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Posted on February 19th, 2011 by Kyle

Alright time to review a ski that I know is going to be a popular one next year, the 2012 Armada JJ.  I know it’s sure to be a hit his year because for the last two seasons the entire production has sold out before November.

Stepping into the bindings on the JJ’s, I immediately notice their similarity to the Rossignol S7′s. Compare the two, I’m sure you’ll notice the commonalities in the dimensions and shapes. It’s by no means the same ski, but just something you pick up on. The JJ is a light ski, which I personally love. I’m alway looking for my skis to be light weight because I’m into making tight turns in the trees whenever possible. Now if you can get a pair of light weights like the JJ’s to ski like a heavier/bigger mountain ski then you’ve got yourself a ski to get pumped on. The perfect example of this I think is Atomic’s Bent Chetler. However, the JJ wasn’t far behind on the BC’s heels. I easily felt like I could take the JJ anywhere the mountain had to offer. On the groomers it was stable at high and low speeds and was responsive when I wanted it to be. I noticed that it wasn’t quite aggressive in it’s turning as the Super 7′s I rode right before the JJ. Meaning, the Super 7′s felt like they WANTED to carve just a touch more than the JJ’s. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, to me it just means the ski has more play to it. The JJ was more ready to butter, slash and surf than the Super 7′s. And if you wanted to get down to business and carve up a storm you absolutely could, you just had to put a bit more effort into it. It was an incredible easy ski to make perform how I wanted it to and I’d say it’s sitting very comfortably in the All Mountain category. You could rock the JJ on the deepest powder days and do just fine riding groomers with it all day as well. If you want negatives about it, I’m not sure I can provide for your needs. But I can highlight a few areas where I thought it might have lacked when compared with skis that you might call its competition. For one, the JJ’s seemed to be a little slow coming out of their turns on the groomers. I’m talking about when you’re really on edge though. It was as if they didn’t want to break that hard edge contact which actually gave off a heavy like feeling. Which I know they aren’t heavy. Next I noticed that they were a little chattery in the cruddier snow. So think cut up or packed pow and even some ice clumps. The tips just seemed to bounce a bit more than the Super 7′s I also rode. Finally, I the JJ’s weren’t quite as bull dozerish as some of the other skis. Take the Atomic Bent Chetler for example, plowed through everything it seemed. The JJ’s weren’t terrible, but I think the lightness of the ski made it bounce around a bit more.

So there you go, a real life review of the 2012 Armada JJ. I’d fully recommend the ski to pretty much anyone. It’s definitely a great ski, others might differ in opinions but I think when it really comes down to it 90% of the skiing population is going to like the 2012 Armada JJ. Actually, they’re the same as last years so if you can grab a pair of those for less….do it!

I also found this sneek peak video for everyone to check out as well on the 2012 Armada JJ’s and AK JJ’s.

Buy the 2012 Armada JJ’s From SkiersRealm! $674.99!

52 Responses to “2012 Armada JJ: Official Review”

  1. dayton says:

    are they the same flex are they stiffer or softer? please reply

  2. Kyle says:

    yea man, same flex as last year. The AK JJ (195cm) is listed as slightly stiffer and has a longer turning radius than the traditional JJ. How’s that sound to ya?

    We’re pumped to get these skis in the shop. Let me know if you have any other questions, and check back cause later this year we’ll be sellin’ both the JJ’s and AK JJ’s! And I don’t mean drop shippin’. Straight inventory son!!

  3. joel says:

    so i’m looking to get some JJ’s. i’m 6’1, 165 lbs, i’d say advanced to expert level. should i just go ahead and get some 185cm or wait for the 195cm? thanks

  4. Kyle says:

    Hey Joel, So the AK JJ’s in a 195′s are a little stiffer than the JJ’s. Bigger turning radius too. I’m sure you could ski either a 185 or a 195 if you wanted, but the 195′s are going to feel a little more like a big mountain ski than the 185′s. Personally I’d go with the 195′s if they’re going to be more of a pow ski for you, I’m 5’10″ and rock some 189′s all day long. If you’re 6’1″ and an advanced skier you’ll be riding those 195′s everywhere no matter the conditions. Hope that helps!

