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Atomic Nomad Crimson

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just had a great week on my new Nomad Crimson's in Val Cenis/Termignon, France.

My stats:
5’9”; 210lbs; Diablo Fire boots balanced by Bud Heishman; advanced level skier trying to improve off-piste ability.

Ski Spec:
128 / 86 / 114 sidecut
18m radius
Great crimson colour!

Other skis owned:
06/07 SX:B5’s in 166cm.

Previously owned skis:
I’ve recently sold my beloved 04/05 162cm Metron B5’s after 7 weeks of use & my 04/05 175cm M:EX’s which I’d used for just one week. I’ve also got a pair of 03/04 Sugar Daddy’s in 173cm which are reluctantly up for sale.

Due to UK airline’s weight restrictions I was looking for an all mountain ski with an off-piste bias to make up a two ski quiver with my SX:B5 piste skis.

Neox 412 bindings were required to match my SX’s so I can take both pairs of skis ‘in the flat’ & just take one pair of toe & heel pieces in my carry-on luggage. I can then get both skis & my avi gear within the 12kg ski bag limit.

Weight Comparison, per pair:
03/04 173cm Sugar Daddy’s c/w CR412 - 7.28kg
04/05 175cm Metron M:EX c/w Neox 412 - 7.76kg
04/05 162cm Metron B5 c/w Neox 412 - 7.72kg
06/07 166cm SX:B5 c/w Neox 412 - 7.32kg
07/08 176cm Nomad Crimson c/w Neox 412 - 6.39kg

Prior to use I’d trimmed back the sidewall, polished the factory 3 degree side angle & deburred the edge, hot scrape cleaned the bases & done two applications of Zoom base renew wax & one Zoom lime uni wax – all with loads of brushing etc.

As usual I had the Neox 412’s set to the forward position which matches my +9cm balancer setting. I usually have to be a cm further forward than this to achieve my balancer setting so the mounting plate must be positioned slightly further rearward by the factory than on my other/previous Atomics.

The first two to three days skiing were typical spring conditions with hardpack first thing which softened slightly to perfect piste snow mid/late morning, turning to spring corn later in the day. Most of the snow below 1800m was man-made. The temperature dropped mid-week & there was snow each night which gave us great powder skiing in anything from boot to knee depth depending upon the location. There were also certainly a few places were I could push my 125cm poles right down to the grips. The resort was so quiet (not one lift queue all week) that I was still finding fresh powder on my last runs of the last two day.

I hadn’t demo’d the Crimson’s before delivery so I initially went through my usual testing drills to get the feel of them which comprises of side slipping into braquage turns into skidded long, medium, short turns & then long carved turns progressively tightening the radius to as short as possible. The Crimson’s gave me a lot of confidence during these drills & definitely have the Atomic ‘feel’. Low speed manoeuvrability was noticeably good. I was initially aware that a bit of patience was required for them to respond compared to my super turny Metrons but once I’d got used to their longer length (these are the longest skis I’ve owned) they handled well very indeed.

Whilst my other Atomic’s are noticeably heavier than the Crimson’s they have a low swing weight & do ski light so to be honest I didn’t notice any weight difference in the Crimson’s whilst on the snow. However carrying them to the slope every day & backpacking them up a ridge is really were their relative lightness paid off.

The skis are pretty quick edge to edge for an 86mm underfoot ski & I could confidently ski ‘slalom type’ lines without feeling that I could trip myself up.

The Crimson’s are softer than the M:EX’s which makes them even softer than the M:B5’s & noticeably softer than the SX:B5’s. Whilst both B5’s are certainly better hard snow performers I was surprised how well the Crimson performed on hard snow, certainly equalling if not surpassing the M:EX’s. Whether the ‘TFC Sectors’ & the ‘Nano Technology’ actually works or not I don’t know but these skis are definitely very torsionally stiff which is really noticeable on hard snow, giving the usual great Atomic edge hold both on steeps & when carving blues. As with edge quickness, the higher rail mounted Neox’s help in this respect.

The Crimson’s have less rebound than my other skis & they don’t give you that same kick-in-the-pants response when driven on piste compared to my other skis but that’s exactly what I’ve got my SX:B5’s for. However their softer flex did allow me to bend the ski into a wide range of radii when carving which allowed me to vary the turns & not just ‘park & ride’.

Also their softer flex gave me waaay more pressure control in powder which is exactly what I wanted, as opposed to the on/off switch on my Metron’s. The 86mm underfoot gave my fat frame plenty of float in the depths I was skiing & my powder skiing has really progressed due to these skis – which I put down to being able to progressively manage their flex & to do it more evenly over both skis.

The only bumps that I encountered were small, soft & easy so were no test for the Crimson's however anything softer flexing than my SX:B5's is gonna help me in bumps!

The terrain I was skiing was not really suitable for a super high speed test but I certainly skied them on-piste as fast as I felt comfortable & had no stability problems or tip vibration etc. I was able to straight line schuss one red run & they were rock steady when flat (without that disconcerting squirrely feeling that my M:B5’s had) & I felt no need to keep them slightly on edge.

Finally, a Nomad Blackeye user on the snowHeads forum has commented on the durability of the top sheet on his skis. I must say that the top sheet does seem soft compared to my other Atomic’s & Deb’s bomb proof Burnin’ Luv’s. However it’s certainly not as soft as that on the Scott Missions on which I’ve done a number of top sheet repairs for my customers. Base & edge durability on the Crimson’s was well up to Atomic’s normal standards based on the lack of damage caused by the few hidden nasties that I hit during the week.

