I had a first taste of my new Atomic Atlas skis this weekend. The Atlas is by far the biggest ski I have been on with a 125 mm under foot. I have the 192 cm version, and as far as I can tell from the specification and various online sources, the 182 and the 192 are very different skis.
I normally prefer to ski at fairly high speed arching GS turns with a neutral stance, standing well behind the ski center point. I am not a huge fan of “new school” mountings which is kind of reflected in this review.
I only skied about half a day on the Atlas. We had soft conditions, both on and off piste, with about 20 cm of fresh snow on a fairly soft base. Unfortunately all we were able to do was pretty technical skiing with limited open space between the trees. I am really looking forward to bringing this ski out in the alps and hopefully being able to hit some bigger slopes with more space and higher speed. The skis are big and slow to turn so they are not well suited for any kind of technical skiing, but from what I have seen so far, my expectations are quite high when it comes to bigger slopes and higher speeds.
My first impression is that it isn’t a very lively ski (no surprise there). It actually feels dead on-piste. Hitting the softer snow, the skis float well and feel like a really stable platform. The ski has a big tip rocker and to really make this ski shine in powder you need to learn to put your weight more forward on the ski. This was a bit of a learning curve for me since I am used to a more traditional stance but I soon figured out how much pressure to put on the front of my boots. The skis require you to ski with good technique. As soon as you end up in the back seat they take you on a ride to wherever they are pointing at the moment.
I had the binding mounted according to the atomic recommended mounting point. This felt like a nice neutral position which gives good floatation and control. It would be possible to mount the binding further forward on the ski, but I don’t really see any point in that. The recommended position works great and it is definitely not a jib-ski. I got the skis with the Marker Duke EPF binding to be able to use the skis with both traditional boots and with my Scarpa ski touring boots. I have no plans on doing anything but short lift based walks with these skis since the Atlas/Duke combo is just too heavy for longer tours. It weighs in at 7.7 kg for the pair with dukes mounted.