  5. dayton says:

    what would you recommend jj or tst

  6. [...] these things are nimble and plenty agile to makes moves through the trees.SkiersRealm Review: Armada JJShop Specs – 2011 Armada JJ: EvoShop Specs – 2011 Armada JJ: BackcountryArmada AKJJ [...]

  7. Alex says:

    Hi Kyle,
    I tried this year the 1.85 JJs and loved them. I’m an expert skier, 5.11′ and 155 pounds, 40 years old. I ski all types of snow and in our summer I ski in south america where the snow is icier than here. do you recommend i wait for the AK 1.95 or purchase a limted edition of JJs 1.85mts now on sale on the Armada website? (They are named the alpine JJs or something like that)

  8. Kyle says:

    The Alpine Initiatives or AIJJ’s are def a limited edition ski, so the cool thing about those is that I doubt you’ll ever see anyone else with them. What are you skiing on now? I’m pretty much your size exactly and also consider myself an expert skier, 185 is about my perfect length. But not only are the AKJJ’s going to be longer, their also a bigger ski dimension wise. The AKJJ’s dimensions are: 131/141/120/138/128 while the regular JJ’s are 126/136/115/133/123. So based on your size and the kind of skiing it sounds like you’re doing, I’m going to say you should go with the 185′s.

    If you don’t get them right away, check back with us later in the fall. We should have them in stock then!

  9. Alex says:

    Thanks Kyle. I currently ski with Rossignol Bandit 78s that i got 4 years ago. So it looks the 185s are the right size, is that becuase i’ll handle the ski better than the AKJJ’s? What would be the difference between the AK and regular JJs?
    finally, what bindings do you recommend?
    Thanks Kyle!!

  10. Kyle says:

    For me (and poss. you since we sound about the same size and ability) the AKJJ would be a ski I’d pick up to fill a specific niche in my ski quiver. Which would be for bigger lines, wide open pow skiing and times when I’m going to be charging the terrain more. The 185′s are definitely more of an all-mountain, all day/everyday ski. Both skis have the same rocker/camber profile but since the regular JJ’s are shorter and also smaller in dimensions, you’re going to be able to transfer them from one terrain to the other easier. Think from pow to groomer. The 185′s will be easier to carve it up on the cord. and then get off piste in the same day. To really be sure and make the right decision, maybe wait and demo both of them.

  11. Alex says:

    True Kyle. thanks for your feedback!
    Which ski bindings would you recommend for the JJs?

    You are right re the AK’s, I saw some trial videos featuring some skiers trying them and they don’t seem so agile on groomed trails. I’m sure they are awesome on pow but at this point i’ll go with the 1.85JJ.
    Thanks again and look forward to your suggestions re ski bindings.

  12. Kyle says:

    I’ve always been a Salomon man myself. I have some STH 14′s and some STH 16′s. The 14′s would be great. However if you’re planning on doing any skinning with them then the Marker Dukes are the way to go for now. Until the MFD all-time is in distribution that is. Check it out!

  13. Alex says:

    Thanks for the info Kyle. I ended buying the AI JJs and thanks to your feedback will buy the salomon bindings STH 14 which I see available online for $200 (I checked your website to get them from you guys as a retribution to your feedback but see you guys sell skis only) vs the overprized (yet very useful I know) Marker Duke’s which cost 400+
    I love going back country but I guess will have to have my nephew carrying my skis.. ;-)

  14. Justin says:

    i’m a skier looking at these jj’s as a major candidate as my next purchase. i’m 6’4′ about 200 lbs. does anyone have size recommendations? i consider myself to be somewhere between intermediate and expert. i want to get into exploring some pow pow but my current skis are holding me back.

