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Rating: 3.00 / 5
Waist Width: 120
Lengths: 178, 185, 192
Stability at speed: 3.06 / 5
Hard snow performance: 1.75 / 5
Crud performance: 3.04 / 5
Flotation: 3.72 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.67 / 5
Overall: 3.00 / 5
With a 120-mm waist, Atomic’s Automatic is the fattest “directional” powder ski the brand makes. It’s heavily rockered in the tip (about 30 percent of the ski’s length) and moderately rockered in the tail, for max deep-snow flotation and easy handling. A tapered tip and tail also contribute to its loose, smeary, easy-to-pivot performance. Atomic’s Freeski Powder Series includes five models of wide and super-wide, deep-snow specialists that split into two distinct categories. on one side are the powder players, Automatic 102, Automatic 117 and Bent Chetler (and the Centuries for women), which are made with traditional sidecut, mounting points and edgy rebound for aggressive skiers. on the other side are the more playful park and pipe designs, Punk and Infamous, which are optimized for riding switch and slopestyle tricks, thanks to more pronounced, symmetrical rocker in the tip and tail and forward-waisted sidecuts and mounting points.
All models are built for loose, surfy performance in deep snow, with tapered tips, lightweight constructions and turned-up tails. All models are built on wood cores, and all feature Atomic’s Step-Down Sidewall construction: higher sidewalls underfoot for solidity and edge grip; lower sidewalls topped by cap construction tip and tail for softer flex and torsional rigidity and more forgiving performance. The higher-end models, Automatic 117 and Bent Chetler, get extra reinforcement fore and aft of the binding, called Sprocket Power Boosters, where it’s needed most for stability and power transmission to the edge.
Here’s what testers say:
“Big balanced board! Smooth and buttery smear turner and burner. It’s so fluid-it just flowed down the hill like a stream. It’s big and playful.” – Mike Britt
“A solid hard-charging ski with no surprises. It can bend to your mood and make you smile all day long!” – Mike Rogan
“It had a great feel in the powder and crud. The new tip gives the ski a great feel in deep snow, but could get bumped in crud.” – Luke Larson
“The Bentchetlers were good, but not great. The hull tip did nothing for me. It’s too center-mounted, kind of boring, and a bit uninspired.” – Jeremy Benson