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2013-2014 Atomic Automatic, 193cm

Atomic Automatic, Blister Gear Review.

13/14 Atomic Automatic

Ski: 2013-2014 Atomic Automatic, 193cm

Dimensions (mm): 141.5-117-130.5

Actual Tip-To-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 191cm

Sidecut Radius: 20 meters

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Automatic, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for the graphics.]

A number of you have been waiting to hear about the 186 vs. the 193, so we wanted to get some initial impressions up from three of us in different situations:

1) I’ve skied both the 186 and the 193, and reviewed the 186 Atomic Automatic from Las Leñas.

2) Will Brown has skied only the 193—not the 186—so offers a perspective that doesn’t A / B the 186 to the 193.

3) We’re going to get a cameo from BLISTER bike reviewer, Joe Hanrahan, since Joe’s everyday ski is the 186 Automatic. Joe’s been spending time on the 193 Automatic, and given that he’s got more time than any of us on the 186, I’ve asked him to weigh in, too, about which he prefers. OK, then…

Jonathan Ellsworth

Boots / Bindings: Atomic Redster Pro 130 / Atomic NR ffg 12

Mount Location: +2cm of Factory Recommended Line

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, Alta Ski Area

Days Skied: 4

I just finished rereading my review of the 186 Automatic, and I stand by what I wrote there. (It’s always a relief to be able to say that when you go back to see what you wrote about a ski more than four months ago.) So how does the 193 compare to the 186?

I really like the 193 Automatic on groomers. It felt like a bigger ski, of course, than the 186, but it still handled smooth groomers very well. Both the 186 and 193 are a lot of fun to carve on even slightly soft groomers.

Getting off piste, however, I quickly wanted to get more forward on the 193—which is something that I speculated about in the Comments Section of my 186 Automatic review. The shovels of the 193 felt long and soft, and I wanted to get more on top of them to control them and reduce deflection.

I went +1, but still wanted more. So I went +2, and that, for me, was the most comfortable spot. It’s worth noting that I was actually -0.5 on the 186 Automatic, and didn’t have that feeling of too much shovel.

Also, as a point of reference, when mounted at +2 on the 193 Automatic, I had more shovel in front of me than I have on my 190 Moment Bibby Pros that are mounted on the line. So to state something that we already know: the Automatic is a pretty directional ski, with a fairly traditional recommended mount point.

As always, I’ll be interested to hear in the Comments Section below from those who have been skiing the 193, and whether they’ve felt similarly about the shovels.

Another extremely relevant fact is that I was skiing the 186 in Las Leñas, whereas I was skiing the 193 Automatic at Alta. There is a reason why we always state where we test each ski, and that is: location matters.

One thing that you’ll find in Alta more frequently than in Las Leñas: deep chop. This isn’t something that we encountered down in Argentina this summer. The chop / variable conditions we found in Las Leñas wasn’t deep chop / variable.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Atomic Automatic, Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth, Catherine’s Area, Alta Ski Area

At Alta, I was skiing the 193 Automatics a couple of days after a big storm, and I had them in plenty of deep chop as well as some wind-scoured bumps. In these conditions, the 193 Automatics didn’t feel as home as they had down south. And really, this is no surprise: a stiffer ski would have fared better in the deep chop, and a shorter ski would have handled the firm moguls more easily. I was often feeling the length of the 193s in moguled-up lines around Alta’s Eagle’s Nest, Race Course, and Stone Crusher.

In big bumps on a big ski, my tendency is to turn less and keep the skis straighter down the fall line. That’s something that works pretty well on my 190cm Bibby Pros, but the Bibbys are stiffer than the 193 Automatics, and I missed that stable platform.

In my review of the 193 Blizzard Cochise, I noted that if I don’t feel like I gain appreciable stability by going up to a longer length, then I will prefer to stay short. And that’s why I personally prefer the 185 Cochise to the 193. (It’s also why I do prefer the longer 190cm Bibby Pro to the 184 Bibby—because I do feel like there is an appreciable gain in stability, so I’m willing to accept a loss in quickness.)

In the case of the Automatic, I didn’t feel like the 193 Automatic provided enough of a stability boost to compromise the excellent quickness of the 186. If quickness and ease of turn initiation is your priority, then I think the 186 Automatic is your ski.

