2013-2014 Atomic Automatic

Atomic Automatic, Blister Gear Review.

13/14 Atomic Automatic

Ski: 2013-2014 Atomic Automatic, 186cm

Dimensions (mm): 140.5-117-129.5

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.2cm

Sidecut Radius: 19 meters

Boots/Bindings: Atomic Redster 130 Pro / Atomic Tracker 16 (DIN at 10)

Mount Location: 1/2 cm back of Atomic Team Line

Test Location: Las Leñas Ski Resort; Alta Ski Area

Days Skied: 9

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Automatic, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for the graphics. Since we first posted this review, we’ve had more time on the ski and have added new material below.]

When I first saw the Atomic Automatic at SIA last January, I knew it was a ski that we would need to review, but I was also pretty sure that it wouldn’t be for me.

Upon inspection, it seemed like the Automatic was a little too soft, a little too “fun-shaped,” had a little too much tip rocker, and looked a little too pintail-y. Oh, and I didn’t really like the shape of the tapered tip and shovel….

If that wasn’t enough, I was also skeptical of Atomic’s claim that the Automatic occupied a middle ground between the very soft Bent Chetler and the much meaner Atlas. That sounded more like a convenient marketing angle than an actual fact.

(For the record, I haven’t yet skied the Bent Chetler, and I’m eager to. (Jason Hutchins reviewed it, and he insists I get on it as soon as possible.) And I’ve never skied the Atlas.

Turns out, I was wrong about the Automatic.

I’ve got five days on the Automatics, have had them in a wide range of conditions, and I am sold. I’m not even sure that I’ve been skiing it in the length I’d prefer most, and I am sold. This ski feels dialed.

Sage Cattabriga-Alosa and Dana Flahr worked with Atomic’s design team on the Automatic, and this is how Sage describes the ski: “It is a directional powder ski…it has a v shape (not symmetrical, more of a pin tail) is 117 under foot, has a titanium backbone, which makes it stiff but remains light. It can carve super well on the groomed, blasts through the crud and floats through the powder. It has minimal rocker in the tail for a nice and stable feel, and full powder rocker in the tip.”

Atomic’s product manager, Jake Strassburger, calls the Automatic “a super versatile pow ski.”

And it is. To be more specific, this is how the Automatic has performed on…


On soft groomers, the Automatic can handle a lot of speed and doesn’t feel like a fat, dumb ski on hardpack. Carving feels natural, but the skis don’t get squirrely if you’re running bases flat. They have demonstrated no hookiness on variable hardpack on Las Leñas’ long groomers, which have ranged from soft and smooth, to bumped-up slush, to refrozen cookies. They don’t get weird.

However, get them going very fast on firm, bumped-up groomers, and you may have more trouble keeping the significantly rockered shovel and tapered tail tracking well, which should come as no surprise. In such cases, you’ll be smearing more than carving, but the skis won’t be behaving erratically.

All in all, on hardpack, the Automatic is easy and predictable. It’s straightforward, doesn’t throw surprises. In thinking of other “versatile pow skis” (115+ mm underfoot) that have reputations for solid groomer performance (Armada JJ, Black Diamond AMPerage, MOMENT Bibby Pro), I would place the Automatic among them.

Having said that, the Automatics are not absolutely locked down on bumped-up groomers or off-piste hardpack. (Same goes for the Armada JJ and the Black Diamond AMPerage; and here, the Bibby Pro is the best of the skis I’ve named.)

A word about length: 186 vs. 193

It’s important to keep in mind that my comments are about the 186cm Automatic, not the 193cm Automatic. We agonized over which length to bring with us to Las Leñas, knowing that especially for this place, the 193 would likely be preferable. But we also figured that a lot more people would be considering the 186cm length, and we occasionally put the interests of others before our own. So, you’re welcome.

Since then, we have skied and reviewed the 193 Automatic, so check it out.



  1. Zak (auvgeek) September 4, 2012 Reply

    “If Gottfried Leibniz were around today, he would definitely rock the Automatic…”

    Reason #526 why Blister rules…

  2. Matt M September 4, 2012 Reply

    Awesome review! What advantages would the JJ’s have over these, if any?
    Also, when can we be expecting a review on those Tracker 16’s? Any hints?

    • Author

      Honestly, for a directional skier, I’d say there is no advantage to the JJ. But on groomers and in trees and bumps, the JJ and Automatic are very close, and it might be a matter of preference.

      Where it seems that the JJ might have an advantage – and maybe a significant one? – is for people looking to trick and ski switch.

      Re: the Tracker 16, all I will say for now is that I regard it as a fully legit downhill binding. Fully. I had zero reservations about its downhill performance, but we want to get some more time touring on them. We’ll try to get a First Look up within a week or so.

  3. Jaakko September 4, 2012 Reply

    Great review! What’s the measured length of the ski?

  4. Sam Krueger September 4, 2012 Reply

    Great review, and we all should pay homage to Leibniz as we approach the limit. I think I may hear some of my comments in here in regards to the Bibby Pro, which was just too much ski for me to get that snow feel I like at my weight (166lbs), while it just crushed everything. At Alta last year I had a transcendent day on the 184 Rocker2, while the JJ was just sort of “ok it works” -, but I hesitated due to it being so light and airy (which makes it so fun) for my usual Tahoe skiing. Maybe this would be a nice blend? Have a great time and stay safe, the snowpack looks a little thin.

    • Author

      Yep, Sam – I specifically had you in mind, actually. And I do think that the Automatic would be a nice blend for what you’re looking for. I don’t recall whether you were skiing the 108 or the 120 Rocker 2, so I don’t know how the Automatic would compare, but I have a hard time imagining that you’d be disappointed in the Automatic, and I’ve found them to perform beautifully in some Tahoe-esque snow.

  5. Tom September 4, 2012 Reply

    Great review. I love the sound of this ski but like you, my old lady is my 190 bibby pro. If this ski were 10 mm thinner I’d buy it to complemet my bibby for non pow days or techy trees. What ski do you think is the 107 automatic? BTW you guys are killing me with the las Lenas photos. Need to get back there. Have fun!

    • Author

      Thanks, Tom. Short answer: I don’t know what the 107 Automatic is, but for “non pow and techy trees, seems like the 101 PB&J – the skinnier Bibby – could be a great option.

      If you really want to stick closer to the 107 width, then while it IS NOT an Automatic, the 108mm Blizzard Cochise is a damn good ski that is as predictable and smearable as the Automatic, and I actually think it would be a nice compliment to the Bibby (if you don’t go the PB&J route).

  6. Blister Member
    pete September 4, 2012 Reply

    how did you feel about the mounting point? would you move it or leave it as-is now that you’ve skied it a bit?


    • Author

      Hi, Pete – because our Automatics are mounted with Tracker 16s, I wasn’t able to play with the mount point, and my boot sole center ended up at -.5cm. But as I think you can tell from my review, there was nothing about the ski’s performance that had me searching for ways to improve it.

      But personally, if I was going to mount up a pair with alpine bindings, I would probably just go on the Team line…for no especially good reason…rather than .5 cms back. This doesn’t feel like a ski that would be hyper-sensitive to that .5cm change.

  7. Mike September 5, 2012 Reply

    Can you compare a bit to the 112rpc-which seems very similar
    in rocker profile and design goals?
    Sound like you loved this but liked the DPS.
    Also, would you say the Automatic, esp in a 193, would have enough
    float for AK or something similarly steep and deep? Or would you be reaching for something wider?

    • Author

      HI, Mike – I actually think that the original Wailer 112 is closer to the Automatic than the new Wailer 112RPC. The RPC has a VERY stiff tail; the Automatic doesn’t. Unfortunately, my time on the RPC was very limited, so I can’t say a whole lot more than that yet. But the Automatic is super easy to ski (more like the 112RP) and that tail of the RPC wasn’t intended to be “super easy.”

      As for AK, I don’t think that the issue with the Automatic will be float; it floats great, and I don’t think I’d really NEED wider. When you say “steep and deep,” the question for me would be “How steep, and how fast?” the issue for me would be stiffness. There are more charging-oriented pow skis – Rossi Squad 7, Moment Bibby Pro, Praxis Protest, and my question is whether you would need / want the stiffer flex. But I’d happily take the 193 Automatic to AK and go find out!

  8. slashy September 5, 2012 Reply

    I wonder how different the review would read if you 145lbs (I’m a cyclist, but I’m as tall as you).

    did anyone of the lighter folks get a spin on the 186 ?

    I’m on a 4frnt EHP 186 now as pow stick and love the smearability and control in pow (which makes it awesome) but dislike that it does not really allow to be ridden on edge in harder snow (which makes it tiresome on big verts)

    • Author

      Our reviewer, Ryan Caspar, weighs 145 lbs. and actually put several days in on the 193 Automatic in Jackson this season. You can read Ryan’s comments on the Automatic in his “One Ski Quiver Selections.”

      Long and short, if I was 40 lbs. lighter, the only difference I’d expect is that the Automatic would feel even more stable. And regarding the EHP, I definitely think you’ll find the Automatic to be an improvement in harder snow.

  9. Almeida September 5, 2012 Reply

    Can you compare this to the Line Pollard Opus. The Opus as far as I can tell is more symmetrical but is supposed to be another playful pow ski suited for lighter skiers. Looking into a pow ski for this season and the Automatic 179 seems great for a 5’5″/150 guy. Pollard is on my demo list, and so is the automatic they both got really good reviews.

    • Author

      Unfortunately, I haven’t skied the Opus. But I think at your height / weight, the Opus and the Automatic make good sense. Having had many conversations about the Opus with Jason Hutchins, I believe that it will be at least a bit softer than the Automatic, more center mounted, and much less directional. So if you’re spinning and skiing switch much, the Opus seems like the better bet. If you’re not, I highly doubt that the Automatic will disappoint.

      • Almeida September 10, 2012 Reply

        Thanks for the feedback! Will demo the Automatic for sure!

  10. Nick September 5, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for another great review!! How would you compare the Automatic to the BD AMPerage? Did you enjoy one over the other?

    Thanks for the continued excellent work!

    • Author

      Thanks, Nick. There are a lot of people out there (including our own Andrew Gregovich) who really like the AMPerage. But for me, and as I wrote, my biggest issue with it was the tail, and I had no complaints with the tail of the Automatic. Aside from the tail: in deep pow, I think both skis are very good. And on groomers, the AMPerage MIGHT get the nod over the Automatic. But personally, I’ll take the Automatic everywhere else.

  11. Mark September 6, 2012 Reply

    So the boys at BC seemed to think that the Automatic was a burly burly ski. Reading your review made me want it, but this video makes me not want it:

    Can you respond to their review? Think that is the difference between the 193 and the 186? I’m trading away my 192 Bentchetlers because I want something smaller for trees but it will still be my pow day ski. I have a charger (RC112) and a couple of all mountain rides (4FRNT turbo, G3 Zenoxide). I really want a 186 Bentchetler but I don’t mind a stiffer ski and I would actually perfer more tail on than what I get on the BC for moderate hucking. I never ski backwards on purpose.


    • Author

      As I note in my review, I’ve only skied the 186, not the 193. But I asked specifically about the flex differences of the 186 and the 193, to make sure that Atomic wasn’t doing something like Volkl did with the Katana: significantly stiffen up the 198cm and the 191cm models over the 184cm. (If Atomic had beefed up the 193, we would have taken it with us, since it would have then been the obvious choice for Las Leñas.)

      I was assured that the 193 was only “proportionally stiffer” – that is, it might run a little stiffer given the additional material length.

      So the 193 is not supposed to be a much different beast than the 186. And if that is so, then I have no idea what they are talking about in the video, saying the Automatic is “super burly,” has no speed limit, and has a pretty unforgiving tail.

      So unless Atomic’s product manager – who skis the 193cm length – is way off base, I don’t know what to make of some of these claims. But no part of me expects to suddenly find a “burly burly ski” when I get on the 193. In fact, our reviewer Ryan Caspar, who is a strong skier but weighs only 145 lbs., loves the 193cm Automatic, still thinks it’s super easy and fun, and is considering it for a one ski quiver at Jackson Hole.

    • Lorne September 7, 2012 Reply

      I’m guessing the dude reviewing was the guy skiing in black…

    • RR September 11, 2012 Reply

      So funny, I was thinking the same thing when I saw that BC review. But honestly, there isn’t many magazines or stores I trust with reviews anymore. One paragraph isn’t a review….it’s a sales pitch. That’s why we come here. Jonathan and the staff here are top notch, no BS. 4 page reviews are standard also with quick responses to questions. Blister is the sh*t. Thanks for the countless reviews. Already got my AUTOMATICS!

  12. David McGuire September 9, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    Great reviews – love the site. I did my best to come up with an intelligent target ski for my current quiv. I ski 50+ days in CO, mostly Basin, Wolf Creek, Silverton, Vail, occasionally Taos. My everydayer is a 187 XXL, the Volkl Kuro 185 didn’t get out much last year obvi (wish I had the 195 now). I ski directional for the most part and generally like a ski with a tail but am curious about the Bibby Pro 190’s (which I can’t find anywhere except Powder 7 in Golden – says they can order). The 117-120mm “sweet spot” makes sense as the gap fill – Squad 7’s, Bibbys or Praxis Rx – stiff, with the custom stiff carbon layup? Or any others? I’m getting frustrated that I can’t find the Bibby’s, the Jag Sharks could be another option but they aren’t around either? Thanks in advance,

    • David September 9, 2012 Reply

      or the Automatic could be “the one” in 193?

    • Author

      Hi, Dave – what’s your height / weight?

      I don’t think I’ve got enough info to say which ski seems like the best fit for you. The Squad and Bibby are certainly the most similar to each other; the Automatic is the softest, easiest, and most playful of the bunch; and the Rx is definitely the most traditional ski of the bunch – no tail rocker, almost no tip rocker.

      So do you want the more conventional shape / feel of your XXLs? Then the Rx. Do you ski a ton of bumps at A-Basin or Taos? Automatic. Are you mostly looking for big mountain stability? Squad or Bibby, though neither of those skis is an XXL. And as for the Jag Shark – think of the Jag Shark as sitting between the Automatic and the Bibby. No tail rocker, stiffer and less super-surfy than the Automatic, but a slightly softer shovel than the Bibby with a bigger side cut radius than the Bibby, Squad, or Automatic.

      • Dave September 11, 2012 Reply

        5’10 175…

  13. Garett September 10, 2012 Reply


    So I am stuck deciding between the two sizes offered in the skis. I am 6 ft tall, 190 lbs, with a racing background. I would instinctively go for the 193, but am worried about the length in the fairly tight trees at Revy. Would you think the 186 would be a little short and unable to charge at my size? Do these skis generally ski to length. For reference, I like the Blizzard Cochise in the 185, but wished there was something before 193, as I felt those were a little much for me in the tight spots.

