2022-2023 Armada ARW 106 UL

There are loads of better options if you want something really planted, supportive, and powerful, but for both directional and freestyle-oriented skiers who want something quick, loose, and playful in moguls and trees, the ARW 106 offers a lot to like.

Dylan: Luke and Kara made a lot of great points that I agree with. The ARW 106 UL is quick, loose, forgiving, and easy in tight off-piste terrain. It definitely worked best with a more centered stance but didn’t fold up so long as I wasn’t driving the shovels very aggressively. If you are looking for something easygoing, maneuverable, and forgiving in bumps, trees, and tight terrain, you should certainly not dismiss the ARW 106 UL just because it is a very freestyle-friendly ski.


Kara: Most of the powder days I encountered on the ARW 106 UL were not bottomless, so I’d refer mostly to the “Soft Chop” section above as to how the ARW 106 UL performs on softer days. This is unfortunate, because, based on the fairly shallow pow days I experienced on the ARW 106 UL, it floats really well and I would love to test in some really deep snow. However, through heavy spring chop and new snow (less than 8”), I found the ARW 106 UL to float pretty effortlessly, and I didn’t really have to work the ski or change my balance point / stance to stay atop the snow. It provided a surfy, loose ride through powder. This is the first ski I’ve skied with a convex shape in the tip and tail, or what Armada calls “Smear Tech.” I can’t speak to how this translates to butters or any of the like, but I will say the ARW 106 UL offered a really smeary and easy transition between turns, even in deeper or heavier snow.

Luke: I didn’t get the ARW 106 in a ton of deep snow, but I agree with Kara. The one thing I’d add is that, as a more center-mounted ski, the ARW 106 required a more centered, upright stance in deep snow than many of the more rearward-mounted (and typically longer) skis I spend time on around the same width. But in terms of maneuverability and how loose the tips and tails of the ARW 106 feel in deep snow, I’m a big fan — it’s not a night-and-day difference vs. similar skis without convex tips and tails, but it is noticeable.

Dylan: I did not have the pleasure of skiing the ARW 106 in powder, so I’d refer to what these two said above.


Kara: The ARW 106 UL is one of the most playful skis I spent time on this winter, yet it provided enough stability and versatility for me to ski it confidently in most terrain on the mountain. It certainly feels best when skiing with a fairly centered stance. I imagine that a very playful skier, who is capable of more tricks and spins than myself, could take the playfulness of the ARW 106 UL to another level, while also benefiting from its versatility elsewhere. But I will let Dylan speak more about that.

Luke: The ARW 106 UL is playful in pretty much every regard. It’s got a low swing weight, its tips and tails feel loose, it feels balanced in the air, it skis switch well, it’s easy to bend, and it’s pretty lively. As someone who typically prefers skis around this width in the ~184–192 cm range, the 180 cm ARW 106 UL was one of the most playful skis I spent time on this year, and I definitely never felt like it was too sluggish, too stiff, too locked-in, etc.

Dylan: These two are very right. Like Luke, I am usually on longer skis, and I would probably prefer the 188 cm length of the ARW 106 UL as an all-mountain ski. However, in the park and all over the mountain, the 180 cm ARW 106 felt playful in just about all the ways that it could. It is very easy to flip and spin, with a very balanced feel and low swing weight. This ski does great at taking off, landing, and just cruising switch, and I’d imagine it would do well at this in deeper snow (potentially up to a foot / 30 cm of powder), too.

This ski initiates butters well and predictably, and I think this is due to both its flex pattern and edgeless beveled base on the tips and tails. It is also pretty lively and energetic through the midsection, which was nice for not only popping in and out of butters, but also for just popping onto features or getting some extra air for a jump.

Its low swing weight and wider platform make this ski great for rails, and it is very forgiving of shuffling out of botched tricks. On our medium-sized (around 30 feet / 9 meter) jumps on Mt. CB, the ARW felt plenty stable and like it could handle much bigger airs. Its softer shovels and tails aren’t the most supportive on majorly frontseat / backseat landings, but so long as I was landing mostly over my bindings, I didn’t wash out on this ski.

Mount Point

Kara: I skied the ARW 106 UL at the “Factory Recommended” mount point, which is -5 cm from true center. This is certainly a step away (or rather, forward) from the majority of directional skis that I ski, which required me to make an adjustment from my preferred forward stance. But the ARW 106 UL was an intuitive ski from this centered position, so this was a reasonable adjustment to make in order to benefit from the playful and energetic sweet spot of this ski.