2020 Elan Ripstick 88 W

The Elan Ripstick 88 W is a new ski for the 2020 ski season and takes the proven technology from Elan’s wider Ripstick models. This technology is relatively unique. Elan utilizes what they call Tube Light Woodcore, which integrates tip to tail carbon tubes into the wood core. This 3-dimensional carbon application has different properties than sheets of carbon fiber, giving the ski a smoother feel and better vibration damping than most carbon skis. This construction also results in a lighter weight ski than most competitors’ models. The profile of the Ripstick 88 W uses Elan’s Amphibio shape, with rocker in the tip along the outside edges of the ski and camber along the inside edges. This makes turn initiation super quick and really easily, as the rockered outside edge helps pull you into a turn as you tip the ski on edge. Last season, the Ripstick 94 earned high praise from our female testers, and we were excited to see how the 88 lived up to our expectations.

Carly Monahan skied the 163 cm length and was impressed by the performance and feel of the Ripstick 88 W given how light it feels. We also saw high scores from Carly, 5 out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, versatility, and overall impression. The other criteria? Nothing was scored lower than 4 out of 5. “For a ski that feels light in hand, they skied really reliably and powerfully. Seems super versatile and dependable. Really fun!”

Shelby Parenteau hopped on the 170 cm length during her testing, which she admitted felt a little big for her size. She still seemed to enjoy her time on the Ripstick 88 W, reflected in her scores of 4 out of 5 for stability, quickness/maneuverability, torsional stiffness/edge grip, versatility, and overall impression. “Other than the length being a little long for me, this was a really fun ski. Really brought me into my turns very well and the transition was smooth like buttah’! Nice and stable, but still easy to maneuver, even though they were a bit long.” That’s great feedback from Shelby. Even though she was on a length that she felt was too much for her, she still found an excellent blend of maneuverability and stability, key ingredients in a versatile all-mountain ski.

Allison Ruschp also tested the 170 cm length, which she initially thought might be long for her, but commented that she found it skied a little bit short, which made that length work great for her. High scores from Alli, nothing under 4 out of 5, with playfulness and versatility both earning the coveted 5 out of 5 score. “Make sure you know your right and left because it matters with this ski! Fun all-mountain ski. Very forgiving tip shape makes it ski shorter than you think. Handles crud and soft snow well. Held an edge, but not a true carving ski, prefers to be swished around. Would be a lot of fun in trees.” The shape of the Ripstick 88 W definitely lends itself to pivoting, smearing turns, but based off the feedback from our other testers, it can still lay down some carved too. Even Alli gave it 4 out of 5 for torsional stiffness/edge grip.

Jana Ross skied the 170 cm length as well and fell in love with the Ripstick 88 W. Every criterion received a 5 out of 5 score, except flotation, which was left blank as she didn’t have the opportunity to try it in deep snow. “This was my first time trying it (a Ripstick) and it felt awesome. These skis are easy to turn, yet hold an edge well. They felt light, super fun, and playful.”

The Elan Ripstick 88 W is a solid new contender in the women’s all-mountain category. It will take you just about anywhere on the mountain and can handle a wide range of snow conditions. Its combination of feeling lightweight, yet stable and substantial on your feet is commendable and down-right impressive, which is a statement that you can carry through the entire Ripstick collection from Elan.


Carly Monahan

Age: 33Height: 5'4"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Athletic and active, but laid back

Sam Purnell

Age: 26Height: 5'5"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong and athletic with an adventurous spirit

Shelby Parenteau

Age: 27Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Snowboarder

Allison Ruschp

Age: 32Height: 5'5"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Ex-racer who's calmed herself down

Jana Ross

Age: 42Height: 5'8"Weight: 142 lbs.

Ski Style: Silky-smooth and deliberate with styles for miles

4 Comments on the “2020 Elan Ripstick 88 W”

    1. Hi Slim!
      It’s a whole new shape to give it a bit more all-mountain versatility, while the build remains pretty much the same. They’re distancing it more from their on-trail skis. Hope that helps!

  1. How would this ski work for a 5’10” 175 lb advanced skier? I am attracted by its light weight and softer tips.

    How does it compare to the Black Pearl 88, which I have skied?

    1. HI Wendy!
      Fantastic choice. The Black Pearl has a bit more of a consistent flex to it, but not as much energy as the Ripstick. The flex of the Elan is, as you’ve surmised, softer in the shovels, but stiffer underfoot and through the tails. This makes it really fun in the bumps and trees and shorter turns, as it likes to be on edge. Have fun!

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