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Help with Atomic X9?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi there,

I recently tested Atomic X9 and instantly fell in love with them. I am planning to buy my own but looking for some advice. Basically, I like aggressive style skiing but also a bit of versatility. While G9 is also nice, it’s a tad more challenging in slow speeds and thus x9 really hit the spot for me.

In a nutshell, should I buy X9 WB or X9 S? Also unsure about the length.

I am 177cm (5’8”) and 84kg (185) with about 15 years of experience. The X9 I rented was 175cm and it felt really good, stable and just nice to rip overall. But I am unsure if it was WB or S. Also unsure if 169cm (or other length) would be more suitable.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Forgot the word ”Redster”. But I am indeed looking to buy Atomic Redster X9
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If you are an aggressive Advanced skier, you (ideally) should be on a 180, or even a little longer. That said, if you liked the 175, then experience is better than theory. I believe the X9S is a powerful ski that needs a lot of driving, so 175 might be the sensible way to go.

I take it that the WB is the Wide Body version with a tighter turn radius...and appears not to have a 175, but a 176 - so you probably had the S version.
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Right, thanks for the input. After reading the reviews, I think I am leaning a bit more into the WB as it seems to be slightly more forgiving and versatile.
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@imarello, i have got some WB’s that I’ve done about two days skiing on that I don’t use anymore but I think they might be a bit short for you


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Mon 15-02-21 18:17; edited 1 time in total
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Actually they might be the right size but smaller than you tried, depends what you want from them.... I am a couple of inches taller than you....
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I’ve got some G9s (which I won on a free Facebook comp, don’t hate me). I’ve used them for 2 seasons and whilst they’re great, I’m thinking of swapping them for something more like the X9 WB which will be far better for for everyday use
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I think the US Atomic rep posted on SkiTalk that there are some changes to the Redster line for next winter.
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X9’s wb are a great ski, but you need to work out what you want them for. If you want an all rounder (off piste etc) then I think there are better skis but if you want a good piste ski, then I think these are a good bet. They are quite a heavy powerful ski and they are not supposed to be skied long length relative to your own (sorry old fartbag) really they should come up to your chin (ish) they can make long and short turns and hold an edge well
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ajc2260626 wrote:
X9’s wb are a great ski, but you need to work out what you want them for. If you want an all rounder (off piste etc) then I think there are better skis but if you want a good piste ski, then I think these are a good bet. They are quite a heavy powerful ski and they are not supposed to be skied long length relative to your own (sorry old fartbag) really they should come up to your chin (ish) they can make long and short turns and hold an edge well

No need to be sorry - my length recommendation was very generic....and when I looked up the WB, the longest length was 176.
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Eh oh! you can ski them long but that’s not what they are really about my GS skis are 175 (I am 5’10) but these X9 for me would be 161 or 169..... if you are shorter than me the I would say 161 is a better shout
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ajc2260626 wrote:
Eh oh! you can ski them long but that’s not what they are really about my GS skis are 175 (I am 5’10) but these X9 for me would be 161 or 169..... if you are shorter than me the I would say 161 is a better shout

I think weight is a more critical factor than height....for example, I'm 5'10" but weigh 65kg, whereas the OP is 5'8" and weighs 84 kg.
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I’m 80 kg 5’10” and I guess I would be classed advanced / expert level skier I guess, the length of the ski doesn’t really affect the flex etc as they are all made to level of flex of ski for the model rather than the length if you know what I mean

In theory the better the skier and to some degree the weight will affect how much they can bend the ski, a lighter but better skier will be able to flex the ski more than a heavier but less able skier as the better skier will load the ski better etc making it bend and turn

I wish I was nearer to 65kg Very Happy
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ajc2260626 wrote:
I’m 80 kg 5’10” and I guess I would be classed advanced / expert level skier I guess, the length of the ski doesn’t really affect the flex etc as they are all made to level of flex of ski for the model rather than the length if you know what I mean

