All-Mountain Skis

The Best Men’s All-Mountain Skis of 2022: Elan Ripstick 96 Black Edition

All-black, all-speed, and all-mountain. The Elan Ripstick 96 Black Edition is back for 2022 and it comes with QuadRod technology.

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Brand: Elan

Model: Ripstick Black Edition 96

Overall Ranking: #10

Overall Score: 3.69 / 5


Tip / Waist / Tail (mm)


Lengths (cm)

164, 172, 180, 188

Radius (m)

18 (180 length)

Waist Width (mm)





Intermediate to Expert



Rocker Technology


Core Material

Wood, Carbon

Stability at Speed

3.64 / 5

Quickness / Maneuverability

3.79 / 5


3.75 / 5


3.64 / 5

Hard Snow Performance

3.71 / 5

Crud Performance

3.71 / 5

Balance of Skills

3.61 / 5


3.68 / 5


Rounding out the top ten in the critical All-Mountain category, the Ripstick 96 Black Edition from Elan earned tester praise for being easygoing at medium speeds, but was happy to carve and float at a quick pace when the snow was soft. But what impressed the SKI Test Crew the most was the ski’s versatility in all conditions, even though it lacks metal laminates. “Not too stiff longitudinally or torsionally,” notes tester Mike Britt. “Smooth handling, even flex pattern, easy feeling. I could see this ski letting you ski all day without getting tired.”

The damp factor comes from an additional carbon laminate on the ski’s inside edges (Elan’s Ripstick line is specifically designed with assigned left and right skis due to an asymmetrical rocker and material layup; the ski’s effective edges are equal on both sides of the ski.) The company also puts four carbon rods in the Ripstick’s signature TubeLite wood core—called QuadRod Technology, which you should say out loud because it’s fun—which adds strength across the entire flex of the ski. This means the Ripstick 96 Black Edition is stable in crud and chop, and especially smooth when the snow is, too.

The tradeoff for all of this additional carbon in the ski’s construction is just a little bit of jitters in the shovel when speeds get maxed out, a trait that skis with metal don’t often have. But as long as you steer clear of going mach speeds in frozen crud, this skis can handle it. In fact, if you’re just starting to figure out crud and increasing the pace on groomed terrain, the Ripstick 96 Black Edition is an ideal weapon. “Damp, easy to break free if needed, and plenty of user input in the turn make this an excellent do-anything ski,” says tester Otto Gibbons. “Fun in the soft or on the hard, the Ripstick 96 Black Edition has the power to lay down nice carves and shred all over the mountain.”

  • Strengths: Forgiveness (9th in category), Crud Performance (10th)
  • Weaknesses: Stability at Speed (14th), Flotation (14th)

Buy the Elan Ripstick 96 Black Edition: evo |

The Best All-Mountain Skis for Men this Season

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