Pugski Ski Tester
- Nov 1, 2015
- Reno, eNVy
More than a few testers and readers have demoed these new halo skis from Elan’s Wingman collection and returned very impressed. I was wondering how to do Cage Matches with them, which skis I wanted them to go against and which skis people would be comparing them against, and then it hit me: these Wingman skis are just 4 mm different in width, so let's start with a sibling rivalry Cage Match.
With this all-new collection, Elan is sticking with its tried-and-true assymetric Amphibio technology; this means more camber and structural material over the inside edge, which creates control, and less over the outer edge, which allows for easier turn initiation. You really don’t know how well this works until you get on another ski and think, “Boy, those Elans sure were easy to turn."
In bootfitting, we say a millimeter is a mile when it comes to shell fit; there is some truth to that in ski dimensions, as well. The differences between these siblings might not seem that dramatic, but they are significant. A 4mm variance in waist width is more of a red herring, because the tip dimensions are what really tell the story here. Yes, the 82 CTi is more reactive laterally, but that has more to do with the fact that its tip is only 1 mm narrower than that of the 86 CTi. This gives the narrower sibling a quicker turn in; its published turn radius of 15.5 m actually feels more than a meter smaller than the 86 CTi’s 16.5m radius.
When combined with Elan’s Amphibio design, all these characteristics put these two in their own class of fun and playfulness but not at a loss of power. So, as with any Cage Match (let alone a sibling rivalry), how do you choose?
- Why choose the Wingman 82 CTi? Like the band the Byrds, you want an all-mountain ski that wants to turn turn turn. The narrower-waisted 82 CTI just wants to play. These are 60/40 on-piste skis.
- Why choose the Wingman 86 CTi? You are the skier that looks way down the trail. You want to open it up and let the the horses run. You want more of a GS turn yet the width to hit the crud. These are 70/30 off piste.
- Insider tip 1: Both of these are available either flat or with a system binding, Elan’s EMX 12 GW Fusion.
- Insider tip 2: Both of these models have Ti options without carbon, so why choose one of these? The Ti versions are for a skier who is happy with where they are and solid in their skillset; the CTis have more upside for the skier you aspire to be.