    • Author

      Hi, Garrett – I’m close to your height / weight, and I am a big fan of the 185 Cochise. I don’t view it as a pow ski at all, however, and wouldn’t use it as such; that’s why I wasn’t tempted by the 193 Cochise and have never felt like I needed the additional length.

      I am, however, very tempted by the 193 Automatic. As I say, I love the 186, but if that 193 bumps up the stability even a little, I’d mount a little forward (on the line or +1) and probably be very pleased.

      I think the biggest consideration is how well you need the ski to perform in chop at high speeds. If that isn’t really a priority – but tight trees are – then I think you could safely stick with the 186. If speed in chop is important, I think you might want to bump up and deal with the additional length in trees.

      Finally, as a point of reference, the 185 Cochise charges harder than the 186 Automatic. So if the 185 Cochise is leaving you wanting, then it seems like you’d almost certainly want to bump to the 193 Automatic.

  14. Blister Member
    Robert Yoder September 14, 2012 Reply

    Hi guys. We saw you in line at Marte end of August. I was not familiar with site but now I definitely am. Great reviews and I love the 2nd and 3 rd visit. I have made errors choosing skis from one day even though I thought I had skied a bunch of different conditions on them. How do you compare the automatic to the super 7 at 188 cm. I skied my bonafides during the trip. A friend and I hiked to La Banana a couple of times. He had the squad 7 and as you know conditions were not optimum for them. He preferred the run with his experience 98. I am interested in the squad as a replacement for the super 7 however the automatice in 186 sounds like it needs a try. Sage I think was instrumental with the s7 and the automatic seems to be fashioned after that ski. What do you think?

  15. Author

    Hi, Robert – if you haven’t already read Jason Hutchins’ review of the Super 7, you should. Jason and I are in perfect agreement about that ski. Basically, I think the Automatic is better in every way. Lots of people still love the Super 7, but I wouldn’t choose it in any condition / application over the Automatic. (Nor would I choose the Super 7 over the Squad 7 for anything other than MAYBE groomers – but that’s just me).

    I love the Squad 7, however, and as I mention, it is more ski than the Automatic: more stable, less playful, not as quick and super easy to turn as the Automatic. I’d rather ski the Squad in chop and variable snow, but I’d rather ski the Automatic in bumps and really tight trees. For now, I can’t say that I’d have a clear preference in deep pow. (And as I mention in the review, maybe the 193 Automatic will narrow the stability gap between the 186 Automatic and the 190 Squad 7.)

    I don’t know where or how you ski or your size, but those factors would likely break any tie between the Automatic and the Squad 7.

    • Blister Member
      Robert Yoder September 14, 2012 Reply

      Thank you for the reply. I did read your 2 reviews and thought they were great. I did have over the handle bar issues and wheelies with the s7. I found the super 7’way better. I ski chutes and tight trees on snowcat trips and at Squaw here. I have a pair of 183 shiros and think I would like longer ones mounted 2 cm forward better.
      I did have the 112 wailer and thought they were too light, getting bounced around in some conditions.

      I am not a big gs let it rip skier. At las Lenas we were skiing chutes with lots of turns.

      I would like to try the squad but I was not a fan of the 190 bibby. I think it was the 183 I liked better. More turnkey.

      It sounds like the Automatic is the one I really should try. I like the atlas in the 180 not the 190. Super 7 in the 188 not 193 or 195 whatever it is.

      I like playful, Seth, Seth pistol etc from the past.

      Super 7’is close so maybe the automatic or Squad.

  16. Eric September 14, 2012 Reply

    How do these compare to the Line Influence 115?

    • Author

      Both the Influence 115 and Automatic are easy skis, but the (short) 186 115 felt even “easier” than the 186 Automatic. Beyond that, I had these two skis in almost exactly opposite terrain and conditions: Niseko, Japan (low angle trees, deep pow) & Las Leñas, Argentina (steep, techy lines & big, open lines, variable conditions) so I need to be careful here. But the Automatics are probably a bit more substantial, and I would trust them more at speed and in chop. Having said that…I REALLY want to ski the 192 Influence 115. And while I will probably size up to the 193 Automatic, I like the 186. But I would definitely size up to the 192 Influence 115.

      Both are quick, both are easy, no tip dive on either. But for some reason, I never thought of the 115 when I was on the Automatics, and now, I’m not really sure why. Would definitely be good to A/B them this season, and I hope to.

      • Blister Member
        Andrew January 30, 2014 Reply

        Skied the 179 automatics in Jackson today that my buddy was demoing vs my 186cm 115s. Maybe it was the length but I thought the automatics were much easier but preferred the 115s. The tail n the automatics washed out on the groomer once. I guess I’m used to a strong tail of the hell and back, but even the 115 doesn’t wash out. My buddy loved the automatics and wouldn’t size up even though 200lb strong skier that skies 186 mantra everyday.

        Has anyone skied 192 115 yet? Would love opinions as I considered it to increase stability at speed or just get the supernatural 108 for after fresh is skied out.

  17. Isak September 16, 2012 Reply

    Any idea on the exact position of the reccommended mount in relation to true center on these?

    • Author

      A couple specs, Isak:

      Our straight tape pull is 184.2cm, so true center is 92.1cm from tip or tail.

      Atomic has two mount point recommendations: “Center” and “Team.”

      By “Center,” they mean “center-ish,” because that line is 100cm back from the tip.

      Their team line is then 2.5cm back from there, at 102.5cm from the tip.

  18. Jeremy September 16, 2012 Reply

    Great review and site! Just curious, is there a ski from last year that would be most similiar to the Automatic?

    • Author

      Thanks, Jeremy. I’ve been thinking about this for a bit, and honestly, I can’t think of anything that is super close. But since you simply say “most similar”…sort of the 184 Bibby Pro? Sort of the DPS Wailer 112RP? Sort of the Black Diamond AMPerage? That’s all I’ve got, and probably in that order.

  19. Steve September 19, 2012 Reply

    Just wondering when you think the Pettitor review might be posted? Skied the 179 for a day last season and loved it, but unsure about length. But now your Automatic review has me reconsidering. I look forward to comparing your reviews on each of these skis.

  20. Bill September 20, 2012 Reply

    Fantastic review Jonathan. I am a 6 feet tall 235 pound 43 year old skier (picture a worn out linebacker) I Learned how to ski in my late 20s and am a capable advanced east coast skier. While I ski all the east coast blacks I have hiked out (up) of a couple of western double blacks that threatened my longevity, thus I am advanced-not an expert. As my body is starting to show the wear and tear of years of sports I am more appreciative of lively quicker skis than heavier charging skis. For the last couple of years I have been skiing Fischer Watea 94s on the east coast and when I head west.

    Last season I rented some Atomic Coaxs at Solitude and loved their versatility, quickness, playfulness, and ability in crud. I have never been on any of the style of skis listed In your review and realize the Coax is an Entirely different animal, but wonder if you could compare the coax and automatic on groomers and in quickness. Though neither ski is an ideal east coast ski I had Fun skiing the coax and your description of the automatic (easy, predictable, versatile) reminded me of some of the coaxs best traits. Could you imagine the automatic being a fun (not the best -but fun) east coast ski for playful skiing? Or would it really be a ski you would only go to with at least 6 inches of fresh?

    Thanks for your great work.


    • Author

      Thanks, Bill. I’m afraid that I haven’t skied the Coax, but it sounds like maybe that’s your ski since you already know you like it. The Automatic did fine on groomers (mostly spring, slush groomers), but I’m not endorsing it as an excellent choice for EC hardpack / boilerplate. But if you’re on soft snow, sure. And if you’re on a couple inches of fresh, definitely. So no, it doesn’t need 6″ of fresh, but since you don’t seem to be looking first and foremost for a 115+ versatile pow ski…seems like that Coax is still making good sense?

  21. Frank September 24, 2012 Reply

    Another question from an east coast Clydes !
    Jonathan, your reviews are simply fantastic and unique. You make it easier to wait for the first storm of the season :-)
    Your review of the Automatic just added another contender for my next skis. I am 6’4″ and 225 and a good skier, I should say Telemarker. For the past 4 years I Telemark about 40-50 times/year, this include 1month per year on the west coast dedicate to skiing. Mainly resort with à little backside here and there.
    BD Custom boots (rigid) and 22designs Axl bindings. My current skis:
    K2 Pon2oon 189
    Voile Charger 191
    K2 Hardside 189
    I am looking to get a pair of 110-120 mm fun, playfull skis.
    When its realy dumping, the pon2oon are great, but the day after its a lot of ski.
    Looking for something ultra maniable for the trees on the east coast and to bring with me while travelling on the west coast.
    Considering Bibby Pro 190, AK JJ, Jaguar Shark 192, influence 115 192 and now the Automatic 192.

    Help Jonathan Help :-)

    • Author

      I’ll try to help, Frank, but with the pretty big caveat that I don’t telemark. So, grain of salt….

      If “ultra manageable in trees” is the most important factor, then I would give the nod to the 193 Automatic or the 192 Influence 115. And on the “fun and playful” criteria, I’d probably still give the nod to those two skis – especially at slower speeds. As I always say, the Bibby is a playful charger; I am confident that it will charge harder (and probably be a bit more work) than the 192 Influence 115, and I’m not sure how much the gap will narrow between the 190 Bibby and the Automatic when I get on the 193 Automatic.

      Lastly, while the Jag Shark isn’t going to be the quickest ski out there, I know a number of telemarkers who aren’t in love with tail rocker. If that’s you, then the Jag Shark ought to be considered. Hope that helps at least a tiny bit.

      • Frank September 26, 2012 Reply

        Thank you for the quick response.
        I knew you were not a tele guy but any info is good for me at this point.
        It is almost impossible to try skis with à tele set up of a suitable size for me. So every little bit of info I can get is appreciated. The comments section of each reviews is also full of good info. I will go throught it and decide then.
        Thanks again.

  22. Paul September 25, 2012 Reply

    Automatic or Squad7 or Moment Death Wish for and everyday ski? I mainly ski at Mammoth

    • Author

      Hi, Paul – all 3 are good skis, but I’d need to know a lot more than where you ski to make a recommendation. Height / weight? Directional skier, or skiing switch? Spinning? Trees / bumps, or wide open? Where do you want these skis to really excel?

  23. Nick September 28, 2012 Reply

    Superb site – fantastic work, and some of the most detailed reviews around. I have been on the fence between the 186 and 193 Automatics… I ski the local club fields (mostly Broken River and Craigeburn) in New Zealand, with a trip to Japan or the Canada. I’ve been skiing Rossignol Scratch BCs 186, and loved that they could ‘run’ and arc at high-speeds, but still found them to work well in the powder. I’ve been meaning to replace them for some time. I demo’d the Bentchetler but found them waaaaay too soft for the variable conditions we get here! I’m about your height and weight, but really want a versatile ski that’s not going to be too much in the trees on the odd trip to Canada or Japan… Have settled on the Automatic – it’s just the length….. I love the trees, and handle a regular 186, mid-fat at speed, so think the 193 will be manageable (although I’m pushing 40) – but will the 186 feel…. short? Am going to throw a pair of Tracker 16 bindings on them, as we do a lot side-country here. Be keen to see your review once you’ve been on the 193s. I’ll be needing to pull the trigger mid-December when I head to BC for Christmas.

    • Author

      Thanks, Nick. Hopefully, we’ll get enough snow for me to get on the 193s before you need to make a decision. But as I wrote, I don’t feel like I have to move up to the 193s with these, just that I might like them even more.

  24. Blister Member
    Tim October 2, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan

    First, let me echo the praise for your great reviews and feedback! Blister Gear Reviews has transformed online ski information – so thank you…but I am hoping to mine a little bit more info from you if you don’t mind.

    I’m heading to Hokkaido for 2 weeks at the end of January, and will probably be booking some guided trips with Black Diamond Tours (since it looks like you guys had a blast with them). I plan to take my 187 Praxis Protests, but am trying to decide on a second ski to take. My only other ski at the moment (other than some old race skis) is a 2009 185 Line Mothership. It’s a great ski at the right time, but a lot of work, especially in tight trees. Do you think the Automatic would make a suitable second ski for days when conditions aren’t right for the Protest and some limited slackcountry touring (would probably mount with a Tracker / Guardian)? Or would you recommend going with something narrower and / or more suitable for hard snow (eg, my Mothership or something new like the Cochise?). If you can’t tell I’m trying to justify another ski ;). I’m 25, 6’1, 175, ski 20 ish full days per year my whole life and like to ski fast but not crazy and suspect that I generally prefer making more turns than the general trend on this site. I do small drops, but rarely ski switch or spin etc…

    Thanks for listening and sorry for the long post.


    • Author

      Thanks, Tim – The Protest + either the Automatic or Cochise will be sick in Hokkaido. And yes, you’ll have a blast with Clayton and Black Diamond.

      And man, the Automatic would be such a fun tree ski for Japan…but really, the Cochise would be, good, too, when things aren’t deep. The primary difference here is that I regard the Automatic as a MUCH better pow ski than the Cochise, and I’d rather ski the Cochise the more firm conditions become and the faster we’re skiing. (The Cochise is better in chop, too.)

      So Protest + Cochise will leave you with less overlap, but the Automatic (as I hope I conveyed) does a good job when things get firm, especially when considering how well it handles deep snow. I think you’ll be psyched either way, you just have to decide what matters to you most.

  25. Blister Member
    Chuck Proctor October 3, 2012 Reply

    I have a question that I am hoping you can answer. I currently own 2010 Prophet 100’s in 172 and 2012 Line Influence 105’s in 179. I am going to add one more daily driver Bonafide or Cochise and a powder ski this year. I live in Michigan but get out west 8-10 days a year. Going to try and go to Jackson Hole and will make it to Snowbird/Alta this year as well. I am 44, 5′ 6″ and weigh 165 lbs. I am an aggressive expert skiier. I lived in Aspen from ’91-’95 and skiied over 400+ days when living there. However with age and not living in the mountains anymore comes limitations, mainly I am not as strong a skiier as I used to be. I love skiing steeps, chutes, trees and bumps on steeps. I don’t go crazy fast on this terrain and only occassionally take air. I don’t ski switch and want the powder ski I buy to have good crud and skiied off powder capabilites. I am looking at these three powder skis and was wondering which one would fit me best.

    1) Armada JJ 185
    2) Atomic Automatic 185
    3) Line Mr. Pollard Opus 185

    Thanks for the great reviews and the help,


    • Author

      Chuck, off this list, given what you say you’re looking for, I’d rank them as a clear 1-2-3: Automatic, JJ, Opus, and I think sifting through the comments section will explain why. (I would also prefer to ski the Cochise the more firm the conditions get, but I don’t really regard the Cochise as a true pow ski….)

