2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review

Armada introduced the Declivity line of all-mountain skis for the 2020/21 season. We quickly took a liking to the new skis, particularly the 92 and 102, which have worked their way into a couple SkiEssentials.com staff quivers. For the 2021/22 season, we get one additional Declivity model which sits between the 102 and the in-store-only, limited-production Declivity X. That new ski is the Declivity 108 Ti.

The 108 is, in a lot of ways, very similar to the 102. In fact, we think it’s fair to say it’s more similar to the 102 than the X mostly due to the fact they use the same construction. That construction is an important element and a huge reason why these Declivity skis have a unique feel compared to other skis in the “aggressive-all-mountain-ski-with-metal” category. Armada uses a wood core that’s made up of a combination of poplar and caruba. Poplar is common in ski construction as it provides a nice energetic, yet damp feel. Caruba is a less dense material, which is often used to reduce the overall weight of a ski. Blending the two materials works really well in the Declivity models. Perhaps the most important aspect to its construction is the Articulated Titanal Banding. Two sheets of titanal metal are used, but the top sheet of metal is quite unique. Armada cuts vertical slits in the metal in the forebody of the ski. There are 5 cuts in the metal, so it’s kind of like the metal extends towards the tip as 6 individual fingers. The intention is to reduce the torsional stiffness in the tip of the ski and extending back about 40 cm. As you tip the ski on edge and initiate a turn, it does so with more willingness and compliance than if that metal didn’t have the slits. What’s really cool is that where they remove metal, they use an elastic compound. The further you get the ski on edge and flex it into a turn, you’re actually pushing the metal strips of metal together laterally, compressing the elastic compound, and creating energy that’s quite noticeable when you finish your turn.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

CORE

STRENGTHS

182, 190 cm

21.7 m at 182 cm

136 / 108 / 126 mm

Poplar and Caruba with Articulated Titanal Banding

Stability, Vibration Damping, Playfulness


The shape of the Declivity 108 Ti follows the same trend we see in the rest of the line. The wider the ski, the longer the tip rocker and early taper. As the Declivity skis are more directional than most of Armada’s skis, and because they’re designed for power and stability, there’s not really much tail rocker. Armada actually describes it as a full camber tail, but there is about 20 cm in length of rise back there. It’s almost like a mini twin tip, however, rather than true tail rocker. The length of the tip rocker matches those metal strips, so there’s about 40 cm of tip rocker. The camber height of the 108 is also a little lower than the 102, which corresponds to the longer tip rocker profile in the 108 compared to the 102.

Bob St.Pierre and I both got to spend a considerable amount of time on the Declivity 108 Ti on a snowy day at Stowe. In talking to Bob, he brought up a stellar analogy:

2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review: Camber Profile Image

The Armada Declivity 108 reminded me a lot of an offshore cruising boat. One of those deep-hull, center console boats with four 250 HP motors off the back. Tons of power, an incredibly smooth ride, and some decent maneuverability built in are the defining characteristics of these skis. I love how it comes in a 190 (and a 182 for "lesser skiers") as that's an ideal size for the shape and build of these skis. I was incredibly impressed with the quiet nature of these skis, as they remained composed and poised at speed and in uncertain conditions. While there's no speed limit, there is a minimum, especially in that 190, as they do need to be brought up to speed in order to access the performance benefits. Additionally, this is an awesome complement to the rest of the Declivity lineup, providing that top-end flotation and hard-charging ability to an already established line of all-mountain and freeride crushers.

I love the boat analogy from Bob and think it’s one of the best way to describe these skis. They cut through choppy snow conditions the same way a deep v-hull boat cuts through waves and swells. The way that I like to think about it is that it’s a powerful big mountain ski with some Armada flair. Armada is known for playful, innovative skis. Tons of companies make skis with two sheets of metal, and sometimes it’s hard to differentiate them from competitors skis. That’s certainly not the case with these, as they have a distinct Armada feel despite being powerful, stable, damp, etc. They’re not particularly easy to ski in the sense that I wouldn’t want to recommend it to an intermediate, but they have more of a willingness for skier input and a variety of turn shapes than most skis in this width range with this much metal. It also helps that they’re a little lighter than most skis in this category. The 182 cm length comes in at 1975 g, which isn’t as light as skis like the Tracer 108, but comes in notably lighter than some competitor skis like the Enforcer 110, Mindbender 108 Ti, and others.

