Atomic Cloud 12 ReviewDecember 27, 2017
- Good stability even for its lightness
- Nimble and dynamic
- A pure Frontside ski that favors speed and long tu
- Skis short
- Short turns are not its forte
- Less versatile than other Frontside skis in the ca
Testers liked the stability and edge hold of the Atomic Cloud 12. The new model features Atomic’s Servotec technology – originating from the Atomic Redster racing series – which includes a dampening system placed under the binding and reaching into the forebody of the ski. Servotec is designed to add stability at speed, an element that serves the light woodcore construction well. “It’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said one tester. “Light, but fast, stable and quick edge-to-edge.”
Along with Servotec technology, another construction feature with trickle-down race elements is Atomic’s titanium stabilizer that works with the Cloud 12’s full sidewall layup, full camber, a woodcore and World Cup base finish. One tester called it a “beer leaguer’s ideal ski,” while another former racer called it a “a soft GS ski.”
The Cloud 12 garnered lower scores for turn shape variability. “Be careful when terrain shifts from smooth to crud,” said one tester. “You’ll need another set of sticks if you want to ski off-piste,” said another. Short turns are a stretch for the Cloud 12, thanks to the GS-oriented sidecut and 15 meter turn radius. It was one of the narrower test skis in the Frontside category, therefore scoring low marks for Turn Shape Variability and Flotation. It’s true home is with other carving skis, designed to slice up the corduroy and groomed runs. Overall, the Cloud 12 has the ability to hook up and arc with stability throughout a long turn thus suiting skiers who love to channel their inner carver on resort runs.
The Cloud 12 earned decent scores for Responsiveness, notably for having a nimble and dynamic personality. Atomic’s Servotec technology originated in the Redster race skis, designed to dampen vibration at speed. This dampening system smooths out the feel of the ski in long turns. Construction is built for quickness, thanks to Atomic’s Full Sidewall construction and the light woodcore resulting in a “beer leaguer” GS ski for women. All Cloud series skis have Atomic’s ARC technology, which means a single mounting point in the center of the ski called Anchor Point, designed for a natural flex (like a bow). Testers felt the ski “hook up” in the turn, resulted in quick edge changes on smooth snow.
Testers say the Cloud 12 is a solid performer, even on icy conditions. Stability shines at speed where the 70-millimeter-wide ski feels stable and confident even with a lightweight construction. Servotec technology, Atomic’s race-inspired dampening system, helps to absorb bumps and undulations that occur at speed. Testers who equate waist width with stability rated the category lower than former racers who are accustomed to speed and a tight turn radius. Consensus concludes that the Cloud 12 is most stable at speed, becoming slightly skittish in tight turns. To some testers, the tail felt stiff, an asset at speed and in big arcs. Further, the narrow waist means the consistent snow surface is preferred, as the Cloud 12 doesn’t shine when shifting from smooth snow to crud conditions.
Edge Hold is a talent of the frontside-focused Cloud 12 and testers likened the ski to a soft GS race model. One tester called the edge hold “bomber,” noting the ski favors speed and long turns and is quick edge-to-edge. Edge hold shines in the initiation of the turn, said on tester, but be prepared for a stiffer tail. The Cloud 12 held well on hardpack and icy conditions, thanks to its race-inspired construction, including Full Sidewalls, a titanium stabilizer and full camber profile. Atomic’s 3D Exo Profile adds slanted sides to the Cloud 12, increasing rigidity and lowering swingweight.
This pure frontside ski excels on groomed conditions, favoring medium to long turns. Thanks to Atomic’s race-inspired dampening system, the Cloud 12 feels smooth at speed and testers gave decent scores for carving pleasure in the GS arena. The lightweight construction offers a manageable flex for most skiers, intermediate through expert. Best target audience includes skiers looking for a frontside cruiser.
Turn Shape Variability
The Cloud 12 earned lower scores for Turn Shape Variability. It’s sidecut is a narrow 70 millimeter waist width and 15 meter turn radius. Testers say the Cloud 12 favors long, GS turns and feels like a soft GS race ski. Some testers felt it was nervous in short turns. It’s a one-trick pony in terms of nailing the medium for long turns at speed, but fights against its nature in short turns.Continue Reading
Krista Crabtree- Skiing
Passionate about women’s ski camps and women-specific gear, Krista organizes women’s ski programs at Eldora and Vail, including her own camp called She Skis. A former editor at SKI Magazine, she currently runs the ski test for OnTheSnow.com.