Atomic has completely revamped the Vantage series for the 2015/2016 season. The widely popular Atomic Vantage Theory is being replaced by the new Atomic Vantage 95. The new Vantage 95 features a redesigned “Carbon Tank Mesh” core. The Vantage 95 also has a slightly different shape. Atomics main goal was to make the ski lighter, without sacrificing any of its capabilities on snow. I was a pretty big fan of the Atomic Vantage Theory, so I was very curious to see if the changes made to the Atomic Vantage 95 would make a big difference. In the end, I think the Vantage 95 is a super versatile all-mountain ski that is a great replacement for the Theory. It’s a ski that is great on the groomers, and still very capable off piste. I would hesitate to throw this into “quiver of one” territory, but it definitely makes a great all-mountain ski. I think a lot of skiers will love this ski for everyday.
2016 Atomic Vantage 95 C On Mountain Video Ski Review
Conditions: Groomers, Hard Pack, Soft Chop, Icy Steeps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Atomic FFG 12
Ski Personality: The Vantage 95 sticks out as a light-weight all-mountain carver that can handle a lot of different conditions.
On the Snow Feel: The Atomic Vantage 95 is a stable and predictable ski. At the same time its light-weight keeps it maneuverable and easy to turn. I wouldn’t necessarily call it playful, but I love how easy it is to manipulate a light ski and make it do what you want it to do.
Powder: The Atomic Vantage 95 has a subtle amount of tip rocker and a healthy dose of traditional camber underfoot. This creates a solid and stable ski underfoot, that is also capable of floating in softer snow off piste. Its light weight allows you to maneuver through deeper snow with ease. However, at 95mm underfoot, it’s just not going to have great flotation. The Atomic Vantage 95 is a versatile all-mountain ski that is capable in deeper snow, but won’t be your go-to on really deep days.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Atomic Vantage 95 felt right at home on the frontside groomers. Its light weight keeps it nimble and maneuverable, and I found it pretty easy to tip on edge. It responds well, and it was quick from edge to edge. When making short to medium radius turns it was quite lively and energetic. Again, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s playful, but it’s very easy to manipulate turn shape. Best of all it was stable and predictable, and it was easy to transition from one turn to another.
Speed: The Atomic Vantage 95 is pretty light-weight. It does have a strong carbon fiber mesh to help increase rigidity. This make it more capable at speed, while retaining liveliness and responsiveness. On smooth groomers, the Atomic Vantage 95 felt stable and predictable. It has enough dampness to smooth out most vibrations. However, the Atomic Vantage 95 was less at home on roughed up groomers.
Uneven Terrain: The Atomic Vantage 95 is light and stable, but not super damp. It’s not the type of ski that will blast through crud and chop, but that doesn’t mean it can’t handle roughed up terrain. I found that with a reactive (staying light and nimble) approach I could easily maneuver around chop. Again you’re not going to blast through, but it was easy to go around or over. You’re not going to carry a lot of speed through the crud, but it was pretty easy to stay on top and have a little fun.
Moguls: The Atomic Vantage 95 is light, nimble, and quick from edge to edge. I find it pretty fun in the bumps. I would get thrown around quite a bit if I came in too hot, but it was also really easy to keep my speed in check. If you want a ski that is light and nimble but won’t fold up on you if you’re over the tips, the Atomic Vantage 95 isn’t a bad option.
Edge Hold: I found the Atomic Vantage 95 to be home on soft snow and smooth hard packed terrain. Even on steeper icy slopes, the Atomic Vantage 95 holds pretty well. The Carbon Mesh does a great job adding some torsional rigidity. It really helps keep the ski stable and solid on harder snow.
Flex: The Atomic Vantage 95 has a forgiving flex. At the same time it’s stiff enough to provide power, stability, and a predictably smooth ride.
Switch: The Atomic Vantage 95 is a directional ski.
The Atomic Vantage 95 is a great all-mountain ski for intermediate to advanced skiers wanting to explore the entire mountain. It’s really well balanced, and performs well in just about any type of terrain. I found it to be happiest on the groomers, but capable off-piste as well. Really aggressive skiers may find it to be a little light and soft. Those casual skiers who want to rip groomers in the morning, and take it to the steeps in the afternoon will find it plenty capable.