2018-2019 Armada Tracer 108

Luke Koppa reviews the Armada Tracer 108 for Blister
Armada Tracer 108

Ski: 2018-2019 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm

Available Lengths: 164, 172, 180, 188 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 179.1 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1885 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1898 & 1893 g

Stated Dimensions: 134-108-126 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 133.5-107-125.5 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 57 mm / 34 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~5 mm

Core: Poplar/Ash + Titanal Binding Reinforcement + “Xrystal Mesh” Innegra Weave

Base: “Comp Series Base”

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.35 cm from center; 80.2 cm from tail

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Strider 120 / Fritschi Tecton 12

Test Locations: Front Range Backcountry, CO; Taos Ski Valley, NM

Days Skied: 10


Introduced for the 17/18 season, the Tracer series is Armada’s touring and 50/50 line of skis (the women’s equivalent is the Trace line, which we’ll also be reviewing). For 18/19, Armada is tweaking the line, stating that “for 18/19 we’re still focused on a stable and predictable ski in versatile conditions, but added subtle rocker and taper regions to keep the Tracer series nimble and playful when you want to have a little fun.”

The Tracer 108 is the second widest ski in the series, and here’s what Armada says specifically about the Tracer 108:

“The perfect combination of weight reduction and stability, the Armada Tracer 108 is a lightweight ski that likes to hang outside the ropes. This ski ups the performance ante with dampening Xrystal Mesh, titanal reinforcement underfoot and sidewall construction to create just the right feel whether used by freeriding or touring enthusiasts.”

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Tracer 108 looks kind of like a blend between the ARV 116 JJ and Invictus 108 Ti. The Tracer 108 has fairly moderate tip taper, and a bit less tail taper.

When it comes to the rocker profile, the Tracer 108 looks very similar to the Atomic Backland FR 109 (a ski that we’ll be talking about a lot here given its close similarity to the Tracer 108). The Tracer 108 has slightly deeper rocker lines, but with lower tip and tail splay than the Backland FR 109.

The Tracer 108’s rocker lines definitely suggest a soft snow orientation, but it also has around 5 mm of camber, which is more than many backcountry skis of this width. So, we’ll be curious to see how the Tracer 108 performs in both soft and firm conditions, as well as the trickier crusts and variable snow often encountered in the backcountry.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d sum up the flex pattern of the Tracer 108:

Tips: 6
Shovels: 7-8
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 10-9
Tails: 7.5-6.5

The Tracer 108 has a nice, fairly round flex pattern. Its tips are a bit softer than its tails, which should help it plane well in powder. Both ends of the skis ramp up smoothly and fairly quickly, and it seems like the Tracer 108 should offer a nice blend of forgiving + playful while remaining fairly supportive.


Coming in at around 1895 grams for the 180 cm, the Tracer 108 is on the heavier end for a dedicated touring ski, and on the lighter side for an alpine ski. The Tracer 108’s weight puts it squarely into the 50/50 category, and I personally tend to like skis in this weight class as I’m willing to drag around a bit more weight in exchange for more stability and better overall performance on the downhill.

For reference, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for a few notable skis:

1685 and 1703 Scott Scrapper 105, 183 cm
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm
1808 & 1835 Atomic Backland FR 109, 182 cm
1898 & 1893 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm
1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm
1941 & 1965 Fischer Ranger 108 Ti, 182 cm
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm
1957 & 1958 Salomon QST 106, 188 cm
1980 & 2016 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm
2101 & 2104 Ranger FR 102, 184 cm

Some Comparisons

Sometimes when looking at the specs of a ski, it’s really hard to think of a potential apples-to-apples comparison (e.g., the new Atomic Bent Chetler 100).

However, that’s not the case with the Tracer 108 as it has one very direct comparison — the Atomic Backland FR 109. Both skis share similar rocker profiles, nearly identical dimensions and sidecut radii, and both are targeted squarely at the 50/50 market.

The Tracer 108 is slightly softer in the tips and tails, has a bit more camber, slightly deeper rocker lines, and is a bit heavier.

I’ve spent much of this winter touring on the 182 cm Backland FR 109, and have come to really like that ski for the backcountry of Colorado. It is very maneuverable and pretty playful, so I’m very eager to see how the Tracer 108 compares.

Bottom Line (For Now)

The Armada Tracer 108 looks like another interesting addition to the 50/50 ski category. Its flex pattern and rocker profile seem to live up to Armada’s claims of it being designed for both stability in variable conditions while also maintaining a level of playfulness. We’ve already started getting time on the Tracer 108, so stay tuned for updates, and let us know about any questions you’d like to see addressed in our full review.

Flash Review: Armada Tracer 108

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Tracer 108.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: The Full Review

20 comments on “2018-2019 Armada Tracer 108”

  1. Thanks for the review Luke!

    As a long time fan of both the Invictus and JJ series I’m leaning towards the Tracer 118 CHX (188) as a my new powder ski this season. Curious if you’ve had a chance yet or plan on skiing this model later this year?

    • I have not skied the Tracer 98, but given that they share the same construction and a similar shape, I imagine that the Tracer 98 should feel like a slightly more firm-snow-oriented version of the Tracer 108.

      — Luke

  2. Awesome review Luke! I’ve decided that this will be the ski that I will spent the majority of my season in Whistler on. But not sure about length. I’m 5 foot 7 inches and 142lbs, and my ability level is intermediate to advanced. Initially I thought that 180 was a no brainer, but have been recommended 172. I’ve spent quite a bit of time on the head Kore 105 and enjoyed that in the 180 length, however, that was in alpine Meadows whereas the armada will primarily be used in trees.

    I know length is never an easy thing to comment on, but I thought since you mentioned it in your review that you might have a bit of advise.

  3. I currently telemark ski on the Atomic Backland FR 102 and Atomic Theory, however, I’ve been thinking about going to a step-in 22 Design Outlaw X binding on a new ski. The 2 skis I’ve been reading reviews about are the Atomic Backland 107 or the Armada Tracer 108. Your review makes the Armada sound like it could be a really great tellie ski (a light, playful ski), but I’m still not sure I want to move away from Atomic.

    I hate decisions!

  4. I ski this Armada 108 Tracer with Outlaw X binding and it is awesome. I use the 180cm , mounted center and love it. I am 5’11 and about 145-150lbs with gear on. Advanced skier. I came from Atomic Automatic 102 and this ski far surpasses the Atomic IMO. Move away from the Atomic. You wont regret it and you wont regret those Outlaws…I came from Freerides and what a difference.

    • Brice,

      After skiing on the Tracer for the last two months (about 40 days), I’m extremely happy I took your advice and moved from the Atomic to the Tracer\Outlaw combo.

  5. I want to ask if I can put the marker baron but the EPF version. Because the shape of ski on the top side make those ” edges ” so it might be a problem with drilling the holes of the wide binding

  6. Hi! Any thoughts on the most stable wider ski for a super lightweight short 15 year old that competes in Big Mtn comps? It needs to be damp enough to absorb cliff drops, but then he starts running into it being TOO stiff and planks, and not able to maneuver for his size (110 lbs/5’3″) He’s currently on a Blizzard Rustler 10 in a 165 but also needs something a little wider for powder days. The Soul 7 is too soft.

Leave a Comment