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Adaptive Camber - does it work?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

The Atomic Panic twin-tip has what Atomic calls "Adaptive Camber". According to what I have read, the design provides lift in crud and powder without affecting the quick turning capabilities of the ski on the groomed. Sounds like tip rocker with a twist. Has anyone tried the Panic and if so does the "Adaptive Camber" design provide any advantages over a standard all-mountain twin, or is it just advertising? Looking forward to comments on the Panic.  

post #2 of 9

Can we expand the question for all early rise skis?

post #3 of 9

According to the Atomic marketing hype, "Adaptive camber means small amount of rocker to the tip of the ski, providing a ski tip that will not catch or hang up in crud and soft snow." The industry has been straining to obscure the concept of rocker, but it appears it has now gotten to the point where they are confusing it with camber. Rather than giving actual information on the rise and length of the rocker, we are simply given terms like "pop rocker" or "powder rocker," with no basis for comparison against another company's "adaptive camber," which is actually tip rocker, or is it "early rise,' and aren't they actually the same thing. Pardon my high-jacking the thread to rant, but it really pisses me off that so many manufacturer's specs on skis do not tell you what the rocker really is, but simply use cool nonsensical terms. If they would all just use the standard numbers (i.e. "10/20" means 10 mm of rise over 20 cm of length) we could easily understand the configuration of the rocker, and be able to easily compare it to other skis. ...and now back to your regularly schedule thread.


In answer to your question, a small amout of tip rocker can help a ski float better and turn more  easily in crud and powder, and will not significantly effecting the turning abilities on groomed.  In the case of the Panic it does not appear to be "tip rocker with a twist, " but simply tip rocker with marketing hype.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I came across one internet ski retailer that has the Atomic Panic for sale, and they describe the ski as having "Tip Rocker", so I guess that settles it. Until I hear from someone who has actually skied the Panic, I will consider "Adaptive Camber" as being marketing hype for "Tip Rocker". The Panic does not appear to have sold well in it's first model year. It looks like Atomic is offering it again for 2012, with more colorful graphics, so it must have sold well somewhere. With an 87 mm waist and rocker on one end only, the Panic just doesn't have enough of what it takes to rise to the top of the charts these days. I managed to find a few positive reviews online, and it sounds like the ski is a solid all-mountain twin, with or without the wonders of "Adaptive Camber".

post #5 of 9

I believe Atomic tends to run both the rocker and cambered sections of its tip rockered skis father back than other manufacturers, which seems to work well with skis like the Access (100mm waisted).  The tip rocker initiates lift in the snow, but after that the personality of the ski is controlled to a great extent by how stiff it is right behind the rocker.  Almost all skis get stiffer from tip to center, so "adaptive camber" is just a way of referring to that quality, although it is impossible to tell what is going on from the minimal marketing info they give you.


I have always liked Atomics, and an 87 waist with a little tip rocker sounds like the recipe for a potentially excellent daily driver.  If you find any other info on the Panic, I would appreciate it if you would post it,

post #6 of 9

just wondering how different this is compared to what Marker used to do with their bindings that had a selector switch for soft, groomed and hard snow.  the hard switch seemed to give the skis more "tension" so better for packed powder and eastern ice, soft, less so in the tip.


may have been a "placebo" effect but I could have sworn that i could tell the difference between soft and hard settings.  still use the Marker M4.2 bindings on my K2 Axis Mod skis today.


post #7 of 9

I've got some of those Marker's and still ski them. I too feel a difference when using the switch, which affects the flex under the binding (cambered section of the ski). It seems to make them carve better on hard snow when on 3, and flex more evenly in deep snow on 1.  Maybe Atomic's "Adaptive Camber" is an intelligent function that actually changes the camber (stiffness underfoot) while skiing, but in that case it would probably cost a lot more.  

post #8 of 9

The marketing material says "slight rise in tip when weighted".  That doesn't sound all that revolutionary.  When you weight the ski, it becomes reverse camber.  That's true for all skis.

Looking a bit deeper into it, the material says "when edged up, the ski delivers full contact length".  

So, if they really did anything, I think that when unweighted, the contact point for the tip is actually a flat spot for a few cm's rather than a distinct point.  I guess that could be beneficial. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I found enough positive reviews of the Panic to make me want to buy a pair. I went shopping online and came across a good sale at REI. The Panic is clearing out at about $245.00, so I gave them a call and ordered a pair. The sales guy told me I was buying the last pair in 173 cm. So now, instead of just thinking about it, I will get a chance to experience the wonders of "Adaptive Camber" in person. I won't actually get my hands on the skis for another two weeks, and our local ski season is rapidly drawing to a close, so there may not be enough snow left for me to give them a try. If I do manage to get the Panics out on the slopes before the season ends, I will post a review. Thank for your comments! 

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