Author Topic: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12  (Read 441 times)

Gary

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New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« on: March 05, 2013, 09:23:23 am »
Sat , with the thought of my wife trying out the new Elan Waveflex Insomnia, I also for giggles demoed the Elan Waveflex 12.

Conditions: 3-4" of fresh snow. As the day went on, scraped off and piles of granular snow. Natural and groomed snow conditions, temp 28F, soft blue bumps

Alice: currently on Kastle MX78, 152, turning radius 13 meters, not sure what Insomnia was. This ski was 74 underfoot , same ski length demo
Gary:currently on Kastle MX78 168, turning radius 16 meters, test ski has 14 meter radius, 74 underfoot. Same ski length demo

Alice said the sidecut made the ski feel twitchy to her. She thought that it got pushed around more in the crud where the Kastle plowed through it.

I felt the ski was on rails when brought up on edge, much easier to find the edge than the 78. The ski also had less kick back in the tail making the Elan more accommodating in the bumps.
Short turns were very easy. At high speed GS turns, they were solid at high edge angle...fun! Soft snow given the shovel width made them very easy in the 4" of fresh, also more easy foot to foot. They also skied well two footed and I noticed the response with migrating foot pressure was quicker with the Elan. (probably due to the skiecut)  Going between the edges of soft snow back to the groom or scraped off, the W12's were very very solid when on edge. I did notice the difference underfoot between the Elan and the Kastle and like Alice, I noted too that the Kastle powered through the crud better but was noticeably more vertically rigid than the Elan.For me,  the Elan was easier to arc. The Kastles were also easier to drift or float in the crud than were the Elans.

The ski I demoed was on sale for $475. It DID NOT have a Gary Tune...still the ski performed extremely well...I purchased end of day on Saturday. I brought the skis home and put them on my ski bench. 1 & 3 are my go to edges...I found one edge on one ski both side and base to be off.  A good wax, scraped and brushed in...they were ready for Sunday.

Sunday, with almost identical conditions..actuall y even better because the snow was drier, the newly prepared skis turned even more crisp and moved more smoothly turn to turn.
I also noticed how the early rise edge (outside edges of the skis) seemed to allow a smoother transition in turns when I was using both uphill edge of the uphill ski and big toe edge of the downhill ski. Really made transitions in the bump and pow feel a bit smoother. It also helped smooth out the transitions on the hardpack.

I'm taking it out west to Banff to see how they perform. The bindings are very cool as both toe and heel pieces slide completely off the ski with the click of a lever. This way I can pack the skis as a 3rd pair....ya I know...decadent... ;D. Should be fun for sure.
Best, G
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 09:41:48 am by jim-ratliff »


LivingProof

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Re: New Ride
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2013, 03:18:54 pm »
G,

Best wishes for the new carvers!

Our home mountains are somewhat similar, and, I hear your liking for a ski with a more narrow radius and great grip. This year, I've been doing both my Supershapes and Hart Pulse skis (similar to your Kastle 78's), depending on the day. They are different skis, but, both make me smile. The Shapes are just great for short  radius turns on very hard snow. The Pulse's are more GS like skis. If I had to one, I just may favor the more narrow radius. The feedback from a tight short turn is just so much fun.

You are correct with respect to plowing through crud and loose granular as the Shapes are twitchy in this stuff. We have been experiencing this too much in the last 2 weeks. A thought is to change edges and ski with the rocker side to the inside in crud.

All in all , a great fit into your revised quiver.

 

Svend

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Re: New Ride
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2013, 05:58:51 pm »
Hey Gary,

Can't wait to see how those new boards handle the big Canadian Rockies.  Only five days 'til they hit the snow out there.  Talked to a friend there today -- Louise got 80 cm this weekend; Sunshine about 60 cm.  Conditions are fantastic.

Congrats on the new babies! MX78's up for sale yet?


Gary

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Re: New Ride
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 07:55:04 am »
Hey Mike and Svend...

Mike does that mean we need 3 skis in our quiver...hopefully not...maybe more like eastern skiing vs western...and winter skiing vs spring skiing......gesh... too much to think about.

Mike sounds like you experienced the same thing I did in our wonderful and mutual granular crud...actually some of my favorite snow WITH the right ski. Still, going in and out of that, the Elan really does hook up easier than the Kastle. It may just boil down to learning to be more patient with the Elan in that piled up crud. I found when I did that, the handled a little bit better.

For sure Svend...they're ready to go...however given the potential for snow I'm seeing right now for next week...My Rev 105's are all revved up for "Operation Get Some"! Here's hoping it dumps and the Elans can only touch a day or two the Rockies snow!

Not sure what I'm going to do with the MX78's....jury still out!

G
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 08:24:06 am by Gary »

Perry

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Re: New Ride
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2013, 01:56:34 pm »
Gary,
Just curious what you liked about the Elan c/w the MX78.  My SS mag is very old - bought used and has some base divots that require constant care so looking for an Eastern ski.  Wanting something 78 or less.  Looking at some Head Supershapes at 175cm.  Have you ever demoed the Kastle RX12?

I don't need a pure carver, I want a ski that CAN carve but doesn't have to.  My old RX 8 would do what every I asked up to the 66mm waist limit for float.

jim-ratliff

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Re: New Ride
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2013, 06:26:24 pm »
Perry:
Since you liked the RX8, consider the Progressor 8.  That is what Lynn and I both have for our narrow skis, and they are excellent do everything skis (waists have grown a bit).  I even had mine out (unintentionally) in 18-20" of fresh powder, and after moving the bindings back they handled the conditions quite well.
"If you're gonna play the game boy, ya gotta learn to play it right."

