They keep getting better and better. Ski brands gave it their best, and we had fun narrowing down our top park pick for you. We looked for skis that could best handle any and all pipes, jibs, spins, butters and jumps, as opposed to just one park terrain. Other than the basic attributes that usually make up a pair of freestyle skis such as having a twin tip, we chose to focus on these key factors in our selection:
A good balance between playfulness and stability.
Looking at the turn radius, and optimal camber/rocker selection or combinations.
Strong edges, solid core, quality laminate.
Construction & Materials
Base, edges, sidecut, binding capability, laminate, reduced swing weight, core.
Always plays a part in it.
After narrowing down skis from all the great brands out there such as Armada, Atomic, Line, K2, 4Frnt, Scott, Salomon, Nordica, etc., we took a firm look at the above factors and came up with our overall pick of the Armada Halo 2, with a real close runner up of it’s park staple sibling the AR7, and our bonus third runner up of the Atomic Punx.
Overall Pick: Armada Halo 2
The Armada Halo 2 was an impressive feat by Armada this year. Not only can it handle the stability and carving needed when going big, but the slight rocker tips give it the option of kicking it into a butter at any time without catching an edge, or when pressing on jibs all day long in the park. The shorter turn radius also makes carving fun with quick and easy turns, that balance well with the forgiving rocker tips.
It has a bit more flex than the AR7, boosting its forgiving feel, while at the same time maintains a high quality and strong hybrid carbon and wood core. The sidewall construction uses what is known as an AR50, and what this does is gives it an awesome edge hold, that is not only durable, but reduces the swing weight as well. The MSRP price for these is above the other two, but not by an amount that should scare you away. Basically if you want to have the perfect balance of stability when going big, and features that inspire playful techie jib tricks and butters, this is your board.
Runner Up: Armada AR7
What is commonly known as the staple in park riding had to be mentioned as a great overall runner up. It’s very close in comparison to the Halo 2, with some minor differences. The first is that it is a full camber, reducing the ease of buttering, but giving it a more precise carving action. The core is also a bit stronger with a hybrid triple zone core instead of the double like the Halo 2 has, making it a stiffer pair. The turning radius is also larger than the Halo 2.
Bottom line, if you want to just go big on jumps, have a real stable board, and spend $50 less than the Halo 2, this is your board. But if you want to have every little advantage possible when doing butters to tail presses, the Halo 2 is your board.
Value Pick: Atomic Punx
We felt the Atomic Punx also had to be included on the list as a runner up as it definitely maximizes the value at a cheaper price point than the two above. They bring a stiff and poppy feel with a bit larger turning radius than the other two, centered with a wood core. They have a rocker 10%/10% profile on each tip, similar to the Halo 2, with durable edge and base construction, while keeping it as lightweight as possible. And they’re cheaper than the two above options… never a bad thing. A great choice for all around park and pipe riding.