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.
|Lengths (cm)||149, 156, 163, 170, 177|
|Weight (pair)||1670g 
||Race notches, flat notched tail|
||15% rocker, 85% camber|
||Directional, medium radius shape with spoon tips|
||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|
Questions & Reviews
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!
I’m 177cm, 150 lbs.
163 or 170?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!!
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?
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!
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!
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?
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