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Going Elan: '05 Fusion 12 vs '06 Magfire 10?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Friends, I will not bore any of you again with the long version of my tale of woe and poor judgment for buying a pair of '03 Volkl 6* in 175 as my transition ski from old school to new school. After reading about guys in the 225lb range having a hard time with these steel rails I kind of figured out why the quad muscules supporting this 49 yo 160lb frame went into spasm every time I went up the chair. I figured out too late that these are not your father's Volkls - like the ones I used to ski. Demoed the Fischer RX9 in 170cm last year. Coming off the Volkls I think anythong would have felt great, and they did. I planned to get the RX8's for a bit of more turny but began hearing about last year Elan s12 Fusions and then this year's Magfire 10's. The s12's seem to be a blend of the two Fischers - more lively than the 9's but less turny than the 8's. I have searched but have seen little about the Magfire 10's, except for Dawg's reference to early positive feedback. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has personal experience with this model, particularly compared to the s12's. Moneywise, I have seen the s12's for around $400, and the Magfires for a less than $200 more. Both are within my budget. I just want to get the right ones this time. The 12's I have seen are available only in 160's. I assume that the Magfires would be available in a mid 160's size. I am an aggressive (8 level) skier but want something less Teutonic and more fun than 6*. I want to be able to walk at the end of the day. Bloody shins are a no-go anymore as well. My wife is a level 3 or so and I need something that I can ski slowly and carefully (God forbid she should learn my bad habits). I am in Maine - the place where a dusting of snow on the windshield constitues a powder day. Hardpack and hard bumps mostly. Speed is less of an issue. Basically, I would like a ski that I can ski confidently so I can push my comfort zone and get into more steep and bumpy. I found that I was avoiding those very opportunites with the Volkls and skied easier trails or with trepidation. Loss of confidence is definitely a bad situation to be in. I want something solid and reliable underfoot that I am not fighting. With the Volkls, there were two agendas. I need a one agenda ski. So whatdaya think - the 12's in 160 or Mags in the same or a bit longer? If speed is not an issue, am I sacrificing anything by going as short as 160 - if 160 in this ski is short. Thanks as always.
post #2 of 17
I would pick the S12.

I weigh about 165 and according to the charts am somewhere at or above level 8. I demoed the S12 and the RX8 in a 170, as well as a few othe skis.

Compared to the Fischer RX8, it feels smoother and more composed, but I wouldn't call it less turny. In fact I would have prefered the RX8, in that it (RX8) seemed less insistant when I didn't want to turn on every little bump. The RX8 also to me hit it's sweet spot at a lower speed and stayed sweet right up to max speed for the hill. The S12 needed to get a bit more steam up before it felt good.

For me the S12 in a 170 was easy to ski; it did not require any real muscular effort, just tip it and go. It wouldn't be my choice for pivot turns however. It had good grip and plenty of power when called upon.

I think the Magfire 10 is aimed more at say a level 7 skier, though I could be wrong. It also is designed as a compromise ski between hardpack and soft snow, for people who travel a lot and want to ski it on both costs.
post #3 of 17
Skied the S12 last year in a 168. Great on groomers and surprisingly decent on bumps and crud/off piste (other than powder). Can't personally compare it to the Magfire though. Would recommend the S12. A lot of power when you need it yet surprisingly easy to ski.
post #4 of 17
deliberate1 - It really depends on your preferences. The Mag10 has more of a slalom-like sidecut and will have a slightly tighter turning radius (13.3m @ 168) than the S12 (14.3m @ 168). The Mag10 is also a bit more Metron-line at 125/75/109 versus 112/67/100 for the S12.

That said, I have the S12 in 176 which I picked up last year after demo-ing them. I am 6'1'', about 185 lbs and probably a level 8. I absolutely love the S12 for medium to fast cruising on groomers and broken powder/crud. They seem to be quite versatile in most conditions except for deep powder (the Mag10 may be better in powder with their wider waist). They can be skied fast or slow, but really shine when on edge (they really don't like to be skied flat). I have been unable to find their limits on the groomed. When I tip them on edge, they hold the arc and will give back as much as I can give them. The harder I push, the more they push back. I am not really a bump skier, so I don't know how they perform in the bumps. However, I feel they should handle bumps fairly well.

Which ever you end up with - enjoy!!!
post #5 of 17
If you're considering bumps as part of the mix you may consider the S-10. The S-10 has one layer of metal vs. two for the S-12, and should be a little more forgiving in the bumps. And I don't think there's much sacrifice of speed or stability.

I own the S-10 in 168, and demo-ed the S-12.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you all for your thoughts. It seems that my opportunities to buy last years S12 or S10 in a 160+ size have evaporated. What is the equavalent for each of these skiis in the Elan line this year? Is Magfire = Fusion, or is it the Cross line? Many thanks again.
post #7 of 17
I think Elan is still producing the S series skis, and hasn't replaced that niche with new models for 2005/2006. "Fusion" refers to Elan's integrated binding system, and not to any particular skis.

