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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, simple. Two titanium layers. What else could it be? A machine gun able to spit out massive amounts of bullets per second?
The same as before but with just one pipe. I mean… just one titanium layer.
This post is also available in Versión en Español.