Elan Ripstick 106 ReviewJanuary 3, 2018
- Skied well in all conditions
- Nice amount of float
- Powerful yet responsive
- Very accurate
- Easy to initiate
- More damp than lively
- Suffers at higher speeds
- Did not own any single classification
Elan’s proprietary Amphibio Profile is at its absolute best in the Ripstick 106, which got some of the best all-around scores in the Powder category for its perfect mix of Float and edge grip. The Amphibio’s asymmetrical design features a designated left ski and right ski with a mix of rocker and camber in the tip for an ease of initiation that doesn’t come at the sacrifice of edge hold. Along with the brand’s lightweight Vapor Tip Inserts and “Tubelite Woodcore” (hollow carbon tubes inserted into a wood core), the ski offers a powerfully damp sensation with excellent ski-to-snow contact that is remarkably easy to access. The ski is more damp than lively, and doesn’t have the same confidence at the highest speeds like the Blizzard Rustler 10 or Volkl 100Eight. And perhaps as a result of its great all-around, all-piste performance, it did not own any single classification in the Powder Category of our test.
The maneuverability of the Ripstick 106 makes it great for skiing anywhere on the mountain, as does its penchant for a buttery smooth edge hold in a variety of turn shapes. Its equal dose of Float and arc make it a great choice for a wide variety skiers, ranging from upper intermediate looking to improve, to experts who want a one-ski quiver, especially if they tend to ski out west. If you haven’t skied Elan in awhile, the Ripstick 106 will definitely make you want to take a closer look.
Elan’s Ripstick 106 got one 7 (out of a possible 10) in the Overall Classification, from a tester who would have liked a slightly livelier feel underfoot, while on every other test sheet it earned an 8. The majority of skiers on our test team were impressed with how well the ski performed everywhere on the mountain, with an ease of initiation and damp hold that meant you could keep making the same turn no matter where you took it.
In the Sluff-ability classification, the Ripstick 106 got 8s on every test sheet. The ski’s ease of initiation and dampness make it fun to keep buttering into a turn and even pivoting the tails down the hill if you want. The way the ski keeps floating to the surface in softer conditions also enhance its Sluff-awesomeness.
Also earning straight 8s across the board in the Stability classification, the Ripstick 108 is a model of damp hold and wonderfully predictable, round turn shapes. It ease of initiation in all conditions along with the smooth feel of its carbon/woodcore mix, as one tester wrote, creates a ski that is, “powerful yet responsive.”
In the Float classification, the Ripstick 106 scored two 10s, a 9 and a couple of 8s. The ski doesn’t have the pronounced rocker of a ski like the Atomic Backland, but its perfect union of rocker, camber and a damp, progressive flexing shovel result in such a smooth turn entry in all conditions that it really does perform near the top of the class.
Hard Snow Pleasure
Also earning 8s on testers sheets across the board for Hard Snow Pleasure, the Ripstick 106 is on par with Dynastar’s Legend X96 for how well it handles on hardpack. The ski feels so smooth and confident on prepared surfaces that you might almost forget you aren’t off-piste. We recommend the Ripstick 106 for anyone who takes pleasure in making clean turns with consistent ski-to-snow contact.Continue Reading
Peter Kray- Publisher
Peter Kray is a co-founder of the Gear Institute, and a longtime specialist in the testing of skis, snowboards and outdoor equipment.