The highly coveted Bent Chetler line of skis are a well-known offering from Atomic. Originally just a single big mountain freeride model, the Bent Chetler has since evolved into a full line for a broader range of skiers, including kids. In the 100-under-foot flavor, featured here, the Bent Chetler has found a new identity and purpose in providing a quiver-killing, all-mountain experience.
For winter 2018-2019, Atomic expanded the Bent Chetler line (formally just one big ol’ pow ski) into three models with the 100 positioned as a do-it-all quiver killer. Is this a new segment for Atomic? No … well, maybe. The 100s take inspiration from their bigger brother, the Bent Chetler 120. Atomic wanted to diversify the Bent Chetler line to accommodate a broader market of all-mountain skiers. While the skis take freeride cues from the 120, the 100s are also inspired by the previous Vantage 100 CTI (a personal favorite) and the Automatic/Backland 102. Atomic added bit more rocker, shape, and camber for a more lively feel on varying terrain. This results in a do-it-all design that is fascinating.
Initial Impressions and Notable Features
The standout feature has to be the HRZN Tech Tip & Tail. But what looks like a funky dished shape is actually a purpose-built design intended to dampen the tip and tail. This shape reduces deflection and improves tracking in a variety of conditions. Will you feel a demonstrable difference on snow? Maybe not. However, you will be able to point these skis in the direction you want to go, and they will stay on course regardless of the snow conditions.
I have used these skis at Park City Mountain and Deer Valley and have at least 15 days on them. On moderately steep to steep groomers, these skis feel powerful. With a proper tune, they flow from turn to turn effortlessly and provide a lot of energy out of the tail. In deeper snow and crud, they charge pretty well and are quite damp with not much noticeable chatter. If you can drive these skis, they have a fluid-like feel.
The 188 cm size I ski have a whopping 21-meter radius that requires some real pushing to drive the tip on a groomer or even in tight trees. I ended up mounting them one centimeter forward from Atomic’s recommendations for a bit of added leverage over the tip of the ski.
Drawbacks and Shortcomings
These skis are quite light. The 188 cm length came in at ~1830 grams using a rather suspect scale. However, other skis in the same category are in the 1900 – 2200 gram range according to my research. Is the lighter weight noticeable? Perhaps. Weight, however, is relative to the skier and there are other factors, such as how aggressive of a skier you are, that will determine the overall feel of the ski. I am by no means a Mikaela Shiffrin, but I did think the low weight could be hard to control in more dense, chopped snow. But hold the phone — these skis do have backcountry roots, and the low weight is much appreciated on the skin track. So for those who are making sidecountry laps or going on long tours, the Bent Chetler 100s could be what you’re looking for.
My personal goal was to find a ski that would make me a better skier. In my opinion, there are a lot of models out there that require an upright stance and utilize a dramatic rocker profile that make them pretty easy to ski. The Bent Chetler 100s are different in that they require a lot of energy to drive them — especially in the longer lengths.
If you’re an advanced-intermediate or expert skier that cruises the whole mountain and isn’t scared of being airborne or charging in choppy snow, you will love the power and liveliness of the Bent Chetler 100s. The camber and long radius make them a ski that requires a lot of pressure to push in and out of turns, but what you get out of that shape is energy and fun! Plus, it’s a twin tip. So park skiers rejoice, you can use them too!
By: Paul Boyle, Production Manager, jans.com