Elan is famous—and sometimes infamous—for innovative R&D. (We tried—and failed—to get a peek into the mad-engineering room in the Slovenian factory.) The Ripstick 94—unchanged this season—has hollow carbon tubes that run through the core, stabilizing and simultaneously lightening it. It also has a rockered outside edge for looseness in soft snow and a cambered inside edge for bite on groomed. Testers all agreed it was a playful, fun ripper, capable all over the mountain. A few quibbled that the wide tip was hard to engage, but overall, it’s a Ripstick, indeed. “Zippy and lively, yet blasted through the crud no problem,” Gibbons said.
Strengths: Flotation, Crud