Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 5:11 am Posts: 1 Location: barcelona (spain)
this is marc, from spain.
i've been riding the burton 162 s series for some weeks, starting at toubkal (morocco), and test the atomic last week.
it's a swallow type board, that's why you the tail of the board is the nose of the skis.
it comes as a whole package, you buy the board with bindings, skins and tractor. in europe its price is quite lower than the burton, it's suposed to cost 749 â‚¬ msrp, in front of 1000 of the burton.
both systems are quite different:
you need the tractors for operating it. to mount or dismount the bindings or to realese the nose and tail bindings you'll need'em, so you have to carry the tractors allways.
the tip and tail bindings provide more stiffness than the burton ones.
in fact, the whole board is quite stiffer than the s series and the swallow tail performs great on pow.
the bindings are quite simple, you just can adjust the straps position. The highback can't be leaned.
this is the only binding you can attach to this splitboard. the system to strap the bindings to the board is also different from burton's (or best, voile usa): you screw four pivots to the board, being really easy. then the binding matches that pivots.
it's also easy to set the desireed degrees on each binding, similar to mount a regular binding on any board.
well guys, i think that's all about this new toy.
we test it in the maladeta mountains, next to aneto, a 3404 m peak which is a great place to spltiboarding.
found tons of pow! in fact we can't reach the summit, cos the last couloir (45/50Âº) was really dangerous due to the heavy snowfalls.
we took 5 hours to the top. to climb it works fine. another difference with the voile type boards is that the binding pivots on its end, as does all the touring ski bindings.
the tip and tail bindings works as binding risers and to me, they are not as easy to use as the voile.
to get it ready to ride down you need to use the tractor, but once everything's properly attached it performs fine.
i'd rather prefer it's stiffness and flex. to me the burton is a pow board, where works incredible, but on harder snow it's way softer...
With a reverse taper when worn correctly according to them, right? Yeah, seems like you'd be digging yourself deeper into a hole with each step. Unless the bindings are mounted really far back. Seems overly clever to me. Did I hear correctly that someone from splitboard.com has actually used this thing?
last season I could ride the atomic split for one day and made some good and some bad experiences. For me the reverse taper was no big deal while breaking trail because the tip width is 300 mm and the tail width is 278 mm. So the skitip is only 1,1 cm wider than the tail. I didn’t feel that difference.
The wider tail in splitmode only sucks on groomed snow or in a narrow skintrack. In the beginnings I often crossed the skitails because I didn’t walk in “cowboy style” as I do while breaking trail. But you can get used to it.
Overall I got the impression that the atomic tries very hard to be super technical, but not every item on the board was already fully developed. The atomic system is a bit more complicated and not as bombproof as the Voile system. If you check out the link by burton a few posts above you will find a trip report about the atomic. The text is written in German but there are a lot of pics. Maybe you find some more information there.
I handled one of these at 2nd wind in Hood River over the weekend. A few things I noticed (with the extremely helpful salesman) that I haven't seen discussed here yet:
The lifters for skin mode attach to the binding, not the board, and bang directly into the board with no padding. Metal directly banging on the top sheet every step. It'll be a bit tricky to retrofit padding b/c the bar that bangs is also the clip in board-mode and doesn't have room for extra material. Also, padding the board might interfere with the binding connection b/c it would have to be right where the binding sits.
The binding rides flush with the board, gaining the same advantages as the Sparks binding.
There's no end clip like the whale on Voiles, so the front of the board isn't stabilized out near the end.
The binding position on the board can't be adjusted forward/backward.
The 164 I handled felt shorter than 164. I assume the swallow tail makes it feel that way. I've never ridden a swallow tail before.
All in all though I'm extremely interested and eager to hear some real experiences. $900 for the board with bindings, skins, and crampons is very hard to beat. It's very light and has the binding advantages of Sparks over the Voile system. The connected toe pins are a nice improvement as well (no fear of dropping in the snow). I like to spin/ride switch so the split tail makes me a little hesitant, but I can probably get over it. Definitely worth a good look.
Complete touring package (board + skin, binding, lifts, but not the crampons): 12.6 lbs (5740 g)
Pros: - Low weight - Dual use of climbing lifts (they tie the split board together in downhill mode ) - Skins climb with very good grip - Minimum necessary equipment - Very good turning point - Flat and light binding - Price of $900 for board, bindings, crampon and skins
Negative: - Several parts that could be lost in transition in deep powder (7 - 2 board clamps, 2 connectors, 2 pins, one tool) - Binding pressure on the top sheet - Skin needs to be trimmed - "Backward" - climbing mode, makes things unnecessarily complicated - Fixed snowboard binding angle
Summary: All in all a very good approach, but not quite complete. With the low weight, the good turning point and the skin supplied the board is "killer". However there is still some improvement needed."
> This is one of the lightest setups I've seen; I believe less than the expensive, no longer available Prior Carbon Khyber + Voile interface and arbitrary binding.
> The review agrees with the two above from Oregon and Spain, with the main concern being top sheet damage from the climbing bar. Could you just put a flat steel shim < 1mm thick under the climbing bar?
> Love to see more North American reviews once the snow starts falling.