2018-2019 Elan Ripstick 106

Luke Koppa reviews the Elan Ripstick 106 for Blister
Elan Ripstick 106

Ski: 2018-2019 Elan Ripstick 106, 181 cm

Available Lengths: 167, 174, 181, 188 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 177.6 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1760 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1814 & 1845 grams

Stated Dimensions: 140-106-122 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 142.8-104.7-120.0 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 18.1 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 63 mm / 18 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2 mm

Core: Poplar/Paulownia/Maple + 2 Carbon Tubes + “Vapor Tip Inserts” + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.3 cm from center; 78.6 cm from tail

 

Ski: 2018-2019 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.1 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1840 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1849 & 1922

Stated Dimensions: 140-106-122 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 143.0-104.6-120.2 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 20.4 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 61 mm / 19 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~2 mm

Core: Poplar/Paulownia/Maple + 2 Carbon Tubes + “Vapor Tip Inserts” + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.75 cm from center; 82.3 cm from tail

Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: On the line

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Strider 120; Dalbello Lupo SP I.D. / Tyrolia AAAttack2 Demo

Test Locations: Arapahoe Basin, CO

Days Skied (Total): 6

Intro

A couple weeks ago, we published a First Look on the Elan Ripstick 96. And now we have more good news for those who have been requesting reviews of Elan skis: we’re also reviewing the Ripstick 106. Not only that, but we’ve also had the chance to ski both the 181 cm and 188 cm Ripstick 106, so we’ll be weighing in on both.

Like the Ripstick 96, the Ripstick 106 has a few design features that make it stand out from the competition. So while we put together our full review, let’s take a look at what makes the Ripstick 106 unique, and offer some initial thoughts on how similar or different the Ripstick 106 feels from the 96.

Here’s what Elan says about the Ripstick 106

“Life can get complicated when choosing your freeride quiver. Fatties will leave something to be desired on hardpack in the backcountry, while on narrower sticks you’ll fall behind your buddies on pow days. The Ripstick 106 is the answer to all your skiing problems, as it’s the perfect width for a one-ski backcountry quiver. It was designed for skiers that seek exceptional performance while exploring all that the mountain has to offer. It’s a smooth ride no matter where you take it – front side, steeps, trees, or exploring untouched terrain, this lightweight versatile ski is up for any challenge. The addition of TNT Technology, Amphibio profile and SST Sidewall supply all the power, smoothness, maneuverability and precision. Hard to argue with Plake: ‘This is the one ski I can take anywhere in the world and be fine.’”

“The answer to all your skiing problems.” While that is most definitely not possibly true (we’ve seen some of you ski. Just kidding. We suffer more than our fair share of on-snow crashes), and on this hot day in June, we applaud the high-octane swagger of this marketing copy.

So while we guarantee that this ski won’t solve everyone’s skiing problems, Elan is unquestionably placing the Ripstick 106 directly in the category of “skis that are supposed to do literally everything.” (Elan specifically calls the Ripstick 106 a one-ski backcountry quiver. But they also say it offers a smooth ride on the front side, steeps, trees, and when exploring untouched terrain.)

Shape / Rocker Profile

Like the Ripstick 96, the Ripstick 106 has a substantial amount of tip and tail taper. The Ripstick 106’s tips and tails don’t taper to very much of a point like the Dynastar Legend X106, but the Ripstick 106’s taper lines do start pretty deep into the ski.

The Ripstick 106’s has a pretty shallow tip rocker line for a ski of this width, and its tail rocker line is not very deep, either. But like the Ripstick 96, the Ripstick 106 features Elan’s “Amphibio” asymmetrical rocker. This means that the Ripstick 106’s rocker lines are deeper on the outside edges and shallower on its inside edges.

The Amphibio design is meant to increase the loose feeling gained from a more heavily rockered ski, while maintaining the edge hold and grip of a less rockered ski. But just like the Ripstick 96, this asymmetry is quite subtle on the Ripstick 106 — there isn’t that much difference between the rocker lines on the inside and outside edges of the ski. So while it’s an interesting concept, at first glance, we aren’t inclined to wager that the Amphibio rocker would have a major impact on the ski’s on-snow feel.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the 181 cm Ripstick 106:

Tips: 6.5-7
Shovels: 7.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9-8.5
Tails: 8

The Ripstick 106 has a fairly round flex pattern, and it’s a bit stiffer overall compared to the 181 cm Ripstik 96. But what we like most about the flex pattern of the Ripstick 106 is that it’s not super stiff. And as you may know by now, we generally think that when you’re going pretty light on a ski, it makes sense to soften up the flex pattern a bit since that often helps give the ski better suspension (case and point, the Line Sick Day 104).

The Ripstick 106’s flex pattern also has a nice amount of rebound and pop to it when hand-flexing it.

And when comparing the 188 cm Ripstick 106 to the 181 cm version, we felt very little difference in their flex patterns, with the 188 cm version having maybe just slightly stiffer shovels, though the difference was not very noticeable.

In other words, Elan didn’t disproportionately stiffen up the longest length of the Ripstick 106.

Weight

Like the Ripstick 96, the Ripstick 106 is a pretty light ski for its size (and especially for a ski that’s said to perform well in the resort).

For their respective sizes, the Ripstick 106 isn’t coming in as crazy-light as the Ripstick 96. But the Ripstick 106 is definitely light enough that we’ll be talking about how it performs both as an inbounds ski, as well as one you could take outside the resort for some laps in the backcountry.

For reference, below are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things more apples-to-apples.

1629 & 1684 Elan Ripstick 96, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1642 & 1651 Renoun Citadel 106, 185 cm, (18/19)
1755 & 1792 Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1814 & 1845 Elan Ripstick 106, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1825 & 1904 Black Crows Corvus Freebird, 183.3 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1843 & 1847 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1849 & 1922 Elan Ripstick 106, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1898 & 1893 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (18/19)
1913 & 1943 Sego Condor Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
1923 & 1956 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106, 189 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1941 & 1965 Fischer Ranger 108 Ti, 182 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1970 & 1979 Atomic Backland FR 109, 189 cm (17/18)
1980 & 2016 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1996 & 2012 Dynastar Legend X106, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2022 & 2047 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2026 & 2056 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 107, 184 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2036 & 2064 Salomon QST 106, 188 cm (18/19)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2376 & 2393 Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)

Compared to other 50/50 skis of a similar width, the Ripstick 106 is coming in at the lighter end of the spectrum. So we’ve been comparing it to several other skis in this class to see whether the Ripstick 106 is best suited to more forgiving snow in the backcountry, or whether it can handle the more chopped-up / rougher snow often encountered in the resort?

A Couple Comparisons

Line Sick Day 104, 179 cm & 186 cm

The Sick Day 104 comes in at a very similar weight to the Ripstick 106, and both skis have fairly similar flex patterns. The SD 104 also happens to be one of our favorite 50/50 skis, so will the Ripstick 106 be similarly versatile?

Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm

The Soul 7 HD is more than 100 grams heavier than the Ripstick 106, but the two skis share fairly similar rocker profiles and shapes. So should people think about the Ripstick 106 as a slightly lighter Soul 7 HD?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The Elan Ripstick 106 is a light, all-mountain ski with a shape, rocker profile, and flex pattern that are all pretty similar to some of our favorite 50/50 skis. We’ve spent a good amount of time on both lengths of the Ripstick 106 this spring, and Blister members can check out our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review. While we put together our full review, let us know about any questions you’d like us to address.

Flash Review: Elan Ripstick 106

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Ripstick 106.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: The Full Review

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