2021-2022 Atomic Maven 93 C

Ski: 2021-2022 Atomic Maven 93 C, 172 cm

Test Location: Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado

Days Skied: 12

Available Lengths: 156, 164, 172 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 171.1 cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1638 & 1639 grams

Stated Dimensions: 127.5-94-111.5 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 126.9-93.4-111.0 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (172 cm): 17.9 m

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 57 mm / 17 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3

Core: poplar + carbon stringers + titanal underfoot + fiberglass laminate

Base: sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.65 cm from center; 76.9 cm from tail

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Promachine 115 W, Tecnica Cochise Pro W / Atomic Warden MNC 13

Kara Williard reviews the Atomic Maven 93 C for Blister
Atomic Maven 93 C — 21/22 Top Sheet
Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Bottom Line //  Rocker Pics

Intro

When Atomic announced their new Maverick and Maven series (see this post for info on the whole line), I was pretty interested from the start. Atomic says these new all-mountain skis blend traits from the brand’s racing and freeride models. Personally, I love a ski that feels stable and stiff on edge, but that still allows me to confidently maneuver through technical and steep terrain, so the sound of that combination got my attention.

I was also curious because the Maven and Maverick skis are replacing the Atomic Vantage series, which I frankly didn’t love. I felt that the Vantage skis were neither lively / playful or damp / stable enough for my preferences, and I was really eager to see how the new Maven skis compared.

Well, after 12 days skiing a mixture of conditions, I have overall been quite impressed by the new Maven 93 C. It feels quite different compared to the Vantage series, in that it excels in a multitude of settings and conditions, and so here I’ll try to outline what sorts of skiers should be considering this new ski.

Kara Williard reviews the Atomic Maven 93 C for Blister
Kara Williard on the Atomic Maven 93 C, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Construction

As we noted in our preview of the 21/22 Maven and Maverick line, the women’s Maven models all feature a poplar wood core, fiberglass laminate, and Atomic’s “HRZN Tech” tip inserts. Those tip inserts are placed near the edges at the tips and feature a convex shape to reportedly add flotation and a looser feel in fresh snow, without compromising hardpack performance since the rockered part of the tip really only engages with the snow when it’s deep.

In the Maven 93 C and Maven 86 C, the core also features a titanal layer under the bindings and then carbon stringers in front of and behind the bindings, whereas the “Ti” unisex Maverick skis feature a full-length titanal layer in place of carbon. With the new construction on the Maven and Maverick models, Atomic says they were aiming to make skis that are both stable and intuitive, and lightweight without seriously compromising overall performance.

Shape & Rocker Profile

The Maven 93 C’s shape is fairly similar to the old Vantage skis, with slightly more tapered tips and tails and a shape that is overall pretty “normal” for an all-mountain ski around this width.

The Maven 93 C does have slightly deeper rocker lines than the Vantage skis, though the Maven 93 C’s tip and tail rocker lines are pretty low-slung and subtle, which I think is part of why it feels very solid on edge once you roll it over (more on that below).

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Maven 93 C:

Tips: 6.5
Shovels: 7-9
In front of toe piece: 9-9.5
Underfoot: 10
Behind heel piece: 9.5-8.5
Tails: 8.5

One of the defining characteristics of the Vantage skis was how stiff they felt, and that’s definitely one area where the Maven 93 C differs. While it’s very far from a “soft” ski, its tips are fairly easy to bend and its flex pattern smoothly transitions from those softer tips and (notably less soft) tails to a strong section around the middle of the ski.

Weight

The Maven 93 C is a pretty lightweight ski. At about 1639 grams per ski for the 172 cm length, the Maven 93 C is a lot lighter than some skis like the Nordica Santa Ana 93, Blizzard Black Pearl 97, and Volkl Secret 96, though it’s pretty similar to some other skis in its class like those in the Head Kore and Liberty Genesis series.

For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length and width differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.

