It’s a simple script for a major ski industry player to enter a new niche. Just make a bunch of decent skis and sell them through a large established network of dealers. Atomic is the star of this play, and the North American skimo market is the stage.
How will it end? Who knows, but it will certainly be interesting to watch. The Ultimate 65 race ski can currently be seen under the feet of Kilian Jornet and other European standouts. We don’t foresee any translation problems with the design on this side of the pond. Arguments given below.
Though it’s not a real stat, the dollars-to-gram ratio of roughly 1:1 is tied for industry lead.
Poplar + Karuba wood core has excellent weight-to-rebound ratio, which is also made up.
Carbon laminates do their thing, increasing the rigidity-to-weight ratio (last one I promise).
All mountain rocker helps when encountering snow with a high 3D-to-2D ratio (I lied).
Above ratios may lead to infinite number-sold-to-in-stock ratio.
Update: Atomic managed to shave ~15 grams (0.5 ounces) off the Ultimate for the 2015/16 season, which earned it the WC (world cup) designation.
They ski a bit shorter than the length would suggest because of the generous rocker in the tip, but they are still pretty long especially if you are racing. For adventure skiing and spring mountaineering it would make more sense to have a slightly longer ski, but if you are racing I'd recommend something shorter like the Voile Wasatch Speed Girl, Hagan Race Ski, or Fischer Alp Attack in the 150cm length. I guess I'll answer your question with another question and ask what the intention of this ski is?
Two seasons of racing on these and I'm very satisfied. I previously raced on the Dynafit PDG and these skis blow them out of the water. Weight is lower, of course, but it's the shape that makes the difference. While Dynafit race skis are stiff, cambered, nose-diving machines, the ultimate is more relaxed in the tip, making it much more forgiving. While no race ski is going to be a GS competitor, the softer tip lets you ski much more aggressively than the skittery-stiff tip on the PDG. The bit of early rise also makes this ski much more skiable in variable snow, which is what one often finds oneself skiing during races. Durability has been good so far, though I've not subjected them to any significant insults aside from overly-aggressive rime ice skiing up here in the old PNW.
I purchased a pair of the Ultimate 65's mounted with the Dynafit LTR bindings in early January. After two months of use I feel as though I can write a thoughtful review of the skis at this point. I was looking for a skis with tip rocker and a great balance of performance and value. The Ultimate 65's have very much lived up to my expectations. The skis do take a while to get used to and learn where to ski them in regards to the balance point. One of the most noticeable aspects of how they ski, is that on softer groomed runs they can wash out a bit. This is most likely due to the rocker and my height at 6'3". They ski chopped up snow very well and are really fun in powder where you can really feel the rocker. The tails do get hung up to some degree in very wet snow at the exit of the turn. Overall I am very happy with the skis and would highly recommend them. They could be a very good compliment to a non-rockered race ski, or anyone who wants a solid, versatile ski at a great price.
I recently purchased a pair of Atomic Ultimate race skis from skimo.co (the skis and Dynafit Superlight bindings are amazing!). I would like to purchase a pair of ski crampons. Recommendations? I also have a pair of Voile V8s with Dynafit TLT Radial ST 2.0 bindings and wonder what crampons would be compatible with this set-up?
So, it sound's like you're not entirely buying Atomic's marketing here. Especially:
"All mountain rocker helps when encountering snow with a high 3D-to-2D ratio."
So which of the race skis out there (in your opinion) come closest to actually doing "ok" (let's be honest that's not really what they're for) in 3D snow?