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2016-2017 Black Crows Atris

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Black Crows Atris for Blister Review.

2016-17 Black Crows Atris

Ski: 2016-2017 Black Crows Atris, 184 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 178.2, 184.0, 189.9 cm

Actual Length (straight tape pull): 182.1 cm

Stated Weight per Ski (184 cm): 2050 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2065 & 2074 grams

Stated Dimensions (184 cm): 138-108-128 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 137-107-128

Stated Sidecut Radius: 18 meters

Core: Poplar

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 68 mm / 46 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.85 cm from center; ~83.2 cm from tail

Test Locations: Ski Santa Fe and Taos, NM; Arapahoe Basin, CO

Days Skied: 10

Intro

There are a growing number of options in the category of 106 – 108 mm wide all-mountain skis that combine a good amount of stability with a greater degree of playfulness than the more traditional directional chargers of this width. So where does the Atris fit into this group?

We started our testing and our side-by-side comparisons of the Atris last spring, where we pitted it against the Faction Chapter 106, the Liberty Origin 106, the J Skis Metal, and the Line Supernatural 108.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Black Crows Atris for Blister Review.

Black Crows Atris, Faction Chapter 106, Liberty Origin 106, J Skis Metal, and Line Supernatural.

We then wrote about and located the Atris in our Winter Buyer’s Guide, then have spent the past several weeks putting the Atris up against other skis, including the Faction Candide 3.0, Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Moment Meridian, and more, and we are about to also publish a rather Deep Dive article to tease out the similarities and differences among a whole bunch of skis.

The Atris: What Is It?

Black Crows keeps their description of the Atris pretty brief, describing it as, “A light ski that is quick underfoot, has exceptional pivot and a lot of tail support.”

That is an incredibly brief description, but it also happens to touch on the right things. “Light” is relative, of course (and what “light” means is being redefined in the ski industry every year). But we will definitely be talking about the pivot-ability of the Atris, as well as its tail…

Weight-wise, it is heavier than both the 186 cm Faction Chapter 106 and the 187 cm Liberty Origin 106. And while the ski feels pretty short on snow (it feels like a shorter 184), it also feels relatively substantial, and we were able to push this ski pretty hard yesterday, and appreciated its backbone in addition to its quickness. A big part of that?

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we would break down the flex pattern of the Atris:

Tips: 5-6

Underfoot: 10

Tails: 7-8

Underfoot: 10 — stiff. And that “10” section actually takes up a lot of the ski. Starting from the very ends of the tips and tails, the flex pattern of the ski ramps up to 10 well behind the heel piece and well in front of the toe piece. There are no hinge points per se (on a handflex), and this ski is not a noodle — it just continues to get progressively softer all the way to the end of the softer tips and its relatively soft tail. Interesting. Before getting it on snow, we thought, “This should make for a solid platform.” So, did it?

Spring Slush + Notes re: Mount Point

We began testing the Atris last spring in perfect hot pow. The biggest takeaways during our time at A-Basin were that we liked how hard we could push the Atris, and yet the Atris was not some burly charger.

But the other big takeaway we had was that, skiing at speed down A-Basin’s big, open bowls, Brian and I both felt like we didn’t have much ski out in front of us; the tails felt good, but the Atris’ soft shovels didn’t really like to be driven. It wasn’t a big deal, and if you tend to ski with a more centered / neutral stance, you might really like the ski on the line, and actually, I suspect you will.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Black Crows Atris for Blister Review.

Brian Lindahl on the Black Crows Atris, Arapahoe Basin, CO.

I’ll say a bit more about mount points in our Deep Dive article, but my advice to directional skiers (those who aren’t spinning or skiing switch much) is to mount between -1 cm & -1.5 cm behind the recommended line. If I personally was drilling these skis today, I would probably just aim to split the difference and hit right around 1.25 cm behind the line.

All in all, during those first days of testing, we really liked how quick and energetic the Atris felt. The tails of this ski generate a lot of pop. It is energetic and lively. In slush bumps, jumping off cornices, and on soft groomers, the ski is simply a lot of fun — quick and energetic, with a nice, solid platform and tail.

