Expert Review: 2024 Atomic Maverick 86 C Skis [with Video]Published on 11/08/2023 · 6 min readSkiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz tested the 2024 Atomic Maverick 86 C skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz got their hands on the 2024 Atomic Maverick 86 C this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different; if you have any questions about the Atomic Maverick 86 C or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Atomic claim about this ski? [Ian] This is Atomic’s skinnier all mountain ski.
[Luke] The Maverick is a part of Atomic’s more directional all mountain category. These are 86 millimeters underfoot, so they're one of the narrowest. They also don't have any metal on them and have a carbon backbone instead. Atomic claims that the Maverick 86 is for skiers who want a stronger, stiffer all-mountain ski that's directional, not as playful, can carve well on piste, but also has the backbone to be able to go off piste.
What is your overall impression of the ski? [Ian] 86 is a bit narrower than what I personally usually ski, and so I really enjoyed how nimble it was on the groomers and in the moguls. It was really quick edge to edge, and I felt nimble and fast.
[Luke] This is a ski that I would go for in-between storms if I'm looking to ski mainly groomers or get into some moguls here and there.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? [Luke] The ski has more camber underfoot and less rocker, especially in the tip and tail. The ski is meant for carving.
How does the ski turn? [Ian] It has carbon in it to make it lighter than some of the metal options, so it's easy and forgiving.
[Luke] I could carve them pretty effectively. They're definitely more at home making tighter, more controlled turns than really laid out, long, high speed turns.
What is the edge hold like? [Luke] It really holds a great edge, and is definitely a little bit stiffer.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? [Luke] They were a little chattery and the tip was going a little bit at higher speeds, so I was a little hesitant to get them really up high to speed.
They're a little bit more approachable, a bit more forgiving, and lighter, especially because they're lacking metal. In terms of flex, I'd say this ski has about a medium flex. It does have carbon, though, so it's not a big softie either. You can drive these skis fairly well through the front of the ski.
How does it feel in terms of speed? [Luke] When I got them up to higher speeds, they weren't quite as confident. But, for more short radius turns, they felt really strong, really confident, and weren't overly demanding - and that's what I really liked about them.
How is its energy/acceleration? [Luke] I do like that the ski has a little bit of pop to it. They're kind of sprightly skis.
How is it for freestyle skiing? [Luke] I would definitely not describe these as a freestyle or more playful ski - that's not what they're made for. If you want an Atomic ski that's more playful and fun then you definitely want to look at the Bent series.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Luke] This is not a playful ski. This is more for carving and making shorter, more precise controlled turns.
Is it good for skiing switch? [Luke] This is definitely not a ski you want to ski switch with. It's meant to go one way, and it’s not a twin tip.
How is it in powder? [Ian] We had ten inches of snow overnight, and it did pretty good. It doesn't have quite enough rocker in the nose or quite enough width to really excel in deep snow, but that's not what you're looking for in an 86 underfoot ski.
[Luke] We've had quite a bit of storms over the last few weeks, so there's definitely leftovers still out there. I got it in about 6 to 8 inches of really fresh snow and they're just a bit too narrow with the 86 millimeters underfoot. Lacking that rocker in the tip and tail, they're just not as playful, and I found them kind of hard to steer in powder. They were getting away from me and going where they wanted to go instead of where I wanted to go. So again, these are definitely more oriented for on piste skiing.
How is it skiing in the trees and moguls? How is its maneuverability? [Ian] I found it very easy to get back and forth from edge to edge and get through moguls.
[Luke] With an 86 millimeter waist and a little bit softer tip and tail, these skis are actually really fun and very maneuverable in moguls. I think they'd be great for someone who's wanting to get more in the moguls and master more of that side of the mountain.
What terrain is this ski good for? [Ian] I'd recommend this to a skier that spends a lot of their time on the groomers but wants to be able to go wherever they want: off piste, trees, fresh snow, but also not be bummed out on the groomers.
[Luke] The Atomic Maverick 86 is more of an on piste ski, but for somebody who still wants a little bit of versatility for off piste skiing here and there.
What terrain should skiers avoid with it? [Luke] This is not a ski I would take on big powder days by any means, or if I'm looking to ski more off piste and advanced terrain.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Ian] The Maverick 86 C is a great ski for the progressing beginner all the way to the advanced skier. It’d be a great all mountain, one ski quiver on the East Coast that’s more forgiving than stiffer, more aggressive, metal based skis.
[Luke] I think these skis would be great for an intermediate skier who's mastered the fundamentals but is looking to start taking their skills more off piste into more mellow trees and moguls. It’s a forgiving ski that can do tighter turns without being punishing, and it’s great for somebody who wants a confident, stable ski underneath that’s not too stiff or heavy.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Maverick 86 C is the right ski for you, chat with Ian, Luke, or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.