  15. Kyle says:

    Well if you’re going with the original JJ’s then definitely the 185cm’s since they’re the tallest they come in. However, since you’re 6’4″ you could jump up and check out the AKJJ’s @ 195cm. They’re going to be a bit stiffer and have a larger turn radius since they’re more geared towards bigger mountain riding but with your height they could work. The Armada TST is a new model from Armada and comes in a 192cm and is a little more of an all mtn ski with a 103mm waist. That could be something to look at as well. Hope that helps Justin, if you got any more questions just ask away!

  16. Billy says:

    I am interested in the jj’s or any other high preformance powder/ big mountain ski. I am turning 15 in October I am 5’8 and about 130 pounds I am an expert skier and I am looking for a ski that’s not so stiff that someone of my weight could be able to use properly. What would you recommend for me?

  17. Kyle says:

    Yo Billy, Check out our Heavy Hitters article for next years all-mountain skis. I reviewed the models that are going to be right in line with what you’re looking for. Let me know if you’re still in need of some more info after that!

  18. dayton says:

    kyles the best

  19. Dylan says:

    Hey, Would you recommend the JJ to be a one quiver ski? I am an advanced skier and looking for a new set of skis but i do not have the money to get multiple pairs. Thanks

  20. Kyle says:

    Absolutely. The JJ is a super popular ski and I know tons of folks who ride them everyday of the year in any conditions. Also, check out our article 2012 Heavy Hitters on some other “one quiver skis”. you might find it helpful.

  21. Kevin says:

    Hey I just got some 185 JJ’s and I was wondering what bindings i should get for them… I was thinking about getting Marker Griffon bindings. Would those work???

  22. Kyle says:

    Personally I’m a Salomon man. I’d throw on some STH 16′s or if that just seems overkill for you and you want to save a few bucks go with the STH 14′s. As far as marker goes, if you’re even thinking about skinning in the back/slack country go with the Marker Duke’s. OR look into the new MFD Alltime binding plate that just cam out this year. You’d still have to get a pair of bindings on top of the MFD but with them you’d be able to swap one pair of bindings between all your skis!

  23. Alyssa says:

    Hi Kyle
    Am looking at the 165 JJ and 165 VJJ. I am a female intermediate skier. What is the main difference between the two? I am assuming the JJ is stiffer than the VJJ and possibly a more aggressive ski. let me know soon so I can pull the trigger and purchase these awesome skis!

  24. Kyle says:

    Hey Alyssa, you’re right in that the JJ’s are an all round stiffer ski. Other than that the two are pretty similar. Same turn radius, dimensions, construction. So really if you’re ok with either flex pattern it’s just going to come down to the graphics. Hope that helps!

  25. [...] was originally posted in Skier’s Realm, they did a great job. Thank you Skier’s [...]

  26. Jason says:

    VJJ is essentially the same construction as the JJ, just a slightly more profiled core, so it won’t be as stiff, and it will be a little lighter.

    I think you would be happier with the Armada VJJ personally.

  27. Curtis says:

    I really am looking into the JJs and are just wondering a few things…im 5’11″ and 155lbs and i say i ski quite advanced…so im just wondering a good ski size. Also i like to throw some freestyle stuff into my skiing so im also wondering if the JJ’s are soft enough to butter.

  28. Kyle says:

    I think you’d be safe with the JJ’s when it comes to freeriding, they’ll butter/surf quite well. For size, I’d probably go def. no shorter than the 175cm, and depending on how well you ski maybe even the 185 just because they will ski a little shorter and that.

  29. Ives says:

    I am trying to decide between AK JJs, JJs and TST. I am about 6’2″ and 185 lbs, and I used to race as a teenager. I haven’t upgraded my gear in a long time (broke college student) – still using the slalom skis I raced on in 2004. These skis are a pain in the a$$ in the pow and I’m finally able to upgrade. As an ex-racer I carve pretty hard and enjoy shorter turns on groomed runs, but I also love to ride pow and trees. What would you recommend and what size do you think I should get? PS: I mainly ride in the Pacific NW.

