2013-2014 Atomic Ritual

Atomic Ritual, Blister Gear ReviewFirst Look

Ski: 2013-2014 Atomic Ritual, 190cm

Dimensions (mm): 130-103-119

Turning Radius: 20 meters

Boots / Bindings: Lange XT 130 LV, Atomic FFG 14 Demo (DIN at 9)

Mount Location: “Team Line”

Test Locations: Las Leñas, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Days Skied: 4

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Ritual, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for the graphics.]

Atomic developed the Ritual to replace the Coax, their 105mm underfoot all-mountain quiver killer of the past few seasons. The new Ritual has a narrower 103mm waist, added tail rocker, and a slightly deeper rocker line in the tip/shovel. The flex is moderately stiff from the shovel through the middle of the ski and softens up in the tail.

After getting a day in on the ski back at Jackson Hole in March, I was happy to take a second look at it in Argentina. Though it’s one of the narrower skis we’ve brought to Las Leñas, over the past three days I’ve been really impressed with the Ritual’s performance in a wide range of conditions on and off piste, from firm groomers; refrozen granulate & crud; wind affected; and fresh, soft snow.

On our first morning of testing, we headed to the Vulcano lift to take some groomer laps on the lower mountain. Once up on edge, the Ritual is solid and stable through the apex of each turn, and transitions easily from edge to edge. I was able to maintain an edge and hold it with confidence on the firm snow. I wouldn’t call the Ritual a particularly snappy ski (not nearly as snappy as its ancestor, the Coax), though I was able get a good, solid rebound out of its titanal-reinforced wood core during a carve. While moderately stiff, it’s far from a damp, lifeless sled.

For the most part, with its 20m radius, I preferred to make larger GS turns on the Ritual on hardpack, but was able to make shorter carved arcs when necessary. With just a touch of tail rocker, I was also able to wash the ski out of any edged turn, easily smearing the tails to control my speed. Skiing the Ritual on hardpack is very intuitive and easy, yet it’s certainly substantial enough to stand up to some aggressive carving.

Ryan Caspar, Atomic Ritual, Blister Gear Review
Ryan Caspar, Pala de Vulcano, Las Leñas Ski Resort.

On day two, after some light snow overnight, I was able to get a better sense of the Ritual’s performance in soft conditions off the Marte lift.

The ski plowed through ~2” of fresh, soft snow easily, exhibiting no real tip deflection or hookiness. I was able to move easily from the main piste into small patches of powder off the trail. Even in more variable, wind-affected snow, I had no real issues with balance or stability on the Ritual (when making bigger, faster, carved turns or shorter scrubbed ones). With a tail that has a softer flex than the Coax and some subtle rocker, the Ritual is a more forgiving ski in variable conditions. The tails slid smoothly through the small clumps of pow off Marte, but still provided enough resistance that I could easily control the amount of pivot and smear.

From groomed snow to light chop, so far the Rituals were taking it all in stride.

24 comments on “2013-2014 Atomic Ritual”

  1. Great review! Good to have some perspective on this ski that I’ve been eyeing for a while. Quick question.

    My (09 unrockered) Gotama delaminated at the end of last season and I’ve been looking for a replacement. I’m a strong skier 6′ 1″, 175lbs skiing 65-75 days in telluride, co. I want something a bit more turny than my old Gotama with strong edge grip that I can use everyday in variable conditions all over the mtn. except for deep pow days when I’ll break out my shiro. Is the Ritual what I’m looking for?

  2. Will,

    Thanks for reading the review.

    I think the Ritual will be a great everyday ski for most Western resorts including Telluride.

    The Ritual is versatile enough to shred everything from the Gold Hill chutes, to Prospect and Chair 9 laps. It will be great in smaller storms and will definitely get you through the days between storms.

    With a turning radius of 20m compared to the 29m radius of the 183 Gotama, the Ritual meets your requirements for a shorter turning radius and as I mentioned it holds an edge well.

