Atomic Backland FR 117 (2017)


Rating: 2.33 / 5
Price: $850.00
Year: 2017
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 117
Tip/Tail/Waist: 140.5-117-129.5
Lengths: 179, 186, 193

Stability at speed: 2.54 / 5
Hard snow performance: 1.74 / 5
Crud performance: 2.53 / 5
Flotation: 3.76 / 5
Forgiveness: 1.91 / 5
Overall: 2.33 / 5

The 2017 Atomic Backland FR 117, formerly the Automatic 117, is the fattest "directional" powder ski Atomic makes (as opposed to the bi-directional, center-mounted, 120-mm Bent Chetler, which is designed for backwards as well as forwards skiing). It gets the most rocker of any Backland FR model, with its underfoot cambered section comprising just 55 percent of the ski's total length. Its wood core is minimally reinforced with strategically placed Titanal stringers (Sprocket Power Boosters) placed on the core just fore and aft of the foot, for enhanced stability and responsiveness without compromising liveliness or adding excessive weight. For 2017, Atomic renames the Atomatic series of wide-waisted deep-snow freeriders and includes them in the Backland series, which includes tools for every kind of backcountry skiing, from the fat, sturdy, descent-oriented freeriders of the FR group to the skinny, ultra-light, ascent-oriented rando racers of the Ultimate group. The FR, or freeride series, includes three models of deep-snow powder specialists, formerly called Automatics, with waist widths of 117, 109, and 102 mm. All Backland FR models are built for loose, surfy performance in deep snow, with tapered tips, lightweight constructions, and turned-up tails. All are built on wood cores, and all 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 Automatic model has its own rocker profile, with progressively less rocker and more camber in the narrower waist widths. 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.