2020 Black Crows Atris

The Black Crows Atris is part of their Freeride Range and is designed to be a playful, versatile ski. Black Crows describes it as being stable, quick edging, with a progressive flex. It relies on a poplar wood core, uses tip and tail rocker, and what Black Crows medium classic camber underfoot. Slightly less early taper in the Atris compared to some Black Crows models, which gives it an extended sidecut, helping to boost edge grip in any application. It’s 108 mm at its waist and that “slightly extended” sidecut features a 20 m turn radius, which is consistent across all available lengths in the Atris. We love Black Crows’ description that the Atris can be a “stylish door-opener to the world of big mountain skiing,” but we expect it would also be a lot of fun on the feet of an already-accomplished big mountain athlete.

Matt McGinnis was “very impressed” after he finished testing the 184.2 cm length Atris. That’s something you’re going to notice with Black Crows; their length breakdown is more specific and it’s very unique that it goes down to the millimeter level. Matt had very consistent scores for the Atris, all 4’s out of 5 for every single category. That typically suggests a very versatile ski with an even mix of performance characteristics. “Overall, these skis were super fun. Powerful and trustworthy for a ski this wide. With a medium flex, they’re stable at speed and easy to shut down when needed.” The rocker profile is really helping with the ski’s willingness to “shut down” when you need to dump some speed. It’s easy to release the tail edge and get the ski to pivot, a quick way to slow down when things get a little out of hand. “I’d say these skis are ideal for those wanting a wide, stable platform with a moderate flex.”

Kelby Furrer had a very similar set of scores for the Atris after testing the 184.2 cm length. Again, all 4’s out of 5 from Kelby, although stability was an exception, dropping down to 3 out of 5. “This is a solid, wide body ski and all-around ripper. Felt really stable riding switch.” That’s interesting feedback from Kelby. Although stability was his lowest numerical score, he specifically mentioned its stable feel while riding switch, which to us suggests the ski has a very balanced, intuitive feel for playful skiers. Kelby did think it required at least a certain ability level, commenting that it is “definitely an advanced ski.”

Josh Wolfgang was most impressed by the ski’s playful nature after testing that same 184.2 cm length. Stability and edge grip were the lowest scores from Josh, with flotation, quickness/maneuverability, playfulness, forgiveness, and overall impression all earning 4 out of 5 as the highest scores. Josh thought it was a “very playful ski.” He mentioned for him, it “didn’t want to carve on-piste,” rather that it’s “all about playing on the sides of the trail on these and hitting little kickers.” That’s a good recommendation from Josh. If you’re focused on carving, skis with less rocker and/or stiffer, heavier construction will be a better choice for most skiers.

If you love seeking out soft snow and adventurous zones on the mountain, you’ll love the Atris from Black Crows. Its shape and construction give it a fun, playful, versatile feel, yet it still has enough stability for some high-speed skiing and so that you know you can trust it when you’re in tricky situations in the backcountry or side-country. The fact that the shortest available length is 178.3 cm is a nod to the idea that this ski is really most appropriate for soft-snow, freeride applications.

Testers

Brooks Curran

Age: 24Height: 6'2"Weight: 170 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer, now backcountry freerider

Josh Wolfgang

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

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

Kelby J. Furrer

Age: 29Height: 6'0"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Awesome blend of speed and style

Matt McGinnis

Age: 29Height: 5'9"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Surfy freeride with a freestyle background

32 Comments on the “2020 Black Crows Atris”

  1. Hello guys,
    this season I need to buy new skis. The last year I spent with testing new skis in the 100mm range (+/- some millimetres), because I like how they ski on and off piste. I am a former piste skier and liked to push everything to the limit. But in the last two years I changed to a more playful all mountain skiing style. So I go everywhere try to find some nice spots to jump around (off and on the piste). Beside that I go to the park sometimes, just for jumping and go off piste if there is fresh snow. But still I like to go fast on the piste, because some days I ski with my family and there we normally take the piste.. To me I am 19 years old, 178cm tall and weigh around 83kg. I am skiing for 15 years (about 20-30 days a year in Austria and Italy), so I think I have a pretty decent technique.
    So last year I tested the Voelkl Mantra M5, Voelkl V-Werks Katana, Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, Black Crows Atris and Black Crows Captis (every model skied at my height or longer and the 2019 models, except of the Enforcer). The Captis wasn’t the ski for me I just felt wrong on it. The Voelkl skis both blew me away with their on piste performance and their powder performance. But for everything beside that they aren’t made. The Nordica Enforcer 104 Free were real fun in every aspect, but I missed a slight rocker in the tail for landing switch. Now to the Atris. I didn’t had so much fun on a ski for years. They were the most fun in every aspect (maybe the Mantra was a bit better on piste) and I didn’t had any problems with a waist width of 108mm. It was a bit more exhausting, but not so much that it bothers me.
    And here is my problem: I read a lot about the Black Crows Camox, but I didn’t had the chance to ski it. And I am interested whether it fits more to my skiing style instead of the Atris. And if I should buy the 2020 model of the Camox or the 2019 Camox, when it is the right ski for me. If the Atris is better I would be curious whether I should mount the binding more forward than the recommended mounting point or to stay with the recommended point.
    Thank you for an answer.
    Kind regards
    Lukas