  26. Blister Member
    Chuck October 8, 2012 Reply

    So I ended up buying the Bonafides and got them in 180. I am pretty sure I am going to add the Atomic Automatic as my dedicated powder ski. I haven’t skiied the Bones yet but am pretty sure I am going to love them. I feel like the Influence 105’s in 179 is the perfect size for me. Knowing that would you recommend the Automatics in 179 or 186 for me? I will be using it on powder days and will be skiing mostly steeps. steep bumps and trees. Thanks in advance.


    • Author

      Difficult for me to say, Chuck. I imagine you’d be fine with either, though if this is really a dedicated pow ski, then I highly doubt you will be disappointed that you “sized up” to the 186. But if the 179 seems like the safer call, the Automatic isn’t a ski that I think *must* be sized up.

  27. Blister Member
    Chuck October 11, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Jonathan. I liked your answer because it pretty much agrees with what I was thinking about the ski. I ski in the trees alot on powder days so I like the quickness of the shorter size. The 179 it will be.



  28. Dominik October 14, 2012 Reply

    hey guys. great review! i bought it because if it. just one question: what mount location would you recommend? team – 1/2?


  29. Magnus October 14, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan! How would you compare the Automatic to Salomons Rocker2 115? They seem pretty similar on paper.

    I’m 5’11 and 195 lbs and the Automatic/Rocker would replace my 10/11 Katanas (190 cm, mounted +1,5 cm). I really love the Katana, great charger but I’d like to try something more relaxed and floaty that’s still capable of handling variable conditions.

    Another option would be to stick with the Katana and add the Rocker2 108 (190 cm). No one seems to really like the 108 though… Decisions, decisions, decisions.

    Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

    • Author

      Hey, Magnus – I’m afraid that I haven’t yet had time on the 115s, so all I can do is point you to Will Brown’s review of it. As for the 108, Jason Hutchins actually likes it quite a bit so far, though I wonder whether someone who loves the Katana (as I do, too) will be into the 108. (Very different ski. But I look forward to skiing the 108 this season and finding out.)

      And at your weight, if you really need / expect the Automatic to be “capable” in variable stuff – especially if you’re used to a Katana – I would definitely go with the 193.

  30. Lorne October 17, 2012 Reply

    I got my 193 Automatics this week. Definitely stiffer than the 186 I flexed back in February, but that could have been a pre-production model. Stoked to get out on them anyway!

  31. JorgenDH October 19, 2012 Reply

    Great review of the Automatics, and I’m using this page as an info site when i need to “gear up”. Right now i’m kinda in a dilemma. Just sold my Dynastar XXL (187) with duke, my Liberty Genome (187) with Jester 16 and my old Volkl mantras with tele setup (my touring gear). Thats what happens when you go from ski bum, to family guy, and don’t want to travel with 10 sets of skis when on the hill++ And i want to replace my old setups it with one ski that can cover everything from the Mantras to the Genome. I was thinking the Automatic (tested it one day last year, and loved it.), the Dynafit TLT Radical FT 110/130mm Binding and a pair of boots that can work from hard charging/cliff dropping to touring ( considering the SCARPA Maestrale RS,Tecnica Cochise Pro Light AT boot or the Vulcan/Mercury TF)
    Still have my Salomon Ghost 130, but they too are up for grabs.
    Just wondering if this really is the ski that is gonna cover it all (kinda feels like it), and if i’m gonna go for the 186 or the 193. And if it really is possible to make room in the garage for my kids gear, or if i’m gonna keep all my toys:)
    I’m an experienced skier, 160 pounds , 5’9 and skiing mainly on the west coast of Norway.
    Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!

    • Author

      Hi, Jorgen – I’m not exactly sure what you’re specific question is, but my main thought is that, yes, the Automatic could serve as a one ski quiver—but to be clear, it is not going to carve / handle like your Mantra. But you know that, since you’ve skied it.

      I think that is far and away the most important thing: you skied the Automatic, you know exactly how it handles, and you liked it. Sounds like you’ve made your choice?

  32. Lorne October 19, 2012 Reply

    Figuring out where to mount my 193s now. There is no “Team” line though, just “Recommendation”, “-3” and “+3”, the recommended line being 85.3cm from the tail. Any ideas how these correspond to the “team” line mentioned here and elsewhere?

  33. Heff October 23, 2012 Reply

    Hey great review thanks for the detail. Wondering what you think. I am looking to replace my 183 Shiros and 179 EHP (originals). I’m 5’5 140 and ski and slackcountry around Whistler on the daily. I love my EHP but wanted more float as I found they nose dove a lot. I also liked the Shiros but wanted more personLity from them and hated how wide the tips were. My real concern is that the automatic will be too soft but don’t know how it compares to either EHP or Shiro. Thinking 179 or 186 and mounting a bit forward….. Cheers!

    • Author

      Hey, Heff – I basically hated the 183 Shiro last February in Japan. It skied crazy short. I would love, however, to ski the longer length, and in this case, I could see my opinion changing quite a bit.

      At your height / weight, I think I can recommend the 186 Automatic. It didn’t remind me of the Shiro at all, really. And I don’t know the ’08 EHP (only the new Hoji). The Automatic floats much better, and is overall a far more straightforward, versatile ski. The Hoji is cool, it just felt to Jason and me like a pretty specific tool, in a way that the Automatic doesn’t. But if you’re a pretty strong skier, I’d recommend the 186, and I highly doubt you’ll be dissatisfied. I’ve got you by 40+ lbs, and while I don’t regard the Automatic as a charger, it holds up. I think you’ll be fine, and I think you’ll love it. Go 179 only if you intend to be ripping a ton of bumps, where additional length just doesn’t help.

  34. Heff October 23, 2012 Reply

    …. And by EHP’s I mean the Pilsner topsheets, ’08 I think.

  35. Darren October 23, 2012 Reply

    Hey, quick question I get frustrated that ski companies don’t disclose the weight of their skis. Do you know the weight of the 186 automatics and if not exactly, could you benchmark their weight against other skis?

  36. Darren October 24, 2012 Reply

    Another question, you guys and the atomic website has the tip-waist-tail listed as 140.5-117-129.5, but every other website I’ve seen has them listed as 130-117-119, any idea where the discrepancy comes from and can you shed some light on the actual measurements?

    • Lorne October 24, 2012 Reply

      The pre-release topsheets and stickers were printed wrongly. Correct dimensions are 140.5/117/129.5 in the 186 and 141.5/117/130.5 in 193. 186 weighs 2210g per ski, 193 is 2434g.

      • Almeida October 24, 2012 Reply

        Hard to believe the poor job dealers and magazines do! How could anyone believe the dimensions would be 130-117-119? I was also intrigued by the discrepancy since every other place but here and atomic had wrong dimensions.

        • Author

          For the record, we put calipers on the Automatic just to make sure about the dimensions, and our tip, waist, and tail measurements were all within a millimeter of Atomic’s stated measurements. As for the “Hard to believe” part, Almeida…you’re right.

      • Author

        Lorne, did you weigh the 186s and 193s, or did you dig up stated weights?

        • Lorne October 25, 2012 Reply

          The 186 weight is from a catalogue spec. The 193 weight is from my pair on my scales.

  37. eddy yeh October 28, 2012 Reply

    Great review.
    quick questions. I’m 5’7″ and 145 lbs. 53 yrs old advanced skier. Is the 179 a good size for me?
    has a 179 Poonton and really enjoyed the last 3 seasons except on hard icey bumps.

    • Author

      Thanks, Eddy. And I can’t say whether you’d most prefer the 179 or the 186. Maybe some of my other answers about sizing in the above comments will help. The other thing I would do is do a straight tape measurement of your Pontoons. If your “179”s actually measure 182, then I would probably opt for the “186” Automatics…which actually measure straight at just over 184…..And yes, this could all be simpler. Whichever length you decide to get, let us know what you think of these.

  38. Alan November 3, 2012 Reply

    I am 5’9″, 160 lbs, 58 yo. I ski 175 cm JJs. Terrific in the trees – forgiving, turns “on a dime”. Nevertheless, they ski a bit short at speed and get knocked around in the heavy crud. Would you recommend 179 or 186 cm Automatics? I’ve read the comments, but most of the skiers are young, strong, and “immortal”. I (on the other hand) am old and quite mortal. Am also considering the Influence 115, Opus, and Pettitor.

    • Author

      Hi, Alan – if performance at speed and in crud is your top priority, then I would recommend the 186 Automatic, as I would have recommended the 185 JJ over the 175. I’d only hesitate here IF you would be reluctant to size up the JJs. I.e., 185s would increase stability, and I do not believe that you’d find them to be sluggish or unforgiving.

  39. Eddy November 4, 2012 Reply

    Thank you Jonathan.
    Just picked up the 179 at local ski shop and install the baron binding which was previously mounted on my old Gotama 178
    I was considering the dps wailer 112 and salomon rocker 2 108 but think the Automatic will be more stable and fun specially in the PNW here after talk to local shop and read the review, plus the graphic and color is much cooler :-)
    I will still ride my beloved Poonton in epic day and my Blizzard magnum 87 as a ice skating stick but Automatic should be the daily driver.
    Lets pray for the snow……


  40. David November 13, 2012 Reply


    Thank you for your excellent review of the Automatic, and for your exceptional work on this site in general. Your reviews are the best in the industry! I have just ordered the Automatic 193’s and am now wondering about the mounting point for alpine bindings. Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

    About me: I am a former 100+ day/yr. ski bum,now living in SLC,UT. I am 42 years old, 5’10”, 195 lbs, have skied for 31 years, and am an advanced/expert skier. I still
    average 50+ days per year. I am planning to use this ski as my dedicated powder ski for the Wasatch, but also plan to take it to BC for some cat skiing. I love to ski open bowls, but I regularly seek-out steep chutes and the trees as well.

    My previous powder ski was the 183cm Bent Chetler, with the bindings mounted 2.5 cm behind the team line. I felt these skis were too soft and too short for me – especially since I don’t ski switch.

    For the Automatics, I am considering mounting my bindings 1-2 cm in front of the team line. Thanks in advance for any feedback you may have, and keep up the good work!

    • Author

      Thanks for the kind words, David. I think you’d be fine mounting at +1 or +2. If I had to drill a pair of 193s right now, I’d probably go +1 in front of the line, but that’s just me. Sorry I can’t offer more solid advice on this one yet.

  41. Ribs November 17, 2012 Reply

    Thanks for info. I know you kind of already answered this, but I’m looking for some clarification – can you compare these in 186 to the 2011/12 Line Influence 115. I think you previously compared it to the newer 2013 version, because you mentioned 192.

    Anyway, looking for a deeper snow complement to my Belefonte’s in 182. Maybe need to go even wider, but we don’t get too big of dumps here, so I’m thinking the fairly stiff older Influence 115 with fat tips might do fine for deeper days? And I could still spend sometime with the wife on groomers if I had too. Anyway, thanks in advance and I’d appreciate any advice given my other Ski is the Belafonte. PS not skied anything wider than 106 yet, so this is all virgin territory for me.

    PS – live in SW Idaho – and am also a warn-out ex linebacker (loved the guy who previously labeled himself as such – so me too)

    • Author

      Hey, Ribs – I won’t just rehash my 11/12 Influence 115 review, but if it were me, I’d probably opt to pair the Belafonte with the Automatic. Belafonte + 11/12 Influence 115 seem more similar than Belafonte + Automatic. Then again, if you go Influence, you’ll have a phenomenal fat carver with a traditional twin, (more similar to the Belafonte) that will definitely be better in pow than the Belafonte. So it really depends what you’re going for: more overlap, or less?

  42. Blister Member
    Ben November 17, 2012 Reply

    Hey Jonathan,
    Thanks you for the great review of the automatic!
    I am seriously considering buying a pair of automatics, I am 6 feet and 200lbs. I have ski raced at the provincial and national level here in canada and am looking for a ski that can charge the steep and deep (sometimes heavy) stuff at whistler. Also I want I ski I can lay over and arc some gs turns on the groomers. My main questions concerning the ski is length 186 or 193, performance on groomers, and where to mount ( once I know the appropriate length). I will ski 90% of the year at whistler. If you have any other skis you would like to recommend that fit my needs please let me know!

    • Author

      Hi, Ben – at 6′, 200 lbs, definitely 193 if you go with the Automatic. But at your size, and if it’s really, seriously about “charging,” I would take a look at the 190 Moment Bibby Pro, 191 ON3P Billy Goat, or, if you’re willing to go narrower, the 193 Blizzard Cochise or 191 Volkl Katana. (I’ve only skied the 186, not the 193, but I can’t confirm that the strongest suit of the 193 Automatic is charging; it wasn’t the STRONGEST suit of the 186.) Also, I think you’re going to need to decide whether you most want this ski to excel in the deep, or excel at pulling GS turns.

      • Blister Member
        Ben November 20, 2012 Reply

        Thanks for your feed back! I am fine going narrower. The blizzard cochise looks like a great ski. I did some more research on a ski with narrower dimensions and stumbled across the salomon rocker2 108 in the 190cm length. It seems like a ski that would handle the groomers better than the automatics. would you agree? As of now I would like a ski that I could use whenever whistler gets hit by a storm or gets any amount of new snow. It also important that the ski performs even after the first fresh pow days have passed.

        • Author

          Well, Ben, you’re sort of in luck. I skied the Salomon 108 the past couple of days at Taos, and was very impressed with its early season hardpack performance. Honestly, I sort of expected this ski to be just a dumb, fun, soft, trick ski (read: noodle). So far, it seems far more interesting than that. On consistent groomers, the Automatics performed well, too, so I am not willing to say yet that the 108s are clearly better. But I am pretty shocked by how much I liked the 108s – and Will Brown felt the same way. But Will, Jason, and I all need to get the 108s in a broader range of conditions. But the 108 seems like it’s going to warrant One-Ski-Quiver consideration for certain skiers. But my hunch is that you could think of it as a more playful, less stable, less directional Cochise. But again, if you’re serious about the charging part, and you’re not skiing switch or spinning, then the 193 Cochise still seems like the safest choice.

  43. JP November 19, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    I know its been awhile but could you elaborate more on your experience on the 186cm Automatic versus the 185cm JJ. I have skied both on groomers for a couple of laps. Mostly curious about off-piste, soft snow, and powder performance comparisons.



    • Author

      Hi, JP – it has been a while, but the biggest difference for me was that while I would occasionally get tip dive on the JJs, I never did on the Automatics. This could probably just be chalked up to the more centered mount of the JJ vs. the Automatic. Neither the JJ nor (186) Automatic destroy chop, they just require a lighter, more centered stance.

