At A Glance
The Armada has been in the Best Kiteboarding line-up for a long time now, this year sees it reach its fifth birthday. Franz Schitzhofer has been shaping the twin tip line up for Best for a while now and he’s a renowned twin tip shaper with years and years of experience. For 2014 the Armada gets a little more rocker and features the new Basalt fibre lay-up. Basalt fibre is 20% stronger than fibreglass yet provides a more progressive and better-controlled damping capabilities than Carbon. At the heart of the Armada is a Paulownia wood core that is CNC machined and laminated. The underside of the board features a very slight double concave with channels near the rails. The step cap construction means thin rails and saves on weight too. The Armada comes equipped with the Mercury pads and straps, these offer a better connection to the board than a traditional strap. You can also fit bindings if you want to, 50mm G10 fins finish off the package.
On The Water
The Armada is aimed at the rider looking to progress their riding and freestyle tricks. It’s designed to be forgiving, yet still offer plenty of performance when you need it. Jumping on the board for the first time we were impressed with how smooth the it feels through the water. In choppy conditions the thin rails cut through the water and the medium flex pattern helps to smooth out the ride. It’s a fast board, but that speed comes with plenty of control too. The real fun starts when you load up the edge and start to pop. The edge is progressive and there are no nasty bites or snaps as you load up. The wide tips and double concave bottom help to smooth out the landings but beware, the sharp rails aren’t very forgiving, you’ll want to be sticking your tricks with confidence…
A fast board with a smooth ride through choppy conditions, the flex pattern will suit the intermediates out there looking to progress and experts who want a board they can ride in rough conditions without getting tired. Stacks of pop and great upwind the Armada v5 is one to look out for…
This review was in Issue 44 of IKSURFMAG.
By Rou ChaterRou has been kiting since the sports inception and has been working as an editor and tester for magazines since 2004. He started IKSURFMAG with his brother in 2006 and has tested hundreds of different kites and travelled all over the world to kitesurf. He's a walking encyclopedia of all things kite and is just as passionate about the sport today as he was when he first started!