Atomic’s Backland 107 sits in their Touring collection of skis, but it’s more than just an alpine touring ski. Atomic doesn’t focus too much on weight-saving materials in the Backland 107, unlike some of the other narrower Backland models. By using their Ultra Power Woodcore instead of a Light Woodcore or Ultra-light Woodcore, Atomic is looking to retain good stability and enhance power for freeride skiers. Atomic also uses their Powder Rocker profile, which features 20% rocker in the tip and 10% in the tail. HRZN Tech, Atomic’s boat-hull-inspired edge rocker design is found in the tip of the ski. Sure, it can still go uphill, but with that Ultra-Power Woodcore and its Carbon Backbone, we also expect it to perform well as a resort freeride/powder ski, or even as a Big Mountain ski.
Bob St.Pierre tested the longest Backland 107, the 189 cm, and had a ton of fun testing it. “Awesomely floaty. I hit it right with the snow and had a blast in the soft spring corn.” Bob was most impressed by the ski’s playfulness, giving it 5 out of 5 for that criteria, along with flotation and overall impression. Bob is a big, powerful skier, although he still found good stability, commenting that it felt “very stable for how wide it is” and that it “gives a great flex consistently from tip to tail.” A consistent flex pattern in a ski like really helps its ability to handle different snow conditions and gives it an intuitive, predictable feel. “The playfulness was off the charts. This thing loves to dance down the sides of the trail.” His final thoughts on the Backland 107 were that it would be “a fantastic soft snow ski for advanced and expert skiers.”
Evan Caha, a much smaller ski tester compared to Bob, found more raw power in the Backland 107 after testing the 182 cm length. Lots of 4’s out of 5 from Evan, with overall impression rising to a 5 out of 5, arguably the most important criteria. “Get in the front seat and take it for a rip. Very versatile. Can’t be afraid to lean forward and take charge.” The Backland 107 has the ability to handle really aggressive skiing, making it probably the best choice as a true Big Mountain ski out of all the Backland models. So, whether you’re planning on skinning to big zones or like to take high speed lines at your local resort, it’s going to handle that type of skiing just fine. On the other hand, Evan found it “turns surprisingly quickly,” echoing Bob’s reaction and corresponding well to the feedback from some of our other testers too.
Matt McGinnis also tested the 182 cm length and his response was similar to Evan’s, although we saw 5 out of 5 scores for both stability and torsional stiffness/edge grip from Matt. “There have been a few skis that I’ve tested where my comments included ‘not ideal for big mountain charging.’ The Atomic Backland 107, on the other hand, is ideal for big mountain charging. As such, these skis are stable, powerful, and offer exceptional edge hold. What is most surprising, though, and what makes these skis unique, is their ability to shut it down at a moment’s notice.” This is very similar to the reaction from Evan. They can rip at high speeds, but you can make quick turns and quick adjustments on them easily. “Typically, that’s not something you see with a ski this big and this powerful.” That said, Matt still “wouldn’t recommend them to those who aren’t 100% confident in their skills.”
Ripping resort powder ski, big mountain AT ski, even versatile all mountain “western” ski, there are a lot of ways we could describe the Backland 107. Ultimately, if you like off-piste terrain and like to push the limits of your ability and the available terrain, you’ll love it. Stiff enough and stable enough to charge, but forgiving enough and maneuverable enough to get yourself out of trouble.