2010 Elan 888 in 177 with Look Pivot Jib mounted 1.5 cm behind recommended
2010 Elan 1010 in 183 with Look PX 12 now mounted 2.0 cm behind recommended, and originally mounted on the recommended line.
51 y.o. male, average 50-60 days/year. 5'10" and 145-150 lbs. I ski a fairly steep and technical mountain (plenty of trees and rock formations; many multiple fall lines -- multiple fall lines are the rule, clean single fall lines are very rare) and spend most of my time off-piste. I ski reasonably fast for a 51 yr old, but not the fastest on the hill by any means. Don't really seek air unless you count airplane turns. Ski more GS racer style than bumpmeister or park rat style. I use 2003 Rossignol Bandit B2 boots that have been planed, canted, and one foot lifted. ZipFit Grand Prix liners and custom footbeds.
Conditions skied (applies to both skis): New snow of varying densities and depths. Hardpack. Lots of transition snow, mashed potatoes, coral reef, crusty snow, really mean crust that wants to boss you around. Deepest snow skied on the 1010 was 2 feet with pockets to 3 feet; deepest snow skied on the 888 was between boot-top and knee-deep. Did not get to ski them on sun cups or genuinely see-through ice, but otherwise they saw lots of snow types.
Skis I like:
The two Elans here.
2005 Head Monster 88 - 175 - my favorite all-time ski; broke them earlier this season after 250 days or so.
2007 Fischer Watea 94 - 178
2006 Head iSupershape - 170
2004 Volkl T-Rock - 172 (this version of T-Rock = Volkl Bridge with different topsheet)
Generally I like skis that slice through cutup powder, mashed potatoes, etc., rather than lighter, poppier skis that want to be jumped around, and prefer solid edgehold on hard snow, the kind that achieves or gets close to race ski feel.
2010 Elan 1010 in 183. I bought these in April 2010 and didn't mount them until fall 2010. I skied them probably 25-30 days last season and 5 days so far this season. When I was looking for these skis I wanted something around their size/geometry, with a feel like the Monster 88s. It was a tossup between these and the Volkl Kendo and I bought these based on dawgcatching's comparison of those two skis. I was looking for a sidewall sandwich ski with metal, damp and powerful. I found the 1010 to be excellent in all the conditions I skied, from light and deep powder to wet snow that's setting up in the cold, from soft 3" new days to hardpack situations that are found on certain parts of our hill even on most good days.
In typical crud they slice through the nonsense and hold to whatever line you've tipped and bent them into. On hardpack they are slow edge to edge but hold very well and feel solid underfoot. I could carve various radius turns on hard snow, and could manage the edgehold with drift and brushing with no quarrels from the skis. I can even persuade them to give me some short-ish radius turns on hard snow and soft shallow snow, as long as I am standing on them well and moving down the hill.
In deep powder I had a fair amount of tip dive when they were mounted on the line, but I skied them that way all last season. I just used a little more dorsiflexion. But before using them this year I had them bumped back 2.0cm and that cured the tip dive. It didn't seem to change much in other conditions. I don't need to dorsiflex in extra amounts. I can attack more without the going-over-the-bars feeling creeping into things. Last Sunday I skied lots of semi-tracked steep trees and was diving in to catch the snow just below trees, never once felt like I was in endo-land.
In bumps they are lots of fun if there's some new snow (but what ski isn't?), and aren't bad in firm bumps if you stay on top of them and keep them engaged. The waist width is bulky in firm bumps though. But I wouldn't be on this ski if firm bumps were the day's target.
Some reviews I've read complained of the tails' tendency to hang in deeper wetter snow. I haven't noticed that, but it could be because I use the tails' engagement more than some others might.
The energy return from turns depends more on how you load the ski and whether you give a little bump of heel pressure in the turn. They have enough kick in the tail to send you if you add that little bump, or otherwise if you're really cooking and just letting them load up on their own. You can also just cadillac-cruise them and won't really get a big kick from the tail if you keep to a leisurely approach.
Overall it's a great ski that has fantastic edgehold, great float, a freight train feel in the crud, and friendly handling in the bumps if you stay on top of it. It wouldn't be my daily ski unless there was always 4" new (or better), but it's a great powder day ski, and really good on those cutup/crud days that follow a dump. It does require that you stay on top of it, so if you're lazy or prone to tailgunning I would look elsewhere. When I get tired or sloppy they can feel like they are on autopilot and not listening to me. But when I stay on top of them, they are a blast to ski.
2010 Elan 888 in 177. I bought these in early January of this year after breaking my Monster 88s. I wanted to just get another pair of Monster 88s but that wasn't possible, couldn't find any. The nearest things I could find were the Volkl Kendo and the Elan 888. I couldn't afford the Kendos but found some 888s so they got the nod. I had them mounted 1.5cm behind the suggested line based on dawgcatching's reviews. Didn't try them on the line.
Overall this ski is a nearly seamless switch from the 2005 Head Monster 88. It prefers a slightly bigger turn and its shovel is a bit firmer, so it likes a little more speed to flex, but it's not unwieldy at slow speeds. The traits of the ski are generally the same as those I described for the 1010, but taking the narrower waist into account. In other words, they do the same things, but sink a bit lower when the snow is lighter and/or deeper. Crud performance is the same freight-train feel. Hard snow is better just because the ski is narrower, quicker edge-to-edge, and more pintailed than the 1010. In powder they float fine and are lots of fun -- they're fun everywhere, to be honest. I haven't been on any snow conditions that they didn't handle smoothly, with nice power and dampness, with solid edgehold when desired. For the most part these are a fine daily driver, but when we get a long dry spell and hardpack & ice rule the mountain, I wish I had a race ski because my knees ache with this much ski underfoot.
I've recommended 888s to two friends, both of them solid intermediate skiers, and both were happy to be on those skis, though both commented that sometimes the skis really take them for a ride. I'm guessing this is just the general tendency of metal-sandwich skis to be torsionally stiff, more freight-train/slice-y, less poppy and forgiving.