1364 & 1392 Renoun Earhart 88, 170 cm (20/21)
1507 & 1523 Liberty Genesis 90, 165 cm (19/20–20/21)
1556 & 1575 Liberty Genesis 96, 165 cm (19/20–20/21)
1572 & 1576 Head Kore 91 W, 170 cm (21/22)
1592 & 1637 Head Kore 97 W, 170 cm (21/22)
1596 & 1608 Head Kore 93 W, 171 cm (20/21)
1622 & 1638 Blizzard Black Pearl 88, 165 cm (20/21–21/22)
1626 & 1645 Line Pandora 104, 165 cm (18/19–21/22)
1638 & 1639 Atomic Maven 93 C, 172 cm (21/22)
1651 & 1669 Moment Sierra, 172 cm (17/18–20/21)
1687 & 1695 Elan Ripstick 102 W, 170 cm (20/21–21/22)
1699 & 1753 Head Kore 99 W, 171 cm (20/21)
1709 & 1710 Blizzard Sheeva 10, 172 cm (17/18–21/22)
1711 & 1772 DPS Alchemist Zelda 106 C2, 171 cm (19/20–20/21)
1762 & 1801 K2 Mindbender 98Ti Alliance, 168 cm (19/20–21/22)
1792 & 1792 Nordica Santa Ana 104 Free, 172 cm (20/21–21/22)
1797 & 1839 Rossignol BLACKOPS Rallybird, 170 cm (20/21–21/22)
1812 & 1817 Salomon Stance 94 W, 174 cm (20/21–21/22)
1831 & 1852 Rossignol BLACKOPS Rallybird Ti, 171 cm (20/21–21/22)
1833 & 1842 Volkl Secret 96, 163 cm (21/22)
1881 & 1895 Salomon QST Lumen 99, 174 cm (19/20–21/22)
1903 & 1917 Nordica Santa Ana 93, 172 cm (20/21–21/22)
1917 & 1935 Nordica Santa Ana 98, 172 cm (20/21–21/22)
1955 & 1990 Coalition Snow SOS, 173 cm (19/20–20/21)
1969 & 1988 4FRNT MSP CC, 171 cm (20/21–21/22)
2015 & 2024 Blizzard Black Pearl 97, 171 cm (20/21–21/22)
2104 & 2115 Volkl Secret 102, 170 cm (19/20–21/22)

Alright, now onto how the Maven 93 C actually performs on snow:

FULL REVIEW

Groomers

Kara Williard (5’9”, 153 lbs / 175 cm, 69.4 kg): The Maven 93 C really excels while ripping around on the groomers. My first impression of the ski on early morning groomers was “this is exactly what I want from an all-mountain ski on piste.”

The Maven 93 C is easy to roll on edge, even at moderate speeds, but consistently grips on even very firm conditions and feels stable from tip to tail when carving hard on groomed snow. It was easy to engage and initiate turns, but I also never really felt like I was “over turning” it, or that it was going to wash out on me. That’s a great combo for a lot of people — it’s a good ski for learning to carve harder, but I think very experienced skiers will be impressed by how fast they can push this ski on piste.

I would be curious to see how the Maven 93 C compares on groomers to the narrower skis in the series, the Maven 86 C and Maven 86, but especially for a ~93mm-wide all-mountain ski, the Maven 93 C performs really, really well on piste.

Kara Williard reviews the Atomic Maven 93 C for Blister
Kara Williard on the Atomic Maven 93 C, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Compared to the other skis I was on this season, the Maven 93 C was actually my favorite on groomers, with the 21/22 Volkl Secret 96 being the other ski that sticks out in my mind as exceptional on groomers, and the Blizzard Black Pearl 97 being the next closest contender. The Maven 93 C is more energetic and easier to initiate than the Black Pearl 97, while the Secret 96 feels more damp and smooth during really high-speed turns. But despite the fact that the Maven 93 C offers great edge hold and can be rallied hard on piste, it’s also more forgiving and easy-going at lower speeds when I am trying to make slower, shorter turns, compared to other all-mountain skis that are similarly fun on piste when you are looking to ski hard and fast.

Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain

I skied a lot of moguls at Mt. Crested Butte on the Maven 93 C this season, and its low weight and lively flex pattern made it one of the quicker and snappier skis I got on in this width. I enjoyed the energy of the Maven 93 C, with a nice amount of rebound that makes for a responsive feel through bump lines.

