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Atomic Blackeye TI-X vs Atomic Blackeye TI

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 

I've found this 399$ boxing deal on a TI-X model which is similar to Blackeye TI. However rails are not the same, including binding are XTO10 instead of 12 and waist is 79mm.


I can't find any review or product information on the web as it seems to be a special bundle for some distributors.


Anyone heard of it? How do it compares to the Blackeye and the Smoke TI which have better rails and binding. Do they have Adaptive Rocker technology ?



post #2 of 47
Thread Starter 

Here's the link for the product. Photo is not good, so I suspect the infos are not accurate too. People in store where not able to help too.





post #3 of 47

So I saw this ad, including the reference to these things being "Ski Canada Rated", rushed in and bought a pair.


The first tip off that something was amiss was that the ski lengths available do not correspond to the ski lenghts for the Ti (for example, there is no 167 length available in these things, you have to go to 171, but there is no such thing as a Ti in 171).  No worries, says the salesguy.


And it had the Ski Canada summary on the package.


I saw the "X" at the end of the model designation, but it didnt register.


Got home and searched Ski Canada -- there is no rating for the Ti-X, in fact, their listings for ALL Atomic skis shows no such model.


Went to the Atomic web site -- which was barely working -- I couldnt get there directly, had to go in through the parent co site.  No such model is listed on their website.  Tried contacting them through their web site to inquire -- it doesnt work.  Tried sending them an email directly (twice), both times it got kicked back,  I guess I could phone Austria .... if I spoke German.


Meanwhile -- if you check Sport Check's site again, not only have they pulled the listing from their Boxing Day flyer (the link you give doesnt work), but if you go to their main site and search even "Atomic Blackeye", you get nothing.  Click on all their men's skis and there is no listing even for the Ti.


Here's what I think -- this is a Canadian Tire special (and you know who owns Sport Check right...) -- CT sells a winter tire called the "Goodyear Nordic".  Goodyear may well make it, but they dont sell it through their dealers and they dont support it.  It may look like a Goodyear tire -- says Goodyear on the sidewall, it's black and probably made of rubber, but it and a "real" Goodyear tire are something different.


My guess is this is the same thing here.  Atomic may build these things but they are building them for Sport Check to flog.


My further guess is someone somewhere inside Sport Check realized that the Ski Canada rating thing was an error and they've pulled the skis to fix this.  Good on whoever that was but I'm still stuck with these things.


I'm going to go to a different store tonight, play dumb, and see what's up.  I'm also going to go to a "real" ski store which deals Atomic to see if they know anything.


Next week, unless I get a satisfactory answer, these puppies are headed back to the kennel.


At this point  my advice is either avoid them or buy them (if you can still do so), but dont use them until this gets sorted.


Post anything else you find out; I'll do the same.

post #4 of 47

I can't find much information on these skis either.  However, I went ahead and picked up a set with the XTO 10 bindings.  The price was right and hopefully they will last a couple seasons.


That being said I don't believe the bindings are sufficient to meet my needs so I am hoping to swap them out for the XTO 12.  Anyone know if this would be a straightforward swap since the bindings are the same system?

post #5 of 47

tipster, few comments:

- I've found it's pretty common for these retail stores (e.g. SportChek, SportMart, etc.) to sell products made available exclusively to them. The real ski stores get the 'normal' products. 
- when items go out of stock on SportChek's website they tend to disappear entirely.. this is normal in my experience.

- I am fairly confident the skis I picked up are 174 length; I will need to confirm when I am home this evening.  I believe 167 was also available. 

post #6 of 47
Skis from sportchek or sportmart aren't great, and the prices suck. There are much better used skis on the market.
post #7 of 47

huhh: I would agree, which is why I would generally avoid such stores.  However, I managed to snag these online for $250 shipped, including taxes, on boxing day.  Given that these are my first skis (this is only my second season skiing regularly), it seems that they will possibly be adequate for a year or two.


A few other sites (below) seem to sell Atomic Blackeye TI (prior year model) which look identical to the TI-X from SportChek.  Difference is the below come with XTO 12 bindings while SportChek ones come with XTO 10.







post #8 of 47

Hey, I just got a set of these skis, they're my first set too. Should I be worried about them?

post #9 of 47

Should i be worried about this?

post #10 of 47
Originally Posted by poundm View Post

Should i be worried about this?

I doubt it would be unsafe. Might not last as long or have durability issues. Who know...
post #11 of 47

Correction, my skis are indeed 171 (although when I purchased they were advertised as 174).  On the front end of my skis it says "Ti"; however, the rear clearly says "Ti-X 171".  Strange indeed.



