New for 2015, Atomic has squarely positioned the Sage inspired Automatic 109 as the company’s do-everything ski for the skier that wants only one ski. Perfect for our test. How’d she fair in the Test Sessions? Well, that depends on who you are…
Atomic Automatic 109
Tester Quote: “This is a stand out ski for your progressing all-mountain skier.”
Sizes: 175, 182, 189 (tested)
Camber profile: tip/tail rise. camber underfoot
Taper: Yes – Modest amount
Construction: wood; carbon stringers
Weight: Light (4.7lbs)
Skied By: Patrick, Hoff, Kruvy, Haber
Summary…Although it has a lower speed limit than many skis in the test, it is an easy going ski for a more intermediate skier. Be honest with your abilities. If you don’t ski like your hair is on fire or want a versatile backcountry ski, take a look at the 109, it may be a great tool for you…
Buy If… You like to make turns, you are looking for something on the lighter end, you yourself are lighter (less than 150lbs), you want something that will easily tour, you want a ski that’ll help you progress as an advanced skier, you are a grom
Look elsewhere if… You often ski fast, you don’t like to turn, you prize stability
Would you buy this ski: Yes – 2 No – 2
Rating: 3 stars (good)
This was an interesting ski in the Earlyups Test Sessions. While one tester stated “No words can describe how deeply disappointed I am in the Automatic 109” another stated “In the powder, soft crud and spring-slush; this ski handled with flying colors….” If you are heading to AK, just got off any sort of race circuit, or idolize guys who ski like Nobis/Ian Mac/Hugo Harrison, this isn’t your ski. On the contrary, if you are progressing as an intermediate/advanced all-mountain skier, are on the lighter end of things or simply are a more mellow skier, this could be a great tool.
Let me make a golf analogy for those so inclined. Most of the pros on tour play forged blades. For those who do not understand golf, this style of club is not forgiving but in the hands of a scratch (good) golfer, they are an excellent tool. For a mid handicap hack like myself I’m much better off with a set of oversized “player improvement” irons as my game will suffer (a lot) with the tool the pros use. Still, plenty of hacks of my caliber play blades (maybe not “plenty” but more than should). Most every non-pro golfer who doesn’t play 100 rounds a year is better off with a forgiving, easy going club with a big sweet spot that minimizes misses. Enter the Automatic 109. It’s the oversized easy to hit iron for the player looking to get better.
In harder conditions the ski wants to turn more than others in the test. This is awesome if you like to turn! No, it won’t make giant GS style turns without a lot of finesse but smaller slalom style turns are easily made. At slower speeds in more technical terrain the ski did very well as it was easy to change direction, perform an odd hop turn or otherwise finagle through “interesting” terrain with control. When snow conditions became a bit more variable, deflection was an issue and most tester’s felt as though the ski had a speed limit be it due to shape, construction, weight or all three.
In powder or spring conditions, the ski did well again, so long as you kept speed on the more reasonable side or conditions remained extremely consistent throughout the line.
For the touring skier who doesn’t care about being the most aggressive skier and still gets a few days between the ropes, this could be an excellent do everything ski.
The hardest part about the Automatic 109 will perhaps be checking your ego a bit. Fact is most of us don’t ski like Seth, Hugo, Ian or Griffin. Most of us do have a dayjob (we care very much about) and mother’s we love dearly. That, and we’re not as talented as the real pros… So we’d wager this ski is more appropriate for more people out there than people are willing to admit. Although the Jackson crew that tested the skis in this test found other skis they found more to their liking, this is likely one of the most well rounded skis for the majority of your skiers out there in 2015. Be honest with yourself. Demo a set. You may be shocked…