Exciting times here at Fresh!
We always wondered, “How cool would it be to make our own Fresh skis?” Thanks to Armada, we’re able to find out, and the answer is, “Really cool!”
As you know, The Original Freeski Shop turns 20 this year, and, to celebrate, we’ve teamed up with Armada to create a unique ski - only available at Fresh Skis. We’ve made just 20 of each type (standard construction and lightweight Caruba core), so check them out while they are still in store.
What are they like?
The Armada JJ has been the most popular ski ever at Fresh, so, naturally, we started with that template. Owner, Steve Saranchuk, explains the thought process that he and Hans Smith, from Armada, went through, “It’s the ski I always wanted. I find the JJ 192cm a bit too long for an everyday ski. But I find that, with the tail rocker, the JJ 185cm skis a bit short for me because the contact points are in from the tip and tail.”
The solution was to transfer the effective edge and sidecut of the 192cm JJ to a shorter 182cm by making it a directional ski with less tail rocker. It makes for a very approachable, user-friendly powder ski that is still super playful.
“Everything about the project is pretty remarkable for us. Normally, just to get your own ski graphic is tough, but Armada worked with us to come up with a truly unique ski. We’re the only ones in the world that have it, and it’s not just a ski from the regular Armada lineup with a different top sheet. It’s a really funny thing.” -Steve Saranchuk, Fresh Skis-
“Fresh was the first dealer Armada opened back in 2002. It’s only fitting that we collaborated on this version of the JJ to celebrate Fresh’s twentieth anniversary. The support we have received from Steve and the Fresh team over these years is unparalleled, and we owe a lot of our success in Canada to this enduring relationship.” -Hans Smith, Armada-
Early ski tests have been good.
Fresh team member Jonathan Mikita took a pair for a spin at Bow Summit last week, “It was fun! I was on the UL’s with Armada Tracer touring bindings. Super light and easy to ski. They didn’t feel like a lot of ski, but the tail was really supportive.”
“I was expecting them to feel a little bit softer or shorter, but they felt good and consistent. Having a little less tail in the back wasn’t a bad thing.”
Jon usually skis bigger and stiffer skis, “I was nervous that they’d feel too short, but they didn’t. The flatter tail and longer sidecut really help. I really enjoyed them. They’re fun.”
Do you think a limited edition ski with the Fresh top sheet will sell Jon? “Oh yeah, I think so. A few people already have their names on pairs.”
Do they look familiar?
Steve pointed it out first, “These skis remind me a lot of the Armada Norwalk, which was kind of a directional JJ but ended up being too much of a big, big mountain ski. The JJ has always been more of a playful, all-mountain ski. Unlike the Norwalk, it was never meant to ski Alaskan lines. I always thought of it as a perfect powder ski. More approachable, and that’s why it was always super popular. Anyone could get on it.”
2017 Armada Norwalk
The Norwalk, in contrast, was stiff, and the dimensions were slightly different (141/116/132 in a 189cm ski). This new Fresh ski is more of an everyday powder ski. Fun fact; the Norwalk got its name when the Armada crew, who was helping design the ski at the time, caught the Norwalk virus at a cat skiing lodge, and all came down sick. Apparently, JP had the idea as he desperately ran for the bathroom.
As you can tell, we’re excited about these skis, but check them out for yourself. Here’s the beta:
Armada FRESH XX LIMITED EDITION SKI
To help celebrate 20 years of Fresh, we’ve teamed up with Armada to create a unique ski - only available at Fresh Skis. Think ARV JJ, but even more versatile. It’s the ski many of us have always wanted; still playful, but now more directional. It’s a 182 cm all-mountain charger with the effective edge of a 192 cm ARV 116 JJ. These limited editions are a true powder ski with enough sidecut to carve trenches on groomers.
Length: 182cm, Tip: 139mm, Waist: 116mm, Tail: 135mm, Radius: 19m
Available in 2 different versions - 20 of each released to the public.
The lightweight (UL) Caruba core version, for those wanting to take Fresh to the backcountry or spin unshackled.
The traditional Poplar Ash core version to rip powder days, slushy days or any day you want more oomph.