The Atomic Maverick and Maven replaces the Vantage line for the 2021/22 season and is a complete reimagining of their all-mountain lineup. The line incorporates an entirely new construction and development process for Atomic, drawing from both their racing pedigree and progressive freeride designs.
Replacing a line as well-loved and lauded as the Vantage is no short order, and with the Bent Chetler 100 quickly becoming a classic all-mountain freeride ski, Atomic set the bar high for itself with the Maverick and Maven—this is probably why they went through over 140 different prototypes and countless ski tests before bringing them to market. Needless to say, we were eager to get out and test the Maverick and Maven, so we sent a few of our in-house alpine ski experts, Erin McNeely and Paul Boyle, to see how the skis performed on snow. Before we get into their individual reviews, let’s take a look at what Atomic did to develop the Maverick and Maven.
Maverick and Maven Overview
At first glance the Maverick and Maven appear to have more in common with the Bent Chetler than their predecessors, by touting generous tip rocker and Atomic’s HRZN Tech Tip technology for added float and reduced tip deflection. Making the Maverick and Maven unique within the Atomic lineup, however, is their all-new Omatic core material, which as Atomic puts it, “blends the best of stiffness and flex throughout the length of the ski.”
Their revamped rocker-camber profiles, turn radii, and gender-specific designs are a departure from the Vantage series. The Maverick and Maven are more maneuverable thanks to generous rocker profiles and shorter radii. Where the Vantage line was fairly performance-oriented and came in a large range of widths and sizes, the Maverick and Maven are distilled to the best possible features to make them quicker and snappier—without sacrificing prowess on groomers or maneuverability in the trees. Adding to their on-piste performance, Atomic utilized titanium in the Maverick and carbon in the Maven to help absorb chatter and ensure stability in firm or variable conditions.
Maverick Field Test
Ski Tester Profile
Name: Paul Boyle – Jans.com Production Manager
Ski days per year: 30+
Skier Level: Advanced
Preferred Style and Terrain: Trees and steeps, freshly laid corduroy, and powder (duh).
I could feel this person’s unnerved side glance through his goggles. On the cold chairlift and under a brilliant blue sky with splashes of clouds I was having myself a randomized soliloquy, trying to piece together the different elements of my last few runs. Muttering under my breath, I was ticking boxes: groomers (short-, medium-, and long-radius turns), choppy snow, and maybe some leftover powder (if I can find it). A true ski test demands a thorough tour of the mountain to get a real feel for the ski, and a nuanced approach to really understand why a ski feels the way it does on snow. That day I was testing the new 2021/2022 Atomic Maverick 95 Ti. Towards the top of the chair, after an agonizing six minutes for the other skier (I’m sure), I gave an awkward, hurried wave and a crooked smile in an attempt to acknowledge their presence before skating off for the final run of my ski test.
My test bed was the Maverick 95 Ti in a size 186 and a 20.8 radius. I was able to get out on them twice, one firm groomer day and another mushy spring day. On mellow and steep groomers, big arcs were the name of the game. A layer of Titanium and Atomic’s Omatic core strives to find a balance between playful flexibility and stability. The skis felt very planted with little to no chatter and could hold a line with ease. That “planted” feeling was even more appreciated on variable snow. The mush that is spring snow always presents an interesting challenge. The Mavericks plowed through this dense snow with no issue and held their line.
This ability to move between different snow conditions and provide a solid feeling underfoot gave me a lot of confidence. After skiing the Payday run at Park City a few times on the first day, I ventured off a bit to try some other terrain. On steeper slopes, the Mavericks held a firm edge and were easy to maneuver around. On my second session, the snow was much softer with a lot higher water content, AKA, spring skiing. A helpful base structure and wax kept the snow from slowing me down but the balanced construction made those big arcs across the heavy snow fast, consistent, and planted.
Paul’s Final Takeaways
Intermediate and advanced skiers are going to love the balanced nature of the Maverick. With the 95 mm width, you’ll get even more versatility and quick edge-to-edge action while still having plenty underfoot in soft snow. Despite their more generous rocker profiles over the previous Vantage line, there is plenty of edge underfoot for long, fast turns but short enough for when you have to quick movement in the trees. A beginner or lightweight skier may struggle to push these skis into the next turn. I keep coming back to the term “planted” as I felt that was the best way to describe how the Mavericks behave. If you’re looking for a solid all-mountain ski that can push through all snow conditions, carve a turn, and ride steeps as well as Blue or Black groomers, the Maverick 95 Ti is an excellent place to start.
Maven Field Test
Ski Tester Profile
Name: Erin McNeely – Jans.com Content Writer
Ski days per year: 30+
Skier Level: Advanced
Preferred Style and Terrain: Going fast and making long turns (usually off-piste, but I’ll never turn down a good groomer) carving long turns on groomers, hunting in the trees for day-old leftovers, and skiing powder in wide open bowls (fast and aggressively).
I was able to get out on the Maven 93C in the 172 cm length for a few runs in late March when spring skiing was in full effect. The remarkably high temperatures in Park City had resulted in rapid snowmelt and a slim snowpack in many areas, and as such, I mostly stuck to groomed runs, albeit roughed up ones with plenty of slush. While one day on the Maven isn’t enough time to be able to give the ski a full in-depth review, several aspects of the Maven did stick out to me on my first impression.
The best way I can describe the Maven 93C is confidence inspiring. I bombed steep groomers, laid down big arcs, made short and tight turns, and even took a bump run for good measure and felt stable and in control at all times. Chatter on this ski is virtually non-existent, even at high speeds and the smooth ride is something that skiers of all skill levels will appreciate. Along with being impressively stable, the Maven 93C has no issue initiating short, medium, or long turns, and will hold an edge all the way through the turn. If you start to pick up too much speed or need to adjust to the terrain, the Maven lets you scrub speed or change direction on a dime and without exerting too much effort.
One interesting thing to note about this ski is that you get out what you put into it. When skiing in a more relaxed manner and on mellower slopes, the ski is steady and predictable. When I skied the Maven more aggressively, the ski returned the favor with more energy and rebound between turns, but still maintained it’s planted feel and high-speed stability.
Erin’s Final Takeaways
Based on my first impressions, I think the Maven would be best used by an intermediate to advanced skier who wants a ski that can not only take them all over the mountain but also provides the stability needed to feel secure in any terrain and snow. Skiers who prefer a more planted, solid feel to their skis rather than a more playful feel will appreciate the Maven.