I already got new ski wear for the forthcoming 2023 trip to Dolomites, but it did not end here. I also had to buy new skis, as the old Elan skis that I bought January 2017 were not going to make it in the Alps any longer.
One of the stoppers in the old “Elan Amphibio 16 ti2 Fusion” skis I bought 2017 got broken. The stopper cannot be fixed in a way that I could ski at Alps in confidence. I had to buy new skis.
I got a good deal from Skiservice shop at Helsinki for “SALOMON X S/RACE RUSH GS 180cm” skis, as they were last pair they had of these 2021/22 model. Based on many reviews they are probably good skis for me, so problem solved. I bought them and will see next week at Dolomites how they work.
What happened to the Elan skis
When I was skiing last weekend in Finland, the stopper (brake) on my Elan skis broke again. The stopper had actually broken already once on the 2022 Zillertal trip, but back then I somehow managed to get it working so I was able to use the skis for the rest of that trip. Now the same stopper broke again and this time it looked really bad. The bindings on these Elan Amphibio 16 ti2 Fusion skis are branded as Elan, but they are actually Tyrolia-made. The stopper construction is such, that the rear binding will not lock and work reliably if the stopper breaks. The stopper itself is really hard to fix once broken, but if you could get a replacement stopper, then it would be really easy to swap in a new one.
I took the skis to the shop where I bought them, Skigarage at Espoo. But they made some inquires and told that this binding being so old (5 years) – there are no spare parts for them. You can not even get new bindings that would fit the binding rail on these skis, because Tyrolia has changed the binding rail construction too, and bindings to these old rails are no longer available. So there was nothing they could do.
The skis themselves are still in a very good condition. I have mostly skied them on good, groomed runs and very deep powder, and managed stay away from rocks and to avoided getting any bad scratches on them. They are really nice & versatile skis and I have enjoyed skiing with them in all kinds of conditions. They are of course made for groomed runs and for longer fast turns. The maximum speed I have reached was 120 km/h on them, but usually I do more like 40 to 60 km/h. But they are versatile skis and will work even in deep powder, on ice and on moguls too. It would be shame to discard these.
So one evening with great effort and a lot of tools and extra hardware I managed to create some kind of “workaround” repair that would probably work on short runs we have Finland, if you handle the bindings with tender loving care (TLC). Now that I looked at this stopper design in detail, it looks really fragile, and it is a wonder it lasted this long. I used steel bands to construct an extra mechanism to keep the stopper getting damaged again. The mechanics contains a very strong loaded spring that makes fixing it a nightmare.
But with this fragile repair I do not dare to take these skis to the alps. Especially not to anything like a Sella Ronda tour, where you would be shit out of luck (as Dirty Harry used to put it) if a binding breaks and you have 30 km more to go. So I can still use these skis on short runs in Finland, but need new ones for more serious skiing. With some TLC these skis could last another decade if I only use them in Finland.
I decided against buying Elans or anything with Tyrolia bindings on them.
The new Salomon skis
As an alternative to buying, I also considered renting skis for the Val Gardena trip. But 6 day rent for high performance skis can be close to 200 €. And if I was going to need new skis anyway, then why not just buy new ones?
I usually would test skis before buying new ones, but now there was no time for that either. So I looked what was available in local shops and read some online reviews. On Monday went to “Skiservice” shop in Helsinki, where I have often bought my gear. This is one of the few shops in Finland that sells proper high-end gear and they really know their business. It didn’t take long before I found a good solution, and decided to buy “SALOMON X S/RACE RUSH GS 180cm” skis. These were last season model and the last pair in the shop, so got them at half price 490 €. I am no follower of the latest fashion so having a season old model makes no difference to me. My previous Salomon skis lasted me 14 years.
review by ChatGPT
This is what I got from testing ChatGPT and asking the AI to review these skis:
The Salomon X S/Race Rush GS skis are excellent for racing and high-speed performance. They are made with high-quality materials and are built to provide stability, control and quickness to the skier. The skis are very lightweight and responsive, making them easy to handle, even at high speeds. The design is aerodynamic and provides a smooth ride, which makes for an enjoyable experience on the slopes. Additionally, the skis have excellent grip, allowing for precise and accurate turns. Overall, the Salomon X S/Race Rush GS skis are a great choice for anyone looking for a high-performance ski for racing or for fast, fun runs on the mountain.
