Rating: / 5
Waist Width: 69
Lengths: 145, 150, 155, 160, 165
The ultra-narrow 2017 Elan Speed Magic is the raciest ski in the Power collection of frontside carvers, built for demanding expert women who like speed and know how to bend a ski. It's a full wood core construction, with a sheet of metal for high-speed calm and edge bit and a layer of carbon-fiber reinforcement for extra strength and rebound energy. Its 67-mm waist width-as narrow as any ski on the market anymore-makes it lightning quick edge-to-edge, and its super-tight sidecut radius favors short, slalom-style turns. It's part of the Power group in Elan's women's all-mountain collection-four models (Speed Magic, Insomnia, Inspire, and Interra) with narrow waists (67-84 mm), designed for high-performance groomed-snow carving. New this year, all but the super-narrow Speed Magic feature Elan's unique Amphibio 4D technology. Amphibio skis are right/left dedicated, with different rocker/camber profiles in the forebody. The inside edges are cambered all the way to the tip, so the working ski has the benefits of camber: tip-to-tail edge grip, and rebound energy out of the turn. The outside edges are rockered, so the uphill edge is looser in the snow, easier to pivot and steer, better able to absorb terrain shocks. The newer 4D version also features Dual Shaped Ti, the performance-specific shaping of the profile of the ski fore and aft. In front, the top of the ski is convex, and the strength of its arch shape delivers strong pressure to the edge for precise turn entries. At the tail, the top of the ski is concave, delivering less edge pressure for mellow turn exits. All four Power models have full-height, vertical sidewalls (the strongest kind). All have metal reinforcement (for edge-power and high-speed calm). All have deep, slalomesque sidecuts that favor an energetic, quick-turn attack. Cores vary from all wood (for responsiveness and durability) to foam with wood stringers (for some of the benefits of wood with lighter weight and softer flex). All are sold with bindings on Elan's Shift System binding interface-a thin, free-flexing, lightweight plate-on-plate system dampened by rubber. Elan is based in Behunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia, where it was founded during World War II to make skis for Yugoslav partisans. Partner brands include Alpina boots. Long state-run, it was privatized in 2015, when a Russian venture capital fund acquired a 95 percent stake. -J.C.