The Crimson’s were superb all week in all of the conditions I encountered & they certainly make a great all mountain one ski quiver with an off-piste bias. With their lighter weight & when combined with my SX:B5 piste blasters they fulfil my requirements perfectly.
post #2 of 14
I haven't looked at the construction of this ski. What kind of core does it have?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
trekchick, it's certainly got one of Atomic's synthetic cores but I don't know the exact layering. I've got Atomic's 07/08 Dealer Catalogue & it doesn't give any construction details on any of their models.

I must say how surprised I was that I liked this ski so much after having used my short & stiff B5's for so long. Just like the B5's it just blasted through anything.
post #4 of 14
I was suprised how soft the ski was. I am concerned how it will hold up over time.
post #5 of 14
I've always equated a stiffer ski with an ability to blast through the crud but some of the lighter skis are getting some good reviews on this.
The snoop comes to mind.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
trekchick, I was close to getting the Snoop & there does seem to be quite a performance overlap with that ski. Thought the slightly narrow underfoot Crimson would be better for on piste use.

Philpug, me too. Time will tell.
post #7 of 14
Spyderjon: A great review, and especially relevant for me since I own almost all of your other skis.

The Nomad Crimson seems close in geometry to the M:EX's you already have.

Why did you make the switch, and what differences have you noticed?
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post
Spyderjon: .....The Nomad Crimson seems close in geometry to the M:EX's you already have.Why did you make the switch, and what differences have you noticed?
The reasons for the switch was really the good prices I could sell my existing skis for & the tighter baggage allowances that the UK low cost airlines have introduced in recent months, in particular a 12kg ski bag limit.

I'd bought my M:B5's at the right price, did 7 weeks on them & sold them for a good price & I'd done just one week on my M:EX's & loved them but sold them for quite a bit more than I paid for them.

I then managed to get a pair of last year's SX:B5's at an extremely low cost which gave me a dedicated piste ski - & boy do they rip! My Sugar Daddy's just aren't going to get enough use in Europe so they're up for sale, or they will be at the start of next season.

So I was looking for a mid 80mm underfoot light weight soft snow ski with Neox's & the Crimson fitted the bill exactly. Mind you so does the Snoop. I haven't skied the Snoop but I understand that overlaps somewhat with the M:EX's performance(?). I can't figure out the Atomic range at the moment as there seems a lot of overlap between the Slim, Sweet & Snoop's & the Nomad range? I opted for the Crimson over the Snoop as I thought it would be a bit quicker edge to edge being 4mm narrower underfoot & I still ski a lot on piste.

IMO the Crimson is a better soft snow ski than the M:EX, probably due to it's softer flex as opposed the the extra 2mm underfoot, whilst the M:EX is better on piste etc. Whilst they're both excellent all mountain skis I'd describe the M:EX as 60:40 on/off & the Crimson 60:40 off/on.
post #9 of 14

Much as I would have expected. I agree, Atomic seems to be overlapping the "Daddy" line with the Nomad line. I'm not sure how they differentiate the designs.

post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato View Post

Much as I would have expected. I agree, Atomic seems to be overlapping the "Daddy" line with the Nomad line. I'm not sure how they differentiate the designs.

This is certainly correct and Atomic does not quite know how to differentiate them either. However, the Crimson and Snoop skis have pretty different personalities. The Crimson is firmer than the Snoop in the forebody and generates more "pull" from the tip when edged up, and has slightly better grip. While the Snoop is an absolutely great do all ski, it has a slight bias toward softer snow. I would say the Crimson is a little biased the other way.

As a market observation, there is quite a bit of this overlap going on. For example Ficher is building burly plated laminate skis in 76 and 82mm widths while not letting go of their lighter and more nimble AMC series of skis in 76mm and 79mm widths. As a bonus they have flat directional skis in 78 and 84mm widths. Volkl is building big shouldered carvers in 73, 76, 79, and 82mm widths with practically the same marketing descriptions (minus the "switch" differences).

This should be a lesson to all concerned that a caliper is a nearly useless tool in predicting ski performance.

post #11 of 14
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post

This should be a lesson to all concerned that a caliper is a nearly useless tool in predicting ski performance.

Not to mention that there seem to be way too many models on the market these days, many of which seem to fulfill similar roles, even within a company's own line. For example, Head has in their Supershape line: SS, SS Speed, SS Chip, SS Magnum. That makes 3 of 4 skis that are VERY similiar. And, that doesn't count the iXRC laminate series (1400 Chip and 1200) which are very similiar as well. Then, add the freeskiable "race skis" (iSL, iSL RD) and you have, what, 8 hard-snow skis which are quite similiar, many of which are basically identical? Head isn't alone in this, either. Ski companies are doing their best to confuse the hell out of everyone. When was the last time you saw Honda introduce 8 different models of mid-size sedan? Last time I checked, there was only one: the Accord!

FWIW, I really liked the Nomad Blackeye, and it seemed to be the most versatile, and most fun! model from Atomic I have yet skied. I didn't care for the Snoop though: it was light and edgy, and I like a more damp, stable, and predictable feel. Hopefully the Crimson is more or less a wider version of the Blackeye: if so, it will be a great ski.
post #12 of 14
Much as I would have expected. I agree, Atomic seems to be overlapping the "Daddy" line with the Nomad line. I'm not sure how they differentiate the designs.

Side Cut is the difference.

Metron 11-14 meter small
Nomad 15-18 meter medium
Daday 18-40 meter long
post #13 of 14
You can say that again.....................

post #14 of 14
I have a pair of 174 SX:B5s and absolutely love them, they give me unparalleled grip and confidence, but sometimes when the conditions are not right for those skis, ie bumpy ungroomed trails I want something softer because trying to turn a 174 SX:b5 between bumps is like trying to twist a rail... Do you guys think Blackeye or Crimson would be a good ski in all around as well as between bumps?
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