EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Loved the Atomic RT86; Considering Nomad Crimson, Blackeye, Volkl Snowwolf?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Loved the Atomic RT86; Considering Nomad Crimson, Blackeye, Volkl Snowwolf?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I'm looking to grab a pair of new boards before heading to Jackson for the holidays, and have researched all I can find on these skis, but need your collective experience...

Me: 6'2" 195lbs, Level 8+, 35, skiied since age 3, raced (poorly) in college in the midwest, and like skiing bumps, chutes, trees etc.

So far this winter I've got plans made for a week each in Jackson, SLC, Heli outside SLC, cat skiing at Retallack (E BC, north of Nelson), Tahoe, and Vail.

I'll be skiing a mix of resort snow (praying for powder), steep trees/pow, bumps now and then, groomers now and then (intermediate friends) and a little 'slack country' here and there (nothing serious, and most of my more experienced buddies are knuckle-draggers so AT/randonee isn't much of a factor, I just walk with them, but might consider Marker Dukes on pow ski)

Here's my dilemma: I demoed the Atomic RT86's with AT bindings and loved 'em. I'm not nuts about the green color with my really bright Red Speed Machine 14 boots, it looks a little 'Santa Claus', but I may just have to get over that...

That said, I'm VERY curious about the Atomic Nomad Blackeye and Crimson as well as the Volkl Snowwolf. I would love to hear from anyone who has had experience with the RT86 and any of those skis, or anyone who liked the RT86 and has some other suggestions.

As for what I liked so much about the Atomic RT86 :; the light weight, snappy turn-in, great edging and general liveliness of the ski made me absolutely loathe my K2 Apache Recons (from 2006), which by comparison felt dull, lifeless and heavy as boat anchors. I don't ever want to use the K2's again, frankly.

While I'm sort of looking for a 'one ski quiver', I'm not averse to splitting that to two skis, with one for 'all mountain' and another dedicated to powder. I'd still expect the all-mountain ski to be fun in pow, but on a 'day-old resort pow' basis - i.e. 'getting some' here and there between the skied off 'junk'.

I'd also like to get some input on bindings. I like the idea of the versatility of the Marker Dukes, but low weight is the primary consideration. None of the other AT bindings have DIN above 12, which means I'd have others maxed out (I hate unnecessary ejection, and need DIN at 12 or 13 to keep me in sometimes). I might put the Dukes on an AT/Powder ski, and use a lightweight alpine binding on the 'all mountain' setup. What's the best lightweight alpine binding these days? I also imagine I'd mount some camber plates to gain a touch of extra leverage, similar to the positioning of an AT binding...

Re all of the above, cost is not an issue; I'll find a way to get the right gear (friends in the industry, google, credit cards, etc).

Thoughts? I need some help! Any insight is much appreciated!! (& thanks for reading)

- Sarge
post #2 of 11
While I can't comment on the AT86 or the Snowolf, I can give you considerable input on the Crimson and also on a ski that you are overlooking, the Snoop Daddy.

Both of these share the light weight and snappy feel that has been the hallmark of the 'daddy' series. Despite the similarities in shape, the Crimson and the Snoop are fairly different. The Snoop has been a real crowd pleaser for me. It was my personal ski of choice last year in this width range and is a really fun, light, quick ride. The Snoop has a pretty soft tip but a firm mid and aft flex and the well respected Atomic Grip underfoot.

The Crimson is also very light but is stiffer in the forebody and hence has more "pull" or grip from the tip than the Snoop. The Crimson is also slightly more damp than the Snoop. In general both have similar skill sets, but the Crimson feels more aggro while the Snoop is easy and playful without the "Buick" feel of the your K2's.

SJ
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply -

I forgot to mention the Snoop Daddy; for me they seem like a good candidate for a powder ski, if I'm picking up on the reviews correctly. (the Atomic Janarrk Bro is another consideration)

From what I've read, the criticism of the RT86 is they are a bit harsh in groomed and 'semi-packed' crud although even so they hold their line. They have been criticized as "molar-rattling" at high speed on skied-off resort slopes. I can live with that though, no problem. I had so much fun in the tight stuff that I am happy to overlook 'imperfections' like that. In my experience they were very reliable, and the 'harshness' doesn't matter a lot as I don't care much for groomers at all. If I'm skiing something that's a little skied-up it's bumps, and they were fun, quick and snappy in the bumps.

They gave me enormous 'dexterity' in the trees as they're happy to turn-in instantaneously. Last minute 'whoops - gotto go the other way' decisions are handled so easily - I was just amazed. I tried to buy them on the spot after my demo. The rep said they'd be something other than lime green for '08, so I waited, and they aren't - that's my only complaint (blue jacket, bright red boots and lime green skis, ugh). I don't care a lot, but my GF (ex pro rider and model) and friends will not let it alone...

But back to the Snoop's: They seem to be a good choice for a powder ski, though I wish I knew better how they compare to the Volkl Snowwolf. I tend to stay in the chutes and trees, with a bowl here and there on my way to more chutes and trees, so the Snoop seems like a good fit. If I were to go 'Snoop' for a powder ski, which would be the better 'all-mountain' tree/crud/bump/light pow companion: an RT86, Crimson or Blackeye?

I essentially want all the snappiness and turn-in eagerness of the RT86, but wonder whether either the Crimson or Blackeye is any better in that regard at all? If they aren't I'll own a set of lime green skis I guess...

Thanks again for your feedback, it's much appreciated!

