New Skis For An Old Guy

Tony S

I have a confusion to make ...
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I took a flyer and ordered a pair of 178 Elan Wingman 82 CTi skis. I hope to have a chance to use them this week - we are expecting heavy snow today and Tueaday. Wednesday is the likely day to get out and give them a ride. I'll report back.
Let's hear it. ("Heavy snow" is not their wheelhouse, but whatever. Predict you will like them a lot.)
 
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CO Dreaming

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I got a chance to try out the new Wingman skis today at Cannon Mountain. It wasn’t much of a day. Skiing with my wife and near zero visibility at about 500’ above the base lodge kept me on the lower trails that were not a proper workout for these skis. Nevertheless, I was able push them a bit and explore their abilities.

A few things are obvious: The skis are super quick turning and love to make fast linked turns. They seem to hold an edge on hard pack nicely, but honestly, there wasn’t much of that around today. And, they do make a funny sound as another reviewer noted. This in most noticed on corduroy snow at lower speed. The noise is hollow sounding and is the noise you would expect from a ski that was made out of bakelite plastic (I’m pretty sure there is none of that in them). This is not a big deal, of course, but it is unusual. Some reviewers have called these skis "playful". I think that is a very apt description. They are just plain fun to carve on. The question will be, how much fun are they when the trail goes from easy to scary? It they are still fun there, I picked the right ski.

I’ll report back when I’ve given the skis a better thrashing.
 

Jelder

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I took a flyer and ordered a pair of 178 Elan Wingman 82 CTi skis. I hope to have a chance to use them this week - we are expecting heavy snow today and Tueaday. Wednesday is the likely day to get out and give them a ride. I'll report back.

I'm pretty close to your dimensions and bought the 86 CTi's in 178 and couldn't be happier.
 

Magoo

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I decided they got the name Wingman because just getting going they sound like a turbine engine starting up. Glad someone else noticed it too
 
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CO Dreaming

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Yea, they do make odd sounds. Kind of a clacky noise like they were made out of some kind of really hard plastic (bakelite?). I suspect it is due them actaually being made out of a hard, very high tech "plastic" plus carbon rods. I never heard such a sound from another ski, but I can live with it. Sure are fun to make quick carving turns on.
 
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CO Dreaming

CO Dreaming

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Day two on the Wingmans

I got my second day of skiing on the Elan Wingman 82 Cti skis today. The skis did not disappoint in any way. It was another day skiing with my wife, Dee, which does limit where I go and what I can do quite a bit. Fortunately, we met up with my wife’s friends Donna and Pat, both of whom are good skiers. Pat, who I believe is a bit older than me, has skied Europe and out west. She’s no slouch and we were able to break off from my wife and Donna for a couple of runs, which let me open things up a bit.

At the intermediate speeds and on the modest terrain we were skiing on, the Elans are just plain fun. Rip turns anywhere you want and at any radius that suits you. The skis carve like crazy and are super quick. Short, fast, linked turns are a blast. I did notice that as you start to ski faster, the skis become more responsive. Once you are up to a good clip, you can carve, bounce, rebound, whatever you like, and the skis just dig in and give you the fast turn you are looking for.

There was some hardpack snow today, so I did get a chance to see how the skis perform in modestly icy conditions. Initial verdict – just fine. I lost my chance to run them fast on the steep and hard packed Barron’s Run on the Mittersill side of Cannon. This would have been a perfect spot to see how they do at speed on terrain approaching icy. Alas, we were all up there, including my wife, and she freaked out on the pitch of the trail. Note: Mittersill has no beginner terrain and not much blue square terrain. We shouldn’t have been there with Dee. (Fortunately, going there was not my idea.) At any rate I had to stay with Dee as she side slipped most of the run. I got a few short, fast sections in, but mostly it was a waste of a good run.

After Mittersill, Pat I and I broke away and went back to the main part of Cannon Mountain. It was getting windswept and quite skied off in areas. The Elans did well and were able to grab enough edge that nice radiused turns could be made with little or no slippage of the tails. It took some care to carve cleanly in the cruddy spots, but it could be done. We also found a trail that had about six inches of lightly tracked fresh snow along one side. The Elans loved this stuff. Just ski normally and let them rip through it.

I would add that variable snow conditions are an area where the Elans excel. Skiing from crusty to lose or packed to fresh, does not seem to affect them. Also, crossing through variable snow does not seem to have much impact, just put the skis on their edge and let them turn. They will. Reliably.

I still have not put these skis on a seriously challenging trail, but I expect they will do just fine. As for me, well I’ve been skiing with the ladies, I’ll probably be nervous. But, I expect the new skis will help a bunch and I’ll be fine.
 