2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 1 2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review: Full Width Action Image 2

We posted a teaser video for this review and one of the comments was something along the lines of “why do people think they need a 108 ski for a couple inches of east coast powder?” The simple answer is we don’t think that, but it sparked an interesting conversation between Bob and I. While we both thoroughly enjoyed these skis, they’re probably not the best choice for most east coast based skiers. Although they have easier tail release than some, they’re also not the quickest in the trees and prefer making bigger, sweeping turns in open terrain. In that sense, they’d be an awesome choice for a western-based skier who likes to ski fast through whatever is in front of them. The 190 cm length will support the strongest skiers out there, and what’s extra nice about the Declivity 108 is it does so with that Armada flair we described. You can lay them on edge and charge through anything, but you can also slash and smear some turns here and there without the ski feeling too locked in.

Overall, we had a really good time testing these skis, and we’re really glad Armada added them to the line. We might not need a pair personally, but it undeniably rounds out the Declivity collection really nicely. There was a void between the Declivity 102 and Declivity X and this ski fills it very nicely. It also complements Armada’s existing skis really well. Want something lighter and more touring-focused? Go for the Tracer 108. Want something super playful, buttery, and smeary? The ARV 106 is a gem. If you want power, stability, vibration damping, and precision, however, go with the Declivity 108. The fact that you can get all these skis from Armada is really cool and is a good representation of just how far the brand has come in just a couple decades.

2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 07/01/21

4 thoughts on “2022 Armada Declivity 108 Ti Ski Review

  1. Hi Jeff. Thanks for the good introduction to the Armada Declivity. How would You compare it to the Fischer 107 ti?

    1. Hi Asger!
      The Armada is a bit more compliant and quiet. While the Ranger is certainly capable of hard charging and high-performance skiing, the Armada does it at a lower din in terms of volume. The carbon nose of the Fischer is light and maneuverable, but it's also a bit on the pingy side. No such ping exists in the Armada--nothing to hear or feel with that ski--it's about as strong and stable as it gets. Perhaps a bit more playful, too? Have fun!
      SE

  2. Hi,

    I‘m looking for an „all day/all-mountain warrior“. I’m 182cm tall (5‘9-6‘) and 85kg (187lbs) and I live in Munich. In my focus are the Declivity 102ti, 108ti and K2 mindbender 108ti. It’s for those days when there is some fresh snow, but not enough for a wider ski, but too much for a 96 for example (dictator 2.0 in my case, pretty narrow tip/tail). Also we have a lot of tight terrain with tree runs and I just want this Ski to work well on groomers too.
    I assume that the 102 is the best for groomers in any case. Not sure though how it would work on deeper snow since I lean rather to the 180cm length, cause I think 188cm might be too long in tight terrain, although the turn radius is pretty small with 19m. For the Declivity 108ti it would be 182cm for sure since 190cm would definitely be too long. The mindbender has a lot more rocker and I assume it would be more maneuverable than the Declivity 108, but probably not as fun on groomers. There is a scenario in which I would buy the 102 and put on a pivot plus the mindbender 108 with a shift in order to have the option of skinning. I’m afraid the 102 in 180cm might be too short for deeper snow, considering it’s low rocker. What are your thoughts about this? Looking forward to it!

    Cheers
    Philipp

    1. Hi Philipp!
      I would say the 102 in the 180 or the 108 in the 182 offer the most upside. The 102 is still a pretty darn strong ski, even if the length sounds a bit short. My hesitation with the 108 is that it's just a lot of ski to be an all/every day ski--the 102 in the 180 fits that bill more so. Feel free to size up to the 188 in that ski, especially if you're skiing aggressively or prefer longer skis, but for most days and conditions, my guess is that the 180 will be more fun. Hope that helps!
      SE

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