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Beta Race/others- What length Atomic Race skis?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
A little background:
I've been racing in an intramural league (think NASTAR-level) for a couple years and raced in a couple Masters races this year (SL and GS). I'm 5'11", 190lbs. My dual-purpose "race" skis were 180cm Atomic 9.18s, which did well enough on the smaller races but definitely got a little choppy on the Masters courses (most likely technique more than anything). I decided that next year I'd get ski actually designed for racing.

I think I've settled on the Atomic Beta Race 9.20 and 9.12. Since the end of the season is here, I can get "off" size skis for pretty cheap (190cm 9.20s and 170cm 9.12s). I'm a little concerned about the extra length, though. I'd rather not develop bad habits in either discipline because I have improper equipment. Everything I've read suggests that they are close to what I'm looking for, but I would appreciate the extra input.
Thanks
post #2 of 16
I would shave off 10 cm on each of them and I wont be surprized if someone suggests going 150 cm on 9.12

VK
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response, VK.

I was thinking the 9.20 in a 180 would have been too short to be stable at speed. The next step up was the 190, which was slightly longer than I was looking for (186 or so), but not excessively so.

In my intramural league, there was a guy who consistently beat me in "speed" events (closer to Masters GS speeds). While my shorter 9.18s (180) helped me to win in more technical events, his longer Volkls and Dynastars (193) were stomping me left and right when we were basically going straight. I chalked it up to technique until he let me try his skis. Even with the most ragged start I can remember, I still managed to shave off around .50 seconds from my best time with the 9.18s (same day, same gates). I figured there was something there. The overall condition of the skis were almost identical (I think I had the better wax that day), and we were racing on groomed hardpack.

Are GS lengths dropping as dramatically as slalom lengths this year? I thought the general length averaged about 190cm for GS. Has something happened in ski design that makes them go as fast or faster in a short length, or is this just for maneuverability to aid in line selection?

With the 170cm 9.12, my thought was that it could serve as a dual purpose slalom and GS training ski. I was concerned about going too short, since the skis seem less forgiving without the added length to prop you up when you get in the back seat.

Any opinions?
post #4 of 16
Stability at speed is not just the ski length but also the ski construction. If you are serious about racing at Masters level I woiuld suggest getting the top of the line model such as 10.22 or the new GS11.21 ski. While top racers of your height and weight may be racing the skis which are 185cm - 195cm long, going down 5 -10 cm in length is a good adjustment for a bit lower ability.
Masters GS while speedy are not flat and open like NASTAR courses, so having a longer ski will not help - you will need to turn.

9.12 is a slalom ski. WC guys ski slalom on 155cm - 165cm. Using it as GS training ski will most probably will screw you up - you want to train on the same ski you race on (I mean top races will have a separate pair just for the race, but they would train if not on the same model then on a year older one). 9.12 in 170cm length is a really weird combination I never saw on Masters curcuit.
If you are afraid about being thrown in the back seat too much and need a ski to adjust your technique with, I suggest 9.16 in 170 cm length. It is stiffer than 9.12 and less sidecut works better with that length.

VK
post #5 of 16
Yeah, what VK said.

I have been using a 186cm GS11 for the last few weeks, and it has been great for masters' type courses. Most of the season I was on a 193cm (measured 195cm) Team model 10.22, and for the same courses was too slow, since the sidecut was too straight, and the tip was too stiff for the softer snow. I am still deciding between a 191 or the 186. Since both have the same turn radius, I am leaning to the longer length for higher speed stability when I do run FIS compliant courses.

For slalom, you might want to consider a 164cm SL11. 13m turn radius, but it is stiffer through the middle than the SL9 (same ski as 9.12). Using a slalom ski for GS will screw you up more than you think. I witness it every day I train GS. The guys on SL skis become too stagnant in the middle and end of the turn, where you need to be aggressive to accelerate out of the turn. THe SL ski initiates very easily, but if you put the power down, watch out. GS skis for GS, SL skis for SL. Quite simple logic.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Fair enough. I find that race ski lengths over the last year have shrunk, but the basic ski design has not. I guess it takes awhile to absorb each new design.

Your suggestions in mind, I'm back in the hunt for a good GS ski in a 180-185cm length. We'll see what turns up next...

