The Technical category is devoted to classic carving skis, a genre that remains robust in central Europe and is all but moribund in America. If you keep up with events in this obscure corner of our market, then you’re already aware that the mainstream European brands still take pride in their carving creations. No brand is more wedded to the concept of dual-track, continuous carving than Elan, and it shows in models like the Insomnia.
Elan’s signature – and singular – carving feature is called Amphibio, an asymmetrical baseline that’s fully cambered on the inside edge and modestly rockered on the outside so that the two skis will remain in perfect parallel as they pirouette down the piste. Short-radius turns are a particular specialty, as it’s always easier to coax a long turn out of short-radius sidecut (by reducing the edge angle), than it is to short turn out of long-radius shape without resorting to a partial drift.
The new Wingman 82 Cti from Elan demonstrates the proposition that the best way to imbue a Frontside ski with greater terrain versatility is to begin with an off-trail template. The Wingman series borrows its structure from Elan’s Ripstick collection, which uses twin 3mm carbon rods near the base to lend strength, dampening and rebound to its poplar and Paulownia core. To give the ski more poise on piste, Elan squared up and flattened out the tail and added a band of Titanal to the ski’s mid-section for good measure.
That the Wingman 82 Cti would excel at twin-track carving was foreordained by its TruLine Amphibio design, an Elan staple. Amphibio is the umbrella term for an asymmetric sidecut that puts a longer effective edge on the inside of the ski and a shorter camber zone along the outside edge. In other words, the ski is rockered along the longitudinal axis. This allows the skis to always remain in sync as they roll from one inside edge to the other. TruLine amplifies the Amphibio offset by concentrating more glass over the inside edge so the skier’s force is directed where it’s needed most.