Expert Review: Atomic Bent Chetler 100 Skis · 2022

Published on 11/08/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October 2021.
Chris Waterbury, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Chris Waterbury

Bent Chetler 100's on a powder day. All photos courtesy of Chris Waterbury

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October 2021.

My take

The Atomic Bent Chetler 100 is an extremely solid freeride ski that can handle anything from firm groomers to deeper powder days. As a freeride skier who really appreciates all around ski performance I would choose the Bent Chetlers as my everyday ski ten out of ten times.

Tuckermans Ravine

About the gear

  • Model: 2021 Atomic Bent Chetler 100
  • Size: 180 cm

About me

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 160 lbs
  • Experience: 20 years

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: October 2021
  • Days tested: 30
  • Mount position: -2.5 cm from center
  • Boots: 2021 Technica Cochise
  • Boot Size: 25.5
  • Bindings: 2021 Tyrolia Attack 13
  • Where I’ve used it: Most days have been spent on the East Coast at Sugarloaf and Sunday River, with a few weeks out west in the Jackson Hole area.
  • Terrain: Ice, groomers, bumps, trees, and powder

How they perform

High Speed Stability
Turn Ease

What I was looking for

I was looking for an everyday driver that I could ski in any conditions the day threw at me. I am a freeride oriented skier who enjoys jumping, slashing and skiing fast. I was hoping for a ski that could hold up the entire season and look pretty sweet doing it!

Why I chose this gear

I chose the Bent Chetler 100s due to their reputation over the past few years. Chris Bent Chetler, the mastermind behind this ski, has a history of creating impressive skis that perform at a high level. Besides the reputation, the skis’ dimensions were in line with what I was looking for; I wanted a ski that was wide enough to float on deeper days but still light and nimble enough to be playful on hardpack conditions and through the park.

I considered a few other skis in my search: the Blizzard Rustler, the Nordica Enforcer Free, and the Dynastar M-free. Although all these skis sparked my interest, the Bent Chetlers were an obvious answer to my needs.

Jackson Hole

What I love about them

  • Speed: These skis are reliable under speed. The longer turning radius allows for long, fast turns while remaining stable underfoot.
  • Turns: Turns are fast and on the longer side. The 19.5m turning radius feels perfect for the style of ski this is.
  • Groomers: The Bent Chetler is a surprisingly fun ski on groomers and can carve around like a race ski.
  • Powder: These skis perform above my expectations in powder. With a waist width of 100cm, they are certainly not a powder ski but hold their own. The tip/tail rocker allows for good float and maneuverability. The Bent Chetler has a 129.5cm tip that includes horizontech for some extra float and surface area in deeper snow.
  • Moguls: These skis are certainly not mogul skis, but they perform well and are actually pretty playful in the bumps. They are stiff enough to handle challenging skiing through moguls with enough dampness to perform well.
  • Park: The skis are quite impressive throughout the park. They are light, making rail and air control a bit easier. With a waist width of 100cm, they are considered wide for the park, but I did not find this an issue overall.
  • Durability: After 30-plus days on these skis, they are still in really good condition. They do have some cosmetic damage to the topsheet and some base shots but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, it’s a nice, durable ski.
  • Weight: The weight of the skis is on the lighter side, considering they have an all-wood core. I was surprised how stiff they feel without including the added weight of metal. I think the weight is perfect. The all wood core makes these much lighter than alternatives like the Nordica Enforcer Frees.
  • Switch riding: I am not a huge switch skier, but I do not have an issue going switch if I want to do so. Both directions of the ski can be put on an edge and ski as it should.
  • Stability: Overall these skis are super stable for an all-wood construction. The tip and tail felt a bit softer, which made them playful for buttering around the mountain. The softer tips did create a bit of chatter at high speeds but never has been an issue to me.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Edge hold: The edge hold of the skis is fine, but I find it challenging to get really aggressive with turns. When on firm or icy conditions, the ski width sometimes causes a bit of wash-out.
  • Trees: The 180cm size feels a bit long in the trees for me personally. Although not a dealbreaker, I would opt-in for the 172cm size if I were skiing trees more often. They are very manageable in the 180cm size, but the Maine trees are very tight and sometimes these skis feel less maneuverable.
  • Backcountry: I have rarely used these skis in the backcountry as I had them set up for resort riding. I would imagine they would perform well but a bit on the heavier side for ski touring.

Favorite moment with this gear

My favorite moment with the Bent Chetler 100s fell over the course of a full week. I had a trip planned to Jackson Hole this past winter and really struggled to decide which ski would be best for the trip. The problem I faced was the changing forecast and lack of snow Jackson was supposed to have during our trip. Ultimately, the Bent Chelter 100 skis made it into my bag, and I ended up riding this ski every day. I had also brought a powder ski, but when it came down to it I stuck to the Bent Chetlers due to their versatility and freeride traits. The deciding moment came on my second day when we received 10-plus inches of snow throughout the afternoon. I was able to ride the skis all morning on hard pack and groomers then continue into the afternoon with deep powder without giving up any performance at all!

Value for the money vs. other options

The Bent Chetlers fall at a very fair price compared to its competitors. Considering how durable, lively, stylish, and well these skis ride makes them a seriously good bang for your buck. Some similar options are the Nordica Enforcer Free, Dynastar M-free, and Blizzard Rustler; however, the Bent Chetler comes in cheaper than all these options and can compare in every single category.

Final verdict

Overall, these skis are a stand-out option for any freeride skier looking for a ski that can do a bit of everything. Anywhere from the terrain park to a powder day, these are fun skis.

To explore how the 2023 model performs, check out Daryl and Hayden’s review of the 2023 Atomic Bent Chetler 100.

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