A local race-oriented shop recommended the 9.12 to me in a 170, and Peter Keelty has a similar suggestion. What exactly would be wrong with the 9.12 in the longer length? What makes the 9.16 a stiffer ski? I haven't been able to find out much information comparing the two.
post #7 of 16
My two cents.. I owned the 9.20 in 190, and thinking I would buy a dedicated slalom and thereby have both GS and slalom covered, I went for the 9.16 in 170. What I learned was mostly that the 9.20, even at the level you mention (Nastar and Masters, exactly what I am doing) is too soft, and not really a race ski, but rather a crossover type ski. I dumped the 9.20 and used the 9.16 the past two years for everything.. gs, slalom, and leisure. Next year I need to decide if I should go for a new slalom or gs.. it's a tough decision because the 9.16 is a great ski, but on mostly icy east coast stuff, they work great as a GS, believe it or not. So maybe I'll get both?? :
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. I've decided against the 9.20 and have decided on 183cm Volkl P40s instead. I've skied these before and they were my second choice, but I was worried that I would be going too short and be giving up too much stability at speed. 10.22s are too rich for my blood right now, and they may be a little much for me.

I'm still kinda wavering on the slalom skis.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I got a pair of race stock 160cm 9.16s (at least I was told they were race stock). Just to confirm what the store owner said, how do you tell race stock Atomics from ordinary rack Atomics? Obviously, they've been matched and graded in various ways, but are there any markings on the skis themselves? I'm just trying to figure out if I've been fed a line or not.

Either way, I got the skis for a decent price and will probably have a blast on them for the rest of the season. I just wanted to know if this was the kind of shop that would try to deceive the ill-informed. I try to support the local shops whenever I can (and it doesn't cost me much more), but they have to support me too.

Thanks for the advice. The race community up here is fairly small and somewhat isolated, so I try to get as much information from as many sources as possible.
post #10 of 16
I guess it's too late, however, I own next years SL9 in a 160 as well as a 9.16 in the same length.

I really prefer the SL9. Simply stated it has much more energy and is turnier. Is that a word?

I realize that it is more than likely due to the different shape.

I'm 5'10" 180 lbs.
post #11 of 16
AK Mike,

If they are race stock, they should have a hand written number on one of or both tails in a format like XX/YY. If they are team stock skis, they are not from the 01/02 season. Short team length was 155, and long was 171 (or 173). No 160.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's the marking on the skis. I knew they weren't this year's model, but since they were a good price and I wanted shorties, they seemed like the way to go. Wow, now I can impress all of my friends at the ski slope...

Looking at the SL11, I can honestly say I think they are about butt-ugly. What was Atomic thinking? Does a golf-ball topsheet make a ski go faster? I can't believe they did it for aethetics. At least they aren't as bad as some of the others in the lineup.

Thanks again.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Spent a few hours on the 9.16s today, and they are just plain fun. Now I know what everyone was talking about. I could get a pretty good variety of turn shapes/size from them, and they were fun just to free ski. However, my freeskiing today looked like a bunch of slalom turns. Just a blast.

Thanks again for the advice. You guys were dead on.
post #14 of 16

Atomic Beta Race 9.20 170 w/ 614 Bindings (2002 model?)

Brand new to forum.....I just purchased this set-up with Atomic custom risers already mounted on them and can't wait to try them. My first trip wil be to Snowshoe. Any advice/warnings/direction from more experienced people? I ski all the intermediate (blue?) trails with no problem and most black diamonds with a respectable level of confidence/control. I'm also looking to find some product information if anyone knows of a source. Thanks
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ncjeff1
Brand new to forum.....I just purchased this set-up with Atomic custom risers already mounted on them and can't wait to try them. My first trip wil be to Snowshoe. Any advice/warnings/direction from more experienced people? I ski all the intermediate (blue?) trails with no problem and most black diamonds with a respectable level of confidence/control. I'm also looking to find some product information if anyone knows of a source. Thanks
From your description of where you ski, it is probably a good choice (not knowing the details about your stats). That ski is a good carver at decent speed and demands a good technique.

If that is the one with the gray-ish plate, there has been an issue with it loosening up. With your skis separated, grab one of the plates, wiggle it, and see if there is any looseness between the plate and the ski. If so, not to worry; a good shop can fix the problem with a minor repair.
post #16 of 16
I own Sl9 in the 170 size pretty versitale, they will ski slalon good if not great depending on the course, and have been fast at the open cup races and nastar races i have been doing this year. I ma going to try some master next year myself and might use them till i get a more serouis GS ski and eventually a more serouis Sl ski. The adjustable binding is you friend set them back for GS and foward for SL, they have done both fine in fact on Nastar course the tight raduis is great for the first couple turns. Not to mention that freeskiing them they do everything powder pretty good, just be carefull in bumps.
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