Looking to get involved in the exploding hybrid powder ski market and bridge the gap between its freestyle-centric and massively popular Bent Chetler and the more pure big-mountain charger, the Atlas, Atomic is launching a new ski next year, the Automatic.
Recently featured as the prize for Sage Cattabriga-Alosa’s Signature Tee contest here on Tetongravity.com, the ski had a heavy amount of input from both Sage and teammate Dana Flahr, who wanted more of a directional charger than the Bent Chetler yet one that had plenty of playfulness for Sage’s signature slashes. The Automatic will retail next fall for $699 and comes in lengths of 179, 186, and 193, with the dimensions for the 186 coming in at 130/117/119.
The next stage of the rocker evolution is seeing narrower waists, more directional, set-back shapes, and more gradual rocker rise in the shovel, all design trends captured in the Automatic. The taper in the shovel of the ski was another big design consideration; Sage and Dana had been complaining about skis with larger shovels (like the Bent Chetler) getting caught in slough on steep lines, so the Automatic’s tip is a bit narrower than previous powder models.
With a more directional rocker shape, the Automatic has 30 percent rocker in the tip, camber underfoot, and 15 percent rocker in the tail. This makes it more directional than the Bent Chelter (with 25 percent rocker in both the tip and tail) while still keeping it looser and surfier than the flat tail of the Atlas.
Flahr said, the Automatic is “Hands down a better performing big mountain ski [than the Bent Chetler] because the tail has much less rocker.” At the same time, “There is a big focus on playfulness without losing any high speed stability and the tail support of the Atlas.”
In that spirit, an Atlas-stiff flex keeps straightlining chargers on their feet. From the sound of it, skiers looking for a soft snow and powder day ski who love to slarve their turns yet who who rarely ski switch when the ropes are dropping (admit it) will find themselves at home on this hybrid shape, which still out-performs the Bent Chetler on groomers, according to Atomic insiders.
Atomic is also revising the Atlas to perform more as a pure-backcountry ski, with a lighter-weight core with titanium underfoot that makes it slightly lighter than the Automatic as well as a skin clip and a more durable topsheet. Next year’s Atlas will have different waist widths as well; the 182 comes in a 115 mm waist that makes it a more versatile backcountry tool while the 192, built for more traditional AK charging, will come in a 125 waist. Skiers can look forward to finding both models on shelves next fall or on atomic.com