2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Ski Review Lead Image

2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Ski Review

MAY 4, 2023 | WRITTEN BY Jeff Neagle & Emily Crofton

The Armada ARV and ARW collections are home to some of the most popular and iconic park skis in the world. Over the past couple decades, they’ve evolved into a line of skis that’s not only home to excellent park skis, they’re also fantastically playful all-mountain skis, specifically the wider options. For 2024, the skis continue to evolve into what we can confidently say is the best ARV/ARW collection to date.

That over-simplifies things a little bit, as really, we got three new skis: the ARV 88, 94, and 100. The ARV 84 and also the wider 106 and 116 don’t (yet?) have the changes we’re going to talk about today. That’s certainly not concerning, as those remain great skis too, but they’ve certainly made some valuable tweaks to these new widths. If we look at the collections as a whole, we previously had 84, 86, 96, 106, and 116 width options. The 86 and 96 have been replaced by the 88, 94, and 100, giving us one extra ski in total.


2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis






157, 164, 171, 178, 185 cm

16.5 m @ 171 cm

122 / 94 / 117 mm

1,550 g @ 171cm


From a construction perspective, there are some exciting things going on here. First, the wood core has gone from a combination of poplar and ash to a combination of Caruba and ash, with the ash focused mostly underfoot for binding retention. Caruba has many different properties than poplar, starting with a lighter weight, but we also find these skis softer flexing, snappier, and livelier. Then we get Armada’s new w3Dgewall technology. While that’s a hard word to type, the technology itself is awesome. Armada, perhaps unsurprisingly, says it best: “a 3D molded, injected sidewall that’s angled where it joins the wood core, creating a mechanical bond in the mold during ski construction for a stronger, more uniform connection between the sidewall and core. With more material in critical areas for added durability and a three-dimensional taper in the tip and tail, the w3Dgewall creates a ski that will stand up to more abuse while providing enhanced edge grip at reduced weights.” There’s a lot to unpack there. First, if you’re having trouble visualizing it, think about something similar to a tongue and groove construction technique. Then think about it in terms of a ski press and impacts while skiing. The pressing of the ski is actually pushing the core and sidewall together, rather than pressing in a perpendicular angle to the seam between core and sidewall. The construction process is actually making the ski stronger. When impacting on a rail, rock, or something else firm, it’s also pushing those two elements together, rather than apart. With more material, it’s better dissipating impact forces, resulting in fewer edge cracks, blown out sidewalls, etc. As someone who has ruined a lot of skis through rail impact, I immediately perked up when hearing about this, and am psyched about the results. The increased edge grip and lighter weight feels like a bonus, and it’s a fairly significant one at that. The ARV 94 drops 200 g compared to the outgoing ARV 96, down to just 1650 g in the 178 cm length.

Then there’s the shape, which might not be home to as many exciting changes, but they’re important, nonetheless. The big thing here is the increase in early taper in the tips and tails. It’s not a huge difference from the previous skis, but it is there, and it does make a difference. We’ll talk more about this when we get to off-piste performance, but it’s worth bringing up now to understand the wholesale changes of these new skis. Aside from that, the shape of the 94 is relatively consistent with the 96. We get an almost-symmetrical rocker profile, AR Freestyle Rocker, and sidecut dimensions that are slightly more symmetrical than the outgoing 96. The ARV 94 has a 5 mm difference between tip and tail dimensions, so it is not a perfectly symmetrical ski, but it is close. That’s reflected in the mount point with the furthest forward line, marked freestyle, being 2 cm back from actual true center. Lastly, the turn radius drops a little bit too down to 17 m in the 178, rather than 19 m in the outgoing 177.

2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis: Camber Profile 2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis: ARW 94 Base Closeup

Now that we’ve covered all that, we can get to the performance. While I don’t think anyone is buying these skis with groomer performance as their main concern, it does feel like a nice place to start. As a summary, compared to the ARV 96, this ski is lighter, softer flexing, and has a shorter turn radius, yet Armada also claims increased edge grip. While those things feel like contradictions, it feels very accurate. The ARV 94 and ARW 94 feel more dynamic on a groomer now. They are easier to bend into a shorter radius arc, but don’t feel like you’re going to wash out. That makes it a lot of fun to play around with turn shapes and gives them a very rewarding feel even at slower speeds. I do think it’s fair to say the ARV 96 had more longitudinal stability, but that feels like a relatively unimportant factor here. I don’t do much straight lining when I’m on a fun twin tip. It’s more about playing, rather than just charging down the fall line. Both Emily and I had a lot of fun cruising around on groomers, as they are fun, easy, and rewarding.

The other benefit of this new build and shape is the edge release. Enhancing the early taper in the tips and tails gives them a very intuitive feel when making shorter, skidded, or pivoting turns, when slipping and smearing from forward to switch and back again, and any other situation where you need to release the edge. A ton of skiers will benefit from that. Whether you’re the best park skier in the world literally conceptualizing new buttery, drifty, smeary tricks or whether you’re an intermediate still learning to carve, not being locked into a turn on a ski like this is hands-down a good thing.

