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Atomic Maven 93 C Review

A great ski for intermediates seeking to widen their options, though not intended for hard-chargers
Atomic Maven 93 C
Photo: Atomic
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Price:  $650 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Can turn tighter than the radius suggests, responsive, reliable in upper-intermediate conditions
Cons:  Not an expert's ski, uncomfortable at high speeds
Manufacturer:   Atomic
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 20, 2021
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41
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 3
  • Carving Ability - 20% 4
  • Powder Performance - 20% 4
  • Crud Performance - 20% 4
  • Terrain Playfulness - 15% 5
  • Bumps - 5% 6

Our Verdict

The Atomic Maven 93 C is a solid option for intermediate skiers looking to broaden their horizons and explore more varied terrain. It offers a fun rebound and a lively attitude and is a spry mogul companion. In powder and chopped snow, it manages decently for a softer, skinnier ski, and it isn’t too heavy or unruly on the groomers, making it a great choice for ladies who are just beginning their forays into more challenging snow conditions. The Maven doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to higher speed stability, though, so we aren’t recommending it for women already charging in all-terrain or those with the need for speed.

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Atomic Maven 93 C
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Atomic Maven 93 C
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Star Rating
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Pros Can turn tighter than the radius suggests, responsive, reliable in upper-intermediate conditionsCrud blaster, dependable, great one-ski quiver option, good for every ability levelAwesome powder tool, fabulous fun factor even for light skiers, affordable priceGreat stability at high speeds, good on hard snow and crud, more affordable than othersSuperbly stable at high speeds, great edge hold
Cons Not an expert's ski, uncomfortable at high speedsNo wow-factor, not a lot of reboundGets bouncy in crud, slight tip flap, doesn’t carve perfectlyOnly for shallower pow days, needs strong skier to guide themToo burly for lighter gals, not nimble
Bottom Line A great ski for intermediates seeking to widen their options, though not intended for hard-chargersA great all-rounder ski that we think is the most versatile option for a one-ski quiverA fun and responsive toy for powder days, groomer antics, and bumps, with a value-oriented price tagThis model will do great in everything but the deepest powder and is ideal for an aggressive skierA good choice for hard-charging speed demons that still performs decently off-piste
Rating Categories Atomic Maven 93 C Nordica Santa Ana 98 Elan Ripstick 94 W Faction Dictator 2.0X Volkl Secret 96
Stability At Speed (20%)
3.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
Carving Ability (20%)
4.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
Powder Performance (20%)
4.0
7.0
9.0
5.0
7.0
Crud Performance (20%)
4.0
9.0
5.0
9.0
7.0
Terrain Playfulness (15%)
5.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
Bumps (5%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
5.0
3.0
Specs Atomic Maven 93 C Nordica Santa Ana 98 Elan Ripstick 94 W Faction Dictator 2.0X Volkl Secret 96
Waist Width (mm) 94 98 96 96 96
Shape (Tip-Waist-Tail) (mm) 127.5-94-111.5 132-98-120 136-96-111 127-96-117 135-96-119
Available Lengths (cm) 156, 164, 172 151, 158, 165, 172, 179 154, 162, 170, 178 155, 163, 171, 175, 179, 183, 187 149, 156, 163, 170
Length Tested (cm) 172 172 178 171 170
Radius (m) 17.9 16.3 16.2 18 27-16-22
Rocker Style Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, cambered inside edge Amphibio tech Tip and tail, camber underfoot Tip and tail, camber underfoot
Weight Per Pair (lbs) 7.2 8.1 7.4 7.9 8.5
Construction Type Duracap sidewall Energy Ti W SST sidewall Sandwich Full sidewall
Core Material Poplar Performance Wood & Metal Tubelite wood Paulownia & Poplar Beech and poplar
Intended Purpose All-Mountain All-Mountain All-Mountain All-Mountain, Big Mountain All-Mountain
Ability Level Intermediate-Advanced Expert Intermediate-Advanced Advanced-Expert Advanced-Expert

Our Analysis and Test Results

Despite the name’s definition, the Maven is not an ideal ski for expert or advanced skiers. It is, however, an excellent choice for upper-intermediate women who want something manageable at medium speeds that will also provide decent performance when exploring off-piste snow.

