2018-2019 Armada Invictus 89 Ti

Blister reviews the Armada Invictus 89 Ti

Armada Invictus 89 Ti

Ski: 2018-2019 Invictus 89 Ti, 187 cm

Available Lengths: 163, 171, 179, 187 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.0 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1864 & 1882 grams

Stated Dimensions: 131-88-121.5 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 130.4-88.2-120.9

Stated Sidecut Radius: 18 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 61 mm / 21 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4-5 mm

Core: Poplar/Ash + Titanal (2-layers) + Innegra/Carbon Laminate

Base: Armada’s “Comp Series” Base

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.6 cm from center; 85.4 cm from tail

Intro

This past season Armada redesigned their directional, all-mountain Invictus series. We found the old Invictus 108 Ti to be a very stable charger, and while Armada is still calling the new Invictus skis “chargers,” they’re also saying that the new skis now have better “energy absorption and liveliness.”

We already checked out the redesigned Invictus 99 Ti, and in that review we went over all the construction changes Armada made to the Invictus line. But now it’s time to take a closer look at the narrowest metal-laminate ski in the series, the Invictus 89 Ti.

What Armada says about the Invictus 89 Ti

“In case you missed it, directional is hot again, and no one is bringing the heat harder than the Armada Invictus 89 Ti. Thanks to a metal-laminate construction and Intelligrid, the 89 Ti is equipped to get edge-to-edge faster, carving up hardpack like a thanksgiving turkey.”

A couple things:

(1) Apparently directional skis were at one time not “hot,” but they are again now “hot.” Glad Armada cleared that up for us…

(2) Armada is specifically talking up the Invictus 89 Ti’s hardpack performance, and they actually make no mention of anything apart from that.

So one of our main questions coming into this review was whether the Invictus 89 Ti would be a ski that people should only grab when it hasn’t snowed in a while, or if it could actually handle true all-mountain duties? And if you’re wondering what motivated this second question, check out the next section.

Shape / Rocker Profile

When we reviewed the original Armada Invictus 108 Ti, we were very surprised by how well it performed in deep snow. And the reason we were surprised was because the Invictus 108 Ti doesn’t have a ton of tip splay or very deep rocker lines. And yet, it still did better in powder than some other skis in its class (e.g., Blizzard Cochise).

And the reason we’re bringing up the widest ski in the Invictus series is because the new Invictus 99 Ti and Invictus 89 Ti share very similar rocker profiles to the 108 Ti. And actually, our pair of the Invictus 89 Ti has even more tip splay and a deeper tip rocker line than the old Invictus 108 Ti. Compared to other skis that are around 90 mm underfoot (e.g., Atomic Vantage 90 Ti, Black Crows Orb, Head Monster 88, and Head Kore 93), the Invictus 89 Ti has a significantly deeper tip rocker line and above-average tip splay.

So while the Invictus 89 Ti is on the narrower end of the all-mountain ski category, its tip rocker profile looks similar to skis that are much wider.

But then if you take a look at the Invictus 89 Ti’s camber and tail rocker, things start looking much more traditional. The Invictus 89 Ti has around 4-5 mm of camber underfoot, and a very shallow tail rocker line with just a slightly turned up tail. The Invictus 89 Ti’s tail rocker and splay are very much in line with many skis in this class, like the Monster 88 and Folsom Spar 88.

Flex Pattern

Tips: 5.5-6
Shovels: 7.5-8.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5
Tails: 9

Armada claims that the revamped Invictus series is designed to be a bit easier than the previous versions. But when it comes to the ski’s flex pattern, the only thing that feels easy about the ski is the softness of the tips.

And they are soft.

Still, they are very similar in softness to the Folsom Spar 88, and the Blizzard Brahma (a reference ski in this class) isn’t worlds stiffer. (For the record, the shovels of the 18/19 Head Monster 88 and especially the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti are worlds stiffer.)

In sum: the tips of the Invictus 89 Ti are soft, but there is precedent here for this among some good skis.

And while the Invictus 89 Ti’s tips are pretty soft, the ski quickly ramps up in stiffness, with a strong section that starts in front of the bindings, and a tail that finishes quite stout. Compared to the Atomic Vantage 90 Ti and Head Monster 88, the Invictus 89 Ti has a significantly softer tip, but is similar in stiffness through its midsection and tail.

Weight

The Invictus 89 Ti is pretty light at around 1870 grams for the 187 cm version (the 16/17 version had a stated weight of 2170 grams). And while the redesigned Invictus 89 Ti isn’t the lightest ski in its class, it’s significantly lighter than some other dual-metal-laminate skis like the Nordica Enforcer 93 and Head Monster 88.

For reference, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for some notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.

1585 & 1586 Head Kore 93, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1790 & 1831 Salomon XDR 88, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1818 & 1828 Liberty Origin 90, 186 cm (18/19)
1839 & 1842 Black Crows Orb, 178.3 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1864 & 1882 Armada Invictus 89Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
1869 & 1894 Atomic Vantage 90 Ti, 184 cm (18/19)
1920 & 1940 Volkl Kendo, 177 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1931 & 1932 DPS Foundation Cassiar 94, 185 cm (18/19)
1936 & 1954 Fischer Pro Mtn 86 Ti, 182 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1943 & 1968 Liberty VMT 92, 186 cm (18/19)
1959 & 1985 Renoun Z-Line 90, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1997 & 2001 Blizzard Brahma, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2008 & 2015 Folsom Skis Spar 88, 182 cm (18/19)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
2062 & 2063 Rossignol Experience 94 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
2114 & 2133 Nordica Enforcer 93, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2171 & 2176 Head Monster 88, 184 cm (18/19)

Some Questions

(1) With lots of camber, little tail rocker, and a sub-90mm waist, the Invictus 89 Ti looks like a ski that would excel on firm snow (just as Armada says). But it also has a lot of tip splay and a pretty deep tip rocker line for a ski of its width, so one of our primary questions has been how the Invictus 89 Ti handles off-piste and softer conditions.

(2) The Invictus 89 Ti is not a heavy ski, but it also has two layers of titanal. So how stable does the Invictus 89 Ti feel compared to the increasing number of lightweight, ~90 mm all-mountain skis, as well as the heavier, more traditional skis in this class?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The Armada Invictus 89 Ti looks like a ski with a bit of a split personality. It has a narrow waist, lots of camber, very little tail rocker, and very little taper (aka, all attributes that we see on skis that excel on firm snow). But then it’s got a soft, pretty heavily rockered tip that looks like it’d feel at home in off-piste and soft snow.

We spent time on the Invictus 89 Ti this past season to figure out how it compared to other skis in its class, and while we put together our full review, feel free to add in the comments section below any questions you have or things you’d like us to address.

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

 

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