Even mounted at +1, the 193 felt like it gave up more of the ridiculous quickness and ease of the 186 than I wished, and I didn’t feel like I received a big bump up in stability. It’s all about compromises, but for me, given where I spend much of my time skiing (Alta, Taos), and given the fact that I wouldn’t only be pulling out the Automatic on big deep days, I’d personally be inclined to stick with the 186.

But if the Automatic was more of a quiver ski for me, only to be brought out on fairly deep days, then I could happily go 193 and mount at +2.

 

NEXT: WILL BROWN

 

10 Comments

  1. Jordon January 17, 2013 Reply

    I got this ski 2 weeks ago and apon toying with the idea I decided to mount it at team. I’m 6’3″ 200 pounds and ever sense I have been staring at them wishing I mounted them +1. Here in the PNW we are waiting for snow and I hope I like them at team but I think they are gonna be hyper sensitive to mounting to the mounting position, any thoughts on how sensitive they are?

    • Author

      Hey, Jordon – I don’t have a whole lot more to add than what I wrote above, but I certainly preferred these at +2, while neither Joe nor Will felt compelled to mount more forward. So at this point, I’d just ski them and see what you think. Let us know…

  2. Jake January 17, 2013 Reply

    My friend just bought the 193 Automatics with Dukes and I had a chance to compare them to my 2011 Bibby Pro’s (190 cm). Side by side the Automatics felt only a tiny bit longer, but when skiing in groomers the shovel felt distinctively longer (both mounted on the line). Could be because the Automatics have a longer and higher tip rocker profile?

    And also I think that the Bibby Pro’s felt more stiffer and stable in high speeds…

    • Author

      Normally, Jake, more splay and a deeper rocker line would translate to a shorter feel on snow, not longer. Mostly, the Bibby is just a more center mounted ski than the Automatic. The Bibby is certainly stiffer, and like you, I do find the Bibby to be more stable at speed, though the tail of the Bibby contributes to this stability, too.

  3. Lorne January 20, 2013 Reply

    I also posted in the original Automatic thread, but this might be helpful for some readers here too. I’m 6ft4, 80kg (180lbs) and have about 20 days on my 193 Automatics now, mounted at +2.5 (the “Team” or “Recommended” line is -10.5 from cord centre, so pretty far back compared to the line on skis like the S7 or JJ). +2.5 is the centre of the camber and the centre of the sidewall section, so this made sense to me and looked right when eyeballing the mount. For me this is a good compromise position for all soft snow conditions; trees, wide-open faces and a little jibbing. If I was spinning more I’d go anywhere up to +5 and I think they’d still ski fine. If I only ever skied high-speed open faces I’d go around +1.5. Mine feel slightly hooky in wide-open spaces which is a little disappointing, but they’re still much nicer here than my old Super 7s. Not as pivoty in tight trees as the Super 7 but still workable, especially if you keep your speed up.

    At my weight I’m pretty sure I could have gotten away with the 186 but I’m tall so short skis just feel weird. I consider myself a strong skier and the 193 is very manageable in tight spots. I consider it an everyday soft snow ski, not an all-out powder ski, and it works well for me all round.

    • Author

      Thanks for posting, Lorne. And I think you and I are on the same page, but I’m not sure. The way I might put it is: The Automatic is a fantastic pow ski (the deeper the better, actually) that also performs well as an everyday soft snow ski.

  4. Jordon January 28, 2013 Reply

    I skied them yesterday in 5 inches of fresh and I too choose not to detune a ski until I have skied it and this ski definitely needs to be detuned. I felt that having it at the team mounting point it was a but hard to find the right balance on the ski, to far back you wash out to far forward it would get pretty hooky so ill be taking them back out tomorrow in what’s forecasted to be another foot at mt hood and have my final verdict on if ill be remounting them to +2 or not.

  5. Aaron February 7, 2013 Reply

    Just saw some photos of the new Automatic at SIA. Do you know if there are any changes to the ski for next season besides graphics?

  6. Blister Member
    JAMES October 13, 2017 Reply

    I have a set of the 2015 Auto117s in the 193cm length. I started out at +2cm mountings, and went back to the factory line. I think they float and plane up on light snow so much better mounted there I was willing to sacrifice a tiny bit of maneuverability. (As a side note, at 6’1 and 245lbs, I need all the help I can get to stay on top on pow days… )

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