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Best Elan skis..?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Could you recommend the "cream of the crop" Elan skis to check out and share why? I have never skied on Elans before and would love to add some to my to-look-out-for list. Thanks
post #2 of 18

What do you want them to do for you?  Carve, powder, all mountain, bumps?

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
What does Elan do better than any other makers?
post #4 of 18

I don't think you'll get many answers with such wide open questions.  If you focus in on something more specific it would be easier.


I can say that my Elans have a feel that is hard to describe.  Very smooth and controlled.  I get the feeling when I'm on my 888s that they get more and more stable as the speed increases until a point when the ski almost seems to feel like it isn't moving any more.  It takes some getting used to when your whole body feels the speed but your feet don't.  But that's only 888s, I can't tell you about any of their other skis.

post #5 of 18

The question gets even more muddled when you take in to account that Elan makes a massive amount of ski's for other companies.

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
I see. Let me clarify it this way.

When I think Stöckli, their Laser series skis stand out, the SX, the GS, etc., and based on what I hear they are the ones that sell out the fastest. Kästles for their MX series and hollow-tip.

What's for Elan? I'm sure they offer something in each category like any other maker, but what's their "fast ball" if any?

Is it their Amphibio skis, 888's?
post #7 of 18
88xti 186. Smooth as butter. Damp. No speed limit. Quick edge to edge but can carve huge GS turns. Had it going 65 at beaver creek.... I got nervous before the ski ever did.
post #8 of 18

to me Elan strikes me as pretty inovative company with technologies that feel simple and reliable such as the waveflex or the amphibio techs (no shock absorbers or electronic chips or dampeners) . They were afterall some of the first parabolic skis.



So i'd say what sets them appart is inovation (but i migth just be i have been influenced by their marketing department).



And what they are famous for at the moment is the amphibio profile fo their piste and all moutain range (we see a lot of them on the slopes of Quebec).

post #9 of 18

Solid, damp and smooth are three words that are usually associated with Elan skis (or some variation on that general theme).


The Waveflex design is unique to Elan and provides for a degree of torsional rigidity without requiring the ski to be too stiff longitudinally.  Everything I've read about it indicates the design works as advertised.  Waveflex gives you a reasonably compliant ski that still has grip.  Add to that Elan's usual preference for a solid, damp feel to the ski and you get a very smooth, damp, compliant, solid ski that with grip that is (at least) comparable to similar skis from other manufacturers.  


Some people prefer a more lively ski and consider Elan skis 'leaden' and lifeless, while others prefer that damp feel and consider more lively skis to be a little skittish and unpredictable.  It's your call.


I agree with the comment above.  Ski the Amphibio Waveflex 88Xti in 186cm and you'll understand all of the above.  Great ski.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Camber on the inside and rocker on the outside--intriguing and also makes me a bit apprehensive. How do they ski on straight line and at speed?
post #11 of 18
I sold my mx88s 178 in favor of the 88xti 186. Zero regrets. No squirrelly funny business. Very very quiet at speed. Improvements in all areas without having to go to the much larger radius, much less versatile 188 mx88.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Turn wise, is it like SL, GS or inbetween? Does it ski long, short, or true to its length?
post #13 of 18
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Turn wise, is it like SL, GS or inbetween? Does it ski long, short, or true to its length?

TURN shape: For so many skis, upon turn initiation, the ski shape, flex dictates how tight/long the turn will be. Im sure you know this. Hop on a Head iSL or Rossi e88 and they wanna turn and can be squirmy at high speed. Ride a nordica fire arrow 180 and it says "hang on for the ride" - big GS turns. This ski, to me, was so impressively flexible it really surprised me. It's stated TR is 19 m but I could ski it very quick and snappy or I could relax and ski big wide GS turns. I loved that flexibility.

Length: to me it performs like a bigger ski in terms of stability and dampness, but ease of use of a smaller ski. So compared to the mx88 178 I owned, it felt about that length in terms of swing weight and moving it around on the mountain, but has characteristics of a bigger ski when at high speed - very quiet and no nerves.

But you know how it is... Id suggest a demo if at all possible. Decide for yourself whatcha think. Hope that is helpful.
post #14 of 18
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Camber on the inside and rocker on the outside--intriguing and also makes me a bit apprehensive. How do they ski on straight line and at speed?


It's there - you can see it if you sight along the edge and look carefully - but the difference is very slight.  I expect the asymmetric Waveflex ripples have a bigger effect on the dynamics of the ski than the short lengths of early rise on one edge at tip/tail.  I took a couple of demo runs and didn't actually try them the other way around; wish I had.  The senior instructor at our hill takes these overseas and mixes them up about 50:50.  In certain conditions he prefers to ski them the other way around.  Elan has made a terrific ski and I wouldn't hesitate to grab a pair if I could find a deal down here.  You have to like the smooth, damp feel though.  If you prefer a lively ski I'd be looking elsewhere.

Edited by sinbad7 - 2/12/14 at 10:24pm
post #15 of 18

I have tried to 88xti and 78xti. Both were really well engineered. I was reminded of a bullet train or something. Fast, predictable, and unnaturally smooth. I actually preferred the 78. I like butter smooth carvers and livelier all-mountain and powder tools. 

post #16 of 18

I got a great deal on some 88xti's last April and finally had my first day on them today.  At first I was kind of "ya, their ok, but I like most any ski".  Then as the day progressed, my legs started to get with the program and the snow softened a bit I was thinking "WOW, nice skis".  They are damp (I likey) but I thought they had nice pop in them too when skied aggressively.  Excellent grip on firm snow and that thing they did with the tips to make the turn easier actually worked for me.  I was very impressed by days end. 

post #17 of 18

I can't speak to "best" as I haven't skied enough of what they have to offer, but I love my (no longer available) 999/Spires.  Very nice combination of stability/dampness and forgiveness.  Not the most lively ski if that's what you like, but a very fun ski if it suits your tastes.

post #18 of 18

Same here, I enjoy my 1010's.   At my weight in the super deep light stuff they porpoise on their own and it is really fun.  It's not a surf style ski though.   What I like most is the dampness for when the mountain is all tracked out (seems like by 11AM these days).   They are great at busting through the chop and crud.  I haven't found a speed limit on them and they seem to me to be an all day multi tool from the early untracked to the later tracked out muck.   What surprises me most about them is how easy they ski in the bumps.  At 183cm and a 110 waist they should be a lot less responsive than they are.

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