Perry

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2013, 08:03:46 am »
Jim,
Definitely looking at the progressor 8 and 9.

Gary,
You already compared and contrasted with the MX when I re-read your original post.  Still any thoughts about frontside skis in general by the forum welcome.

Gary

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2013, 04:17:33 pm »
Hey guys, I had a good chance to experience the Elan Waveflex 12's at Lake Louise. We had 2 days there with conditions from hard pack to granular to 4 inches of crud along the edges. One day I even had 4 inches of fresh pow to play in. ( Perry, I did not have a chance to demo the RX12's, although I considered them, I didn't think they would have enough versatility for my liking.)

There's something very smooth and co-operative about the Elans comapred to the MX78. The Elans crave the turn, the edge angle while the MX78 needs a little more proding to get er there.

But I think I covered most of that in my initial review...here's what I didn't know then that I know now.

The only thing I felt there was a shortfall on the Elans was it's ability to remain stable in the crud where I would want to drift, scarve or float the skis a wee bit more. Coming out of those conditions,  the Elan's hooked up like to Bud Horses sensing mares in heat...
But a solution was at hand. I figured out how to make them more co-operative in the crud and bumps. A simple fix actually....I took out my gummy stone and smoothed out the tails about 3 inches back..and things got better but not totally what I wanted...the shovels still felt like they wanted to pull me out of the drift or float as soon as the front edge made snow contact. (not good in the bumps) Knowing that each foot specific ski had a baby toe rockered edge, I gummied that edge to point of snow contact...and that's all she took. I have't noticed any adverse affect for carving but the skis become way more versatile and I still love the way they carve.

Are the right ski for everyone ....probably not...but for me....I've got that carving feeling, hold on to your shorts "we're rippin' turns here"!
As always...give um a ride and let me know your thoughts.

Best, G
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 04:31:32 pm by Gary »

Perry

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2013, 07:41:15 pm »
Gary,
Read a review where the testers actually switched skis to put the rocker on the inside when skiing crud.  Yikes, you will have your left ski on your right foot!  :-\

Thought it was kind of interesting esp in light of the solution you came up with.

Gary

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2013, 07:58:39 pm »
Hey Perry, it's funny you mention that. I was riding up the lift with an instructor who was on some fatter skis and he saw Elans and said they were the skis he taught on. We had 3 inches of fresh down and some day old pow below in spots. He suggested the same thing so I tried it.

I found in those conditions I personally liked the traditional edge set up. I found because of the mixed snow that the big toe edge, traditional shovel worked best for me. I liked the way the rockered baby toe edge improved getting to the drift or float when I needed it. Probably a personal preference.

My Kastle 84's have traditional tip and tail and I skied those the next 2 days in fresh and broken pow..all good there.

I actually pulled out the Rev105's and skied them the biggest snow day as well and although it wasn't over boot high, the ski peformed very well.

Ha....3 boards..crazy I know but I had a blast playing around with them in the variety of conditions.

Best, G
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 08:00:02 pm by Gary »

Svend

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2013, 08:09:39 pm »
Jim,
Definitely looking at the progressor 8 and 9.

Gary,
You already compared and contrasted with the MX when I re-read your original post.  Still any thoughts about frontside skis in general by the forum welcome.

Perry, I skied the Progressor 9 for a couple of seasons and can wholeheartedly recommend it.  Very quick and agile, light on the snow, but completely calms down at high speed.  No speed limit.  Excellent ski.  Check out also the Progressor 10 from last year - slightly wider, only one layer Ti (vs. 2 layers in the P-9), but equally highly rated.

As for other brands, I am a big fan of Nordica -- I own the Mach 3 from a few years ago...fantastic edge hold; silky feel on the snow, bulletproof in crud...an excellent ski.  It is no longer made, but their Spitfire line has been winning reviews for years - definitely worth a look.  There are at least 4 models now, each with varying amounts of stiffness, Ti layers, etc..  Dual radius sidecut like the Progressors.

Dynastar has a Cross Ti ski that has a very similar feel to my Nordica Mach 3 - I skied one a few years ago and really liked it.  More med - long radius oriented, but very smooth and stable, damp, quiet, high speed limit, great on ice and crud.  Very versatile.

Hope this helps....and have fun in the hunt.


Perry

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2013, 11:34:36 am »
Svend,
Good ideas.  I haven't messed much with Nordica but will give these a look.  I pretty much want a narrow ski, with short turn radius, that I can brush/drift if I want to and rail if I want to do that instead.  In NC, WV, the areas have very little that is not groomed.  Much of this is re-frozen and very hard.  The old narrow skis work best for this, plus they are good for the technique.

Svend

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Re: New Ride - Elan Waveflex 12
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2013, 11:46:46 am »
Hey Perry,

All of the skis I suggested are in the 70 to 74mm range. 

I can vouch for the edge grip of Nordicas on ice.  My old Mach 3's are pretty torsionally stiff, and hold very well.  I expect that the Spitfires will be similar.  They are of the Doberman race lineage, but are not full-on race skis.  They might be hard to find in the US, but I seem to recall reading on Epic that Sierra Jim (Starthaus?) carries them.  They are quite common here in Canada, esp. in Quebec.  You see a lot of race coaches with them.  Even the lower end of the range seem to have very high performance.  If I didn't like my Mach 3's so much, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Spitfire.  FWIW, they are almost impossible to find on the used market, meaning (I asssume) that people buy them and hold onto them until they are toast.