      Bottom line: I’d love to get back on the JJ, and both the JJ and Automatic are good skis. But for directional skiers, I think the Automatic is the safer recommendation. If you’re skiing switch a ton, I’d recommend the JJ. If you’re spinning, I’d still recommend the JJ – or at least mounting those Automatics just a few cms behind center.

  44. Alan November 25, 2012 Reply

    Automatics vs. Opus? Would you compare the two re:
    1. Performance in the powder (which floats better?), groomed (including hardpack), crud, bumps
    2. Performance in the trees
    3. Forgiveness

  45. Richard November 26, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    The reviews on this website are on a different level to anywhere else on the web – great job!

    I’ve got my heart set on the Automatics but I’m not sure about the length. I was wondering if either you’ll be trying the 193 anytime soon, or Ryan Caspar the 186, or another member of the team was in a position to compare the two? I’m looking to pull the trigger on a pair before New Years for a trip to Niseko. I’m 26yo 6ft c.165lbs, worked a season in Tignes a few years back but now consigned to two weeks on these each year. Currently ski the 179 Scott Crusade which I find prone to tip dive in soft snow where it is also a little heavy to turn. I’ll be fitting them with Market Barons (or equivalent), but want the ski to be able to tackle both steep bowls at a decent speed and tight trees /couloirs at slower speeds. I’m a little reluctant to size up and mount the binding further forward in the event this makes the ski feel less balanced (I don’t intend to spin). Any advice you could offer would be much appreciated!


    • Author

      Hi, Rich – really appreciate the compliments. We hope to be on the 193cm soon, but we’ll need the weather to cooperate, too.

      But I will say this: I have no reservations about going +1 at 193cm, and in this case, I have no worries that the ski will feel unbalanced at that position. If anything, a case could be made that the recommended line is fairly far back on the ski.

      But obviously, I’ll be able to speak with certainty rather than confidence if I just get on that 193….

  46. Jason November 26, 2012 Reply

    Jonathan, first off, let me say that this has become my “go to” site for reviews. There are so many review sites out there, but this one is head and shoulders above the rest. Great technical detail, and truly gives the reader a feel for the product(s). I’m an advanced skier, 41 years old, 5’9″ 175lbs, and in process of buying the Automatics based on this review. I am going with 186cm. I have the DPS 112RP Pure in 184cm now, and really like that ski, but want to add to my quiver. I like the 112’s best at +1 mount position, so my question to Jonathan is, should I make an assumption that I would also prefer the mount point at +1cm with the Automatics, or just go with the Team Line position? I thought about Schizo’s, but not sure I want to go that route due to additional weight and potential reliability issues that have been sited by some skiers. Any input on the mounting point for me would be sincerely appreciated. Thank you Jonathan, and keep up the great work. Your readers appreciate it!

    • Author

      Thanks for the kind words, Jason. As I noted above, I don’t think this ski is super-sensitive to mount location, and I have no reservations about going +1. Obviously, I can’t say for sure what you’ll prefer, but if you’re leaning +1, do it.

  47. John H December 1, 2012 Reply

    Great reviews! I’m 39 years old, expert level, 6′, 175#s geared up and been skiing for 35 years. I have the birdhouse Super S7 195 with Schizos, and after a lot of movement I liked them most all conditions @ +1.5. I’m looking to sideline the S7s and replace with with another easy all around ski. I have a Protest 195, and the Blizz Bods 196, so I’m considering the Autos @ 193 to replace the Supers. Is this a good compliment and if so, how should i mount @ +1.5 also?


    • John H December 1, 2012 Reply

      BTW, I’m also considering the Squad 7s, so and comments with that piece of info is appreciated. thx!

      • Author

        Hi, John – Protest + Bodacious + Automatic / Squad 7 strikes me as a pretty unusual 3-ski quiver, but if “easy” is the criterion – I’m inclined to say the 193 Automatic. I’m hoping to get on a pair soon, and if I do, I’ll let you know what I think of +1, we’re I’d be inclined to at least start.

  48. Alex P. December 8, 2012 Reply

    6’1″, 180lbs, 35, ski Squaw. The question: 186 or 193? In the past, I’ve found that a 185cm flat-tail or 190cm twin-tip feels about right for me. Is the 193 Auto a no-brainer?

    Thanks for the great reviews.

    • Author

      Sure, Alex. And given your height / weight, and given that the Automatic is a tail rockered ski, you have answered your own question, right? (The Automatic doesn’t only have a twinned tail, it has a rockered tail – even shorter effective edge.)

      And as I wrote in the review, if in doubt…size up.

      • Alex P. January 2, 2013 Reply

        Here is some follow-up after 3 days on the Autos at Jackson Hole. The 193s were easy as pie to ski at 6’1″ and 180lbs — I second the recommendation to size up if in any doubt. I found them to perform amazingly well all over the mountain as snow quality gradually degraded over 3 days following a big storm. Floaty and smooth in fresh, confident (if not Cadillac-damp) in crud, quick and easy on the steep stuff, nimble in bumps, shockingly competent on firm groomers. In all, they felt like hero sticks that make everything easier and more fun. Only drawbacks I’d note: (1) although the tapered tips perform as billed, the big shovels leave me wanting to keep a narrower ski in my quiver for truly firm days, especially in bumps; (2) as with any rockered ski, the shorter effective edge and raised tip mean they don’t feel quite as locked-down and in charge as a traditional ski; and (3) while solid, they didn’t feel as creamy-damp as my old metal-sandwich Nordica Blowers.

  49. Tom December 15, 2012 Reply

    Jonathan. You guys continue to kill it with your reviews. Thank you again. You have compared the automatic to the bibby pro. Not sure if it has been to the 190 or 184 or both. I currently have a 2nd gen 190 bibby and love em but want to replace them with either a 184 bibby or 186 automatic. I have never skied the 184 bibby and was hoping to get your thoughts on the comparison between the 186 automatic and the 184 bibby.

    • Author

      Thanks, Tom. I think if you look at the Automatic / Bibby Pro section again, you’ll see that I am referring to the 190 Bibby (with one mention of the 184). But the 184 Bibby Pro is still a stiffer ski than the Automatic, and (obviously) quicker and a little lighter and not AS stable as the 190 Bibby. I’d probably rather ski the 186 Automatic than the 184 Bibby on a pow day, and I’d rather ski the 184 Bibby rather than the 186 Automatic in chop / variable, because its stiffer than the Automatic.

      Since you’re going shorter, both the Automatic and 184 Bibby will be quicker and easier to manage than your 190s. So, which sounds better: the softer flex of the Automatic, or the stiffer flex of the Bibby?

  50. Tom December 16, 2012 Reply

    Thanks John. Really looking forward to your feedback on the governor in comparison to the 190 bibby as well. I have been skiing the original on3p Jeffery’s and judging from your reviewers, and their comparative ski styles, the new version of the jeffery would interest you and your crew. . Just imagine, a sir Francis bacon in single A minor league ball meets and old veteran named hoji and juices for a while and decides to take on a more north shore approach to the game – your major leaguer would be named Jeffery.

    • Author

      Governors are being mounted up as I write this….And I’ve been very interested in the Jeffrey since it first came out. Definitely hope we can put time on it this season. Oh, and I like the idea that Sir Francis Bacon was on the needle. I’m sure it helped him drum up the scientific method.

  51. Nvh777 December 20, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Fantastic site you guys have here. I can get my hands on some Bibby Pros but unfort the 184s. Ideally I am looking at the 190 or the Atomic Automatic 193. I am 6ft, 180pds, strong skier that skis mainly in Europe (steep glaciers, tight colouirs, tight trees – all sorts of snow) and want one ski that can do most things. I have a classic racing background but lazy nowadays and like to play mo and more.. Would the 184 Bibby be too small a ski for me? Could you also please advise on the 190 Bibby vs 193 Automatic for a guy like me?

    • Author

      Given the words “lazy” and “play,” I could see you enjoying either the 184 Bibby or the 193 Automatic. I love the 190 Bibby, but there are easier skis out there.

      And good news: we are FINALLY getting on the 193cm Automatic today at Taos. Won’t have them in a full range of conditions, but I can’t wait to get on a ski that I’ve only been able to speculate about since this summer in Argentina.

  52. Nvh777 December 21, 2012 Reply

    Sorry, some CHEAP USED 184s it should say above..

  53. Nvh777 December 21, 2012 Reply

    Thanks Jonathan, looking forward to hear what you think of the 193s! Out of curiousity, where did you mount your 190 Bibbys and where you preferred to mount the Automatics?

    • Author

      To date, I’ve skied the 190 Bibbys on the line. And I have some time on the Automatics, and I’ve got the 193s mounted at +1. So far, so good, but I’ll continue to play a bit with the mount and report back soon.

  54. Mike December 28, 2012 Reply

    Quick review of my own: (33 yo, 6’1″, 180) After reading the reviews, and doing some extensive research, I went with the 186 automatic over the line influence 115 and bibby pro. 1st day at vail – christmas – 8″ fresh. Loved them in the powder – float, quick and playful, and so quick in the tight trees back in blue sky. No hesitation to turn just like you said. At mid day found some sun baked untracked with some crust underneath…flying down with no hesitation, no catching, just perfect. Great confidence stomping some medium and small drops. Day 2 at beaver creek and had knee deep powder – felt perfect – floaty and nice and surfy if lean back on the tails, but felt good power and turn confidence when leaned on it and moved weight forward. Groomers the skis felt very quick, no tail wash, and had complete confidence to go fast with almost no tip chatter when opened up for GS turns. Not a feeling of ‘on rails’ as with my old line prophet 100 with the GS turns on soft snow, but quicker slalom turns were actually much better which surprised me. Overall – I am extremely happy with these skis and could not imagine a better choice for my type of skiing. Just hope this helps anyone elses decision process any easier.

  55. Blister Member
    Doug December 31, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,
    Great site/reviews!
    I really do not need another pair of skis, have many pairs now…..but……I could not pass picking up a pair of new in the wrapper Atomic Automatics 186cm for a great price.I have not mounted them as of yet, and before I do, or don’t, I would appreciate your input.

    Me: Live in the midwest, moving west in the next 2 years. Starting skiing again 5 years ago after a 27yr lapse, 52 yeras old, 6ft, pushing 200# hoping to get back to 190#. Ability: I would call myself Advanced on groomers, minimal crud, soft crud etc, but a lower level as I learn the deeper snow, trees, and steeper pitches out west, but I can confidently say……keep getting better every year. I Like to ski, or try to ski most of the mountain, except moguls, I pick thru them as needed. I like playing around, also ripping groomers and also a did a lot of of GS nastar racing last year. Ski out west 20+ days a year, ski about 40 days a year. I started visiting my brother in western Montana for 1-2 weeks every year were we will go ski the ma-pa areas. We like to ski them after they have been close for 2-4 days during the week, so alot of the time your skiing 10-20+ inches of settled and/or wind blow snow.
    I skied my 186 S3 outwest last year for powder, trees and soft groomers, I like them alot, but after skiing my 2012 Sickle 186 about 3 days now, hard groomers, a little crud, and one day 15″ of heavy cut up snow, I think the S3 just got replaced except for maybe the trees. I also have 2012 K2 Obsethed 189 but have not skied them yet.

    So……..I am wondering, in your opinion:
    1) how would the Atomic Automatics compare to the Sickle and the Obsethed?
    2) would I be pushing skiing the Automatic in 186 vs 193 per my ability and now weight of 200#?

    Sorry so long…….I appreciate your time and input.
    Have a great new year.

    • Author

      Thanks, Doug.

      2nd question first: I think you’ll be fine on the 186s, and especially when you get to 190lbs. I’ve been skiing the 193s, and to be honest, I’m still not sure which I prefer.

      1st question: I haven’t skied the Obsethed, and I didn’t get nearly enough time on the 11/12 Sickle. But I have no doubt that you will find the Automatic to be quick, good on groomers, and good in pow. I’d be less confident making assessments about how you’ll find the Automatic (vs. the Sickle) in tricky, technical terrain.

      So confidently go forth, mount up the 186s, and report back!

      • Blister Member
        Doug January 4, 2013 Reply


        Thank you very much for you input, it is greatly appreciated. I’m getting them mounted up today……will be in Utah next week, hopefully some new deep snow to play in. I will report back…….will be taking the Automatics, the Sickles and………


  56. Alan January 2, 2013 Reply

    How would you compare the Automatics to Bent Chetlers? Which is more capable in the trees and powder?

  57. Ian January 9, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jonathan

    Thanks for another great review. I bought the 11-12 Sickles based on the great review by Jason and absolutely love them. I ski them in the 174 length (106 underfoot) as I am 5′ 7″, 155 lbs and still working on my technique. I had them mounted +2 of the factory recommended line and really liked the more centered position on the Sickles.

    I am looking for a wider ski than the Sickle to ski powder in Whistler so I tried out the Automatics in the 179 length and really liked them (even though it hadn’t snowed in over a week and conditions were pretty hard packed). After a little bit of adjustment (I had never skied anything wider than 106 underfoot until then) I found them pretty easy to ski. I could get them to carve/skid easily and they felt pretty stable at speed and they also felt really smooth.

    I was wondering, in your opinion:

    – how does the Automatic compare to the K2 Pettitor or the Salomon Rocker 2 115’s & 122’s ?

    In the shorter lengths that I am looking at, the Salomons only come in at 113 or 115 underfoot.

    I would really appreciate your thoughts and thanks once again for a fantastic website.


    • Author

      Thanks, Ian. I’m afraid that I’ve yet to ski the other skis you’ve named, so I’m of little help. Jason is going to be spending time on the 193 Automatic, so hopefully he can weigh in on the Automatic vs. Pettitor in the next few weeks. But comparisons to the Automatic & Pettitor or 115s will be at least a few weeks out, I think. But it sort of sounds like you may have already found your ski in the 179 Automatic, no?

      • Ian January 14, 2013 Reply

        Hi Jonathan

        The shortest length available on the Automatic is 179cm and being only 5′ 7″ (169 cm), my thinking is that the shorter lengths available in the Pettitor (169 cm) and the Rocker 2 115/122 (168/170 cm) might be easier to handle in tight situations like trees etc. I look forward to the Automatic vs Pettitor vs Rocker 2 comparisons.


        • Almeida January 14, 2013 Reply

          I’m kinda on the same boat, I’m 5’5″ / 150 but I don’t think the 179 auto would be much of a problem to handle even on tight spaces. Unfortunately no 179 for demo here… but I will try the 186 to get a sense on how it behaves. I think based on what the guys here on blister said on reviews that the rocker2 115 in 178 would be harder than the auto 179 to handle, but at the same time 168 looks too short if you are looking for a pow ski like I am.