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CO Dreaming

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Elan Follow Up – Ice

I skied at Cannon yesterday. It was sunny, cold and icy. The prior two days had brought warm weather and some rain mixed with sleet and, perhaps, a touch of snow. The packed power that I have been enjoying for the last month had turned into white concrete. The trails were groomed, but not deeply. There was little loose snow.

I had read that the Elan 82 Cti skis are good on ice. I beg to differ – at least they were not so good on THIS ice. I found that at low speeds they just skitter around. Add a bit of speed and they will carve on ice, but they do not dig in sufficiently to shed any speed. They are very noisy on ice, especially frozen corduroy.

In the afternoon I took a number of runs down Zoomer, a moderately steep trail with very minor bumps. These runs were OK. By picking my turning spots, finding places where there was either some loose snow or a rough surface, I could take advantage of the skis’ quick turning ability to make a fast turn and scrub some speed. I was able to do this aggressively and stay in the fall line all the way down. Ideally, I would have preferred to not make my turns so complete or check as hard as I did, but this would have created more speed than I wanted to carry, given the conditions.

I also made a single run down Rocket, an intermediate trail that was completely skied off by non-carving skiers and skidding boarders. This was no fun at all. There were very few spots to grab a quick, clean turn, so it was just go fast and stay pointed in the right direction. The Elans clacked and banged their disapproval of the conditions.

I don’t think I can condemn the Elans for their performance. The conditions were seriously bad. With just a touch of snow or a bit of warmth, the surface would have softened and I think the Elans might have skied well. I saw one guy on a lift with Blossom White Outs and I really wanted to ask him how his day was going. Alas, he was a couple of chairs ahead of me and before I unloaded, he took off and disappeared from view. I guess I’ll never know how those skis were doing, but a dedicated ice ski might be something to consider getting.
 
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CO Dreaming

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February 23, 2021, Cannon Mountain Ski Report

Conditions today were vastly better than a week ago. Two small snowfalls returned the trails back to packed power with a nice dusty top. There was little ice and any ice found was manageable. My skis performed well everywhere – me, I need some work.

We got a late start due to two required stops in Manchester and Boscawen. We hit the top of Tuckerbrook at 10:45 and I spent the morning working with my wife. We made some progress and I think some day she will actually be able to carve a turn. At 12:15 we headed into the lodge for lunch. After lunch, she went back to Tuckerbrook and I headed for the summit.

I’m embarrassed to say that today was the first time this season that I have ridden up the Cannonball Express to the top of the mountain. I have some good excuses; lift closed, Profile run closed, low ceiling – socked in fog, just to name a few issues, but still, I admit… pretty lame.

Today was my opportunity. Good visibility, no crowds, decent snow. Go for it. Before heading up, I swapped my yellow goggles for a pair of sunglasses. This didn’t work out as well as I had hoped – the permanent cloud that seems to always hang out on Cannon Mountain was back within an hour of my change in eyewear. I took two runs down Profile. Conditions were good and I had nice runs turning short, fast turns on the steep slope. I then took a run down Upper Ravine, which is not such a great trail. It meanders around, gets kind of off camber-y and then stops too soon, ending on a long run out back to the lift. I made another run on Profile and realized the urgency of my eyewear situation. The light had gone flat and I needed those yellow goggles. I decided to go down the east side of the mountain, get back to the parking lot, and get the goggles. I went down Upper Cannon, to Bypass, to Extension and then down Avalanche, ending up at the Zoomer lift. Zoomer (the trail) looked nice from the chairlift, so I made one quick run down that before riding up again and then down to the base of the Eagle Cliff chair.

There’s nothing like skiing on Tuesdays. Despite our late arrival, we had found a parking spot in the second row of the upper parking area – a very short walk from the Eagle Cliff chair. In less than five minutes, I had my goggles on and was on the Eagle Cliff chair riding back up. At the top, I crossed over to Rocket, one of the “front five trails”. The trail has some nice, small moguls on the right and I figured this would be a good place get some bump practice. My efforts only proved my need for practice. I struggled in the larger bumps and had to slide over into the “baby bumps” more to the center of the trail. I kept at it, making a half dozen or more runs on Rocket and Zoomer. At 3:30 my legs were pretty shot and I figured my wife had probably already given up, so I called it a day. I skied down under the Eagle Cliff chair, and then made the short walk to the car. My wife had just gotten to the car minutes before I arrived.

All in all, a solid day of skiing. As always, I have work to do on my skills and technique, but progress is being made.
 

mdf

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It's an ancient Fischer RC4 that I bought used. I only ski them when the ice is truly bulletproof, so they don't have that many days on them and aren't worn out.

