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Atomic Hawk Questions

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I got fitted on Sat. and what my bootfitter and I decided was the best fit for me was the new Atomic Hawk H100’s. I got footbeds made and will be going back in a few weeks to get fully fitted.

The Hawks have a very smooth flex to them, much more like the Krypton Cross’s I tried on than anything else, though you could really feel the flex over your instep which was a little odd (and the whole point of the Hawks apparently) Certainly a much more even, smooth flex than the Technica Magma’s (which just hurt everywhere…) or the Speed Machine 14’s that I also tried on.

I did some searching, and there really isn’t much on Atomic’s new Hawk boot line. This is also the first pair my bootfitter’s sold and while he’s skied on them at a demo day last year and liked them, I can’t find a lot else about them…

Can anyone give me some info on the boots? They seem like they’ll have the performance I want and certainly are comfortable (or at least I know they will be once everything is said and done!) But where do they stack up against other boots in this category? For that matter what category are they in?
post #2 of 25
Being a new boot design there isn't much data or feedback on it yet that I have heard. I chose not to stock them in my shop though I did not get a chance to ski them, I am skeptical of the design, but it is based on gut feeling and not actual testing of the boot so take it for what it's worth...0.

Let us know what you think of it after you have skied it a bit!! Or PM me about your thoughts on it.
post #3 of 25
I skied the hawx last season and felt the flex did assist with smoothness throughout the turn. the issue i have with it at present is it is in effect a concept boot, there is only one fit so if it fits you then no problem if it doesn't then find another boot, when they create it in all or at least more of their last widths then it will become a viable line to stock

re stretching, with careful heating it is possible to increase the width across the forefoot [at the gills] by up to 8mm

good luck
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
It seemed to fit my foot pretty well. It was quite tight everywhere but other than a pressure point on the outside ankle when flexed (which was present on all boots I tried with the Krypton being by far the worst) there were no real hot spots.

The boot fitter had a hard time with me as he said that I have a very wide for-foot and a fairly narrow ankle. Most boots that fit the for-foot also meant that I could lift my ankle easily and a lot… I hate ankle lift as I’ve always had it in a boot and I feel that it is one of the primary reasons holding back my skiing. I never feel totally comfortable on really steep steeps as my ankle lifts and my big toe gets pinched.


Technica Magma's caused my arch to seize up with-in minutes. Head Mojo's were noodles.Krypton's might have worked, but they would have involved a lot of fitting, but were close-ish, well other than almost rupturing my achilles when I flexed hard... Speed Machine 14's toe box was way to tight and the ankle was loose.

The hawk had a nice tight ankle pocket with room for the area right behind my toes (I don’t have a 6th toe problem, it’s more like duck feet)

The flex was interesting and quite apparent. You could really see the forfoot flex. From what I’ve found on the web it seems like it might help initiate turn in and give good bounce coming out of a turn. I would guess that putting a plate under the binding would negate anything the boot tries to do as the ski isn’t going to flex much underfoot. I’ll probably notice it much more with my 8000’s with px-12 bindings than the Elan GSX with plates…

I am worried that it is a concept boot too and the fact that nothing says what type of skier it is for! It’s a 100 flex boot (there is a 110 but the shop doesn’t carry them). I’m just hoping it’s going to be enough boot for me. I’m Male, 28, 5’10 & 195lbs. Level 8 Skier, 20-25 days a year (60% east-40% west), want to start doing more off piste (now do about 20%). My old boots were Rossi Power 70’s (a mistake and up-sell by the shop that told me they were comfortable but expert boots) and I could bend them like pretzels. I don’t want to make the same mistake this time…
post #5 of 25
when i say concept boot i mean as there is no other last with the same technology, so if it fits great if not then it is no good. the boot was designed by Sven Coomer of ZipFit fame [amongst other older designs including the original Nordica grand Prix] so the design in my eyes is not in question, he does sometimes come up with some weird and wonderful concepts but all the ones i have seen so far work well.
post #6 of 25
I wish I had something to tell you, but I haven't skied it. I have tried a hawx on like you, but that is a world away form skiing it. My local shop is only stocking the h100. I will say that in my package coming from atomic I included the H110, which I won't get to ski in for several weeks. The flex in the h100 I tried on seemed a little soft for my current tastes and I'm hoping the H110 will be better suited to my tastes stiffness wise. I'd like to hear back from you on what think when and if you do ski it.

Cem, was it more of a shock absorbing smoothing or a centering flex that contributed to the smoothing?
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
This is taken from Footloose Sports (Sven Coomer, the guy that according to CEM, came up with the idea) (review found at http://www.footloosesports.com/revie...e.php?prid=362) and is by far the best review of the Hawx line that I've been able to come across. I'm putting it up in full here for the info of people like me that can't find much or are interested. Mods, fell free to remove if it offends...

