Elan Ibex84 Carbon XLT Ski Review

Post by WildSnow.com blogger | September 11, 2017      
Elan Ibex84 Carbon  XLT

Elan Ibex84 Carbon XLT

Got a bias against soft skis? The ones that fold up like a turgid waterbed? (Thanks for the metaphor Dan Neil). You’ve got a right to your take. Perhaps it’s that squishy perch you borrowed from a friend back in your days of advanced learning — or that ski that felt “sweet!” on the rack but simply could not hold a line. In either case, obvious, supple things sometimes are simply not good.

But that’s not a rule. I remember folding up in a most welcoming, heated Colorado waterbed during a negative 30 F winter night. Felt pretty good after a day of ice climbing. Ditto, once in awhile the ski manufacturing engineers come up with that magic combo of softer lengthwise flex and good torsional stiffness that combine to a magic ride. On that one, I’ll call out the Elan Ibex84 Carbon XLT.

A little google action reveals the secret, those guys at Elan in Slovenia probably got a half dozen perkomandeljc (look it up) to open some of their secret mines, those long lost to antiquity, containing exotic metals that can be larded into various resin stews to make skis ski good.

Ibex84 tip rocker, just enough.

Ibex84 tip rocker, just enough.

Yep, Ibex 84 Carbon XLT flexes out surprisingly soft, but I found them to be a blast. Testing occurred in a bit of spring powder, and then a number of days on hard and soft corn. Get one thing out of the way, these are soft enough to indeed have a speed limit. Non-issue as Ibex 84 is clearly a classic “80 mm class” touring ski. They’re meant to be easy skiing, and light.

These are clearly a ski built for human power-ing. Factory installed skin notches at tip and tail. Flat tail and minimal tip rocker are the standard for a versatile backcountry ski. Even the cross section “Bridge Technology” seems oriented to touring, with a raised center rib that should help shed snow (as opposed to odd designs that are downright Faustian in their claims of “more power” while forming perfect duck ponds and other configurations that glue snow weight to the top of your planks). Let’s do the numbers.

Size tested: 177 cm, 120-85-106 (Radius 20/19).
Weight: 1122 per ski.
Tip rocker: 25 cm (measured from tip, with both skis together).
Tail rocker: Minimal to none.
WildSnow weight/surface score: At 65, 9th lightest on our chart as of this writing, virtually same as big brand 88 width ski that scores 62 at 1133 grams.

Conclusion: Thumbs up for human powered ski touring, for those of us who make moderate demands on our skis in terms of speed and aggression. Minimal tip rocker, flat tail, 1-kilo-class weight. They’re a go-to for me.

Shopping? Backcountry.com carries Elan so I’d imagine they might sell the Ibex84 this winter.

Check out Ibex on the Elan website.

Elan Ibex84 ski touring gear review, skis.

Elan Ibex84 ski touring gear review, skis.


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13 Responses to “Elan Ibex84 Carbon XLT Ski Review”

  1. justin September 11th, 2017 8:39 am

    Lou is that your measured weight of the ski? Their website lists the 177 @ 1300 grams.

  2. Lou Dawson 2 September 11th, 2017 12:15 pm

    Let me check and make sure I didn’t typo it. Moment. I write the weight on a ski…

    Yeah, 1122, which is decent for a skinny carbon ski, but not earth shattering. I’m wondering if the website has weight and color for last year’s model, and what I have is the 2017-2018?


  3. Bruno Schull September 11th, 2017 1:43 pm

    The link in the post takes you a different ski–a green ski, a little heavier than the one you have pictures. If you search under the products, you will find the black ski with a reported weight almost exactly as you measured. Elan makes great skis! They have so much history, as well. Awesome company.

  4. JCoates September 11th, 2017 1:52 pm

    Just a random thought, but it seems to me that flat tails as a requirement for a touring ski seems to be akin to the sacred cows of pin bindings not being strong enough to ski big lines or 4-buckle boots being better than 2-buckle boots.

    Most of us will never need to build a ski anchor by planting the tails in the snow. even if we did:
    1) It’s a sketchy anchor and would probably only be used as a backup to a body belay. Seems this anchor is more for psychological security than objective security.
    2) If you really need to build a real anchor with your skis you would use a T-slot and the amount of tail rocker on your skis for that wouldn’t matter.
    3) You can still build an anchor with tail rockered skis if you need to..it’s just a little more time consuming and you have to angle them in different.

    I’ve started to look for ski touring skis with a little tail rocker and a rounded tail. I like the easier release when skiing narrow lines. Also, I don’t need to ride switch, but I’ve definitely had to do the “falling leaf” out of some sketchy areas too and I like skis that don’t feel so unforgiving when skiing backwards in crud for a few feet.

    I guess my point is, the flat tails seems to be another selling point on a ski that really doesn’t matter for 99.9% of the ski touring population. So buy flat tailed skis if you like how they carve but don’t buy them assuming you will need to build a ski anchor with them every weekend.

  5. justin September 11th, 2017 3:55 pm


    Bruno is right. The link in the article directs to the non-xlt version. Which is apparently a bit heavier.

  6. rod georgiu September 11th, 2017 4:11 pm

    Actually flat tails are good for a different reason, kick turns. In powder, in steep terrain, I shove the tail off the ski under the downhill ski, and kick turns are effortless.
    An up turned tail also gives you less skin contact on icy skin tracks,very so easier to slip.

  7. Lou Dawson 2 September 11th, 2017 4:23 pm

    Bruno and everyone, thanks for your detective work! I’ll see if I can change the link.
    Yeah, they’re cool skis. I could easily use them as a go-to. BTW, the tails do have a tiny bit of rise, but not what I’d call rocker. They’re flat enough to be called “flat.”

    Correct link:


  8. See September 11th, 2017 6:58 pm

    Being of the opinion that straighter skis are better for steep/firm conditions, I haven’t skied anything else for as long as I can remember. Any thoughts on advantages/disadvantages of skis with a lot of sidecut (especially combined with soft flex), for the sorts of conditions for which one might use an 85 width bc ski?

  9. Mark W September 12th, 2017 8:40 am

    Nice bindings on those boards! Comfort/ Tri-Step heels with older TLT toes?

  10. Peter September 13th, 2017 3:00 pm

    I do wish that some of these types of skis would be offered in a longer size. I just like longer “water lines on my yachts”. Voile Objective, Volkl VTA Lite, this skis, etc etc, all seem to top out in the high 170 cms. Blizzard ZeroG 85 is the longest I’ve found in this style of ski, at a decent 185cm.

  11. Jernej September 13th, 2017 10:26 pm

    Here is the Perkmandeljc (correct spelling) 🙂

  12. MarkL March 14th, 2018 12:08 am

    I realize this is an older thread, but these sound a bit (a lot?) like the Fischer Hannibals, except those are 94. Is that a fair statement?

  13. See March 14th, 2018 9:28 am

    I haven’t skied the 94’s or the Elans, but I have a soft spot (pun intended) for the Hannibal 100’s. Looks like the Elans have more sidecut than the Fischers.

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