    1. Hi Mike!
      It sounds like you could be just happy on the Atris. The Camox, same for both years, is a great option, but is a bit stiffer and more rockered. I’d stick to what you know you like. Great skis for sure!
      SE

  2. Hello guys,
    thank you for the fast answer. I can’t reply on your comment, so I will write it down here. I was thinking about moving the binding of the recommended point (-8cm) a bit more forward (e.g. -5cm or -4cm). Do you guys think this would be a good idea for my usage or should I stay with the recommended point.
    Kind regards

  3. Hi guys,

    I am an New England East Coast skier that primary skis the Volkl Matra M5. I am looking for something wider for snowy days here and also for a couple tripsa year out west to Vail and Park City. I am back and forth between the Black Crows Atris and the Salomon QST 106. I was originally also looking at the Nordica Enforcer 104 but felt like there was a lot of crossover of the M5 with the hard charging part and was looking for a more playful feel.

    1. Hi Jacob!
      You’ll definitely find a more playful feel with the 106 and Atris versus the E104, although that 104 is pretty sweet. But yes, you’ll get the same metallic feel from the 104 as you do from your Mantra, which it sounds like you’re trying to avoid. The 106 benefits from pretty deep rocker profiles as well as the cork in the tips and tails for 2020. It’s more stable than ever before, and is a fantastic western ski. I’m also very impressed with the Black Crows skis, and the Atris is likely to be more playful than the 106 in fresh snow, it’s just not quite as stable. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more give to it, there’s nothing wrong with that Atris. Have fun, that’s a great ski list!
      SE

  4. Hey there,

    Could you guys confirm that the only difference between these and the 2019 Atris is the paint job? Skied them last winter and loved them, and would like to avoid paying an additional $200+ for this year’s if that’s the only change. Thanks in advance.

  5. Hi guys,
    I’m a 19 year old skier and I’m looking to buy a one quiver ski. I have been skiing since I was 3 years old, approximately two to three weeks a year and would describe myself as an advanced all-mountain skier. I like to go off-piste and challenge myself in the side-country in every given condition (especially in the powder). However I do ski a lot with family and friends who are less experienced so I need a ski that can hold an edge and is still able to lay some decent carves on the piste. The recommendations for the Black Crows Atris seem to be a little varied. Some say it makes for a great all-mountain wide ski, while others say it’s definitely a powder ski. Saying that I would like a ski that’s nimble, lets me expand my abilities off-piste and won’t hinder me on the piste, do you think the Black Crows tick the boxes? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jordi!
      My experience is that it’s more of a powder ski. For powder, soft, or broken snow, it’s a great choice for sure. I’d look to more of the 100 underfoot range. Check out the Atomic Bent Chetler 100, or in the Black Crows range, I’d say the Camox is a better option. I think you’ll appreciate the versatility. Have fun!
      SE

  6. How does the Black Crows Atris compare to the Fischer Ranger 102 FR?
    I am looking for the second ski to my two ski quiver and i am a bit torn between the Atris and the Ranger 102 FR. I already got a narrow on-piste ski (Head supershape i.speed), so i am looking for a playful ski that i can take to the side/backcountry throughout the season and know that it can handle both pow and crud.

    1. Hi Filip!
      The Atris can certainly handle pow and crud, but I wouldn’t say much else. The 102, on the other hand, is a more well-versed ski for all-mountain conditions. If you’re looking for a true pow ski, the Atris is a better choice, but it doesn’t quite have the resort capabilities of the Ranger 102. Hope that helps!
      SE

  7. Hi guys!

    Firstly, Happy New Year! I hope it has started well with lots of snow and good skiing 🙂

    I’m currently riding an older version (16-17 season) Salomon QST 99 at 188cm, with Salomon’s Shift bindings. Really liking it as a one-ski quiver for onpiste, lift-assisted offpiste and ski-touring day trips. What I am missing a bit is flotation and hence looking for something wider – say in the 105-110mm range – but still needing to retain those one-ski ’capabilities’. In short, needs to work onpiste, offpiste and also on ski-touring day trips.

