Atomic Automatic (2014)
With high marks in Flotation, Stability at Speed, and Maneuverability, the Automatic is a sprightly powder-day tool with a large power plant. “This ski excelled in the tight trees and bumps,” said one tester, who noted its ability to spin and pivot easily in deep snow and crud. Its quickness is matched with a supportive tail that allows it to power out of turns, land drops steadily, and straightline without quivering. It’s the preferred model of Atomic pro Sage Cattabriga-Alosa.
Atomic offers no less than four models with waist widths between 98 mm and 103mm. The 100-mm Access belongs to the Powder collection, but offers a mix of flotation and all-mountain versatility similar to the Ritual (103 mm) and the Alibi (98) from the all-mountain Vantage series. It has a similar rocker profile as well, with just a shade less rocker in the tail, and a similar construction, though it lacks the metal reinforcement of the Vantage models. Atomic's Powder Series includes four models of wide and super-wide, deep-snow specialists that split into two distinct flavors. On one side are the "directional" designs, Automatic and Access, which are designed with traditional sidecut waisting, mounting points and edgy rebound for aggressive attack. On the other side are the more playful "bi-directional" designs, Bent Chetler and Blog, which are optimized for switch riding and slopestyle tricks, thanks to more pronounced, symmetrical rocker in the tip and tail and forward-waisted sidecuts and mounting points. All models are built for loose, surfy performance in deep snow (like that found in abundance near Atomic's U.S. headquarters in Ogden, Utah), with tapered tips, lightweight constructions and turned-up tails. All models are built on wood cores, and all feature Atomic's Step-Down Sidewall construction: higher sidewalls underfoot for solidity and edge grip; lower sidewalls topped by cap construction tip and tail for softer flex and torsional rigidity and more forgiving performance. The higher-end models, Automatic and Bent Chetler, get extra reinforcement fore and aft of the binding, called Sprocket Power Boosters, where it's needed most for stability and power transmission to the edge (metal in the Automatic; lighter, snappier carbon in the Bent Chetler).
|Lengths||179, 186, 193|
|Rating: Stability at Speed||3.38 / 5|
|Rating: Maneuverability||3.60 / 5|
|Rating: Hard Snow Grip||2.24 / 5|
|Rating: Crud Performance||3.16 / 5|
|Rating: Forgiveness||2.95 / 5|
|Rating: Energy/Liveliness||2.89 / 5|
|Rating: Flotation||3.46 / 5|
|Rating: Versatility||2.80 / 5|
|Rating: Overall||3.05 / 5|