New/re-designed (but still really new) for 2022 is the Elan Ripstick 96 Black Edition. While the previous version of the Black Edition 96 had an extra horizontal sheet of carbon, these have two additional carbon tubes in the central part of the forebody and in the tail, as well as an extended Carbon Line Technology laminate over the inside portion of the ski. As a result, these asymmetrically-built skis are one of the must-ski models for 2022. The carbon rods do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to the power and stability of the ski, and the laminate keeps the inside edge of the ski glued to the snow and ready to rip some big, long, and fast turns all the while remaining agile and light enough for bumps, trees, or anything else you can possibly find out there on the hill. At 96 mm underfoot, these skis are right in the sweet spot for true all-mountain skiing, serving well as a pure one-ski quiver—capable and willing to handle anything and everything that you can possibly find out there on the hill.
Rocker / Camber / Rocker
Carbon Line Technology, QuadRod Reinforcement, Vaper Tip Inserts
All Mountain, Groomers
On the 180, Brad Schauerman noted that it was a perfect length. He’s also an owner of the previous Ripstick 96 Black Edition, so it’s great to get his feedback, both as a comparison and as a stand-alone perspective. Brad scored the ski all 4’s right down the line with a lone exception for a 3 in forgiveness, meaning Brad found these to be on the slightly stiffer side. He states about the Ripstick 96 Black: “These skis rock! Great changes this year adding more material to the ski really helped to dampen the tips and makes it not get tossed around a bit less in the crud than in models before.” So, a bit more stable and damper than his previous 96 Black, and that sounds right in line with where Elan is going with this ski to begin with for sure. Also on the 180, Josh Wolfgang notes the length as good, and his general feeling of the skis is exemplified in the scores. 5’s out of 5 were given for quickness, maneuverability, playfulness, versatility, and overall impression. The rest of his scores were 4’s, showing the well-rounded nature of the ski. His quote backs that up as well: “This is such a great one ski quiver. Super light yet super damp. So much control no matter what you are doing on the ski. Pivot, slash, lay it on edge. The ski can do it all.” Again, that’s pretty much exactly what Elan set out to do with these skis, and we’d say they were pretty darn successful in that endeavor.
On the longer 188, Bob St.Pierre had a blast. He also skied the 180 earlier in the year, but we got a hold of the 188’s and he snatched them right up. Bob scored the skis 5’s out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness, edge hold playfulness, versatility, and overall impression. Clearly a strong ski, these consistently high scores are truly indicative of a well-rounded product with endless capabilities. Bob notes that the Ripstick 96 Black Edition “is one of the coolest and most versatile skis I’ve been on in quite some time. Their application of carbon is as close to the dampness and power of metal as I’ve ever seen, and that’s a huge accomplishment. You would swear that these skis had at least one full sheet of metal in them, but they don’t! Loved them in the bumps and trees, but also felt totally comfortable opening them up on groomers and letting them rip. No weaknesses, really, but I’d hope that for this ski, and the 106 Black, that they’d do away with the Vapor Tip inserts, as they don’t really need to be lighter in the shovel, and I’d prefer a bit more power in the front of the ski, but that’s just me being nitpicky. Other than that, I’d ski this every day of the year and love them.” Pretty glowing stuff right there.
Top to bottom and left to right, these skis do it all. They have the shape, construction, and profile to give a wide variety of skiers the confidence and ability to tackle the whole mountain. While intermediates and lighter advanced skiers may find them on the stiffer or slightly heavier side, skiers who enjoy the feeling and performance of metal will be blown away with the stability and dampness of these Ripstick 96 Black Edition skis.