Atomic Automatic 109 Ski Review
I have a new favourite slackcountry ripper, and it goes by the name of Atomic Automatic 109. Yep it’s dethroned the Salomon Quest 115, which previously dethroned the good old cult classic Salomon Czar. Good to know skis are getting more fun every year! Either that or I’m having more fun. Either way I’ll take it.
Atomic introduced the Automatic 109 for the 2014/15 season to fill a bit of a gap they had in their freeride line. Everyone knew the 117mm version kicked ass, so why not make it in my favourite ‘West Coast all-mountain’ dimension of 109 underfoot! Well played Atomic.
The Automatic series is credited as being the ski Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Dana Flahr inspired and helped design, so at first I was sad that I didn’t instantly start skiing like Dana. But I’ll give it time, it could still happen, right? After the momentary upset, it’s been all stoke for the 2 months that followed.
Atomic Automatic 109 Quickie Overview
Lengths: 175cm, 182cm, 189cm (tested)
Dimensions (of 189cm): 135/109/125
Weight: 2.1kg per ski (From what I read)
Where I Mounted: On the factory recommended line
Skier Weight: 145 whopping lbs
Boots/Bindings: Scarpa Freedom SL / Atomic Tracker
Why This Ski Kicks Ass
- Shape & Camber Profile – For me, the Automatic 109 goes anywhere I want to take it on or beside Whistler Blackcomb, and has a damn good time doing it. The flex, camber profile and shape seem to be as playful as I want it to be, yet still able to rail some fast and fun turns whenever I want or need to. This ski is fun as hell on the groomers, and same goes for Whistler slackcountry laps on Husume or DOA.
- Carbon Sprocket Power Boosters – No idea what that is, but damn, it sounds cool.
- Dimensions – Fat enough for all but the super deep days, yet more agile than its fatter brethren, and way better for a winter like this when, um, it ain’t snowing as much as it used to.
- Weight – Light enough to make it a reasonable freeride touring ski (especially with some tech bindings on there), but still packs enough beef that you’re not stuck riding a twitchy touring ski on the resort.
- Steeze – It matches my pants and jacket, no big deal.
- Killer Package – I’d say the Freedom/Tracker/Automatic is a pretty bang on package I put together. All three of those products are ‘ready to rip, but totally suitable for touring’. None are as balls-to-the-walls as race boots, alpine bindings and stiffer skis, and none are as twitchy as full-on backcountry gear.
Why Some People Might Love It Less
- Do Everything Ski – For the same reason I dig it, others might not. It charges, but not as hard as some bigger and stiffer big mountain skis. And its super fun, but perhaps not as buttery and fun as a some flexy and fully rocketed competitors. So depending on where you ski on that spectrum, this may or may not be your one ski quiver.
Other Automatic 109 Reviews
- Early Ups thinks it’s for intermediates who don’t straightlin, but they still liked it.
- Blister Gear Review seems pumped on the Automatic.
- TGR digs it, but admits it’s even better for lighter riders (like me), who like turning (go figure).
I think this ski kicks major ass, but it also looks like I’m right smack in the ‘perfect’ demographic for the ski, according to the other testers out there. IE, I weigh 145 lbs and like turning sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good straight-line as much as the next guy, but I also like a light and playful ski to have a blast on. This isn’t one of those “sip a coffee while you straight-line Phil’s Coffin” kind of ski, but for the same reason it’s super playful, versatile, and fun. Giddy up. Go get some if that fits your program.
Oh ya, and it’s almost tradeshow season, so let’s cross our fingers Atomic keeps it (or something similar) for winter 2015/16.