Elan Race Skis 2015-2016

Elan Race Skis 2015-2016

 

Elan Race Mini - SkiReviewer

The Elan Race range for 2015–2016 repeats all the concepts, except one, from the last year -and the year before-. All configurations are the same, the only significant changes are the aesthetics. From this writer´s perspective, in the last season 2014-2015 they improved a lot in that direction since the use of the green colour in season 2013-2014 on the Elan Race models was not sensible but abusive. But here we go again, more green than ever. Last season’s “new” model was the Elan Ripstick Fusion. Despite the novelty, this “new” ski is just the Elan GSX Fusion, but with a different name and different aesthetics. Even the binding system is the same. If they keep following this path I am afraid that their only problem won´t be just the EU´s comission. Link: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-12-984_en.htm

This season´s Elan Race range is as follows:

  • Elan GSX Fusion

  • Elan Ripstick Fusion

  • Elan SLX Fusion

  • Elan SL Fusion

 

All in all, what we get at the end of the day are just two models to choose from. A Giant Slalom-like ski for those who enjoy long turns and a Slalom one for those who prefer to keep on turning once and again. And if we think twice about it, it´s a real pitty since Elan is a brand which is actually building quite a significant amount of skis, up to 8% of the global market and aspires to reach up to 10 %.

Ok, I’ll stop here since what I am saying is not entirely true. You still have four models to choose from. The main difference between the Elan SLX Fusion and the Elan SL Fusion falls into having more or less titanium laminates. There is a general belief that titanium laminates bring more stiffness to the skis, but this is a misconception. What that material does is to soften the skis reactions since metal vibrates in a longer wavelength than the synthetic fibres do. As simple as that. And that can easily be the main reason why you see just one titanium laminate in the SL model instead of the two found in the SLX. And yes, trust me on this one, the SLX is a bit softer than the SL.

The technologies in the Elan Race range are:

Disclaimer: Not all models share the same technologies. This is just a list of all the technologies used in each category. You may find skis that do no use all of them.

 

Laminated Woodcore.

The classic among the classics. One of the oldest methods for building skis and yet still effective and useful in the massive production of modern days. The problem here is, as it happens with almost every single manufacturer, that they do not explain what type of wood they use nor how many laminates, neither how they are disposed. So… yes, laminated woodcore. So what?

This wouldn´t be fair if I didn´t mention one technology dedicated section on Elan’s website where they more or less explain how their ski cores are built. Take a look at it if you wish, but keep in mind you won´t get much out of that.

 

Powerspine

As Elan states in their own website these technologies’ goal is to make their skis faster. And this makes me wonder, if this is true why aren´t other manufacturers copying them? But it’s ok, let´s see what it is. Elan claims to have analysed the force distribution while turning and they´ve found out that “the forces are unevenly distributed among inside and outside parts of the ski.” The solution they´ve come across with is the powerspine. It is a technology built of two different parts: a central spine interior construction which is stronger due to the use of a carbon layer along its entire length, and then some secondary side elements also called Bones in Elan. They are “reinforced elements that go out of the arch construction and follow the ski´s sidecut.” In the picture provided, Elan explains this so you can see they are referring to those lateral marks that appear in the ski similar to gills. However, they don’t explain what are they made of, nor they give any relevant information about it.

Elan Race RST Sidewall Tech - SkiReviewer

© Elan d.o.o.

 

RST Sidewall

This is what Elan says about it: “The vertical sidewalls deliver optimum edge hold tip-to-tail and a direct transfer of power to the edges at high speed”. So they’re saying that they work and they work well. I would say the same if I were them. Obviously I wouldn´t say I do not explain it well, I wouldn´t say they are made of phenol or whatever I´d be using, etc, etc.

 

Dual Ti

Yes, simple. Two titanium layers. What else could it be? A machine gun able to spit out massive amounts of bullets per second?

 

Mono Ti

The same as before but with just one pipe. I mean… just one titanium layer.

This post is also available in Versión en Español.

Albert Valbuena - English (84 Posts)

My name is Albert and I am from Barcelona. I started skiing when I was 10. At the age of 32 I started this project called Ski Reviewer after having been professionally involved into the skiing world since 1999. I started from the bottom but after several years of dedication and hard training I achieved the official Ski Instructor Certification (ISIA certified) in 2006 at ETEVA. From then on I spent several seasons as an instructor as well as a kid's trainer in the local club. I was also a member at the core team in the ski resort for racing and events management. That period ended on 2011 and now on 2014 I've started Ski Reviewer.


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4 comments on “Elan Race Skis 2015-2016

  1. Doug says:

    “There is a general belief that titanium laminates bring more stiffness to the skis, but this is a misconception. What that material does is to soften the skis reactions since metal vibrates in a longer wavelength than the synthetic fibres do.”

