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2016-2017 Atomic Vantage 100 CTi

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Atomic Vantage 100 for Blister Gear Review.

2016-2017 Atomic Vantage 100 CTi

Ski: 2016-2017 Atomic Vantage 100 CTi, 188cm

Available Lengths: 172, 180, 188 cm

Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 188.1cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 139.5-100-126.5

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 138.5-99-125.5 (188 cm)

Stated Weight per Ski: 1950 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1992 & 2000 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19 meters

Core Construction: Ash/Poplar + Titanal + Carbon Fiber Mesh Laminate

Tip / Tail Splay (decambered): 56mm / 22mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2-3 mm

Factory Recommended Line: -7.75 from center / 86.3cm from tail

Mount Location: Factory Line

Boots: Lange RX 130 LV

Test Locations: Porters Ski Area and Crystal Valley, New Zealand

Days Tested: 5

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Vantage, which was not changed for 16/17]

As we noted in our preview of Atomic’s redesigned Vantage series of all-mountain skis (including the Vantage 100), Atomic set out to make the line “lighter, stronger, and better. So they’re even more effortless and better to ride on-piste, without sacrificing any of their play in the powder.”

So how’d they do? Did they hit the mark they were aiming for?

And of course, there’s the question of how the Vantage 100 stacks up against its direct competitors, like the Volkl Mantra, the Blizzard Bonafide, the Nordica Enforcer,  the Rossignol Experience 100, and the K2 Pinnacle 95. I’ll discuss those comparisons in the Blister Deep Dive, but for now, I’m going to focus on (1) whether the Vantage 100 does what Atomic says it does, and (2) how it stacks up to the ski it replaces: the 190cm, 103mm-underfoot Atomic Vantage Ritual.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Atomic Vantage 100 for Blister Gear Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Atomic Vantage 100 CTi, Porters Ski Area.

Flex Profile of the Vantage 100

The front and back have a very similar flex profile: I’d call it medium+, maybe stiff-. It’s certainly not soft, but this isn’t a particularly burly flex pattern.

And while so many skis these days are very noticeably softer in the tip than the tail (e.g., the K2 Pinnacle 95), the Vantage 100 isn’t; its tips and tails are close. (And yes, I still happen to generally be in favor of this on an all-mountain ski because of the large sweet spot such a flex pattern tends to produce.)

Now let’s go to question #2:

190cm Atomic Ritual vs. 188cm Atomic Vantage 100

The Vantage feels much lighter—both in terms of sheer weight and swing weight—than the 190cm Ritual. By comparison, the Ritual feels like a bit of a tank.

I’ll double check the weight of the Ritual when we get back to the States, but the Vantage 100 feels significantly lighter.

Consider this: the 188cm Vantage 100 comes in just at (or below) 2000 grams. That is practically identical to the 188cm Rossignol Soul 7, a fun-shaped, lightweight ski, not a fairly burly, directional rocketship. So that ought to tell you something.

Having said that, what the 188 Vantage 100 and 190 Ritual have most in common is that they are both rocketships on groomers…

Groomers

At my 180 lbs., I could definitely make the Vantage 100 work at slower speeds when making shorter, scrubbed turns. But when I set these skis on a hard edge, they were eager to go very fast. Heavier skiers will bend these skis more easily, but when I open these up, they want to run. At least on the 188cm length (and again, at my weight) the Vantage 100 felt at home making big GS turns—though I’m confident that the shorter lengths will more readily accommodate a turnier style.

But as always, lightening up a ski comes with pros and cons. So far, the Vantage 100 feels like a nimbler ski than the Ritual, but it is not as damp as the Ritual. Both are powerful skis, but the Ritual smoothed out roughed-up groomers and chopped up pow better than the Vantage 100. Get the two skis on smooth groomers or in consistent, deeper snow, and that difference in the dampness of the two skis will be diminished.

This has been very evident the past couple days on the groomers at Porters Ski Area. On well-manicured groomers, the Vantage 100 feels powerful and very fast. The skis feel stable and hold an edge very well. Rocketships.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Atomic Vantage 100 for Blister Gear Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Atomic Vantage 100 CTi, Porters Ski Area.