Specific brands and models don't matter, you want a slalom ski with width around 65 mm and length 165 cm. (Mine are 63 mm x 166 cm.) Every major ski maker has good slalom skis. Tune them with 1 degree base and 3 degrees side angles. (Some will recommend less than 1 base, but I wouldn't start there.)

I've never understood Fischer naming conventions, so maybe somebody can tell me what I have. They are over ten years old. Some sort of RC4, but at that time nearly every Fischer ski said "RC4". The 63 mm is my measurement, so could be off by one or so.
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Thread Starter
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CO Dreaming

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I'll start watching for a good used pair. I've always been a "one pair" guy, but I now have two pairs - the Intuitive 69C skis are still usable (but for exactly what I'm not sure) - I might as well start building a quiver.

You said your Fischer skis are 165cm. What length do you ski on for regular skis? I'm 5' 10" and 190 pounds. I'm skiing on 178cm skis and they seem a good length. Should I go to a different length for an ice ski?
 

mdf

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What model ski?
I'll start watching for a good used pair. I've always been a "one pair" guy, but I now have two pairs - the Intuitive 69C skis are still usable (but for exactly what I'm not sure) - I might as well start building a quiver.

You said your Fischer skis are 165cm. What length do you ski on for regular skis? I'm 5' 10" and 190 pounds. I'm skiing on 178cm skis and they seem a good length. Should I go to a different length for an ice ski?

My normal skis are 188 cm. I'm 5'10" and around 200 lbs in a normal year.

I'm not an insider, so this may be slightly off, but as I understand it real slalom skis essentially come in 4 lengths -- 165 or 166 cm for the men, and 155 or 156 cm for the women. The one centimeter is a marker for other differences, not important for its own sake. Some smaller and lighter men use womens skis, though more often in GS than SL.
 

Brad J

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165 Is the SL ski you would want , Fun and demanding. I sold mine a few years ago because they wore me out , I replace them with a Kastle MX 74 172 , they are muck easier to ski and still have good grip on NE hardpack . fairly versatile until 4 or more inches of fresh snow. call be to borrow. No ski performs well in a frozen corduroy as you encountered a few weeks ago, A very damp ski helps but..........
 

PinnacleJim

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I've never understood Fischer naming conventions, so maybe somebody can tell me what I have. They are over ten years old. Some sort of RC4, but at that time nearly every Fischer ski said "RC4". The 63 mm is my measurement, so could be off by one or so.

RC4 only means it is a race ski. All Fischer race skis are labeled RC4 from easy going consumer level to those that meet FIS specs. From your pics, the important label to key on is "World Cup SL". That indicates it is the higher performance SL ski sold to public. Next step down in performance was the WC SC.
 

François Pugh

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@mdf Like @PinnacleJim posted the key is the SL. That means it is the slalom racing ski that the public can buy from a store. It is designed to make the turns required to win a SL race. The only higher performing Fischer slalom skis are those only available direct from factory to the sponsored racers. The SC is one step down, a little less stiff than the SL (stiffness will also vary slightly from year to year). That SL and the SC also work great on hero snow. You should let them out to play on the freshly groomed non-ice groomers now and then.

I have an old SC. In my mind the SC is not a "race" ski, but the SL is. "Race" sells, so ski companies like to sell their performance skis as "Race" skis. A lot of the time the one that says "race" on it is less "racy" than the one that doesn't.

The RC4 is now pure marketing. At one time, many decades ago it denoted race (R) construction # 4 (C4) or some such thing denoting a particular winning construction/formula/model of ski, but because that ski was so good it became popular and then Fischer slapped the name on anything performance oriented, even if only a little bit performance oriented. Just like Head calling everything "Supershape" because they had a hit with the first Supershape.

BTW, that ski is barely an antique, if it is. I wouldn't call it ancient. When you posted ancient RC4, I was surprised, because I was picturing the teal blue RC4 Vacuums from the 1980s that I owned for a short while.
 

ScottB

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This thread is old, but for the OP, slalom skis are unique in their length compared to all other modern skis. For FIS World Cup racing, 166cm is the longest ski allowed. So a 165,66cm ski will support a 250lb skier. There are differences in stiffness, and performance depending on brand and whether FIS spec or consumer spec skis. The FIS skis are the highest performing, and in my opinion the best to get. I bought a slalom ski, Rossignol, consumer version. I am 6'4" and just didn't want a 165cm ski (you will be fine on that length) and Rossignol made their consumer SL ski in 165, 170, and 175 cm. I bought the 175 length. I like the length, but the skis were super stiff and did not hold on ice as well as the 165cm FIS version. The FIS version was actually softer flexing, but torsionally stiffer and better on ice. I buy a FIS spec one next time.
 
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