Me: 5'9", 165 lbs, 41 yo, average 40 days yearly at Vail
skill: never as good as I want to be
I've been skiing the Elan Apex exclusively for the past 5 days in Vail. Conditions have generally been good, although I've seen everything but boilerplate including 5-6" of fresh, crud, frozen coral, firm, etc....I try to spend my time mostly off-piste but am happy as a clam ripping high speed groomers.
I bought this ski 2 weeks ago from Dawgcatching, without the benefit of a demo. My goal was to replace my daily driver of the past 3 seasons, a 178 Mythic Rider. I was looking for something with comparable power and dampness but quicker, a bit less demanding and with more float.
Apex is my kind of ski - in terms of overall weight, it's fairly light but on snow it's very smooth and reasonably damp. The tip is a bit softer than the rest of the ski and turn initiation is quick and predictable with a nice sized sweet spot and a tail that releases easily. I can muscle quick turns, but the ski prefers medium-long GS style arcs at medium to high speed. I wouldn't rate it high in terms of rebound energy - the flex feels pretty even throughout the midbody and tail which gives it a silky snow-hugging feel. I value that predictability in the crud and cut-up snow. Compared to the Mythic, Apex is quicker edge to edge and allows for a greater variety of turn shapes.
With it's wide relatively soft tip and 88mm underfoot Apex performed very well in today's fresh 6". It definitely floats a lot better than my Mythics and is close - but not quite as good - in the crud and mixed snow.
I have a set of Kastle MX78s and would compare the Apex favorably to that ski in terms of dampness and predictability. The wider Apex fares much better off-piste and is overall just a bit less demanding, but not as exciting on the groomed - which is to be expected from a ski with 10mm more width.
Overall, this is a superb daily driver for my tastes. Aside from icy hard or epic powder extremes, I can't imagine a day where I'd regret taking this ski out for a drive. The big mag reviews on this ski were "OK", but I think it's a winner and definitely merits consideration as a mid-fat daily driver.
Thanks to Dawg for the great advice and service! The prep was superb and they were ready to fly right out of the box.