Ladies looking for light weight performance in a variety of conditions and terrain will love the composure and confidence of the Elan Ripstick 88 W. We talk a lot about the skis in this width really having the ability to mean a whole lot of things to a lot of different skiers, and this is one of the best of the bunch. Built with Elan’s Tubelite wood core, the Ripstick 88 W has two carbon rods that run the length of the ski, offering energy and responsiveness without adding weight. In addition, Elan’s Carbon Line Technology places an additional laminate of carbon along the inside half of the ski (since they are right-left specific), placing more grip and strength on the downhill, carving edge of the ski, all the while leaving the uphill portions light and flexible so that you can seamlessly transition between turns. Fairly light and spoony in the shovel, these skis initiate easily, and are rather good floaters for their width. A huge range of skiers will enjoy the versatility and easy-going nature of these skis, and our testers are continually impressed with the poise, precision, and playfulness of these true all-mountain skis.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Vapor Tip Inserts, Carbon Line Technology
All Mountain, Groomers
Both Alli and Carolyn Ruschp loved the ease of use and carving versatility of the ski. It’s always nice to get a mother/daughter duo on a pair of skis, as the sport is on the generational side of the spectrum, with Alli having some pretty nice alpine pedigree in her DNA. Carolyn was on the perfectly sized 162 and her top scores of 5’s out 5 for playfulness, forgiveness, versatility, and overall impression. Torsional stiffness and edge hold recorded a low/average score of 3, while the rest of her marks were 4’s, leading us to believe that Carolyn has a very favorable impression of the skis. Backing that up, Carolyn states that she “used it on groomed trails that were a bit firm. Carved well and was fun to be on.” For a lot of skiers, that’s all these skis are going to be used on, and in that sense, they’re as good as any. Daughter Alli skied both the 162 and the 170, but leaned to the longer length as better for her, noting that “This is a ski I want to add to my quiver. Skied both lengths and loved both, the 170 was better in the slush but I think the shorter length is better for me overall. Amazing edge grip, smooth stable ride, really fun and energetic. This is the ‘everyone ski’ and will make a wide range of abilities happy on it. My mom loved and so did I, with very different ski styles. Once you remember the left and right, you will want to take continuous runs on this ski!” Yes, please remember your lefts and rights on these skis, as it does make a difference.
Also on the 170, Nifer Hoehn found them to be just right. She’s a pretty powerful skier with a racing background, so she’s a good one to test the limits of the Ripstick 88 W. Her top scores were 4’s out of 5 for torsional stiffness, edge hold, and versatility, with the rest of her scores in the 3-range. These are some consistent scores, and it’s right on the money with what Elan sets out to do with skis like this. Nifer did note that she was able to find (and surpass) the top-end of these skis, so for that upper echelon of athletes, the lightness of the Ripstick may be a limiting factor. Nifer notes that for “The positives, these are light and quick, zero chatter, and Elan's graphics are slick. I think I was ruined by testing the men's Ripsticks two years ago, and I wanted these to be a similar experience. These were too light for my liking, and I felt like I overpowered them. Without sounding like too much of a complete ass, they didn't feel like they were up to handling what I wanted to throw down.” For skiers who are mainly used to skiing a burly ski with metal, these Ripstick 88’s might be on the softer side.
For most mortal skiers out there who are looking for a fun, versatile ski for true all-mountain skiing, the Elan Ripstick 88 W is an ideal choice. Sure, the tip top of the high end might find some chatter or lack of stability, but that’s not going to be the case for the vast majority of skiers out there. Agile and precise, these skis check a ton of boxes when it comes to being tops in its class for versatility and all-mountain prowess.