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Skimo Co
SkyRun

Atomic Backland UL 78 Ski

$599.95 From $499.95

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The redesigned Backland UL 78 is the culmination of years of Atomic working to perfect the tech that goes into a good lightweight ski. Tracing its roots to freeride and skimo racing skis, the 78mm-wide mountaineering ski incorporates all the unique Atomic tech that we love while staying light and responsive. This updated model features the popular HRZN Tech tip, which offers advanced float and steering in powder while simultaneously trading "grabbiness" for improved control and carving on harder snow. The core construction sandwiches the Ultra Light Woodcore between two sheets of carbon, which helps the ski respond quickly and snappily. When asked to give one word to describe the Backland UL 78, Skimo Co technician Tim said "obedient". He then went on to give many, many more words to describe this ski because Tim is, in fact, not as obedient as the Atomic Backland UL 78.

  • The core is constructed from Ultra Light Woodcore and is Carbon Powered, creating a light and snappy ski that goes up and down equally well.
  • HRZN Tech tip allows you to turn sharply, skin in deep snow, and ski fast without fear of going head over tea kettle.
  • With Directional Shape and Atomic's pronounced tip rocker, the Backland UL 78 is more stable and compliant than ever.
  • Capped sidewall complements the narrow waist and stiff core while helping to transfer power efficiently to the edges.

Update 2022/23: This year's cool, metalic-blue top sheets look pretty hot!

Specifications
Lengths (cm) 149, 156, 163, 170, 177
Weight
convert to ounces
835g [156]
865g [163]
900g [170]
965g [177]
Weight (pair) 1670g [156]
1730g [163]
1800g [170]
1930g [177]
Dimensions   110-79-99 [156]
111-79-100 [163]
112-79-101 [170]
113-79-102 [177]
Turn Radius   11.9m [149]
13.6m [156]
15.5m [163]
17.5m [170]
19.5m [177]
Skin Fix   Race notches, flat notched tail
Specs Verified Yes
Design
Profile   15% rocker, 85% camber
Shape   Directional, medium radius shape with spoon tips
Construction   Cap Sidewall
Core   Ultra Light Woodcore
Skimo Co Says
Usage Ski mountaineering, fitness laps
Notes A fantastic ski mountaineering ski just got an upgrade
Bottom Line Light and compliant with impressive flex pattern
Compare to other Low-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

6/2/2022
Question from Brian S
 
I am a 5' 8", 155 lb skier. I am would use this ski in winter and spring paired with light race boots for backcountry days where speed is a high priority. As such, looking to to get the shortest and lightest version of this ski that would offer enough stability and floatation to be substantially more fun than race skis in the backcountry. Do you have length recommendations? Would the 163 length likely feel too short?
6/2/2022
Answer from Jeff
 
Hello Brian,
Good Question. For this ski, the 170cm will give you better stability and maybe even a better glide on the up. The 163 will not be a whole lot more ski than a race ski. Only about 1 ounce heavier.
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4/4/2022
Question from Drew
 
I'm primarily a climber/mountaineer, secondarily a skier.
6'-0", 180 lb

I'm replacing some old skis that I use mostly to approach as lightly as possible, and just "get down" safely. No need for high speed, often in crusty snow, best case is some nice corn.

Do you think the 163 is long enough? Thanks!
4/5/2022
Answer from Jeremy L
 
Hi Drew. You could get away with the 163cm length but for the very minimal weight penalty, I think you'd be much happier with the extra versatility of the 170cm ski.
Answer this question:

2/4/2022
Question from Samuel H
 
I’m looking for a wider race ski platform since I am a bigger person - 6’2” 180lbs. Is it okay to go 163 for lightness. I will only be using for races. I have other touring skis
2/4/2022
Answer from Ian C
 
Hi Sam, you sure can go with a 163cm for a traditional skimo race ski length! One thing to note, most race skis are fairly stiff with a large turn radius, while this ski is more docile. This means you would get a little more stability racing downhill in the 170cm!
Answer this question:

2/3/2022
Question from Aaron
 
Final question:
I’m 177cm, 150 lbs.

