Wingman is a new series from Elan that’s a hybrid of the Slovenian brand’s Frontside Amphibio collection and its off-trail Ripstick series. This formula makes the Wingman 86 CTi behave like a carving ski with a penchant for off-piste forays. It owes its hallmark tenacious edge grip – stunningly evident in all conditions – to a variety of interrelated factors. First, its relatively deep sidecut (16.5m @ 178cm) combines with its asymmetric shape to create early edge contact that never lets go. Second, the rearbody and tail are also biased to the inside edge, so instead of whimping out at turn finish as so many rockered tails do, this Wingman drives through the arc on a solid platform. Third, Elan loads up the inside edge with more material so force concentrates there, improving stability. Finally, a brace of end-to-end carbon rods work in harmony with a sheet of Titanal to suck up shock and convert it into rebound energy that keeps the Wingman motoring even when the snow gets clumpy.
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