But at the end of the day today, after Porters had picked up fresh snow overnight, those groomers had pushed-around piles of snow on them. The groomers were a bit bumped up, and I was no longer comfortable nuking down the slopes: the skis were getting bounced around quite a bit, not staying as composed as the Ritual would at high speeds on the roughed-up piste.

So if low weight + low swing weight is what you’re after: the Vantage 100 gets the nod. But if dampness and stability is your priority, then you’ll almost certainly prefer the Ritual: it is a bit more of a bulldozer, while the Vantage 100 as the snow gets chopped up or the terrain gets bumped up, works better with a more finesse-oriented style. (You can still hit high speeds, you’ll just want to use more finesse than brute strength.)

NEXT: Pow, Moguls, Etc.

7 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Andrew August 25, 2015 Reply

    Curious how they compare to my benchmark in the class, my current hell and back. Sounds like they won’t handle crud such as well, keep up on the groomers, and maybe a bit better in pow?

  2. Blister Member
    Africa August 26, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for the review Jonathan,
    Great to see what you think about this ski, and the comparisons to the Ritual.
    I have had both the 190 Ritual and original 185 Cochise in my quiver, using the Rituals for groomers and softer snow days and the Cochise for firmer conditions. I had the oportunity to get the Salomon Q-Lab 183, and that is now replacing both those skis. Neither the new Cochise or new Vantage were an option(QLab was a gift), but so far with 1 full day all over the mountain, I am initially happy with that decision.
    Look forward to other comparisons, I know you didn’t like the 190 Qlab that much, which was why I opted for the 183, but interested in how the Vantage stacks to the other candidates on the market.
    Glad you back on snow again.

  3. Ravi Chopra August 27, 2015 Reply

    I’m currently on a pair of original Automatics in 186. I absolutely adore them in almost any amount of fresh snow and find them capable in hardpack, far more so than any pow ski has a right to be. As the BRG review found, I also find them almost absurdly easy to ski anywhere. I do find myself thinking of switching to something with a bit more hardpack capability if I didn’t have to sacrifice powder performance too much. This ski immediately caught my attention when previewed. I know they’re not really comparable skis, but would appreciate any thoughts you might have on the trade off between these and the old Automatic. Thanks in advance!

    • David Atkinson April 13, 2017 Reply

      I have the old automatics as well. Two pair in fact, one is a rock pair the other a good pair. I skied the vantage 100 today at Loveland ski resort in Colorado. They were amazing on groomers. I skied them in some heavy 3″ powder and they skied great. They skied everything great. They did good in the bumps as well. You can go really fast and they are smooth. They turn quickly. Really light as well.

  4. Greg August 31, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for the reviews. I’m looking at some good deals on Rituals but am stuck on what size to get. Have you had a chance to compare the 182 and the 190? I’m looking for an all mountain, do everything ski with an off-piste bias. I ski Montana (Big Sky and Bridger Bowl) and want something that can handle narrow steep chutes but also rip around in cut up crud. I’m concerned about the quickness of the 190 in narrow spots, but would probably like it for blasting deep piles of crud. I also ski with two little kids so need something that can be skied at lower speeds, and that is fun on groomers. Any help would be appreciated.

  5. David Ross December 31, 2016 Reply

    I’ve demo’d the 180 cm Vantage 100s for 6 of the last 7 days in South Western Colorado in excellent snow conditions ranging from nice powder , soft chop, shaved hard pack and soft groomers. As far as I’m concerned these skiis have handle all conditions superbly. They float, carve and hold an amazing edge. Black moguls are easily managed as well as high speed groomers. I’ve been skiing 191 Volkl Mantra’s as my all mountain ski in Alaska for the past several years and love the stability in crud and icy conditions, nonetheless the Atomic Vantage 100s are much better in powder conditions and still hold edge amazingly well. I’m on my way to buy a pair right now.!

    • Mark January 25, 2017 Reply

      what is your size? Are you happy with 180’s?

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