In theory the better the skier and to some degree the weight will affect how much they can bend the ski, a lighter but better skier will be able to flex the ski more than a heavier but less able skier as the better skier will load the ski better etc making it bend and turn

I wish I was nearer to 65kg Very Happy

IMV. The length of ski is determined by Skill/Aggression/Weight/Preference/Turn Radius/Terrain/Ski Design/Height...and the least important of these is height. I'm a half decent skier and will generally look for skis that aren't too stiff and damp a) Because I only ski one week per year and stiff skis are too much work (for me) and b) I don't ski very fast all the time, which allows me to bend a stiff ski.

IMV. All things being equal, Weight is an important consideration.


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Mon 15-02-21 19:31; edited 1 time in total
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I would say in order of importance weight bottom of that list, but all are considerations. Also you have to think about where you level of skier is going, will you improve as that may mean that you need a stiffer ski in the future etc
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 Poster: A snowHead
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ajc2260626 wrote:
I would say in order of importance weight bottom of that list, but all are considerations. Also you have to think about where you level of skier is going, will you improve as that may mean that you need a stiffer ski in the future etc

As UANN has often said - a ski doesn't know how tall you are....but how heavy you are will determine how much you can bend it, at any given speed. This also applies to Off Piste - as it's a mixture of Weight/Surface area/Speed/Design, that will determine the float you will get....height doesn't have much bearing. At my weight, I can get away with a narrower ski Off Piste (say 92 under foot), than someone of say 90kg, who might need 110 underfoot.

For example - take an aggressive expert skier of 5'10" looking for a Piste Ski - If 10 stone, they'd be looking at 168 - 174; If 14 stone, that would be 182 - 188. The only difference for this example, is the weight.
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Hi all,

first of all - thank you for all the replies! While I have been skiing for quite some time, it's obvious that my knowledge around skis themselves is a bit shaky. So again, thank you all for educating me Smile

I'll try to address the comments here in one go.. @ajc2260626: How long are your skis? Unless you are travelling to Finland in the near future, I don't think I can get them. But just out of curiosity, how long are they? And since you are not using them anymore, I assume you are not a fan of them? Also, I am strictly on piste skier and thus think the X9 WB could be a really solid match (as you pointed out as well). My thinking is that I want a solid on piste skis that are not instantly terrible if the slope is in a bit worse condition. So kind of "on piste all-arounder".

I also had a chance to try 183cm G9. They were fast but also a bit "too much" for a longer period of time. And the performance suffered during evening when the slope condition was a bit less than optimal. Thus X9 WB seems like a solid option that can work all day long without having to push them constantly but still being able to do so.

@Old Fartbag, you mentioned the different things to take into consideration. I would say I am advanced skier with a taste for speed and aggression. Turn radius of the X9 WB seems way shorter than what I was imagining to get but every site does state that WBs can do both short and longer turns. I do hope that is true. Looking into the shop.atomic.com, I can see that WB comes in 152, 160, 168 and 176. I just measured my "chin height" (as that was mentioned earlier) and it's about 155cm. But even the 168 seems slightly short compared with what I am used to. But as said, my understanding of the skis is limited and thus the opinions mentioned here weighs heavily on my decision. So, 160?
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imarello wrote:
Hi all,

@Old Fartbag, you mentioned the different things to take into consideration. I would say I am advanced skier with a taste for speed and aggression. Turn radius of the X9 WB seems way shorter than what I was imagining to get but every site does state that WBs can do both short and longer turns. I do hope that is true. Looking into the shop.atomic.com, I can see that WB comes in 152, 160, 168 and 176. I just measured my "chin height" (as that was mentioned earlier) and it's about 155cm. But even the 168 seems slightly short compared with what I am used to. But as said, my understanding of the skis is limited and thus the opinions mentioned here weighs heavily on my decision. So, 160?

For a wider body piste ski, there is also Head Titan and the Rossignol Hero Elite Plus.

