Atomic Backland FR 102 W (2017)
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Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 102
Lengths: 156, 164, 172
With its 102-mm waist, the 2017 Atomic Backland WMN FR 102, formerly the Century 102, offers a shade more quickness and all-conditions versatility than its big sister, the FR 109, but it’s still a playful, smeary, deep-snow surfer at heart. The FR 102 is slightly softer-flexing and rides a little tighter in the snow than the 109, thanks to a slightly longer cambered section underfoot, comprising 70 percent of its total length.
For 2017, Atomic renames its Century series of wide-waisted deep-snow freeriders and includes them in the women’s Backland series, which includes two fat, floaty freeriders (the 109 and the 102) and two narrower, ultra-light models (the 85 and the 78) for optimized backcountry touring. The two FR (or freeride) models are powder specialists, designed for loose, surfy performance in deep snow, with tapered tips, lightweight constructions, and turned-up tails. Both are built on 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. Each Backland FR model has its own rocker profile, with more rocker in the fatter 109 waist, less on the 102.
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.