The Armada freeride series delivers advanced build-quality along with construction technologies that include Best's new supremo core - blending two different wood laminates for the perfect combination of high-strength and low-weight - making it the lightest wood core board Best have ever made. Hybrid-tip construction places Airex foam where you need it most, reducing swing weight and allowing a custom tip-flex for each and every size in the line-up. A smooth waisted outline with a shallow concave design keeps the board responsive underfoot and thinning the core towards the tips of the board allows smooth, progressive carving through turns, while providing ample flex for rough landings and heavy chop. Its blend of light weight, high strength, easy handling and great looks make it the ideal freeride board for riders of all levels.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Armada is a no-nonsense clean looking board with loads of padding in the pads and straps. Super-light and with funky cut outs on the tips, a tiny concave in the middle of the base adds a little comfort and a Paulownia wood core is apparently much much lighter but with the same flex pattern as heavier, thicker wood. Basically, it's constructed from damn good stuff and is appropriately finished off high-quality fins.
The Armada feels good from the start and is another board that is your freeride friend straight away. It has a nice flex pattern, reacts quickly and pops nice and sharply. Not the best board in chop, but it does handle it. Give it some more flat water and it's beautiful for unhooked tricks, boosted loading and landing and has a really good quality carve. As it's relatively stiff it's got a nice spring to its pop and also has good low end and upwind performance. Holding an edge with ease, it flexes well with a controlled bite. It also likes power and can handle it. Although the low end is pretty good, you couldn't buy the 137 as a light wind option. Buy the size you want and enjoy it for what it is. It's not in the top 10% of freestyle boards, instead it's much more all-round with more than enough performance to keep our team happy and first time riders could also just about get away with this as it's easy to get an edge in and control power without much ability and doesn't skip about.
So nicely balanced that pretty much anyone could get on this and ride it well. It's another sports touring motorcycle type board – with more performance than 95% of riders need but with added benefits of comfort and all-round capabilities.
KW LIKED: Easy pop and quality of manufacturing.
KW WOULD CHANGE: As it's fairly flat it's not as good as some boards in heavy chop, but in regular conditions it's lovely.
SIZES: 137 x 41 and 135 x 40cm
This test is in issue #46