    Hope El Nino is good to you guys!

  3. Thanks for the review! How do you think the ski compares to the Moment PB&J? I’m looking at both for an everyday CO ski to compliment some 186 Automatics.


  4. This ski sounds sweet for an all-mountain east coast ski, can we get an update on how it skis in the trees?
    Also, I’ve been searching everywhere for how much these skis weigh, do you have a number?
    From everything I’ve read, it sounds like these definitely work in hard pack, but do you think they will be fun in hard packed OR powder filled tree runs and variable condition runs?

    Any words of wisdom would be appreciated!

    Thanks for a great review so far!

    • Josh

      I mentioned earlier that this ski will be great for an everyday West Coast ski. I also think that for those individuals who are not afraid of skiing a 100+ waisted ski on bullet proof ice, this will be a fun E.C. one ski quiver. This ski handles hardpack well for a 103mm waisted ski.

      I grew up shredding the likes of Sunday River and Cannon Mt, so I am no stranger to the conditions you will be encountering. Would I prefer a narrower ski for the brutally icy days? Yes. Narrower waisted skis tend to be quicker edge to edge so in the trees when the conditions are firm there are certainly more nimble, agile skis. That being said, the Ritual will handle those less enjoyable days well enough for how much fun they are in soft snow.

      I did not report on how the Ritual skis in trees because there are none in Las Lenas. When I had the Rituals out in Jackson I was skiing more open runs.

      I anticipate that the light swing weight and ease of slashing and slarving will allow the Ritual to maneuver well in the trees. I will get back to you once the snow starts falling in Jackson as to whether or not my predictions are true.

      We have not had a chance to weigh this ski, but will let you know as soon as we do.

  5. Hi! Great review by the way!
    Would you recommend these as a one quiver ski for a lightwaight 180 cm high beginner? (70 % offpist and 30 % pist) If not, do you have any other recommendations?


  6. Hi Ryan,

    Thanks a lot for the detailed reviews. They are all great and very helpful. Could you please help me choose between Cham 107 (184) and Ritual (182). I am looking for easy/playful powder skis. Moderate speed and turns. Skis that I would use if I have a chance to go heli-skiing in the Alps. I am OK skier, do a lot of touring with my other pair and also own a pair of racing skis of piste performance. So I need something specially for powder and tree skiing.

    Appreciate your help.


  7. As usual; Great review. I bought the 190 Ritual and mounted it back -2 for deep snow performance. I like it but don’t love it and and considering going to the team line, it seems out of balance at -2. Your opinion would be appreciated. I like to pressure my tail and although I can and do like the slarving and pivoting of full rocker zero to little camber skis I do favor to be on edge and powering the tail.

    Note: I am 5’11 185 lbs, 54 years old, very fit, love speed and charging hard. Live in Seattle and Ski Crystal and Stevens Pass. I have the Atomic Atlas in the 192 and love it for deep days, My quiver is : Fischer Motive 88, Ritual, Atlas. My friend owns World Cup Service Center and I am fortunate to be able to demo several skis. I loved the Salomon Sentinel (10/11) The Dynastar Legend 94(11-12) The Cham 107, love it in the 190, ok in the 184. Have been on several full rocker skis and have found I like a more traditional tail flat or twin, little to no tail rocker, love tip rocker.

    • Matt,

      It sounds like we may have similar preferences for ski styles. Given your preference for a more traditional ski I am not surprised that the Ritual feels weird, especially at -2. I think you may still feel that way even after you ski the Ritual at the team line as it still maintains a new school feel with the rockered tail.

      I also see your comments on the 190 Cham 107, thanks for the input. Sounds like I should get on the 190 version.

      You might really like the 190 Fischer Watea 106 which I reviewed from Las Lenas. No tail rocker whatsoever moderate tip rocker for a 106mm waisted ski, wood core, vertical sidewall. After skiing this ski a lot this winter in Jackson I can confirm that you can haul ass on this ski. It floats well in up to 6 or 8 inches and can power through crud. I’ve also been skiing it alot when it has not snowed and it handles chalk very well too. I think it would complement your quiver very well.

