Atomic Vantage 85 Review

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Woodserson
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Posts: 1239
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile Objective and V6, Altai KOMs, Atomic Vantage 85, XC: Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch

Atomic Vantage 85 Review

Post by Woodserson » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:36 pm

BooYA my Atomic Vantage 85s have become my number 1, go-to, do-it-all ski for the frontside. BAM! They come out of the gate, don't ask questions, kick ass, take names, accept phone numbers, and don't look back at explosions. BOOM!

173cm 125-85-109
All Mtn Rocker which translates to: Very little rocker.
17m Radius

I mounted them with Rottefella Cobra R8's one of my favorite bindings with the perfect balance of activity and power, and I ski them with my T4's. They are mounted at the -2 line, which is factory marked.

I'm a 6'2" 160lb skiing machine with strong intermediate telemark skillzz coming from a very strong alpine background that I have abandoned due to injury. I can get myself down anything in telemark gear, but sometimes it's not pretty and no one would call me graceful. There are days though where everything comes together.

This is sold as a basic intermediate ski at an incredibly attractive price point (I bought mine for under $200). Do not confuse these with the CTI versions, these are wood core only, no carbon, no titanium. Bomber construction.

They have an even round flex with a nice firming up near the end which translates to a very nice pop out of turns after you load them up. There's pretty decent rise in the tails, so they release easily and don't hook, AND they are good for any radius turn your choose. Tight slalom? Check. Big ol' turns at speeds? Check. I find them a little high-energy in frozen granular, there is little in the ski to dampen vibrations but they don't chatter.

These skis just rock. They eat up the crud with gusto, the have great torsional rigidity for hardpack, and when I roll them on edge and start carving parallel style they hold on and lay railroad tracks so goddamm deep you can drive the Acela on them to your morning commute. I love bashing the bumps with these skis, they swing quick and transition from edge to edge on demand and the slightly shorter length makes them easy to maneuver.

The one drawback is powder, I find them a little short in the shovel at the 173cm length and combined with the lack of any kind of appreciable rocker I have to adjust my stance to keep them up and floating. Not my go-to powder ski but here in the Northeast that's OK. Once it gets crudded up though, rock solid riding through the mank.

I did not expect these skis to be the ones I grab everytime I walk out of the house, but it's what they have become. They are a little heavy to be touring with, which is unfortunate, but the weight is what gives it better performance when charging hard down the frontside of the ski area dealing with unexpected obstacles. I'll take that trade-off and tour in something else.

EFF YEAH!

2018-01-23 12.08.13.jpg

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naesb81
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Re: Atomic Vantage 85 Review

Post by naesb81 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:38 am

if you had to do it again would you have gone with a longer (181) or are you happy with the 173? I am 6'1", 185, trying to decide.

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Woodserson
XCD KNIGHT
XCD KNIGHT
Posts: 1239
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile Objective and V6, Altai KOMs, Atomic Vantage 85, XC: Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
Favorite boots: T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch

Re: Atomic Vantage 85 Review

Post by Woodserson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:52 am

I'm happy with my 173's. I did look at a pair of 181's, and decided against it, they were pretty long and stiffer than I expected. I do not use the 173 in anything more than 5" of fresh snow because the shovels are so short and I don't want to catch a tip. These are exclusively my short turn, firm or corn surface, bump ski for the frontside.

Since I wrote the review, I have found an upper speed limit to the ski, which I think is normal seeing as it's a pretty simple budget ski, but high speeds they can get a little chattery, I don't know if the 181 does this less or not.

However it's important to keep in mind that I am light, 160lbs on a good day, and not very muscley, and on short soft boots. If I had more power, was in taller boots, the 181 would be the ticket. I talked a ski buddy (fixed-heel alpine guy) into them and he chose the 181 and he's very happy with them-- he's 5'10" and 165lbs and a powerful skier. FWIW.

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