2023 Armada Declivity 82 Ti Review
An approachable frontside ski perfect for groomer rippers who aren't afraid to play off-piste on the same ski
This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.84/10
- Rank: #3
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 8
- Stability at Speed: 7.71
- Carving: 8
- Quickness: 8
- Responsiveness: 7.57
- Playfulness: 7.57
- Forgiveness: 7.86
- Crud Performance: 7.14
- Versatility: 7.71
- Price: $775
- Lengths: 166, 174, 182
- Dimensions: 128-82-110
- Radius: 15.9 (174cm)
- Level: Strong Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Carving (#3), Quickness (#3)
- Cons: Crud Performance (#3), Playfulness (#3)
Armada gained its fame in the freeskiing world, but with a weapon like the Declivity 82 Ti, the brand is flexing its muscle in the frontside category. With development help from Todd Ligare, a professional freeskier with a racing background, Armada debuted this ski in 2021 and the Declivity has been a favorite skiers in the know ever since.
“This is the carver quiver ski for the off-trail skier,” said tester Chad Jacob, a race coach from New York. A layer of Titanal banding within the ski creates a nice balance of dampness and energy throughout each turn, helping skiers to tap into this ski’s personality and power without having to work so hard for it. Words like “easy,” “approachable” and “fun,” were a common refrain throughout testers’ feedback forms. “This might be the easiest ski I have ever initiated a turn on,” said tester Tommy Flitton, a freeride coach who calls Snowbird home. “It skis really well in terms of its stability once you initiate and holds a hell of an edge.”
They also lauded its versatility off the groomed, calling out its performance in bumps and soft snow as well as on hardpack. The Declivity 82 Ti scored high marks in Responsiveness, Playfulness, and Forgiveness after impressing testers with its handling in crud, loose snow, and bumps. This, testers concurred, makes the Declivity 82 Ti an ideal for a groomer ripper who isn’t afraid to play off-piste on the same ski.
What sets the Declivity 82 Ti apart from other top performers in the frontside category is that it’s not just for experts. While there’s plenty of power for a strong athlete to tap into, it is approachable for someone looking to increase their frontside skills throughout a season. Its caruba core is Armada’s lightest wood, meaning it’s easy to turn, and the ski’s progressive shape makes it easy to roll into each of those turns. Beginner and intermediate skiers will be pushed into developing into a better skier, as they feel what they can get out of each turn with a quick roll of the ankle.
All of those factors combined with its 82mm waist make the Armada Declivity 82 Ti a perfect everyday tool for skiers of varying skill levels. “I would recommend it to all abilities,” said Flitton.
Courtney Harkins grew up ski racing, starting on the icy slopes of New England and finishing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She now lives in Park City, Utah and works as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team. She also freelance writes and consults in the skiing and Olympic industry. When she’s not traveling with the team, her home mountain is Deer Valley Resort, where she loves to arc turns on groomers, but also knows all of the secret spots for days-old powder. Harkins has been testing skis since 2016 and has been a SKI gear tester for three seasons.