Ski: 2018-2019 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm
Available Lengths: 171, 179, 187 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.9 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2007 & 2029 grams
Stated Dimensions: 135-99-125 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 134.6-98.5-124.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius: 21.5 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60 mm / 20 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm
Core: Poplar/Ash + Titanal (2-layers) + Innegra/Carbon Laminate
Base: Armada’s “Comp Series” Base
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.4 cm from center; 85.5 cm from tail
The Invictus line is Armada’s directional all-mountain series, and Armada emphasizes their hard-charging performance across a range of conditions. We reviewed the original Invictus 108 Ti and found it to be a very stable directional charger that performed surprisingly well in deep snow.
Then for the 17/18 season, Armada tweaked the Invictus line, using two 4-mm sheets of titanal instead of the two 5-mm sheets in the previous versions. They also added a Carbon/Intelligrid laminate that is designed to add both damping and energy / pop to the skis.
For the 18/19 season, the Invictus line returns unchanged, except for a graphics update.
We’ve been spending time on a couple of the 18/19 Invictus skis, and to get an idea of where these new skis fall in line with other directional all-mountain skis, let’s take a closer look at the Invictus 99 Ti.
Here’s what Armada says about the Invictus 99 Ti:
“With an award-winning frame, the Armada Invictus 99 Ti doesn’t take days off. A ski designed by skiers for skiers, the 99 Ti rewrites the speed limit with a lively metal laminate and dampening Intelligrid that increases response and controls chatter. Hard-Pack? Powder? Chunder? The 99 Ti will eat it all and come back for seconds.”
Armada is definitely emphasizing the hard-charging capabilities of the Invictus 99 Ti, which is to be expected given the Invictus line’s design intentions. They’re also placing it in the 1-ski quiver category. But what’s particularly interesting is their talk about a “lively metal laminate and dampening Intelligrid.” Lively and Dampening are typically oxymorons, so we’ll see to what degree the Invictus 99 Ti manages to offer both, and we’ll weigh in on how lively or how planted this ski feels.
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Invictus 99 Ti has a pretty big shovel, coupled with subtle tail taper. That shape is fairly traditional, but the ski’s rocker profile isn’t — it has pretty high tip splay and a fairly deep tip rocker line. Compared to the Blizzard Bonafide and Volkl Mantra M5, the Invictus 99 Ti has a similar, if not slightly shallower tip rocker line, but the Invictus 99 Ti’s tips rise pretty quickly, whereas the tips of the Bonafide and Mantra M5 don’t splay out until the end of the skis.
At the tail, the Invictus 99 Ti has a very shallow tail rocker line, but the tail rises abruptly to 20 mm of tail splay, which is a bit more than the Mantra M5’s 18 mm, and significantly more than the Bonafide’s 7 mm tail splay.
The Invictus 99 Ti’s tip rocker and tip shape suggest that it should perform well in powder for its width, and that becomes even more interesting when you take a look at this next section…
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Invictus 99 Ti:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-10
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-9
The Invictus 99 Ti has a very directional flex pattern. Its tips and shovels are actually pretty soft, but then the flex quickly ramps up to a very solid midsection and a very strong tail. The Invictus 99 Ti’s tail feels pretty similar to the tail of the Head Monster 98, which is one of the most stable skis we’ve tested in this waist width. So while the Invictus 99 Ti’s tips / shovels should allow for easy turn initiation and good floatation, the rest of the ski feels very strong and supportive.
While we didn’t review the previous version of the Invictus 99 Ti, Armada’s stated weight for the 16/17 Invictus 99 Ti was 2300 grams per ski — it had dual 5-mm titanal layers, instead of the dual 4-mm layers used on the 17/18 and 18/19 version.
Our 187 cm model of the 18/19 Invictus 99 Ti is coming in at around 2015 grams per ski, which is quite light compared to other dual-metal-laminate skis, and way lighter than the stated weight of the original Invictus 99 Ti. So again (and as with all lighter skis), the Invictus 99 Ti’s stability has been a key factor we’ve been paying attention to while reviewing the ski.
For reference, below are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for a few notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.
1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1896 & 1919 Dynastar Legend X96, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 189 cm (18/19)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2344 & 2367 J Skis Masterblaster, 187 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2373 & 2397 Head Monster 98, 184 cm (17/18)
These numbers are quite interesting. Basically, the 187 cm Invictus 99 Ti is quite similar in weight to the 188 cm Vantage 97 Ti, but those two skis are quite a bit lighter than the other metal-laminate skis in this category. So does the Invictus 99 Ti feel more like the lighter batch of skis (e.g., Dynastar Legend X96, Head Kore 99, and Liberty Origin 96), or more like the heavier batch of skis (e.g., J Skis Masterblaster, Blizzard Bonafide, Nordica Enforcer 100)?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Armada Invictus 99 Ti has many of the design characteristics of an all-mountain charger (pretty strong flex pattern, dual-metal-laminate construction, fairly long effective edge), but its low weight makes it stand out from many of the other skis in this category. We’ve been spending time on the Invictus 99 Ti this season, so stay tuned for updates, and let us know about anything you’d like us to address in our full review.
NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS