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Atomic Bent Chetler 120 2020 – 2021 | Review

These legendary skis from Atomic, created in partnership with Chris Benchetler, keep on delivering

Why We Chose The Atomic Bent Chetler 120: floaty, playful, classic

Lengths (cm): 176, 184, 192
Sidecut (mm): 143-120-134 (184cm)
Radius: 19m (184cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1800g (184cm)
Price: £600

BUY HERE

Few skis rival the Bent Chetler 120’s reputation. From its inception in 2007, the Bent Chetler 120 has gathered something of a cult following among freestylers and freeriders alike.

Chris Benchetler, pro skier and mastermind behind his namesake ski, created the Bent Chetler in partnership with Atomic to enable him to ‘surf the mountain’. We can’t think of a better way to sum up this ski’s buoyancy and playfulness in the deep stuff.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, the Bent Chetler boasts the most vibrant and otherworldly graphics, penned by none other than Chris Benchetler himself. The Bent Chetler 120’s are a joy to behold and a joy to ski. Listen to Benchetler talk you through the Bent Chetler 120’s history before demonstrating the ski’s surfability here.

“Chris Benchetler… created the Bent Chetler in partnership with Atomic to enable him to ‘surf the mountain’”

Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Build

Poplar wood, renowned amongst ski manufacturers for its light weight and stability, forms the Bent Chetler’s core. A carbon insert, located in the ski’s centre and spanning the length of the ski, enhances rigidity and power without additional weight.

Whilst 1.8kg per ski might sound on the heavier side given the ever-diminishing weight of skis, most other skis don’t come with a whopping 120mm underfoot and a 176cm minimum ski length. The Bent Chetler 120 is a whole lot of ski for comparatively little weight, one of the crucial components to the Bent Chetler’s success as the ultimate powder ski.

“These skis hold an edge when required”

Sidewalls across the full length of the ski ensure that, even at 120mm underfoot, these skis hold an edge when required. Atomic’s Dura Cap sidewalls provide coverage from the skis base to topsheet for added robustness and durability. This’ll be needed if you plan to follow in Chris Benchetler’s footsteps, sending massive 360s and cork 7s off cliffs (you know, that sort of thing).

Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Shaping

Enabling the Bent Chetler’s excellent flotation in powder is a 30% tip and tail 30% rocker. As if this isn’t enough, the Bent Chetler’s features a one of a kind horizontal rocker – imagine the hull of a boat – in the ski tips and tail. This ‘HRZN tech’ increases the Bent Chetler’s (already huge) surface area by 10%. Lift in the tips and tails ensure no hook-ups or drag in deep conditions for uninterrupted lines.

“Switch landings, slash turns, nollies, ollies are all encouraged”

Proponents of the Bent Chetler 120 rave about its ability to blend backcountry skiing with freestyle, a result of its twin tip shaping and reasonably forgiving flex.

Whilst the Bent Chetler is stiff underfoot – great for arcing turns on big faces and stomping cliffs – its pretty soft in the tips and even softer in the tails. Switch landings, slash turns, nollies, ollies are all encouraged by the Bent Chetler’s flex and shaping. And Chris Benchetler further encourages you to play on these by recommending a mounting point at approximately 3cm back from centre, thereby blurring the lines between a freestyle and strictly freeride ski.

Who Is The Atomic Bent Chetler 120 For?

With so much ski underfoot, we wouldn’t recommend the Bent Chetler to beginners or to skiers who aren’t planning on spending the majority of their time in the backcountry. Sure, the Bent Chetler can grip, thanks to full coverage sidewalls and a 40% camber, but rapid edge change and cruising groomers aren’t the Bent Chetler’s forte.

“The Bent Chetler is the pinnacle of playfulness”

If you are looking for a (very) deep day ski with ultimate surfability, or a freeride ski that tricks like a slopestyle ski, then you can’t go wrong with the Bent Chetler 120. With 12 years of history and improvements behind it, the Bent Chetler is the pinnacle of playfulness.

Take notes from 3 x Freeride World Tour Champion Ari Tricomi, who dominates on her Bentchetler 120s (watch her 2020 winning Fieberbrunn run here) She’s weaving turns and stomping drops, but is most renowned for spinning and jumping off everything in sight, and never without her signature, playful style. We’d recommend joining in the fun.

What Is The Atomic Bent Chetler 120 Is Good At?

Surfability: 10/10
Stability at Speed: 7/10
Playfulness: 10/10

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