Our testers loved the lightweight and responsive nature of the 2019 Elan Ripstick 94 W skis. Elan has really stepped up their game over the past few years, and has incorporated a lot of new and interesting technologies that make the ski feel damper and more stable than the weight indicates. By utilizing their new Amphibio Profile, the main technological breakthrough is an asymmetrical design that allows the skier to transition from turn to turn easily and smoothly. They’ve achieved this effect by making the skis cambered on the downhill side and rockered on the uphill side. This allows the skis to track naturally with each other and make for some silky turns, especially in softer and fresh snow. The on-trail performance is still quite amazing, thanks to the Tubelite Woodcore. This wood core has two carbon tubes that run the length of the skis, increasing response and stability. All of our testers used the 170 cm length skis.
Ann MacDonald scored mostly 4’s out of 5 for all categories. She loved the versatility of the skis and had a very favorable overall impression. She calls them “light and lively skis. Easy to turn and initiate at the tip. The tip is pretty floaty and fairly quick underfoot. They’re not very stiff—softer and forgiving in the soft corn snow, and probably great in the powder too.” She goes on to commend that they are a “good fun ski overall for a variety of skiers.” It’s not surprising that she’d commend the skis for having easy turn initiation due to the Amphibio Technology. We like hearing when a comment backs up an assertion made by the ski company. It lets us know that both the company and we are on the right track.
Kristi Brown kept her review pretty short and sweet. She scored 5’s for quickness, playfulness and forgiveness. Both Kristi and Ann are accomplished skiers, so hearing that they are impressed with the performance level of the Ripstick 94 W is quite a treat. Kristi’s quote: “Super-duper fun ski.” Noted, Kristi.
We did happen to test these skis on a soft, warm-ish day, so that left a lot of our testers to wonder about their hard snow performance. Pascale Savard was one of those testers. She scored the skis very well in playfulness, forgiveness, and overall impression. Her stability score was average, most likely due to the fact that they are very light. “These skis are fun! I enjoyed these skis in this mixed snow conditions. Very playful and lively.” She then goes on to voice her hope that they would perform well on hard snow, too. “Rather light—not sure how it would perform on hard snow.” She then wraps it up nicely with “it is super pretty.”
Our biggest fan of the Ripstick 94 W was Mar Kuhnel. All 5’s for Mar, and we’ll leave her comments to speak for themselves: “Wooo! Maybe my next ski! Ripstick 94 W is fun, energetic, and easy to ski a variety of turn shapes. Lay it over and it feels stable, responsive and smooth. Great through cruddy snow. You can’t feel the asymmetry at all although I might get annoyed sometimes at having to keep left and right where they belong. They’re fast and swingy in short turns, smooth and stable in long turns, have plenty of pep and pop out of all turns. Fun!” Well said, Mar!
Total props go to Elan for pushing the creative envelope in the ski construction and design department. They are not afraid of trying new things, and when they actually work, a lot of different skiers will appreciate the effort.