As for size of WB, I think no smaller than 168.....but maybe an email to Atomic, or a word with the shop, could give more specific advice, as these are designed to be skied short. The 168 has a radius of 13.5, which will be a blast - but is definitely in the Slalom category.
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I am 186 and ski 177 heavy, frontside piste ski and it is great for me. I tried a similar ski in a 184 and it was a bit too much as the radius increased, making it too long for pistes where you had to avoid people! Skis will allow for turns to be carved in a radius a bit longer and a bit shorter than stated but the further you go from the Rxx.x, the more difficult it becomes. SL skis get a bit lary trying to carve big arcs and GS skis really won't carve short radius turns and will require you to be going quite fast to carve a decent turn, which can be intimidating on steeper slopes and frustrating where there are people in the way. Somewhere around 15M radius is very usable. I like a narrow ski on piste and prefer something around 70mm under foot. I have skied the X9 (67mm??) and liked it a lot - very stable and quite versatile. I would think that the 168 would be a good fit but 160 may also work for you.
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Klamm Franzer wrote:
I have skied the X9 (67mm??) and liked it a lot - very stable and quite versatile. I would think that the 168 would be a good fit but 160 may also work for you.

I would agree with your reasoning. Re. The X9 - The situation seems to be complicated by having 2 versions - Std and WB, where the latter has a tighter Turn Radius and is designed to be skied shorter (it only goes up to a max length of 176). My reasoning, is at the OP's specs and aggressive style, going one length back from maximum should work.
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@Old Fartbag, I’m afraid that’s just not true, whoever has told you the heavier you are the longer the ski you should use is talking out of their hat.

The length of ski you should ski is dependant on your ability and what you want to do with it, generally shorter skis have a shorter radius, but not always..... slalom skis are shorter than gs for example as they need to run quicker and be more nimble.

Float in deeper snow like you say would usually be wider for heavier people but again better skiers will get away with narrower skis even if heavier

Better skiers will be able to turn a ski more with less sidecut than a less skilled skier would the same ski

Better skiers will be able to get more flex out of a ski than less able skiers as they will build more pressure in the turn etc

A longer ski can sometimes be handy for heavy people when learning to plough as there’s more edge to slow them down but generally longer skis are harder to turn usually due to radius, I have sometimes changed peoples ski when teaching them at this stage but the move them back on to a shorter ski when they are easy to start making plough turns

Weight has two main effects, it’s helps you go faster down a slope due to the effect of gravity (potential energy) it will help you to flex the ski but that is a direct link to how stiff the ski is not it’s length, you get longer skis that are softer than shorter skis (all mountain skis vs piste skis for instance)

So the stiffness of the ski is one factor and the length of the ski is another factor, so when picking a ski find a flex which suits you based weight, aggressive / fast skier, ability.... and the pick the length based on what you it for...... big fast GS turns i would ski my 175 xrace, slalom short radius turns would be something shorter say 160-165 etc

@imarello, I would say 160 or 168 BUT if you are skiing piste all day pick the ski that lets you make the size of carving turns you enjoy and forget the rest.
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ajc2260626 wrote:
@Old Fartbag, I’m afraid that’s just not true, whoever has told you the heavier you are the longer the ski you should use is talking out of their hat.

The length of ski you should ski is dependant on your ability and what you want to do with it, generally shorter skis have a shorter radius, but not always..... slalom skis are shorter than gs for example as they need to run quicker and be more nimble.


Yes, a ski's length will depend on its use...but each category/model of ski has a range of lengths - so when choosing which length will depend on the inputs I listed above.....but the example I gave where everything remains the same (ie. 2 expert skiers), but weight - would put the heavier skier on a longer length. I am happy to agree to differ on this, as it's not worth arguing over.
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@Old Fartbag, indeed different lengths primarily for different heights of person..... but like you say I can only tell you what I know, and what the atomic rep told me when I was buying my X9 wb’s (I have a pro acct with them) but as long you are happy with your skis then that’s all good
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ajc2260626 wrote:
@Old Fartbag, indeed different lengths primarily for different heights of person.

