What a cool ski. Elan has really come a long way over the past few years, and the development of these Ripstick skis has been very refreshing and interesting to watch. The 106 is the freeride-inspired version of the ski, it has a soft-snow bias but is still versatile enough to handle true all-mountain skiing from a variety of different levels. Built with Elan's tubelite wood core, the skis also feature the new Carbon Line Technology. The 106 had been featured with a Black Edition model in the past, but the full carbon layup wasn't as appealing for a majority of skiers looking for a playful 106. Instead, Elan uses a strip of carbon that runs along the inside edges of the ski, and that's all it really needs. Harder charging skiers may still want the full carbon, and while there's certainly something to that, most of us prefer a more flexible personality in the soft snow. Since they're asymmetrical in shape, Elan can get away with bulking up only one side of the ski in order to generate power while leaving the outside edges open and available for playfulness. Carbon tubes still run along the length of the skis, and these create a smooth and stable feeling that no other company has. For a light, fun, and flexible performance, the Amphibio rocker profile also stands alone in the ski world, allowing the ski to have unmatched smoothness in any conditions or terrain. Still a bit flat in the tail, these skis do have some bite to them, and for that, we're thankful. Our testers love the upgrades and see the merits in the new Carbon Line Technology for sure.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Powder, Big Mountain, Touring
Phil McGrory got to ski the 188 and loved it. Mostly 4's and 5's on his card, including a 5 for flotation. for a 106, this is pretty impressive, but the overall shape and personality of the ski definitely makes sense in this regard. Phil states that "the Ripstick 106 has a light weight feel while providing great flotation in softer snow and with a surprising amount of firm snow stability for a ski in its category. The Amphibio rocker profile allows the ski to maintain a stable feel and easy turn initiation. The new version for 2021 has an added layer of Carbon which makes the ski torsionally more rigid than its previous version." Skiers looking to rip up the softer snow on the mountain will love these changes, just like Phil.
Jeff Neagle skied the 180 and notes that it "checks a lot of boxes as a versatile freeride or wide all-mountain ski. Can hold an edge on firm snow when you need it to, but the highlight is its playfulness, maneuverability, and overall fun-factor in soft snow and un-groomed terrain. Think about how Glen Plake skis. He likes to be in the air a lot and likes to make a lot of quick movements. Glen helped design this ski, so it's no surprise the ski's performance and feel matches his skiing style. That's how I think about the ski and that's how I feel when I ski it. It's also kind of a sleeper-AT ski. Elan doesn't really put a lot of emphasis on that in their marketing, but maybe they should. Skin attachment point on the tail, the 180 cm length is just 1790 grams per ski... and it's super versatile for different snow conditions. That's pretty much the perfect recipe for a hybrid AT/resort ski. Good candidate for a Shift or the new Duke PT, although I've seen a few with Kingpins and other more tech-focused bindings too." Jeff had some high scores to go along with the commentary, with all 4's and 5's on the score sheet including a 5 for overall impression. These are some consistent high scores, which isn't that surprising, given that the ski itself is quite consistent.
From an all-mountain ski to a backcountry shredder, the Elan Ripstick 106 has the build and shape to get you there. Whether you're touring or using them as a resort-exclusive ski, the versatility and playfulness are unmatched in this width, signaling yet another winning formula from Elan and the Ripstick division.