2012-2013 Atomic Punx

Rails / Jibs

The immense amount of pop from the responsive wood core of the Punx translated well to jibs and rail features. The core’s rebound was tangible: for a longer ski than I was used to, jumping up onto higher rail features felt surprisingly easy.

While the swing weight of the Punx is relatively low for such a stable and stiff ski, it was still noticeably greater than other versatile park skis, like the Line Stepup and the Nordica Ace of Spades. Especially compared to the Scott Jib TW (the ski I’ve been riding most recently), the extra length and moderate increase in weight of the Punx felt like a dramatic adjustment at first; switch ups and spins onto rails felt slightly more sluggish and clumsy.

Of course, comparing the Punx to the Jib TW in this category is difficult because this is where Jib TW truly excels; rapid spins on and off of jib features felt more natural on the Jib TW than any other ski that I’ve ridden in the past few years (the Ace of Spades, Line Stepup, or Moment Reno Jib).

After about two or three days, however, the Punx felt considerably more manageable and maneuverable on rails and jibs. Particularly with tricks like switch lipslides and switch 270s on down rails, the Punx felt much like the Nordica Ace of Spades: these more laborious tricks required a bit of effort, but never felt inhibiting. These tricks would have likely required slightly less effort on the Stepup, and even less on the Jib TW.

Scott Nelson, Atomic Punx, Blister Gear Review
Scott Nelson sliding a down-flat-down rail on Atomic Punx, PCMR.

Once I was better adjusted to the weight, length, and flex, I really enjoyed how stable the Punx felt on rails, especially on harder rail impacts and rail landings. Even on some seriously awkward landings, the Punx rarely wavered or scrubbed out, performing in the rail park much like they did on large jumps.

While the flex of the Punx feels very consistent, the stiffer flex unsurprisingly required much more work to bend the ski. In this regard, I think that Line and Armada compensate for this issue well by incorporating a small but noticeable hinge-point in the flex pattern that allows for easier butters and presses. Likewise, the softer flex of the Jib TW made butters or and presses feel effortless by comparison.

Durability

I gave the Punx quite a beating, and they came out relatively unscathed. After ten days, I’ve found only one edge crack underfoot. Such minimal rail damage seems like an anomaly in my experience; in the past five years or so, none of my ski’s edges have held up this well for as long of a period as the Punx.

Moreover, the Punx’s cap construction and slanted sidewalls has proven so far to be as rugged as the edges. Top sheet chipping is very minimal, and I see no signs of delamination anywhere around either ski.

I only found two other rather minor points of damage after ten days of hard riding. The first was a section edge about 1.5 cm long that was pushed into the sidewall from a rail impact (only a few millimeters in, but you can see it). Second, a small amount of edge was coming loose from the edge connection point near the tail of one ski; I noticed this at the end of day 9, and it was so slight that I never noticed it while riding.

Bottom Line

The Punx is an incredible ski, and its pop and stability are unmatched by anything I’ve ever ridden. They are stiff but responsive, and maintain a swing weight not too great to interfere with quick and athletic rail tricks. On top of such excellent performance, the Punx demonstrated solid durability. I felt like I beat up on these skis and they came out with only minimal wear.

The Punx remains incredibly stable at high speeds and on big impacts, while sacrificing little on other types of features that require a more nimble ski. If jumps aren’t your cup of tea and you spend more time hitting rails and boxes than anything else, you might want to consider something a little softer. But I’d highly recommend the Punx to anyone looking for a workhorse slopestyle ski that is dependable on burly features. I believe that the Punx is also versatile enough for someone who enjoys riding all kinds of different features.

 

8 comments on “2012-2013 Atomic Punx”

  1. Just to add my 2 cents… Talking about versatility, Punx are incredible ski for teaching! This is the only ski I found that let you perform ALL PSIA gimmicks (including arc-to-arc with 1/2 ski length transition without up-unweighting) and at the same time provide you with the feel of normal, fun skis. It was a big deal for me since I was liberated from skiing front side carvers once I found Punx. They ski short, size up.

  2. Great review, and super timely for me; I am looking for a ski for bigger jumps in the terrain park. Not interested in rails or boxes, just Air. Is this the ski, or are there others to consider as well?

  3. Jonathan,

    The Punx isn’t the only option, but it’s a great choice for what you seek. It’s very dependable on bigger jumps from a stability standpoint.

    The Nordica Ace of Spades, Line Stepup, and Volkl Wall are all good options as well. I’d still recommend the Punx over those options based on stability and durability, though.

    Hope that helps

  4. [Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Punx, which is unchanged for 13/14 and 14/15, except for the graphics.]
    Is the above really true? On the internet I find varies sites saying that the 13/14 and 14/15 have a width of 84 mm (and not 82 mm), I do find sites acknowledging that the 12/13 punx have a width of 82 mm.

    Sources:
    12/13: http://www.evo.com/outlet/skis/atomic-punx-2013.aspx
    13/14 http://www.skis.com/Atomic-Punx-Skis-2014/320872P
    14/15 http://www.atomic.com/en/Products/alpine/skis/park/PUNX/AA0025492.aspx

    Anyway, nice review (and so are your other reviews). I can’t wait for my punx to be delivered.

    • Hi Wessel,

      Sorry about the confusion; there was a mix-up on our end in updating our review listings this season.

      You are correct. Last year (for the 13/14 season) the Punx was made 2mm wider underfoot, given a longer turn radius, and tip and tail rocker, and it comes back that way this year. We hope to get on the latest iteration soon.

      Best,

      Will

    • my understanding is that the infamous are softer than the punx…?

      what about the ’14/’15 and ’15/’16 punx models? did they change in comparison to this review?

      thanks!

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