The Elan Wingman 86 CTi Fusion X 2020/21 remains largely unchanged from last year, so our 2019/20 review of the Elan Wingman 86 CTi Fusion X, below, still stands.
Elan continue the encouraging trend of designing all mountain skis for very specific crossover areas, rather than just using the term to imply versatility! For this season the Amphibio range brings a piste-focussed all mountain approach, whereas the Wingman collection takes cues from the hugely successful freeride family, the Ripstick.
Long-winded name aside, the Wingman 86 CTi Fusion X is encouragingly specific in its aims. The tech elements taken from the Amphibio skis include carbon along the outside edges and titanal underfoot. The skis are asymmetrical, so this different construction at each edge allows for power on the inside edge, and smooth transitions on the outside.
But this is an all-new model which has taken huge inspiration from the Ripstick design, to make a much more freeride-inspired all mountain ski. And that influence was clear; this was the first all mountain ski of the test to make me want to pop off every little hit and play around off the sides of the piste. And it's incredible fun in the slightest bit of slush.
And that came at no detriment to the on piste performance, which is as good (if not better) than most of the piste-biased all mountain skis on offer this season. Super stable on an edge and at speed, and narrow enough to be incredibly nimble edge-to-edge while still displaying the character of a freeride ski. At 86mm underfoot float in soft snow is slightly compromised over its wider contemporaries but not to the point of relegating the Wingman to piste only use.
For blowing the woolly, ill-defined purpose of 'all mountain' out of the water, and fusing hardpack precision with freeride playfulness, the Wingman 86 CTi Fusion X is one of the skis of the season despite it's relatively high price.