2020-2021 Armada Declivity 92 Ti

Ski: 2020-2021 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, 180 cm

Test Location: Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado

Days Skied: 8

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

Luke Koppa reviews the Armada Declivity 92 Ti for Blister
20/21 Armada Declivity 92 Ti
Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Bottom Line //  Rocker Pics

Intro

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
  • Declivity X (which is 115 mm wide)

We got our hands on the Declivity 92 Ti right as the ski resorts were closing down, but we’ve now been able to spend time on the ski at Mt. Crested Butte, and have updated this post with our full review. First, though, we’ll dive into the design of this ski.

Luke Koppa reviews the Armada Declivity 92 Ti for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

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:

Construction

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 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 more tapered than some of the “fat carvers” in this class like the Liberty V92Renoun 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.

As for 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 (and overall just had really fat shovels and tails).

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Declivity 92 Ti:

Tips: 6.5
Shovels: 6.5-7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Tails: 8.5-7

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 stiffer 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, with a softer front-half and a stiffer back-half, 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.

Mount Point

In line with its directional design, the Declivity 92 Ti has a very traditional, rearward mount point of -10.7 cm from true center.

2020-2021 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, BLISTER

Weight

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 of 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 were very excited to get it on snow.

Flash Review

Blister Members can read our Flash Review of the Declivity 92 Ti for our initial on-snow impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.

2020-2021 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, BLISTER

FULL REVIEW

Luke Koppa (5’8”, 155 lbs / 173 cm, 70 kg): With most of Mt. Crested Butte now open, I’ve been able to get the new 180 cm Declivity 92 Ti in a pretty wide range of conditions. And from super firm early season groomers, to chalky bumps, to a bit of fresh snow, it’s been a lot of fun.

Of course, basically any time I’m skiing is a good time, but I think the Declivity 92 Ti made some of my days extra fun, so I’ll try to explain why, and who this ski is best suited for.

Groomers

Overall, the Declivity 92 Ti is a very good carver.

In the class of ~90mm-wide skis, there are some skis like the Liberty V92 and Renoun Z-Line 90 that are primarily just wide versions of skinny carvers, and on the other side are skis like the Salomon Stance 90 and Nordica Enforcer 88, which look like skinnier versions of big all-mountain skis.

To me, the Declivity 92 Ti feels like it falls between those two ends of the spectrum when it comes to on-piste performance. This ski doesn’t require much effort to get on edge and start bending into turns, though it doesn’t have that instant turn initiation of a ski with less tip rocker and less tip taper.

Still though, I’ve been impressed by the edge hold of the Declivity 92 Ti. When I laid into its shovels, I was rewarded with solid grip, even on firm, man-made groomers. And equally important for me, I was also impressed by how easily and predictably I could break the ski free from a carved turn. Carve hard when I feel like it, skid around when I don’t. I much prefer this to a ski that’s either totally locked in on edge or sliding uncontrollably.

Luke Koppa reviews the Armada Declivity 92 Ti for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

One thing I love about the Declivity 92 Ti is the energy it produces when I bend it. This could be in bumps, before the lip of a jump, or on piste. This is not a “dead” ski, and that’s a big part of why I like it. Whether or not that comes from Armada’s “Articulated Titanal Banding,” I don’t really care. I just like how snappy it feels.

In terms of turn shapes, the Declivity 92 Ti feels pretty versatile. It was comfortable arcing very large turns when I felt like it, but I could bend it into pretty tight turns as well. One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that there feels like a certain point in the Declivity 92 Ti’s flex pattern where I can’t really bend it any further. I’m guessing a stronger or just better skier might feel differently, and it probably doesn’t matter to most people. But I haven’t been able to just continue to bend it harder and harder (and into tighter and tighter turns) like, say, the Elan Wingman 86 CTi.

All in all, for a ~90mm-wide ski, I really like how the Declivity 92 Ti carves. That said, I truly started to love this ski (relative to others in its class) once I got it off groomers.

Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain

People have different preferences when it comes to their “ideal” ski for bumps, trees, and tighter terrain.

Personally, I like skis that are strong enough to not fold when bashing into a bump, but not so stiff that I feel out of control the moment I even think about leaning back on the tails. I also like something with a pretty light swing weight and an energetic flex pattern, since my favorite way to ski bumps is fast and basically on the edge of control. Finally, I want something that is easy to skid / slarve / otherwise throw sideways, since I’ll often pivot my turns when the bumps and trees allow, especially when I get tired.

Luke Koppa reviews the Armada Declivity 92 Ti for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

With all that in mind, the 180 cm Declivity 92 Ti has become one of my favorite bump skis. Strong enough to not fold on me? Check. Forgiving enough for my inevitable mistakes? Check. Low swing weight? Check. Poppy enough to double-up bumps? Check. Easy to slarve around? Check.

I’ve been liking the Declivity 92 Ti the most when I really feel like pushing my limits in bumps. It’s fairly strong but not too stiff (for my preferences), and it’s nimble without feeling super twitchy / unstable.

With that said, it’s also a ski that’s pretty easy to more casually work through bumps, provided that you’re not always trying to steer from the backseat. I think beginners and those who are still working on driving the shovels of their skis through bumps and trees would be better off on something with a softer and / or more rockered tail (like Armada’s ARV series).

But for skiers with decent technique — and especially those who like to ski through bumps with a pretty active, light-on-your-feet style — the Declivity 92 Ti can be a blast in moguls and trees. I’ve been referring to it as a “Hot Dog” ski — it encourages me to get a little loose, get some air, and otherwise ski pretty fast and wild in bumps, but it’s forgiving enough that it hasn’t led to any fantastic explosions, even with my early season ski legs.

Soft Snow

I’ve only spent a bit of time skiing the Declivity 92 Ti in soft snow, but so far it’s felt predictable and just generally “good” — particularly for a ski of this width. It hasn’t exhibited any weird, hooky behavior, which can sometimes be the case for some skis in this category. And it even felt pretty loose / easy to throw sideways in about 4” of powder, which was a nice surprise.

While I’m sure I’d be wishing for more flotation on deep days, I think the 180 cm Declivity 92 Ti would still feel plenty capable in snow up to around 6 inches or more if I skied it with a pretty balanced stance.

Crud & Variable Conditions

The Declivity 92 Ti is a fairly light ski. Despite having two sheets of titanal in its layup, there’s no getting past the fact that the 180 cm Declivity 92 Ti weighs just a little over 1800 grams per ski.

That said, I’d say the Declivity 92 Ti’s suspension / damping is pretty good for its weight. It’s not a ski that feels “glued to the snow” or that just blows through every patch of crud / chop. But personally, I rarely found myself wishing for a significantly heavier ski.

The main areas where I was left wanting for more weight were (1) when the snow had refrozen the night before and was still really firm and inconsistent and (2) when arcing big, fast turns through roughed-up groomers at the end of the day. In those scenarios, a heavier ski would have let me be a bit less focused on my line choice and worry less about avoiding patches of pushed-around snow.

The good news with the Declivity 92 Ti is that it’s overall been a very predictable ski, and a pretty easy one at slower speeds. It requires minimal effort to skid around and shed speed, and when the snow is truly firm and rough, that’s often what I’ll do no matter what ski I’m on.

So this is not the ski I’d recommend to folks who want a steamroller of a ski that stays stuck to the surface of the snow and blasts through everything in its path. But those sorts of skis also feel a lot more sluggish than the Declivity 92 Ti at slower speeds and in tighter terrain, so the Declivity 92 Ti makes a lot more sense than them for folks like me who appreciate a more nimble, lively ride.

Who’s It For?

Skiers who want a versatile, ~90mm-wide all-mountain ski that feels quick and energetic off piste, but that can still carve a clean turn on firm snow.