  8. Hey Blister Crew, thanks for your unbiased reviews of gear-it’s good to know that not everyone has sold out!
    I’m looking at picking up a pair of the Atomic Coax skis to replace my old gold volkl gotamas. I want a ski that can be predictable in variable snow, solid on slicked out steeps, good in pow, and generally fun all over the hill. I’d be using them for areas like Taos, Bridger Bowl, Silverton, Aspen Highlands- places that have a variety of great in-bounds terrain and lift-accessed hikable stuff.

    Does the Coax fit the bill for this kind of skiing? I’m 5,10″ and 180#s- Thinking of finding a pair of 182s-does this sound right or would you rec. the 192s for all mnt. western skiing, tight terrain, chutes, trees, bumps…


  9. Ryan, Ritual Update: Since my last comments and your reply I have been on my Rituals twice. At Stevens Pass, Washington, both days were soft Boot top to knee deep powder-medium weight pow. I focused on skiing “New School” more pivot and smear. Bottom line is I now know why you like the Ritual. They were easy, fun, effortless, stable and fast. As the days turned more into soft chop the Ritual just ate it up, skied the bumps well and were great in the trees. I may move the biding up to the team line as I believe they will ski even better. I now love the ski.


  10. I’ve demoed the ritual twice at copper mt, on the 2 deepest snow days this season (7″ and 10-11″) on power, chop and skied off western hardpack in late afternoon.
    The ritual was my favorite I demoed. For me the more traditional-leaning quick edge to edge control of the ritual, carving, slipping or floating, was wonderful.

    The snow here gets broken up after only a few runs on the frontside, so I’m not sure yet how the ritual does in all powder situations, but in powdery, choppy and then partly skied off bumps, and on the frontside cruiser runs, to this ski was a king, for me.

    For me the ski’s one weakness is holding a fast gs type traverse on steep Western hardpack/ice. The tip flutters.
    From my limited experience and ability, this would be at least a Western resort 3-10″ plus powder day ski, for the whole day, and the next, not just for the first runs.
    From what Matt posted, it sounds like the ritual will do deeper powder days also. This matters to me, since I have no wider deep powder ski and would rely on the Ritual. Thanks.


  11. Hey guys, thanks for another great review. I live near Seattle, WA and typically ski either Alpental or Crystal Mountain. I’m 6’2″, 170#, age 16, advanced skier. How’s the swing weight on these guys?

  12. Hey thanks for the review guys! I was wondering about the stiffness of the tail. I ski 6 days a week and work skiing too. I switch between some Sickles and old atomic sugar daddies. These rituals look like a solid every day ski that I can tool around with. I love tail rocker, but It can’t be too soft for big mountain tele turns. Any words of wisdom from anyone who’s skiied them. I like to to ski steep techy lines in all snow conditions, would be using them for hardpack to 6″ and possibly touring.

  13. I have been skiing for 41 years (since I was 10). I am a very good/expert level skier who likes to ski all types of terrain. I have NEVER found one ski that will do EVERYTHING well. NEVER!

    I grew up skiing in the midwest, then moved to Colorado to live my passion – skiing. Was on the University of Colorado Ski team for one year and then just skied for fun. Now I ski with my friends, my kids, and myself!

    I have gone from race skis, to powder skis, to you name it. I have skied a lot of different types of skis. Rememeber “The Ski” from the 70s! Or the Dynamic VR27….Those were good skis!

    Then I skied Volkls for a long time. They are great skis too, no complaints, but I also wasn’t all that happy with them either. Man, can’t someone figure this out and make a decent all mountain ski? I wasn’t even asking for a good or great all mountain ski, just a decent one.

