Recently it came time to upgrade my backcountry ski touring set up. After nine years of ski touring on my beloved Praxis skis I had loved them to death.
I was looking for lightweight skis because I have found that the less tiring you make your assents the more enjoyable your day in the backcountry will be. However, I have found that most lightweight touring skis are very flimsy resulting in less than confident skiing coming down the hill.
So the search was on for a lightweight ski that also had the stiff flex and torsional rigidity that I have come to look for in alpine skis.
In early February, we headed to the SIA on the snow event at Winter Park where we were able to make turns on 19 pairs of the latest and greatest skis. There were a ton of good ones, but one line of ski touring skis was a standout for us.
It seems to me that Elan Skis turned a corner and started making truly great skis ever since hiring Glen Plake. The Ripstick was the first freeride ski that really moved the needle for the Slovenian ski maker.
Then last winter they announced a new line of backcountry touring skis called the Ibex. The line includes a number of skis that ski well but the one we fell for was the Elan Ibex 94 Carbon XLT. These lightweight touring skis weigh a hair under 6 pounds, but ski like a true alpine board. These skis are encased in a Carbon Power Shell reinforcement that adds an extra kick of stiffness.
After finding a pair on skimo.co at a deep discount we mounted them up with a pair of Atomic backland bindings. After a few dozen days skiing on them, we have found the set up to be a real winner. The performance is so impressive that they would even work as an everyday ski for inbounds cruising.
So if you’re looking for a pair of lightweight touring skis that you can still rail on, take a look at the Elan Ibex 94 Carbon XLT.
*Added bonus, the black carbon looks real slick.
Tip Width: 130 millimeters
Waist Width: 94 millimeters
Tail Width: 111 millimeters
Ski Camber: Tip and Tail Rocker
Tail Type: Flat
Core: Tubelite Woodcore
Weight (Pair): 5 lbs. 15.9 oz.