The Armada sets sail once again with an all new package of advanced build quality and construction technologies usually only reserved for much more expensive boards. Best's Supremo wood core uses a laminated Paulownia construction with a uni-directional reinforcement tape spine to deliver the perfect blend of low weight and high strength between your feet. A PVC foam core surround with integrated flex-tips gives you low swing weight and provides bullet-proof durability for all conditions riding. A smooth waisted outline with a shallow concave keeps the board responsive underfoot, helping to maximize low-end ability without adding volume. Thinning the core towards the tips of the board allows smooth progressive carving through the turns and gives you ample flex for checking in even the roughest landing or smoothing out the heaviest chop. The Armada board delivers top flight performance and construction for less money than you would expect. Its blend of light weight, high strength, easy handling and great looks make it the ideal freeride board for all riders.
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The 2011 Armada is a stunning looking board. The white is very white and the other colours are incredibly vibrant. A bit like a Mac computer showroom, it's all very clean, shiny and alluring. New pads and straps this year are excellent – comfortable, cushioned and grippy, it's easy to get your foot nicely locked in there. Best are punting this board as their freeride board, yet we've seen their new freestyle test team rider, Rui Meira, ripping on it out in Cape Town for weeks, and it's easy to see why. It's a very easy board to ride. The Armada is what a freeride board should be about; not discriminating against anyone's ability but rewarding those riders with the skills to push it. You can see from the image that Brad was loving carving on this board. In fact, I spent about an hour gathering various image angles of the umpteen carves he kept coming in and doing in the shallows, seemingly pushing harder and harder each time to see if he could find the limits of when the board would start to give. It wouldn't. It's also very light weight, so for boosting and tweaking it's not going to rip your stomach muscles to bits and the fairly narrow outline makes it very comfortable for tearing around the ocean. Although the Armada carves well, it maintains enough stiffness to pop up for even the most radical handle-passes.
We are big fans of this size of twin-tip as a one-size for all conditions for the average rider and the Armada mixes plenty of get up and go with an ability to hold down power when the conditions turn up. In the hype Best insinuate this is their budget board. It doesn't feel it.
Fantastic all-round performance. This is how you expect a good, modern freeride twintip to ride.
KW WOULD CHANGE:
It feels strong, rides nicely and has good fixtures and fittings. What's not to like?
SIZES: 134 x 40 and 137 x 41cm
This test is in issue #50