          • Ian January 15, 2013 Reply

            Yes, I will see if I can demo the Rocker 2’s this weekend. No fresh snow in the forecast so it will be groomers, moguls and crud.

  58. Doug January 10, 2013 Reply

    I am looking seriously at the Automatic but am having a hard time deciding between the 186cm and the 193cm length. I weigh in at 200lbs and ski all terrain at an advanced level. I like to tree ski but reality is most terrain I hit up is open and steep. I prefer a nimble ski that turns easily and am concerned that the 193cm length may feel sluggish and take more effort to turn. What would you recommend?

    • Author

      Hey, Doug – if quickness and ease of turn initiation is the priority, then the 186. I’m a bit on the fence, too, about which length I would personally choose first. 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 – and where I spend most of my time skiing (Alta, Taos), and the fact that I wouldn’t only be pulling out the Automatic on big deep days, I’m personally inclined to stick with the 186. Worst case, that 186 might feel a little short and soft to you and not be ideal for high speeds in serious chop, but that doesn’t sound like a priority for you, and I am certain that you’ll find it to be very quick and easy to ski.

  59. Matteo January 14, 2013 Reply

    First of all great review i really like it.
    wanted to ask you an advice buying a new free-ski: i have to choose between the Automatic and the Salomon Rocker2 122. I am 186cm and 78kg (170lbs i think: i’m italian sorry for the units conversion! :) ).
    As a skier i’m quite aggressive and quite expert as well even though my background is more slopes and (few) races oriented than free-ski (that’s where my style come from). When it comes to free-ride i like skiing in the woods and steep terrains and i like to be more central on the skies than having to lean back. I’m not looking for an everyday ski but for a true free-rider which though could be good as well in the days when there is just few powder left. For the length i’m oriented around the 190s cause usually i’m used to work it a bit more to have my skies turned. What do you suggest me? Do you have any other ski to recommend?

    • Author

      Hi, Matteo, thanks for writing – and your unit conversions are just fine. We haven’t skied the Rocker 122, so I can’t say, though we’ve been impressed with the Rocker 108 and 115.) If this is going to be a soft snow ski primarily, and assuming you’ve also read our 193cm Automatic review, then I’m afraid that I don’t really have a more specific recommendation at the moment. There are certainly skis that are better suited for deep chop and variable snow than the Automatic, but I assume you’re already clear about that. But let me know if you have any specific questions about other skis.

  60. Dan Kash January 20, 2013 Reply

    Hi Johnathan, great reviews on all the skis you have been on. Having skied a few of these skis on your list, now I know why your lady is the Bibby Pro 190. I absolutely LOVE these skis!!! They are truly unique skis and they are making me a different type of skier… My question is if I was looking to buy a more pivoty version (quick and shorter turns, and quicker to get edge-to-edge) of the Bibby Pro 190, would you say that the Automatic 186 would answer the call? Obviously I know that the Automatics are not going to be as stiff and stable as the Bibby. But if I wanted to give up the least amount of bad assness and stability of the Bibby 190 to gain the most amount of quicker turns and quicker edge-to-edge with similar deminsions and rocker profile as the Bibby, would the Automatic 186 be that ski or you recommend another ski? I have the Bibby 190 , the Pontoon, and the Line Opus 185 and I’m thinking about replacing my Opus with the Automatics since the Opus is too soft for me (and a bit short) but I love the playfulness of the Opus and its rocker-camber-rocker profile. I just wish they were a bit longer and also stiffer. Keep in mind I’m 5’10”, 170 lbs and that I’m a directional skier. .. Please let me know what you think. Thank you

    • Author

      Thanks, Dan. And yeah, I think the 186 Automatic might be the ticket, though given what you’re looking for, Will Brown keeps assuring me that I need to ski the Salomon Rocker 2 115. (I haven’t skied it yet because another reviewer is currently on it.) It sounds like the 115 might not be AS quick as the 186 Automatic, but might provide a stability in the tail that is closer to the Bibby. Can’t confirm that yet, unfortunately….But I can certainly confirm that the 186 Automatic is quicker and easier than the 190 Bibby.

      • Ian January 24, 2013 Reply

        I have demo’ed both the Rocker 2 115s (178 cm) and the Automatics (179 cm) in mogul and hardpack conditions in Whistler (no fresh snow for over a week) and the 115s definitely felt like it had a stiffer tail than the Automatic. It also felt more stable and damp while the Automatics felt more pivoty and very quick to turn. In the moguls, I found the Rocker 2 115’s a bit of a handful and quite a lot of work to get them round (my Sickles are much better and easier to ski in moguls). On the groomers, the 115’s were very stable and smooth (despite the significant tip rocker) and a ton of fun while the Automatics did not feel as locked down. Bear in mind that I only skied them both for a couple of hours and conditions were less than ideal but the impression I got was that the Rocker 115’s was definitely the more substantial, stiffer ski of the two.

  61. What to Get? January 23, 2013 Reply

    HI Jonathan,
    Thank you for your time with all of your responses. Now that you have been on the 193 Automatic, what is your thought for length? 186 vs 193? I’m 42, 5’10”, 165lbs. I’m looking to fill the Powder ski spot in the quiver. I ski Squaw daily. Can ski the whole mountain with no hesitations. The deal at Squaw is, our powder days only last minutes. So we ski chopped up powder after a storm pretty quickly. I do like skiing fast with big turns but I also love finding the powder left in the trees or between the rocks and it is inevitable that we must ski through bumps after a storm. So do I get the 186 and mount on the line or maybe 1 cm back? Or do I get the 193 and mount them 1cm up? Thanks in advance for your thoughts Jonathan.

    • Author

      Hey, I assume you’ve read my 193 Automatic review, where I compare the two sizes directly? I don’t have much to add beyond that, except that I’m not sure I would choose the Automatic if you’re buying something especially for (deep) Sierra chop. Pow and soft chop? Absolutely. Firm, set up chop? You might find a better match, like the ON3P Billy Goat, Moment Bibby Pro, etc. These other skis will definitely be more work than the Automatic (maybe more than you want). Also, please consider my reservations less relevant if you are keeping speeds at a moderate level and not really looking to mach through set up chop.

  62. Dan Kash January 24, 2013 Reply

    Thanks a lot Johnathan for the reply. As always we all really appreciate your feedback and your awesome reviews.. I just wanna run something by you real quick and see what you think. I was looking at the rocker profile of the DPS Wailer 112 RP in 190 and I noticed it’s very similar to that of the Automatic. I did some research on their website and looks like the RP112 has a turn radius of 15 and I read your review on them as well and I thought maybe they could be a great option for what I’m looking for, which is to lose the least amount of stability of a Bibby and gain the most amount of quicker turns, shorter turns, and playfulness. I was wondering what you would say about going with the 112 RP in 190 instead of the Automatic. I have a feeling the 112 RP is going to be a dash more stiff than the Automatic but just as pivoty and quick as the Automatic if not more. I was also considering the Praxis Concept but I’m not really sure about the triple camber or as Moment will call it the “Dirty Mustache Rocker”. The older version of Concept (rocker-camber-rocker) could be a good optipn though. And re the 112 RP, you would obviously recommend the Pure as supposed to Hybrid, right?
    Please let me know what you think. Thanks again.

    All the best,
    D. Kash

    • Author

      Dan, the Automatic and 112RP question is an interesting one. The Automatic feels ‘looser’ through the tails than the 112RP, and more pivoty. I’d really need to ski them back to back to be much more specific. But mostly, I think it’s important to say that the 186 Automatic and the 190 112 really aren’t slightly dialed back 190 Bibby Pros. The Bibby’s are certainly more work than either ski, but they are much more solid in chopped up / variable. The Automatic and 112RP absolutely shine in pow, not deep firm chop. Just want to make sure that you aren’t getting the wrong idea here.

      And no, it’s not obvious that I would recommend the Pure over the Hybrid. More and more, I think it really depends on skier style and the terrain you’re skiing. Some will prefer the more reactive and precise Pure layup, some the Hybrid. If you’re skiing consistent groomers or consistent pow, it’s tough to beat the Pure. If you spend more time in variable, the hybrid construction will likely be a better call for a good number of skiers. In variable, the pure construction requires the skier to be very quick and adjust to the snow / terrain, not rely on the ski to smooth out the snow / terrain.

  63. Chris January 27, 2013 Reply

    Hi, I was hoping you guys could give me some opinions on some ski’s for me as I am looking to trade up to something wider.
    I currently ski 185 scimitar,love the ski and bought mainly on your reviews. I am an intermediate skier and live in Fernie,BC Canada 44years young and took up skiing in the last couple of years I am a healthy 245lbs, think more weightlifter than couch potato, as Iam still very athletic and sporting if a little soft round the edges. I am looking for a ski for the pow,after storm crud,cut up chop and ungroomed more challenging runs. Pure pow performance is not the most important as l get up to the hill on the weekends so conditions are variable.
    I was thinking Bibby Pro 190, rocker2 115, Automatic or AKjj. I may be able to demo the ak or automatics in town but your thought,opinions would be great fully received.
    Keep up the great work,love your site and all the reviews

    • Author

      Sounds to me, Chris, like you should try to demo the Rocker2 115. Seems like the most likely match. I’d nix the AK JJ from your list. If the 115 isn’t enough ski, check out the Bibby. If the 115 is too much, check out the Automatic.

  64. Matt February 1, 2013 Reply

    Hey guys, LOVE the site! I’m 27, 5’10”, and ~165lbs expert skier. I’m am getting ready to buy new skis for the first time in ~9 years. I grew up skiing MT but recently moved to the Seattle area and I’ll be skiing Crystal mainly. I like steep techy stuff, big open bowls, and trees and I like to ski fast although sometimes like to slow down and play more. I’ll cruise groomers on occasion if there isn”t fresh snow to be found, and ski bumps if they get in the way of where I want to go. ;) Unfortunately, I don’t have a ton of experience here yet so I don’t have the normal conditions dialled but I’ve heard lots of new snow but generally the heavy type. Based on the amount of people that ski the mountain I assume it gets tracked up and choppy pretty quickly. I’ll also ski Bridger Bowl/Big Sky a few times a year. Right now I’m looking for a 1 ski quiver with a soft/new snow bias that can do a bit of everything. Do you think skiing PNW would be better suited to something like the Automatic or the Cochise? I do hope to demo, but right now I’m thinking Cochise, Automatic, Rocker2 108/115, or Sickle. Which of these would give the best blend of performance for the conditions I described? I realize that these have some different charateristics, but for now I need one ski to handle everything I mentioned. I will likely add to the quiver in the future to round out areas neglected by my first choice (ie: I’ll add a ~88mm ski for harder days and if I got a cochise I would like to add a true powder ski like the Automatic eventually, but I may be skiing only the Cochise next couple seasons).

    Thanks so much for any insight. Sorting through all the skis these days is quite overwhelming!

    • Author

      Hey Matt – I’m inclined to recommend the Cochise or Sickle to begin with (Cochise will be more stable; Sickle, more playful) then add an Automatic or something comparable later. A lot of this, though, comes down to skiing style, so these definitely aren’t definitive conclusions. Let us know what you decide to do.

      • Matt February 6, 2013 Reply

        Thanks, that’s what I was starting to think and I have Cochise on the brain. However, I forgot to mention another ski I’m fairly interested in – the Moment Bibby Pro. Would a 184 Bibby be a good option instead of the Cochise? I like it because it seems I could kill 2 birds with one stone moreso than the Cochise – daily driver and powder ski. The problem is I likely won’t be able to demo the Bibby. In reality, whatever I get now could very well be my one ski quiver at least for a while. I’m a directional skier and I think my style would lean more towards charging than anything else, but I like to air off stuff around the mountain if it happens to be in my path. A spin here or there and an occasional back flip, but not much tricking. The one time I really slow down is when I take the Mrs out, so it would be nice to be able to ski around slow from time to time as well.

        Anything else that I’m missing for a daily driver in the PNW (lots of heavy snow and crud)?

  65. brian February 10, 2013 Reply

    Jonathan- Thanks for the reviews-excellent source of info! I rented 186cm for my last visit to SLC. Skiied a good storm at Alta and Snowbird. I punched powder, trees, bowls, groomers, and bumps. I was amazed how versatality of this ski. I am from Michigan and have Volkl ac50 (170cm) as my main skiis. I had brought these along on this last trip as well and skiied them at Solitude (day 4) when things had iced up a bit. I couldn’t believe how much I was craving to be back on the 186cm Automatics as they were fast and just felt like a dream in comparision. Anyway, I am going to splurge and buy a pair of Automatics 186cm

    I am 5’9″ 195# 43y/o who still likes to play hard, but after ACL surgery 2 years ago have eased my style. I still seek out steep and deep, trees, occasionally bumps, but won’t barrel of cliffs or jumps anymore regardless of landing. So, I am curious about mounting position. Mount center line or thinking back 1-2 marks. What are your thoughts?

    • Author

      Hi, Brian – I see zero reason (or advantage) in mounting back from the recommended line. But the most obvious question is, where were they mounted when you loved them so much at Alta / Bird? If you can answer that, then repeat. But otherwise, I’d go recommended. Glad to hear they worked for you!

  66. JP February 10, 2013 Reply

    Jonathan: These skis, the Wailer 112RP, and the Armada JJ have made my short list. Quick question, would the 186 Automatics and/or the 185 JJ be too small for me at 6′, 205 lb? (23 years old) The 190 Wailers seem like a good size, but I can’t seem to get any straight answers from my local shop regarding the others. Thanks in advance!

    • Author

      Maybe not a quick answer, JP. Would have a lot to do with your skiing style and where you ski. But assuming that you’ve identified skis that will, indeed, work well for you, then I would not say that the 193 Automatic is CLEARLY the better call. If this will be a pow ski, then I would worry that you’ll get dive on the 185 JJ. You aren’t going to get tip dive on the 190 112, nor do I think that ski will feel like too much for you, at all. Again, if you think the 112 or the Automatic seems like a good fit for how & where you ski, the 190 112 might actually be the safest bet here.

  67. Chris February 14, 2013 Reply

    Awesome review, I’ve really come to appreciate this site and all the effort you guys put into every review on here. That being said, I’ve just got to ask a question. I’m looking into purchasing a new set of skis and my #1 choice at the moment in the Automatic, skied it on a warm day after a warm week in some icy conditions and it matched this review; it was predictable, and easy to ski despite being non-ideal conditions. Over the next weeks I skied the Armada JJ in 6 in. of fresh snow, it was fantastic and handled beautifully, but I thought it was too soft for me, was a little sketchy in crud, and didn’t offer enough of an advantage over my current skis (4-5 yr. old Rossi S5’s). I also skied the Patron, which was also an impressive ski, but felt a bit much for me, too heavy and stiff, not precisely what I was looking for as I do quite a bit of bumps, trees, technical terrain. I have yet to try the Squad 7 or Super 7, but could get my hands on them, I have yet to try the Chochise, and could get my hands on that, and I wish I could try the Bibby Pro, but there’s nowhere near here I could get a demo pair as much as I wish I could.

