This was the biggest surprise to me, for sure. I skied the Atris on two of the deepest days of the season, where untracked lines of knee-to-thigh-deep pow were plentiful. This was the very definition of a sleeper pow day, and while I always have about five pairs of skis with me, the Atris was the widest I had with me, and I was kicking myself for that — till I actually got these in deep snow.
Granted, this was pretty perfect pow. But there was not one instance of tip dive, and it was amazing to me how smooth and pivot-y that tail of the Atris felt. For skis of this width (~108 mm underfoot), I’d have to give the Atris an “A” for powder performance.
Keep in mind, however, that I was skiing these at about 1.5 cm behind the recommended mount point, so that will have helped get the shovels of the Atris to plane up.
The skis also performed quite well in deep, soft chop, which I attribute primarily to the fact that the Atris has a pretty straight shovel and tip profile; the lack of heavy taper and a pretty strong midsection kept the ski fun, though again, Brian Lindahl and I both felt like we needed to mount further back on the ski to be able to drive the tips in variable conditions.
In shallow, firm crud, the Atris holds its own. For being fairly lightweight, the ski offers pretty good suspension; the ride isn’t harsh or jarring. But the more bumped-up that firm snow gets, the less inherent stability you’ll get out of the ski. Still, at my ~175-180 lbs, I could push this ski quite hard, and lighter skiers will be able to push it even harder.
Get the Atris into awful, frozen coral reef, and you are outside the wheelhouse of this ski. No ski is good in refrozen chunder, but if you have to ski it, a heavy, damp ski with a bit of tip and tail rocker will be your best bet.
In soft snow, the Atris is really fun in trees, because it does pivot really, really well. I spent this past weekend A/B/C-ing the Atris against the fully-rockered Faction Candide 3.0 and Moment Meridian, and I couldn’t believe how smooth and easy to pivot the Atris felt. If I hadn’t first seen the ski’s rocker profile and you told me that it was fully rockered, I would have believed you based on how happy it was to smear turns through deep powder and tighter trees.
The caveat here is that when skiing steep tree runs in punchy, grabby snow, the Atris’ fat tails would sometimes get hung up (but perhaps because I didn’t feel like I could really lean on the ski’s soft shovels?).
I am often a big fan of fat tips and tails, but if you are often skiing in punchy, grabby conditions (PNW snow?), I can see where you might prefer a more tapered tail shape to get the tails to release more easily in tight trees (e.g., tail shapes like those of the J Skis The Metal, Line Supernatural 108, or Liberty Origin 106.)
So if very quick performance in tight trees is your first priority, you might look elsewhere, unless you are typically skiing trees in good, consistent, not-sticky or not-grabby snow, whether shallow or deep.
Running zipperlines in soft moguls are really fun on the Atris. But in big, firm, chalky bumps — or dust-on-crust bumps — I struggled on the Atris. I wanted a heavier, damper ski with a stiffer shovel that I could lean on; I found myself getting knocked into the backseat, and was sometimes getting taken for a ride by those spring-loaded tails.
Here again, if you feel comfortable skiing the Atris on the line, those tails may have felt more supportive; but there is a point on those tails where if you get too far into the backseat, you get to the point of no return, and in pretty nasty, firm moguls, I wheelied out on a few different occasions.
184.0 cm Black Crows Atris vs. 183.3 cm Black Crows Corvus
The Atris and Corvus are very close in width (1 mm difference), and a number of you have asked us to talk about the two skis. We’re curious ourselves. So testing begins this weekend to determine how much performance overlap the two skis have.
2017-2018 Atris: Stated Changes
The Atris is getting a bit of a makeover next season. We had originally been told that the plan was to stiffen up the shovels a bit, and decrease the amount of tail rocker a bit.
But now, the official description of the tweaked Atris for the 17-18 season, sounds a bit different, and we look forward to getting on it:
“We wanted to make the Atris more stable at high speed without altering its great handling and playfulness. Our team was successful with this by intervening on three variables: extension of the radius [the sidecut radius bumps up from 18 meters to 20 meters], a softening of the flex, and a more progressive heel rise.”
The 16/17 Atris is a very fun all-mountain ski that is most at home in anything soft, or anything deep. It is an energetic ski that is better suited to more advanced skiers, and while it is not a “damp” ski per se, it offers good suspension for its weight and for how poppy it is. It could easily be a one-ski quiver if you spend most of your days in relatively soft conditions, and it could also easily serve as the wider ski in a two-ski quiver.
Check out our Deep Dive article on the Atris, where we compare it to the Rossignol Soul 7 HD, J Skis The Metal, ON3P Kartel 108 and Wrenegade 108, Faction Candide 3.0, Faction Chapter 106, Moment Meridian, Liberty Origin 106, Line Supernatural 108, and Blizzard Cochise.
NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics