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Atomic R:9.22 Review: Excellent in All Conditions (Very Long)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Atomic
Ski Model: R:9.22
Ski Length: 180 cm
Snow Conditions Used In: Fresh Powder, Cut-up Powder, Hard Groomed snow, Fresh Coast Range Concrete
Number of Days Used: 5
Your Ability: Low Expert (level 8)
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 20
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 5-10
Other Skis You Like: Rossignol Bandit XX
Your Height/Weight: 6'5"/240 lbs

Woohoooo! Finally got to ski 5 days at Whistler on my new Atomic R:9.22 with Atomic R412 bindings. In those 5 days I got to ski virtually all snow conditions.

Days 1&2: Whistler got 151 cm of fresh snow on the two days before I arrived, and it was still snowing on my first day skiing. This was cold, light powder snow. I got a few runs in on parts of the mountain closed during the storm and opened up on my first day - 5 feet of fresh powder! I do not think any ski could hold my weight up in that much snow. I tried to keep some momentum going to try to get some float, but a snow snake caught my ankles and I face planted (right under the lift!). Ten minutes were spent furiously digging for one of my skis before I finally found it.

Later in the trip I found some shallower fresh powder (1 foot) and the R:9.22s floated nicely in this more reasonable quantity of snow. The skis also performed well in the cut-up powder, staying up and motoring through the snow.

Powder Grade: B+

Days 3&4: Much of the new snow had been cut-up off-piste and groomed on-piste. Time for some speed skiing on the groomed. On day 3 I took a level 7/8 mountain tour with some Whistler Mountain Hosts. We skied fast, we skied hard and we covered much of the mountain, from Alpine bowls to the Dave Murray Downhill and everything in between. The Atomics were GREAT on hard snow, very quick edge-to-edge (quicker than the Bandit XX due to a slightly narrower waist), excellent in short-radius turns, and had absolute cat-claw grip on hard-pack.

On day 4, my friend and I got up early in search of maximum vertical feet. We made it out while all the runs were freshly groomed, it was cold, the sun was out, and there were no lines. We did 10,000 vertical feet before 10AM, 20,000 vertical before lunch, and finished the day with nearly 35,000 vertical feet. The Atomics turned so easily that my legs did not even burn that night. Early in the morning, we did 8,000 vertical feet without stopping (4x2,000 vert runs, skied right on to the chairs without waiting in line) and it was effortless!

Hard Snow Grade: A+

Day 5: Time for Coast Range Concrete! 8 inches of wet, sticky heavy snow fell overnight and continued at quite a clip all day. Conditions were very variable, with patches of hard pack underneath the slop. The Atomics carved through the wet snow without difficulty. They never got pushed around, never took a nose dive, never lost an edge when hitting the hard pack. Despite the heavy snow, my legs were in heaven - the skis were doing all the work!

Crud Grade: A+

Bindings: The Atomic bindings allow you to move the binding back and forth on the ski through 4 different positions (>1" difference between fore and aft positions). I skied the first day on the position second from the front, and then moved to the front position on day 2. I was so thrilled with how responsive the skis were in this position I never tried any of the others.

1) Skis very squirelly when trying to run straight. I got into a tuck a few times on the flats and the skis were all over the place underneath me. As long as they are turning they are happy.
2) Tails are softer than I am used to. I am coming off 10 year-old Salomon S9000 3S slalom racers (~205cm) which are very stiff in the tail, and pack a lot of rebound. The Atomics obviously do not launch me out of turns like the Salomons did, but the amount of rebound was still great, even for a big guy like me. However, sometimes I found myself falling into the backseat without the stiffness in the tails throwing me forward again - I need to correct this on future outings.
3) Even with all the new snow at Whistler, I hit a lot of rocks : Who would you recommend in the Seattle area for some basework (just some shallow gouges)?

Overall these skis are very versatile, and really shine on hard snow and moderate amounts of powder and crud. I would highly recommend them for the skier who likes to ski the whole mountain and does not routinely stray beyond ski area boundaries.

[ January 02, 2003, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: dbergstrom ]
post #2 of 3
I do also own R:9.22 at 180. The review is excellent.
Regarding your question about repair places:
I repair at Sturtevant's, Bellevue or
at SKI & BIKE, Bothell(www.bikesale.com).
Both of them do good job. (They both repaired
once my 922 in this season : ).
It will costs you $30(base fix). Though if it is deep core
shots it could be more expensive.
BTW, my other skis is K2 Enemy at 173. I love them more
than 922. They are stiffer and quicker.
They are relatively not expensive.
In my opinion they perform better in bumps and crude
than some high end Atomics(922,1020) and Volkls(g3).

post #3 of 3

Great review !...thanks...just what I was looking for.

I was wondering if you had tried them in another length?..I myself have just bought a pair at the same length and am considerably lighter(185-190lbs) on a 5'9" frame(male). I havent skied them yet but 180cm's seems short for your size and was wondering if they ski short and perhaps a another length for me might do me well(shorter)??
Your level and terrain choices seem quite comparable to mine.
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