Philpug

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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.
 

eok

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I've been looking at retiring my old Kastle LX92s with something - in the 88-92mm width range - that has a generous sweet spot, does crud & cut-up well, can carve well but is fairly playfull (not locked-in turns) and is forgiving enough so I can relax if I want.

The Wingman 86 CTi, Ripstick 86, Evolve 90 and Mindbender 90 ti are on my list. II haven't demoed any of these (yet).
 

Tony S

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I've been looking at retiring my old Kastle LX92s with something - in the 88-92mm width range - that has a generous sweet spot, does crud & cut-up well, can carve well but is fairly playfull (not locked-in turns) and is forgiving enough so I can relax if I want.

The Wingman 86 CTi, Ripstick 86, Evolve 90 and Mindbender 90 ti are on my list. II haven't demoed any of these (yet).
I owned the LX92 for a while. I've skied the Evolv 90 and the Wingman 82 cti (and the 88mm sister to the Mindbender). Questions?

The Evolv 90 is the closest to the LX IMO. But better. (The LX 92 really needed a bit of tip rise.) The Wingman 82 is magical (for me), but not really comparable.
 

eok

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I owned the LX92 for a while. I've skied the Evolv 90 and the Wingman 82 cti (and the 88mm sister to the Mindbender). Questions?

The Evolv 90 is the closest to the LX IMO. But better. (The LX 92 really needed a bit of tip rise.) The Wingman 82 is magical (for me), but not really comparable.
I probably should have added the Kore 93 to the list. I was really tempted to get a set last season, but didn't. These newer all-mountain mid-fats from Elan & Liberty have got my attention now.

Quoting from my OP: I'm looking for "88-92mm width range - that has a generous sweet spot, does crud & cut-up well, can carve well but is fairly playfull (not locked-in turns) and is forgiving enough so I can relax if I want".

Emphasis on the ability for the ski to handle crud & cut-up well. I believe the Evolv90, Wingman 86 CTi and Kore 93 have those qualities. Not sure about the Mindbender 90ti or Ripstick 86. However, I'm not particularly looking for a super light ski. Thoughts?
 

Tony S

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I probably should have added the Kore 93 to the list. I was really tempted to get a set last season, but didn't. These newer all-mountain mid-fats from Elan & Liberty have got my attention now.

Quoting from my OP: I'm looking for "88-92mm width range - that has a generous sweet spot, does crud & cut-up well, can carve well but is fairly playfull (not locked-in turns) and is forgiving enough so I can relax if I want".

Emphasis on the ability for the ski to handle crud & cut-up well. I believe the Evolv90, Wingman 86 CTi and Kore 93 have those qualities. Not sure about the Mindbender 90ti or Ripstick 86. However, I'm not particularly looking for a super light ski. Thoughts?
Yeah, the Kore 93 is nice, too. I haven't skied any of these except the LX in proper crud. Sorry. Where do you ski? Height and weight?
 

eok

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PNW (Mt Bachelor). 5'10 178lb. 60+.

Experienced skier. Although, nowadays, I'd rate myself as "advanced 80/20" as I ski the groomed mostly.

Presently, I also have carving skis (Rally & Titan) and easy-peezy all-mountain skis (Rictor 82 xti). I pull the LX92s out for soft days (fresh or fairly new snow) or for soft spring conditions. I typically choose ski lengths in the 170-180cm range, depending on the use case & ski.

For me, the LX92s were a binary "on/off" ski. In the right conditions and with the right skiing adjustments, the skis are good. It took me a season to figure out they really really preferred being in the fall line and hated "C" turns. In any case, turn initiation with them has always seemed somewhat tuned down - at least for me.
 

no edge

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Phil, this is a great review, (comparison). Sounds like an exceptional ski or skis, made for the east coast.

If one were to go with metal, could you expect that the ski would still be nimble? From the description, they are both playful in nature and that's an attractive characteristic. But I like a little metal.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Phil, this is a great review, (comparison). Sounds like an exceptional ski or skis, made for the east coast.

If one were to go with metal, could you expect that the ski would still be nimble? From the description, they are both playful in nature and that's an attractive characteristic. But I like a little metal.
Even with the metal, these are extremy playful and nimbe skis.
 

no edge

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They sound from your description... delightful. I love my iTitans, but you need to be fully engaged and ready to rock to get the benefits. The Elan's would seem way more versatile.

