The Atomic Vantage X 80 CTI is the narrower of two skis that sit at the top of the Vantage X all mountain carving line. These two skis offer incredible energy and snappy performance on groomers thanks to the Carbon Tank Mesh, Titanium Backbone 2.0, and a slew of other technology designed to support quickness, torsional stiffness, and overall energy. Atomic refers to the ski as a powerful and versatile ride that can handle both on-piste and some light off-piste terrain thanks to its 80 mm width. Our testers predominantly skied them on firm snow, but we did get a chance to put them to the test in some variable conditions as well.
David Wolfgang skied the 180 cm length and gave the Vantage X CTI high scores for all categories, with versatility being a slight exception. He didn’t, however, score it low for versatility, just right in the middle. He was most impressed by the performance of the ski on firm snow and its ability to make different turn shapes. He commented that the ski “transitions from short turns to wide GS turns with ease.” For a ski that leans towards being a frontside carving ski David did comment on its ability to ski different snow conditions and was impressed by its ability to be “quiet on the frozen corduroy and buttery in the soft snow.”
Benny Wax echoed David’s thoughts regarding the skis ability in soft snow. He commented that they felt “very forgiving” for a carving ski and that they had “easy turn initiation”. Benny Wax even went as far as saying that they “like softer snow”. While we think the 80 mm waist width is geared more towards use on groomers than other terrain, it’s nice to know they have the ability to venture off the hard pack and into some softer snow once in a while.
Steve Brown, one of our biggest testers coming in at 6’6” and 235 lbs agreed that they are easy to ski and commented that they make “fun turn shapes”. Steve skied a 180 cm ski, which he did say felt a little short for his size, but found that he was able to manipulate the ski into multiple turn shapes with easy. He also was impressed by the responsiveness and quickness of the Vantage X 80 CTI saying that you can make the ski “as quick or as slow as you want it to be from turn to turn.”
Now although we’ve touched a lot on forgiveness and versatility here, it’s important to remember that this is a relatively aggressive ski. Marcus Shakun was most impressed by its ability on the hard pack, quickly giving the ski the title of “high speed railer”. After spending some time on the 180 cm length he said that they felt “unbelievably quick edge to edge” and that you “don’t need to question edge hold.” He had the most fun making “short powerful turns” and commented that they felt “lively and energetic”. Marcus, however, didn’t fall into the same thought pattern as our other testers in terms of versatility and forgiveness, commenting that the ski “doesn’t allow for errors in mixed snow.” There is a good chance Marcus skied the Vantage X 80 CTI in the worst conditions of the test, which would certainly warrant such a statement.
Marcus has a nice closing statement about who the ski is best for saying that they’ll be good “for one that loves speed and energy in a ski with precision.” To go along with that we can add that it’s a great choice for skiers looking for that feeling out of a carving ski, but still want to retain the ability to jump off the groomers and ski some softer snow conditions.