This past January I had the pleasure of testing Elan’s new breakout ski, the Ripstick 106, while ski touring on the west side of the Tetons.
With the Baldy Knoll yurt booked, I set out on our 3 day shred mission with 5 others to test these new planks which Glen Plake claims are “the one ski I can just grab go anywhere in the world and be fine.”
Gaining 2 miles and 2,200′ on the skin in, Elan’s latest offering held up beautifully thanks to ample camber underfoot. The camber allowed the ski to hold a very strong edge when kick turning even when wearing a 40lb pack. I’ve found that flat or reverse camber skis lack the same edge hold underfoot and can turn into a nightmare of slipping and sliding backwards down the skin track.
With a lighter pack, the ski’s edge hold becomes even stronger and I was able to hold icy kick turns on a slope that ranged between 30-35° while my other backcountry partners floundered and slid back down the track.
Elan’s Ripstick also boasts an extremely light core that employs carbon tubes laid into the ski’s wood core. Each ski weighs just under 4 lbs and with the exception of carbon touring skis, this ski has great uphill performance for not being specifically ‘ski-mo.’
- Vaportip Inserts – Reduce weight in the tips and tails of the ski
- Tubelight Woodcore – Wood core with carbon tube inlay
- Notched tail keeps the skins’ tail clip from sliding off
Uphill performance grade: 4/5
The Ripstick 106 is an absolute beast on the downhill. A full sidewall ski with early rise in the tip/tail and camber underfoot, the 106 floats conquers soft and variable snow conditions without losing a turn. That said, the mid-fat Elan ski handles unbelievably well on hard snow.
With a specified right and left ski, the semi-asymmetric build puts skiers on a stable turning stance that encourages perfect, parallel turns and optimizes edge to edge transmission of energy. Just remember to have the right shoe on each foot before dropping in…
- Early rise tip/tail
- Amphibio Profile
- Full SST Sidewall construction
Downhill Score: 5/5
Overall Score: The Elan Ripstick 106 completed its tour of duty with high commendations and received a 4.5/5 score for its capabilities as a touring specific ski.
Buy Here: Elan Ripstick 106
Find out more here: Elan Ripstick Series