The Atomic Automatic 109 is in that a mid-fat all-mountain/powder ski category that is going to be more at home in the soft snow than on frontside groomers. For me this is a ski that is hard to classify. It could be a powder ski, it could be an all mountain ski, or it could be an all mountain freestyle ski. I think in the end it’s best to describe the Automatic 109 as a super versatile all-mountain wide ski that is very much at home in the soft snow, but capable in chop, and on groomers. It could be a good daily driver for semi-aggressive skiers that want to ski all over the mountain.
2016 Atomic Automatic 109 All-Mountain Ski Review
Conditions: Soft Groomers, Soft Chop, Hard Packed Groomers
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Atomic Warden 13
Ski Personality: Similar in feel to the Kye 110. The Auto 109 is a semi-playful, semi-stable big mountain powder ski.
On the Snow Feel: The Atomic Automatic 109 is a versatile ski with a semi-stable feel. The ski isn’t just going to blast through everything in your way, but it’s capable in the chop and at speed. When you want to play around in the soft snow, you can.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Atomic Automatic 109 is a relatively lightweight ski with a moderate flex. I found it pretty easy to maneuver, and its light weight helps make it feel relatively nimble. The ski is also relatively easy to get on edge, and once there I didn’t find I needed a whole lot of speed to get the ski to flex. The faster I went the more the ski came to life. I found it to be is decently lively and snappy when transitioning from edge to edge. Its light weight makes it feel quicker than others in this waist width and a five point design allows you to vary turn shape pretty well. It wasn’t overly powerful, but I did find it fun on the groomers.
Speed: This is another area I found the Atomic Automatic 109 to be good, but not great. It probably didn’t help that I spent quite a bit of time on the Kastle BMX 105 HP before the Automatic 109 since the BMX 105 is probably the smoothest ski I’ve been on. However, I still felt that I got a good feel for the stability of the Automatic 109. Overall it did pretty well, but there were moments where I found the tips chattering a bit. This was especially noticeable when I went to make a hard stop at speed. In shallow soft snow, I’d have no hesitation to open things up, but as things got deeper and more firm I’d definitely have to pull the throttle back.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Atomic Automatic 109 is in that class of skis that wants to go over variable terrain rather than blast through it (think Rossi Soul 7). These skis are still very capable in variable terrain, but take a slightly different approach. The Atomic Automatic 109 does a great job of floating over the top of soft chop, but as soon as you try and drive the tips through the crud, they will bounce you around. Instead you need to take a more balanced approach, and keep your tips above the chop. The maneuverability helps you to avoid any problem spots, and keep your skis pointing down the run.
Edge Hold: The Atomic Automatic 109 is a ski that is most at home in soft snow, but it has just enough torsional stiffness to hold an edge when things firm up a bit. I wouldn’t want to ski this on hard pack all the time, but if I had to on occasion it would be okay.
Bottom Line: The Atomic automatic 109 is a light-weight versatile all mountain skis that feels most at home on soft snow. It’s relatively playful, but is also stable enough to handle some speed. It does a good job of rolling over variable terrain, and does well floating in 10-12” of snow. Tip it on edge when on the groomers, and it will treat you do solid edge hold and a lively rebound. I think this would be a great daily driver for the skier that is going to spend a lot of time playing in soft snow, but wants a ski that can handle chop or groomers when conditions aren’t as favorable. You’re probably going to ski trees and tight chutes more often than wide open steep terrain. This isn’t the ski for the heavy aggressive skier that wants to blast through chop and straight-line steep terrain.