At Elan, we’ve been innovating for decades for one simple purpose – to make the skiing experience better for everyone, from beginner to expert. Decades of constantly pushing the design envelope – from sidecuts to constructions, materials to production processes – we challenge ourselves to design the best performance, highest quality, state of the art products for friends and family to enjoy great days on the mountain. It is with this uncommon valor that we have committed our brand to this one goal, and to deliver on our promise to make everyday the best day on snow for Elan skiers.
Rudi Finžgar, the founder of Elan, could do things others could not even dream of. He could see far into the future and he had no fear. He knew anything was possible. Above all, he was in love with winter, snow, skiing, and especially ski jumping. In September 1945 Elan sports equipment production cooperative was born. Finžgar’s visionary influence is perhaps the greatest reason why the Begunje factory was never short on innovations. Elan’s development institute soon earned the reputation of a trendsetter in the ski industry as it released countless inventions that changed skiing for ever.
The 60’s are defined by a continuing expansion of the company’s product range. Elan’s most important products of this decade are skis, small sailing yachts and other boats, and equipment for sports facilities. Elan also manufactures tennis and badminton rackets, table tennis equipment, ice-picks, mountain rescue gear, backpacks, and sports jackets. The company’s brand-name also encompasses racing and recreational sleighs and hockey sticks. Elan’s product range is further enriched by the manufacture of oars and water skis.
In 1963 Elan was the first ski manufacturer in the world to introduce screen printing technology for decorating the top layer of the skis. First on the plastic material, and later on metal as well. This began a trend that would later become the norm for the entire ski industry.
Elan began to solidify its status as an innovation based brand, while also making its presence felt on the winner’s podium, thanks to the exceptional talent of a young Swede by the name of Ingemar Stenmark.
The seventies were breakthrough years for our Begunje based company. This period is when Elan began to pave its way towards international glory by establishing a reputation for being an innovative ski brand. The Uniline ski, a true revolution, which featured extreme sidecut for the time was introduced. This model was prized by racers, including Stenmark, who used them for both slalom and giant slalom.
The eighties were an incredibly fruitful era for Elan, especially in terms of success in competition. Slovenians have always been a skiing nation. For us, skiing is a special sport. But we never loved skiing as much as we did in the eighties, not before nor since. The love grew far beyond the boundaries of sport. We could even say that skiing “on the sunny side of the Alps” grew to football proportions. Elan was more than just a trademark. It was national pride, a symbol. It was like a flag.
Elan redefined skiing in the nineties with the introduction of the MBX, the first cap construction ski on the market, and later with the SCX which debuted extreme sidecut to skis, forever changing the landscape of skiing. It was a decade of great changes in many areas throughout the world, in Europe, Slovenia and also in Elan. In the early nineties, we skied on classic two meter long skis. Nobody thought then that we would derisively call them pikes and laugh at them just a few years later. And the revolution was spearheaded by Elan. We can call it carving, deep sidecut skis, butterfly or flipper skis. It doesn’t really matter. The fact is, as many times before, the new industry standards were created in Begunje. It is also a fact that no other innovation changed skiing quite as profoundly as the new geometry of these skis.
Experiencing the breakthrough of the millennium is a special privilege only a few generations have experienced. When Elan launched the carving revolution, ski length suddenly became just a consequence of radius and sidecut. Shapes became radically different as well. Skiing suddenly became the source of a whole new range of feelings. Skiing down groomed pistes became like riding a rollercoaster with the trails left by the skis resembling railway tracks. Yes, carving is just like skiing on rails. Thanks to innovations like the Fusion system, the world’s first integrated ski and binding system and WaveFlex technology skis could be soft longitudinally and torsionally stiff and stable to make skis easier to control, while improving performance.
Once again Elan proved to be an ultimate skiing innovator. Its products were awarded with numerous technology and design awards around the globe. It is also the period when the revolutionary Amphibio technology was launched. This unique solution based on a dedicated left and right ski that combined rocker and camber enables unprecendented performance of skis. Amphibio technology was acknowledged by the skiing experts and became the most awarded ski technology in the industry.
Elan presented another remarkable innovation – Folding ski. Making a ski that folds in half without sacrificing its fundamental characteristics was an impossible task, until now. Elan created a foldable ski with high-end ski performance and zero limitations of movement. It easily attaches to a pack quickly and securely making the skis easy to transport and deploy in hard to travel terrain, be it through an airport or a couloir in the Julian Alps.