Atomic's touchstone features focus on how the binding affects ski flex and where the skier stands on the ski. The Fullflex plate system is designed to permit the ski to bend in an unhindered fashion. It's offered on all models. Variozone is Atomic's fore-aft adjustment feature found in Race and Xentrix models. Once the distance between the toe- and heelpieces is set appropriately, the Variozone mechanism allows the binding to be shifted forward and backward on the ski as a single unit -- forward to increase turning ease, backward to increase float in powder.
Atomic also lets skiers make another choice: greater retention, or more release? For example, some models have limited-release modes (for those who favor retention) as well as multiple-release modes (for those who want as many ways out as possible). In the Race and Xentrix lines, a "locked" toe setting allows only lateral toe release, which some skiers prefer for high-impact skiing. In the "active" mode, the toe allows upward release as well as lateral, tipping the bias toward release.
While Atomic bindings can be mounted on any ski, several Atomic skis are predrilled for Atomic bindings.
PRO/BRO: "In skiercross it's a pounding the whole way down, and I can't afford the binding coming off -- but if it needs to, I know it will." --Eric Archer, 2001 Champion, GBSC World Tour of Skiercross
Xentrix 4.12 (DIN 4-12) $259
This has the best blend of Atomic's features and a practical adjustment range. Like the Xentrix 6.14 (DIN 6-14), the 4.12 offers the locked or active upward-toe-release switch. Its Variozone 4 system provides two adjustment positions forward of center and one behind, and it includes the mechanical AFD, which we favor over a fixed AFD.
Xentrix 3.10 (DIN 3-10) $229
This model offers a three-position Variozone system and a very functional DIN range. Upward toe release is always available, but the skier can choose (with the assistance of a technician) between one of two settings: more retention ("hard") or more release ("soft").