    So then comes the 2013 ski season. I thought, ok, I’m going to do all the research and pick a new pair of rockered skis and see if this is what I have been waiting for all my life. So, I buy a pair of Blizzard Bonifides. Rated No. 1 by every ski magazine out there (which is complete garbage by the way, either they don’t know booska about skiing or they are just selling those ratings to the highest bidder. And you will print this if you want an honest review!).

    So I skied the Bonifides for 3 days. I HATED THEM! Holy cow, if that is what the ski magazines think is a good ski, they are crazy! Stiff, unforgiving, no fun at all in powder, no fun on groomers, no fun in bumps, no fun anywhere!

    OK, so I decided to take the skis back and exchange them. Luckily, there is a place here – Colorado Ski and Golf (BEST SKI SHOP IN THE US) that will let you ski the skis for 5 days and bring them back if you don’t like them. I did just that. They were a bit surprised and looked at me like I was some kind of beginner, but they exchanged them nonetheless, no questions asked!

    Next up – the Dynastar Chamonix 107. Since I live out west, I thought it would be a good choice. NOPE! Worse than the Blizzards! These skis might be good on an icy day in the Alps, but they ain’t no good anywhere else on the planet. And, i used to be a Dynastar fan too by the way.

    So, back to the store I go. By this point, I’m getting a bit irritated. These rocker skis might be a load of hippo dung! The guy at the shop tells me, “Hey, since you’re not going to stop until you find the perfect ski, you might as well try the Atomic Ritual, I have skied every ski in this store and it is the best.” Yea Right! That is what I was thinking, but again, I was looking for an all mountain ski, not just a powder ski or a groomer ski, or a big mountain ski – just one frickin ski that would do everything. It didn’t even have to be great, just decent.

    So then I try the Atomic Ritual. And let me tell you, by this point, I was about to give up and go back to my old Volkl AC50s (which I kept just in case I didn’t like the new rocker skis).

    HOLY MOLY, MOTHER OF GOD !!!! THESE SKIS ARE AWESOME !!!!!!!!!! WAY, WAY, WAY beyond anything I ever hoped for. OK, I remember the days of Franz Klammer – I dreamed of skiing like that guy. With these skis, I AM FRANZ KLAMMER! (1976 Downhill Gold Medal Winner for you youngsters who don’t have a clue – the guy who inspired me to learn how to ski).

    I can honestly say, these skis are the best skis I have EVER skied in my entire life! PERIOD !!!! And they are a true ALL MOUNTAIN SKI !!! There may be better racing-only skis, or better powder-only skis, or better big mountain-only skis, or better groomer-only skis, but maybe NOT!!! This ski does everything GREAT!!! BEYOND GREAT!!!! And it makes me a way better skier.

    Not to mention how much fun these are to ski. I can ski a whole day, go home, and dream about skiing the next day – I’M ADDICTED!!! In fact, all I could think about all summer long was, “WHEN CAN I GO SKI THESE SKIS AGAIN!” I keep them in my living room! My Volkls were in the garage collecting dust (until I sold them on Craigslist that is – adios muchachos)!

    OK, I’m done ranting and raving. I have never bothered to write a review before. Never cared about any particular product enough to take the time to do it. And, don’t particularly want to bash any ski product, heck I’m happy those other companies are in the business to keep the sport alive! We can’t all be snowboarders! But my hats off to Atomic. This ski is a home run baby!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Hey Brad,
      yes, I remember the VR27’s well, I had a pair in the mid-80’s in France!!
      Loved those skis, then gave up skiing for 24 years (moved back to my hometown, Perth, Australia, no snow for thousands of kms……..).
      Got back into it in 2012, mind-boggling at first, with shorter skis and an assortment of widths that make the poor ol’ head spin!
      Going to Whistler in March, wanna buy my first set of skis in 25 years, 1-ski quiver all-mountain. Would love to ski 80/20 pow/piste, but realistically might get 50/50.
      So what width for a “lighter” guy? I suspect the Ritual might be too wide for me. 174cms (5’8″ and a half), 70.5 kgs (155 lbs).
      A Canadian ski instructor I know, about same vintage, said for my weight, height, & ability (used to be advanced, maybe Intermediate-advanced now), I should be considering 84-88mm width for an all-mountain 1-ski quiver, 90mm max. He said they’ll float me just as well as a 107mm ski will float a 200 lb guy, difference is I’ll still be able to ski okay in the groomers on them.
      What do you think?