While it’s fun to push this ski hard and get some pop out of its flex pattern, it is also pretty quick and somewhat easy to pivot around, making it worth a look from experienced, aggressive skiers and those who just want a non-fatiguing ski in bumps. The Maven 93 C has not felt too soft or unsupportive in firm moguls, despite its fairly low weight, soft tips, and the fact that I often find myself skiing longer and / or stiffer skis.

With that said, I was still a bit more aware of the tail of the Maven 93 C than I was on skis with softer and / or more rockered tails, such as the 4FRNT MSP CC, Blizzard Sheeva 10, and even the Volkl Secret 96. The Maven 93 C errs on the side of wanting me to cleanly finish a turn with a forward stance, rather than getting lazy and A-framing or slarving / pivoting a turn from the backseat, which tend to be habits of mine when I get tired. But the Maven 93 C is not nearly as punishing or demanding as, say, the Blizzard Black Pearl 97, and I ended up really liking the Maven 93 C in tight terrain since it encouraged me to work on my technique without feeling like I was going to immediately be out of control if I made a mistake.

Kara Williard reviews the Atomic Maven 93 C for Blister
Kara Williard on the Atomic Maven 93 C, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

While the Maven 93 C isn’t extremely demanding (in large part due to its low swing weight), there are skis that are better options if you want a forgiving, maneuverable option in bumps, such as the 4FRNT MSP CC and Blizzard Sheeva 10. Overall though, I really enjoyed the quick and lively ride of the Maven 93 C. While it’s a blast on piste, this ski’s low swing weight, energy, and stiff-yet-somewhat-forgiving flex pattern make it a very good option for those who spend a lot of their time in bumps and who either ski with pretty good technique, or who want to work on doing so off piste without giving up on-piste precision by going with a softer, more rockered ski.

Steeps

Similar to what I just said about the Maven 93 C in tight terrain, I really liked how quick, stable, and easy to initiate it felt in steep terrain like Mt. Crested Butte’s Headwall. That said, this ski definitely encourages a much more carving-oriented approach to skiing steeps than more rockered alternatives, which makes it feel really precise, but less ideal for slashing / skidding turns.

This wasn’t really a problem until I was tired, or when I wasn’t as confident in less-than-ideal conditions and consequently not skiing with as much of a forward stance. However, I felt like I could get away with slightly sloppy skiing more easily on the Maven 93 C than on skis like the Black Pearl 97, Secret 96, or Secret 102, probably because of the Maven 93 C’s much lighter, quicker feel.

On steeps (especially when they’re firm or variable), I personally still prefer a ride like the 4FRNT MSP CC, Blizzard Sheeva 10, or Nordica Santa Ana 104 because those skis offer better suspension while also feeling a bit more playful, loose, and forgiving than the Maven 93 C, but those skis also feel heavier and more sluggish. For my style of skiing on steeps (mix of carving and sliding from both a forward and more centered stance), I prefer a slightly more planted, wider ski that feels a bit more conducive to skidding or slashing a turn. But especially for its width, the Maven 93 C can definitely be fun in steep, chalky terrain, particularly if you prefer a lighter ski that feels precise on edge and find more rockered skis to feel too loose or like they won’t let you really drive them cleanly through each turn.

Kara Williard reviews the Atomic Maven 93 C for Blister
Kara Williard on the Atomic Maven 93 C, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Powder

The Maven 93 C is not built for powder, but it performed fairly well for its width in fresh snow about 3-5” deep (about 7.5–12.5 cm). It definitely required a bit more jumping / unweighting from one turn to the next in order to stay on top of the deeper snow, compared to slightly wider options like the MSP CC (which is 99 mm wide). But that’s not a big surprise, and because it is a quick and lively ski, this kind of skiing didn’t feel too difficult on the Maven 93 C.

