Expert Comparison: Elan Ripstick 96 vs and Head Kore 99

Published on 06/08/2023 · 4 min readDiscover the Elan Ripstick 96 and Head Kore 99 skis in this in-depth comparison by Ski Expert Leo. Find the perfect all-mountain ski for you!
By Ski Expert Leo Cocchiara

Video Transcript

How's it going? My name is Leo, and I am a curated.com Ski Expert coming to you live from my home in Colorado. I've been in the industry for over 10 years, and today I'm going to give you a side-by-side comparison of the Elan Ripstick 96 and the Head Kore 99.

These two skis have become extremely popular because a lot of skiers are looking for a lightweight option that can function all Mountain on the resort but also be light enough capable of doing some Backcountry touring. A lot of people want that ski that they can use for both disciplines, and the Elan Ripstick does that really, really well.

Elan Ripstick 96

It's a unique ski because it's got a specific left and right. If you zoom in on the top sheet, you can actually see it printed there, left and right. And if you go up and look at the tips, you can see why. It's because the inner turn radius is different than the outer turn radius because the way we turn in is different than the way we turn out. So this is designed to really help us excel at our carving.

These tips, in their unique shape, both in radius, also have a lot of rocker to help us float through soft snow. So this makes it really capable in powder, while the traditional tail design does a really good job carving and locking in on firm snow. So it's just very versatile for a variety of conditions. And if you zoom in and look at the tail clip as well, you can see it's got a notch for skins. So it's designed being that 50/50 ski in mind. So if you're looking for one ski to do really well at both Resort skiing as well as Backcountry, the Elan Ripstick is going to be really good for that.

But it does have its limits. And if you come down and look at some of our reviews and our quick takes on these, one of the things this ski doesn't do really well is make sharp turns in tight spaces. Both in testing and in customer feedback, we found that this ski does struggle a little bit to make quick turns in moguls and trees. It feels a little sluggish in that regard. So while it's really light and while it's really good at carving, it's not the best for getting into tight spaces.

Head Kore 99

If we jump on over here to the Head Kore 99, this ski has made a lot of waves in the industry as a ski for being extremely light while also being really powerful. It does that by having a unique core material that's proprietary to Head called graphene, which is a really lightweight but stiff compound. So in lieu of metal and carbon, Head has been able to utilize graphene to make this ski both extremely light and really stiff, helping it excel in both the resort and in the backcountry.

At 99 underfoot, it's that perfect sweet spot of versatility to handle both hard-packed snow and soft snow. It's got a really nice quick turning radius, so I've never felt like it's had any issues in terms of making tight turns in moguls and trees. Overall, it's a really great ski for that advanced skier who is looking for one ski to do it all, both backcountry and resort or just somebody who really wants to take the weight off their legs while still having all-mountain capability.

Similarities and Differences

Which one's going to be the best for you? It's a great question. Hit me up right here on curated.com if you have any questions, and we'll be happy to help you find the right pick.

Comparison Table

Elan Ripstick 96Head Kore 99
Skill LevelIntermediate to AdvancedAdvanced
Ideal TerrainAll mountain, Resort and BackcountryAll mountain, Resort and Backcountry
Ski CharacteristicsLightweight, Versatile, Rocker tipsLightweight, Powerful, Quick turning
Best ForSkiers seeking dual useSkiers seeking all-mountain capability
LimitationsStruggles in tight spacesNone specified
Leo Cocchiara, Ski Expert
5.0
Leo Cocchiara
Ski Expert
I’ve been master boot fitting and managing ski shops in Colorado for 10 years and I LOVE to get people dialed in for a great winter season! Reach out and we’ll get you the perfect fit for your needs!.Think of me as your personal ski pro in your pocket!
560 Reviews
3780 Customers helped
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Written by:
Leo Cocchiara, Ski Expert
5.0
Leo Cocchiara
Ski Expert
I’ve been master boot fitting and managing ski shops in Colorado for 10 years and I LOVE to get people dialed in for a great winter season! Reach out and we’ll get you the perfect fit for your needs!.Think of me as your personal ski pro in your pocket!
560 Reviews
3780 Customers helped

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