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Rating: 2.85 / 5
Waist Width: 106
Lengths: 167, 174, 181, 188
Stability at speed: 2.68 / 5
Hard snow performance: 2.05 / 5
Crud performance: 2.65 / 5
Flotation: 2.99 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.96 / 5
Overall: 2.85 / 5
With its 106-mm waist, the new Elan Ripstick 106 has plenty of surfy flotation for all but epic powder days. Its narrower waist makes it a bit quicker to edge than the full-fat Ripstick 116, and gives it a little more hardpack versatility for day-to-day conditions at Western resorts.
The Ripstick series is a new collection of fat freeriders from Elan, replacing the Spectrum series. Ripstick waist widths range from a powder-specific 116 mm down to 96 mm, with a women’s specific version at 94 mm. All feature Elan’s unique Amphibio profile. Amphibio skis are right/left dedicated, with mirror-image rocker/camber profiles in the forebody of each ski. The inside edges are cambered all the way to the tip, so the working ski has the benefits of camber: tip-to-tail edge grip, and rebound energy out of the turn. The outside edges are rockered, so the uphill edge is looser in the snow, easier to pivot and steer, better able to absorb terrain shocks. All Amphibios are wood-core constructions, with Elan’s new Tubelight reinforcement: sections of foam with embedded hollow carbon tubes, running tip to tail near each edge, delivering the strength and rebound energy of wood without the weight. Elan’s Vaportip Inserts are designed to banish the tip-flap that plagues some rockered skis: Two shallow channels are milled into the top of the core through the rocker zone, then filled with sheets of elastomer foam that dampen vibrations without adding weight. All Ripsticks are built with Elan’s SST sidewalls, which are angled inward at the top for moderate edginess and to withstand abuse from the opposing ski’s edge. All are metal-free, for light weight and lively performance. All are sold flat (no binding).
Elan is based in Behunje na Gorenjskem, Slovenia, where it was founded during World War II to make skis for Yugoslav partisans. Partner brands include Alpina boots. Long state-run, it was privatized in 2015, when a Russian venture capital fund acquired a 95 percent stake. -J.C.