163 or 170?
2/3/2022
Answer from Tristan M
 
Hi Aaron,

Based on your dimensions, I would put you on the 170cm length for the best all around performance for all of your future plans. If you want to save some more grams, and are looking for an even more nimble ski, consider the 163cm length.
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2/2/2022
Question from Lightfoot
 
Hey there! You guys are such an amazing resource. I’ve been in depth searching for my next ski and am debating between the atomic backland UL 78 and the Dynafit Blacklight Pro for uphill fitness laps (primarily) and perhaps a race one day next season. Might also casually take it out for some back country hut stuff , but priority definitely on uphill laps at the local mountain.

I’m a trail runner who usually enjoys the winter mountains on xcD skis (but nothing super steep) and want to dip into this world of light uphill travel then ripping back down. I’m a solid alpine skiier, currently advanced intermediate (blacks including trees and bumps on resort, feel comfortable at top speeds with big turns for open slopes) and continuing to improve. 5’10” 150 pounds.

Thoughts on those two skis given my abilities and desires? I don’t mind skinny, I’m looking at weight and performance and having a tough time discovering differences between the two setups.

Thanks for any insight!
2/2/2022
Answer from Ian C
 
Hey LF, thanks for the kind words. See you out there! I think either of these skis would make you very happy for the purposes you are describing, enabling you to charge uphill for mountaineering objectives or fitness points.

The Dynafit Blacklight Pro has a stiffer flex, longer turn radius, and comes in slightly longer lengths, which gives them the edge on downhill performance at speed. It also has a unique skin tail attachment system that saves weight and seems to stick well compared to a tail strap. By comparison, the Backland 78 is quicker to turn and more "playful," potentially a bit less demanding for intermediate skiers to control.
2/2/2022
Answer from Aaron S
 
Y’all are the best, thank you!!
Answer this question:

1/5/2022
Question from Zach W
 
Hi folks, I'm thinking of putting together a spring ski. Intention is corn farming and couloirs in all of the various spring conditions. This year I intend to ski in the PNW, Sierras, and Utah. I'm 5'7" and 150 lbs. Intermediate-advanced skier but self-taught. A casual daily tour would be something like corn-farming Cardiac Ridge or doing some Wolverine lines. A season-long objective would be something like NW Pfeiff.

I think that I'm down to the UL 78 in a 170 or the Blizzard Zero G 85 in a 171. I've skied siblings of both skis and was hoping for your all's take.

I skied the non-UL 78 in a 163 as my only ski last year and really liked them. They were a ton of fun, I felt they were energetic, turned easily. I didn't like the length - I felt like they had a speed limit on open faces. My worry with the 78 UL/170 is that they will be too soft and squirrely on open faces. If it's perfect corn, I want to be limited by my ability & comfort at speed, not by the ski.

I've also skied the Blizzard Zero G 95 in a 171 for a few days. This year, I'm a more aggressive & better skier and loved how chargey they were - I leaned forward, got low, and felt like I cranked through inconsistent snow. But I definitely got kicked around & I think I'm not quite a good enough skier to be on top of them at all times. With the 85, I'd be worried that they're too strenuous for me. I'd also be worried that I'd need to always "be on" and that on bushy exits after long days they'd be hard and tiring to manage.

If I didn't get a spring ski, I'd just use my "stable powder snow" ski in this category, either a Ski Trab Maximo or a Dynafit Blacklight 88.

What do you think? Thanks!
1/5/2022
Answer from eric
 
Hey Zach- I agree on your description of the zero G 85. Fantastic, stable ski, really good on hard snow but the "on switch" like you say is true. The atomic UL78 I dont think would be more squirrely then the non UL78 just damper and a little stiffer under foot with the extra carbon and different core. Might I suggest reaching out to us at help@skimo.co and we could discuss some other options too.
Answer this question:

1/3/2022
Question from Matt
 
Hi,

I wonder how this model performs compare to the much praised 19/20 version. Are there any compromises due to the reduced weight?

Which length can you suggest please? I am 184cm and 74kg. Want to use this skis for closing the gap between my race skis and and my everyday touring skis.

Thank you very much!!
1/3/2022
Answer from eric
 
Matt-The weight has not affected the ski performance. In fact with the HRZN tech tip it makes this version even better in punchy snow that you could find in the spring. For a mountaineering ski for your height and weight you should go 170. If you want a little more soft snow or very high speed stability you could go to the 177cm, also if you have a stiffer heavier boot the longer ski moght match better too.
Answer this question:

11/26/2021
Question from Elisa
 
Hi,
I'm an advanced ski mountaineer who likes steep, European Alps like, ski touring, including 2000+ m days in spring and multi-day ski touring routes. I'm looking for something that is light and doesn't compromise on being pleasant to ski, but at the same time that remains ok to handle in crusty/bad snowpacks on those mid-tour days when legs are tired, the weather sucks, and the backpack is heavy.