    I’m a semi-aggressive, advanced skier at 178cm and 80kg. No park, skiing switch and keeping the jumps to a bare minimum to save my aging bones ;-). I have skied (on-piste in ok groomed conditions and some mixed-up ’slush’ and icy patches) both the Black Crows Atris (2019-2020 model at 184.2cm) and the Salomon QST 106 (2018-2019 and 2019-2020 models at 188cm) plus plenty of others (like Elan’s Ripstick 106 which I liked quite a bit also). Right now, the ’top three’ are the Atris + QST 106s 18-19 and 19-20 models. And now, finally, to my questions.

    Would you consider snapping-on Salomon’s Shift bindings onto the Atris’ and go ski-touring on them? Day-trips, I’ve tested Black Crows’ more ski-touring oriented skis such as Navis freebird and Corvus freebird, but was not that impressed with their onpiste capabilities. Although the Navis freebird was great fun to play around with in man-made snow ’slush’.

    Secondly, on the QST 106’s (2019-2020 model), what would be your recommendation on length: 181 or 188cm? On the 18-19 season model, my preference was 188cm. Now a bit hesitent as the 19-20 model seems to be quite a bit stiffer – will it be as nimble as the 18-19 model?

    Many thanks!

    Walt

    1. Thanks, Walt!
      Sure, it’s all about compromise, and what you’re losing from a touring perspective is the lighter weight on the up, but you more than make up for it on the downhill side. There’s no question that the Atris is a strong on-trail ski.
      For QST 106 length, I’d go 181. It’s a bit heavier in terms of build versus 2019, but the shape makes it feel quick and light without too much of a sacrifice in stability. Such a fun ski!
      SE

      1. Hi,
        Great, thank you! I will be heading up-to Finnish Lapland in just over a week and planning to test both the Atris and the QST 106 also in the backcountry.
        Walt

  8. Hey guys,

    I’m a 6ft, 175 lbs, agressive east coast skier. I am looking for my next 50/50 ski for powder resort skiing and ski touring with a binding like the Shift. I’m currently riding the 17-19 Atomic Backland FR 109 in the 189 cm length with the Shift binding and I love them. I would like to upgrade to something a bit more stable at high speed, especially in chopped up or variable snow. I would not ski hardpack with those since I have a pair of Enforcer 93 for harder conditions. I love the surfy feeling of the Backland so a similar but more stable ski would be perfect. I love how light the Backland is when I tour but I would not mind adding a bit of weight (max 200g per ski) to get more inbound stability. I am looking for a ski with a traditionnal mounting point so I can drive the tips a bit more than with the Backland, but still with shovels that are not too wide so I can keep my knees together when I straightline soft moguls or glades. Is the Atris the right ski for me? Seems like the DPS Alchemist Wailer 110 C2 would also fit my needs but it’s a bit too expensive. Do you have any other suggestion?

    I love your YouTube videos so keep up the good work!
    Thank you for your help!

    1. Hi Julien!
      I like the Atris over the DPS since you are looking for stability at speed. I’ve found that the DPS skis are great, but in addition to the high cost, I haven’t discovered that they’re great at speed. The 2021 Pagoda Piste skis are a different story, but that wont’ suit your needs as well. Atris is super-fun and stable with a high-end feel. The Corvus is a bit burlier, but there goes your weight. It’s all about compromise, so the more stability you’re looking for, the higher the weight. Blizzard Rustler 10, Volkl Blaze 106, and even the Atomic Vantage 107 should be on your list as well. Have fun!
      SE

  9. Hello Guys!

    I am 177 cm, 78 kg, and an average good skier. What is the prefered lenght for me with the Atris?

