The ultimate powder ski for ripping, I-ski-everything-on-the-mountain women. The VJJ is built for strong Western female skiers looking for a high-speed tool for the steep and deep. If you’re a big-mountain skier who’s always searching for powder and typically overpowers women’s skis, you’ve finally found your match. Despite is rockered shape and fat width, the VJJ is shockingly adept at all terrain—it’s not built for groomers, but you’ll get down the corduroy with ease.
Armada debuted their first women’s powder ski, the awkwardly-named VJJ, in the fall of 2011. It was based on the design of their hugely popular men’s powder ski, the JJ. This fall, they’re rolling out the second incarnation of the women’s version and it’s better than ever.
Rarely do ski companies give women as much beefy power as Armada has with the 115-millimeter-waisted VJJ. It’s a full-blown rockered powder ski, wide underfoot and with a large, shoveled tip and tail to blast through powder and crud with total ease and grace. It’s a stiff ski, with strong torsional rigidity for hammering on steep terrain.
The VJJ is most at home on a powder day, lapping the steeps at Jackson Hole, Snowbird or Squaw Valley. But here’s where you’ll be surprised: Thanks to camber underfoot and a lightweight wood core, it’s actually got decent edge control on hardpack (you can rail a high-speed turn without much tip flapping on groomers). For such a fatty, it’s more nimble than you’d expect in the trees or bumps.
Ultimately, this ski made me feel like a better, stronger skier—no terrain was too hard, no snow too heavy or chopped up. Although it may be too burly a ski for an intermediate, for advanced women looking to improve their skills and step up their game or for girls already competing in big-mountain contests, it’s a solid choice that will give you confidence and a stable ride underfoot.
How We Tested It
These were my go-to skis for powder days last winter, mainly at the resorts around the state of Washington. I also took them on a trip to Portillo, Chile, where I dragged them on a 4,000-vertical-foot skin and bootpack up the Super C Couloir.
About our All Mountain Ski ratings:
Float: Does the ski tank or float in deep powder conditions?
Versatility: How does the ski tackle all-mountain terrain? Is it just good at one thing or does it excel at all types of terrain?
Stability: Can the ski handle high-speeds and hard-charging, expert-level skiers? Does it feel stable or shaky underfoot?
Forgiveness: Would an intermediate-level skier be comfortable on this ski?
Nimbleness: Can the ski make tight, short turns through trees and react quickly?
Value: How does this ski's performance compare to others at this price?
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
Ready to Purchase?
Gear Institute Rating (Total Score)
- Length (cm): 165, 175
- Dimensions: 126-115-123 mm