Groomers

On clean and even on less-than-pristine groomers, the Atris feels quite strong and responsive. Its soft shovels are easy to bend, and its strong back half allows you to finish turns powerfully.

The 184 cm Atris has a stated sidecut radius of 18 meters, and while you can certainly, easily pick your way down a groomer at slow to moderate speeds, this doesn’t feel like a slalom ski, where it wants to rip short, fast turns with lightning-fast transitions from edge to edge. (The tip shape and rocker profile of the Atris don’t do much to initiate and pull the ski into a carved turn; you’re carving from the center of the ski, and again, those fat, springy tails are happy to finish turns.) So if you really like to lean your skis over and carve, this ski responds best to medium and large turn shapes. But again, it is certainly happy to work slowly down a groomed slope, too, with more of a bases-flat approach.

NEXT: Deep Pow, Soft Chop, Etc.

23 Comments

  1. fab June 3, 2016 Reply

    Please could you also test the faction Ten5 one day ? Thanks !

  2. willie June 6, 2016 Reply

    And the Armada ARV 106. Thanks.

  3. Blister Member
    Henri August 30, 2016 Reply

    Have the option to buy both Line Supernatural 108 (186cm) and Atris (189cm) at good discount. Could you share some quick thoughts on the differences between the skis? Playfulness, ability to charge, powder vs. groomer performance.

    • Author

      Hi, Henri – here’s what I can tell you: the 186 cm Line Supernatural 108 is definitely ‘more’ ski than the 184 cm Atris, though I think the 189 cm Atris could close the gap a bit on this difference.

      Brian Lindahl and I both felt that the shovels of the 184 Atris felt very short – so both of us would be inclined to go up to the 189, and we both felt that the 189 would better suit the two of us.

      Conversely, I always felt like I could drive the shovels of the SN 108 plenty hard.

      But again, it’s difficult to speculate re: the 189 Atris vs. the 186 Supernatural.

      For a charging and very impressive groomer performance, the SN 108 wins over the 184 Atris, and it is a ‘burlier’ ski than the 184 Atris. But those who really want to play (especially trick and spin) and who prefer to ski with a more centered / neutral style than drive the shovels … those skiers will likely prefer the 184 Atris.

      But how, exactly, a 189 Atris will compare to a 186 SN 108 … that’s a very good question, and my best guess is that the 189 cm Atris will be the more apples-to-apples comparison to the 186 SN 108 than the 184 Atris is.

  4. Mike Henderson September 4, 2016 Reply

    Looking forward to reading the reviews, when can we expect them, thanks

  5. Blister Member
    George September 6, 2016 Reply

    Would love to see a review of the faction standard ten5 as well. Looking forward to the chapter 106 in the meantime.

  6. Jørgen November 1, 2016 Reply

    Hey! Could you share some quick thoughts on the differences between a Atris and Hoji?

  7. Dominik November 17, 2016 Reply

    Hey Jonathan,
    Thanks for your thoughts. you say the Ski feels short, do you mind me asking how tall you are? I am 170 and dont know which one to get. 177 or 184

  8. Sander January 25, 2017 Reply

    Hey! Is the final review available anywhere?

    Thanks!

  9. Charles February 6, 2017 Reply

    ^^ Would also love to see some more thoughts on the Atris.

  10. Eric February 14, 2017 Reply

    How does the Atris compare to the Salomon QST106? Do you reckon the next year’s update will make them more similar? Atris is a bit heavier?

  11. AK February 21, 2017 Reply

    I look forward to your comparison of the Corvus and Atris as someone who has now also had the chance to ski both skis.

    I’ll start by saying my usual sweet spot is a 186. For that reason, I ended up skiing the 183 Corvus (-1) (the 193 being too long) and the 189 Atris (rather than the 184 you tested).

