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Women's Ski Of The Year 2020

Women's Ski Of The Year 2020
2 January 2020

Atomic

Women's Cloud Wide Body Skis

 

The new Cloud Wide Body ski keeps the piste performance and handling of the Cloud 11, which it is based on, but this model is wider so offers the stability and versatility more adventurous piste skiers want. The skis have an infectious energy and sense of stability that encourages you to open up your turns, commit to the fall line for longer and ride the edges harder on firm snow. They offer the precision you expect from a high-performance piste ski, but they add a sense of calmness that makes them much more accessible.

Atomic Cloud Wide Body Skis

First Impressions

Very easy to get on with, the ski turns smoothly and feels intuitive and relaxed without ever being slow, it’s very nimble. It’s light in the hand and it feels and feels light underfoot, quick edge-to-edge, especially considering the 75mm waist. Slower turns are no problem and it’s comfortable as the speed creeps up and the slope steepens, encouraging you to go with the gradient and not back off. Short, medium turns flow and longer turns are comfortable and relaxed. It even feels good on ice and when the snow chops up. In summary, it’s very intuitive and encouraging.


Tester’s comments

Sarah (Aviemore Shop)

"Really playful and agile with more stability than a typical piste ski. Quick and responsive without being demanding on the legs."

Rosy (Bristol Shop)

"Playful, lively and responsive. Stable without being demanding."

Amber (Milton Keynes Shop)

"Really fun, you can push them and get good grip. They shine at high speeds with next to no chatter. I was very pleasantly surprised, could not fault them."

Mikaela (Chelmsford Shop)

"Great addition to the Cloud range. Very playful and I can see it working better than expected in more than just groomed conditions."


Feature Highlights

  • Sizes: 152, 160, 168
  • Waist: 75mm
  • Radius: 13m (160cm)
  • Rocker: Full Camber

Servotec Light

Atomic’s Servotec top groove is combined with an elastomer inlay to produce awesome vibration dampening and running stability.

Light Wood Core

Made from Poplar wood, this core optimises the ski’s weight without sacrificing any shock absorption or stability.

Titanium Stabiliser

One titanium layer under the core for great shock absorption and torsional flex. Adds enough stiffness without going too far and taking the ski from a playful feel to all-out performance.

Full Sidewall

Sidewalls run along the full length of the ski for precise steering, ideal for high-performing race and piste skis where direct energy transfer is important.


Pros & Cons

Pros

It has a piste construction and piste shape so you can be sure that it loves to turn and turn. Where it differs and shines, and what will make it appeal to many skiers, is that the width bumps up slightly compared to a traditional piste model. This makes it feel more balanced and stable, whilst retaining that performance of a top piste ski, opening it up to a whole load of skiers who may have been scared off by the potential of the performance. It’s very easy to use and has a lovely calm feel when cruising, but it retains the response and energy of a top piste ski when it’s time to open it up and push harder. This means it will appeal to a lot of skiers.

Cons

There are 2 things to consider. Firstly, it’s a piste ski so that is where it works best, and it will shine on groomed snow and firm trails, in fact, thanks to its width it will work pretty well in softer, looser snow on pistes, but when it comes to all-mountain skiing and different conditions it cannot compete with the wider, straighter shaped and more rockered all-mountain skis. But it’s not a fair comparison as it is not comparing like with like. If you’re buying a Cloud WB then it’s because you want the best piste performance.

The only other place where it doesn’t excel is in comparison to the very stiffest piste models, with denser wood cores and more metal in the construction, making them stiffer, more precise and grippier. These skis will have narrower waists and lightning-quick edge changes. Again, this isn’t the best comparison as the Cloud WB is not designed to compete with those models. This ski is about feeling good and skiing to your fullest potential on piste, without having to work 100% to get the ski going.


Atomic Cloud WB Credit Marcin Wiklik

Credit: Marcin Wiklik


Materials & Assembly

All the tried and trusted materials and construction: wood core, metal dampening and full sidewalls. The wood core adds longevity and liveliness, the metal smoothes the ride and the sidewalls add precision and improve energy transfer.

The edges are treated to be more resistant and it uses high-density sintered bases so that they are fast on any snow and easy to maintain.

The skis use an integrated binding system, giving a smooth flex and consistent energy transfer. The bindings use a smart pedal construction that automatically adapts to Alpine or GripWalk soles on boots.


Performance & Feel

It’s not quite a wolf in sheep's clothing but there is an element of that. It has a very easy-going feel, instantly smooth and very simple to turn, but lurking underneath is a ski with grip and power, happy to ski fast and power through clean carved turns.

The extra width compared to some piste skis, does make it a touch slower edge to edge than the purest performance piste skis, but this width is well worth it as it adds extra stability and helps in making the ski seem so calm.

It’s very smooth into the turn, and the radius can be easily switched. The feeling of grip and precision is always there, but not overawing. Meaning you can relax and cruise on the ski whenever you want, making it easier at slower speeds, knowing at any time you can push the Cloud WB as hard as you like, encouraging you to right your limits and to take on the fastest skiers.


Who Is It Designed For?

It’s aimed at confident advanced skiers wanting a ski for cruising everywhere with pace, but a ski that will switch gears when required and feel more responsive and sporty. It isn’t especially stiff so it also makes a really good choice for intermediate skiers that are still improving and want a ski to grow with.

Obviously, all these skiers are piste focused!


Conclusion

Atomic have come up with a great ski. Very stable and easy to ski, but very capable of skiing red and black runs with precision and pace. It looks classily understated and it performs every bit as well as you would want. A very worthy winner of the Women’s Ski of the Year.

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