Ski: 2020-2021 Elan Ripstick 116, 193 cm
Available Lengths: 177, 185, 193 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 189.9 cm
Stated Weight per Ski (185 cm): 1900 ± 50 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (193 cm): 2006 & 2063 grams
Stated Dimensions: 145-116-132 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 146.2-114.3-131.5 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (193 cm): 23.3 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 55 mm / 32 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2 mm
Core: Poplar/Paulownia/Maple + Carbon Tubes + Carbon Edge Reinforcement + “Vapor Tip Inserts” + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -5.35 cm from center; 89.6 cm from tail
For a few years now, the Ripstick series has been Elan’s offering in the “freeride” category. In our experiences with the previous Ripstick 96 and Ripstick 106, and our initial time on the updated, 20/21 Ripstick 106 and Ripstick 102 W, we’ve come away with pretty positive impressions. All of the skis have been intuitive, lively, versatile, and pretty stable at speed for being quite lightweight.
During the upcoming season, we’ll be getting on the widest, most powder-oriented ski of the group, the updated Ripstick 116.
Elan says that the Ripstick 116 is designed to let their athletes “float and slash down the world’s steepest and deepest lines” while also being able to “cut through windblown snow and crud with ease.”
We’re excited to get on the ski when the snow starts falling to evaluate those claims, but for now, let’s dive into the design of the ski to see how it compares to the rest of the market.
Same as the 20/21 Ripstick 106 and 20/21 Ripstick 102 W, the 20/21 Ripstick 116’s primary update from the 19/20 version comes from its construction.
The 20/21 Ripstick 116 still features Elan’s carbon rods inserted above the edges, as well as their “VaporTip” inserts for decreased swing weight. For 20/21, Elan added a layer of a carbon-fiber weave over the front-inside edges that they’re calling “Carbon Line Tech,” with the goal of improved edge hold where you need it without hampering the outside edges’ ability to release from a turn and pivot.
Shape / Rocker Profile
In terms of shape, the Ripstick 116 looks nearly identical to its narrower siblings. It’s a pretty moderate shape compared to other pow skis, without a dramatic amount of tip or tail taper. Overall, the Ripstick 116 looks somewhat similar to the Moment Wildcat, K2 Mindbender 116C, and ON3P Woodsman 116.
The Ripstick 116’s rocker profile is similar to its shape in that it’s not exactly pushing the boundaries, though the Ripstick 116 does have notably deeper rocker lines than the Ripstick 106. The Ripstick 116 still has a bit of camber underfoot and a pretty directional rocker profile, with a shallower tail rocker line and less tail splay vs. the tips.
Like the other Ripsticks, the Ripstick 116’s rocker profile is asymmetrical, with the rocker lines on its inside edges being shorter than those on the outside. The goal here is the same as the new construction — create better edge hold and power transfer where you need it while maintaining a looser, easier-to-pivot feel on the outside edges. And, like the other Ripsticks, the Ripstick 116’s asymmetry is quite subtle — you have to look quite closely to see the differences between the rocker lines of the inside vs. outside edges.
The Ripstick 116’s rocker profile looks fairly similar to the K2 Mindbender 116C, though the Ripstick 116’s tip rocker line does not rise as quickly and it has much less tip splay, at a fairly low 55 mm. Similar things could also be said about the Blizzard Rustler 11 vs. Ripstick 116, though the Rustler 11 also has a much deeper tail rocker line with more tail splay.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Ripstick 116:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-9
The Ripstick 116’s flex pattern is pretty similar to the 20/21 Ripstick 106’s, though the 116 is softer at the tips and tails and slightly stiffer behind the heel piece. Overall, the Ripstick 116’s flex pattern is far from super burly, though it’s pretty strong around the bindings and behind them. But we suspect that its softer front-half should help it plane up in deep snow, while potentially still feeling supportive around the middle.
Compared to the now-discontinued (but very good) Line Sick Day 114, the Ripstick 116’s flex pattern is quite similar. The same can be said of the Blizzard Rustler 11. Compared to the K2 Mindbender 116C, the Ripstick 116 is a bit stiffer at the very ends of the tips and behind the bindings.
