The Elan Wingman collection is new for the 2020 ski season and blends all-mountain versatility with frontside prowess. Elan’s construction and design are unique. They use 3-dimensional carbon rods through a wood core with some supporting titanal. Materials are placed asymmetrically, which supports their Amphibio asymmetrical shape with more rocker along the outside edge and camber along the inside edge. The idea is to give the ski tremendous edge grip, but easier turn initiation when linking turns. There’s less early taper and rocker in these skis compared to the wider Ripstick models, which enhances edge grip and responsiveness on firm snow. This Wingman 82 CTI is packed full of technology and sets itself apart from the low-80 mm frontside category with its unique design and construction.
David Wolfgang skied the 178 cm length and was impressed by the intuitive feel and confidence-inspiring nature of the Wingman 82 CTI. “This ski really gave you the impression you had someone looking out for you.” The construction in these skis is supportive and stable, but also results in a ski that’s a little lighter on your feet than a lot of skis in this width range and category. That combination results in a very comfortable feel, yet the ski performs at a high level as well. “Handled firm corduroy quietly and confidently. Carved hardpack with precision while instilling confidence.” An advanced intermediate skier will really like the feel of the Wingman 82 CTI. It’s not overly demanding, but has a high-performance ceiling so you can keep improving and the ski will perform admirably. On the other hand, experts will appreciate its smooth feel when linking turns, and will be hard-pressed to push it past its limits.
Michael Rooney also tested the 178 cm length and really liked the energy and overall feel of the Wingman 82 CTI. Elan’s carbon application in their ski construction is quite impressive as it retains the energy and responsiveness we’ve come to expect from carbon, but provides a smoother feel with better vibration damping than we’re used to out of skis with carbon. “The Wingman 82 CTI responds all the way through the turn. It is a good ski for an intermediate skier who likes groomers. An advanced skier sill really enjoys this ski too because of the snap and energy out of a carving turn.” Michael is suggesting the Wingman 82 CTI will act accordingly based on your ability level and how aggressive you are. It will cruise and make easy turns, but if you give it some gas it will respond quickly and energetically.
Mike Aidala skied the 178 cm Wingman 82 CTI as well and did find that it had somewhat of a speed limit, but only at really high speeds. He still thought it felt “very responsive and stable” and gave it a 5 out of 5 score for quickness/maneuverability. He thought it would be a great choice for a high-performance skier who values precision, responsiveness, and a quick edge to edge feel over raw power and stability.
Benny Wax opted for the 172 cm length and thought the Wingman 82 CTI was “a fun ski with easy turn initiation.” That Amphibio profile and the asymmetrical application of materials really does work. It gives the ski a tremendous feel when linking turns. It’s easy, it’s smooth, and it’s precise. Benny thought it was “quite a nice ride on softer groomers.” A narrower, stiffer ski may handle really icy terrain better, but the Wingman 82 CTI feels great on most snow conditions.
If you spend most of your time on groomers and want a ski that performs at a high level, but is more forgiving and less demanding than a lot of the stiff, heavy skis in this category, the Wingman 82 CTI is a great choice. It’s really satisfying to ski and works well for a wide range of ability levels, which is something that manufacturers have a tough time achieving in the narrow all-mountain/wide frontside category.