For reference, here's a couple gratuitous shots of the type terrain where I'd be using the Snoop Daddy's: (me in red, a buddy in the blue)



post #4 of 11
I having trouble deciphering the distinction between "powder" ski and "all mountain" ski in your want list. It seems to me that you define them very similarly. IAC, from what you are describing, the Snoop seems to be the best answer. If you wanted a "real" powder ski with that light weight, then you might be looking at the Sugar Daddy. I don't see much point in owning both the Crimson and the Snoop.

Why are you so attracted to the Snowwolf? Unless you are really going to set it up as an AT ski, I don't see what it can offer you that some of the more mainstream alpine skis won't do better. If there were some magic in that ski as an alpine set up, you wouldn't be the first to figure it out and there would be at least some mild buzz around it.

I skied the Snoop in a 185 much of last season and a fair bit the season before. It is a great choice for a OSQ for anywhere in the west.

SJ
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm considering a sort of AT/slackcountry combo rig for my "powder" ski - i.e. something light that you could freeheel for slogs back to the road, getting out to the fresh stuff, etc, but which works well in fresh powder in steep trees, chutes, etc, where you still need quick reflexes (as opposed to a big stable 'open bowl bomber').

So the Snoop, the Atomic Janak/Jank Bro and Volkl Snowwolf all seem to qualify. (Snowwolf is a 'staff favorite' here - there are reviews here)

What I can't figure out is how much crossover there is between, say, Atomic's AT skis and their straight alpine skis - i.e. Snoop Daddy/Sugar Daddy vs Janak, and the RT86 vs Crimson/Blackeye.

I think, to be a little more clear, I'm trying to split this two ways:

(1) An 'all-mountain' AT powder ski (edging not so important, but still needs to be quick with short/medium turns for trees/chutes, and nice float) setup with AT 'slackcountry' ability (not all out backcountry b/c I'd use unfortunately heavier, but higher DIN bindings) and

(2) Snappy, light, all-mountain skis that work in bumps, trees, chutes, steeps etc 'on-piste', say four days after the last dump (i.e. tracked up, a little crud, etc). I really felt like the RT86's were a lot of fun under this condition, and am somewhat unsure which of Atomic's alpine lineup might be a similar and/or better fit (wondering if either of those performs better in those conditions, while still being light and trigger-fast to initiate turns, without losing edge control in high speed crud). These skis would likely see a lot of time on 'skied up' runs while 'looking' for whatever untracked stuff might remain in the trees here and there...

I might also further distance the two setups by going with a slight longer 'powder/AT' ski and slightly shorter 'all-mountain' ski.

My impression is the Crimson's might cover all of this, but a combination of Snoop Daddy/Janak/Snowwolf for pow/AT and RT86 or Blackeye for all-mountain might be best. At that, which skis satisfy the most?
post #6 of 11
I can't speak to #1 except to say that I have sold a fair number of Alpine skis to Tahoe AT'ers. They generally know what they want and the most common models chosen were Snoop Daddy, Sollie Tornado, and Legend 8000.

For #2 both the Crimson or the Snoop would be great choices.

For a combo of #1 and #2..............Snoop.

FWIW....Many AT and/or tele skis that are produced by major alpine brands are simply rebadged alpine models. I can't speak specifically to the SW or the RT86 though.

SJ
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
So in your estimation the Crimson would be better than the Blackeye for my all-mountain purposes, regardless of whether I had a separate 'powder' ski?

I kind of expect that most of the AT skis are rebadge products from alpine (I know for a fact that some of them are), and that just makes sense - limited resources, and limited 'difference' for the end user.

As it's become more feasible to make great performing, lightweight alpine skis, the 'rebadging' practice only makes more and more sense. Basically, today's best AT skis give up little or nothing to alpine skis in the name of weight, which is why I'm cross-shopping them this year.

Again, thanks very much for your input!
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
So in your estimation the Crimson would be better than the Blackeye for my all-mountain purposes, regardless of whether I had a separate 'powder' ski?
No......I'd suggest the Crimson or the Snoop (your choice) as the combo ski. If you chose a seperate 'powder' ski, then the Blackeye is a sensible AM choice. (Assuming of course that you don't choose the Crimson or Snoop as the Pow ski)

Put another way....don't buy the Blackeye and a Snoop/Crimson. If you buy the Blackeye as your AM choice, then buy something other (wider) than a S/C as your Powder ski.

SJ
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
So if I were to get the Blackeye, what powder ski would you recommend that might work well with AT Bindings (probably the Marker Duke)?

I'd be doing limited hiking with these, to get to untracked trees/chutes etc. Light weight, snappy, responsive with good float but holding the edge obviously not so important (i.e. as it would be on hardpack).
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
So if I were to get the Blackeye, what powder ski would you recommend that might work well with AT Bindings (probably the Marker Duke)?

I'd be doing limited hiking with these, to get to untracked trees/chutes etc. Light weight, snappy, responsive with good float but holding the edge obviously not so important (i.e. as it would be on hardpack).
Lightish wide bodies include Atomic Sugar Daddy, Atomic Pimp, Line Prophet 100, Sollie 1080 Gun (but not in the 181 size) Sollie Sandstorm, Armada JP vs Julien. Scott P4.

SJ
post #11 of 11
I love this thread i would like to hear more from you Sarge. Im thinking the same as you. I dicovered the RT86 and think dukes would be an awsome choice! You could also mount the dukes on a low rubber riser from vist for dampning satisfying the harder packed higher speed rattles. Thats the only thing neg ive hear about these skis but they seem to more than make up for it every were else. What did you finaly get?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Loved the Atomic RT86; Considering Nomad Crimson, Blackeye, Volkl Snowwolf?