  30. Ives says:

    Also, another few models that I’ve been looking at are 2012 Line SFB and Atomic Coax. Basically, I’m looking for a one ski quiver that can carve quick turns on the grooms, and would be a rockstar in the deep pow. The more I think about, AKJJ will probably not be the best option for me… Please help, I’m at the crossroads!

  31. Kyle says:

    What’s up Ives, where you riding here in the PNW? You choices for an all-mountain 1-ski quiver are VAST these days. Out of the skis you listed off I’d say the Line SFB’s or the TST’s are your best bet. The TST’s are pretty awesome in that they have the JJ-tip and rocker up front then traditional camber and tail. They’re rippers for sure. The SFB’s have a rockered tip and tail and are more symmetrical in shape. I remember them being super quick on the turn when you wanted them to be. So when you say short quick turns on groomers, thats exactly what I remember about them.

  32. connor says:

    hey everybody i need some help. im 6’3 150. Im looking to get some JJ’s, and i would consider myself in the middle of advanced to expert.i do lots of pow skiing and decent amount of groomers. I am thinking of the !85′s but not sure if the 195 AK’s woukld be better. Any Help?

  33. Kyle says:

    6’3″ 150lbs!!! Damn Connor, you need to put some meat on them bones! I suggest chili fries and beer during every trip to the hill this year. Off the top of my head I would say the 185′s are probably what you’re looking for. They aren’t quite as stiff as the AK JJ’s. Unless you’re really looking for a stiff pair of big mountain sticks? The 185′s also have a smaller turn radius at 14m versus 18m which is quite the difference. So expect the 185 JJ’s to be more nimble and quicker on the turn than the AK’s. Hope that helps!

  34. connor says:

    haha i know i know im skiiny. but yes that does help. thats what my gut was telling me thank you for the help

  35. Jason says:

    Ives: I would definitely check out the TST, I was BLOWN away by how well that ski performed in all conditions. I think it would be a perfect match for your skiing style if you’re looking for one ski to do it all, especially coming from a stiff, narrow slalom ski; you’ll be stoked with how much float the TST has thanks to the JJ rocketed tip, but it will still perform really well on the groom.

  36. gerhardt says:

    hi size question. i’m5’8″ 208lbs ok skier but looking to get a lot better this year and ski fast. I’m looking for a powder ski that will get me to the lifts on groomers just fine. hike ridges at taos then down to the lifts, if god willing we have powder. I ski vokl bridge 171. this ski seems to fit the bill great for what i need but you think I should do 175 or 185?

    thanks for any input.

  37. Kyle says:

    That’s kinda tricky on paper but i’m gonna go out on a limb and say the 185′s, especially if you’re ambitious about getting better. The JJ’s are going to ski pretty short because of the rocker in the tip and tails. How do your volkl’s feel lengthwise for you? I know they are a full rocker ski so I’m kinda wondering how they fit you. For pow, the JJ’s are gonna kill it and you’ll definitely be able to ski them on the groomers as well. The JJ’s are also going to have a shorter/quicker radius than your Volkl’s so they should feel pretty playful and responsive. Just for input, I’m 5’10″ and my daily driver is a 189cm from Blue House right now and they feel just fine when it comes to length. I’m totally comfortable on them. Hope that helps!


  38. Chris says:

    I feel I am right in the middle of the JJ and the AK JJs. I am 6′ 200lbs, Expert. Love trees, big drops, tight turns and long turns, & going fast. I still want the maneuverability of a smaller ski, but feel like the AK would fit my weight and skiing style better. Anyone my size ski both the Aks and the JJs?