2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis: Emily Action Image 1 2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis: Emily Action Image 4

That concept also crosses over to off-piste use and soft snow. For being a relatively symmetrical ski that’s 94 mm underfoot, the ARV and ARW 94 are both an absolute blast in soft snow and un-groomed terrain. This is another aspect both Emily and I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s not uncommon for a more centered twin tip to feel cumbersome in soft snow as you have a lot of ski behind you, but that same taper shape that allows for pivoting turns on groomers really cuts through soft snow with ease. The lightweight feel and snappy flex pattern also gives them a very bouncy, playful nature. Combine those attributes, and they’re just incredibly easy to ski and super rewarding in trees, moguls, side country, and even when there’s a decent amount of fresh snow. You can kind of ski them like a powder ski to be honest, slashing and smearing turns as you go, kicking up big clouds of snow, and hooting and hollering while doing so.

It's still worth bringing up the fact that there’s a good amount of tail behind you. Even at the further-back “Factory” recommended line, you’re about 4.5 cm back from true center, which is considerably more forward than any directional all-mountain ski. If you’re not used to being on a park shape like this, you might not have as easy of an experience as Emily or myself, with both of us having a lot of experience on twin tips in off-piste terrain. That’s worth considering if you’re looking into these skis, but it’s more a personal skiing style thing than a lack of ability in the ski. The ski can do it just fine, we’ve proven that, it’s just a matter of whether you’re going to feel comfortable at that mount point. My guess is most would, especially anyone considering a ski like this, so not a huge concern at all, just worth bringing up. Overall, both Emily and I were quite pleased with its performance in challenging off-piste terrain and softer snow.

2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis: Jeff Action Image 1 2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis: Jeff Action Image 4

Then there’s the park side of the conversation, which honestly might be the highlight. Before I get into w3Dgewall, let’s talk about everything else. First, it’s lighter. Lighter swing weight is almost always a good thing in the park, so, yay! Then there’s the flex pattern. It’s still a supportive ski, but this new flex is more supple, it’s more playful, and it’s easier to manipulate. Ollies and nollies are easier, butters and manuals are easier, and landings feel smoother, even big ones. Then there’s that early taper shape. While the previous ARV 96 never felt particularly catchy, this new 94 is even smoother. Switch spins, spins onto rails, basically anything where you must create a lot of spin energy and time it with a pop on your takeoff just feels easier and more intuitive. Out of everything I skied in the park this season, which was a lot, I can honestly say this was one of, if not my single favorite ski. Part of that might just be the Armada brand. Having grown up in the early days of park skiing when Armada was king, it’s hard for me to not feel like there’s some cool factor when I get on a pair. Objectively, is it a really good park ski? Yes. Subjectively and selfishly, do I think Armada is a cool brand? Also, yes.

Then there’s the durability side of things, which is what I got most excited about when I first heard about these skis. Again, edge cracks are a real bummer, especially when you’ve found a ski you really like and start jiving with it. I set out to do 1,000 rail slides on the ARV 96 to test durability. I’m not sure I got all the way there, mostly thanks to some nagging injuries late this season that kept park skiing quite painful for 2-3 weeks, but I got close. Let’s say I easily logged 500 rail slides on these things, which I think is more than fair. There are lots of visual signs of rail slides on skis. Red paint on the base from Stowe’s rails, plenty of burrs along the edges, but you know what I don’t have? Edge cracks. Not a single one. Was I disastering the biggest rails in the world? No, but I also wasn’t being careful. I can honestly say that on most skis I’ve been on in the past, I would expect to have at least one, if not 2, 3, 4, 5 edge cracks by now. I do think it’s worth bringing up that other manufacturers seem to be figuring this out too. Those Elan Playmakers use a similar concept of dissipating edge impact forces, and I’m pretty blown away I haven’t damaged those yet either. In general, I’m just really happy the industry seems to be making significant moved to address the durability of park skis.

All in all, the new ARV and ARW 94 represent objective improvements across the board for what was an already really fun ski. I applaud Armada for making such major changes to these skis. It’s not like they took the shape and just changed construction, or the other way around. When you’ve got a good thing going, it can be hard to want to make changes at all, but I’m sure glad they did. A ton of skiers are going to be psyched with these things. Also, to touch on the 100 for a second, the performance is very similar. We’ll do a full review of that ski later in the spring or summer too, but for now, you can take most of what’s said here and apply it to that ski. The 88 is a touch different, and we’ll get to that at some point too. In the meantime, just be excited. Armada has new twin tips. They’re here, they’re real, and they’re spectacular.

2024 Armada ARV 94 & ARW 94 Skis Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle & Emily Crofton on 05/04/23