Model: Atomic Metron Beta 5 / B5
Size(cm) / Radius(m): 152/? 162/11 172/?
Length Tested: (TBC)
An engaging 30 minutes with a ski tech who speaks excellent English left me in no doubt that these were the business - already selling like hot cakes, and stock diminishing rapidly. Lengths of 162, 172 and maybe just one more size for the Jolly Green Giants is determined by a circular ready-reckoner - reminiscent of my wife’s weight-watcher’s points calculator, much akin to the salomon system of aggression, power/weight characteristics. By the way, in Austria they say Salomon X-Scream skis are for old, overweight Englishmen!!!
48 hours later - because that was the earliest when the test set in my size were available, I set off up the Nassereinbahn gondola. These are definitely next year’s model - the lift operator, suffering end of season lethargy actually raised his head from page 3 of the Austrian version of The Sun to eye-up this raunchy newcomer. So too did the punters in gondola number 29 - how did this English guy secure a sneak preview on the "fat" skis.
"Fat" is exactly how they are being termed, and they’re heavy, but I was too excited to notice that, at first. Maybe the rental binding is heavier than the ‘2005’ Neox 412 - fitted as standard on new pairs.
8 cms shorter than my X-Scream 10 pilots - and no, I’m not fat, although I am getting old, was quite noticeable, and of course the wide tips meant I had to put a toilet roll’s width between my skis instead of the usual fag-paper! By far the most obvious difference was stability - and stability gives me confidence to jump into anything that crops up. A long traverse on hard piste and no flapping - a good start, I thought, but it only gets better!! Equal weight on both skis, I put in a gentle, almost negligible lean and around they went - two clean, sharp and continuous cuts in the snow. (They’ve got a ten-eighty turn-up on the heel, too.) OK, now let’s turn up the tempo - how do they flow if I take the fall-line? No problem, very responsive - maybe a little over-steer at first - due to the X-screams; stability now matched with an agile, edge to edge wegel, but weight forward and a bit of knee-drive essential, as ever. Yes, these are very comfortable and don’t sap energy.
Let’s take a red to the six-man chair from St Anton up to the Gampen. It’s early in the morning but late season, so there should be some overnight crud, ice, and of course, some nasty, frozen piste-basher tracks to negotiate! Well, where was it all? I didn’t seem to notice! Now via the Zammermoos chair onto the open, wide ‘violet’ of the Galzig where there’s always some piste-side powder. But first, let’s carve! Oh yes, it’s side cut allows a piste hugging lean - again, absolutely stable, accelerating as expected when the shoulder follows through. And into the powder. Unbelieveable - just let them take you through it! Don’t force the turns - but finish them! Salomon’s were supposed to be good in powder, but these are invincible. Equal weight on both skis and no danger of losing rhythm, these are a joy to ride! Crust? - no worries here, either.
These are a must buy, I started to ponder. But best use the three free days before you buy condition - and I did! My wife and son had a good stint on them, too, and they were equally impressed. But my wife also tried the ‘red’ version - on the advice of the technician?? She was not at all impressed, in comparison to the Beta 5. They were too soft, unstable on hard piste and not even worth considering in the powder - a real lady’s ski!
And on the third day God created an overnight fall of 30 cms up on the Valluga. So up the Schindlergrat and onto ski-route 15, the Schindler Kar - hectares of fresh powder! Over the edge and down, bouncing and bobbing like I’ve never done before - so confident, so certain of every turn - that’s what these do for you, awesome!!
Absolutely stunning skis and they do exactly as claimed. The difference between this all-rounder and the competition is that is is giving you top quality performance in every dimension of terrain, not mediocrity - as is often the case, a jack of all trades, but master of none!
