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Thread Starter 
Ski Make:
Ski Model: Atomic BetaCarv 9.18s (last year's model)
Ski Length: 180
Snow Conditions Used In: Western "ice"
Number of Days Used: 2
Your Ability: Upper Intermediate/Advanced
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 3 semi-seriously, 27 casually
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 50-60
Other Skis You Like: Volant Epic/Chubb/PowerKarve
Your Height/Weight: 5'11"
I was casually looking for a ski to use for intramural racing (mostly GS) that would be a little more high-energy than the skis I was using, 185cm Volant Epics, but wouldn't beat me up too much when I got lazy. I found this pair of mis-drilled 9.18s (how do you mount the bindings backwards?) at REI for fairly cheap. Reading all the reviews I could find led me to believe that these might be the ski I was looking for, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and pick them up.

I A/B'd them with the Volants to see what the differences were, and I think I made the right choice. They didn't like carving at slower speeds like the Volants, mainly due to the fact that they're a lot stiffer. Once at speed, though, they were like being on rails. At the tiny hill we race on, there isn't much chance for real speed before you hit the bottom, but I noticed that edge hold was much better when I reached my/the hill's top speed. Quick, tight turns around 25 MPH were really fun, although they let me know when I was in the backseat. Still, they were forgiving enough to let me keep my feet under me and encourage me to find the sweet spot, which wasn't all that hard to do.

Someone asked me how I liked them vs the Volants, and my answer was that the Epics are like Barry White and the Atomics are like James Brown. It's not a question of better/worse or whatever, but more of what I happen to be doing at the time. I haven't had a chance to ski the Atomics in any other conditions, but I'd imagine they would do well for a carving ski.

To sum it up, they were exactly what I was looking for. A solid recreational racing ski that won't beat me up. How versatile they are is still undecided, but they seem to be just the ticket for an under-trained, weekend racer. Hopefully they'll hold up.

By the way, Zardoz is seriously cool stuff.