  14. Brad’s commentary is fantastic entertainment. Well done. I am happy you found a ski you love. I take the opposite approach. I believe most skis are worthy and one just needs to find the sweet spot. Blister, great job all of you. I just wish you had time to review more skis. The choices are overwhelming. Is this the golden age of ski design? Now if we could just stop global warming.

    • Dennis’ comment is well taken. The choices in skis are overwhelming, but I would have to disagree that most skis are worthy. The current state of ski manufacturing is that many companies are now outsourcing ski manufacturing to China. Check your skis – they may say “Made in China”.

      I’m not bashing manufacturing in China. With regard to some products, they do have a mastery and skill in manufacturing that surpasses manufacturing anywhere else on the planet.

      More important I think is ski design itself. I have skied enough skis over my 40+ year of skiing to know that this is not just a science, but also an art. And, it’s a lot of trial and error. Take Icelantic for instance. By manufacturing the skis in Denver, they can come up with a new design and be skiing that ski the same afternoon. Companies manufacturing skis in China can’t do that!

      What does this all mean?? Who knows. You still have to try a lot of skis to find one that fits your skiing style and ability best. That does not mean most skis are “worthy”. I would argue that most skis are not worthy and that there are only a few good skis out there, and even less great skis. That is because ski companies, like all companies, are in business to stay in business! And to do that, you need to ale a product that sells and makes a profit.

      High end custom skis can cost you over $1000. And yes, they are worth it! But they take time to order and you can’t return them if you don’t like them – they were made to your specifications. So most people buy skis off-the-shelf. And most off-the-shelf skis are NOT worthy. Sorry to burst your bubble. But, like I have said, I have skied a whole lot of skis, are some are just pure garbage! That’s why these reviews are so helpful. Who wants to spend a lot of money only to be unhappy? No one!

      I’m glad my review of the Atomic Ritual was entertaining, it was fun writing, but I was also very serious about the ski – it is one of those very rare off-the-shel GREAT SKIS! PERIOD!

      Thank you Blister for all of your great reviews and for this cool site where we can vent our frustrations and excitement as well!

    • I’m wondering the same as Hias. Looking for a one ski quiver for mixed conditions and some touring in BC. intermediate to advanced skier, glades lover. not a hard charger.

  15. Brad and Ryan,

    Thanks for the great review on the Atomic Rituals; I was wondering what length did you buy, and what is your weight/height?

    I demoed the Atomic Theory’s and found they were not enough ski for me and bought the Alibis…they are pretty close to a perfect one quiver ski, but give up a some ice hold (I ski the east coast). I liked the Alibis much more than the Bonafides, but the one thing I loved about the Bonafides were the ice hold. Do I get the playfulness of the Alibis and ice hold of the Bonafides with the Rituals?

    I think I am real close here to the elusive holy grail of the one ski East/West quiver, but just missing the blue ice hold with the Alibis. Other than that a fantastic ski [Alibis] that definitely upped my game!

  16. Old thread… About 6 feet tall, 195 lbs. 46 yrs old and a very strong skier. Basically just checking length advice. I often say “I’m gonna take it easy and stay on groomers today,” only to find myself bushwhacking to find some powder or even moderate crud, frequently in the trees. I love stable skis, though.. 182 or 190? Fwiw, I skied 203 Dynastar Course GS in my younger years, now skiing an Élan Magfire 14 in 176 and a Blizzard Titan Cronus in 180. Sorry if it’s a repeated question…

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