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Atomic Sugar Daddy

rated 4.0 of 5 stars

The Sugar Daddy has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best alpine touring gear for 2024.

photo: Atomic Sugar Daddy alpine touring product

The journey to find the elusive "one ski to rule them all" continues.


  • 7# 10 oz/pair
  • Moderate floatation
  • Great dampening
  • Ski-able on and off-piste
  • Durable edges
  • Made for experts, forgiving enough for mortals


  • A compromise off-piste
  • Not powder skis

About me

I am an intermediate skier who skis the winters away on the groomed runs then take my skis to the mountains in the summer after the avy danger has mostly passed. 

Tech specs

126-99-117 Regular camber 183 length

The story

When I saw these on Craigslist three hours away with Fritschi touring bindings on them for $150 I got in the car and drove. Does anything depreciate as quickly as skis? This setup would have been $1200 new.

Remember when everyone was asking, "why do you need such fat skis? 99mm underfoot is so fat!"

Now by today's standards, 99mm under foot seems quaint to those who regularly explore the back country and powder, but with width comes weight and specificity so staying more moderate can make for an easier skin up and, when required, easier packing. Your giant, waterski-looking powder skis are too heavy to skin well and are crappy on the groomers. 

Those of us who have yet to inherit need to find one or two sets of skis that can do everything. These may be them for me. 

IMG_0048.jpgMessy, wet snow on the Muir Snowfield, no worries

On Groomed Runs

I rode nothing else this winter on my pass at Mission Ridge, near Wenatchee, WA. On corduroy they killed it, helping me confidently carve turns at speeds that I used to be a lot more afraid of. The skis felt much heavier as they ate through crud as the hill got chopped up during the day. I found the Sugar Daddy skis to be nimble on moguls on the few occasions when I ended up under the lifts. 


We had one 20+ inch powder dump where I was able to stay on top on diamond runs but wallowed when they flattened out, which was common. On champagne powder the advantage definitely went to the fatter skis on the hill but as long as it was steep enough, a punter like me could still have fun with moderate-width skis. 

Out of bounds

These are mounted with Fritschi frame-style touring bindings which are SO easy to switch from skin to ski mode that it is ridiculous. I skied from Camp Muir to Paradise on slimy, grabby slush and the Sugar Daddies kept me upright and having fun. They felt stiff going through sun cups but nimble enough to get me through the trees near the parking lot.

IMG_0031.jpgThese skis are ones that I'll definitely bring here, even when I have to carry them up the icy sections.

Snow many options! This kind of snow used to scare me.

The light weight made them a breeze to skin up in, even allowing me to pass skinners in much lighter Dynafit-type gear on fat skis. The fiberglass-reinforced plastic and densolite core not only keeps them from being twitchy but also makes them lighter.

IMG_20161217_132002773.jpgFun in the DEEP powder on long-ish tours


The edges of these skis lasted almost the entire season before needing a little scraping. Atomic advertises a hardening process for their edges which may account for this, or the fact that the snow was just that good this year.  This technology may also make them good East Coast Ice skis. 

IMG_20161217_120742479.jpgGood flotation, even with a pack

Who needs these skis?

Those in search of that elusive quiver of one ski that can do pretty much everything pretty darn well. Someone who rides a lift over 50% of the time but also slaps on the skins, releases the heels, and likes to go up the mountain to earn their turns.

Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $150

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Price Reviewers Paid: $150.00

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