Expert Review: Elan Ripstick 106 Skis · 2022

Published on 12/28/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
Austen Law, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Austen Law

All photos courtesy of Austen Law

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.

My take

The Elan Ripstick 106 is a hard-charging all-mountain ripper that can carve and slay powder conditions. These are advanced to expert-level skis that can take a skier all over the mountain in all conditions.

About the skis I own

  • Model: 2022 Elan Ripstick 106
  • Size: 180cm

About me

  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185lbs
  • Experience: 26 years skiing, 16 years ski racing

Test conditions

  • When I bought these: October 2021
  • Days tested: 15+
  • Mount position: Factory Recommended
  • Boots: 2020 Rossignol All Track Elite 130
  • Boot Size: 26.5
  • Bindings: 2021 Look SPX 12
  • Where I’ve used it: Mt. Bachelor, Mt. Hood, Hoodoo, Stevens Pass
  • Terrain: Groomer, mixed conditions, powder

How they perform

Turn Ease
5/5
Carving
4/5
Durability
4/5
Flotation
4/5
High Speed Stability
4/5
Versatility
4/5

What I was looking for

As a former ski racer, I was looking for a bigger all-mountain ski that could carve really well. I know that is hard to find, but I was determined to find a 100mm or larger underfoot ski that could turn well and play in the powder well too. I had seen some ski racing world colleagues try the new Elan Ripsticks, so I wanted to try them out and see if they really could do it all.

Why I chose this gear

Having had the opportunity to try these skis out before I got them, my test drive told me everything I liked about these skis. I took them out at Mt. Bachelor on a day that the night before we got 5–6 inches of new powder, but the groomers also made some nice, soft groomers too. There was a playground all over to test these new Ripstick 106s. They could carve, charge through the mixed chop snow, and float and be fun in the powder.

What I love about them

  • Speed: Very quick ski right out of the plastic. They have a race-base-looking finish from a minimal base grind from the factory.
  • Turns/Edge Hold The Ripstick 106s are great turning skis, both at high speed for those big, long turns, and when I’m slowed down and more nimble. These new Elan skis come with their “Amphibio Profile," a new design that integrates rocker and camber profiles into dedicated left and right skis. It helps the skis feature a cambered inside edge for better edge grip and stability, while the rockered outside edge gives some forgiveness and ease of turn initiation.
  • Groomers: If one puts the energy into these skis, these skis will give everything they have. These skis rip. I took them out on a groomer day, and wow, were they fun. I felt like Ted Ligety out there carving some big, long turns. For being a ski that is 100mm+, these are really fun to take on the groomer and go out and carve.
  • Powder: The Ripstick 106 floats and plays really well in powder conditions. They have the size underfoot to float well and have a snappy and poppy core to be fun and reactive. Both in the powder and the trees, these skis float on clouds and are reactive and fun to be nimble through the tight turns in the trees. Most of my powder skiing is through the trees.
  • Backcountry: I didn’t take these into the backcountry, but these would make an excellent ski for the backcountry and some sidecountry adventures. Whether with a hybrid binding like a Shift or Kingpin, or full backcountry, these skis can float and are lightweight enough to tour well. They feature the best of both worlds of touring uphill and downhill skiing abilities.
  • Durability: So far, so good. I have skied on them for over 15 days and have not seen much damage or knicks on them. The topsheet and sidewall have kept up nicely.
  • Weight: Very good on weight as these have a TubeLite wood core, making them lightweight but really snappy and poppy as well.
  • Stability: No problems with stability so far. These cruised through all conditions, especially the mixed snow conditions like the crud and the chop. That wood core with the carbon rod reinforcement takes much of that violent movement and makes it much smoother.
  • Other: The Ripstick 106 also comes with a climbing skin notch at the tail to make it easy for on and off skis for touring.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Switch riding: These are built as a rocker/camber/rocker with a flat flush tail, so riding switch isn’t ideal. These are very much a directional ski.

Favorite moment with this gear

The Elan Ripstick 106 is a ski I thoroughly enjoy every time I get a chance to ski it. It checks a lot of boxes as a versatile freeride or wide all-mountain ski. They can hold an edge on firm snow when I need it to, but the highlights are its playfulness, maneuverability, and overall fun factor in soft snow and ungroomed terrain. I like to think about how Glen Plake skis. He likes to be in the air a lot and likes to make a lot of quick movements. Glen helped design this ski, so it’s no surprise the ski’s performance and feel match his skiing style.

Value for the money vs. other options

These are very much worth the value. These can shred in all conditions and are a blast to ski. These skis are a great time if one wants to ski them on the resort and/or the backcountry. As for some other options of skis that could shred like these Elan Ripstick 106, I would look into the Kastle FX 105 or the Armada Declivity 108Ti. Both the Armada and the Kastle rip on the groomer and can slay the powder, but I loved the feel and look of the Elans.

Final verdict

This 2022 Elan Ripstick 106 is a capable, versatile, and downright good-time ski. These can cruise the groomer and the chop and go rip in the powder and the trees. The Ripstick 106 can truly do it all for an all-mountain ski.

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