Story by Lily Krass 2019.04.10

TGR Tested: Atomic Backland 102 W

“The Backland skis are ideal for the deep backcountry days we all dream of.” - Samantha Hall

Atomic Backland 102 W
Touring
Tested by:

When designing a backcountry-focused line of skis, Atomic wasn’t willing to forego the downhill performance that skiers had come to expect from their alpine offerings. So it comes as no surprise that the Backland lineup boasts equal prowess on punchy climbs as steep descents. The 102 W is the widest women’s-specific ski among the Backland collection, designed for advanced skiers looking for versatility. Paired with an Atomic Shift binding, the Backland W 102 can handle resort laps, pillow lines, and big backcountry ascents, all with enough stability and power for you to rip your line top to bottom.

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Design

Atomic’s lightweight poplar core combined with a reinforced carbon backbone blends solid downhill performance with a poppy and maneuverable playfulness that skiers will love while hopping off pillows or rocketing down tight chutes. Tip and tail rocker with camber underfoot makes for a predictable ski that floats, carves, and turns without hesitation, and the capped sidewalls up the stability on hardpack. A slightly smaller turn radius enhances precision on tight entrances and the 102mm waist is a solid middle ground for surprise snowstorms and laidback groomer days alike. At 1514 grams per ski, the Backland 102 W has some meat to it, but it’s not too burly to haul uphill for resort-accessed slackcountry laps.

Performance

The Atomic Backland W 102 impressed TGR testers when it came time to rip down steep, consequential descents. A well-rounded freeride ski, testers agreed the Backland 102 W seemed to strike a balance between lightness and stability, soaring off big drops and carving solid turns through crud. Tester Samantha Hall felt it was a well-rounded, confidence-inspiring ski that that she felt safe hitting big drops on. “The Backland 102s are ideal for skiing big lines in the backcountry when you’re not willing to sacrifice anything on the downhill. They float on deep days but they’re still stiff and stable enough to keep my confidence up through chunder and variable conditions.”

Photo by: Eric Parker
Photo by: Eric Parker
Photo by: Eric Parker

Who's it for?

For skiers looking to slim down their quiver, the Atomic Backland W 102 is a great everyday freeride ski that transitions seamlessly in and out of the resort. For expert skiers, the Backland construction boasts enough power and flex to slay movie-worthy lines in Alaska, while intermediate skiers will love the versatility and nimble feel of this every-day ripper. Although the 102mm waist might not be enough to float through your dreamy Japanuary trip, it should suit most days at your local resort or backcountry area.

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