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Rating: 2.83 / 5
Waist Width: 83
Lengths: 161, 168, 175, 182
Stability at speed: 2.95 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.36 / 5
Crud performance: 2.30 / 5
Flotation: 1.59 / 5
Forgiveness: 3.11 / 5
Overall: 2.83 / 5
The 2017 Vantage X 83 CTi is the top model in Atomic’s new Vantage X line of narrow-waisted frontside skis. It’s built for a high-speeds and an expert-level attack on primarily groomed snow, with just enough width for soft-snow flotation and occasional off-piste forays. It’s similar in shape and performance to the negligibly narrower Vantage X 80 CTi, but a little stiffer flexing. Both come with the new DT version of the 13-DIN Warden MNC binding. Warden MNC (Multi-Norm Compatible) bindings can be adjusted to accommodate any boot sole type (alpine, AT, or the new rockered-alpine WTR format); DT versions can be adjusted to any boot-sole length without the need for tools.
It’s part of Atomic’s new Vantage X collection of narrow-waisted frontside all-mountain skis. The five-model men’s Vantage X series, with waist widths ranging from 83 down to 75 mm, replaces the long-successful Nomad series (Crimson, Black Eye, and Smoke) in Atomic’s line, but is similarly targeted at all-mountain skiers who spend the majority of their time carving on groomed snow. The Vantage X line borrows from the light-yet-powerful design philosophy of the wider Vantage models. Like the Vantages, all Vantage X’s are built on full wood cores. The top three X’s are similarly reinforced with Atomic’s Ti Backbone, a sheet of metal that extends wall-to-wall underfoot, where its needed for edge grip and power, but tapers toward tip and tail, to keep things light and manageable. All models are reinforced with a layer of Atomic’s Carbon Tank Mesh, a grid of carbon fibers that adds strength while reducing weight. And as with the wider Vantages, extra-thick Firewall sidewalls add mass over the edge, dampening vibrations and transmitting more skier energy for smooth powerful edge grip and tracking. Unlike the Vantages, which are sold flat, the Vantage X’s are sold only as systems, with bindings ranging from a beefy, high-performance 13-DIN down to an economical 10-DIN. The flat tails (non-twin, non-rockered) of the Vantage X series give them a more locked-in feel and more powerful turn finishes than the smearier, slight-twin Vantages. And the Vantage X models feature Atomic’s new Exo Profile, in which the top corers of the ski are beveled inward fore and aft to reduce swing weight.
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.