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Posted on November 3rd, 2010 by Jason

2011 Armada JJ vs 2011 K2 ObSETHed vs 2011 Rossignol S7
Three years ago I was lucky enough to find myself in possession of a pair of K2′s Limited Edition PBR Brewskis. Originally I didn’t plan on mounting them, instead they were going to grace the wall above my wax bench due to their rarity. I eventually decided a ski that unique deserved to be ridden, and for the last three years they’ve been my boards of choice on most days.

Things have changed in the last couple of seasons though, with all of the kids talking about rocker this and rocker that, so I’ve slowly come to the decision to retire the Brewskis to the shop, and that means I need to replace them with something equally versatile. Fortunately I’ve got a few specialized tools in my quiver, including some Pontoons for deep days, old and Salomon Gun’s for park days. That means the ski I replace the PBRs with needs to be versatile enough to ski pretty much anywhere, but more than anything it needs to be well rounded (and like I mentioned, it’s gotta have rocker).

Based on my above criteria I’ve narrowed my choices down to Armada’s JJ, K2′s ObSETHed or Rossignol’s S7 all of which are rockered at the tip and tail with camber under foot for cat tracks, traverses and harder days. Also, all three of these skis get rave reviews from pretty much everyone that skis them.

With rocker on board all three skis the biggest outward difference between them is the fact that the JJ and S7 include reverse sidecut at the tip and tail. That means they will initiate turns a little quicker due to the shorter effective edge, but once weighted, they should feel sufficiently stable.

Here are a few quick videos from Freeskier that outline the major characteristics of each ski.

Armada JJ:

K2 ObSETHed:

Rossignol S7:

As soon as our snow pack is built up I’ll get out on the snow on all three of the skis, and weigh in with my thoughts on each one. Until then, let me know if you’ve got an opinion in the comments.

17 Responses to “Rossi S7, K2 ObSETHed or Armada JJ, THAT is the question!”

  1. JJ says:

    Hey Jason! This will be a really useful review. We’ll be waiting. Thanks!

  2. Abby says:

    hey I would absolutely love to know what you find. I have found the exact same ski’s to choose from and there fore the same problem in choosing. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts :)

  3. Will says:

    Hey Jason, I have actually narrowed it down to the same 3 as well.. Would be sweet if you could let us know how they all go! I will be making the purchase in 2 weeks in Nesiko ( not sure what the deal is with demoing there) but yer looking forward to hearing your thoughts!!

  4. Jason says:

    Abby & Will- I will keep you posted on what I decide to do. The good news is that these skis aren’t changing for 2012, so you can either hope to score a deal on them in the spring (if you can find a shop that still has some in stock), or take a little more time deciding what you want to do.

    I’ve also added the Bent Chetler to the list, and I should be able to ski on all of the 2012 versions in the next couple of weeks, so I’ll report back about what I decide to do.

  5. Matt says:

    I have skied all of them and owned everyone but the K2. I actually sold my S7s the day after I rode the Chetlers, there was no comparison. The Chets just own in the powder and are so much more playful then the S7s. The S7 is a nice ski but its like comparing a Corvette to a Lamborghini. Here is my quick breakdown below on all 4.

    The Seth’s are a great ski, lots of control both in tight situations and if you want to hard charge. They can take you pretty much anywhere on the mountain but serve you best slaying lines with quality snow on them. The charge great but they are not in the same ball park when it comes to playfulness as the Chets or JJs.

    The JJ is an amazing all mountain tool. Its light (I actually use these as my touring ski) and due to the EST design it turns on a dime and is super playful. The construction on this ski is honestly a work of art. If you are a hard charger and like to go mach 5 then the JJ may not be the best choice, but if you like to play, slash, smear, and rip tight lines in varied conditions its awesome (I have no issue even doing bumps with them).

    The Chets are by far the pow master. Much like the JJ in design but wider and that tips the pow scale over the JJ. This ski with change the way you ski powder overnight! It can be pushed to charging speeds only to turn on a dime into a tree line. Honestly if you already have all mountain boards and are looking for a pow stick this one is it.