Performance Comparison


An agile ski in all terrain, the Maven is a great first ski for...
An agile ski in all terrain, the Maven is a great first ski for upper-intermediate skiers.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Stability at Speed


For the upper-intermediate skier, the Maven provides completely adequate stability at medium speeds. It is predictable, reliable, and makes a really comfortable and fun short or medium radius turn. Our issues with the ski arose when we tried to bring it into a larger radius, higher speed turn. There, it seemed to still hold an edge rather than chattering, but it seemed to almost bounce through it. It was almost as if the Maven wasn’t interested in making a bigger, faster turn, and kept trying to release us out of it and into something shorter and less frightening for it. The tips also got pretty flappy at our highest speeds.

The Maven offers sufficient stability in a slow or medium speed...
The Maven offers sufficient stability in a slow or medium speed turn, but gets finicky when pressed harder.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Carving Ability


We found the turn radius of this ski to be significantly shorter than its advertised 17.9 meters, possibly because it is very easy to bend, therefore allowing us to arc it tighter with ease. With this in mind, we’d recommend this ski to ladies to are learning to carve and lay two clean tracks down in the snow behind them. For those who’ve already mastered this skill, the Maven is still fun to carve in a short-to-medium radius turn. It can hold the edge in this type of turn in softer snow, but doesn’t grip as well on hard-pack or steeps. We once again found the tips flapping in higher speed carved turns, but the edge underfoot held decently.

The Atomic holds an edge well in a small-to-medium-sized turn, and...
The Atomic holds an edge well in a small-to-medium-sized turn, and bends very easily, making the radius seem tighter than is written on the ski.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Powder Performance


In “entry-level” powder conditions, when the fresh snow was lightweight and fluffy, the Maven stayed on top and was easy to turn. When the snow got a bit denser, it was less adept, but this could be expected from a ski with only 93 millimeters of width underfoot. If you’re just starting to venture out into the world of fresh powder, and doing it on mellower pitches, this ski is a great device. For those already charging the steeps in knee-deep freshies, the Maven isn’t enough ski.

Staying afloat in intro-depth fresh snow.
Staying afloat in intro-depth fresh snow.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Crud Performance


While the Maven doesn’t have the construction to blast through choppy snow, it does have enough dampening qualities that as we surfed across the top it still gave us a smooth ride. One tester commented that because it is such a light ski, she could just get it into the air to avoid the worst chunky sections (though this is an unlikely strategy for an intermediate skier). We still noticed the tips flopping around in the crud, but this ski managed decently if we were on shallower pitches and less pervasive chop.

Testers found the Maven was so springy, they could launch themselves...
Testers found the Maven was so springy, they could launch themselves easily over the roughest of choppy snow.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Terrain Playfulness


The Maven’s keenness to make a quick, tight turn surprised us given its nearly 18-meter turn radius, and offered us some insight into its more playful nature. This ski has a decent amount of fun rebound which remains accessible to lighter and mellower skiers since it is relatively easy to bend. It also felt light under our feet, easy to spring into the air, and stable enough for solid landings at medium speeds.

We loved getting this thing airborne, as well as the rebound we felt...
We loved getting this thing airborne, as well as the rebound we felt after each turn.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Bumps


We were nervous that the large labeled turn radius would make it cumbersome in a mogul field, but once again, the Maven snugged up its turns and made bump skiing fun even for those who are not always fans of the environment. Its reduced weight and propensity for pivoting the turn allowed it to move with ease through and over the peaks and troughs.

The Maven easily bends between bumps, making mogul skiing more...
The Maven easily bends between bumps, making mogul skiing more manageable.
Photo: Scott Rokis

Value


In the mid-to-upper range of pricing, the Maven offers good value for the right consumer. If you are an upper-intermediate to lower-advanced skier looking for a one-ski quiver, this ski provides an excellent entree into the off-piste world. As long as you recognize that you may need to upgrade to something more high-performance after a couple seasons and a number of lessons, this ski would be a great partner to take you up a level.

Conclusion


The Atomic Maven 93 C is a perfect companion to any skier looking to break onto the all-terrain scene, and will serve well for a time. Anyone already confidently skiing off-piste double blacks has already outgrown this ski.

Renee McCormack

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