This is one interesting departure from the other Ripstick skis we’ve reviewed. While those skis all had pretty traditional mount points of around -9 or -10 cm from true center, the Ripstick 116’s mount point measures around -5.4 cm from true center.
This is interesting, since the rest of the Ripstick 116’s design is quite similar to the other skis. I.e., it still has a pretty directional shape, rocker profile, and flex pattern, but its mount point is actually much more in line with a lot of playful, freestyle-oriented skis like the Moment Wildcat, J Skis Friend, and 4FRNT Inthayne. We’ll be very curious to see what kind of stance (e.g., centered vs. forward) the Ripstick 116 encourages.
It’s also worth noting that Elan includes marks up to 3 cm in front of and 4 cm behind the recommended line, so we’ll be trying the Ripstick 116 with the bindings moved around its recommended mount point.
As we noted in the intro, all of the Ripstick skis are pretty light. The Ripstick 116 is no exception, with our pair of the 193 cm length coming in at an average weight of 2034 grams per ski.
Given the size of the ski, that’s quite light. While it’s not as light as dedicated touring skis like the Black Diamond Helio 116 or Whitedot Ragnarok Carbonlite, it’s a whole lot lighter than many similarly wide “freeride” skis like the Nordica Enforcer 115 Free, Rossignol BLACKOPS Gamer, Moment Commander 118, J Skis Friend, and Dynastar M-Free 118.
The Ripstick 116’s weight is somewhat in line with a few skis we recommend for “50/50” use inside the resort and for touring in the backcountry, such as the Blizzard Rustler 11, K2 Mindbender 116C, Line Outline.
For reference, here are our measured weights for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples to apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
1873 & 1878 Line Vision 118, 183 cm (20/21)
1895 & 1906 Folsom Trophy Carbon, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1897 & 1913 Majesty Vanguard, 188 cm (20/21)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–20/21)
2006 & 2011 Rossignol Super 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2006 & 2063 Elan Ripstick 116, 193 cm (20/21)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2027 & 2052 K2 Reckoner 112, 184 cm (20/21)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2097 & 2103 Liberty Origin 112, 184 cm (17/18–20/21)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2122 & 2151 Whitedot Altum 114, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2125 & 2134 Kye Shapes Metamorph, 185 cm (19/20)
2136 & 2174 K2 Reckoner 122, 184 cm (20/21)
2173 & 2204 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm (19/20)
2174 & 2187 Moment Wildcat, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2181 & 2190 Parlor McFellon Pro, 185 cm (19/20–20/21)
2188 & 2190 Prior Northwest 110, 190 cm (19/20–20/21)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–20/21)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (18/19–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–20/21)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20–20/21)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2250 & 2280 Movement Fly Two 115, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2280 & 2286 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2290 & 2293 Moment Commander 118, 188 cm (19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar M-Free 118, 189 cm (18/19–20/21)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer 115 Free, 191 cm (17/18–20/21)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Jeffrey 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol BLACKOPS Gamer, 186 cm (16/17–20/21)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) Elan calls the Ripstick 116 a “hard charging big mountain freeride ski,” though it’s not super stiff and it’s quite light. So, just how stable and composed will it feel when skiing fast in more challenging conditions like chop and crud?
(2) With a recommended mount point around -5.4 cm from true center but an otherwise pretty directional-looking design, what sort of skiing style and stance will the Ripstick 116 prefer?
(3) The Ripstick 116 doesn’t have a drastically tapered shape nor extremely deep rocker lines, so how maneuverable will it feel in deep snow, particularly in tight spots and at slower speeds?
(4) On the other hand, how versatile will the Ripstick 116 be when you take it out of deep, fresh snow?
(5) Given its low weight, should the Ripstick 116 be thought of primarily as a ski for lift-accessed skiing, human-powered touring, or a mix of both?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The Elan Ripstick 116 is a lightweight, powder-oriented ski with a shape and rocker profile that make us curious about its potential versatility. Given our positive experiences with other skis in the Ripstick series, we’re very eager to get the widest of the bunch on snow, so stay tuned for updates in the future.