Originally Posted by codex View Post

tipster, few comments:

- I've found it's pretty common for these retail stores (e.g. SportChek, SportMart, etc.) to sell products made available exclusively to them. The real ski stores get the 'normal' products. 
- when items go out of stock on SportChek's website they tend to disappear entirely.. this is normal in my experience.

- I am fairly confident the skis I picked up are 174 length; I will need to confirm when I am home this evening.  I believe 167 was also available. 


post #12 of 47

The 2010 Blackeye Ti was 79 wide and came in a 171 length, 2011 and 2012 models have a 167 and 174 and are 82 wide so you appear to have 2010 models. There is no tip rocker in that model.

post #13 of 47
Thanks, that's what I was thinking too. That's fine with me because it's my first set, as long as the 2010 models were decent than I'm fine with this
post #14 of 47
Ok, couple of things: (1) These are not 2010 models. The 2010 and previous was a completely different ski and in fact had different graphics (black with red markings). I know because I have a pair. (2) For those who intend to use them as first skis -- they will be serviceable but likely not the best choice of ski. Novices tend to need shorter skis (160 cms) and narrower skis (certainly less than 80 cm in the middle which these are) so that they are easier to turn. These will work for you, but you might think about taking them back and getting a dedicated on-piste ski. (3) For those, like me, who bought these because they thought they were (real) TI's and therefore versatile all mountain skis for advanced/expert skiers (per Ski Canada), the rub is we may well have some rebadged housebrand specials. Not exactly as illustrated, your performance may vary (potentially greatly) (4) Re bindings -- the XTO 10s are fine; though it is true the "real" TIs come with 12s which are better. Just as follow up to my first post -- went by another store last pm and no TIs in evidence. Whether sold out or pulled I guess is the question. Will have to see how SC responds to my inquiry. As the saying goes -- if it looks to good to be true, it probably is...
post #15 of 47

Thanks, but i have seen the 2010-11 models pictures and they look exactly like these skis. I think that they are just older tis for sportchek. They wouldn't say blackeye on them if they weren't. I don't think atomic would do this.

post #16 of 47

Sorry, but that's not right.


The 2010 model was a completely different ski, including as I said being black on red.  See:  http://skicanadamag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/10AAMTest.pdf


The Ti was changed for the 2011 model year (name was kept but ski was completely redesigned) and has remained exactly the same for the 2012 model year, graphics included (black on green).  See:  http://skicanadamag.com/ski-tests/ski-test-2012/atomic-nomad-blackeye-ti


(remember, ski models are like car models -- we are talking about 2012 models this season, even if you buy them on Boxing Day, 2011)


If you go to ANY ad or review of the Ti, and enlarge the photo of the lower portion of the ski, you will see that the graphic read: "Nomad Blackeye Ti".  On these Sport Check things, the end reads Ti-X.


And you will not be able to line up the ski lengths of the Ti-X with any of the available lengths for the Ti nor are the ski dimensions -- tip, waist and tail -- the same.


Atomic did this, just as Goodyear did (see my first note).  That's the most disappointing part -- I have two pairs of Atomics; my brother has a pair.  We have always thought they make a great product.  Atomic makes a Blackeye (w/out the Ti designation) and has completely different graphics -- no one can confuse a Blackeye Ti with the standard Blackeye.  They saw fit there to make sure the difference is clear for consumers.


Here, it borders on misleading.  Really, really disappointing.

post #17 of 47

The "X" after the model name signifies that the ski has been manufactured by Atomic specifically for Sport Chek stores in Canada. Canadian skiers may recall the yellow "9XX" model that appeared on Sport Chek's ski racks a few years back. I never had a chance to try the "9XX", but the look and feel were similar to Atomic's red Betaride 9.22. I have never gotten an explanation from a Sport Chek employee (big box retailers don't like to waste money on staff education) but I suspect the build quality of the "X" models is dummied down a bit to save a buck and then sold to low-to-intermediate level skiers who like to think they have a high-end ski on their feet. I inspected the Atomic Blackeye Ti-X in the store and it doesn't look anything like the Atomic Crimson Ti that I demoed at Whistler last December. (The Crimson is the next model up from the Blackeye). I noticed several differences which reinforced my suspicion that the Blackeye you will find in Sport Chek is a different animal from the Blackeye offered in real ski shops. I would be willing to pay more for a ski I know is the real thing. The real disappointment is that Sport Chek is not up front with their marketing strategy.  

post #18 of 47

I took mine back, to a ton of grief.


Guy starts out telling me that these ARE Blackeye TIs, then when it was clear I knew they werent went to ski sales are final once binding is mounted then, when I pointed out the receipt said nothing about final sale, went on about how the Atomic rep told him they were TIs but with different graphics to which I quoted the stats from the real TIs vs these things, showing that they werent.  At that point he caved but had the gall to ask me if I wanted to exchange them.  For what?  More fakes?