    I’ll start by saying the 183 Corvus is my favorite ski of all time. For me, its the most versatile ski ever. It works for me in Northern VT as an every day ski because its capable of carving and smearing at the same time. It works in tight spaces but it can be opened up when there is enough space. The stiff in-your-face tail combined with the ability to break the tail free is amazing. For me, these are like a less harsh Katana which is a very good thing. For reference, the reco mounting point is -10 on the Corvus and mine are at -11.

    Recently, I got to spend 3 days skiing sunny western groomers on the 189 Atris. On non-icy groomers the Atris was a blast and was extremely playful and carvable. Granted I wasn’t skiing ice, but in good conditions they serve the “fat but playful GS ski” role very well. As someone who prefers a flatter tail I did struggle a little to find the right balance in more variable conditions. Mounting point was key on this ski. At the recommended line of -8 they carved really well but felt too forward for my preference. At -2 the crud and wind buff performance improved dramatically but I felt behind the sweet spot on groomers. Ultimately, -1 (or -9 from center) was a good compromise. Relative to the Corvus, I felt the Atris was more fun and skilled at carving shorter turns but less confidence inspiring in variable terrain and in steep chutes.

    If I had to ski one ski anywhere for the rest of my life, it would be the Corvus. If I want to have a fun day skiing a variety of terrain including non-icy groomers, than the Atris would be my choice.

    On a final note, I wish I hadn’t just pulled the trigger on this year’s 189 Atris because the referenced changes for 2018 (stiffer tip, less tail rocker) might make the Atris even more in my wheelhouse. Is any more feedback or specifics on these changes available?

    • Eric February 21, 2017 Reply

      Hi

      May I ask your height and weight? I’m 184cm/80kg, ride fairly aggressively but all about who you compare with.

      I ride last year’s 193 Corvus and even though I like its capability to really bomb down any terrain it sometimes feel a bit too big for me. I tried the 184 atris and I felt it skied really short and was way too turny. I am now looking for a compromise and the 183cm Corvus might be it. It just sounds very short!

      Maybe next year’s atris is the way forward.

      • Author

        Hi, Eric – I’m 5’10”, 175-180 lbs. Full bios (with heights and weights) can be found of each reviewer in the “About Us” section on the navigation bar.

        And we are going to be publishing a comparison review of the 183 cm Corvus vs. the 184 Atris next week…

        • Blister Member
          Geoff April 17, 2017 Reply

          Hi Jonathan,

          Any progress on this comparison. Super curious about the 189 Atris vs. 183 Corvus. I’m more or less the same dimensions as you (6′, 175 lbs) and struggling with do I buy a charger ski that tries to retain a bit of playfulness or find a playful ski that can still charge for a western (SLC, Jackson) daily driver. Or should I suck it up and get one of each for the right conditions.

          • Eric April 18, 2017 Reply

            Same here! 189 Atris vs 183 Corvus are the skis I’m looking at for next year as a more humble step down from thew 193 Corvus.

  12. Mono March 2, 2017 Reply

    Hi, i’m very curious on the corvus vs the atris as well. I demoed teh 183 Corvus for 4 days in Big Sky and loved them. Thought it would be a great ski in a 2 ski quiver, my blizzard brahmas 180 are my every day ski for the east coast. Thought a wider second ski for deeper days and out west that the BC Corvus would be a good choice. I’m 6’00” 180 lbs and the 193 looked two big for me. I demo’ed the 108 ish Salomon QST 190 ish (i don’t remember what they were exactly) but i must be the only person on the planet that didn’t like them. Liked the 2016 Rossi Soul 7 185 ish as well. Skied with my 10 year old out there and the future is going to have a lot of hiking and steep skiing so i’m curious on these wider skis.

  13. Blister Member
    Simon Dünnenberger March 24, 2017 Reply

    Hi Blisters

    Are there any thoughts to review the Black Crows Anima?

  14. Robert April 5, 2017 Reply

    How would you compare the Atris to the Rossignol Soul 7 HD ? Planning to mount with a Salomon Guardian MNC 13 slightly off-center for an all mountain ski, with sidecountry approximations capabilities. Thanks.

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