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Thread: Atomic Atlas 192 Review
03-08-2011, 12:00 AM #1
Atomic Atlas 192 Review
Me: 6'6" 190 lbs nekkid. 26 yrs old. Started skiing late but have skied a lot in the last 6 years or so. Rely on my strength when my lack of technical background gets me in trouble. I ski fast but in control, pushing myself constantly, and keep my hucks under 30 feet or so. Definitely no pro, but have learned a good deal about how to ski in the recent years.
Favorite skis: original Volkl Gotama 190, Movement Goliath 191, Volkl Explosiv 190
Skis that I liked in some ways and not in others: 192 Lotus 138, Lhasa pow 191 carbon, Coomba 188
Skis I did not like much: K2 Made N AK 189,
Review: 2009/2010 Atomic atlas in 192. Same ski as this years. 150/125/132 with 28m radius. Big tip rocker, trad camber underfoot, flat square tail. I have put perhaps 20 days on them this season.
The atlas enables its pilot to ski deep pow like they would ski a groomer: "traditional" stance, consistent forward body position, aggressive, attacking the terrain, and turning with the full length of the ski engaged in the snow. The tip rocker encourages you to initiate the turn with weight forward. With the concern of going over the handlebars/diving a tip gone, you find yourself unrestrained by backseat skiing, able to change/apply pressure, and thus change direction, very quickly. You do not slarve or slide your turns in pow much. For one the tails do not release too easily, but also there is less need to shut your speed down when you have such powerful control over your direction of travel across the mountain. Instead you "carve" pow turns, easily maintaining your speed without sliding any part of the turn, or weighting/unweighting the ski tails like trad. camber skis require. It can slash turns but the tail must be deliberately slid out if you want to throw it sideways.
Since you can maintaine a forward stance so easily, you are more dynamic. If you find yourself in the backseat, the tail is a plank that you can use to pull yourself up, but you will not find the ski responsive when you are back there. It is not forgiving to a backseat driver, but it is very forgiving to a frontseat driver, and gives you the capacity to maintain fore/aft balance in pow quite easily. Thus your only limit is your ability to absorb terrain, which comes at you rather quickly when driving this ski hard.
Crud/ cut up pow: Nice. As the snow begins to be tracked out, a ski with 125 mm underfoot and a 150mm shovel does not always absorb the terrain, meaning you do feel the bumps. But this is also partially because you tend to avoid scrubbing speed. It wants to be carved. The stiffness underfoot enables you to maintain control easily. However, perhaps BC of the slightly softer and rockered tips, when hauling ass over bumps you can get tossed a bit. On the day after a storm inbounds, or even late on a warmer or more crowded inbounds pow day, there comes a point when you would rather be on XXLs. But, due to the traditional shape, square tail, and normal sidecut, the atlas is still a pleasure in crud, just not "the best crud ski I have ever been on (that would be a tie btw the goliath, and explosiv). As the snow gets tracked/bumped out, the ride becomes increasingly more jarring.
Trees: The Atlas likes to go fast and make big turns. But the ski affords you such fast turn initiation that it skis even very tight trees wonderfully in pow. On crud/chop or hard bump tree sections, the atlas is less nimble. Its forte is initiating pow turns and allowing you to change your direction of travel in pow and when there is no pow to ski, the skis dimensions make its pilot work a little harder to turn it. But since the tip rocker starts so far back, the ski feels quite short, and can be whipped around with relative ease. It just feels like a very short traditional big mountain charger, only a cm or 2 wider.
Groomers: These things rail on groomers. You basically ski the middle and tail of the ski, which are plenty stiff, damp, stable, and have a very agreeable sidecut of 28m. You carve hard, and enjoy great edge grip and predictable turn style every time, assuming the snow is relatively edgeable. very nice. If the snow is hard, see next section.
Ice: Since the ski is so wide it is hard lean it over enough on ice to rail turns, but I don't think its performance in ice is worse than any ski with this waist size out there. It is made for deep snow, and skis ice acceptably, well even, considering its specialty.
Bumps: If bumps are hard the atlas is a little sketchy, but terrible. Again, since the majority of the ski is shaped and cambered like a traditional big mountain cruiser just wider, it edges predictably, and allows you to get down bumps quickly and gracefully (assuming you knew how to ski bumps quickly and gracefully in the first place).
Final remarks: As I hope I've made clear I have never enjoyed skiing pow so much in my life (and I have skied quite a bit of pow). I hope the word gets out about this ski, and more people start to explore the benefits of a normal/flat camber tail and midsection, with large reverse camber shovel, and moderate sidecut. This combo seems to be ideal to me, and I will be surprised when I ski something that can trump the atlas in pow.
Last edited by shasti; 03-08-2011 at 08:27 AM.
03-08-2011, 05:28 AM #2
I demo'd this for a day last week at Squaw; mounted on the line; good demo day with pow, groomers, crud, bumps
6'2", 190 lbs, ski hard and fast
In very brief:
Fantastic. No hooking, plane easily, very sweet. Easy to make all radius turns in the pow.