I kept the $10 off coupon for my next Sport Check purchase.  Little something for my trouble.


For the record, Sport Check Customer Service finally replied to my inquiry.  Here is the official line:


"The Atomic Blackeye TI-X is a special make up for Sport Chek. This means you will not find information about the ski anywhere other than through Sport Chek. Atomic created the ski specifically for Sport Chek and it is not sold at any other retailers."


So: these are NOT Blackeye TIs.  Yes, made by Atomic.  No, not Ski Canada rated.  Performance unknown.


Class action lawsuit to follow.........



post #19 of 47



I sympathize with your ordeal and I completely agree with your findings (and with other replies) as I went through the same process and got the same conclusions. I don't think that the Ti-X (as compared with the Ti) from Sportcheck is a bad ski however Sportcheck should make it very apparent to the consumer that their product is not the real macoy (the price difference peaked my curiosity). I got to the bottom of this in a phone conversation with an Atomic Rep. The Rep. was very frank and discribed the differences in the two products. I went online and purchased a pair of 2011 Blackeye Ti with Neox 12 XTO bindings from a store in Ontario (free shipping). Good luck with your suit.



British Columbia

post #20 of 47

Hi guys. French friend from Quebec. I have the same problem then you. From a Quebec Sportmart store (called here Sport Expert). Same skis, same specs, same price (399$). Here is my finding: skis specs are in fact those of the lower scale Smoke skis TI. Same bindings (XTO10)  and 171 cm lenght. The only difference is 77 mm waist (79 mm for BlackEye of Sportchek), but I suspect that they are in fact the same (take your ruler and you'll see). In other words, Atomic and Canadian Tire would have made a deal: take the lower scale skis and put the brand of the well rated Bleckeye. With some very little differences. And do it for less than 400$. In my opinion, this is a marketing strategy from both side. On Atomic side, it is possibly the last year of the Nomad (and Blackeye) series and they would want to push the brand and take profit of the popularity of the brand to increase their sale for the end of their fiscal year. Form Canadian Tire/SportChek side, the exclusive nature of the skis makes prices comparisons impossible with other stores. And rated comparison either. Because it is a special boxing day sale, it is a sale on pressure (vente sous pression in french) so customer do not have the time to verify. Canadian Tire is doing that also for skates, but for skis, it is a risky strategy, because skiers are more sensible of what they buy. Also, skis makes more difference than skate in well praticing the sport. The objective for Canadian Tire is too increase there sales to satisfy their shareolders in the stock market.


Having said that, are those skis bad skis? Smoke TI are not bad quoted skis, but they are not as well quoted as Blackeye. Thay are designed for intermediate skiiers. The best price I have found on the web for Smoke TI is around 550$ (in eBay, shipping included), but those include XTO12 bindings, not XTO10. There are only few with XTO10 on the web. The only one I could find are detailed...399$. For Blackeye, web prices are around 600$-650$, so 100 to 200$ more. Conclusion: we have been diddle. The retailer mislead us, and Atomic also. Skis we have bought are not Blakeye skis. It is like buying a Volvo S80 car that is in fact an S60 model. The car is not bad, but it is not the one we have paid for. In my sale bill, it is written BalckEye TI and not BlackEye TI-X.





post #21 of 47

What is the difference beetween TI and TI-X described by the Atomic rep? Have you record the conversation?

post #22 of 47

No, I did nor record my conversation with the Atomic Rep but the main differences as described in a fowllow-up email are:


"Both the Blackeye Ti and Blackeye Ti X will have the same cosmetics,

but there make up is slightly different. Basically the Blackeye TI X

is a European design ski with Blackeye TI cosmetics. The Blackeye TI

features Step Down Sidewall, Wood Core, a slightly stronger binding

(XTO 14 or 12) and is a wider ski, more designed for skiing out

west. The Blackeye TI X has sidewall, just not stepdown technology.

It will also feature Cap Fiber as the Core, a slightly weaker

binding, XTO 10, and is narrower under foot at 79mm. That way it can

ideally be used in Eastern as well as **Western Canada**. Let me

know if that helps.


Every year, we will make up regular in line skies, as well as SMU's. An SMU is a special ski that is made up for a specific dealer. In this case the Blackeye Ti-X is made for Sport Chek. They are 2 completely different skis and are marked as different skis on them as well."


In addition to the previous, I also believe the lengths of the skiis are different with the Ti showing 160, 167, 174, 181 : the Ti-X - 157, 164, 171, 178.

post #23 of 47

Just a few short years ago stores like sportcheck etc. used to sell the real deal skis, just like the skis in the ski shop.  The big chains were able to sell the skis without a huge markup, so nobody was buying those skis from the ski shop down the street at double the price.  As you can imagine this upset the ski shop owners who felt like the ski companies were putting their own dealers out of business. 


