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Ski Review: Elan Wingman

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To sell something unnecessary, you must first buy something unnecessary; to make something new, you must first come up with something new. It is logical, but it is not always the only existing logic. In Elan, they disagree entirely with the idea that something new should be invented. They think that a novelty can be made of two oldovelties, and this season they made a new series without developing anything new. Let's find out how.

Previously Elan had: the Amphibio technology (based on which on-piste skis and universal skis were produced) and the Ripstick freestyle/touring ski series. The only success was the downhill skis of the Amphibio series. There were no questions for them, and there were a couple of exciting models. With Ripstick and with the universal Amphibio, there was something wrong all the time. Universal skis always had some curves with incomprehensible stiffness. Ripstick didn’t show anything interesting, and all his time, there were more questions than answers about them. They were not the best for freeriding and ski touring. Everything somehow did not develop.

This season, Elan decided that if two old technologies were put into one, then a new technology would appear and Amphibio technology was added to the Ripstick skis. The result has been called Wingman. And so it turned out a new series of new skis. Of course, it turns out that these are entirely new skis because there have never been such skis before. But there is a slight sensation of deception.

The series has six models that are traditionally divided by waist width from 78 to 86 mm. The number of amplifiers, stiffness, and the proportion of geometry to stiffness. All skis have a very restrained average turn radius from 14 to 16 meters, which is not technically fast. These radii are precisely in the range in which most of the universal ski target audience rides. All skis are equipped with a new version of Amphibio technology with acute angles of internal edging. Amplifiers on the tip and the tail are made according to Amphibio 4.0. The skis are radially bent along the length in different directions so that the tip becomes softer and more comfortable, and the tail becomes more tenacious and stiff.

The 78 Ca is the lightest and simplest model with the smallest turning radius. Traditionally, carbon does not promise anything interesting except low weight and excellent grip on a tough piste. But it’s not worth waiting for something outstanding in terms of terrain on a broken piste from skis with a waist 78.

78 Ti - In fact, more ski than universal ski. This width still does not have advantages in off-piste abilities. However, it still does not greatly weaken the dynamics and, therefore, you can expect an interesting route skiing from the ski. Titanal will add some dynamics.

82 Ti - the most popular class of universal skis: moderately broad, moderately stiff and reasonably fast - perfect middling. Such models win the hearts of those who like skiing, who enjoy skiing, comfort, versatility and opportunity are costing one pair of skis regardless of the places and conditions of skiing.

82 CTI - for those who in the previous model have not enough stiffness and grip and those who ride more in places with a predominance of hard snow.

86 Ti / 86 CTi pair of models similar to the pair with a waist 82. But a little faster. Titanal is more comfortable and elastic, reinforced with carbon, more tenacious on hard snow.

Outwardly, there is nothing global about skiing, which is not surprising because they are new at the level of technology and materials, and not in essence. As before, in the Amphibio station wagon series, they remained in the format of the classic route station wagons - carves, which added widths to the waist. In skating from them, also, we can expect an ultimately tracing carving character.

Whether the series is good or bad should be determined on tests. At the level of theoretical acquaintance with new skis, there are more questions than answers. The main issues concern the company's strategy in the development of allround and freeride skis. There is one hundred per cent sensation. That update is more of a marketing strategy than a technology. The Amphibio universal skis didn’t show anything interesting from the moment they appeared, and interest in them fell to complete zero. Thus it was necessary to shake up the situation somehow and return the attention of the audience to them. The goal is achieved. At the review level, there is attention. As for Ripstick, it was always worse than the universal Amphibio. The fact that Ripstick has been reincarnated into the new Wingman and completely withdrawn into the shadow this season means only one thing: The series is being prepared for withdrawal from the catalogue. But what then will Elan have left in the category of freeride which Alan never, for good, never had? Answers to all these questions should be sought only in the future.