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What length Atomic Access?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My first post, please don't abuse me ;)  A similar question you have probably seen 1000 times before ;)


As the title says I am looking at the Atomic Access.


My details.

Male, 38yrs old, 5'7 145lbs. Ski and live in Utah.  This is my 2nd season skiing and would class myself as intermediate.  I am really enjoying going through trees, off trail on crud,  would like to get to the stage of powder (haven't seen much of that this season).


I am looking at the Atomic Access.  I stressed to dude at shop I want to ski a lot next few seasons and push myself to get as good as I can and want the ski to serve me in a few years time. He said for sure I would be happy with the 171 (with my current skill level) but said the 181 would probably serve me better in the long run.


181 is intimidating to me just have never skied that long.  I currently have older non rocketed K2 apache crossfires 163.


Any advice would be appreciated.  Thanks :)

post #2 of 7

Have you demo'd this ski at all? That would certainly help you reach a conclusion.


I also ask about demoing because this is a ski that from a dimension, feature list, and price standpoint (its one of the cheapest 100+ waist, rocker tip, powder oriented skis out there), it should be a hot ticket, but it does not get a lot of attention and I've read a lot of very lukewarm reviews on it.


I was looking at the Access very closely last year, especially because I was skiing a set of 2003 Atomic Sugar Daddies at the time, and was looking for a similar ski.  I went to two ski shops, both of which weren't fans. I've wanted to demo the ski, but haven't found a pair to demo at any of the demo days since.


I ended up going with a pair of K2 Kung Fujas, which for me is by far the best all-condition ski I have ever clicked a boot into (but is another ski that seems to fall way, way under the radar, go figure).


Length for you is a tough one. You are a pretty light guy at 145 lbs, so a 180 ski would generally be considered on the large side unless you were an expert level skier.


But, the Access have a healthy amount of rocker tip, and are also very light skis, so I doubt the 180's would be unmanageable.  They will feel very different from a set of narrow, beginner 160 cm skis. Expect to suck for most of day 1, and it will take a few days before you will get used to getting the fatter ski further out away from your body to set the edge.


Personally, I'd lean to the 180's. I think most non-beginners could do better with more ski than is currently being recommended by sizing charts. Grown men should not be skiing 160cm skis.


After all, everyone was skiing 180cm+ skis in the straight ski era, and sidecut just makes that length of ski easier to turn. Conclusion? More manufacturers should be making 210cm fat ass pow skis. Preferable with giant clown shoe rocker. ;)




post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your response.

I got to try the 181 Access out on the weekend.  Unfortunately they had no 171 :(

I was at Solitude, Utah on Sunday, they just had 7" of fresh.

First thing is they do not feel too heavy for a bigger ski than what I am used to.  The rocker looked quite substantial.

I struggled at first, due to I would say the fatter, longer ski but also my second time in chopped up fresh snow.  But it didn't take long until they felt quite normal. By the end of the day I was charging (for me) through chopped up snow and over powder no worries at all, which I had never done before.  I was quite surprised I was able to turn quite well in short spaces.  I went down a moguls hill that I was a bit timid to do before, granted it was a lot softer but it must mean something that I attempted that with the longer skis and the length didn't seem to bother me, which was one of my main concerns.

Thing is, I know when I try the 171 it will be shorter and this feel in my mind easier to manage.  But I knew that, thing is will I be happier in years to come with the 171 when we get fresh powder? From what I have read, the longer the better in powder? I still have my carvers for hard groomers on dry days.  I just don't have the experience to know if the 181 is "too much" from me.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Any other opinions ?  :)


post #5 of 7

Go 181s, you'll have something to grow into that way. I'm 145lbs as well, although I am 5'11", and always ski skis in the 180s length, it's just a matter of getting used to, as well as what you will be skiing. Of course, if all you will be skiing is super tight trees, you might want to look for a shorter ski, although going to short will also hinder maneuverability. The rocker in these skis makes them ski so much shorter. just my 0.2$

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hey thanks for you 2 cents :)  Thats actually very helpful.  I want to ski these all over the mountain, including groomers, with and without my kids, not just tight trees.  Not that 181 would be my optimal length, I just think 171 may ski too short from what I have read.  

I am steering towards the 181 - there are some killer deals on at the moment so I think I will buy now so I can enjoy for the rest of the season with them.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

An update - I went with the 181's.  Had them out for about 3 days.  I love em!!  and they don't feel too long.  Thanks for the advice.

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