The Best Armada a hugely popular board.It sits just under the Profanity, and the Armada is the go to freestyle board used by many of the team, including Gisela. The board is constructed with a wood and carbon combination with the additional advantage of being boots compatible which will keep a lot of people happy – it certainly looks like Best are keeping up with the competition. Tested NT
The setup on the top is pretty simple, the straps and pads are very basic but do hold your feet in place quite well, the velcro adjustment goes pretty big so you can use the straps with wetsuit boots. Construction The board is a wood core with a carbon and fibre glass cross that runs diagonally across the board, the advantage of the wood core is that it is very strong and the carbon cross helps to give the board more pop and flex. Design The Armada is a medium rocker board meaning that it will suit most riding conditions, the tips of the board are fairly wide and give the board a sharp release when leaving the water. A very basic and simple base on the board with no channels or contours which some people may favour.
Get up and Go
Once I got my feet into the straps and got going the board rides well, the medium rocker is smooth and gets you up to speed well, the board kind of reminded me of how kiteboards used to be a few years ago – it’s a pretty basic design and it looks as though Best have been trying to keep the board really simple.
Ride comfort and Tracking On the day that I was testing the board it was really hard and choppy conditions, these are conditions that I would normally avoid but the Armada made the best out of a bad situation – the board felt comfortable and easy to use and the chop was flattened out by the comfortable feel of the board. Flex and Pop The board is very stiff which makes it great for pop, you can load it up and pop massively on it, it’s a very snappy board and would work well for anyone wanting to do their first few freestyle moves as it will make the whole process a lot easier.
The graphics on the Armada are not too offensive – it does look nice and colourful when its sat on the beach but its just not to my taste, sometimes I think kite companies need to remember that less is more when it comes to board graphics…
I have enjoyed testing all of the Best equipment this year and this board does the job perfectly, but it doesn’t break any new ground. The Best kites are coming along superbly and showing plenty of innovation and it would be exciting to see the boards pushing the envelope a bit too.