They are great; carve effortlessly. It was a hoot to rail on these.
Better then expected due to the tip rocker
I did not like them here. The ride was not as smooth as other skis I have and I wasn't really enjoying myself on them in this medium.
03-08-2011, 10:27 AM #3one-track mind
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
- back in NorCal
Sweet review, shasti! Would be great if you could add a few details about how the 192 Atlas performs differently from the Lhasa Pow 191 carbon (which you mentioned you have skied), as both skis have not-so-different shapes.
.My biggest goal in life has always been to pursue passion and to make dreams a reality. I love my daughter, but if I had to quit my passions for her, then I would be setting the wrong example for her, and I would not be myself anymore. -Shane
03-08-2011, 01:50 PM #4
stiffer, quicker turning in pow, better in pow
a tad more fun on groomers to the lift perhaps because it's a bit stiffer with more snap and rebound
Lhasa 196 non-carbon:
much better in crud and chop; smoother and more forgiving
damn good in pow but the Atlas is better in pure pow IMHO (9 vs 10)
03-08-2011, 06:07 PM #5
disclaimer: I have not detuned the tips on the lhasa which everybody says improves their edging performance dramatically, and all around I am not a big fan of the ski. But regardless, they ski very differently.
IMHO, the atlas outshines the lhasa in pow with the ratio of their performances in pow being around 10 to 6.5.
While you can throw the Lhasa around easily, and this "looseness" allows you to get out of trouble when you are going to fast, this capacity does not widen the balance point where the ski shines. With the atlas you can ski pow faster and maintain perfect control because the sweet spot on the atlas puts you in perfect position to ski well. If you find yourself in the backseat on the atlas you had better not have any plans to turn in the near future because it will take you for a serious ride, but the point is, you will never find yourself in the backseat because there is no reason to be there. This is why it is different than any ski I have ever skied, and surpasses even the Lotus 138 which I skied for 2 seasons, on 90% of powdays (the remaining 10% are the days when it is so deep that edges are superfluous and you literally never feel a bottom, a rarity to say the least) .
The lhasa skis pow acceptably, well even, but does not change the experience dramatically. When you are hauling ass in pow, you still have to lean back because the consequences of diving a tip are a high speed tomahawk. When you get going fast and need to change direction quickly you still have to slow down first, often by feathering out the tails (slarving) to dump speed until you can move across the fall line. you are constricted when skiing pow in the way that will be familiar to you. Less so than most skis, but still constricted. On the atlas these limitations barely exist. It is pretty cool
As for groomers and hard snow, I would say the atlas skis these better as well, UNLESS as Jim S said, there are bumps. Then I would rather have the lhasa because since you have no tip rocker, you get a damper and smoother ride. There is more surface area to absorb bumps, whereas the atlas's big shovel slams into bumps, sometimes preventing a smooth transition over them. Obviously you can carve the lhasa too, but the Atlas rails, while I have not been able to rail a turn on the lhasa. Lastly, the lhasa obviously wins for touring. The atlas is heavy and the lhasa is not, so you can guess which one you would rather skin 8000 vert on.
03-08-2011, 08:04 PM #6
My quiver is big enough or expansive enough as it is. My thinking was/is that while we love pow, 90% of my lift served terrain is off piste cut up pow and crud because Squaw and Rose get tracked out fairly quickly most of the time.
pow and cut up pow: Praxis Powder 195
cut up pow and everyday inbounds: Praxis Rx Powder 189 or Lhasa 196
If I didn't have the Praxis Powder 196 and Pontoon 189 (I rarely use that ski) I would have purchased the Atlas 192. It was a freakin hoot in 2 out of 3 major conditions I ski and that's pretty solid.
03-08-2011, 11:48 PM #7
No mater what skis I own in the future, and no matter how much I love them, and I am sure I will love them a lot, I will never, ever, sell my Atlas's's's'. Shit name, but, what a ski. Just dragged them back onto the house now from another day and they rip, no doubt.
[My opinion of the Atlas is watered down as I have the shamefully small 183's. But I do ski powder pretty much every day I want]Life is not lift served.
Weather data for Hakuba, Japan
03-14-2011, 01:01 PM #8
sounds much like the last edition of the atomic big daddy.
actually i always thought they are very similar (=the same ?) ski...
04-05-2012, 11:05 PM #9Minion
- Join Date
- Mar 2012
Atlas comparison w/ DPS Lotus 120?
Has anyone skied both the Atlas and DPS Lotus 120? How do they compare? Looking for a touring pow ski.
04-06-2012, 09:08 AM #10
Thanks for the Atlas vibe, Shasti, it was my favorite ski in Atomic's lineup as well and the Automatic and Bent were both awesome skis. Very impressed with the Atlas' ability to change direction quickly and still be rock solid underfoot, with a longer (more tail) sweet spot than the Automatic. I skied the 186 and it seemed right on for me at 5'8" and 165.