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Description

A rockered ski with the float of a blimp and the high-speed stability of a stock car.

The Armada Magic J Skis take screaming-fast powder skiing to an entirely new dimension. Also known as Tanner Hall's ski-of-choice, the Magic J is a wider version of the JJ with the widest point moved slightly aft and with less taper, just the way Tanner likes it. As a result, these fat sticks have a longer turning radius that is extremely stable at high speeds, which is most fitting for experienced powder-fiends.

Equipped with an EST Freeride Rocker profile (rockered tip and tail with regular camber underfoot), these bad boys allow for smooth, fast, sweeping turns down big lines or long groomer runs. Armada is all about durability and ensuring the life of its skis, so it gave the Js a Hybrid Ultralight wood core and AR50 sandwich sidewall construction for a high strength-to-weight ratio that you can count on when you're charging down floaty pillow lines, techy terrain, or through early-season conditions.

These all-mountain destroyers also have Laminate Matrix technology (directional layering of fiberglass) that provides a smooth, even flex pattern and torsional rigidity for stellar performance in a variety of snow conditions and terrain. In addition, you'll be grateful for the lightweight, strong 1.7mm edges that have been heat treated for durability and 50/50 bases that offer a just-right blend of speed and durability.


  • EST Freeride Rocker (rockered tip and tail with regular camber underfoot)
  • AR50 Sidewall construction
  • Hybrid Ultralight core
  • Laminate Matrix technology
  • 1.7 Impact Edge
  • 50/50 base

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Here's what others have to say...

I am 63, 6'1", 200lb, and have always been...

Posted on

I am 63, 6'1", 200lb, and have always been a front side carver with modern race technique. Would like to adventure into the backside this year. Would you recommend the 180cm or the 190cm? Currently skiing Palmers PO2 carbon and Palmer P01 Twin Plus Titanal.

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Phil,

I honestly don't have a clue what Palmers are but what lengths are they? I'm 42 6'1" 178lbs and own 185 and 195 JJ's. I personally have not skied the Magic J yet but know the ski.

I think it really depends how aggressive you are. Do you charge hard, ski fast, want maximum float and power? Or prefer the ski to remain playful, lighter, easier to swing around and willing to give up a little bit of deep day float and have to stay a little more center balanced to prevent feeling over the tips?

Also depends what part of the country you live in and how big your terrain is. The 190cm is a pretty stout ski from everything I read but at your size it should work very well for you. Only you know how strong you are at 63 plus your ability level. If you said you were 33 years old without a doubt I would say 190cm but I want to make sure you have fun on the ski without it being too much.

Again I'm not familiar with the Palmers so that makes my recommendations more difficult.

I've decided to pick up a pair of 2014...

Posted on

I've decided to pick up a pair of 2014 Magic J since the price is right and wanted some feedback on size. I currently ski the 185 JJ with DynaFit Radical FT. Not sure if I'm going to mount the Magic J with DynaFit or go alpine yet. I'm 6', 170, and wouldn't call myself a super aggressive skier. Should I dial it back to 180 for the Magic J or go for the 190? Any thoughts? Thanks!

Best Answer Responded on

Binding Freedom plates, go with both dynafit\alpine.

Responded on

What has been your thoughts on the length of your 185JJ over the years? Too long, too short, feeling of over the tips on deep days, etc?

What are you wanting this ski to do for you over the JJ? My assumption is more muscle??

SF

Responded on

I went with the 180. I asked myself those same questions, Skifreak, and decided that the 180 is probably the better choice. My JJ are my backcountry setup and I'm generally very happy with them. They feel just right. I want to use the Magic J as a resort setup (I think), a little more muscle given that it'll be alpine vs. dynafit.

Responded on

Awesome, hopefully I will here from you next year. There is no way that the 180cm doesn't charge and play harder than our 185JJ's do.

I will be looking forward to a review!

Unanswered Question

Any feedback or thoughts on a tele setup...

Posted on

Any feedback or thoughts on a tele setup with the Magic J's? Right now I'm on 2011 K2 ObSetheds with 22 Designs Axl bindings.

