Skimo Co

Armada Locator 104 Ski

$849.95 $679.96

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The goldilocks one-quiver backcountry ski is an elusive beast, requiring extensive R&D, inspired vision, and maybe a hint of fairy dust. Freeride skiers, however, may have found the solution in the Armada Locator 104. The Locator incorporates tip rocker plus moderate camber, with a generous shovel and blended tail shape. The result is a ski geared towards speed while retaining the ability to float on powder or crash through crud without protest. A caruba core keeps weight manageable, making these skis an excellent choice for multi-day trips or collecting laps where conditions can change at a moment’s notice. Fairy tale travelers, take heed: your quest for the perfect everyday ski might end early with the Armada Locator 104 ski.

  • Full-length carbon reinforcement dials the stiffness for enhanced speed--without adding weight.
  • Minimalist 1.7 lightweight edges are heat-treated for a light, snappy feel.
  • "AR Bat Tail" effectively centers skin tail clips.
  • Tapered tips and tails guarantee hook-free skiing across various snow types.
Lengths (cm) 162, 170, 178, 186
convert to ounces
1280g [162]
1400g [170]
1450g [178]
1510g [186]
Weight (pair) 2560g [162]
2800g [170]
2900g [178]
3020g [186]
Dimensions   129-104-121 [162]
130-104-121 [170]
131-104-122 [178]
132-104-123 [186]
Turn Radius   20m [162]
21m [170]
22m [178]
23m [186]
Skin Fix   AR Bat Tail
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   EST Freeride Rocker
Shape   Spoon tip, medium radius, flat tail
Construction   Ti binding dampener + carbon reinforcement
Core   Caruba wood
Skimo Co Says
Usage Do-it-all ski touring with a soft snow preference
Notes Less rocker, more camber than the Locator 112
Bottom Line Balanced, light and fast freeride touring ski
Compare to other High-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Stephen C (used product a few times)
I skied these both in the resort and while touring. At the resort I am an aggressive skier and in the backcountry I am much more cautious and slow-going, mostly focusing on trying to have fun and not kill myself. In other words I am not a backcountry freerider. However I decided to give these a try last winter in the 178cm lenght, since one of skimo's employees kept recommending them and they were on a good sale at another retailer.

I'm giving these 5 stars because I think they do indeed make an awesome ski if you are looking to freeride in the backcountry, while not exhausting yourself on the uphill. They want to play and go fast. Definitely the most fun I've had skiing a touring ski in the resort. Relatively easy to ski but I had to change my usual skiing style. They don't want to carve but rather bounce around things and preferred when I skied with an especially active style. Tons of fun especially jumping off stuff.

For backcountry use, for me personally, they weren't as good a fit since they are not great at pivoting or slow speeds, and I agree with skimo's description that they have a "soft-snow preference" which makes them not as versatile for hard-snow conditions.

However if you truly are looking to free-ride in the backcountry and usually are out in soft snow, I can't think of a better ski.

PS -- given their soft-snow preference these definitely made me want to try the Locator 112, maybe another winter when WA state gets more snow :D
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Question from Eirik Hauber
Hi! Thank you for the article.
How does the Locator 104 compare to the faction la machine mega? I am looking for a playfull and light ski for backcountry use. Something that excels in soft snow but is nonetheless very reliable in harder and not so good conditions.
Answer from Emmett I

I've briefly skied both, here's my thoughts;

Both the skis you've mentioned are very playful, and capable on soft and hard snow. The Locator is very energetic, and loves to slash turns. The La Machine Mega feels more damp and buttery. On hard snow, the Locator gets even more energetic, sometimes almost a little too springy at high speeds. The Mega stays very damp, requiring a bit more effort to drive. Overall both fit your description of light and playful, depends on if you're looking for energetic or buttery sort of playfulness.
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Question from Eric
I can't decide between these or the backland 100/107! How do these skis compare with the locator 104 in terms of edge hold in firmer conditions, but also playfulness/maneuverability in softer snow? I like a directional ski but the ability to slarve, slash, and be more playful is nice. I ski from more-so centered stance.
Answer from Emmett I

If you want to go into more detail, shoot us an email at!