Real time prices for the Atomic Metron Beta 5 / B5 2005, or similar ski products:
Written by Chris West on 04/28
Hi Mauro, Thanks for the feedback re my review of the Metron B5. You might have also detected that I’ve not done one before! Up until now I’ve not known much about Atomic skis although I did have a pair about 10 years ago, so I’m not really one to compare one Atomic with another. I dare say that these days one ‘top of the range ski’ is not likely to be hugely different from the next until they are on the feet of people like yourself - that is someone who can feel those minor things that are all-important. In St Anton at Easter there were no significant bumps to tackle really, and because it was late season, once formed, they soon became easily manageable heaps of slush - or at least they seemed easy to handle on the Metrons!! There is a black run (The Fang) down to the Nasserein lift which is has heavy traffic at the end of the day - many people trying to negotiate the very watery snow, mostly at snails’ pace. I have to say that I found them a treat - usual stability, but good at spreading the weight and because they are shorter they are so much easier to manoeuvre and aim at the right point on the bump. They also don’t suffer from shovel twist - therefore keeping the front edge at a good cutting angle. I have to say I’m not a bumps expert and would need to spend more time in them on these skis to give a more accurate feedback. A Swiss friend of mine, who is also a Swiss Ski Instructor, was in St Anton for a day with us and at first he was a little sceptical about the Metrons - he thought they might have been a little soft, too. But later in the day we saw a pair in a shop in Lech and after giving them the usual bending and twisting tests he was much more convinced about their versatility. Also, the technician I originally spoke to pointed out the twin chrome torsion rods located in front of the binding. He went on to say that power generated by being tucked when in the bumps is transferred more directly to the front edges of the ski!!! Or something like that???? OK - I hope all that helps!
Great to see that u r in Utah because we are planning to ski The Canyons Christmas/New Year 2004/05. Just looking at prices and accommodation at the moment. It would be great to keep in touch - maybe meet up when we get there?
Regards and Best Wishes
Written by mdalcant on 04/29
Thanks Chris. What you are saying is actually quite helpful, but, as you say, the best thing would be to find a demo pair at the beginning of next season in order to make a “same feet” comparison with the M11 on Utah bumps! Sure, it would be great to meet in Utah. Unfortunately I get there after the Christmas/New Year period (generally around the 4th of January), therefore, unless you plan to come back later, our paths would not cross. If you can make it after that period, it would be very easy to find me: just go the the Ski School at the Canyons and ask for Mauro. Also, I have a place there, where I spend the winter, and my telephone number there is 435-615-1173. I am writing this from Chicago where I spend most of the year.
Written by orlandopr on 10/06
Until last season I was teaching at Killington, Vt. This comming season I’ll be teaching at the Canyons.
I managed to get a B5 and an M11 in early february from a large distributor who is a good friend.
Both skis were tried by me for about two weeks in Killington, and then a Week in The Canyons, UT.
Both the B5 and M11 have tenacious edge grip in Vermont “packed powder” (please read see through ice).
The M11 is more bump/soft snow friendly, without sacrificing performance. True that some claim that the B5 is more solid at hyper speeds, I have not noticed the difference. (Maybe you have to faster than 45MPH, which is out of my confort zone).
In Bumps, soft snow, and general skiing, the M11 is more user friendly and forgiving…
Don’t get me wrong, the M11 will require you to be well centered or it’ll laugh at you as you smash your tush, but in general terms, if you are a good skier, this animal will be good to you.
I decided for the M11 hands down.
The M11 is definetely the most versatile and fun ski I ever owned.
Written by Yeti on 10/11
I also tested the B5 in Lech/St. Anton last Easter. I can agree on many of the comments above. This is a fun and versatile ski. But nobody mentions the WEIGHT. It weighs no less than a 2 meter + GS ski from the 70?s. What is happening in modern ski design? Many of the modern mid fats are heavy as hell. These are not the skis to take to the summits, on your shoulder, although they can cope with all situations on the way down. Very few producers even mention the weight in their websites or brochures.
