SEASON 2014-2015 UPDATE:
For this next season 2014-2015, the Elan Amphibio 14 Fusion has not changed much. Basically the ski comes from the same mold and it features the same technologies from the past season, such as the Amphibio profile, the Waveflex, the RST Sidewall, the Force Woodcore and the addition of a double titanal layer.
The only visible change is that next year’s Elan Amphibio 14 Fusion has turned black. It was a white ski, which is rather a silly idea. Now it looks more like what this ski is all about. Finally, form meets function. The design pattern is still the same and now it looks great.
As of performance on the snow, everything explained on the following article for the 2013-2014 season’s model applies for this upcoming winter. Here’s the review, enjoy…
The Elan Amphibio 14 Fusion sits on top of Elan’s Amphibio range. These models correspond to what is known as the All Mountain / All Round category.
The manufacturer’s description of this ski focuses on three ideas: the perfect turn. The combination of traditional camber with the new rocker technology (the reason why is named Amphibio). And finally, the design team’s name: “Porsche Design Studio”.
About the first idea, what can I say? This is the ambition of every skier. The Holy Grail. Something that does not exist and is utterly stupid if you look at it from a rational point of view. But at the same time, it is the main motivation to a majority of skiers every time they get on their skis.
About the second point, I can say little or nothing. To notice some variation I should test an identical structured ski, same size but without the rocker. And see from that point.
Talking about the third highlight, I’d better be cautious relating my name to Porsche’s. Porsche is related to the automobile industry for obvious reasons. Its name reminds us brilliant concepts such as sportiness, luxury and quality. But Porsche also had its own kind of difficulties and drawbacks for a time. The design of the 911 model was based on a mistaken starting point. The engine was mounted in the wrong place and the cooling system was far from being ideal. Those issues have been overcome through the decades after a titanic effort as well as the evolution of the whole car manufacturing industry, and not only by Porsche alone.
Luckily, nothing of the matters mentioned above has anything to do with the Elan Amphibio 14 Fusion. All-rounder? Without the shadow of a doubt. It is a well balanced ski with a progressive response through the turn. It has a good behavior in all kind of terrains, although this penalizes a bit because “good” is not always “very good”. In the short turns, it is far away from a true SL ski. It is not bad in the bumps, but it feels a bit stiff to bend. At high speed is where it responds better. But with a tendency to round the turn. It stands out you cannot ask for blood from a rock.
Aesthetically, a white or white-ish ski doesn’t make any sense at all. This point will be proven the day we lose it while skiing out of the trails due to an unexpected fall. The worry and anxiety will be bigger and longer than desirable. The positive aspects are the front (plastic) and tail (hard rubber) protections, which avoid small breaks and scratches while leaning on the floor transporting them, going through the lift’s entrance, etc.
I haven’t tested it in deep snow, but with enough amount it can be an All-round ski for everything and a proper choice as an only pair. If we choose the short length, tight and medium turns will be easier, but the loss is in the off-piste aspect. On the other hand, if we take the long size we will gain polyvalence of use because we will ski more comfortable out of groomed terrain and will gain stability in medium and long radius. The only drawback will be in the short clean cut turns. But bearing in mind the benefits, it’s a no brainer.
In general, the Elan Amphibio 14 Fusion feels a bit hard to bend, but just a bit. Even in hand, you can feel this when trying to push it down. However, we will be greatful for this while skiing, specially at high speeds. Attacking a bump is a bit more demanding, but it isn’t uncomfortable or uneasy. When short turning, it is quite difficult to chain all turns leaving a sharp and continuous cut in the snow. We would probably end up enlarging the radius or being launched upwards like a rocket because of the ski’s reaction. This is a model that, when pushed hard enough, it can launch you away quite strongly.
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