Sounds like the Locator is right up your alley. Very energetic, fun to slash, and can hold their own on firm snow. The Backlands tend to be pretty friendly and damp. Still playful in soft snow, but arguably less so than the Locators. All depends on your skiing style!
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Question from Jeff
How would these compare to the Atomic Backland 100? for touring in variable conditions.
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Jeff, They are fairly comparable skis. I would give the slight edge to the Atomics in variable conditions, being a little bit narrower and with a rounder flex pattern and a bit stronger flex overall. The rocker profile on the Atomics is also longer in the tips and the ski has a bit less camber. I would say the Armadas are going to be more energetic and playful whereas the Atomic would be a bit more of a driver.
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Question from Joey B
Love the Armada brand (currently use the Declivity 92s as my everyday driver). Looking for a BC ski for skiing in the Northeast (Tuckermans) and some BC trips out west. Would you recommend this with a shift binding for versatility ? I’m 6’ and 205 lbs, so I’m torn in length.
Answer from Gabriel I
Hi Joey, the Locator 104 is certainly a great option for a versatile ski, both in terms of shape and waist width. A Shift would be a good choice if you're looking to use this ski often in both the resort and the backcountry. Otherwise, you might be happier on something lighter.

The 186 would provide a nice supportive platform at your height and weight, but the 178 would be a tad lighter and allow more maneuverability. Please feel free to email us at to get into more details!
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Question from Tom
I'm considering the Armada Locator 104 and am 6 feet tall around 175 lbs. I don't care about going fast in the backcountry. Just want to enjoy those turns in snow up to knee deep and spring corn. I ski Nordica Enforcer 104's (186) mostly at Pallisades and love them. I think I'd prefer the shorter (178) Locator for backcountry for ease of use. Does that make sense, or too short and gotta go 186?
Answer from Gabriel I
Hi Tom, many folks prefer shorter skis in the backcountry vs. the resort to drop some weight and easier maneuvering on the uphill. The 178 will be a fine length for you given your use case.
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Question from Joe
How do these ski compare to the DPS Pagoda 106 tours? I will be using for straight backcountry, not a 50/50 ski.

Answer from eric
Joe- The DPS has more sidecut and the tip engages a little quicker whereas the Armada has a straighter cut which lends it to be a little surfier and the tail slides a little more easily. In other words, the DPS has a more old-school feel and the Armada is a bit more new-school feel.
Answer from Joe j
Thanks Eric I appreciate your feedback
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Question from John K
I'm thinking about hybrid usage for this 104, some touring and some half-days in the resort on a soft snow or powder day. Maybe skin up then ride lifts for a couple hours. What do you think? Recognizing it won't have ideal resort performance, does that usage sound reasonable?

I'm 5'9 140 lbs - looking at the 178 and the 170. Sizing thoughts? Float vs maneuverability I guess? I'd need to re-learn skiing with a radius this long, but hopefully I can hack it. Thanks much for this Q&A feature.
Answer from Gabriel I
Hi John, the Locator 104 is certainly on the lighter side for a resort ski. But the weight will shine when you're touring, so it sounds like a good compromise. I'd recommend the longer length for your use case, it'll give you more stability.

Given the rockered shape of the ski, you may find these to ski more intuitively than you think!
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Question from Tom
How would you compare the Locator 104 to the Black DIamond Helio 104 - the specs seem almost identical (radius, weight, width...)? Helio uses Paulownia core, Locator Karuba. Both use carbon, both are made in Austria. Can't decide...liked the old BD Helio 105 and looking for a replacement.
Answer from Tristan M
Hi Tom,

Thanks for reaching out! The Armada Locator 104 has a modern freeride shape, with a longer turn radius that likes to go fast. However, ample rocker in the tip allows this ski to be nimble when necessary. It is a pretty lively ski. Great for those that like a faster paced backcountry experience.

The Black Diamond Helio 104 also has a longer turn radius. It is a more subdued ski. It will feel a little less lively. The shape is similarly freeride, and it is pretty stiff as well. As for materials, Karuba is another name for Paulownia. Most touring skis have made the jump to Paulownia for the awesome weight to performance ratio.

If you have further ski questions, feel free to reach out to!
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Question from Bob
Hi - how do these ski compared to the Dynafit Free 97 (or 107), or compared to the Atomic Backland 107?
Answer from eric
Hey Bob- The Armada's are very playful and easy to turn where the Dynafit Free 97 is a little easier to pivot turn on, not as locked in feel. Atomic Backland 107 is more forgiving and not as powerful ski as thge other two.
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Question from Eric
Please help me decide between these and the Ripstick 104. The specs seem nearly identical! Which do you think has the edge in thick PNW powder? In harder than expected conditions? Or should I just go with the color I prefer?
Answer from Emmett I
Hi Eric,

The Ripstick is a bit stiffer and more powerful, while the Locator is more playful and a hair lighter.

The Ripstick has a little more muscle, so it would probably perform better in less-than-ideal conditions.

If you'd like to go more in-depth, email us at

Color has been shown to increase performance by up to 150%, so choose wisely!
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Model: Locator 104

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