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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 78
Lengths: 152, 158, 164
The 2017 Backland WMN 78 is the narrower and less expensive of the two new women’s Backland models from Atomic. Like the wider Backland WMN 85, it’s a lightweight, versatile backcountry touring ski. With its 78-mm width, it’ll be edgier on hard snow, quicker, and lighter-weight than the 85, weighing in at just 1,030 grams (in the 158-cm length).
The Backland W models are new to Atomic’s collection for 2017. They take their place as part of the broad new Backland series of women’s backcountry skis, which includes the Backland FR (formerly Century) series of wide-waisted deep-snow freeriders as well as the regular Backland (no FR) models, which are narrower, ultra-light models for optimized backcountry touring. There are two models, one at 85 mm, the other at 78 mm, designed to be about equally capable for uphill as well as downhill performance. Both are built on lightweight poplar/caruba wood cores, and both feature Atomic’s Step-Down Sidewall construction: high sidewalls underfoot for solidity and edge grip; lower sidewalls topped by cap construction tip and tail for softer flex and more forgiving performance. Both feature the same rocker profile, with tip rocker extending back over an area comprising about 15 percent of the ski’s total length, for soft-snow flotation and terrain-smoothing shock-absorption.
Atomic, founded in 1955, is based in Altenmarkt im Pongau, Austria (near Salzburg), where the majority of its skis are made. Along with sister brands Salomon and ArcTeryx, it is a division of Amer Sports of Finland, which acquired it in 1994. Its U.S. headquarters are in Ogden, Utah. -J.C.