2023 Elan Ripstick 116 Review
If it’s deep, this ski will float your boat
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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.34
- Rank: #8
- Flotation: 8.33
- Playfulness: 6.67
- Responsiveness: 7.44
- Quickness: 6.89
- Crud Performance: 6
- Stability at Speed: 6.59
- Forgiveness: 7.11
- Versatility: 6.56
- Price: $1,000
- Lengths: 177, 185, 193 cm
- Dimensions: 146-116-132 mm
- Radius: 20
- Level: Intermediate to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Flotation, Responsiveness
- Cons: Crud Performance, Stability at Speed
So you like to savor your powder days, dipping in and out of trees, and Mach speed isn’t your speed? Dial it to six and turn to the Ripstick 116, an intermediate to advanced ski for the skier craving a fun and playful tool. “The Ripstick is easy to understand and does what you tell it to,” said tester Nick Loomans, a former ski racer turned powder hound based in Utah. “I recommend this ski for someone who enjoys spending their powder day in bumps and trees at mellower speeds.”
Trees, you say? Absolutely. We were blown away by how nimble and maneuverable the Ripstick 116 is, even in longer lengths, thanks to the proprietary Amphibio technology. By adding rocker to the outside edges of each ski, with traditional camber on the inside edge, Elan has created an asymmetrical ski shape that allows you to get out of your own way to initiate smooth, clean turns. (It swings around like a fat carving ski, said Utah-based Luke Larsen.)
“The Amphibio shape is kind of like strapping trampolines to your feet,” said tester Andy Trow. (He’s a geoscientist responsible for installing chairlifts all across North America. You can trust him.) “This is a playful, poppy, energetic ski that is fun and nimble without losing stability.” While testing in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, Trow couldn’t get enough of the soft chop, trees, and poppy moguls on the Ripstick 116, though he could have used more damping in the construction to keep the ski from running away from it.
“Elan crushes it with the Ripstick collection and the 116 is no exception,” agreed tester Avery Pesce, GM of Boston Ski and Tennis. “The Amphibio profile makes this ski incredibly nimble in even the gnarliest of conditions. Whether it’s powder, mashed potatoes, crud, or even groomers, this stick can handle it.”
With that in mind, Elan meant for the Ripstick 116 to be a true powder ski. That’s where it rises to the occasion. “The flotation is off the charts,” said tester Brady Newton. If you’re skiing powder glades or open meadows (or better yet, wide open spaces in Alaska or B.C.), you’ll experience firsthand what we did: a lively, well-balanced ski that won’t drag you to the bottom.
To get that effect, Elan utilizes vertically placed ABS sidewall material above the edges from the tip to the tail of the ski combined with tip-to-tail carbon tubes running the length of the ski’s wood core, following the arc of the side cut to offer stability and a powerful rebound when coming out of the turn. “If you’re that lucky person who gets to get first tracks, go ahead and ride off into the sunset on these floaty boats,” said tester Scott Yorko, who has enjoyed his fair share of global powder days.
Testers agreed that this ski has an old-school feel that’s best for a skier who stands over the front of their ski—or, as tester Erika Northrop said, “anyone who knows their right from their left and loves to shred powder on the deepest days.”