2023 Armada Declivity 102 Ti Review
A wide all-mountain ski for the more playful skiers out there
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.54/10
- Rank: #5
- Versatility: 7.86
- Crud Performance: 7.43
- Flotation: 7.71
- Playfulness: 7.57
- Responsiveness: 8
- Quickness: 7.71
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 6.29
- Stability at Speed: 6.71
- Forgiveness: 7.43
- Price: $950
- Lengths: 172, 180, 188
- Dimensions: 136-102-126
- Radius: 18.5
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Quickness (#3), Responsiveness (#3)
- Cons: Hard-Snow Integrity (#11), Stability at Speed (#10)
The Declivity 102 Ti, the second-widest option in the line, is a directional charger with freeride roots built to take the mountain by storm. It may have Armada in front of its name, but don’t write off the Declivity 102 Ti as a smeary freeride ski that can’t lay an edge. The Declivity Ti series combines the burly, hard-charging prowess of the Declivity X (the beefy 115mm Tof Henry pro collab model) with a more versatile all-mountain chassis, offering an 82mm, 92mm, 102mm, and 108mm waist width option for any day of the season.
A lightweight caruba wood core, full-length sidewalls, layered fiberglass, and Titanal layers with vertical cut-outs filled with elastic in the tip create a springy yet rock-solid feel underfoot, so you can point this ski where you want and trust that it will go there with precision and control. Despite feeling quiet and smooth on firm snow, the relatively light construction keeps the ski from feeling too hefty, saving your legs at the end of a long day and preventing you from getting tossed around by the ski. “These skis are super quick edge to edge, but also a blast when tipped up and allowed to run in a longer turn,” said tester Jon Sexauer, impressed with this ski’s on-piste capabilities.
Those capabilities come courtesy of the camber underfoot, rocker in the tip, and a flat tail, which not only gives the Declivity 102 Ti enough effective edge to rail on groomers but allows it to flow through crud and mixed snow. “It’s easy to manipulate in challenging conditions,” added Sexauer. “It’s precise and nimble with the perfect blend of dampness, stability at speed, and easy turn initiation in soft snow and tight terrain.”
Sexauer wasn’t the only one surprised by the hardpack performance of the Declivity, given how smeary and soft snow-oriented Armada skis have been in the past. “The robust build makes it significantly more grippy and nimble than I anticipated,” said tester Sam Cox. “These shred hard; they’re not your typical Armada type of playful.”
Because the Declivity 102 Ti handles light storm totals and smeary corn easily, testers recommend it as a solid middle-of-the-road wide all-mountain ski that many skiers would be satisfied with as a daily driver for 98 percent of the season.
The Declivity 102 Ti is approachable for intermediate skiers but has enough power under the hood to satisfy everyone except the most demanding former racers on the hill. While the 102 Ti does remarkably well in the crud, it’s not our top choice for sending it down locked up groomers at top speeds.
“I imagine the big ego chargers would find some faults with this ski’s stability at speed, but those skiers will get tired sooner or later and rethink their attitude,” quipped tester Matt Schiller, who described the Declivity 102 Ti as “confidence-boosting and technique-rewarding.”
Lily Krass is a freelance ski journalist based in Jackson, Wyoming with work featured in SKI Magazine, Powder Magazine, Freeskier, Teton Gravity Research, and Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal. She spends winters backcountry skiing in Grand Teton National Park and riding lifts at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with the occasional trip to the Alps (for the food, obviously). While she’s been in ski boots since she learned to walk, Lily has been professionally writing about skiing, gear, and all things outdoors for the past seven years. In addition to an all-consuming addiction to powder skiing mixed with heavy doses of Type II fun, Lily takes snacking seriously, and when she’s not writing or sliding on snow, she’s likely deep into a baking project in her tiny kitchen. She is the co-author of Beyond Skid: A Cookbook For Ski Bums, a collection of dirtbag-friendly recipes inspired by life in a mountain town.