    Albert, you are definitely not an engineer. The problem with the internet is that every idiot with a keyboard thinks their misinformed opinion is gospel. Just because some dirtbag ski rep (or a ski company’s website) told you that crap doesn’t make it true. Reps are trying to sell skis and like most salespeople they are happy to say anything they believe will make a sale. The world runs on bullshit and if you aren’t capable of separating truth from bullshit I suggest you keep your keyboard shut.

    • Albert says:

      I have my own background and sources to state things. Don’t judge people so lightly, so fast, Cowboy.
      Anyone knows a board (a thin one like a ski core) will vibrate when pressed / bent and suddenly released. Fiber adds rebound. Epoxy aids it, obviously. Putting some other material on the mix which doesn’t vibrate so heavily such as a metal layer will definitely soften that rebound effect. This adds stability and the ski is not bouncing around at high speed / high pressure. This is what happens and this is what I said. If I haven’t been clear enough I am sorry, this is the best I can do to explain things.

      If you have a deeper and better foundations on ski construction this is your opportunity to explain your points. I strongly recommend you to do so and to do it using a higher degree of politeness. Adults give their points of view giving facts, supported on ideas, with the will to explain their views. I appreciate you effort to convince me and anyone reading this post about something different on what I said. But unless you give some facts, use better language, your point is just a rant.

      I warn you not to repeat language such as “keep your keyboard shut”. Next time you won’t post anything. This kind of language is completely forbidden on this site.

  2. Blair says:

    You have provided me info about the ski Albert but have you actually skied on it? One of the pair of skis I own are a pair of 2014 Ripstick Fusion (182 cm) and personally I think they are a great “in-resort” ski if one wants to make big GS type turns…I used to race many years ago and live in the Northeast part of North America….conditions here can often be mostly man made snow or hard and icy…for these type of conditions the ski is great if one wants a turn radius of almost 20 meters…the issue I have with a lot of your commentary has to do with the aesthetics of the ski…what the heck has that really got to do with anything except your own personal taste???

    Your analysis told me little more than Elan’s website. If you are going to review a ski than I would expect you to have skied on it and able to offer me more input than a technical summary taken straight from the manufacturer’s website…to be critical of Elan’s website info and the lack of complete technical info on that website does nothing to assist me in the evaluation of the ski…from your analysis all I can conclude is that you don’t like green skis???

    What I can tell you from my experience of skiing on them for the past two seasons is that they will absolutely rail on man made or hard and icy conditions…I never found the ski to vibrate or wash out at all if pressured correctly but keep in mind the ski I was on was 182 cm with a turn radius of 19.8 meters…long by today’s standards. I strongly suspect the reason for this was two layers of metal plus the carbon fiber inserts along the inside edges of the skis…I also found the ski to be not a difficult ski to initiate and have had no trouble skiing on them all day unlike many recreational race skis. That all being said this ski is like most other skis…limited in it’s application. It is definitely not a ski for all purposes or conditions. You are correct that the Ripstick Fusion is the GSX Fusion with simply a different top sheet…which is why the ski has been dropped from Elan’s line up for 2016/2017. If you want this ski then buy the GSX…the dimensions remain identical.

    If you like to go fast and rail big GS type turns on the groomers then this ski should be one to consider.

    • Carles Goodvalley says:

      Hi Blair,

      Albert and I are very busy making a new ski site that wil be launched next December (please stay tuned), so he won’t be available to answer your comment for a few days. I mean, really busy. I can tell you two things: you are commenting a generic article about Elan’s Race range. As with the other generic articles about entire ranges, here he’s trying to give an overall comment on the concepts and technologies that the brand says they’re offering in that range. More often than not, brands try to decorate everything with bombastic names and words that explain nothing or worse, hide important details behind those marketing lines. Think of it as a translation of what the brand says. There is so little information on what materials and designs actually do -or don’t do- that we felt compelled to give some detail on that, when that’s possible. Notice that we depend entirely on what the brand wants to disclose, nothing more. The only thing -for now- that we can do is explain if the materials and design actually do what the brand claims. In fact, on that piece you can read that there is a lack of real, factual information on the types of wood, laminates, layout, etc. from Elan.
      Having said that, I was there when Albert tried those skis. Not the Ripstick model, I think. That’s why you don’t have a proper review of that model, yet. And there were a couple of reps from Elan who were trained to repeat the magic words from the brochure but couldn’t answer any serious technical question. So yes, he has actually skied on them (the reviewed ones). I don’t know what he will tell you because I’m by no means a proper skier, but I suspect that he won’t discuss colors.
      Bear in mind, what really matters is what you the readers have to say about your own experience on any pair of skis. You say you raced some years ago, that means you have technique and experience. And you also know that, when skiing, every place is different, every day and snow conditions are different, every skier is different in terms of skills, experience and taste. In a modern world where every brand is able to make wonderful pieces of technical design for different purposes but the variables in the usage are so unique each time, it is very difficult to establish what the skier is supposed to feel. Personally I like your comments on your own experience. Even if Albert may or may not exactly agree with you, this is the main reason for this website to exist: to give honest reviews about skis that we’ve actually tested and to receive good reviews from other skiers like you.

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