2021 Elan Ripstick 116

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lengths: 177, 185, 193 cm
radius: 20.4 m at 185 cm
sidecut: 146/116/132 mm

For floaty freeride fun with a pittance of weight underfoot, the Ripstick 116 is an awesome choice. The 116 follows the rest of the Ripstick skis for 2021 with the addition of the Carbon Line Technology that stiffens the inside edges of the ski. Still for this year, the skis feature tubelite technology in the wood core, so the carbon tubes that run the length of the ski are still there, but now there's a half-layer of carbon that runs on the inside portion of the skis. Since they're asymmetrical, this makes a lot of sense for putting more bulk over the inside edges while leaving the outside edges open and ready for play. Moderate rocker and taper for a 116, these skis do have a bit of versatility to them, especially when it comes to the quickness and maneuverability. Our testers were really hoping for a snowier day for testing, but alas, we cannot make it snow. Still, a great time was had by all on the Ripstick 116.

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Tubelite Woodcore
Carbon Rods
Powder, Big Mountain

On the 185, Jeff Neagle calls the 116 a "Super fun powder ski. The Ripstick construction works really well for a soft-snow oriented ski, and that's certainly how I would describe the Ripstick 116. Not nearly as versatile as the Ripstick 106 or 96, but if you're in need of a powder ski, this is a great choice. Feels light on your feet and has a nice flex pattern. Not too stiff and not a noodle either. The Ripstick construction provides relatively good stability and vibration damping, especially when you consider the lightweight feel, playfulness, and maneuverability. That means you can ski it with confidence. You never really know what you'll encounter in un-groomed terrain, even on a powder day. The Ripstick 116 provides all the float you need, but if you happen to hit a wind-scoured spot or some other firmer conditions, it doesn't feel tremendously unstable or out of place. Could be a good powder touring ski too for someone lucky enough to live somewhere with lots of snow and lots of backcountry terrain, which would most likely be a western skier or someone in Chamonix. On the other hand, it would be a good east coast powder ski too as it's nice and maneuverable, which helps in tighter terrain." Notable 5's out of 5 on his scorecard were for flotation and overall impression. These are not surprising, as when you're floating on powder, you're generally impressed.

Also on the 185, Bob St.Pierre noted that he could have gone a size up. Always searching for the longest length, Bob especially could have used it with a ski like the 116. "While it has a lot of strength and flotation, I couldn't help but feel that I was leaving some performance on the table by not having the 193 on my feet. When a big skier like me gets on something even a bit too short, the feeling is magnified, and especially so with a ski like the Ripstick that relies on partial carbon layers for the power rather than metal. But for the majority of skiers who don't weigh 220 pounds or more, they should ski pretty darn true to size. Even with the shorter length, it was easy to tell that these were prime floaters. I like the tail being a bit flatter, especially in this flex, as a more rockered/turned-up tail would have felt too soft for me. Easy turn initiation, obviously, with that Amphibio rocker profile-that asymmetry really works!" It's fun to see when something that could be construed as a gimmick is actually more on the functional side of the spectrum.

Skiers looking to put a premium on light weight flotation will gravitate to the Ripstick 116 for sure. Easy to turn and fun to float, these skis are an ideal choice for that true powder ski with a lighter and more maneuverable personality.

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