  39. Jason says:

    @gerhardt, not sure if you’re already purchased the Bridge or not based on your comment, but if you haven’t, I would look long and hard at the 2012 Armada TST. This is by far one of the best all-around performers I’ve skied on, can absolutely rail high speed GS turns, has plenty of float in the tip and through the waist for deep powder days, and is beefy enough to handle crud while still being incredibly responsive. Seriously one of my favorite skis, give it a look if you haven’t purchased already.

    As far as sizing goes, I would agree with Kyle, go for the mid 180, as these twin tips will ski shorter than they actually are.

  40. Jason says:

    @Chris- I think you’re strong enough and aggressive enough to get away with skiing the AK, so you could go that route if you wanted, but that ski was really made for big descents at high speeds when you need a platform that will be super stable. Maybe your skiing qualifies as that, but unless you’re spending a ton of time in Alaska or BC, you would probably be more comfortable on the regular JJ.

    Not sure if you’re totally set on Armada or not, but the Super 7 in a 185 would be another one to look at, as you’ll get the benefit of a beefier construction, without it being too big.

  41. Kyle says:

    I was going to say the Super 7′s in a 188 (not 185 @Jason :) ) might be perfect for him. Unless I’m mistaken, aren’t They 115mm underfoot and same dimensions as the 188 S7? Then when you jump up to the 195cm Super 7 the dimension crank up to 145-117-127. I rode the Super 188′s and loved them. Here’s a link to the review for ya @Chris…http://www.skiersrealm.com/connect/general/official-review-rossignol-super-7

  42. Darren says:

    hi kyle, i bought the sfb’s, 184. I am 45yr 6’2” 230lb. I am finding in the powder I am going over the handlebars x2 first day. I was wondering what ski b/t the 185 jj’s or the ak jj’s in 195 ~ what would you recommend? I am an advanced skier ~ I go hard some days but other days take it easy with the Family.

  43. Jason says:

    Hi Darren-

    Based on your weight and ability level, you’re a prime candidate for the JJ AK. A JJ in a 185 isn’t going to be significantly different from your Line’s, so I think you’ll be disappointed with that ski. You’ll have plenty of strength to ski the JJ AK on slow paced groomer days with the family, and it will be a much better platform for you to rip on deep days!

    We’ve got them in stock right here: http://www.skiersrealm.com/2012-armada-ak-jj.html

  44. Kyle says:

    Yea I’d agree that the AK JJ’s would be a good model for you. Sounds like you’ve got the size and experience to move them around no prob, especially if you’re finding the SFB’s to be too small to keep you afloat.

  45. Tom says:


    I’m 6’3″, 180 lbs, advanced/expert skier and deciding between Armada JJ @ 185 and AK JJ @ 195. I want to ski them in pow, moguls, trees, a bit of learning 360s, but no rails. Open space pow won’t be much frequent, cause I ski in Austria. I have a racing ski for groomers and won’t throw them away, so Armadas doesn’t have to satisfy me during whole day skiing on groomers.

    Can you please help me out? Mainly if I’m not too big for JJs.


  46. Boat Wax says:

    If I were in your shoes, I would go for the 185s based on what you want the ski to do. If you said you were looking for a ski you’re only going to use to rip big lines at high speeds in deep snow then the JJAK might make sense, but for a little bit of everything, the standard JJ should be perfect, and you’re definitely not too big for it.

  47. Arthur says:

    hey I’m thinking of buy the JJ but do they come with bindings or will I need to buy them separate.

  48. Kyle says:

    Usually you’ll have to grab them separately. Sometimes a deal comes along though…

  49. JP says:

    Little late, but I figured the skis were pretty much the same as this year’s model.

    I’m 6’0″, 200..is the 185 too small for me? I’m worried that the AK JJ would be too stiff and too much ski.

  50. Balkar says:

    Hi i want to buy armada jj, i am a good skier on piste but would like to go some off piste, do you recommend that dki considering to use both pistes

  51. Spencer says:

    Go with the Armada TST Skis. They will have a little less width underfoot and should be great on and off the piste.

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