The ski companies got around this problem by making special skis for the chain stores, which were not the identical skis found in ski shops.  If you know what your buying and can judge based on construction and hand flexing you can save a lot of money by buying from the chain store, but for the most part the models are not high end, and would not be ideal for hard icy hills in the east, mght be more suited to softer snow in the west though. Typically the ski is between two models, with some of the features of the higher model and some of the features of the lower model, resulting in a performance level between the two models and a price lower than the lower model would bring in a shop.  However if you know your skis well enough to judge what you want you probably want a high end ski anyway.



post #24 of 47

Thank you very much Chaturanga. This confirm what I said. BlackEye TI-X are in fact Smoke Skis. No wood core, no step down tech, same specs than Smoke. In othe words, they sell us Smoke skis with the name Black Eye, Why changing the name? To sell skis they would not selled in other ways. Atomic and CTire/SportsChek are misleading their customer.

post #25 of 47

As I said, BlackEye TI-X is designed like Smoke TI. To be honest, I reviewed many tests put on the web and most of them evaluate Smoke TI as a good ski for intermediate skiiers. They're talking about one of the best value in the market.

post #26 of 47

I am considering to get TI-X as well. The price is very good. How is the performance of this ski? This is my fourth season. I usually ski on Grouse Mountain and my ski level is close to level 5 (defined by grouse mountain).


By the way, I am interesting in K2 amp rictor ($399 in Sportchek) as well. Rictor seems not very forgiving according to some reviews. Any opinions on K2 Rictor?

post #27 of 47

The Ti-X would be good for you but I think the Atomic Smoke Ti would be even better. The K2 Rictor (if in fact the Rictor) is an aggresively advanced ski. You may want it if your doing a lot of high speed carving.

post #28 of 47

The rictor is more massive then the smokeTI, (meaning weight and stiffness, not necessarily dimensions).  You'll have to apply more power to be able to get it to turn, but on the flip side, if you're advanced and going faster the smoke will seem too floppy.

When you are not as advanced, you won't have the techniques to be able to efficiently apply power yet, so the rictors will seem hard to use, especially at lower speeds.


So, even if you are just L5, is your personality and ski type aggressive?  This has nothing to do with skill level.  Do you like to push as hard as you can each turn and enjoy feeling the burn at the end of each run?  Or do you prefer to just "survive" or enjoy the runs being a bit more relaxed and enjoy taking it easy.   Say getting your heartrate to only 50% of max. 


Either way I think at L5 the smokeTI is definitely more than enough ski to get started, but if you have the dedication to fitness and ski in an agressive style (meaning you are using high energy), maybe you can make the step up to the rictor now instead.  The rictor will open the door for you for higher speed activity and turns when you are ready for it, but you will have to work harder in the short term until you pick up the extra techniques to allow you to more efficiently apply power..

Edited by raytseng - 1/20/12 at 5:51pm
post #29 of 47

Thank Chaturanga & raytseng,


I may get a Smoke ti OR a real Blackeye ti. I really enjoy making perfect turns. Starting from this season,  I began to like racing down the mountain with my son. My current entry level
Rossi has too much vibration at high speed. So, I decided to get a better pair.


By the way, Sportchek's Rictor may not be a real Rictor because it comes with MARKER M2 10.0 binding which is an entry level binding.

post #30 of 47

I saw these in the store yesterday and it piqued my curiosity.


This Ti vs Ti-X thing reminds a lot of the Atomic Nomad DeepRed vs Nomad Crimson thing of a few year ago.


When I started to ski a few years ago I picked up some DeepReds at the Toronto ski swap, without really knowing anything about them.  The cosmetically very similar  top of the line Crimsons were like $50 more, and I couldn't really justify the money as a rank beginner.  Having got these DeepReds I could find little about them.  There was an old link to the Sportchek site (Retail price $800+ with the 4Tix binding) but the only other info seemed to be from Eastern Europe, where the huge Intersport chain also sold them as an in house special. 


OK, it isnt right that Sportchek should fail to point out that these Ti-X are not the same as the top of the line Blackeyes, its disingenuous to dress them up as something they are not, but for that price what did you all expect?  The bottom line should be  HOW DO THEY SKI?.


Frankly I love my DeepReds, and for what I paid I still consider them a bargain.  They might not be Crimsons or Blackeyes, in fact based on dimensions they are similar to Smokes, albeit with a few extra TFC zones, but they are a lot of ski for the money.  On the slopes I ski here in Ontario the narrower width is probably an advantage over the Crimsons that I might have bough instead anyway.


It isnt right that Sportchek dont make it VERY clear that this is a store special, but these might turn out to be a lot of ski for the $350 they are asking for them at the moment...


Edited by Canadiain - 2/3/12 at 10:57am
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