I did not ski any super deep days on the Maven 93 C, but it did feel nice on those 3–5” days when I could still feel the firm base underneath the fresh snow. On a deep day, I’ll typically gravitate toward something slightly wider and more rockered, such as the Blizzard Sheeva 10 or 4FRNT MSP CC, and those skis would be better options if you frequently use your ~100mm-wide all-mountain skis in snow that’s deeper than around 6” / 15 cm. For shallower storms and more typical day-to-day conditions, the Maven 93 C does just fine for its width.

Soft Chop

In soft chop, the Maven 93 C was a really easy ski to maneuver, and especially in these softer conditions, it feels notably more forgiving and stable than it does in firmer conditions.

I was impressed by the smooth and composed ride of this ski in softer snow — it feels like a substantial ski when driving it through more forgiving conditions like cut-up powder. It does require a more aggressive, forward stance to ski hard in these conditions than heavier, wider skis like the MSP CC, but the strong flex pattern of the Maven 93 C lets me drive it hard and fast through softer snow without getting knocked around much, considering how light it is. And at slower speeds, it’s still easier to maneuver in chop than the stiffer and heavier Blizzard Black Pearl 97.

At high speeds, in deeper chop, or when skiing with a more centered stance, there are definitely skis that provide a smoother ride with better suspension, such as the Nordica Santa Ana 104 and Volkl Secret 96. But for its weight, the Maven 93 C can be skied quite hard in softer, shallower chop, particularly if you focus on maintaining solid technique, despite it also being pretty easy to ski at more moderate speeds in soft snow.

Firm Chop / Crud

This is where the Maven 93 C feels most out of place. This fairly narrow, lightweight ski doesn’t absorb the vibrations and impacts of firm chop / crud as well as heavier options, which left me feeling less confident. While it’s still pretty easy to make shorter, quicker turns in this snow, I found myself wishing for a more planted, damp ski to help carry me through these rougher conditions, especially if I wanted to make bigger, faster turns or if I wasn’t on my A-game in terms of technique.

Kara Williard reviews the Atomic Maven 93 C for Blister
Kara Williard on the Atomic Maven 93 C, Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado.

Especially in variable snow, the Maven 93 C demands a forward skier position to feel reliable; steering from the backseat, this ski becomes more difficult to control and its tips get knocked around even more. Heavier, wider, and more rockered skis like the Blizzard Sheeva 10, 4FRNT MSP CC, and Nordica Santa Ana 104 are all better options if you prefer a more planted, stable ride in chop, and / or often end up in the backseat when the conditions are tricky. Overall, the Maven 93 C can handle firm chop and crud if you maintain an aggressive forward-flexing stance, but there are definitely easier and more stable alternatives for these conditions.

Who’s It For?

The Maven 93 C could be an excellent 1-ski-quiver for areas that don’t see many deep days, or in a quiver for a lady who wants an exceptional groomer ski that can also be fun on the rest of the mountain when the snow is on the firmer / shallower end of the spectrum.

You don’t need to be a really aggressive skier to get along with the Maven 93 C, as it still feels pretty maneuverable and agile at moderate speeds. It could be a great option for an upper intermediate to advanced skier who wants to progress without struggling to turn a heavier, wider ski.

However, the Maven 93 C performs best when you drive it through the front of your boots with a forward stance, and for advanced and expert skiers who can do that, it feels a lot more confidence inspiring, and generally just more fun when you bend it and can take advantage of the energy it produces.

For someone looking for a high-performance all-mountain ski that caters a bit more to on-piste performance without feeling sluggish off piste, the Atomic Maven 93 C should be on your list.

Bottom Line

Overall, I was really pleased by the energetic and versatile ride that the Atomic Maven 93 C provides. It’s a quick, lively ski that is best suited for an aggressive skier who wants to bend the ski and optimize its precision on edge, while still being a bit more forgiving and accessible at mellow speeds than some of the comparable skis in the category because of its low swing weight.

The Maven 93 C is a nice midpoint between some of the stiffer, heavier, and more demanding women-specific skis like the Black Pearl 97 and Volkl Secret 102 and the more playful, rockered, forgiving skis like the Blizzard Sheeva series. That makes the Maven 93 C a good choice for those who want a ski that can hold up to high speeds and high edge angles on piste, without feeling like a burden around the rest of the mountain on most days.

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