    I am 5’9″, 155 lbs. I ski mostly steep technical terrain, some trees, bumps, I’m looking for a longer ski to help me push my boundaries with confidence and stability at speed, but realistically my home mountain doesn’t have a whole lot of that terrain, so I’ll still mostly be doing steep chutes, couloirs, trees, bumps, etc. The skis above have been my focus and I’m thinking the Automatic may be the best choice, provided it doesn’t feel too soft. I also really, really liked the Skilogik Howitzer, which felt like a very, very light version of the Patron, with less rocker, but sacrificed maneuverability for stability, and I’m not certain the sacrifice was entirely worth it.

    What’s your take? Any ski I should definitely try? Should I just shut up and buy the Automatic?

    • Author

      Thanks, Chris. If the Howitzer and Patron felt like more ski than you were looking for, then I would scratch this year’s Squad and Bibby Pro, and I just wouldn’t recommend the Super 7 for what you’re describing. The Cochise is a tougher call. Definitely better in crud than the Automatic, but it isn’t as easy or quick. And since you’ve already skied the Automatic and liked it, it seems like a pretty safe bet. The only caveat I’ll add is that several of us who have been skiing the Automatic have come to see it more and more as a soft snow ski. Yes, it handles uniform moguls very well (it’s quick), firm variable bumps at speed is probably it’s weak point. If that’s where you need a ski to shine, then consider the Cochise, but again, might be more ski than you’re looking for. You might also check out our reviews of the Salomon 108 & 115, and the 12/13 Line Influence 115 to see if they sound interesting.

  68. Orestis Mount March 4, 2013 Reply

    Hello Jonathan. Thanks for the awesome review!
    I just got the 2013/2014 Automatics 186 cm and I will mount the with F12 Tour EPF.. I was skiing off piste since 3 years with the Bent Chetlers 183cm mounted at +2,5 from the classic mount.
    I am really considering If i should mount them at the recommedent point (team line) or if I should go +1cm? ( I am skiing only directional). As I am looking at them it kind of looks way to back on the team line..
    Thank you in advance.

    • Author

      Hey, Orestis – I don’t know your height / weight, but I don’t have any reservations about going +1 on these if you think they look too far back. Go for it, and let us know what you think.

      • Orestis Mount March 9, 2013 Reply

        Hello Jonathan, thanks for the answer..
        (correction of the previous message: the last 3 years I am skiing with the Bent Chetler)
        I am 77kg (170 pounds) and 175cm tall (5.7 feet).
        I am afraid that if I go forward 1 cm I will loose perfomarce on icy conditions and hardpack.. what do u think?

        • Author

          I have zero worries that moving forward 1 cm will make this ski sacrifice performance on hardpack / ice. But keep in mind, this isn’t some 98mm or narrower flat tailed ski with a bunch of metal in it. It’s a fun fat pow ski that’s great in soft snow and good on soft groomers. No tip and tail rockered ski is exceptional on ice, whether you mount on the line or go +1. Just want to make sure you’re being realistic about that.

  69. dan March 7, 2013 Reply

    Jonathan, now I know why your favorite skis are what they are. When I bring 3 pairs of skis to snowbird/alta and I still find myself wanting to only be riding the BP 190 as supposed to the other ones regardless of the conditions, from some fresh pow to wind blown mashed potatoes, that really tells me something about the skis. I went + half a cm off the line and I honestly can tell you I really dont need any other skis and they have become the perfect combo of a charger yet fun and playful ski. I owe that all to you and your great unbiased revoews. I Seriously thank you. G-d bless!

  70. Matt April 24, 2013 Reply


    I’m having a tough time deciding between these and the bibby pro. The general sentiment seems to be slightly in favor of the bibby pro, but I’m concerned that it might not be the right ski for me. The main thing that concerns me is my size; I’m only 5’10” and about 145 pounds with all my gear on and I’m concerned the bibby might be too demanding. However, What draws me towards it is its stability. I ski a lot of crusty and tough conditions here in colorado and I think a more stable ski would give me a good ski for storm days as well as the days after. I also will be taking trips to silverton and jackson hole in the near future, so either option needs to be relatively playful in deeper snow and trees. I realize there is not really a question in there so here are a couple: do you think I would be better served on the bibby pros or the automatics? or am I completely off base here and should I be looking at something else?
    (these will also be used to complement my Volkl bridges, so groomer performance/ early season(no snow) performance are not the primary focus)


    • Author

      Hey, Matt – as always, it really comes down to where you most want a ski to shine. If you told me you were looking for a super quick ski for tight trees on pow days, I’d probably steer you toward the Automatic. But as soon as you mention “crusty, tough conditions” the Bibby is the better tool for that job. It isn’t as quick and easy as the Automatic, but I don’t think it will overwhelm you, either. Basically, I agree with Dan K’s comment below, given what you say you’re looking for.

  71. Dan Kashani April 24, 2013 Reply

    I think Bibby Pro sz 184 would be perfect for you

  72. Kevin September 3, 2013 Reply

    I am in the process of purchasing a pair of Automatics. I am 5′-6″ 150 pounds. I do a lot of tight tree / pow skiing, but also enjoy charging groomers on occasion. So far I am assuming 179 would be the right length. I am advanced to intermediate skier. am I right with the 179 ?

    • Ian September 4, 2013 Reply


      I am pretty similiar to you in height and weight (5′ 7″ & 154 lbs) and I ski the 179 cm which is the right length in my opinion (186 cm would be too much ski). Great pow skis, enjoy.

    • Marcel September 4, 2013 Reply

      I agree with Ian. I’m 5’5″ / 150 lbs and I tried the 186, it’s a pretty easy ski to ski on, and I had no problems, but it felt like it had just too much tip in front of me which made it a little tricky in tight spots! I haven’t had a chance to try the 179, but I believe it would be the perfect match for someone my size.

    • Author

      Thanks Ian and Marcel for your feedback! Kevin, I think you should follow their advice. If for some reason you’re still intrigued by the 186s, then I would mount them at +2 or +1. But seems like a good play to just go 179cm. Let us know how it works out, and thanks again Ian and Marcel.

  73. Patrik Lindgren October 26, 2013 Reply

    Im looking for new powder skies for this season, I´m doing half the season in Canada and the second half in Kebnekaise Sweden!

    I have been looking around and Im considering this ski Atomic Automatic or Line Mr Pollards Opus And I cant really decide.
    I ski quite Aggressive and like quick turns in the narrow steep parts but also the long wide open lines. I´m 183cm and 85kg. Been looking at the 192 Opus, But maybe just the 186 Automatic? whats the diffrences between the skies?

    And in Kebnekaise its no lift so it hiking so do you think it a good ide to mount a Speed radical Dynafit binding on them? or do i need the Radical FT binding?

    • Author

      Hi, Patrik – we haven’t skied the 192 Opus yet, so I’d size up our multiple reivews on the Automatic and Opus and see which sounds better suited for what you’re looking for.

      I’ve only skied the Radical FT (and not the Speed), so I can’t speak to on-snow performance, though shaving some grams on an already light binding isn’t a big priority for me personally.

  74. Ben November 5, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jonathan–

    First, just wanted to say thanks so much for your reviews. Ten times as helpful as anything else on the internet, and huge bonus points for the community of commenters you’ve created and your detailed responses.

    Been having a tough time figuring out a new pair of skis. I grew up in the east, skiing maybe 10-20 days a year in VT/NH, with the occasional trips out west. I like skiing everything on the hill, but trees and bumps in particular. I’m not too aggressive but I feel confident in pretty much anything in a resort or through a backcountry gate, and I like to open it up on groomers. I’m 6’0″, 185, 30 y/o, and I’ve been on the same Rossi Bandit b2s since 2007. I moved to the west coast this year and Im trying to up my game by getting out more. Trips planned this year to whistler, kirkwood, squaw/alpine, and aspen. I’m looking for a wider ski that will give me a higher ceiling and perform better in west coast conditions.

    I’ve been reading quite a bit the past few weeks, and I was initially thinking about the new soul 7s or the TSTs, which both seem like they’d improve my performance on what I like to do. But, based it also looks like even wider skis like JJ and automatic are being billed as “all mountain” or “one-ski-quiver” types. For an east coast intermediate/advanced intermediate looking to improve in out west, who hasn’t tried out new skis in ages, how would you compare a (relatively) thinner soul 7/TST type ski to a wider JJ/Automatic, and how does the soul 7 compare to the automatic? Based on this review, I’m leaning automatic 186…..

    Thanks so much!

    • Author

      Thanks for the kind words, Ben. Soul 7 vs. Automatic: the Automatic is a looser, surfier ski with a softer tail. And given it’s extra width, I would definitely pick the Automatic over the Soul 7 for really deep days (no surprise there).

      But I am a fan of the stiffer tail of the Soul 7 – it’s not world’s stiffer, but it is a more supportive tail. So it’s probably a personal preference thing, and both skis (as I wrote) will be easy, excellent tools in trees and bumps. If we were going to go rip groomers all day, the TST would be my first choice (flatter tail, more suited to finishing rather than smearing turns), then the Soul 7, then JJ, then Automatic.

      Mounted on the line, I also think the JJ would be more prone to tip dive in deep snow than both the Automatic or Soul 7. The JJ is set up to trick, so if you’re a directional skier and don’t need the more forward mount, keep that in mind.

      Aside from figuring out whether you want increased carving performance or increased pow performance, I think you’ll just need to tease out the relative strengths and weakness of each ski in our reviews, and I’m pretty confident you’ll end up picking a ski that will work for you. These are all relatively lightweight, low swing weight, fun skis.

  75. Joey Balog November 11, 2013 Reply

    Hello. I have been really intrigued by these Atomic Automatics, but having a difficult time deciding between the 186-193. I am 6’2 205. I live in Alaska and ski Alyeska and the surrounding back country areas regularly. I am an aggressive skier, like to ski the trees, hit drops (nothing too insane), and like to make quick aggressive turns. The 193s seem like they would be more fitting due to my size but I also do not want to sacrifice the ability to turn on a dime. If anyone coulld hit me with some input it would be greatly appreciated! Thank you

    • Dingdong November 11, 2013 Reply

      Hey Joey, you should go for the 193’s. I’m 155 pounds and ski similar to how you describe your style and terrain. I got the 186s perfect for my size but they will be too short for you. Also make sure you mount them forward. I mounted on the line and skied them for more than half of last season, they were okay, then I mounted them 1.5 cm forward and was blown away at the difference. Huge. Now they turn much quicker without sacrificing float or stability and I can’t wait to get back out on them.

  76. Joey Balog November 11, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for the input. I can’t wait to get back in the Chugach!

    • Author

      Hey, Joey – you’ve seen our review of the 193 model, right? Assuming you have, then the only thing I’ll add is that if you’re only concern is the ‘turnability’ of the 193, I wouldn’t worry about it; you’ll turn it just fine. And I look forward to hearing what you think of them!

  77. Aran Bates November 13, 2013 Reply

    First of all what an awesome review. Very very helpful.

    Now I am trying to decide on a ski to replace my (now rather abused) 183cm (or 185 can’t remember) Rossignol Scratch Steezes from 2008. I am 6ft weigh about 72kg (158pounds) ski mostly off the groomers (in any condition), trees and some larger drops. Still want something that can hold and edge reasonably well on groomers (say 35% of the time). The automatic sounds like a pretty ideal ski but I had two questions about it.
    1) 186cm or 193cm? Thinking the later.
    2) What would be your comparison between the Gotama and the Automatic (would you recommend a totally different ski even?)
    Thanks in advance!

    • Author

      Thanks, Aran! (1) Be sure to read our review of the 193. Given what I say there, I personally would be inclined to recommend the 186. (2) The Gotama and Automatic are very different skis, both in width and rocker profile. I don’t have a lot of time on the Gotama, but I definitely preferred the Automatic in firm conditions to the Gotama, and the Automatic will win when conditions get deep, too. In limited time on the Gotama, I can’t say that there are any conditions where I would take it over the Automatic.

  78. Aran Bates November 16, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Thanks for getting back. Yeah after I posted that I found the review of the 193 and from that thought that (as you say there) the 186 sounds better suited to my needs. That is interesting about the Gotama in hard conditions (and again in deep).
    I had two other questions which you might have answers for.
    1) Is there any ski that is like the old Nordica Enforcer (I am thinking 2009)
    2) I was wondering what you might recommend as a one-ski-quiver ski for places like Chamonix where there are still some trees and tight spots, sometimes good powder although never much more than say 2 foot deep but there are lots of steeps with sometimes harder and variable snow conditions.

    Many thanks!

  79. JP November 18, 2013 Reply

    Helpful update. How does the 186 Auto compare to the new (and quicker) 186
    Bibby, now that you’ve had time on both?

    • Author

      Funny, while skiing the new Bibby, I never once thought of the Automatic. The Automatic feels quicker, lighter, and maybe a little looser than the new Bibby. I.e., the new Bibby feels more substantial underfoot (like the old Bibby) but it’s now a looser Bibby. The Automatic is in more of the quick, turn-y, dead easy category. And as I note, I think the Automatic and new AMPerage could be quite close in kind. Both the new Bibby and Automatic will be excellent in pow. But my hunch is that physically stronger / bigger skiers might prefer the new Bibby, while lighter skiers OR skiers who place a premium on quickness and who make a lot of turns will prefer the Automatic.

  80. Bob November 18, 2013 Reply

    +1 for a updated black diamond amperage review and to zealots

  81. Thomas November 19, 2013 Reply

    It would be really nice to see a comparison between the Automatic and the Praxis GPO as well. The GPO being more or less a copy of the Automatic in terms of shape but Praxis makes great skis – and you can tune the flex if you want to.

  82. Mikey November 20, 2013 Reply

    Great update. After reading your review I bought the Automatics last yr and had the best yr skiing. I had lots of fun and more importantly improved pretty dramatically. I was wondering what you recommend as the “little brother” to the Autos for a between storms and more importantly east coast ski. I ski mostly in Vermont and would like to get an EC companion for the quiver. Im 5’8, 215lbs ski everywhere on and off the mountain intermediate to advanced. I know you have said the PB&J in other reviews and earlier posts and plan to find a demo, but I’m looking for something <100 waist, around 95-98 waist. I really like the shape and modern 5pt of the Autos and wondered if it exists in little brother form. Do i stick with Atomic, like a theory or alibi?Thanks for the great work and service you guys provide it really helps alot!

