Throughout history there have been many attempts to make a folding ski, a ski that literally folds in half from the middle, but all have failed for a number of reasons. Making a ski that folds over without sacrificing its fundamental characteristics was an impossible task. Until now.
From its very inception, the Elan folding ski project enlisted the help of Davo Karničar, one of the best ski mountaineers of all time and the first man to descend from the summit of Everest on skis. “I must admit I was very sceptical at first about how these skis could be skied as safely and effectively as normal skis. But my doubts soon vanished. I was thoroughly surprised by the efficiency and safety of these skis.”
WHY WOULD A SKIER NEED A FOLDING SKI?
Davo Karničar is perhaps best equipped to answer such questions.
“The task of a folding ski is to fold. Folding skis strapped to a backpack allow for much greater maneuverability during technical ascents on foot. There is nothing sticking out above the head and below the belt to impede the climber. Folding skis also facilitate climbs that require the use of ice axes because the arms can swing freely overhead. This greatly increases safety. Folding skis also bring unique advantages to descents, particularly at times when they need to be taken off for whatever reason. Classical skis strapped to a backpack tend to snag on rocks and roots, even the slope itself can be a hindrance. Folding skis immediately resolve all these issues.”
Of course, skis must not compromise their primary function - skiing.
“Folding skis work very well in spite of their slightly increased weight. The base plate under the boot is a particularly well thought out addition. It stiffens up the ski and allows it to be more active. I feel much safer on these skis,” adds Karničar who has put the folding skis through their paces on several six thousand meter peaks. He is also intent on using them for more of his demanding ski mountaineering projects in the near future.
Ibex Tactix skis are available in recreational and military versions. They feature a special carbon plate that rotates by 180 degrees and take approximately 20 seconds to fold and extend. When extended, the skis measure 163 centimeters and fold down to only 90 centimeters. They allow for much easier, more efficient and safer movement through winter terrain.
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