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Atomic R10.20

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Atomic
Ski Model: R10.20 (was called BetaRide 10.20 last year - same ski - the gray ones, not the older "copper tops")
Ski Length: 180
Snow Conditions Used In: most
Number of Days Used: 9
Your Ability: not bad (8?)
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 25
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 25
Other Skis You Like: Bandit XX, Volkl G31, Viper X (the old GS-style ones)
Your Height/Weight: 176cm 70kg

Initial impressions:
Apart from my old touring skiis, these are the first pair of Atomics I've owned. They have a different feel to the skis I've usually gone for - mostly Volkl and Rossi which are heavier feeling and damp but with a strong rebound if you work them. These Atomics are lighter feeling, and at first I was worried about their crud performance. Then I learned that if you keep the ski on edge, loaded up and carving it becomes very stable and will absorb terrain irregularities very well.

Hard snow:
Very easy to get an edge in and carve nice round turns - much less effort required to ski these than the other skis mentioned above (all of which I've used for at least 1 season). Seem very forgiving of fore-aft balance (I guess that's a "large sweet spot"?). I also noticed that my feet don't get tired/sore anymore skiing on hard snow, due to not having to work the ski so hard. No bone spurs this year for me! Less rebound than skis I'm used to, but still enough to be fun (and easier to control) and stable enough at any speed I'm likely to ski at (35mph?).

Very nice for a mid-fat. Will either carve thru the bumps or pivot on them old style. Tail is stiff enough to let you know if you lose it backwards, but this ski is a kitten compared to say the G31. I like skiing bumps and this is the most fun I've had there since the old Rossi ST Comp days.

Firm Crud:
Possibly the weakest area for this ski, but as I said above still acceptable performance if you're using the ski rather than just going along for the ride. They can feel a bit light and flighty if they're not carving.

Chopped powder / soft crud:
Waaaahoooo !! Big swooping mach schnell GS turns standing tall and forward with total confidence that the ski is not going to fold up, hook a turn, or do anything unpredicatable. Fantastic ability to absorb the terrain. How can a mere 180cm ski feel like this!?

Sublime. See Julie's Craigieburn thread and follow the picture link - in these conditions the skis were purrrfect to the extent I could just forget about them and focus on flow, rhythm, and trying not to grin like an idiot ALL the time. I can't imagine how the ski could be improved for powder. Yes wider is different, but I like to ski IN the powder, not on it. (Caveat - in these conditions - I could have had fun on a couple of 4x2's

Atomic bindings / plate:
I got the Xentrix 4-12 and use them on about DIN 7. No complaints. They feel solid and well made, so far they've released when they should and not when they shouldn't. The boot clicks in with a satisfying "thunk" - like closing a Mercedes door. The fore-aft adjustment is NOT a gimmick - there are 4 positions and moving just 1 notch definitely changes the ski's behaviour...and in just the way you would expect it to. I THINK this might be a more useful feature than the Marker selective control soft / stiff thing, but I haven't tried that. The plate seems to add stability / heft to the ski, and I like the idea of not having to drill holes in my skis if I buy different length boots etc. Having that much (50 odd mm?) of lift felt funny at first - but now I don't think about it.

Other options:
This purchase is the result of a season spent demoing lots of mid-fats (and a year reading epicski - thanks all) - some brief comments:

Bandit XX (177cm)- equal first place - I could be very happy with these too. A "stronger" feeling ski, maybe better edge hold on firm snow, less forgiving. A better crud buster, but more work. Good choice Oboe !!

Bandit X (184cm) - very nice, super easy in all conditions, as GLaw said ages ago - no learning curve with these ones. Would work for huge range of abilities. Just felt a bit lacking in excitement, and a little insulated from what was going on under my feet.

Dynastar Intuitive 74 (182cm)- great off piste crud buster, felt a bit "boring" and barge-like compared to the 10.20.

Dynastar Intuitive 69C (182cm I think) - boring, no surprises, no fun. Intermediate ski.

Atomic R11.20 (180cm)- stiffer torsionally (I think) and so more work, more precise, less forgiving. I've finally learned NOT to buy the top of the line model, and I'm having more fun because of it. Would be fantastic for a technically strong skier who keeps the hammer down everywhere all day long.

Volkl G3 (184cm)- didn't like it. Demo was too long for me and felt like a tank. Think I'm too light for this ski.

K2 Axis X (181cm) - not bad, didn't grab my attention like the Atomics, the Mod skis always feel a bit lifeless to me, like drving a Lexus - everything works, but the SPIRIT is missing.

K2 Axis X Pro (181cm) - stiff, damp, a heavy persons ski.

Thoughts on length:
Some people might say I should be looking at shorter skis - well I've tried a few 170s and they're fine on the groomed runs of a commercial ski area, but on our anything goes club fields I find a few extra cms very comforting thanks. I reckon the rule of thumb "for all mountain skis, just over head height" works well, at least for this skinny kiwi

Hope this helps someone make a good decision, as I've sure had lots of help from reading this forum.
post #2 of 5
WOW great review grum! I'm a big Atomic guy myself. Love that light feel/powerful carve combo. Keep havin' fun...
post #3 of 5
grum, I totally agree with your thoughts about the K2 mods, they just felt blah. The life in them just didn't seem to exist. I demoed them right after the Atomic 11.20's which I loved. A lot. I skied those in a blizzard at Heavenly and they busted through everything.

post #4 of 5
Has anyone tried my new favorite ski, the BetaRide 9.22? It's actually hasn't changed in something like 5 seasons, but it is simply fantastic!
post #5 of 5
Grum, That was an great review. I have not skied an Atomic ski in years but now you have me ready to demo a few. By the way I'm a big fan of The Modx and I happn to like Lexus cars also
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