I'm replacing a pair of movement random-X (which I find a bit too nervous), and I'm unsure between the UL 78 and the UL85. How does the 78 ski on bad snows? And, would you recommend anything else?

Thank you!
11/27/2021
Answer from Zak M
 
Hey Elisa, thanks for reaching out with your question. Both the Backland UL 78 and Backland UL85, generally are two very easy to ski skis while also being relatively versatile. The HRZN Tech Tip on both of the skis make for a nice addition when encountering new snow for added flotation, and both skis do well on the hard pack. If you have experience and are comfortable in that 76mm-78mm underfoot range the Backland UL 78 would probably be a great option. If you are just thinking you need a ski with a bit more versatility for a mixed bag of snow and for better float but for not that much more weight the Backland UL 85 would be the way to go.

While both of the Backland UL skis mentioned above are excellent skis, if you are just wanting to look at ski that would perform better in variable snow a few other options come to mind. The  Ski Trab Maestro 2 is an absolute winner is when it comes to skiing steep terrain, and has properties in the core and layup that make the ski feel much "damper" for what it is. If you were looking for that same performance as mentioned above but in a wider width the  Ski Trab Magico 2 would also be an excellent option. Let us know if you have anymore questions!
Answer this question:

11/11/2021
Question from Torstein Svendsgaard
 
I'm considering these skis in 177. What would be the optimal boot from Atomic to pair with this ski? Considering the Backland Carbon vs Ultimate. I'm 6'2" and intermediate/advanced skiier.
11/11/2021
Answer from jbo
 
Hi Torstein, I feel the Backland Carbon would be a better match for your size and that length of ski.
Answer this question:

10/11/2021
Kristian Woyna (used product regularly)
 
Excellent, comfortable, and fun for fast light Spring tours covering longer distances. Paired with Atomic Backland Ultimates. And surprisingly good control on the down.
Comment on this review:

3/25/2021
Question from Tom Liby
 
Hey guys...in your opinion what is the superior ski. Salomon X Alp or the updated Atomic UL 78? I always value your shops inputs.
3/26/2021
Answer from Patrick C
 
Tom,

Both are fantastic, neither is superior to the other is the short answer. The UL 78 may be a bit happier in hard packed conditions with it's tighter turning radius and 85% rocker profile. The X-Alp has a slightly wider shovel, which will stay afloat better if you find yourself in the good stuff. Your skiing style may be what tips the scales as you have picked two very well matched skis in terms of popularity amongst the staff and performance on snow. You really can't go wrong either way!
Answer this question:

12/29/2020
Question from David W Farrell
 
I'm torn between the Backland UL 78 and the Hagan Ultra 77. Which is a better all-around ski in your opinion? I'll be using them mainly for fast and light touring, but I do love to take little pow shots here and there on descents. Thanks!
12/29/2020
Answer from eric
 
David- Both skis are great all around skis. The Atomic is a bit easier to ski and livelier, where the Hagan is a more damp ski and bit more powerful. Both have enough shovel for floating in powder.
Answer this question:

9/22/2020
Question from GlidingJerry
 
Hello,
I plan to use such skis with Atomic backland Ultimate boots and mostly for fitness around Grizzly Gulch and areas alike, but maybe some long spring missions. I am 5'6'' and a strong intermediate. What length do you recommend? 163 or 170?
Thanks!
9/23/2020
Answer from Cole P
 
Gliding Jerry, I would recommend going to the 156cm length. If you are looking for a fitness ski at your level of experience the 156cm length will be a more appropriate size for you.
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9/1/2020
Question from Phil
 
I'm wondering what the weights are for the 170 and 177s?
Thanks!
9/2/2020
Answer from Julieana
 
Hi Phil, I've weighed the pairs that we have in the shop and updated the weight specifications above accordingly. However we won't be able to verify those specifications until we get a few more pairs in.
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Model: Backland UL 78 MPN: AA0028170

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