Reviews by real people
“During our extensive review the Ski proved to be very stable at speed as well as a ski with excellent edge hold. Moreover they proved to be easy to turn in long turns. Skilled skiers will enjoy both relaxed cruising and pushing the ski to its limit. This Race Inspired Ski definitely prefers groomed to powder runs. It is designed for perfect edge hold on-piste.
Whether your choice is hard ice or a perfect groomed runs, this high-performance piste rocket holds you on the edge so well you can experience intense reactivity and optimal stability in longer turns. From weekend races to pulling high-speed arcs on the morning corduroy, feel your adrenaline grow at every turn.“
“The Salomon S/Race GS Rush are very good skis that go fast, Very fast. These skis are actually top-of-the-range piste skis, not Racing as their name may imply.
The flex is unsurprising and very consistent, the tail and tip aren’t too rigid and the entry in and out of turns is natural, fluid.
Turning on the edges is spontaneous and automatic, as soon as you start to glide, they start to accelerate, you need skill and ambition! Their strong points are accessibility/grip/stability.
On compact snow they are super performant and you can enjoy sharp angles no problem, almost racing style. The new plate and ski concept with its direct transfer of energy above the edges must be behind something…
The other positive point is the fact that you don’t have to stay in the same radius (R16), you can modify it and manage your trajectory depending on your desire or needs. The wide long curves are majestic, carving effects magnificent; medium curves are also accessible with proper positioning and if we really want to reduce it even more, then they fight back.
The structure and materials don’t vibrate too much into the legs, which is nice.
The tips do their job well, they stay solid to the ground and don’t slap and make noise like some skis (Dynastar Racing for example). The Salomon S/Race Rush GS are beautiful skis that go fast in wide turns and listen to expert pilots. Superb.”
So just for the fun of it, this a review by ChatGPT for my Elan skis:
The Elan Amphibio 16 ti2 Fusion skis made in 2017 are a popular choice among skiers. These skis offer a unique blend of performance, versatility and ease of use, making them suitable for skiers of various skill levels. The Amphibio technology provides quick and easy turn initiation, while the titanium reinforcement gives the skis added stability and power. The skis have a moderate flex, which makes them versatile enough to handle a wide range of terrain and snow conditions. The design of the skis provides good edge hold and stability, and the camber underfoot and rocker in the tip and tail make them capable in both hard and soft snow. Overall, the Elan Amphibio 16 ti2 Fusion skis from 2017 are a great choice for skiers looking for a versatile, high-performance ski.
Salomon Crossmax 10 skis that I used 2003-2017
A review by ChatGPT for my old Salomon Crossmax 10 skis, that served me well so many years:
“The Salomon Crossmax 10 skis made in 2003 were popular for their versatility and all-mountain performance. These skis offered a great balance between stability and maneuverability, making them suitable for skiers of various skill levels. The skis had a forgiving flex pattern, which allowed for easier turn initiation, and the construction made them durable enough to withstand hard use. The design of the skis provided good edge hold and the ability to carve turns effectively on the groomed slopes. In deeper snow, they performed well, offering good float and stability. Overall, the Salomon Crossmax 10 skis from 2003 were a solid choice for skiers looking for a versatile all-mountain ski.”
I liked these skis so much that I was reluctant to buy new ones, and on the last year of use they were really falling apart. The last time I had them serviced I was told that the edges could not be sharpened any more as there was not enough metal left. So then I showed no mercy for them on the last trip where they were finally ripped by off-piste rocks.