    • Author

      Thanks, Mikey – psyched that the Automatics worked out so well for you! I still wouldn’t rule out the PB&J – don’t worry about a few millimeters, and given your size, I think it could be a really playful ski for you, yet still be substantial enough. We haven’t skied the Theory or Alibi, so can’t say. The ON3P Jeronimo might also be worth a look, though we’re still waiting to get on the current version.

  83. Frederik November 26, 2013 Reply

    i am currently looking for a new ski for the season and i cant decide between the JJ(185) and the Automatic(186). In both cases I thought about mounting the marker jester pro 18. I am 1.80m(5’11 i think) and 78kg (170Ibs). I sky in the Alps for around 25-30 days per season. I would say like 70% powder with small to medium cliffs, the rest i spent mostly in moguls or other offpist terrain.
    I hope to get some help soon as the season is about to start and i still dont know what ski to buy!
    Keep up the good work here at blistergear!

    • Author

      Both the JJ & the Automatic are really fun in bumps and trees. They also are close in groomer performance. The biggest difference is that the more directional Automatic is less likely to dive in deeper pow than the JJ. On the other hand, the more center mounted JJ is better for switch skiing and tricking.

  84. Kyle December 2, 2013 Reply


    Just found this site about a month ago, and just want to say thank you and great work! Please keep it up!

    I have the exact same issue as Frederik above. I was totally commited and about to get the JJ 185, but then I started reading about the automatic. I’m 5″7′, 165 lbs. and like to hunt for powder, lots of trees, and big open terrain on good days, but I do like to play and goof off on the hill as well, and thought the JJ had my name on it, but I’m worried it won’t hold up to any substancial big mountain charges. I think I will demo both skis, but Im leaning towards Automatic at this point. Is the Auto a total noodle riding switch or does it work well enough? 179? 186? If I get the JJ I will get the 185 as I read it actually measures 183 and skis short.

    Thanks for the help, just really want to get the right ski! Thank you Blistergear!

  85. Kyle December 8, 2013 Reply

    Okay quick update.
    I found a deal online and got last years automatics new (186) plus new bindings. In the pictures it looks like the bindings are mounted on the line. I’m thinking of moving the bindings +1to +2cm as I’ve heard very good things about doing this. Does anyone here have any advice/experience in regards to this on the Automatics specifically? I will try them out as they are but I’m concerned about long shovels, and I still want them to spin/ ski switch from time to time.


    • Author

      Hey, Kyle – we weren’t able to play with the mount position because our pair had Guardians on them, but I would have no reservations about going +1 or +2. You won’t get tip dive. The JJ is a more center-mounted / less directional ski than the Automatic.

  86. Blister Member
    Franklin Delano Brosevelt December 10, 2013 Reply

    Thoughts on using this ski for a dedicated backcountry ski?

  87. Blister Member
    Me December 11, 2013 Reply

    What are your thoughts on this ski vs. the Gunsmoke and the NEW Super 7, considering i’ll be using it as a dedicated backcountry ski, which includes mid-winter pow and spring time big lines in firm conditions?

  88. NvH January 3, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, great review as always. I am on your much beloved 190 Bibby Pro and love them when I can let them go in open terrain but I struggle a little in tight trees/ really steep, narrow terrain etc. I am getting older and lazier… I am skiing mostly in the alps fyi. I am very interested in the Automatics as they seem to suit me perfectly given your review. However, have you guys skied the new Rossi super 7 yet and if so how would they compare to the Automatics? I would refer the light weight of the Rossi all else equal.. You guys are doing a great job on this site!

    • Author

      Thanks, NvH. We still haven’t skied the Super 7, so can’t yet say. I suspect the 2 skis to feel pretty similar, with my biggest question being whether the tails of the Super 7 will feel stiffer / more supportive than the Automatics. Hope to find out this month or next.

  89. Bogdan January 6, 2014 Reply

    Hi to everybody,

    I would like to start by praising all the effort for gathering so much information that can be found on this website and also all the excellent responses to all the comments (read them all).

    It had been asked many times , but I’m also having an Automatic dilemma.

    In short words : experienced skier , skiing in Eastern Europe and the French / Austrian Alps , about 30 days a season. 6 feet, 170 pounds. My current setup is Armada TST in 183 in length .

    1. Recently I got myself a pair of Salomon Guardians 16 bindings and wanted to build a new pair of skis with them, something that can handle deeper days (trees, bigger lines with jumps, but nothing to extreme in speed) that can still have a similar character like the TST, directional (i don’t do switch , nor tricks) but really playfull and easy on the swing weight with a short turn radius.

    2. Since I mostly have to commute to reach those places I end up there when the “party is over” so I frequently meet chopped / crud snow on the best lines , leaving untouched snow pretty remote.

    Summing 1 + 2, I would normally go for the Bibby Pros , but the price you get them in Europe is just crazy (twice the price of the Autos) but reading other reviews I added others to my list that can be an option. Therefore what would you think ? :

    1. Atomic Automatic in 186 (or should I think for 193 ? )
    2. Armada Norwalk in 188 (I’m looking for something slightly stiffer than TST’s , so I don’t know if this is a right choice)
    3. Salomon Quest / Rocker 115

    • Author

      Thanks, Bogdan. And first, I assume you’ve read Will Brown’s reviews of the Norwalk and TST. I mean if you’re looking for a fatter TST, well, that Norwalk would be tough to argue against. I’ve only skied the 192 TST, but I wouldn’t say that the 186 or 193 Automatic is stiffer than the 192 TST.

      • Bogdan January 7, 2014 Reply

        That’s interesting, as I hoped the Automatic would be a small bump in stiffness compared to TST . I’ve seen Will made a slight comparo between the automatic and rocker 115 / quest 115 . Any thoughs for the 115 ?

        • Author

          I have limited time on the 115 (early season touring), but the 186 Automatic feels lighter, quicker, and looser. The 115 feels like it will be a better fall line / fewer turns / more substantial ski, though I personally can’t yet say how hard it can be pushed. Ryan Caspar has more time on the 115 than me, and I think he’s review was really smart.

  90. TM January 13, 2014 Reply

    I’ve asked this on other threads but just stumbled across the automatic while watching a ski movie. Would a 186cm automatic be a could ski to replace my 195akjj and my 185jj? I’m 6’1″ and about 178 lbs, 42 years old expert. Have loved my normal JJ for years but kids now steal it and it has always felt short on deep days. That’s how I ended up buying a akjj last year. Used it a couple times last year, this year only twice so far. Love the akjj but no matter what it’s a big ski to throw around all day. I ski a ton of moguls when they’re fresh or even get firmer on either JJ, just love the profile and the tail. I tried a soul 7 in a 188cm yesterday and it was a great ski I didn’t like the tail as much in a steep big, soft mogul field. I thought my big akjj was more fun believe it or not. I tried a 192 bent chetler before my akjj and loved it but found the swing weight halfway through the day was taking a toll on my knee. Shop said go akjj then and it was lighter to toss around.
    I’m thinking that maybe going down to a 186cm automatic from the 195akjj would be lighter and be easier to ski all day or weekend long if it was dumping. I know it won’t be the absolute bomber in crud that my akjj is but have to give up something. And if it floats better than my 185jj sure seems like that’s the way to go.
    any strong opinions out there? Will I miss my big akjj too much?

    • Author

      Hey, TM, sounds like the Automatic could make sense, though I’m not sure what you didn’t like about the tail of the Soul 7? I actually like that tail a good bit. Still, given everything you say, I think the Automatic could be a good fit for you. The 186 absolutely does not ski “big,” but you won’t get tip dive on it, either.

      • TM February 4, 2014 Reply

        I didn’t give the soul 7 enough time the day I demoed it, wish I would have though. I just despised the extremely heavy Rossi demo binding on it and just wanted to get back on my jj. Moguls were big and soft and no matter what it’s hard to compete with the back half of a JJ in the bumps. Just found the soul 7 to have more in the back half but I’m sure within three runs I would have adjusted and loved it. Hoping to jump on it again over the season and would really like to try a super 7 but nobody has that ski in a 188cm to try around here.

  91. Marc January 17, 2014 Reply

    First: Really love your site!!

    I am 6ft2, 170 lbs, racing background, from Norway, based in Switzerland. Ski face forward, like to go somewhat fast, play with terrain features and make SG turns. Pretend to catch some occasional air (but nothing spectacular). Ski both Alps and Norway. Current skis are Katana 191 w Marker Duke and Mantra 184 w Dynafit DIN 12. Like the mantras on spring snow, firm/smooth snow and in fresh snow up to a short foot. Love the Katanas. Am looking for a wider ski for back country touring that will nicely fill out my so called quiver. I am thinking putting Dynafit Beast on a pair of Automatic 186 and then be able to have wider boards for touring and a pair of powder skis for lift based deep days and lift based tree skiing. I was first looking at light weight Black Diamond MW carbon, but tried them and didn´t like the feel. Not inspiring a lot of confidence in me at speed. Then looking somewhat at K2 Annex 108, but sounds a bit dull and really wanted something a tad more powder specific. What do you think about my proposed concept, the Automatics for my use? And what about the weight of the setup for touring? Is there something out there at 111-115 mm that could fit better? Was looking at DPS 112, but I just find it a lot of money for thrashing around on rocks, as will eventually happen.. Thnx for helping!

  92. Marcel January 17, 2014 Reply

    Hey Marc… I’d suggest you to take a look at Salomon Q115 and ON3P Billy Goat tour layup, they are both about the same dimensions of the Automatic. The Billy Goat has a nice long radius which I particularly like but it’s burlier than both Q115 and Automatic.

  93. Marc January 21, 2014 Reply

    Thnx for the input, Marcel. The Billy Goat looks great. I also spent a year in Oregon, so I was really tempted by it. The Salomon Q115 I found out was a bit on the heavy side. I ended up ordering some Automatics, dirt cheap, 300 Euros.

    • Author

      I’ll be interested to hear what you think, Marc. The 191 Katana is a way, WAY more substantial ski than the Automatic. In DEEP snow, and especially in deep snow and tight trees, the Automatic will be more fun. But I tried to make clear that the Automatic is a dead easy ski, while the 191 Katana is pretty much my favorite charging ski ever. Opposite ends of the spectrum, both have their place.

  94. Peter January 28, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, great website and reviews!

    I’m 6″2′, 200lbs (including gear probably over 220lbs…) and I ski terrain around Chamonix. I would say that I’m advanced skier, but I rather ski reasonable and charge only if conditions and terrain are appropriate. Currently I owe Armada TST 183cm and I’m pretty happy with them, but I’m looking for something longer, wider, with better floatation, what would let me improve my skills and ski more confident / aggressively in various snow conditions.

    At the moment I’m considering only Automatic and Rossi Squad 7 (2014) and I still can’t decide.
    Looking at your reviews I would say that Squad 7 can be too big and stiff for me (especially after change from TST), but I feel that my height and weight can change it a bit. Also I’m not sure about Automatics, as review of 193cm version (which probably suits me better) wasn’t so optimistic like 186cm. Also I would still have TST, so my second skis can have different characteristic. I could use my older skis for tree skiing or some steeper terrain until I feel confident enough on my new skis.

    So, and advices? Can my weight justify choice of a ski which at the moment could be probably a bit too stiff for my skills / needs (assuming that I want new skis to improve both skills and needs)? Or should I just stick to 193cm Automatic? ;)


    • Author

      Thanks, Peter! And if you’re keeping your TSTs, I actually think at your weight that the Squad 7 would be the better call. And the Squads are lighter and easier than they were previously. I think you’ll be fine, and I suspect you’ll like them.

      • Peter February 4, 2014 Reply

        Actually I ordered Automatic 186cm yesterday. I was reading a lot since I posted my question, many people around 200lbs were stating that 186cm were long enough. I also assumed that they wouldn’t be “charging” skis anyway. Truth is that in really pow days I mostly ski trees due to visibility, avy danger etc., not to mention tricky and tight exits from nice open areas in Cham.
        I was thinking about Squads too, but I found Automatics in much better price. I was comparing length / size of Squads and Automatics 186cm – Atomics looked only a bit shorter (like 1-1.5cm?) than Squads (and were less stiff). I hope they would work fine for me. ;) Thanks for advices and reviews.

        • Bogdan September 15, 2015 Reply

          HI, can you tell what are your impressions of the 186 automatica. I am 6’3 and 220lbs, and i am wondering if the are good for me. I will raid them most in tight terrain, so the will probably be more manoeuvrable.
          Thank you!

  95. Marc February 3, 2014 Reply

    Hey Jonathan,

    Got my new Automatics mounted with Dynafit Beast and some new Dynafit Vulcan boots. I have had two days on the set up now and think I can comment a bit on the skis.

    First day was on a ski tour near Andermatt last weekend. Mountain is named Rossbodenstock, and it involves a climb of about 800 meters and a descent of about 1400 meters. Going up, the set up with Beasts was excellent, not much heavier than my old mantras with regular Dynafits and heavier boots (Garmont Axon). Snow conditions going down was a bit varied. At first a bit icy and also sastrugi. The Automatics really didn’t like this stuff, but what could you expect. Further down there was a long section of slightly wind affected powder on large open slopes. Here the skis were great with no tip dive or hooking tendencies what so ever. I think this part would have sucked on my old Mantras actually, since there was a bit of a wind crust. On the Automatics I actually didn’t even notice the slight crust until I stopped. I felt a bit out of balance at times, but I think this just was getting used to the skis. Thumbs up. The bottom part again was some dust on crust, some refrozen chop and generally quite crappy. This part was clearly not designed for Automatics and I was struggling and ended up taking it quite slowly. All in all, on the way home, I was thinking that the skis were ok in the powder section, but too soft and wobbly in the crappy snow.

    This weeked however we had close to bottomless conditions on the southern slope of the Alps. Poles went all the way down before stopping. I went to the small ski aera of Airolo in Ticino in Switzerland. Here you find quite good tree skiing with both tight and open trees. We had perfect powder on top and heavy powder at the bottom. This is what I got the skis for (in addition to powder touring) and I must say they just made the day sooooo much better. The Automatics were outstanding in this stuff, and I haven’t had as much fun in a long time. You can really go fast, confidently, in powder, on these skis. And they are super easy when the woods close in on you. Also they were excellent in the cut up stuff and on the groomed sections back to the lift. I actually had similar conditions at the same place about a month ago on a pair of borrowed Völkl Kuro 195 and they were just too big. Especially at the bottom in heavy powder and tight trees. For this stuff there is no need to look to anything else than Automatics.

