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For years, we’ve been wondering if Elan was going to enter the twin tip world, and in 2024 we get our answer and wish with the Playmaker 101. These new skis are a fantastic example of how a company can take some existing technology and construction techniques, and then add a new twist to the mix to create something new and supremely fun. Playmaker gets two models for 2024, the 91 and this 101. As the wider of the two, there’s more freeride potential and slightly less park acumen. This doesn’t mean that you should cancel your freestyle plans, rather, the ski simply excels in a more modern freeride format. The fact that it’s a twin tip just gives it more versatility for when the park opportunities present themselves. At this width, and with this build, Elan is providing a large range of applications here with the new Playmaker 101, and since the shape and weight make the ski amenable to a lot of different conditions and terrain, we’re looking at a great addition to the freestyle and freeride ski world.

The primary borrowed feature in terms of construction is the tubelite wood core that we’ve seen and loved in the Ripstick line for years. This light and energetic core is a great place to start for a ski like this. Instead of full-length carbon rods, we get them underfoot along the edges, providing good edge grip, strong stiffness in the middle, and fantastic energy. The lack of carbon in the forebody and through the tail of the ski makes it more flexible and amenable to both softer snow and freestyle prowess. By using a 360-degree sidewall construction with a partial cap on top, they keep the grip while enhancing the flotation and quickness. The trapezoidal shape of the capped portion gives the ski more leverage and power underfoot, and since it tapers to a thinner profile towards the ends of the skis, the flotation and maneuverability are both increased. This ends up generating their dual float technology, which is a huge part of the overall feel of the ski. In the 180, the ski weighs 1760 grams, so it’s on the light side while still containing most of the mass in the mid-zone of the ski.

164, 172, 180, 188 cm18.1 m at 180 cm132/101/122 mm

Preferred Terrain
Tubelite Wood Core
Surf Rocker

At 101 mm underfoot, the Playmaker is highly useful in softer snow, while also retaining some good qualities for more on-trail skiing and carving performance. Conversely, you can keep it in the park or the woods and it functions very well in those zones, especially on the feet of more advanced and skilled skiers. The tips and tails are highly maneuverable, both thanks to the build as well as the rocker. Elan is calling it their Surf Rocker profile, and it is on the symmetrical side, offering relatively similar bends on both ends. This gives the ski a nice directional feel while remaining playful and park-appropriate at the same time. The splay isn’t too dramatic, falling more on the low-profile side of the spectrum for low spin weight and minimal drag. In terms of turn shape, the radius is somewhat on the longer side, generating an 18.1-meter arc in the180 cm length. Given the weight and playfulness, skiers are able to break free from, as well as adhere to, the stated radius. Like most of Elan skis, these work great at higher edge angles in a carved turn. The flex allows you to access the entirety of the sidecut, but if you jam on the ski and try to shorten it up in firmer snow, you’ll get a bit of negative feedback. They like to roll and love to smear.

We’re pretty stoked to see new twin tip skis of any type, and are especially excited about Elan’s new twins. Playmaker brings a new skier into the Elan fold—one that falls more to the freeride and freestyle side of the spectrum. While Ripstick has been the bread and butter of Elan’s all-mountain and freeride division for a few years now, Playmaker appeals to a younger and more creative skier—one that will love the blend of light weight, high tech, and playful character.