Elan Amphibio 88 XTI Fusion (2014)


Rating: 2.71 / 5
Price: $1250.00
Year: 2014
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 116
Tip/Tail/Waist: 136-88-116
Lengths: 170, 178, 186

Stability at speed: 2.90 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.04 / 5
Crud performance: 2.43 / 5
Flotation: 2.34 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.92 / 5
Overall: 2.71 / 5

The Ambibio 88 XTI is the widest ski in the Amphibio line, with an 88-mm waist well suited for soft snow and Western groomers. It's the only Amphibio offered either flat (no binding) or in the usual system version (with Fusion integrated binding). Its XTI laminate is a reinforcing strip of metal down the middle, atop the core, for vibration dampening without adding too much weight. The Amphibio series, original home of Amphibio technology, returns with seven models of frontside technical carvers with waist widths ranging from 74 mm to 88 mm. All feature Elan's Waveflex technology, in which the top of the ski from the core up has a series of structural waves designed to make the ski stiff laterally yet still supple-flexing longitudinally (think corrugated carbord: easy to bend in one direction, rigid in the other). And all Ambibio series skis are sold as systems, with Elan's Fusion binding interface, which is integrated into a milled-out core for optimal energy transmission to the edge. High end models (82, 88, 12 and 14) are laminated, full-wood-core constructions; lower-end models (78 and 76) are combination wood-foam cores. Some models are built with edgy, powerful, vertical RST sidewalls (14, 12, 78Ti and 78), some with less-demanding, angled SST sidewalls (82, 88). Different laminates are used from high to low end to suit different budgets and abilities. Elan spreads its unique Amphibio technology, now in its third year, throughout its 2013-14 line, employing it in waists as wide as 115 mm (in the Spectrum fat-ski series) to as narrow as 69 mm (race series). Amphibio skis are optimized to be right- and left-foot specific, designed so that they'll always be edgier on the outside (downhill) ski, where power and solidity is most needed; looser and easier to feather on the inside ski, for easy line adjustment. The inside edge of each ski is fully cambered, for maximum effective edge length. The outside edge is tip-rockered, so it's more buoyant and easier to pivot, with a shorter effective edge.