PREVIEW: Atomic Punx

Atomic Punx, Blister Gear ReviewSki: 2012-2013 Atomic Punx, 182cm

Dimensions (mm): 112.5–82–112.5

Sidecut Radius: 21 meters

At first glance, there isn’t anything super unique about the Atomic Punx. It’s a perfectly symmetrical park ski with an 82mm waste and a 21-meter turn radius in size 182. It isn’t built with some crazy camber design, skate deck technology, or other gimmick.

What does stands out is its versatility, as evinced by Atomic’s stylistically diverse team: Elias Ambühl is doing triple corks on the Punx, while Nicky Keefer is doing crazy nose presses on it.

And since Keefer, Lucas Stål-Madison, and the Real Skifi crew have gained significant notoriety in the past year or two, the buzz surrounding the Punx coming into this season has grown louder in online forums than ever before. The Punx already has developed a reputation as being durable yet light, solid yet nimble.

It’s also interesting that the Punx is pitched as a competition-ready park ski that can perform up to the standards of X-Games medalists in halfpipe and slopestyle venues, yet guys like Lucas Stål-Madison are outspoken opponents of freeskiing’s participation in the Olympics, and competition skiing in general, all of which hints even more at the Punx’s versatility.

I’m definitely curious to see how the swing weight of the Punx will perform on jib features, especially with tricks like quick switch spins onto down rails and other tasks that will require dexterous response. The fact that it is such a proportionally small ski indicates more maneuverability, especially on rails.

But at 82mm underfoot, the Punx will be the narrowest ski I’ve been on in a long time, so I’m curious whether the Punx will remain stable on bigger jumps, a prevalent issue with the Rossignol S4 (now the Scratch), which had a waist of 84 millimeters.

I swore to myself a long time ago that I’d never buy a ski just because somebody rode for a certain brand, but seeing what’s being done on the Punx by a variety skiers who really fascinate me makes it impossible not to want to ride the Punx. I’m very interested to see if Atomic really has built a better all-purpose park ski.

Stay tuned for the full review, coming soon.

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