The men’s Vantage skis from Atomic are broken down into two categories, those that use metal and those that use carbon. The Vantage 97 C is the widest in the latter of the two, relying on carbon for its performance over metal. It also features Atomic’s Light Woodcore and hits an impressive weight of 1750 g in the 180 cm length. Its shape is geared towards all mountain skiing, although it doesn’t use as much rocker or early taper as some of Atomic’s other offerings like the Bent Chetler 100 or the Backland series. A ski this lightweight, in this width range, with relatively low-rise rocker is actually pretty unique in the ski market and we were excited to see what our testers thought of it.
Brad Schauerman tested the 180 cm length and was impressed by its performance and capabilities. With that low-rise rocker profile we mentioned, Brad thought “this ski performed terrifically on the groomers.” “Terrifically,” what a great word. Brad found it felt “very stable and held a great edge.” With a variety of options just from Atomic in this width range, we expected the Vantage 97 C to be more focused on carving than other turn shapes, and Brad’s reaction supported that theory. “This ski definitely likes to carve and make bigger turns, rather than short and slarvy turns.” Skiers who prefer that slarvy, smeary style of skiing will likely prefer a ski like the Bent Chetler 100, but this Vantage 97 C provides an awesome, lightweight option for skiers who prefer driving their skis through turns. “Did a good job of charging through the crud as well. A good all-mountain ski.” Knowing that it can handle high-speed skiing through crud is valuable feedback. Often that performance is only found it heavier skis, but Atomic has achieved a similar characteristic in a much lighter package.
Despite the Vantage 97 C not using any metal, Phil McGrory found that it “likes speed” and that it feels “very stable.” Based off that and Brad’s reaction to the ski, just because it doesn’t use metal, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it if you’re the type of skier that likes speed. Phil was on the 188 cm length, which happens to be the longest available in the Vantage 97 C. Phil also noticed the effects of it being relatively lightweight, commenting that it has “very light swing weight in the tip and tail.” Combine that characteristic with its stability and edge grip and it “gives the ski a lot of versatility.”
Evan Caha tested the 180 cm length and his first reaction was that it’s a “solid, confident ski.” We’re really impressed that the Vantage 97 C achieved such high praise and high marks for stability from these testers who had plenty of opportunities to ski heavier skis with more metal during our test. Evan also thought it was “surprisingly poppy and playful.” Echoing Brad’s response, he did note that it “doesn’t like tight turns” and that it “would be tough in the woods,” but that’s where the Backlands and Bent Chetlers come into play. He ended his response to the Vantage 97 C with an interesting comment, “in a good way, it reminds me of the old Volkl AC series.”
Skis like the Vantage 97 C are a perfect example that you don’t necessarily need the biggest, burliest, heaviest ski, even if you’re an aggressive skier. This construction achieves high levels of stability and torsional stiffness while being much lighter and more forgiving than heavier skis. If you value precision, stability, edge grip, and power, but want something in a lighter package than you typically find, you’ll fall in love with the Vantage 97 C.