2020 Elan Wingman 82 CTI

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.

Testers

Benny Wax

Age: 68Height: 5'6"Weight: 190 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth and creamy, lots of turns

David Wolfgang

Age: 67Height: 6'3"Weight: 230 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong, deliberate, and smooth

Mike Aidala

Age: 42Height: 5'9"Weight: 167 lbs.

Ski Style: As fast as the terrain allows

Michael Rooney

Age: 72Height: 6'0"Weight: 155 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and precise with a racing background

7 Comments on the “2020 Elan Wingman 82 CTI”

  1. II ski the Ripstick 106, favorite ski, looking for a crud buster,and carver on hard pack. How do I chose between Wingman 86 cti, 86 ti, 82 cti and 82 ti ?? 65 years, 200 lbs. black diamond. Thanks David

    1. Great question, David!
      I was pretty blown away with the 86 CTI and it’s need to go really, really fast. The Ti version of that width is a little more user-friendly, without the snap of the carbon that the CTI creates. Same can be said about the 82’s just with more torsional stiffness to boot. I’d look to one of the 86’s for crud purposes, and it’s quite an adept carver, even with an 82 on your list. Between the CTI and Ti, the Ti seems more user-friendly for every day use, with more of a medium-range for speed versus the full-on CTI. Have fun!
      SE

  2. Based on your reviews, looking at the Atomic Vantage 82 Ti, the Blizzard Brahma 82 and Elan Wingman 82 Ti. Want a good all mountain East Coast ski. Have a wider ski for out West. I’ll be 70 this season and weigh 143 lbs. and am a PSIA Level II Alpine instructor. I like all turn shapes but generally make short or medium radius carved turns. Never really go out at max speed (i.e., racing top to bottom). Want a playful fun ski. So, is there a noticeable difference between these three skis?
    Also what size? Usually ski a 163 (but with different size rockers).
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Steve!
      Not a huge difference. I’d say the Vantage and the Wingman are on the lighter side (without the system binding) versus the Brahma. If you’re looking for lighter, but still strong, I think the Atomic is a really good choice. The Brahma is just very dense, and does require a bit more speed to get it to perform properly. The Wingman is probably the most like a race ski on this list, which doesn’t really sound like what you’re looking for. Again, these are pretty minute differences in the grand scheme, but I think the Atomic has the weight and performance level that you’re looking for. That comes in either a 159 or a 167. Not a lot of rocker to change how it feels, so you’re kind of right in the middle there! For shorter turns and mellower speeds, I’d go 159, but for longer turns and higher speeds, 167. Have fun!
      SE

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