Like every model in the Big Mountain category, Elan’s Ripstick 106 has lighter weight near the top of its design criteria. The Ripstick 106 is also in step with its competition in its use of carbon to replace heavier components, but the Slovenian ski maker deploys it in a unique fashion that takes full advantage of carbon’s capacity for shock damping and elasticity. Two 5mm-diameter tubes reside in CNC-machined grooves that follow the sidewall along the base of its all-wood core. Positioned as they are near the snow and the edge, the carbon cylinders can keep the Ripstick 106 on a calm edge when navigating rough terrain. If you’re familiar with Elan, you’d be correct to surmise that the Ripstick 106 uses its signature, asymmetric sidecut, dubbed Amphibio. Given the Ripstick 106’s inherently looser tip and built-to-drift girth, the Amphibio effect isn’t enough to keep its tips cool, calm and collected on brittle hardpack. But crispy corduroy isn’t where the Ripstick 106 longs to roam. It would like nothing better than to find a soft berm to sink into or bank off of. In its happy place in soft snow, it’s “super smooth and buttery,” according to an anonymous tester who tried in wind-affected crud.
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.