional titanal constructions, and those without metal. I.e., what does “Articulated Titanal Banding” actually feel like on snow?
(2) Going off that, the Declivity 92 Ti is not a very heavy ski, so just how damp and stable will it feel on the firmer, rougher conditions on which we’d typically ski a ~92mm-wide ski?
(3) Armada is talking a big game when it comes to the versatility of the Declivity 92 Ti, so just how well will it handle everything from “high-speed groomers to chopped-up powder?”
(4) The Declivity 92 Ti is a pretty strong ski, especially underfoot and behind the bindings, so how demanding / punishing will it feel?
(5) How much does the Declivity 92 Ti share in common with the Armada Invictus 89 Ti in terms of on-snow performance?
Bottom Line (For Now)
Unlike some skis in this width, the Armada Declivity 92 Ti’s design looks like it shares more in common with most all-mountain skis, rather than more piste-oriented options. Add onto that the Declivity’s unique Articulated Titanal Banding construction and we’re very eager to get it on snow. As soon as that happens, we’ll post a Flash Review, so stay tuned.