Written by Ski Review Guest on 11/06
I spent a weekend at the end of last season comparing the M:11 with my Volkl sixstars. The conditions were boilerplate in the morning and slush by affternoon. Short answer:I’ve sold the 6stars and the M:11’s are on the way. They were equally stable with the Volkls as fast as I could ski them, softer and more forgiving hitting the slush moguls and WAY more fun laying down big carves.
Written by Ski Review Guest on 11/13
Would anyone like to comment on the B5’s rebound energy and short turn radius ability?
Written by Ski Review Guest on 11/15
I’m seriously considering this ski, however, Im unsure which size to purchase. I’ve heard rumor that they should be sized even shorter than other shaped skis. I’m 5’10 and weigh 180 lbs. What size do you recommend? 162 or 172?
Written by Ski Review Guest on 11/19
162 is the one.
Check the Metron size finder if you have any doubts
Written by Ski Review Guest on 11/22
I like shorter cause I like to carve.
Spent the last 10 years in Whistler BC,moved to Quebec but it won’t last.
I need the soft stuff and lots of it.
I love to carve but looking for a ski that can handle pow, crud and slush.
On paper this ski looks like the hot ticket, I"ll demo a pair this winter at Tremblant and will see how they feel underfoot. If they are as good as I think they will be, I’ll grab a pair at discount at the end of the year.
Good snow to all
Written by Chris West on 11/27
I read a review of the Metron B5 in “Fall-line Skiing” and the verdict was not impressive! It went like this ... ..... Bit of a weird one this, with wide geometry and a super-carvey side cut. ( whatever that means) It’s supposed to do it all, but testers found it a little hard to get along with and heavy. Good idea in theory.
Overall: If you like a cravey go-anywhere all-rounder then it’s OK
Don’t bother if you want something light!
In 3 weeks time I’ll be on mine in Les Arcs - then we’ll see!!!!
Regards to you all Chris West
Written by Richard on 11/29
A very interesting ski, very different feel from any other ski I have ever been on. Despite its short length (162) this ski was smooth and stable and quicker edge to edge than its massive width would indicate. These skis are extremely heavy, so leave them on the snow. No lifting, tipping turning etc. Just leave them on the snow and arc both feet. Hang on; have faith; and let them run. I you do this it will be alright. They will rip and will carry you anywhere. They don’t seem to respond well to a lot of steering or “foot work”. They just need to arc and carve so leave them on the snow and let them go. I haven’t really decided If I would want them for my own everyday ski, but they were a blast to fool around with. Did I mention how heavy they are?
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/02
I skied them in the Australian winter in the 172. I found them great through crud and on the groomers. I didn’t have a chance to ski it in any deep fresh snow , so I can’t comment on that. Stable as hell at any speed. However, I am 191lbs and 6ft and I found the 172 to be a very beefy ski and too large , especially in tight and big, sometimes irregular bumps. I demoed the B5 in 162 and found it more responsive and quicker from edge to edge. If you like just bombing big GS turns , 172cm is OK. But I like the versatility of the 162 through tighter spots ie trees and tight chutes. I am still carrying my Elan 777 to Fernie & Kicking Horse when the Pow is fresh and deep ie knee deep plus and when we go backcountry becauase I am not lugging those B5 around. Plus they are fairly heavy to do Pedal turns in.
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/09
Oh no..! Now I don’t know what to go for this year. I hire and the ski I always go back to is the Rossi xx at 184. I found this does all things well. I want a ski that is helpful in the bumps and one that you can get up and around in steep stuff. As I pick my skis up a lot I wondered if the weight of the B5 would be too sapping. We like to get stuck into gullies but the snow is not always so helpful so I want a good allrounder for a 6 footer, 180 lbs guy who has skied a lot for 20 years but still needs a bit of help in tricky stuff. I am thinking this ski sounds good as does the Head monster 70. I tried a Rossi B2 in 182 and found them slow in the turn and planky at that size. Also, of interest is the Dynastar 4800/6200.