Good luck.
post #8 of 17
Yep, S12 is still a current model for the 06 season. New graphics, that's it.
post #9 of 17
My two main rides are the S-12 (in a 168 length) and the Magfire 10 (in a 167 length). I used to ski the 5*, but finally gave it up beacuse I just couldn't drive it day after day. I'm 6'3", 170 soaking wet. Level 8 skier, or so I've been told.

The Magfire is obviously a bit wider under foot. I found I had to lay it over a bit further then the S12 to really get the edges to bite. I was at Stowe this past weekend skiing powder, powder bumps and some scraped off sections on the Magfires. It handled bumps just fine, although admittedly they were the powder kind.

I skied the S12 at Big Sky last year, and skied plenty of bumps there too. It works just fine. Edge hold might be a tad bit better, but the S12 will hold just fine too on anything short of "real" New England ice.

The Magfire has such a dramatic sidecut that it's not real happy about huge GS turns. Speed per se isn't the issue -- just a little tip brings them around pretty fast. The S12 is a bit happier if you're a fan of huge radius turns. Neither one has any appreciable speed limit that I've come across.

As you're specifically wanting to get into more varied terrain, I'd probably lean towards the Magfires. I haven't gotten a chance to take them into any rock-hard ice bumps yet, but they seem to shine in everything else.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Curtis and Yelloboy, thanks for the clarification. Thought the '06 model was different than last year's because Elan's description of the S12 as a real cruiser seems quite different from the way people here characterize it - as just slightly less turny more firm than the Fischer RX8.
Kevin, I hear you on the Volkls. I skied the 6* for two years and so wanted to love them, but it just was not fun. And after I demoed the RX9 last year, I knew that it was a great ski, but not for me in that length.
If the more dramatic sidecut on the Magfire makes it balk a bit on long GS turns, does it then make it a bit more agile or quick than the S12? While, like you, I am an East Coast skier, I plan to go out to Whistler again this year. Is the Magfire going to be more comfortable (floaty?) in pow or crud? Seems like my need for speed has been replaced by the desire to be a bit more technically proficient at small and medium radius turns, so I can be confident back on the blacks. I want to be better going slow. I could not do this on the 6*. And skiing with my wife requires much more turning to bleed speed. Does this sound more like the Magfire to you? I have not found an Elan dealer in Maine yet (still looking). Did you get yours in Mass? What recommendation for size. You are on a 168 but have about a half a foot and 10 lbs on me. Easier to tip and carve with something like a 160 vs 168 or is it irrelevant? All I know is that my 175 6* ('03 version) feel longer than the 205 Javelins I skied a few decades ago. Thanks for your thoughts. David
post #11 of 17
The S Series skis are 68 mm underfoot, which a few years ago was "mid fat". IMO, both the S10 and S12 are great advanced-expert skis for the east, if that's where you'll ski most of the time.

The only issue with the S12 in the bumps, again IMO, is that the two layers of titanium make the ski stiffer and somewhat more difficult to handle in the bumps, and somewhat more likely to be damaged if you jam them. And unless you ski very fast or very aggressively the S10 is probably enough ski.
post #12 of 17
The S12, S10, and Magfire 10 are all great skis. It really depends on what you want them to do.

I personally find that the Mag 10 is a great all-mountain carver for people who want something like a Metron B5, but a little more relaxing ride. I find it a bit more powerful and stable than the M11. It is a carver that likes to be up on edge, is very quick, and can run in medium radius turns as well. It is a bit more relaxing in crud than some other skis with alot of sidecut. It is a great "Western" carver for those who spend much of their time on the groomed but don't want to give up float performance for Western-style crud.

For an East Coast ski, the S12/S10's are probably the ticket. The S12 is a superb all-mountain carver. It isn't as wide underfoot as the Mag 10, but it was my everyday ski for a year in 168cm. I used it in crud, powder, and ice, and it never let me down. In 12+" of snow, I wouldn't have minded a bit wider ski, but the S12 was always workable. It is smooth, fairly damp, about as stable an all-mountain ski I have used in that length, quick enough for tight turns but likes big sweepers as well, and fairly forgiving. The S10 is very similiar, but more forgiving and a little softer. It seems to have a speed limit: I could probably run a GS on the S12, but the S10 would be a little squirrley. The S10 is a better bump ski though, and a better choice for somebody who wants a high-performance ski but maybe doesn't ski hard all day.