Those seeking a super smooth, damp, unshakable ski should look to heavier options (see the “All-Mountain More Stable” section in our Buyer’s Guide). And those who spend the majority of their time on piste and prioritize carving performance should look to skis that are a bit less rockered and less tapered (see the “Frontside” section in our guide). Finally, beginners or those prone to skiing in the backseat should check out skis with slightly softer flex patterns and / or more tail rocker (see the “All-Mountain More Forgiving” section in our guide).

Luke Koppa reviews the Armada Declivity 92 Ti for Blister
Luke Koppa on the Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

But if you don’t fall into any of those categories, the Declivity 92 Ti is worth a look. It’s great for people like me who appreciate a ski that’s strong enough to push hard, but forgiving enough to let you get away with some slightly less-ideal technique. You should also check it out if you prefer a more energetic ski than a super planted one, or if you spend a lot of time off piste and have found most ~90mm-wide skis to feel too difficult to skid around in bumps and trees.

Bottom Line

The Armada Declivity 92 Ti is a very versatile, nimble, lively, and predictable all-mountain ski. It’s not the most damp or stable ski in its class, and those who prioritize on-piste precision have better options. But for skiers who ski all over the mountain on their ~90mm-wide skis, and especially those who value quickness and pop, this ski offers a lot to like.

Deep Dive Comparisons

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Declivity 92 Ti to see how it compares to the Salomon Stance 90, Fischer Ranger 94 FR, Head Kore 93, Nordica Enforcer 94, J Skis Masterblaster, Volkl Mantra M5, Folsom Spar 88, Blizzard Brahma 88, Elan Wingman 86 CTi, Line Blade, Liberty Evolv 90, & Liberty V92.

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11 comments on “2020-2021 Armada Declivity 92 Ti”

  1. I’m 5’8 and 145 lbs. Just a little lighter than you. Expert skier West coast skier who’s looking for a ski to open up on groomers but make tight turns through trees, too. The 92Ti looks perfect. What do you think in terms of length: 180 or 172?

    • Hi Thomas, I’m 174cm (so ~5’9) and weighing in at 145 lbs as well. Got to ski the 180cm this weekend and was pretty damn happy with it, I kinda wished for a little bit more length on groomer runs, with the taper/rocker there’s not too much edge remaining. But of piste they felt just right, so I would definitely go with the 180.
      Cheers, Karl

  2. Hi there
    I’m looking for a ski to replace my Armada Invictus 89 TI. My choice will be on one of the three models. The new Armada Declivity 92, the Nordica Enforcer 88 or 94. How would you compare these three skis to the Invictus?
    I am an strong advanced/early expert skier and like to carv fast and hard/aggressive turns on groomers. But also like the versatile in Crud & Variable Conditions that i can use the ski all day long. For deep pow days i have an other model.
    I am around 6’1 and 170lbs. Which ski and which size would you recommend for me?

    Thank you!

  3. These seem like they’d have the potential to be a great 50/50 or even dedicated touring ski for the right ski areas (not too heavy, stable enough, good in the steeps). Thoughts on this? I had been considering the Fischer Ranger 92ti, how would you compare those against the 92 Declivities for this use & in general use (& will there be a review of the Ranger 92ti coming any time soon?). Cheers.

  4. So I just A and B’d the Armada Declivity 92 180cm and the Salomon Stance 90 182cm today. It was a perfect groomer day for the first 2 hours similar to what you would get in mid January. For me, the Declivity 92 was the clear winner on the groomed. It carved really well and had lots of snap. I have skied at least at least 100 different skis in the last 10 years and the only one I have skied that carved better was the Atomic Redster S9. That ski however is pretty one dimensional and unless you have the good fortune of a 3 to 5 ski quiver I cannot recommend the Armada Declivity higher as the perfect all mountain carving ski. Next to face shots on a great powder day, carving great groomers at high speed with big g-forces is nirvana.

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