Any suggestions from anyone who has tried these skis would be appreciated. Thanks
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/12
I just demo’d a pair of B5’s yesterday at one of the pimples that go for ski hills in Ontario. I’m 6’3” and 225lbs and I found that the 162cm length a blast to ski. Conditions were 10cm of fresh, wet snow that rapidly turned into crud with icy patches in between - the B5’s didn’t care, they went through/over top of everything like they had 4 wheel drive. As for the weight, I currently ski Rossi 9X’s in a 174cm length and the weight is comperable. I tried the B5’s in the 172cm length and didn’t find them as quick to turn and since I already have a GS type ski, I’d go with the shorter (162cm) length. A blast to ski - hopefully I can score a demo pair before the season is out.
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/13
Demoed both today. Both are great in powder but the M11’s were much better on icy patches and just as awesome in the powder. Plus they are much more alive all’round. I’m 200 lbs 6ft expert and M11’s are the best skis I’ve ever used. I’m also considering Volkls, Rossis and Salomons. Another astonishing feature is they keep you from falling backwards even in roughest runs. The only drawback is they make you work hard in moguls but that’s part of the fun I guess.
Written by chris0952 on 12/22
I’m 5’6 and 150 pounds. I have skiied for many years as a kid and had to quit for a few years while I was in grad school. I have never skied on shaped skis but I used to be able to do anything on the mountains here. I would consider myself an “old expert” but I"m 27 yrs old. Expert trails here become extermely icey and full of bumps which is what I end up skiing in. Don’t care about speed as much as a ski that can keep me stable in the bumps. Can you give me a few options or somewhere I can go for some options?
Looking to be under $800 for skiis only.
Also, what am I looking for in a boot?
The guy at my store is recommending Nordica SUV12s.
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/24
I owned a pair of 6 stars, loved them and convinced my friends to get them as well. At the end of last season purchased the M11’S as a soft snow ski and now the 6 Stars stay in the garage. The M11’s rip on hard snow and have a great feel which I hadn’t felt anywhere else.
Demo’d the B5’s in a 162 at Jackson Hole for three days a week ago and now planning to switch. If you like big carves, tight, short arcs and two feet steering-grab ‘em! They plowed through crud and heavy snow and laid big trenches-when I wasn’t flipping slalom turns in the fall line. I owned Atomic 9/16 slalom skis and these were almost as quick and definitely more fun.
Start doing those arm curls as he weight factor is indeed evident. The lifties got a huge chuckle from the short skis with the beefy attitude.
They were right!
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/25
After all the comments I seem to be much closer to answering my biggest question: can they really handle boilerplate? If I buy they will be my only pair and much as I like off piste and unprepared I will never stop getting a rush of adrenaline at the sight of proper hard packed course (and maybe a few training gates).
Written by Ski Review Guest on 12/30
I’ve been skiing for 30 yrs and I still have my 1998 Atomic SL…time to change. I never beleived in hybrids, however I’ve been reading very good reviews on new skis. I’m looking for a ski which would deliver in the slopes, ice, bumps and also be very friendly in deep snow. I rwad about the B5 (out of the question due to wieght) and the M11. What about the M:EX? Anything to compare with? Bandid, 2or 3? Would appreciate a guidance. Thanks Fred
Written by mdalcant on 04/28
Dear Mr. West:
I enjoyed your review on the Metron B5. I have recently tested the M11, but not the B5, and I am not yet sure which ones would be better for me. I liked the M11 a lot since they behaved very well in all types of terrain, including big steep moguls. I teach at the Canyons, Park City, Utah, and I teach in bumps and steep crud prevalently. I wonder whether you had the chance to ski the B5 in bumps, and, if so, if you have an opinion on their behavior there, compared to the M11. May they be too stiff? I would really care about your input.
Thank you very much,
Mauro C. Dal Canto