2023 Elan Ripstick Tour Early Product Release: Lead Image

Ski Reviews

2023 Elan Ripstick Tour Early Product Launch

When it comes to early ski launches, before the season actually starts feels pretty darn early, but here we are, and let it be clear that none of us are complaining about it. I guess technically the season has begun, although not quite yet here in Vermont with Killington slated to open this coming Friday. Anyways, it’s early November, and we have new skis to talk about: the 2023 Elan Ripstick Tour collection! Before we dive into the details, a quick note on availability. The Ripstick Tour early release models are available for pre-order right away, with inventory and shipments expected early to mid-December.

Elan has been making waves in the industry in recent years with their unique and very successful Ripstick all-mountain and freeride skis. Thinking outside of the box, their innovative construction and shaping methods provide a rewarding skiing experience. We’ve talked about their skis at length, most recently in reference to the 2022 Ripstick Black 96 and 106. With alpine touring being a very popular and growing category in skiing, it’s not surprising that Elan has developed some lighter, more touring-focused skis. We say more touring-focused because the existing Ripstick skis are already quite capable as alpine touring skis. We often recommend them with hybrid bindings like the Shift or Duke PT. These new skis, however, take uphill capabilities to a new level and still promise to be a lot of fun on the descents. In this early release, we have 3 new models. We’ll have a couple women’s specific graphics too, but those aren’t yet available.

We’ll look at each ski individually in a little bit, but first let’s examine the differences in construction. First, we get a relatively lightweight wood core made from a blend of poplar and paulownia. It’s a lighter, more paulownia-focused blend than what’s found in the existing Ripstick models. Then we get Carbon Bridge Technology, which sounds cool, looks cool, and is a very important element to their construction. There’s a single carbon rod running down the middle of the ski that’s milled into the top of the core. In the fore and aft sections of the ski, this rod is very visible as it sticks out above the rest of the ski. Underfoot, however, where the core is thicker, the rod goes through the core of the ski, underneath the binding area. This single carbon rod is going to provide similar benefits to the carbon tubes we talk about a lot in the existing Ripstick skis. Remember, carbon fiber in a 360-degree application like this, rather than a horizontal sheet, has much smoother properties and provides superior vibration damping. Elan also uses what they’re calling 360-degree sidewalls. The ABS sidewall material wraps all the way around the tip and tail of the ski, which once again, looks really cool, and allows Elan to specifically bevel the sidewalls of the ski to further shave weight. We still get Amphibio Tech and a right and left ski in these Ripstick Tour models, although just the profile is asymmetrical, not the construction. Rather than extra carbon along the inside edge, we get 2 full additional sheets of carbon in what Elan calls Carbon Reinforcement.

Full disclosure, if it wasn’t obvious already, we haven’t skied these yet. In fact, we’ve only seen them in person for about 4 days before this article is going up. We are, of course, extremely excited to get on them and put them to the test. We’ll follow this up with full reviews of at least 2 of these skis, but until then, we can still look at each model and extrapolate what it’s going to be best for.

AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick Tour 104 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

166, 173, 180, 187 cm

23 m @ 180 cm

129 / 104 / 122 mm

1540g +/- 50g @ 180 cm



The first ski we’re going to look at is the flagship model in the collection and is Glen Plake’s first ever pro model. Yes, you read that right, FIRST EVER! Glen has been helping the Elan crew for a number of years now and his influence in their skis is undeniable. This Ripstick Tour 104 is also referred to as the Glen Plake Signature Model. It’s the widest ski in the collection and thus the best choice for soft snow. These new Ripstick Tour skis all have comparable versions on the non-Tour Ripstick side of things. With the 104, the counterpart would be the Ripstick 106. Interestingly, and unique with these wider models, the turn radius of the 104 is much longer than that of the 106. The 180 cm length in the Tour 104 has a 23-meter turn radius, up from the 18-meter radius of the Ripstick 106. That’s going to allow for smeary, slarvy, and drifty turns in deep snow. In general, a larger turn radius allows the skier to release the tail edge easier. Glen is often seen making little slashy, smeary turns in the midst of more traditional turns, and a ski with this shape will allow him to do that more easily. Tip and tail rocker is pretty similar to the 106. It’s definitely a directional ski, although we couldn’t help but notice there’s a +2 binding mount option that measures out to be about 3-4 cm back from true center. So, although it’s a directional ski, it looks to be very well balanced, which will help for tricks and playful skiing—two things Glen is certainly known for. The weight comes in about 300 grams lighter than the Ripstick 106, which is relatively consistent among all these skis. The 180 cm length comes out around 1540 grams—certainly light enough to justify using with a tech binding, or with a hybrid AT binding, whichever you prefer.

2023 Elan Ripstick Tour Early Release: 2023 Ripstick Tour 104 Camber Profile Image

AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick Tour 94 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

157, 164, 171, 178, 185 cm

17.4 m @ 178 cm

129 / 94 / 109 mm

1490g +/- 50g @ 178 cm



Then we have the narrower 88 and 94 models. These skis have less tail rocker and their turn radii match much more closely with their non-Tour counterparts. The 178 cm Ripstick Tour 94 has a 17.4-meter turn radius, which is quite close to the 18-meter arc in a 180 cm Ripstick 96. Aside from the construction, the biggest differences between the Tours 94 and 88 and the Ripsticks 96 and 88 is the amount of taper. There’s noticeably more taper, especially in the tip of the Tours, which makes sense as these skiers will likely be venturing into tight, technical terrain. The Ripstick Tour 94 hits an impressive 1490 g weight per ski.

2023 Elan Ripstick Tour Early Release: 2023 Ripstick Tour 94 Camber Profile Image

AT A GLANCE


2022 Elan Ripstick Tour 88 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

156, 163, 170, 177, 184 cm

17.6 m @ 177 cm

125 / 88 / 104 mm

1330g +/- 50g @ 177 cm



While the 104 is probably best suited for a western skier or maybe an east coast powder touring ski, the 94 and 88 are perfectly suitable for daily east coast touring. Not to say someone out west couldn’t enjoy them too, but there’s something about the shape of the 94 and especially the 88 that looks great for here on the east. The 88, especially, as it comes in below 1400 g, would be an excellent tool for exploring east coast backcountry. You generally don’t need much width in that application, and would rather benefit more from a lightweight, quick ski, which we expect is exactly how the Ripstick Tour 88 feels.

2023 Elan Ripstick Tour Early Release: 2023 Ripstick Tour 88 Camber Profile Image

We are incredibly excited to get these skis on snow and expect them to gain a strong following among touring enthusiasts as well as existing Ripstick skiers. We also love how nicely they round out Elan’s ski options. With the introduction of the Black Edition skis, it kind of brought up the question, “what if we had lighter skis too?” and that’s exactly what we got. You can anticipate a full review of the Ripstick Tour 104, the Glen Plake Signature Ski as soon as we can get on snow and put it to the test. Keep an eye out for that in mid-December, and until then, let us know if you have any questions and get your pre-orders in! If early-season Ripstick sales are any indication, these will likely be gone before you know it.

2023 Elan Ripstick Tour: Pre-Order Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 11/04/21

One thought on “2023 Elan Ripstick Tour Early Product Launch

  1. These sound like great performing designs for off the beaten track skiing.
    With Glen Plake involved in the design, one can be certain the performance characteristics more than accomplish the job.
    Look forward to the experience!
    Dennis

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