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Atomic R9 or R11 - which one

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I’ve been reading this forum for some time now and have learned a lot from all of you. I’m a 48 year old male, 5’6’’, 160 lbs and currently ski on an older (01 or 02) Atomic BR 10.20, 170cm, which I like. I consider myself an advanced skier, but certainly not an expert. I most enjoy carving long fast turns on the groomed or in the crud, but also want to improve off piste and in the bumps. However, the majority of my skiing is at a small midwestern hill that frequently consists of a scraped off hardpack.

I’m considering upgrading to last years Atomic R9 or R11 in a 160 or 170. I’ve read some of the previous posts regarding these skies and suspect I would be happy with either one, but I’m not sure which I’d like best and what length. Has anybody skied both, and what differences might I expect. Will the R9 give me stability and edge hold on hardpack. Is the R11 to advanced for a non expert. I’ve been told that 160s are a lot of fun. Would I be giving up much by going with the 160 rather than a 170. Thanks for any thoughts you could give me
post #2 of 14

R9 or R11

The R11 is the newer version of the ski you have only easier to initiate a turn and slightly livlier. You will sacrifice stability with the R9 but it is much more snappy.

If you like the 170 10:20, get the R11 in the 170
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was leaning towards a 160 R11 mainly because I found it availabe for $160 less than a 170. But I also thought that since most of my skiing is on a small hill the 160 would be best. What do I sacrafice by going with the shorter 160?
post #4 of 14
If you are not an expert skier the R9 will be better for you. If you want the R11 a 160 will be fine for your size.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
If I go with the R9 would 160 be to short. What are the disadvantages to a non expert going with the R11.
post #6 of 14
I, too, would suggest the R11, and the 160 would not be too short, I don't think, given your weight and skill. They may not be as stable at higher speeds, though, so you'll need to think through that.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
I’ve reread some of the other posts in this forum and have additional questions. Seems a lot of people purchase a ski above their ability and then are unable to ski it properly or enjoy it as much as they might a more appropriate level ski. On the other hand I’ve read comments stating last years R11 is “more forgiving”. Although I’d like to improve off piste, my favorite is long turns on the groomed. I want a ski that I can “ski all day” and not get spanked later in the day when I just want to take it easy and cruise. As an intermediate/advanced, but not an expert skier, is the R11 too much ski? I don’t feel like my current (2001 I think) BR 10.20 is too much ski. Has anybody, especially an intermediate to advanced skier skied both the R9 and the R11 and tell me what differences I might expect.
post #8 of 14
I skied the 10.20s for a couple of seasons in a 190 (5'*8" 165) and found it an excellent all round ski with plenty of performance.

I can't comment on the R9 and R11 not having skied them but I suspect that you would find the R9 a lesser ski than the R11. If you have been happy on the 10.20s, I don't think you will find the R11 to be too much ski, particularly if you are going to the 160.
post #9 of 14
I'm 45, 6', 175# on the '03/04 R11. I bought it as I demoed the '02/03 R11.20 the year before and really liked it. I think R11.20 got stiffened up a bit went it became the R11. My only complaint is that the stiffness, particularly in the shovel, can be a little bit of a handful in ugly bumps and lump snow. It's rock solid stable though in any conditions so it's a trade off. It certainly is more than enough ski for me. I've demoed a lot of stuff this year and haven't found anything I like enough to replace it. The perfect ski for me would be the R11 10% softer in the shovel and 5% softer in the tail.

Being 5'6", I would think you'd want the R11 in 160cm if you did go for it.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Maybe I should consider the R10.
post #11 of 14
The R10 should definately be a consideration. There is a huge gap between the R9 and R11. I tried the R11 and it is too much ski (too stiff/not forgiving) for what I need it for, but the R9's were not stable enough at high speeds. I ended up opting for another brand, even though I had skied a lot of Atomics previously. If the R10 is between the two, it could be the answer to your need.
post #12 of 14
I'm 33yrs old, 5'11", 173lbs, upper intermediate level skier. I bought a pair of 170cm Atomic R10's earlier this year based on the advice I received in the forums here.

The R10's are fantastic skis. I had them up in Whistler a few weeks back I couldn't believe how great these skis felt. The conditions weren't the greatest due to the warm weather at Whistler, but the skis just loved to carve.

I'm taking them up to Tremblant this weekend, so we'll see how they perform there. I can't wait to ski them again.

It does sound to me that the R10 would be a good ski for you as well, as long as you can find some in the size you need. I was lucky to get a killer deal on mine earlier this year but I noticed the ski shop where I bought them has long since cleared out of them. They still have a few stacks of R11's left though.

post #13 of 14
Just an update as to my experience with the R10's.

I previously posted about skiing them at Whistler and now I have skiied them for 3 days at Mont Tremblant.

The conditions at Tremblant varied over the three days that I was there. On the first day it was clear and sunny. There was a good base of snow but definitely a fair amount of ice patches, especially on the steeper black diamonds. The second day was similar, except it clouded over. Finally on the third day we had lots of fresh snow. This was a couple of weeks ago and Tremblant caught a bit of the tail end of the storm that hit the U.S. east coast.

Overall the skis performed extremely well. I started each day with a couple of cruises down some blue runs that were recently groomed. The skis allowed me to make effortless GS turns as my legs warmed up. As I progressed to steeper slopes and quicker turns, the skis continued to edge well and felt very stable. Towards the end of the day I did notice a little loss of edge hold, but this was due to the skis getting dull from the icey areas. I used a 90 degree IceBuster edge sharpening tool to do my edges each evening.

One thing that I've really noticed with the R10 is how great they feel when I ski a little faster. It seems the extra speed allows be to load the skis with a little extra energy going into the turn only to have that energy returned back as I come out of the turn. I've noticed this with both quick turns and longer carved turns. The skis remain utterly stable at faster speeds and certainly inspire a great deal of confidence.

On the third day, when there was lots of fresh snow, I really had a lot of fun with these skis. The skis easily transitions from hardpacked areas to soft drifts near the edge of the runs. The skis continued to turn at will and always felt extremely stable.

Some of my positive experience with these skis is probably related to the fact that these are the first "shaped skis" that I have owned as the last ski I had previously skied was a K2 MSL. That being said, I am really am enjoying skiing more than ever with the Atomics.

post #14 of 14
The R11 is a pretty stiff ski, it won't help you out in the bumps at all.

I have the R10's, which I find great, but I do prefer to ski bumps on my Burnin Luvs.
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