2020 Atomic Redster S9

Atomic is known for their racing heritage and success, and we’re psyched to see the technology in their World Cup level skis available in more consumer-appropriate models. This Redster S9 is a perfect example. Are you looking for the same slalom performance enjoyed by the pros? Want to lay down turns like Mikaela Shiffrin? Well, we hate to break it to you, but that might not happen. You certainly can, however, enjoy the same technology in your skis. The Redster S9 uses Atomic’s Servotec, Power Woodcore, Ultra Titanium construction, World Cup Race Bases, as well as other features and technology you’ll find in their highest-level race skis. Lengths and turn radii, however, don’t need to meet FIS standards on a ski like this, which means more accessible fun for the mere-mortal skier. We had a limited selection of lengths available for the Redster skis during our test, and all our testers for the Redster S9 opted for the 159 cm length. That might seem short, but for a slalom ski, it’s not tremendously short by any means.

Mike Thomas did mention that he would’ve liked to be on a longer length, but was still thoroughly impressed by the Redster S9. His highest scores were for quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, and torsional stiffness/edge grip, which are the criteria we’re most focused on when testing a frontside carving ski with a slalom turn radius. “Super-quick, knife of a ski. Really nice feel, both Redsters really impressed me with their ‘feel.’ Powerful and smooth. Strong grip. These aren’t the sort of skis I look for versatility from, I just want them to crush corduroy, and these do that amazingly well.” Mike brings up a good point. We talk a lot about versatility in skis and their ability to ski different terrain, but the Redster S9 is more focused on a specific characteristic: super quick, high precision turns on firm snow. For that application, we don’t expect anyone would be disappointed with the Redster S9, it’s that good.

Justin Perry had a similar reaction to Mike, although unlike Mike he did find the 159 cm length was right for him. Justin’s quite a bit smaller than Mike, so that makes a lot of sense. High scores from Justin as well, mostly mirroring Mike’s, with 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. Somewhat interesting to note that Justin didn’t find as much playfulness as Mike, which likely comes from their difference in size. “Turns on turns on turns with nothing but amazing edge hold.” That is a fantastic way to describe this ski, Justin.

Like Mike Thomas, Josh Wolfgang found the 159 cm length a little bit short for him, but still had some valuable feedback for the Redster S9. Josh competes in the local beer league races, and noted that the Redster S9 would probably be a little too much, both in its aggressive nature and its short turn radius. If your local races are more slalom-oriented, it could definitely work, but most beer leagues set a course that’s closer to GS, which would call more for the Redster G9.

If you value precision, responsiveness, edge grip, and a short turn radius, the Redster S9 is the way to go. It has a fantastic feel and draws from the same technology and performance that’s helping the world’s best athletes stand at the top of the podium. That should be good enough for just about anyone out there, but keep in mind it also comes along with a fairly demanding feel. The Redster S9 is probably too much ski for an intermediate or even a less-aggressive advanced skier. Those with accomplished technique who are ready to turn, however, will love it.

Testers

Mike Thomas

Age: 50Height: 6'3"Weight: 215 lbs.

Ski Style: Upright, fluid, nimble, and powerful

Josh Wolfgang

Age: 23/24Height: 6'1"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and carvy with a love for the fall line

Justin Perry

Age: 29Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive all-mountain freeride

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