Last year we called out Elan for making solid wood-core skis and one of the best performing park skis of 2007. It was good stuff and the company has built upon that foundation for 2008 with a revamped line-up of big-mountain skis (although, sadly discontinuing the park ski we loved). Elan is still figuring out how to position the brand in North America, and has signed athletes Glen Plake and Brad Holmes to help position the brand. We were not able to test all of Elan’s skis this year, so some of the reviews are based on specs.
1111 Quad One
MSRP: $1,000 Stoke: N/A
This is a pow ski and the performance of these wood-core beasts suffers in all but the deep stuff due to the size of the ski’s footprint. That being said, you can’t go wrong on a two-foot day with something this size. Unfortunately, we didn’t get two feet of snow on the day we tested them. Maybe next year.
Length: 163, 174, 185. 193
MSRP: $850 Stoke: 7
The 999 is a bit of a throwback, with less sidecut than most skis. It’s a true straight runner that can charge hard all day. Because of the shape, this wood-core offering from Elan gives back what you put into it. “Do the work and the ski will take you for a very stable ride,” reports one tester. “I’d recommend it to anyone,” adds another. Definitely the cream of the Elan crop for 2008.
Length: 159, 168, 177, 186
MSRP: $800 Stoke: 5.5
The wood-core, sandwich-construction 888 is a “versatile” offering that “can handle wind-packed powder, bumps and groomers with no problems.” The shorter lengths seemed to impress testers the most, with several athletes complaining about the ski being “sluggish when trying to turn fast” in the longer lengths. Our take? Aggressive big mountain skiers would be better off checking out the 999.
The Zen Master
Length: 165, 175, 185
Dimensions: 122-91-112 @ 175
MSRP: $600 Stoke: N/A
The Zen Master was a participant in our park test, but we’re wondering if it wouldn’t have been more at home at Solitude. “It does not turn well at low speed, so it would be best used at high speeds on the big mountain,” said a tester. “They would be okay for backcountry jumps.”
Length: 155, 165, 175, 185
Dimensions: 118-78-106 @ 175
MSRP: $495 Stoke: N/A
We were not able to give The Revert a test this year. This ski has been reinforced with Elan’s new Rail Edge Technology designed to help you lock onto a rail easier by providing more control and protect the edges and bases from rail-induced damage. The RET provides a reinforcement strip of harder base in the center of the ski.
Length: 135, 145, 160, 170, 180
Dimensions: 110-78-100 @ 170
MSRP: $450 Stoke: N/A
The Code is another ski we were not able to ride at the park test. Elan’s Sidewall Construction features a wood core from tip to tail and an ABS sidewall construction that gives the ski a softer flex pattern, more conducive to riding park. We’re hoping to give these guys a fair shake in the near future.
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