5 5

My friend says:

  • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift, but have feedback to share

The Armada Magic J's are one of the more progressive styled powder skiis available. Skiing on it's EST Freeride Rocker in powder is like a dream. They're alright on groomers, but that's not what they're built for. The strong core just shreds through crud with no problem. With a 125+ underfoot, these skis have a ton of surface area. I usually ride 184-186 but I chose a 170 for these. I only weight 140 lbs (5’10”), and I still stay afloat no problem in light Utah snow. The wide bases also make them great for hucking cliffs because they’re great landing pads and prevent you from sinking in the snow.
After riding this ski for the last half of this season, it has easily become a favorite of mine. The best characteristic by far is how light and strong the skis are, even with all metal bindings. The graphics are also insanely cool looking. The laminate top wall gives it a layered look that really stands out. Also, these skis will constantly give you face shots and keep you pitted which always make skiing more fun. All in all, I’d highly suggest this ski to anyone who wants to ski more progressively on big mountain lines and apply a free ride style to skiing powder.

My friend says:
5 5

Lives up to its name

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

These skis live up to their name. In powder, they are an absolute dream. Then again, so are many other powder skis. In the last 3 years, I've had the Salomon rocker 2's and the atomic bent chetlers as well. What has always been important to me as well is how skis handle when things aren't ideal. This is my favorite by far. In chop and crud, this ski just blasts through with minimal deflection. They are the stiffest of the three and inspire confidence. Surprisingly, they handle the trees and tight spaces very well. I was very pleased that the skis can make short, quick turns with ease. Even from the first day, I felt very comfortable charging down steep, uneven terrain. The skis were absolutely rock stable at high speeds. I wouldn't exactly call these skis fun on the groomers, but clearly that is not what they were made for.
I ride in forward direction only. I mounted the skis at factory recommended and loved it. No need to change as far as I am concerned.

Magical Magic J's

Magical Magic J's

Posted on

Think these are just pow skis? Think again...
180 Magic J's mounted with Dynafit Radical FT bindings on STEEP insanely firm wind hammered snow. They handled it like a champ. Stoked I was on them and without a doubt is the most versatile and insane tech setup I've ever had.

What is best mounting point? I am looking...

Posted on

What is best mounting point? I am looking to use this for half big open lines but also a lot of tree skiing. I skiing in norther Japan and we are getting dumped on this year so I need a decent amount of float. I am not worried about skiing switch.

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Eric,
I went with my mount at 3 back from center which I love. I think the recommended is a great place to mount them too. If you want to primarily ski them forward then 3-5 back from center would be awesome. The ski has plenty of float with the rocker design and wide waist so it should dominate any powder lines you present it with. Have fun there in Japan!! I am jealous!

First day on the Armada magic j's

First day on the Armada magic j's

Posted on

Hitting the back side of peak 9 at Breckenridge with my new ski's on an epic powder day. Spent the whole weekend chest deep in blower pow!

kaPOW

kaPOW

Posted on

Popping Pillows at Deer Valley Resort on the 12/13 Magic J, which remained unchanged for the 13/14 season, aside from graphics.

Responded on

Wowwwww, what an amazing photographer. You should give that guy some props.

Responded on

Dang, I totally meant to!

PC: Backcountry employee and fellow shredder, Joey W!

5 5

Best all around pow ski EVER!!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After spending most of last season skiing these in the 190 cm I can say without a doubt that this is the most versatile pow ski ever. Riding switch in pow - no problem, spinning off a cornice or cliff - easy, getting blinding face shots - done. Really these skis rip in most conditions and I was blown away with how well they skied groomers and could throw down turns with confidence. But no one buys these to ski groomers and they are much better in the fresh stuff. I love that Armada pushed out the rocker in the tip and tail and stiffened up the center of the ski compared to the JJ making this ski my ideal ski for the Wasatch. If you are looking for a ski that can turn quickly, arc large fast turns, or just flat out skis pow lines like a champ then look no further...this is your ski!

How do these compare to the Atomic Bent...

Posted on

How do these compare to the Atomic Bent Chetler? I am looking to add a big pow ski to my quiver and both seem pretty great. I want to be able to open them up but they still need to perform well in the trees.

Best Answer Responded on

Hey Andrew, both of the skis would rock for a powder ski that can do it all. The Magic J is a little bit wider in the waist and has a but softer tip and tail starting from the rocker up. The Chetler will have a stiffer tip and tail rocker but it still very playful. I have skied both of them and I own the Magic J. I can say hands down it is the best pow ski I have ever owned! It can turn on a dime if you need it to, butters super well, and can handle hauling the mail without any fear of them washing out or feeling chattery. In fact I am so impressed with their ability to ski firm snow and arc GS turns on groomers, I skied this ski more than any other last season. I also like that the Magic J is lighter weight and has less swing weight making spinning super easy. Really though both this and the Chetler are killer pow skis and I think you could not really go wrong with either one.

