Atomic Backland FR 102 ski review, 2017/2018 men's Big Mountain Category, from our equipment experts at powered by Masterfit.

For lighter weight skiers such as tweens graduating to their first Big Mountain ski, Atomic’s Backland FR 102 provides a perfect introduction to the genre of skis at a price ($499 at most shops) parents can afford. In its longer lengths, Backland FR 102 provides above-average stability and rebound to skilled skiers who need to economize or allocate more budget dollars to boots than skis. The skinniest of Atomic’s Backland FR collection, the 102 delivers all the essentials in an off-trail ski: its tapered tip plows through pow without twitching, its gradual sidecut is easier to manage in choppy snow and the carbon/glass combo in its camber zone makes it responsive and surprisingly grippy in firm snow conditions. Despite a long front rocker (30 percent of the baseline) and noticeable rear rocker (15 percent), the Backland FR 102 connects confidently on groomers. “Very stable at speed and over crud,” wrote an admiring Matt Finnegan. “Easily maneuverable for a 102; excellent all mountain, responsive and also held an edge on groomers.”