Ski: 2013-2014 Atomic Bent Chetler 192cm
Dimensions (mm): 144.5-123-136.5
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 191cm
Sidecut Radius: 20 meters
BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,431 grams & 2,449 grams
Boots / Bindings: Nordica Enforcer / Atomic FFG 14 (Din at 10)
Mount Location: Team Line (-2.5cm from center)
Days skied: 9
Test Locations: Alta Ski Area, Alta Side Country
[Editor's Note: The 12/13 Bent Chetler is unchanged for the 13/14 season, except for the graphics.]
The Bent Chetler is one of the mega playful, freestyle-oriented powder skis that helped revolutionize the sport, a member of the old guard of sorts. It also became known for its versatility, and the 183cm version was a popular one-ski quiver for many people living in places with great snow.
The ski has undergone a few changes over the years: originally only available in that 183cm length, many bigger skiers were left wishing for a longer Bent Chetler, to which Atomic responded with a wildly popular 192cm version. Atomic made another change to the ski in 2013 by adding carbon stringers to the full wood core, in an attempt to increase the strength and pop of the ski, while also keeping it as light as possible.
The Bent Chetler is designed to excel in powder, and it does. At 192cm long, 123mm underfoot, using ~ 45cm of tip and tail rocker, having a smooth progressive flex, and a sidecut profile that isn’t overly curvy, the Bent Chetler floats to the top with any bit of speed, and remains easily maneuverable even on the most bottomless blower days.
I feel like I’m writing typical marketing B.S. saying the ski feels equally comfortable arcing out long GS turns at high speed, drifting out any length smear, or laying down an explosive slash, but that’s exactly how it felt to me.
I’ve also had the most effortless switch-pow landings and runs of my life on the 192 Bent Chetler.
All of these experiences lead me to say the skis have felt incredible in fluff regardless of the orientation to the fall line.
Air / Landings
The 192cm Bent Chetler won’t have you fooled into thinking you’re tossing around a little park ski while airborne, nor a similar styled ski in the 180-185 lengths. But for its size (and my size), I found it manageable. Manageable enough, in fact, that I felt comfortable doing some of my biggest tricks on the Bent Chetler—none of which I’ve even attempted since destroying my knee a couple years ago. The centered mounting position combined with a light tip and tail contribute greatly to the 192’s cooperativeness while airborne.
In-runs and takeoffs feel very smooth with the relaxed sidecut profile and friendly flex characteristics working together to keep surprises at bay.
If I’m going to be exceptionally critical, I did notice the skis seemed a little sluggish in the pop department on occasions where I would have expected a little more oomph from them. Off of dedicated jumps and when boosting moguls, I felt as though the ski provided roughly the same amount of energy (pop) whether it was flexed a little or a lot. Though I personally may have wished for a little more pop initially, eventually I became accustomed to the feel, and appreciated how it made the ski very predictable in all situations.
This big Bent Chetler doesn’t carve quite as aggressively up lips as a ski like the 185cm Line Opus, which makes corked rotations a little more difficult to set.
The landing pad the 192cm Bent Chetler provides is enormous, and the flex feels incredible at dampening the impact while also being strong enough to handle off-kilter landings or unexpected snow densities—even given the shorter shovel (because of the forward mount).
In short, I have felt as confident stomping jumps and drops with this ski as with anything I’ve ever been on.
In Jackson Hole, Emily Cleveland has found the Atomic Access to be lightweight, playful, and really easy to ski.
Time to weigh in: 186 Automatic vs. 193 Automatic.
The Atomic Ritual can be easily slashed and skidded, but is still a substantial ski to use as an everyday all-mountain charger.