Ski: 2014-2015 Atomic Elysian, 168cm
Dimensions (mm): 128-95-117
Sidecut Radius: 18.1 meters
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 165cm
BLISTER’S Measured Weight Per Ski: 1668 grams & and 1674 grams
Boots / Bindings: Nordica Firearrow F3 105 / Marker Griffon (DIN at 7)
Mount Locations: Factory Recommended
Test Location: Alta Ski Area, Snowbird
Days Skied: 6
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Elysian, which is unchanged for 13/14 and 14/15, except for the graphics.]
Atomic markets the all-mountain Elysian to female skiers of intermediate to expert ability levels. With just a bit of rocker in the tip and tails, and traditional camber underfoot, this ski’s shape ensures versatility in a variety of conditions.
I first tried the Elysians in what were admittedly not the legendary conditions I am used to at Alta. Thick and catchy wind-consolidated drifts were unpredictable to navigate while the wind whipped, so we headed over to Fred’s Trees for better shelter and visibility.
I’ll readily admit I’m not a mogul skier; bumps baffle me. But I discovered the Elysian easily negotiated the troughs. I haven’t recently been on a ski narrower than 100mm underfoot (which perhaps can explain my bump aversion), and the Elysians at 95mm underfoot reminded me how nimble and responsive a narrower ski can be.
Just as Stella Selden reported in her review of the Atomic Elysian, I also found them to be predictable and lively in bumps. They were far more nimble than either the Armada VJJ or the Armada TSTw, and the stiff tails helped steer me reliably into the next turn. Bumps both soft and hard were enjoyable on the Elysian, and I even sought out a hot-dog style zipperline at Snowbird, lapping back twice more, which for me is unprecedented.
When the weather cleared, I headed up to Alta for a classic Utah spring ski day before the bittersweet closing weekend. The early start had me cruising refrozen icy groomers, which proved to be no challenge for the Elysian. Now, this wasn’t true East Coast ice, but the Elysian was able to grip and rail better than the curvy shapes of the Armada TSTw or VJJ on slippery slopes. And after things warmed up, the Elysians showed me exactly why they are named after the fields of heaven.
On groomed snow, the Elysians were extremely easy to turn, and their responsiveness left me popping in and out of snappy slalom-style carves. The energy of the ski meant that the transition from edge to edge happened very quickly, with minimal effort on my part. I could feel the tails gripping the snow, and I never felt nervous about washing out. I found it effortless to let myself really angulate into an aggressive laid-out stance, as the Elysians behaved perfectly on groomers.
At slow to moderate speeds, I had excellent stability. When I hit breakneck speed, however, I did notice a bit of flapping in the tips, and wished for a longer size than the 168cm, but this was only experienced at the top end of the speedometer. Atomic does not make a longer length than 168cm, however, which I think is unfortunate. They have targeted this ski toward intermediate to expert females, and I definitely know some ladies who would benefit from a longer version of this ski.
Otherwise, the Elysians performed equally well in both short- and long-radius turns on groomers, and undoubtedly offered the best groomer performance of any of the skis I’ve been on this season, i.e., the Armada TSTw and VJJ, Salomon Czar, Moment Bella, and Atomic Millenium. (Stella also said that the Elysians were her favorite groomer ski she tested this season, so we were in perfect agreement about that.)
Chop & Corn
I didn’t have a chance to get on the Elysian until April, so I’ve spent a good deal of time skiing both chop and corn. I found that the Elysian was stiff enough to plow through both types of snow, while the rocker shape kept me from catching my tips on crud. (The Elysian features 15% rockered tips 75% camber and 10% tail rocker.)
When hand flexed, the Elysian is significantly stiffer than the Armada VJJ and the Atomic Millennium; it is comparable to the TST, though the TST has much softer tips. The Elysian is not nearly so damp as the Moment Bella when navigating through thick crud, but I did appreciate the significantly lighter weight and low swing weight on the Elysian when compared to the Bella.
I also found the sweet spot on the Elysian to be fairly large, and they can be skied easily with both a forward or a more centered stance. This forgiving aspect made the Elysian easy to navigate through rougher snow, and micro-adjustments to stance produced little to no change in performance.
Corn has been the closest I’ve come to powder while skiing the Elysians, but when skiing corn, the rockered tips prevented any bucking and the turns felt smooth and reliable. The Elysians lack the buttery, slarvey feel of the Armada VJJ or the TSTw, but they still provide a fun, stable ride.