    Bottom line is, I think the Automatics will be great for my intended use. As an all round ski, however, I personally think they are too soft and wobbly when the conditions crap out on you.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Author

      Thanks for the update, Marc! Not surprised by what you found – the Automatics are really fun in good snow, and neither the Mantra nor Katana are very good pow skis – they’re good chop / crud skis. So it sounds like you’re being very reasonable with your expectations about all 3 skis, and I’m really glad you’re liking the Automatic. Sweet!

  96. Adrian February 5, 2014 Reply

    stupid question ??
    Which ski you would be between the Atomic Automatic and the Line SD 110??
    Thank you very much!

  97. john March 2, 2014 Reply

    Any specs on what these weigh?

  98. Dominic March 10, 2014 Reply

    Hey Jonathan!

    Absolutely love the reviews you and your blister crew put out. I have a pretty simple question for you. Which do you prefer now that you’ve tested both? Nordica Patron or Atomic Automatic. Why? These skis seem pretty comparable and I’ve got friends who rave about both. What do you think? Also. About me: 5′ 10″ 155-160. Just received the 186’s. Thoughts on mounting these at +1? I don’t spin but do drop a few cliffs here and there. Looking for all out performance and float-ability.



  99. brian March 17, 2014 Reply

    Ok, I have been on the Automatics for 2 seasons now. Absolutely love them. All my skiing has been in Utah (I powder chase from Michigan). Anyway, I am finding myself doing more hiking/boot packing at the resorts to get the biggest and freshest pow around. So, I am now considering an AT setup. How do you think the Automatics would work in the back/side/slack country? Any suggestions. Thanks for any inputs on this subject.

  100. AK March 18, 2014 Reply


    I recently purchased the 186 Automatic after kicking the tires on a pair for a long time. It will supplement the powder end of my quiver which is now the 183 Shiro and the 184 Katana. My everyday ride is the 184 Mantra as an east coaster.

    I am particularly interested in a direct comparison between the 183 Shiro and the 186 Automatic. I see that you found the 183 Shiro skied very short and were generally disappointed. I personally ended up with the 183 because I found a pair very cheap and I stuck with them because I am on the east coast. They do ski very short, but are a lot of fun too in the tight trees. I also like the groomer performance as it is fairly intuitive and generally pretty fun. But, they are not nearly enough ski for me if I push them at all.

    I am hoping the automatic will (a) ski longer and (b) allow me to charge harder. I will have the Katana if I want to rage around on crappy snow. But as capable a ski as those are, I do wish fairly often that they were just a little less harsh. I mention the Katana because I don’t expect the Automatic to be my crud buster, but I would like to charge a little harder on them than the 183 Shiro allows. It would be great if they were equally intuitive on groomers too.

    I look forward to your thoughts.

  101. Blister Member
    Jack g March 24, 2014 Reply

    Anybody out there tele on these things? Sound like what I’m looking for. I ski 184 bibby as my good conditions alpine ski and love them, but think they’d be a lot to push around as a tele setup.

  102. Blister Member
    Jack March 24, 2014 Reply

    Add me to the list of those eagerly awaiting a Automatic vs NEW super 7 review.

    On that note, how much would you say these give up compared to the Soul 7 in mostly soft but variable conditions. Obviously this is not an apples to apples comparison. Essentially, I’m working on a 2 ski quiver of something narrow for firmer conditions and something a bit wider / rockerier / funner for most everything soft. I’m thinking might as well go bigger (automatic, super 7, etc) for the increased powder performance if they can still handle days old soft(ish) resort variable conditions. Oh yeah … we get a whole lot of wind funk around here too (summit county, CO).

  103. Valerie April 5, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for your reviews! Want to add my two cents. I just tested and purchased Automatic in 179cm yesterday. This is the absolute one ski quiver! It is more versatile then Sickle (skied both back to back in the same day)! Most notable features: makes you smile while hydroplaning on top of “fresh powder over crust”; supports both neutral and aggressive front stance in equal comfort. Tight trees with frozen chunks of ice in Aspen Highlands were pretty easy as well! Best ski ever!

  104. Jonnybg September 25, 2014 Reply

    Hi, Guys!
    Excellent job done in this review! Thanks to all Blister team!
    Just one very short question:
    I just got my new Automatics-186 (13/14) and wondering about the Atomic Tracker 16 mounting point. So, I read carefully all comments and cannot understand- there is no Team line signed on the skis- just one “Factory recommendation”. What do I miss?

  105. Fabian October 16, 2014 Reply

    First of all, great work on all of the very detailed reviews. One can really see how much passion you put into this site. On to my question(s). I am 6 ft 5 and weigh around 282 lbs. I am a directional skier, not so much into tricks and jumps. I am looking to replace my K2 obsethed 2011, that I use as a touring one-ski quiver ski. I am mainly skiing in the swiss alps. It should be wider than 115mm under the foot, a playful powder ski that is not too stiff, but works on groomers and choped too, So I have been looking around for quite a while now and narrowed it down to those:
    – Atomic automatic 193
    – Moment blister Pro 190
    – Moment Exit World 186

    So, any advices? Which one should I take ;) ? Did I completely forget he perfect ski for me? Thanks so much for Input !

    • Author

      Thanks, Fabian!

      At your height / weight, the 3 skis – in no particular order – that I would consider are: 192 Bent Chetler, 192 Bibby Pro, 190cm Blister Pro. See the comments section of my Bent Chetler review for a few comparisons of those 3 skis.

  106. JRod November 6, 2014 Reply

    Another sizing questions. 40 years old, 5’8″, 165 lbs. Ski at Eaglecrest here in Juneau. I Grew up skiing at Alyeska, then gave it up 20 years ago and switched to boarding, tele skied badly the past few years while teaching my kids to ski. Now getting back into alpine skiing.Thinking once I get my feet back under me I’d be an advanced skier. I recently bought a pair of 186 Automatics. Second guessing my decision that I should have gone with the 179s. Thoughts? I have a chance to return the skis and get a shorter pair. Thanks

    • Ian November 6, 2014 Reply

      Hi JRod

      I am 5′ 7″ and 158 lbs and found the 179cm more than big enough to provide float on deep days. I am only an advanced skier (not expert) and would have found the 186cm too much ski to lug around.

  107. Mark December 22, 2014 Reply

    Jonathan! When are we going to see the 2015 Automatics? Curious to hear what difference the 10% more stiffness makes if any at all before I pull the trigger. If they’re anything like my 2013-2014 Autos but a bit better in firmer conditions theyre mine.

  108. Petteri January 10, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for great reviews and site!

    I’d like to ask for advice for first powder / deeper snow ski.
    I’m 6’3 205 lbs experienced skier on groomers. However, I’d like to take the first steps to powder skiing, and would be looking for first wider skis.
    I ski pretty aggresive and fast on groomers, but would expect to be much more cautious on deep snow in the beginning. After all, I’m 34 years old, and trying to remember I’m not made of steel.

    I found a clearance in local store for the models they have left.
    There apperas to be left:
    Atomic Automatics, but only in 186 size.
    Salomon Q115 in 188 cm
    Armada AKJJ in 195 cm
    Nordica El Capo in 185 cm
    K2 Annex 191 cm
    Armada Norwalk 189 cm

    They have a clearance price of 200 € for a pair. Same price for all.
    Reading the reviews, I would expect the Automatic to be a good ski to start learning with, but I suppose the 186 is too small for my size ?
    Would the Q115 be better choise ?
    Or would you recommend some of the other alternatives.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    • Blister Member
      Andrew January 10, 2015 Reply

      Plenty of good skis in that list that will do it including the automatics. 2cm is less than an inch and unlikely to be worth being a deciding factor. I’ll let the Blister crew help you with skis, and I’ll comment on the cautious part. While skiing powder, the snow slows you down and thus a more aggressive fall line approach(larger turn radius turns, more pointing down hill) is necessary to keep speed. In addition, there is a cushion if you do fall. So personally, I don’t think cautious is a good way to ski powder and I tend to get much more aggressive with my line, air, etc with powder. In fact, its the only time I feel like a real rock star with my old banged up knees. Of course, always be cautious of avalanch danger. Just my 2 cents

      • Petteri January 10, 2015 Reply

        Thank you Andrew for your input.
        Knees are in deed the part I’d be worried about :)
        For 200€ all of these skis seem like a good deal, but unfortunately I have practically no experience on powder yet, so I’ll have to rely on reviews found on internet and pick one.

        A small addition to the list of skis in the clearance:
        There were also Blizzard Cochise 193 cm and the orange Line Influence 115 in about 190 (can’t remember exactly)

        • Marcel January 10, 2015 Reply

          I think the best bet for you is the ak jj! I believe you will easily overpower both the automatic and q115, cochise and el capo are not good options for a powder ski, these two are the worst of these in the list in terms of float!

          the influence is a nice ski, I believe the 192 size might work for you!, for a powder ski from this list I’d go

          akjj and a flip of a coin between the line and norwalk!

  109. mark January 10, 2015 Reply

    I’m about your size and I ski the 2015 automatic 11st as my everyday ski in the Canadian rockies. I own them in the 187 and ski off psite only for the most part. I have yet to overpower this ski. The 2015 is 10 percent stiffer tho. So that could be why. The automatic in my opinion can make a very good all mountain/powder ski for Western conditions.

    • Petteri January 12, 2015 Reply

      Thanks for your comments!

      The selection was narrowing down pretty fast, as they were mostly last pairs of each.
      After quite a bit of googling, reading reviews and hand bending the skis at the dealer, I ended up getting the AK JJ.
      I have a pair of Griffon Schizo’s I plan to mount to them, to be able to adjust the position if needed.
      Reading the reviews, it seems the mounting point makes a big difference in deep snow.
      I suppose mounting them to the factory line would be best ?
      With the Schizo that would give +/- 3 cm from the factory line to choose from.

  110. Bogdan September 15, 2015 Reply


    I have one question. I wan’t to but new pair of powder skies.
    I have one option here. To buy Atomic Automatics 13/14, in 186 size.
    I’m 6’3 220 lbs .
    Is this size good for me or i should look for something 190 +
    I am not a powder master, but i ski in powder since 5 years, so i am not a rookie. Here in my country, there are a lot of forests that we usually skii in, so the speed is not at maximum and you need to carve from time to time ;)). So maybe the 186 will be a good choice.

  111. Aran October 14, 2015 Reply

    Hi there, Firstly thank you for the great and thorough review and all the commentary above. Having read there seems to be some mention of touring on the automatic but largely around powder touring. My questions is from the perspective of touring in any condition and using as a more daily driver. Additionally will be doing the Haut Route next year.

    With that in mind I looking at one of the two set-ups at a comparable price:
    1. Automatic 117s 186cm with Guardian 13 bindings – brand new £375 (c.$580)
    2. K2 Hardside 181cm with Marker Barons – used (c$400)

    I am 6ft, weigh 72kg /160 pounds. I am a very experienced skiier and ski Chamonix mostly. Would love to say all I ski is powder but sadly often not the case. Skis I have tested recently and liked that might fall into similar end of the spectrum as both were Automatics 102s, K2 Coomback, Quest105s. Still have a pair of old Rossi Scratch Steeze that I use as the daily drivers but would be considering retiring them to rock skis.

    Based on that thoughts on the two options?

    Many thanks in advance :)

  112. Matt November 3, 2015 Reply

    I have and love the 2012 190 bibby pro. What I like is skiing forward and much less centred.

    I bought a 122 rocker2 and really disliked it in the 184 length. It is now gone and I need to fill it with a shorter ski that I can tour.

    Specifically I need a shorter, turnier ski in the 180 range. I want to be able to ski forward on it without worrying about tip dive.

    I am 5’9″, 175. Aggressive skier.

    I am skiing in South East BC. In the kootenays, so the snow is lighter.

    Is the automatic a good option for me? How skinny could I go? 107?

    Appreciate the help.

  113. Johnny Myashkov November 3, 2015 Reply

    My experience- Atomic Automatic 117-best ski I have ever had. Still happy with them-solid directional weapon, not only for the deep days, but for every off piste conditions. My set is with Guardian 16 WTR. And now the only problem -they are extremely heavy, man! NOT for touring, believe me! Otherwise-best choose for me-6’@180 lb.advanced skier.

  114. Sasha February 27, 2016 Reply

    Great review! Can you help me plz? I’m looking for a good pair of fatties (waist 116+) to replace my 12/13 bibby pro 184. The require too much work from me sometimes, especially in tight trees. And I like more relaxed feel on skis. I skied bibbys for 2 seasons (60days on snow) as a daily ski. My current daily driver is Head collective 105 in 181. I bought them this season and skied bibby only once after that – when heads were in ski service. Heads are more easy and fun than bibbys but still are very stable.
    Most of the time I will ski around Europe mountains. But Japan, India and Canada are also in “my must ski” list. I plan to visit Japan next winter for the first time. My weight is 58-63kg(128-136lbs), varies during the year. Height 177cm (5’10”). Ski level – Advanced.

    I’m looking for a softer version of bibbys. Sounds like atomic automatic is what I’m looking for. But can u help me with sizing? 179 or 186?
    Do I need any bigger skis than my current Head Collective for Japan?

  115. Ryan C February 8, 2018 Reply

    I’m probably not going to get an answer in time, but what the hell. Advanced skier here (although I wouldn’t call myself a true expert – there are still plenty of lines out there that give me the willies), about 140lbs, 5’8″. I’ve got a pair of these in 179cm from the 2012-2013 model year and they are unquestionably my favorite skis in powder that I’ve used, and very serviceable and predictable in anything at all soft.

    My question is, heading up to Sugarbush tomorrow and it’s snowed like 2 feet in the last week and 10″ tonight, with a few more inches (maybe 3-4) expected Friday night to await me first ski day on Saturday. I’m seriously thinking about bringing these, since they’re so nimble in the trees and bumps, but I’m worried about them being overkill for Vermont snow. The alternate is a pair of 179cm Line Influence 105’s which were my daily driver ski out West and my natural choice for powder out here as they’re more locked down on groomers, but I’m wondering if the Automatics might be more fun in tight Vermont terrain due to their nimbleness.

    If anybody gets a chance to chime in, I’d appreciate it!

    • Author

      Ha, go back and read your post, Ryan, and I think you’ll find that you already know the answer: definitely ski your Automatics. And if you’re really worried, bring your Influence 105s, too, and leave them in the car.

      (And if you can’t bring a 2nd pair of skis, then just roll with your Automatics. You’ll make them work.)

      Have fun!

      • Ryan C February 8, 2018 Reply

        Haha it’s indeed a little more clear now… sometimes we just need a little validation :)
        Thank you sir, and I will! Your review played a pivotal role in my buying these skis in the first place, it’s only fitting you should play a role in busting them out for their first East Coast play date. The Influence 105’s are my go to when stiffness and dampness are needed (read: firm groomers, heavy crud), but these are so much fun when it’s soft and they turn so easy.

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