If you can't find what you are looking for in a 168cm S12, give me a shout. I have a couple of pair of '06's w/bindings for $549. I also have the Mag 10 in stock. I can't help you with the S10, as I sold my last pair. Good luck with whatever you decide!
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1
If the more dramatic sidecut on the Magfire makes it balk a bit on long GS turns, does it then make it a bit more agile or quick than the S12? While, like you, I am an East Coast skier, I plan to go out to Whistler again this year. Is the Magfire going to be more comfortable (floaty?) in pow or crud? Seems like my need for speed has been replaced by the desire to be a bit more technically proficient at small and medium radius turns, so I can be confident back on the blacks. I want to be better going slow. I could not do this on the 6*. And skiing with my wife requires much more turning to bleed speed. Does this sound more like the Magfire to you? I have not found an Elan dealer in Maine yet (still looking). Did you get yours in Mass? What recommendation for size. You are on a 168 but have about a half a foot and 10 lbs on me. Easier to tip and carve with something like a 160 vs 168 or is it irrelevant? All I know is that my 175 6* ('03 version) feel longer than the 205 Javelins I skied a few decades ago. Thanks for your thoughts. David
The Magfires could probably carve shorter arcs then the S12s can with less effort due to their sidecut. The S12 is plenty fast in any normal situation though.

I've let my S12s cruise through a couple inches of standard New England wet heavy snow. i.e., you're really skiing on what's underneath. Keep the edges engaged and they'll just plow on through. I think the Magfires allow you to be a bit sloppier in your "deep snow" technique due to their wide-waisted floating abilities. i.e., the S12s will go through just about anything, and the Magfires will go over anything. If you're talking really deep snow, I imagine the Magfires would have a distinct advantage, but as a New England powder day isn't usually a bottom-less affair... *shrug*. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

One thing I've found that I really, really like about Elan's is that they respond beautifully when pushed to speed, but they're perfectly manageable if you need to make some "sloppy" turns occassionally as well. I remember my 5*s let me know that they were not in the least bit happy about skidded / pivoted turns; i.e., they wanted to be on edge and railing at all times, and I don't find the Elan's to be that way at all.

Length? I just know from personal experience that the 165 - 170cm range works for me. If I get much shorter, I find there simply isn't enough tail to catch me should I get bounced around. If I go much longer it seems that I'm just not patient enough with the ski to come around on its own. Whether those are psychological issues on my part or real design issues, etc. (I mean, really, what's the difference in turn radius between a 167 and a 174? Probably not much), but I just always go with 167ish length. Keeps me happy.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by deliberate1
I have not found an Elan dealer in Maine yet (still looking). Did you get yours in Mass?
I know at least two Elan dealers in Maine:

The Ski Depot--Jay, Maine:

http://www.ski-depot.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT

Jack Frost Ski shop in Bethel (Sunday River Access Rd.):
207-824-2519

There may also be others. Both are good shops.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching
The S12, S10, and Magfire 10 are all great skis. It really depends on what you want them to do.

I personally find that the Mag 10 is a great all-mountain carver for people who want something like a Metron B5, but a little more relaxing ride. I find it a bit more powerful and stable than the M11. It is a carver that likes to be up on edge, is very quick, and can run in medium radius turns as well. It is a bit more relaxing in crud than some other skis with alot of sidecut. It is a great "Western" carver for those who spend much of their time on the groomed but don't want to give up float performance for Western-style crud.

For an East Coast ski, the S12/S10's are probably the ticket. The S12 is a superb all-mountain carver. It isn't as wide underfoot as the Mag 10, but it was my everyday ski for a year in 168cm. I used it in crud, powder, and ice, and it never let me down. In 12+" of snow, I wouldn't have minded a bit wider ski, but the S12 was always workable. It is smooth, fairly damp, about as stable an all-mountain ski I have used in that length, quick enough for tight turns but likes big sweepers as well, and fairly forgiving. The S10 is very similiar, but more forgiving and a little softer. It seems to have a speed limit: I could probably run a GS on the S12, but the S10 would be a little squirrley. The S10 is a better bump ski though, and a better choice for somebody who wants a high-performance ski but maybe doesn't ski hard all day.

If you can't find what you are looking for in a 168cm S12, give me a shout. I have a couple of pair of '06's w/bindings for $549. I also have the Mag 10 in stock. I can't help you with the S10, as I sold my last pair. Good luck with whatever you decide!

This is a very good price and Dawgcathching is a great guy who has helped out many of us with ski purchases. If you are squeamish about buying ski through the mail, rest assured that he is from an authorized, well-respected bricks and mortar store in the Pacific Northwest and is very helpful and reliable. If you want to work with a local Maine dealer, the above two are good shops. If you are going mail-order, you really should give dawgcatching a shout.
post #16 of 17
Oh, forgot. I got my Elan's at Ken Jones Ski Mart in Manchester, NH. I know there are Elan dealers in Lincoln, New Hampshire as well.
post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Gents, thanks to you all for your time and suggestions. I am going to see if I can find a pair of S10's locally, and if not, Dawg, you will be hearing from me.
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