    As I stated above the S7 is a good ski just not as good as the other 3. The S7 is made for one thing only, powder, and fairs good at best at anything else. If you are looking for versatility look at the S4. Its a smaller version of the S7 and much better as an all mountain tool. I’m sure many people will tell you I’m crazy, but I have put in a solid amount of days in the PNW on all 4 skis and it just doesn’t measure up.

    Since you are looking for an all mountain/ all condition ski I would defiantly go with the JJs. All the rest are much more powder specific and the S4 though good doesn’t compare to the JJ. I hope this helps, and by the way your going to be hard pressed to find anyone that still has JJs or Chetlers still in stock.

    P.S. You may also want to look at an 2011-2012 early release from Armada, the TST. Its a very cool concept, the tip of the JJ with the tail of the ANT (their standard camber all mountain board).

  6. Kyle says:

    Matt, you’re the man! Great comments.

  7. Bwilliams says:

    Hey everyone, How does the knew salomon rocker 2 fit in with those skis?

  8. Kyle says:

    Good question. Hopefully we get to demo them up at the NW On Snow next week. Expect reports back after that!

  9. Jason says:

    This is somewhat speculative, but the Rocker 2 doesn’t seem to have as much sidecut as the other skis we’re talking about, so if I had to guess, I would say it will perform better at the pow end of the spectrum.

    Like Kyle said though, we’ll get a chance to ride them next week, and will have a full video review then.

  10. that guy says:

    i have skied them all and the jjs are by far the best whey better then all the other and i actually skied in powder 4 feet of snow there new jjs comeing out and they dont look as cool a the 2011 type them in on google

  11. Rich Saffo says:

    Have you skied on all these yet? I live in Vermont but am most likely going to college out west (waiting on the deny or acceptance letter), and I want to get a ski that I can use on powder days here and there, maybe on days after the big storm day to. I’m personally stuck on the K2 Obsethed, K2 Sidestash, or Rossignol S7.

    Any of you guys have some input that might help?


  12. Kyle says:

    Yo Rich, Personally I lean towards the JJ’s or S7′s. I like a lighter ski and K2′s are usually a heavier ski. But that can have it’s advantages too. It’s all about personal preference. Between the S7′s and JJ’s…tough call! Both are coming in “bigger mountain” version this year too. Super 7′s vs. AK JJ’s. I guess if I was making the purchase myself I’d go with the….JJ’s! Check out Matt’s comment below too and also the review’s we’ve done on these skis: 2011 K2 Obsethed : Armada JJ There will be a S7/Super 7 review up shortly as well. Cheers!

  13. Rich Saffo says:


  14. Matt says:

    I thought it might be helpful to follow up my original post with my demo days experience with the Armada TST and a great ski from Line that really blew myself and several of my friends away. As for the TST, what can I say other then following my test I preordered it as my new go to all/big mountain ski for next season. It rails like a GS ski due to the camber from mid to tail and the EST JJesk rocker tip blows through the heavy wet junk we get here in the PNW. I did not get to test it in the deep stuff but in light pow it did great. I’m sure we will see this ski on the top of the magazines 2011-2012 top big or all mountain list, and very quick to sell out.

    One ski that caught many of us off guard was Line’s new Mr Pollards Opus (replacing the EP pro). Again there was no deep pow to test it in but in the light pow we had the ski was super playful and a blast to ski on. It is definately on the heavy side but that girth eats up chop and crud. Pollard decided to move away from pushing the widest point of the ski away from the tip and closer to the mid point and kept it more traditional. There are some vids from this years SIA on youtube that explain this much better then my crappy broad explanation. I can honestly say I have actually thought about replacing my beloved Chetlers with the Opus as my powder ski, but will need a couple deep days on it to make the final decision. Though not meant for hard pact the Opis had no problem ripping at very high speeds down the groomers. One of my friends and I had to take a second run down a long groomer because we could not believe how fast we could push the ski.