With this type of ski a competent tuner would be a must.
 

Bad Bob

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Thinking about something turnie for the season for those days when going out in the woods is a bad idea. The 82TI sounds really interesting.

Kind of an inquiring minds question; somebody had to try this. Especially with the TI, what happens if you switch left ski to right? If they are are beefyer does it make them like a different pair of skis? Not a game breader, just a question. This trick was tried by somebody in the 70's but it didn't work out too well. Time and materials have changed maybe it will work now.
 
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Thinking about something turnie for the season for those days when going out in the woods is a bad idea. The 82TI sounds really interesting.

Kind of an inquiring minds question; somebody had to try this. Especially with the TI, what happens if you switch left ski to right? If they are are beefyer does it make them like a different pair of skis? Not a game breader, just a question. This trick was tried by somebody in the 70's but it didn't work out too well. Time and materials have changed maybe it will work now.
Are you thinking about the old Dynastar HX/HZ skis from the late 80's? they had a different sidewall for the inside edge and the outside edge. Then Dynastar tried again in the 90's with the ID skis that had a different construction for the inside edge.

I didn't swapping left and right skis with the Wingmans but I did with the previous generation of Amphibio's. They made the skis a little "greasy" in edge hold and a little hooky in turn initiation...kinda like a bad tune.
 

Tony S

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Phil, this is a great review, (comparison). Sounds like an exceptional ski or skis, made for the east coast.

If one were to go with metal, could you expect that the ski would still be nimble? From the description, they are both playful in nature and that's an attractive characteristic. But I like a little metal.
@eok , I owe you a note but just haven't gotten to it yet.

@Bad Bob, @no edge , Everyone: I think there might be some confusion around the Wingman "ti" vs. the "cti". For most ski makers, the "ti" designation would indicate the beefier version of the ski - i.e., the one with metal. For this ski, it's the opposite. The "ti" is the intermediate-level ski and the "cti" is the beefier one. BOTH have metal. Most importantly, the cti is not at all beefy. I have not been on the plain ti, but as a 140 lb person in his 50s with thighs that are very much not of steel, I found the cti extremely compliant. My experience on the 82 suggests that the "ti" version is probably for truly small and/or low-skilled pilots. In short, stick with the cti.
 

Tony S

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I also have carving skis (Rally & Titan) and easy-peezy all-mountain skis (Rictor 82 xti). I pull the LX92s out for soft days (fresh or fairly new snow) or for soft spring conditions. I typically choose ski lengths in the 170-180cm range, depending on the use case & ski.

For me, the LX92s were a binary "on/off" ski. In the right conditions and with the right skiing adjustments, the skis are good. It took me a season to figure out they really really preferred being in the fall line and hated "C" turns. In any case, turn initiation with them has always seemed somewhat tuned down - at least for me.
Well since you already have groomer oriented skis in the low 80mm range, seems to me that you would do well to lean toward more of a truly off-piste oriented ski as a complement. To me that means something in the 90 - 100 range with more rise and tip taper. The Kore 93 is one candidate. If you're interested in Elan, maybe the Ripstick 96 rather than the Wingman. Lots of good skis in this niche.

BTW I agree about the LX 92. I loved it in a narrow range of conditions, but ultimately it was a solution in search of a problem, at least for my style and preferences.
 
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ski otter 2

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@Tony S, you may not have tried the 86, but from the 82 and watching others, you probably have a good idea: are they really different, the 82 from the 86? (I'm wondering if that could be so in a good way for the 82, at least for some.)
 

Tony S

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@Tony S, you may not have tried the 86, but from the 82 and watching others, you probably have a good idea: are they really different, the 82 from the 86? (I'm wondering if that could be so in a good way for the 82, at least for some.)
No idea. Phil tried them both, though. He has notes here somewhere.
 
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Philpug

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@Tony S, you may not have tried the 86, but from the 82 and watching others, you probably have a good idea: are they really different, the 82 from the 86? (I'm wondering if that could be so in a good way for the 82, at least for some.)
Did you read the original post? ;) The main difference is not so much the 82 to 86mm waist but the 1mm difference in the tip making the 82 a quicker, more nimble ski.
 
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