The 2019 Atomic Vantage 86 C is the narrowest and softest ski in the Vantage line. At 86 mm underfoot and with carbon instead of metal, the Vantage 86 C finds its home in the intermediate-advanced category. Lighter weight skiers will love the quickness and versatility, while heavier or more proficient skiers may top it out sooner than expected. It’s a bit narrow to fit into the modern all-mountain category, and a bit wide and soft to be considered a front side carver, but for many middle of the road skiers, the Vantage 86 C will be the perfect fit.
After testing the 181 cm length, David Raybould found that it skied a bit short. He didn’t necessarily think of that as a negative, though, especially considering all the nice things he had to say about the ski. His high marks for quickness, playfulness, and forgiveness all ring true for what the ski is supposed to do. He noted that the Vantage 86 C “likes to carve on wide open groomers. It is playful—easy to skid and pivot.” We can infer from these comments that an intermediate to advanced skier would be very happy on the Vantage 86 C.
Troy Dehm also skied the 181, found it true to size, and also remarked on the quickness and maneuverability of the ski: “This is a really fun and maneuverable carving ski. Very light and easy to get edge to edge quickly.” We think a lot of skiers fit this type of description, and the conclusion is that a lot of people would be very happy day in and day out on the Vantage 86 C. Troy also had some pleasant things to say about the playful nature of the ski: “Nice sidecut with a playful turning radius. You can rip through trees and on groomers.” We like to hear that the Vantage 86 C would make a good tree ski, because a lot of that intermediate to advanced crowd is looking for a light, nimble ski that you can swoosh around the woods on.
The quickness and playfulness also stood out to Jason Krupsky. Skiing the 181 cm, Jason gave the ski top marks in those categories. He went on to characterize the ski as “surprisingly quick underfoot for an 18 (ish) meter radius ski. It’s fun and playful with good edge hold.” The quickness and edge hold jump out at us as strong traits for that emerging advanced skier who needs a bit of a boost from his equipment in order to get over that next hump. As light as it is, it’s inevitably going to sacrifice some stability at speed, but Jason thought it handled long turns just fine. He concluded by saying that it’s a “great all mountain ski for varied long and short turns.”
Jamie Bisbee found the 181 to feel a bit on the long side, and gave the ski high marks for stability and torsional stiffness. He thought it had good edge hold for a metal-free ski. We get the sense that he had a very positive experience with the Vantage 86 C by saying that it’s “instantly stable and Lexus-smooth. This horse needs room to run!” We love Jamie’s enthusiasm, and the fact that he found the skis to be able to punch up a level.
There are many times when we see skiers on the hill who are in over their heads, whether it is in regards to terrain or equipment. It’s imperative to find the proper equipment for your individual ability and comfort level. Atomic has made a great ski that covers a large portion of that group of people with the Vantage 86 C.