Individual Review Long-Term Review: 2020 Elan Wingman 82 CTi

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Tony S

Tony S

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the whole "only one edge" thing gets me. Seems harder to tune -- especially if you are giving your skis to someone else -- and not so flexible in use (you have to remember which ski is which and there's no way to switch out to alternate wear on the inside edges).
Yes. Completely agree. I'm taking a (not very precisely) calculated risk with that, only because "feel how" overrode "know how." So we'll see.

P.S.: Hit a bunch of large sharp gravel on them yesterday, worse than anything I hit all last season. Even at Big Sky. Of course I did. I have new skis.
 

ScottB

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I tried an older version of the Amphibio ski a number of years ago. I didn't think the difference when you switched skis left to right was that drastic. It depended on the snow conditions quite a bit. Harder snow brought out more of a difference. In softer snow, I liked using them wrong sided, they were easier to pivot a turn. It was kind of like having another knob to turn to adjust the TV reception. Present day skis maybe different than what I was on. I would prefer two edges to "dull up" during the day, but it wouldn't scare me away if I liked the ski.
 
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Been out on these a few more times and wanted to post an update.

On one occasion I busted out the Wingman for some free skiing after a nighttime beer league race. Conditions were classic New England boilerplate. Did they glom onto the shiny stuff like my GS skis? Well, no. At least, they didn't do it with the same reassuring composure. That would be an unreasonable expectation, though. After after a run to adjust to the lighter feel, they were still a blast, and the edge grip was excellent. I could easily have gotten back on the race boards, still sitting in the racks at the base, but I chose not to.

This past Sunday I was at Sugarloaf. It was a cold bluebird day. Skied a wide variety of runs including some groomers in very good shape, firm challenging bumps with ice patches and non-snow materials evident, smaller bumps with a nice sugary coating, some glades with even more non-snow materials, and even a couple of steep pitches with something resembling an inch or two of soft chalk. In all these situations the Wingman was totally at home. They're not the very easiest skis in deep moguls, having an essentially non-tapered tip, a good amount of hookup, and a pretty square tail. Also, they're longer than I would buy for a dedicated bump ski. Nevertheless with disciplined technique they are fine. In the easier, softer bumps they are just a total hoppy hoot, surfing around like some kind of demented dolphin pup. They love to get little airs and set you down right where you need to be. On the groomed they continue to impress with a long-soft-slalom personality that I happen to love. Stability on high edge is superb.

I could totally ski this in a 166 or whatever it is and be happy - MORE happy in moguls, probably. But cruising around on the longer ski, getting that additional stability while still being able to rip off very short turns at will represents a huge performance envelope. It's been a while since I owned a pair of skis that I had this level of confidence in, under so many circumstances. If you get a chance to demo a pair of these, do it!
 

Philpug

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On the last day of industry demos it is not uncommon to see product manages on other brands skis. I was actually taking a run with one competing brands product manager on some Wingman 86Cti, the girthier brother to the 82Cti. I will not use his exact words but I will say he was pretty darn impressed with the Amphibio design and specifically the construction of the Wingman. Needless to say Elan needs to keep doing what they are doing.
 
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Tony S

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I guess, based on my comments above, that I should add a second ...

... Insider Tip: Don't sweat the length. Having tried two sizes in this ski, I could actually see being okay with any of THREE lengths, depending on use case.
 
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