"There is a whole new feel with this boot.

The initial concept of the I-Flex was to lock the ankle flex and allow the boots soles to flex at the forefoot (the metatarsal heads). Controlling ankle flex (dorsi-flexion) is problematic because of the leverage of the lower legs, thighs and body mass above.

The Nordica GP CK 90 was one of the first boots we saw the idea implemented on. This was a stiff boot. There was a wide, rudimentary transverse cut made on the dorsal aspect of both the shells over the forefoot, unlike the current Atomic Hawx, the soles flexed very little if at all, but the effect was as anticipated…smoother, rounder, silkier feel without sacrificing direct, efficient transmission of energy. Succeeding incarnations of the idea were with off-the-shelf boots and also with several elite skiers in full race boots.

The idea is much more evolved and refined from then. The Hawx 110 has more ankle flex than did the venerable Nordica GP CK 90 and naturally implementation of the I-Flex now is more refined.

The flex ratings of the Hawx shells don’t really tell the whole story. The 110 designation is strictly ankle flex. With the additional sole and forefoot flexion of the Hawx, one could be skiing with a stiffer flex rating than one normally would without it being to the skiers’ detriment. Strictly speaking, limiting the range of motion at the cuff helps to better control the skiers’ center of mass and with the concurrent flexing of the sole and forefoot the problems associated with too stiff a boot are much less likely to occur.

The effect of the I-Flex on snow is at first a bit disconcerting but put any expectations aside-the boot skis quite well. Typical of the most recent generations of ski boot, the shell is precise and powerful. It is solid at medium and long radius turns at everything from slow to good speeds and displays able dexterity in short and medium turns. When the sole flexes in long turns at high speed it feels at first a bit unhinged-like going over the bars. Initially it seems to induce a crouched stance but as time goes on one learns to keep the upper body over center as one should.

The sole flexing at the forefoot lends a smooth progressive fluidity to the boot…and it does feel weird. For those who’ve skied in tele boots it will be less weird (the heels are still fixed so…still weird) but for those who haven’t it is an unusual feeling.

With the Atomic Metron and Bitech models and now the Hawx, the feet sit directly on the bottom of the boot so snow-feel and the sense for what the skis are doing is exquisite.

When the forefoot of the Hawx flexes the ball of the foot spreads out and assuming the fit is good, the feel is augmented further. This also enables proprioception-the pathway that lets the brain know what’s going on with the muscles. Good proprioception provides the capability to sense what’s going on with the skis and make quicker, subtler adjustments proactively rather than reacting to forces as they reach the body.

The Hawx is a shade narrower in the forefoot than the Metron series but doesn’t feel like it otherwise the shell is essentially the same with a close fitting mid-foot/heel and anatomical forefoot and toe box."

Now that I know more about it, part of me is hesitant to go with this boot. On the other hand it seems to fit really well (I would guess that the Atomic M100 would fit much similar) and it might really work...
post #8 of 25
Oi, Charlie, Garmont Shaman, G1 etc addresses the same concept, yet with a consideration for fit, modification and resistance?. How do you explain the flex system given the standard test has been applied without consideration for the forefoot 'Weekpoint'? Mate it's staring to sound like you've got a week spot for the Austrians. "Hawk will blow if you have the time?" Where do you work? Some small town where you see 5 skiers a day? Bag it, business is about honesty, integrity and passion.
post #9 of 25
Sorry, my last quote about business being about 'Honesty, Integrity and Passion' came from Denzel Washington in 'American Gangster' just before he shot he competition in the face. Not appropriate. Ha Ha.
post #10 of 25
Would you care to share your concerns Mithras?
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMALLZOOKEEPER View Post
Sorry, my last quote about business being about 'Honesty, Integrity and Passion' came from Denzel Washington in 'American Gangster' just before he shot he competition in the face. Not appropriate. Ha Ha.
Who were you addressing your post to?
post #12 of 25
RicB, Wear one this winter. Or just stick plastic on your wrists and see what good it does.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMALLZOOKEEPER View Post
RicB, Wear one this winter. Or just stick plastic on your wrists and see what good it does.
Aren't we just full of wisdom and insight today. :
post #14 of 25
RicB, i'm entitled, next years a leap year and the opportunity is unlikley to come around twice in 5years.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
Would you care to share your concerns Mithras?
I guess the biggest concern is buying into a "novelty" product that ends up either going nowhere or ultimately lambasted as an interesting idea that proved not to work or last. I guess I don't want to end up with the Elan Stealth of the ski boot world...