....except if you are light for your height, like me - you should probably go shorter; or if heavy for your height, longer....though I agree it is not an exact science, but a place to start. Remember, a longer version of a ski will usually feel stiffer (harder to bend) - and is more stable.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 16-02-21 10:22; edited 3 times in total
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I've get the slalom s7 or 9. Can't remember in 165 height 5'9 and 84 kgs. If I was going X9 I'd be looking at 170 from r shorter or 175 for long turns.

If skiing crud or off the side then 175 for sure.

As an example my other ski is a kaestle hp95 at 181.

All my opinion only. I'm not a ski guru.
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Hi all,

again, thank you for all the comments Smile

I am having second thoughts. The turn radius is indeed very short for the X9 WB. (160 = 13m, 168 = 13,5m). I really don't want my ski to "oversteer" (if that makes sense) when going fast. I see that it says everywhere that X9 has a "Multi Radius Sidecut, halfway between giant slalom and slalom, that’s good for both short and long turns on piste." But not sure if that's just a marketing gimmick.

Typical radius for skis I enjoy the most is around 17+ meters and thus 13m sounds awfully snappy. Am I overthinking here? Or the WB as good in high speeds as Atomic makes me think?
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@imarello, I think you are overthinking things. I always think of the radius as the minimum (yes folks I know it is not absolute) and not the max.

IE you are not obliged to do 13m turns Happy
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Thanks Very Happy
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imarello wrote:


Typical radius for skis I enjoy the most is around 17+ meters and thus 13m sounds awfully snappy. Am I overthinking here? Or the WB as good in high speeds as Atomic makes me think?

No, I don't believe you are overthinking it, if you like a 17m+ ski - especially if you are intending to buy blind. Most Piste Skis have a radius less than 17m, though some will get there with their longest length, like the Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti @182.

IMV. The most versatile Radius for a Piste Ski is between 14 and 15m - which the standard X9 falls into in both the 169 and 175.

What's the tightest turn radius ski you have been on?


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Tue 16-02-21 13:49; edited 1 time in total
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GlasgowCyclops wrote:
@imarello, I think you are overthinking things. I always think of the radius as the minimum (yes folks I know it is not absolute) and not the max.

IE you are not obliged to do 13m turns Happy

So between us, the OP is both overthinking it and not overthinking it. Toofy Grin

A slalom sidecut will carve longer turns, but not with the stability of a longer radius ski. A longer radius ski will be less reactive and harder work in short turns. This is why 14-15m radius is a reasonable compromise.
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14m is the shortest I have tried (I think)
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imarello wrote:
14m is the shortest I have tried (I think)

....and did you find it versatile enough - especially for fast long turns?
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That one was an older Stöckli ski that was ok in terms of turning, but not really good for going fast.

It was a while back so I can't remember the model of the ski anymore. But in a nutshell, didn't like the ski but the biggest problem wasn't the radius - it was the stability.
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I'm not sure how else I can be of use.....though I can't help feeling that the X9, in the length you liked, seems to be the best option, unless you can do a direct comparison with alternatives.
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Thank you for all the input, I think everyone involved has helped me more than I could even imagine when joining a "new" forum.

Thank you Smile
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As an aside - following on from where I had a discussion (above) about Weight being crucial or not, in Ski Length selection - Rossignol currently has this to say:

When making your length decision, we have found the following factors should be taken into consideration.

Optimal ski length is determined according to (in order): weight, physical ability, skier height and type of skier (aggressive/non-aggressive).

Their guide on Length certainly used to be governed by weight: http://media.rossignol.com//international/sizes/Alpine-Ski-1415.pdf

From their race dept guide - they also use Weight (which is secondary to Ability and thirdly Strength) to determine length (Page 11). https://issuu.com/professionalsport/docs/rossignol_race-brochure_20_21_web
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