Folding Skis!

Spence

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Has anyone seen these folding skis from Elan? They look pretty awesome. Personally I couldn't think of a scenario were they would be of any benefit to me but from an innovation point of view it looks as though Elan has nailed it. I did read somewhere that the original idea was for a folding touring ski for the military. I could see how that could be a useful innovation for police and rescue services in snowy countries, having a compact ready to go kit in the vehicle. Very cool idea and implementation.
*Mods please move if there is a more appropriate thread.
 

Zeroz

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Ok, it's a thing you can make, but is there actual consumer demand for this?

I have never looked at my skis and thought "You know what would make them even better? A big folding hinge in the middle!"
 
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Heinz

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Thought about whether it would be useful in ski touring / ski mountaineering situations, negotiating tight spaces, but could you trust it? You would want to be pretty confident that the mechanism would work properly at all times when needed. Wouldn't be much fun trying to engage in stormy conditions if frozen.
 
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Schnaxxy Schnaxxlburger

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Talking to Elan it's all about trains as well, and also small european city apartments.
I caught a train in Munich a few years ago, heading to Austria with lots of skis and ski bags
no-one seemed perturbed at all
some passengers got on like it was the Skitube, just skis and small backpack - maybe they were just going somewhere for the day
 

Spence

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When I was in Japan a couple of years ago there was an English guy staying in our lodge for a couple of days that I got chatting to. He lived in Geneva, worked for some large Financial institution and had to spend every second or third Friday in Tokyo. He would take the Monday off so that he could get a couple of days skiing in. He mentioned how he had to travel light and didn’t have his ideal set up with him. I was thinking of his scenario when I saw the skis, especially with the custom bag. It would be a very nice grab and go kit.
 
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MarzNC

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Looks like the launch of the Elan Voyager happened in Feb 2021. So it's really quite new. I could see someone who lives in a city in a small apartment and who owns a small car being intrigued. Or someone who has a ski buddy who owns a small car and is willing to drive for ski trips in the Alps a few times a season.

Skip to Minute 5 to get a glimpse of the custom bag that fits boots, helmet, and skis.



The reactions so far remind me of when DPS launched Phantom via Kickstarter for treating ski bases so that waxing wouldn't be needed for a recreational skier. The Voyager is geared to a particular market in Europe. Like DPS, Elan is a pretty established company. This isn't some indie start up idea.
 

MarzNC

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A little sceptical. I can't see that they could guarantee a dead flat base join, especially after a bit of aggressive use. If not you'd have some sort of control issues with them.
Did you watch the second video in Post #1?


" . . .
We sent a pair to Ski Cross World Champion Filip Flisar and gave him one instruction … shred hard! Hit the box, earn your turns, overshoot jumps, essentially do anything you can to try and break them, and report back to us.
. . ."
 

DPS Driver

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I have a soft spot for Elan but this is a solution to a problem which doesn't really exist.

Well "doesn't really exist" is not quite accurate, as it does exist but the target market just isn't prepared to fork out dollars on a product like this. This is a convenience product but the market is so small and complex that creating a product for it was ill conceived. Unless it was always aimed at being a marketing ploy.
 
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MarzNC

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I have a soft spot for Elan but this is a solution to a problem which doesn't really exist.

Well "doesn't really exist" is not quite accurate, as it does exist but the target market just isn't prepared to fork out dollars on a product like this. This is a convenience product but the market is so small and complex that creating a product for it was ill conceived. Unless it was always aimed at being a marketing ploy.
What do you think the target market is? Presumably Europeans. But what segment there?

Is the cost much higher than skis from a brand like Stöckli? I don't know what sells in Europe.
 

MarzNC

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Why not just hire skis at destination? There are also companies that will store and transport your skis for you. This is pretty much a solution looking for a problem.

From what I've heard from a friend who is also a petite woman, finding skis to rent in Europe isn't easy for her. That's why she lugs a ski bag. She joins a friend from the UK for a ski trip in the Alps every 2-3 years. Has been skiing for decades, mostly in Tahoe since she lives in California.

I've had trouble finding skis that were an appropriate length to rent even at destination resorts in the Rockies at times. For that matter, finding a ski bag that worked well for me wasn't that easy either.

I understand it's a niche product. Doesn't mean there isn't a big enough market though.

I bought a pair of demo Floskis after demo'ing them with the creator at Mammoth. Came across him quite by accident. Adrian has managed to keep selling them since 2012.
 

DPS Driver

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What do you think the target market is? Presumably Europeans. But what segment there?

Is the cost much higher than skis from a brand like Stöckli? I don't know what sells in Europe.
It's the travelling and convenience market but on slope rentals are much easier.

Then break it down more, it's not the beginner or early intermediate market. They're chasing experienced skiers but here's the catch, lots of experienced skiers want to travel with their own skis so they have their personal skis available to them and will put up with the inconvenience. If they don't want the inconvenience, then they will rent over buying a ski with a break in the base and edge. I believe they would consider that an interruption to the flex pattern which may compromise their on snow experience.

I actually see it more as a novelty ski. This isn't having a crack at Elan in any way, as they have obviously put a fair bit of energy into the product. When I say novelty ski, I feel that is perhaps where it's ended up but would not have been the intention of Elan. Or at least I don't think so.
 
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teckel

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Did you watch the second video in Post #1?


" . . .
Mn Filip Flisar and gave him one instruction … shred hard! Hit the box, earn your turns, overshoot jumps, essentially do anything you can to try and break them, and report back to us.
. . ."
MMmmmm. Flisar is paid by Elan. He's sponsored by them. Sorry, I'm a total sceptic when it comes to advertising, and that video is advertising posing as a review. Is there a (genuinely) independent review?
 

Astro66

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I would definitely consider the 160cm as my OS ski, especially with that 12.9m radius. . But who buys sub 80mm skis these days ? And me personally, I wouldn't consider anything sub 95mm.

My 100mm Armadas just gives me more range. And I really don't seem to suffer on piste, was a comment from my ski instructor in Canada.
 

MarzNC

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I actually see it more as a novelty ski. This isn't having a crack at Elan in any way, as they have obviously put a fair bit of energy into the product. When I say novelty ski, I feel that is perhaps where it's ended up but would not have been the intention of Elan. Or at least I don't think so.
Agree.

Does seem as if the original idea of coming up with a folding ski for touring didn't work out. So perhaps now trying to salvage something out of the R&D that went into the concept.

From a travel standpoint, the small size is intriguing to me because lately I've been meeting up with more than one ski buddy when flying to the Rockies. Fitting skis, boot bags, and luggage for 3-4 people into one vehicle gets tricky. Especially when 1-2 people have more than one pair of skis. Some of the these trips are "ski safaris" checking out places for only a day or two. Renting gets to be a pain and takes time away from skiing. Especially on days when driving is happening too.

Obviously if going for a ski vacation and staying a full week, renting makes sense. Then can change out skis as snow conditions change. However, I prefer to bring one pair of skis that I know will work for most conditions.
 

Spence

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If you live in London and your mate rings you on Friday and says “I just booked us a couple of cheap flights to Salzburg tonight for a couple of days skiing. Grab your gear I’ll pick you up at 18:00”
You then grab this little wheelie bag already to go. Super effing cool. I love it. Absolutely have no need for it, but cool toys are errrr………..cool.
 
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