The Elan Ripstick 102 W is the widest women’s specific model in the Ripstick Feeride collection. The Ripstick skis have carved a niche in the industry with their blend of forgiveness, ease of use, yet high performance ceiling. They’re not the stiffest skis, and they’re impressively lightweight, but Elan’s TNT technology with 3-dimensional carbon tubes provides plenty of torsional stiffness and stability. Their asymmetrical Amphibio design utilizes more rocker along the outside edge and camber along the inside edge, which gives the skis a very intuitive and balanced feel through all sorts of different turn shapes. While this ski falls into the freeride category, we expect it to be quite versatile across the whole mountain, especially for women who prefer wider skis.
Jascha Herlihy skied the 170 cm Ripstick 102 W and seemed to fall in love with the ski. She did mention that she would’ve preferred a longer length, and there is an available 177 cm length in the Ripstick 102, so if you are similar to Jascha as a skier you may consider going longer. That said, she said it felt “short, but manageable.” That length didn’t stop her from scoring the Ripstick 102 W 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, versatility, and overall impression. “These skis are the bread and butter of all-mountain skis. You can take them from second gear to sixth with ease and they don’t crumble underneath you with speed. For an intermediate skier, these will take their confidence to the moon.” That’s something we’ve always found impressive with the Ripstick skis. They feel great at slow speed and don’t demand an expert skier, but when you open it up and ski aggressively, they respond well. “The versatility of these skis is crazy with an incredible amount of control. From chundery hard park to soft and slushy laps, these skis will go anywhere.”
Kelsey Boleski also skied the 170 cm length, and like Jascha, thought it was a little small for her. “170 cm was ok, but I could have gone longer.” Still, that didn’t stop her from rewarding it high scores, including 5 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, and overall impression. While these ladies feel they could have gone longer, they still loved the performance of the 170 cm. Kelsey found it was quick and easy to maneuver, yet performed admirably at speeds on firm snow. “Living up to its name, the Ripstick 102 W performs like a race ski on groomers.”
Caroline Kessler, our third tester on the Ripstick 102 W, also found the 170 cm length to be a bit short. Editor’s note: these three women are all quite accomplished skiers with strong technique, so keep that in mind if you’re determining length. “Holds an edge well even at high speeds. Cuts right through crud. No speed limit even at the shorter length. Great ski for a confident all-mountain skier who wants to pop around through moguls and trees, but also rip big turns on fresh groomers.” All three of our testers on the Ripstick 102 all found a similar blend of maneuverability off-piste and ability to hold an edge well on-piste. That’s an impressive accomplishment for any ski, let alone a ski that has such a light weight, forgiving feel as the Ripstick 102 W.
If you’re looking for versatility and you like to ski a wide range of terrain and snow conditions, it’s hard to look past the Ripstick 102 W. We put it on the feet of some aggressive women skiers and it lived up to their expectations and met their demands easily. Somehow, it’s easy to ski, yet hard to push past its limits. An intermediate skier will love its approachability, lightweight feel, and forgiving nature, while an expert will be blown away by its versatility and what they can accomplish on it.