I also don't like the point that Sven Coomer made in his review where he says that on long high speed turns (my favorite) it feels like you're going over the handle-bars (until you get used to it...)

The other concern I have is when he said that you can ski this at a higher flex than you would normally. I've been unfortunate in buying boots that were under my performace needs in the past and I guess I'm a bit gun-shy not really knowing who this boot was built for. I don't want my skiing held back by my boots any longer!

On the other hand the boot has a great flex (only the Krypton flexes as nice and smooth). It may be really good at initializing turns. It will probably be really good off piste (where I want to grow my skiing ability most). It's probably a fun boot as it apparently "pops" you out of the turn much more when it unflexes the sole of the foot. It also probably has great snow feel.

At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure these are the boots I'm getting. They just fit too well and I have a serious problem left foot/ankle (4 breaks, ruptured achilles, peroneal ripped, flesh eating disease...) so getting something that's comfortable is important. I'm just hoping I'm not making a $600 mistake.
post #16 of 25
Mithras, I think those are very valid concerns. Even though I'm an atomic rep (they don't call us that) I have similar concerns. I already have a great boot from last year so I'm free to give it a try with an open mind. I don't race, but I do ski aggressively on all terrain and teach in all terrain including hiking terrain. Whatever boot I use I need to feel comfortable using in all these situations from a performance perspective, including carving it up on the groomers.

Does the principle behind the boot make sense? I think I'll just have to ski it to see for myself.

So far the few reviews I have come across say that it works, but the feel is different. That doesn't bother me, as I think that any major new boot technology will probably feel different. As we say in skiing, "if it doesn't feel strange, then theres been no change". I will be attending a meeting with the regional rep tomorrow, and I intend on questioning him on the hawx boot. In particular how it compares to the M110, which was my boot last year.

Well hopefully you have faith in your boot fitter, as fit is job number one in boots. On the other hand, I doubt atomic has made a lemon. Trust the fit, and your gut on the flex. When I tried them on I clicked into a demo ski to really feel the flex. Did you do the same by any chance?
post #17 of 25
Ok, coller/clog interface over forefoot flex pattern, is this consistant through sizes and resistance ratings?
post #18 of 25
Got a little more info on the hawx boot.

I think we need to keep in mind that the foot sits on a flat boot board in atomic boots. There is no toe spring in the boot board like you find in many other boot's boot board. So when the hawx boot flexes in the forefoot flex zone, it is allowing a small amount of natural foot flex and loading at the balls of the feet. This flex zone corresponds to the center of the running surface of the ski. Atomic talks about this, but they don't talk about the foot starting from a flat position. And in the same way a loaded forefoot expands and widens some, the hawx boot will expand as well, all relative to where the foot is loading.

The flex index of the boots are determined by varying the plastic stiffness in the boots, just like any other boot. The fore foot flex zone controls where and how the boot flexes, not how stiff the boot is. This zone size doesn't change through the sizes or flexes, but it is designed to keep the flex happening in the desired ball of the foot area.

The boot flex material is supposed to keep the boot flex index more consistent through temperature changes too. Something that other boots just don't do. I'm looking forward to testing this out.

The boot is more upright than any other boot on the market, I've heard 10 degrees elsewhere, but Dave said 12 degrees. Something I'm looking forward to testing as well. So we start from a more upright stance yet still have the needed range of motion through boot flex, but in a more controlled way than in previous boots. Couple this with the flattest ramp angle in the business and it should be a good skiing boot from a human perspective. This is the first off the shelf boot that is built within the specifications that DavidM's research suggested for forward lean and ramp angle. I'm not saying there is any connection, but it is interesting that they ended up with similar specs.

And yes, Atomic wants to take this concept into other lasts if things work out. They aren't going to throw out the baby with the bath water though. They are the fastest growing boot line in the industry. Though this hawx line is in direct competition with their M series and RT free ride series.
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by RicB View Post
Got a little more info on the hawx boot.

I think we need to keep in mind that the foot sits on a flat boot board in atomic boots. There is no toe spring in the boot board like you find in many other boot's boot board. So when the hawx boot flexes in the forefoot flex zone, it is allowing a small amount of natural foot flex and loading at the balls of the feet. This flex zone corresponds to the center of the running surface of the ski. Atomic talks about this, but they don't talk about the foot starting from a flat position. And in the same way a loaded forefoot expands and widens some, the hawx boot will expand as well, all relative to where the foot is loading.

