No other brand introduced as many new models for 2019 as Atomic, and only a couple can point to any new technology, much less one deployed over so many waist widths and price points. In Atomic’s case, the new tech is called Prolite, a minimalist design in keeping with the global trend towards lightness in all things.
The Prolite design relies on either Carbon Tank Mesh, introduced a few years ago to considerable acclaim, or new Titanium Tank Mesh to provide the principal structural support. Both the Carbon Mesh rectangles and the large-loop Ti chain mail are visible where the ski is thinnest, between the raised ribs of the Energy Backbone that communicates pressure to the edge.
Just how much any skier may cotton to the new Vantage series depends on how he or she factors in the relative importance of lightweight design, clean cosmetics and attractive pricing. In the critical All-Mountain East and All-Mountain West genres, both the men’s and women’s versions of the Vantage 86 C and 97 C are exceptional values with distinctive performance properties that fit the target skiers to a tee.
Atomic continues to be a value leader where value is king, the first price point. We don’t examine entry-level skis because they are rarely, if ever, demoed by shop personnel and their sale usually depends on price and decoration rather than technical merit. Based on what we know Carbon Tank Mesh can deliver, we strongly suspect the first-time buyer gets an outstanding bargain from Atomic.