2020 Elan Ripstick 106

The Elan Ripstick 106 is the second-widest ski in their Freeride collection and features a shape that screams versatility due to Elan’s unique Amphibio shaping concept and TNT construction methods. It has fairly significant rocker in both the tip and tail, which is paired with smooth early taper. Elan’s Amphibio design uses more rocker along the outside edge, with more camber along the inside edge. When you’re engaged in a turn, this helps the skis feel more balanced and also helps smooth out turn initiation when linking turns. Their TNT construction uses carbon tubes running tip to tail through a wood core. Carbon has much different properties in a 3-dimensional application like this if compared to a 2-dimensional sheet of carbon we often see. The Ripstick series has made a name for itself as being fun, playful, yet still stable and reactive and we were excited to see if that carried through to the 106.

Marcus Shakun loved testing the 188 cm Ripstick 106, which happens to be the longest available length. Every criterion was scored over 4 out of 5, with most in the 4.5 to 5 range. Only flotation dropped to 4 out of 5, which is still a very solid score. “Most versatile and forgiving ~106 mm ski. Super playful and snappy in and out of every turn. The quickest edge to edge in the 106/110 mm category as well.” There are a lot of options in this category, and that feedback from Marcus is valuable when choosing what’s right for you. In addition to that quick, playful feel, Marcus still found it was pretty darn good on firm snow too, reflected in his score of 4.5 out of 5 for torsional stiffness/edge grip. “Not too stiff, but overall great flex. Could ski this everywhere. Hard or soft snow, doesn’t matter. No negatives about this ski.” That’s really high praise from Marcus, who has the opportunity to test a lot of different skis within a given season. If he likes it, you know it’s pretty darn good. Marcus also mentioned it hits a wide range of skiers, “an advanced intermediate to expert can all enjoy this ski.”

Brad Schauerman skied the 181 cm and really enjoyed the Ripstick 106. In fact, it seems that Brad is a fan of the Ripstick collection in general. “Much like the Ripstick 96, this is a very fun ski.” High scores from Brad for flotation, stability, forgiveness, and overall impression. “A little slow from edge to edge, but that makes sense for a fatter ski.” We know from Marcus’ feedback that he thought it was one of the quickest in the 106-110 mm category, so perhaps Brad is just focusing on the slower edge to edge feel of all skis in this range. Brad “would love to try it in deeper snow,” and we don’t blame him. The 106 mm width combined with the smooth rocker and early taper makes it a top performer in soft snow. In addition, it “holds an edge well” on firm snow. Brad found it “liked to make big, long, arcing turns rather than quick little ones” when carving, but you can pivot, slash, and smear it into shorter turns with ease.

Jeff Neagle also skied the 181 cm length and found the Ripstick 106 to have an excellent blend of characteristics. “It’s amazing that the Ripstick 106 can feel stable and playful at the same time. Smooth flex pattern that doesn’t feel too demanding, but it doesn’t feel twitchy and doesn’t chatter at high speeds. Super easy to flick around and smear, but can also drive a pretty powerful turn.” We saw high scores across the board from Jeff, all 4’s and 5’s out of 5. Those scores scream versatility and a well-rounded ski, which is becoming somewhat of a theme of the Elan Ripstick collection.

If you like exploring the whole mountain, seeking out soft snow, and want a ski that won’t hold you back, but also isn’t overly demanding, the Ripstick 106 could be the ticket. It’s hands-down fun to ski. It’s relatively lightweight, yet stable too. It can be tossed around and played on, but it can also hold an edge through a carve and can handle some high speeds too. Huge amounts of versatility in this ski, that’s for sure.

Testers

Brad Schauerman

Age: 28Height: 5'9"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Trees, trees, and more trees just like a squirrel

Marcus Shakun

Age: 39Height: 6'5"Weight: 225 lbs.

Ski Style: Powerful, but playful with the terrain

Jeff Neagle

Age: 33Height: 5'10"Weight: 150 lbs.

Ski Style: Aggressive freeride with freestyle background

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