The flex index of the boots are determined by varying the plastic stiffness in the boots, just like any other boot. The fore foot flex zone controls where and how the boot flexes, not how stiff the boot is. This zone size doesn't change through the sizes or flexes, but it is designed to keep the flex happening in the desired ball of the foot area.

The boot flex material is supposed to keep the boot flex index more consistent through temperature changes too. Something that other boots just don't do. I'm looking forward to testing this out.

The boot is more upright than any other boot on the market, I've heard 10 degrees elsewhere, but Dave said 12 degrees. Something I'm looking forward to testing as well. So we start from a more upright stance yet still have the needed range of motion through boot flex, but in a more controlled way than in previous boots. Couple this with the flattest ramp angle in the business and it should be a good skiing boot from a human perspective. This is the first off the shelf boot that is built within the specifications that DavidM's research suggested for forward lean and ramp angle. I'm not saying there is any connection, but it is interesting that they ended up with similar specs.

And yes, Atomic wants to take this concept into other lasts if things work out. They aren't going to throw out the baby with the bath water though. They are the fastest growing boot line in the industry. Though this hawx line is in direct competition with their M series and RT free ride series.

you could argue that it is in direct competition to the M series as it is the same last give ot take the 1mm difference where they have bonded the flex zone 'gills' into the shell

as for direct comparison with the RT free ride boot, the RT FR is 3mm narrower and on a different last altogether so i don't see an issue there. as i said earlier having skied the hawx last season it was interesting,the upright position and the flex zone definately seems to feel good but as with all boots if it doesn't fit your foot it is not the right boot
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEM View Post
you could argue that it is in direct competition to the M series as it is the same last give ot take the 1mm difference where they have bonded the flex zone 'gills' into the shell

as for direct comparison with the RT free ride boot, the RT FR is 3mm narrower and on a different last altogether so i don't see an issue there. as i said earlier having skied the hawx last season it was interesting,the upright position and the flex zone definately seems to feel good but as with all boots if it doesn't fit your foot it is not the right boot
Yeah the freeride is narrower as you say (98mm), but there is plastic to grind and stretch out to the same width as the hawx (101mm), the flexes are in same range, and the target skier is really the same.

It will be interesting to see if they do move the concept into other lines. The word I got was that their intention is to eventually move it to different lasts. For me the hawx is a fit, so I'm gonna ski it and see. It will be interesting to see how my instep pads integrate into the hawx. I think I will start out with the softer foam to allow more give over the instep.

How much time did you spend skiing the hawx?
post #21 of 25
Ric,
i had about half a day skiing in a variety of conditions, most was in soft snow, but i took a coupls of runs nown the north side on the slightly firmer [read boilerplate] snow, the best effect was noticed on the softer conditions where you can really notice the flex zone working, it is there on the firmer snow but not quite as noticeable.
i must say i probably could have done with more time, but i was there to test skis and was running out of time
post #22 of 25
RicB, the 'Flex zone' is effected by 'Fulcrum' therefore the fact that it's dimensions don't change with size mean that different resistance rated boots will have a huge impact on it's function, in short, they can't work.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SMALLZOOKEEPER View Post
RicB, the 'Flex zone' is effected by 'Fulcrum' therefore the fact that it's dimensions don't change with size mean that different resistance rated boots will have a huge impact on it's function, in short, they can't work.
Well common sense tells me that if what you say is true, then every other boot on the market is way worse off. All boots flex by the plastic deforming, and this deformation is driven by the fulcrum of the inverted pendulum that we are. That is why they get stiffer in the cold when the plastic resists deforming, and why weight is also a factor in our ability to flex our boots. Designing a boot where the deforming flex is not only focused to a certain area, but also controlled in this area as well by different plastics makes sense to me, and would seem to be a step in the right direction. Have you skied them?
post #24 of 25
Yes i have skied them, that's where my observations come from. The stiffer the boot, in this case, the more flex in the 'Flex zone' this reduces flex in the more important ankle area, i found it was well balanced around 90kn restsance, higher up in the range the boots only flexed in the 'Flexzone'. We had a pair for test through last season, we're not 'Ludites' and like the idea but the Poly-ether vs Rubber 'flexzone' issue prevented us taking it. We do however like the way Garmont have used the idea and feel this is the direction to take. I always ask myself, if a concept works well and helps a skier then we would see it on the World Cup circuit.
post #25 of 25
Several years ago while working at Snowbird with Steve Bagley under Svens direction he made a prototype Hawx from a Dobermann by cutting slots into the shell in the forefoot area to soften the boot. It allowed the boot to flex in the forefoot, although probably not as much as the current design.

His comments were that he could feel the boot flexing and liked the function.

Lou
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