Atomic Bindings 2001-02
Three years after dropping the ESS name, Atomic has revamped its binding line with Full Flex technology throughout its entire line, not just in high-end models. Atomic says the Full Flex system eliminates "negative tension" and allows for uninhibited ski flex and greater transmission of energy to a ski's edges. Full Flex utilizes a solid-mounted toe piece and a patented floating heel mechanism. Atomic has also tweaked the Variozone adjustment system in its Race and XentriX models. Variozone allows the skier to move the binding to different positions on the ski for various snow conditions or skiing styles.
Perhaps the biggest news from Atomic is that it bought the Device step-in snowboard binding company and has added quick-mount, integrated binding options to four of its skis: Beta 9.18 Device (all-mountain carver), Beta 8.18 Device (all-mountain carver), Beta SmartZone PC Device (twin-tip), and Beta SmartZone Device (twin-tip). The lightweight and easy-to-assemble Device system allows dealers the ability to have fewer SKUs and more profitability with less labor. Atomic has also greatly reduced the weight of its rental bindings (called Universal System). The Centro 4.12 is now 2.98 kg, and the Centro 3.10 has been reduced to 2.72 kg.
Race System bindings feature Variozone 3, 4, or 5, an adjustable backward release, 17 millimeters of lift, and an improved brake.
Models: Race 6.14 (6-14, $299), Race 4.12 (4-12, $259), 3.10 (3-10, $229).
The Ride and Carv System bindings have Variozone 3, 4, or, 5, an adjustable backward release, 24 millimeters of lift, and an improved brake.
Models: XentriX 6.14 (6-14, $299), XentriX 4.12 (4-12, $259), XentriX 3.10 (3-10, $229).
Wide Ride System
Wide Ride bindings are for off-piste and powder skis and have improved wide brakes this year. They feature the Variozone 4 (4.12 models) or Variozone 5 (6.14 models) and have 24 millimeters of lift.
Models: XentriX 6.14 EX (6-14, $299), XentriX 4.12 EX (4-12, $259), XentriX 6.14 Powder (6-14, $399), XentriX 4.12 Powder (4-12, $359).
The Device bindings are Atomic's offering in the integrated ski/binding genre. Three bindings are available on four different ski models, but the bindings are only sold packaged with the skis. Each has 25.5 millimeters of lift and can adjust to 260-360 mm boot soles with the turn of one screw.
Models: Device 4.12 (4-12), Device 3.11, Device 3.10.