PREVIEW: Epic Planks Ripper

PREVIEW: Epic Planks Ripper, BLISTER
Epic Planks Ripper

Ski: 2012-2013 Epic Planks Ripper, 185cm

Dimensions (mm): 139-103-130

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 183.9cm

BLISTER’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2,100 g & 2,145 g

Founded in 2009, Epic Planks defines itself by three words: innovation, feedback, and progress. That language might sound fairly ordinary coming from an indie manufacturer, but the company seems especially dedicated to product development via the input of qualified riders.

In its first three years running, the brand has worked with input from professional guides at snowcat operations throughout the western U.S. and Canada, its own sponsored athletes, and its own customers to develop a small but promising looking line of skis and snowboards for the 12/13 season.

Another interesting thing about Epic Planks is where they call home: Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Grand Rapids certainly isn’t the the first place that comes to mind when you think about big-mountain skiing, but we also know that good things often come from unexpected places.

More importantly, Epic Planks seems to be interested in doing things the right way. On their site they say, “While we’re not entirely self-sufficient yet, we’re very close, with an emphasis on sourcing 100% of our production materials from the States, like using sustainable poplar harvested from the Northern Michigan forests and processed at a local sawmill.”

We’re going to start by reviewing two of their skis, beginning with the Ripper, Epic Planks’ all-mountain, one-ski quiver.

On paper, everything about the Ripper seems well thought out. The ski sports a versatile 103mm waist width, a gradually rockered tip, traditional camber underfoot and through the tail, and early taper in the tip and tail. Poplar and maple make up the core, along with triaxial fiberglass and rubber foil for dampening. Lastly, Epic Planks lists the ski’s radius as a seemingly short 17.2m in the 185cm length.

This sounds like a ski that could be very quick and energetic on hardpack, yet is still well suited for smooth, surfy handling in soft conditions and able to hold its own in chop and crud.

With that in mind, the potential comparisons to the Ripper are numerous. It doesn’t seem all that dissimilar in shape to the Sir Francis Bacon, or perhaps the Atomic Ritual in terms of claimed stability. These might not be the most immediate comparisons—only snow testing will tell—but in any case, we’re excited to get the Ripper on snow and find out.

Most smaller brands really appreciate feedback on their products, but not all of them openly ask for it and commit to product development as part of their mission statement. We’re curious to see how well Epic Planks’ attention to development and progression has paid off in this regard, and weigh in for ourselves.

Along with the Ripper, we’ll also be putting time on the brand’s more dedicated powder ski, the Crop Duster, which we’ll post another small preview of tomorrow.

See our preview of the Epic Planks Crop Duster.

You can now read Will’s full review of the Ripper.


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