2022 Elan Ripstick 102 W

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lengths: 154, 162, 170, 178 cm
radius: 15.8 m at 162 cm
sidecut: 136/102/115 mm

Returning unchanged for 2022, the Elan Risptick 102 W is a fun-loving wider-bodied all-mountain ski that definitely has some freeride influence as well. These sharp-looking sticks are built and shaped to take you to the next level of your skiing career, keeping the fun and stoke alive with their unique construction and shaping techniques. Elan uses a tubelite wood core that incorporates two carbon rods that run the length of the skis along the sides, providing fantastic energy and response for a lot of different skiers. One of the cool things about the Ripstick 102 W is that it uses Elan’s Amphibio rocker profile, putting more camber on the inside edges and more rocker on the outside. This creates an extremely smooth feeling to the ski—neither hooky nor grabby in any snow conditions, making the transition between turns feel as seamless as anything you’ve experienced. Also on that inside edge, Elan uses their Carbon Line technology, placing a carbon laminate along about three-quarters of the inside edges of the skis, putting more emphasis on the carving capabilities of the ski without adding weight. All of this ends up making a fun-loving ski that excels in soft snow, but is no slouch on the firm stuff as well. Interestingly, our two testers (who ski together a lot actually), had slightly different viewpoints on this ski, and that’s most of the fun of running this test. Find a skier with whom you identify, listen, and trust their impression!

Rocker / Camber / Rocker
TubeLite Woodcore
Carbon Rods, Fiberglass, Vapor Tip,
All Mountain, Powder

Danielle Nichols skied the 170 and noted that it skied true to size and was the right length for her. She’s usually on a burlier ski, so it stands to reason that she did find this 102 to be on the more flexible side. Her top score was a 4 out of 5 for flotation, with 3’s given for stability, quickness, maneuverability, versatility, and overall impression. For a slightly wider ski, these are some consistent scores, adding to the versatile reputation of these wider all-mountain skis. Skier input is key with these skis, and we certainly had some softer snow on our test day. Danielle notes that on its own, the 102 “Doesn’t really do much. Fun in the soft bumps. No real reaction when you stand on it. Probably best in deeper snow or soft crud.” For a powerful skier who’s used to skis coming to life when stepped on, Danielle prefers that stronger ski, while the Ripstick requires more of a deft and lighter touch, and that’s fine and good to note.

Also on the 170, Kristi Brown had a pretty different experience on the Ripstick 102. She noted that it felt a tad long for the softer conditions, but would likely not get a smaller ski if she were to purchase for herself. While Danielle had low scores of 3 and 2 out of 5 for stability and torsional stiffness respectively, Kristi gave both of those categories top scores of 5, showing a respectful difference of opinion when it comes to those traits of the ski. Kristi’s other high scores of 4 out of 5 were given for flotation and overall impression, so it’s fair to say that she had a more favorable experience on the Ripstick 102 W versus Danielle. “This Ripstick rolls like a baller! Seriously strong platform ski that crushes hard pack and plows through crud. Loves big, fast skiing, but small radius turns and bumps are a no go! Intermediates need not apply. The aggressive take no prisoner charger that loves blasting the mountain.” While Danielle seemed to have a good time on the 102 in the bumps, Kristi was just the opposite, preferring the ski in wider spaces and higher speeds.

It’s always interesting when two skiers of similar experience and ability have differing opinions on a ski, and that’s what makes the whole sport so interesting and fun. It would be boring if they were all the same and everyone felt the same way about the same ski and how it performs, and that’s the best part of our testing process, in our humble opinion.

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