Test 2020: Elan Wingman 86CTi
BEST FOR: Those searching for a classic do-everything all-mountain ski.
LENGTHS: 160, 166, 172, 178, 184
SUGGESTED RETAIL: $700
OTHER MODELS: 86Ti, 82Cti, 82Ti, 78T, 78C
Everyone needs a good wingman. The 86Cti is a great one, which was the nearly unanimous feedback from the testers. “Fun, quick, stable, dynamic and turny,” noted Kevin Lawrence. “A great all-mountain ski,” said Steve Butcher and Nigel Harrison. The Wingman series fills the gap between Elan’s super-popular, wider-waisted Ripstick family and its more piste-oriented Amphibio skis. Like both, Elan kept the dedicated left and right skis, stacking more materials over the inside edge of each ski to direct power and stability to the engaged edge and keep the outside looser for easier transitions. From there, Elan varied the construction through the three Wingman widths. The Cti models, like the one we tested, have full-length carbon rods and titanium. Overall, the build feels lightweight, but not at the expense of performance. The 86Cti was as happy carving big turns as small, skiing groomers or bumps, and skiing fast or slow. Like a good friend, it was ready for whatever you wanted to do. Steve Acciaroli summed it up well: “A really good 50/50, on- and off-piste ski.”