    I know this only adds more options to the decision making process, but after riding the TST I would say if you are looking for a all/big mountain ski it is a better choice then the JJ. As for pow it would be Chetler or Mr Pollards Opus (I hear the Bibby Pro is pretty awesome as well).

  15. dayton says:


  16. vida maloja says:

    hallo from the engadine in switzerland!

    i’m 82kg, 185cm and freeride about 100-130days per season – about 100days off-piste and the balance in heliskiing terrain. having been a ski tester over the years witha focus on ‘off-piste’ or free-ride skis, its been interesting to see the evolution of these skis with new designs, geometry, and different niches ie park/slopestyle, ‘all-mountain’, ‘big mountain’, etc…

    where we live and ride in the European Alps we need to ski all kind of mixed terrain to access different lines and must move around from bowl to bowl or treeline to ridge, sometimes never even crossing a piste/groomed run. so, that’s why i prefer a stiff traditional camber for control in windblown crust, icy ridges, and sketchy steep traverses. for flotation and versatility in mixed snow and powder, at least 115-120mmunderfoot; a little less rocker in the tip and tail like in the 2013 Salomon Rocker2 are great for both piste/groomed conditions and in really mixed snow; and a geometry of at least 135-140mm in the shovel that results in a turn radius of 25m to 30m. So, this is basically the Salomon Rocker2 in a 122mm underfoot x 192cm length that i just started riding last week when i lost one of my 196cm Rossi Super S7′s in an avalanche. the local rep at Salomon explained it to me and said i would like it better than the S7….i can say i do. but the SuperS7 still rocks and i’d take it with me for heliskiing; the Rocker2 is a better ‘big mountain’ allround ski for me. i almost picked up next years Squad Super7 which is 122mm underfoot vs 118mm now, and has a stiffer tail (which was an achilles heel of the older Super S7. I like the JJ’s and the Obsethed, but i find the turn radius too small and the skis too soft and squirley at speed….playfulness at the limit feels like instability. (haven’t tried the 196cm AK/JJ’s though.) BUT, the JJ’s and the Obsethed are great in low angle powder, trees. some of our crew who are also freestylers and throw in aerials, landing and skiing switch really like the JJ’s and the S7′s which also have a more pronounced tip and tail shovel than the Rocker2′s.

    not on my new freeride touring setup – Kastle BMX108′s with no tail rocker, but light, sturdy, and great for all conditions, though not my first choice when you need more flotation). my favorite boards 5 years ago were Scott Stunts (196cm) and Scott Pure Limited (193cm) with a Duke touring setup…no rocker and very heavy. In the early days of rocker and twin tips i really enjoyed one of the first sksi Mikey Douglas and Salomon developed, the electric blue Salomon twintip in a 188cm (longest length then). it was super playful and rocked in the trees and held a decent carve on softer pistes…but it was always too squirley and not versatile as a ‘big mountain’ ski.

    the conclusion for me is that with the new technologies and designs, we can have more control in big-mountain terrain while maintaining the playfulness and deepsnow flotation requirements by riding a wider board underfoot (115mm+), keep the stiffness, traditional camber underfoot and length for stability at speed(for me 192cm min to 196cm), and the tip and tail rocker add forgiviness and versatility; a more aggressive sidecut geometry then dictates whether you have a -20m radius ski (like the JJ’s) or a >35m like the Kastle BMX128′s. For SuperG turns on perfect heliskiing days, i’d pick the BMX128′s hands-down. But for one board anywhere, anytime – its the 2013 Rocker2 or the 2013 Rossi Squad7

    peace, love, and powder from maloja

  17. jack says:

    I have to disagree about s7′s I skied all of the skis above as well as Armada TST and Atomic Access and found S7 to be most versatile. Access and Bents were the most fun in pow JJ’s were very close to S7′s (bit more playful but worse on anything hard – and 185 may be too short for me – I’m 6’5″). Bottom line is: S7′s are incredible tool. They are not as fun as Bents or Access, but they can be used all over the mountain (I like them on hard pack better than my SC80. They do everything at 85%+ vs some skis will do 95%-60% – I want one ski to do it all and S7′s are it… :)

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