    Thanks in advance from Norway

  10. Hi guys, I’m 50 years old, 6ft long, 188 lbs, not expert but advance skier (focus on freeride) and I’m considering Atris or Rossignol Soul HD. What do you think is better for me? And at what height? (or any other recommendation:-). Thank you. Best, Milan

    1. Hi Milan!
      I really like the tip to tail consistency of the Atris versus the flexy/firm/flexy nature of the Soul. If I were in soft powder all day every day, I’d go with the Soul, but for all-mountain freeride and versatile performance, I think the Atris is a better choice for you. I’d go with the 184 in that ski. Take care!
      SE

      1. Thank you!!! And one more question: can you, pls, compare Atris to Backland and Core? Thx. Milan

      2. Hi Milan!
        The Backland is quite a bit lighter and more floaty than the Atris with more of a backcountry feel to it–capable as a tourer or in-bounds pow ski. The Kore has some pop to it due to the stiffness, and is likely more similar to the Atris, but maybe not quite as lively or well-rounded. I’m a huge Backland fan, but more so for soft snow while the other two can be used for resort skiing more readily. Take care!
        SE

      3. Keep asking, Milan!
        The 106, other than the added width, has more dramatic taper as well as rocker. The tail rocker is really built into the profile of the ski, and is rather abrupt. Certainly a better choice for soft snow, but you’re giving up versatility versus the 99. If you keep the narrow skis, the 106 will definitely be your powder-specific choice, while the 99 will give you a bit more flexibility with ski choice.
        SE

  11. I’m considering the atris as the wide ski in my two ski quiver. I’m an intermediate skier, a very aggressive fast learning addicted intermediate but an intermediate nonetheless, so will I have fun turning the atris or should I consider something else? Will mostly use on powder days but hoping it turns nicely on piste too

    1. Hi Tom!
      Certainly a good choice, especially for snow days–I’d think you’ll find them a bit planky on-piste until your skills build up a bit. Also check out the Fischer Ranger 102 FR for more of a classic/traditional turning ski. Still good in powder, but with a better on-trail personality. Have fun!
      SE

  12. Hey guys….. I have read reviews about the Black Crows top sheet peeling or delaminating. Has anyone had this problem? Thanks

    1. Hi Cat!
      We haven’t seen an abnormal amount of issues with the BC skis, and they had a pretty good run in our demo fleet this year. It’s a bit softer of a top sheet so I could see how peeling or chipping would happen, but haven’t heard about any structural issues. Hope that helps!
      SE

  13. Hey guys another size question for you!
    I’m 28 years old, 6’1 about 170-175lbs and have been torn between 184 and 189 for a few days now. I’d consider myself an advanced, aggressive skier trying to progress. I ski side and some backcountry, bowls, trees (looking for untouched snow), look for jumps, and like to push it and find the speed limit in open spaces and on piste. Basically I go everywhere. I’ve heard they ski short so I was leaning towards the 189 but am worried about the length in tight trees.
    I just got rid of a pair of 180 soul 7 that felt way too short at speed and sent me over the handlebars a couple times landing in some deeper stuff.
    I’ve never focused too much on ski sizes until recently so any advice will help.
    Will be used on and off piste mostly in Colorado and in all conditions.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Leon!
      You’re tall enough for the 189 but you don’t quite weigh enough. And then there’s your application and past experience, which both point towards the 189. You’re right to worry about the 189 in tight trees, but how often are you in those versus more wide open spaces where your desire for speed and stability are paramount? Most of these things are pointing to the longer length, so I’d go that route, and then you’ll be sure you haven’t left any performance on the table. Have fun!
      SE

  14. Hey SkiEssentials,
    Loving the content y’all put out, super helpful and informative, keep it up!

    I’m looking at getting a new Single quiver ski. I’m 5’10, 98kg and an advanced skier. I’m usually hunting out powder, cruising fast on groomers or hitting ungroomed blacks in the alps (inc moguls). So I’ve been enjoying the forgiving and versatile 2016 Atomic Automatic 102’s at 188cm (they ski short) but have coped well with everything I’ve thrown at them, though hard work in moguls.
    As mentioned I want to get a new ski to become my daily but will always want a focus for powder (occasional Japan trips), but for the alps need to be able to ski the resort in the way I like.
    I’m interested in the Atris but not sure if it’s going to be able to cope with what I need in the resort? And unsure if to go for 184 or 189, guessing 184 if they don’t ski too short and will be OK at speed?
    Any other advice or skis to look at?

    Many thanks,

    1. Hi Morgskier!
      I skied the Automatic 102 in the 188 for years and loved it! The Atris is a fair comparison, a bit stiffer and heavier than the Automatic, but will be a better floater for sure. The Automatic has a few offshoots in the Atomic line, you should also check out the Bent Chetler 100 and the Backland 100. I still think that ~100 mm underfoot range is the place to be for your application. The Atris is a great choice, to be sure, and I’d look to the 184 in that model. Have fun!
      SE

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