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Elan Ripstick 96 All-Mountain Ski 2022 – 2023 | Review

4 days ago 11

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Skiing

Sporting an asymmetrical construction, the Ripstick 96 goes forth and conquers the whole mountain

Why we chose the Elan Ripstick 96: Versatile, light, powerful

Lengths (cm): 164, 172, 180 & 188
Sidecut (mm): 136 /  96 / 110  (180 cm)
Radius: 18m (180cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1,650g (180cm)
Price: $699

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Already established as one of the most popular all-mountain skis on the market since its redesign last season, the Ripstick is ready to charge and conquer even the most difficult conditions (something which its competitors struggle to grasp). Elan have mixed together vital components in a well performing, predictable, ski and packaged them inside a 96 waist ski that will never feel too wide for the piste, nor too narrow for the softer stuff.

In previous years, the Ripstick was often only critiqued on its lack of edge grip when thrown onto the hardest packed icy snow. However, since listening to the customer base, Elan have gone and reinvented the a-symmetrical sidewall and cambered inside edge in order to give a longer contact on each inside edge.

The skis feature left and right markers printed on the topsheets to ensure the skis are constantly used to their maximum potential on the ski days.

The Tubelite wood core inside each of these skis hold 2 carbon tubes that run through the length of the ski to maximise torsional and longitudinal responsiveness. This is all happening inside a super lightweight package which keeps the weight to a minimum. This allows upsizing in this ski to become more common for the skier that might want to focus their use of this ski in the softer snow. These shredders require less swing weight, but more surface area to stay afloat in the powder.

Elan’s Vapor Tip also dampens vibrations and reduces weight further. This results in maximum grip and predictability in the toughest of conditions.

It’s not at all uncommon to have a brand push their ‘single quiver’ ski to the market as something that will tackle every unpredictable weather condition you face in the mountains. However, Elan have replied with the most predictable ski on the market; a ski which really does tick every box. Don’t act like you’re not impressed. 

By sporting a 96mm waist width, it can be hard to believe that the Ripstick has such predictability on hardpack snow. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the ski struggles to cut loose when thrown onto its edge. Freeride performance is the key metric when dealing with a ski at this width. It doesn’t disappoint when taken into the soft snow, and comes with a powerful yet playful feel in an extremely lightweight package. 

Wider options of this ski are also available from Elan in a 106 and 116. The 96mm variant is tapered from a monstrous, for its size, 136mm wide tip. It’spacked with the Vapor Tip inserts, which is in the area of the ski that will come into contact with the snow initially before sending you soaring onto the top layer of snow and charging down everything below.

Elan have really built this ski for the adventurous skier who wants to be able to absolutely maximise things in unpredictable off piste conditions, and bring a playful and powerful style of riding to the mixer. It’s also great for laying down back to back carves on the iciest morning groomers without having to make an awkward ski change in the middle of the day.

It is certainly not outside the realms of possibility to attach a hike and ride binding to this ski, and get on some early morning tours. It is light enough to efficiently glide up the snow on the way up, and is well-suited to charging through that snow on the way back down. The Ripstick 96 is one of the best all-mountain skis we’ve been on this season, and we believe it will continue to stay unchallenged at the top of its category moving forward. Why? Because no ski really tackles the varying terrain of the alps as good as this. Seriously, try it. You’ll not be disappointed

What Is The Elan Ripstick 96 Good At?

Versatility: 10/10
Carving: 9/10
Soft Snow: 9/10

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