Responded on

Why not AK JJ?

5 5

Don't Be Shy Ladies

Oh hey there hard charging chicka who's been looking for her next ski. Something that flows through pow, rips big faces, pops off your favorites cliffs, and comes in just the perfect size. As a 5'7" 145lb woman, I've found myself in ski limbo quite a few times. Either skis are too short, or too long. It was impossible to find an extra fat playful pow ski that wasn't a total wet noodle, only came up to my chin, or was towering above my head. But finally the Magic J happened. It has a 180 length that's friendly to the shorter guy charger, or the slightly taller shred betty who leaves all the boys in her dust. This became my go to for deep pow days and big lines. It was playful enough to bounce around in the trees at Alta but it's longer turning radius really lets you open them up on steeper, larger terrain. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised though how nimble they were when I got them in some tighter situations!

In a nutshell, it feels like the JJ's on steroids and beyond grateful in comes in a 180 length to let a variety of shredders get their hands on them!

Don't Be Shy Ladies
5 5

A step up from the JJ

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

After absolutely loving my JJ's , I was floored to get these puppies out on the hill last year, everything you love about he JJ, but a bit bigger, and more stable. As much as I love the JJ, these really take it to the next level in deeper snow. The longer sidecut helps when you open er' up above tree line, but still nimble so you can weave your way through the trees back to the lift. Same goes for the added width, perfect for the super deep snow where JJ's might fall short, but not too wide, so that groomers are still manageable.

I reserve the magic J as my super deep ski, and JJ's more for all mountain to moderate pow days.

I went with the 190cm, I am 5' 10'' 180lbs they are a lot of ski but not too much to handle.

The early taper is great for hook free turns, but an added advantage for me,..is it makes the magic J feel like a much thinner ski (which is true for all early taper Armada skis), it could be psychological, but it helps out in tight spots.

The top sheet material is by far one of the best Ive ever experienced. Its super burly, and durable. Its scratchy/textured so it resists chipping well and snow usually doesnt stick.

Another point is Armada skis are top shelf quality, every pair ive owned have been durable and high end. I am lucky enough to own 2010 JJs, 2012 ar7, 2013 Norwalks & 2013 magic js. All are still ripping hard and have a ton of life left. Cant say the same for other skis Ive owned that barely made 1 season.

The base and topsheet colors are the only thing different about last years Magics. The graphic isnt my top choice, but if playing rasta is your thing, then bust out your white boy dreads, roll up a few fattys, and head to your personal Zion, away from the Babylon of the base lodge.
But who buys skis for looks? You buy skis for shred, and thats exactly what you get with these.

Responded on

Great review Matthew!

Thanks for sharing!

I've been skiing a backcountry JJ setup...

Posted on

I've been skiing a backcountry JJ setup for five years now and love love love them. I want to get a resort setup again and am torn between the JJs I know I love and these beautiful Magic Js. Any insights into how they differ? I live in Tahoe and ski around the lake, Mammoth, etc. My hunch is that the Magic Js don't quite perform as well as the JJ in variable conditions, hard pack, etc, but maybe I'm wrong? I know the JJs can handle pretty much anything I throw at them. But I bet the Magic Js are super sweet in pow. Thoughts? Experiences? Opinions? Thanks!

Best Answer Responded on

I skied the JJ for over 5 years before getting the Magic J last year. It is a very similar ski, it just feels way more stable. It is true that they are less playful, that is due to the contact point being pushed out on the Magic J whereas it is closer to the boot on the JJ. Plus they do feel a bit stiffer, but nothing crazy.

Now all that does not at all mean that this isn't a good ski for variable conditions or trees, it still maneuvers well. Its just not quiteee as versatile as a JJ, but you get a little more stability and power out of it.

Looking to get new skis for the up and...

Posted on

Looking to get new skis for the up and coming season. Right now I am riding a pair of Atomic Metron B5's in a 172 i ski really hard and would love to ski in the powder more. Any insight and advice is well regarded. I am 6'1" about 230 and love to charge as hard as possible. Home hill is Alta, UT as I live in town there.

Best Answer Responded on

Rob, the Magic J's are a big step up from the skis you are on right now both in terms of size and overall radness. That being said they are very easy and fun to ski and I think you would love them. I'm 6' 170# and I ski on the 190cm, you might consider the 180cm as well. Also check out the Armada Norwalk, TST, and JJ

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