There’s nothing like swaddling an already excellent ski in a rich coating of creamy carbon. We skied an Amphibio Black Edition last season that finished tops among Technical skis, and in the past we’ve skied Kästles that were also encapsulated in a carbon sheath. They, too, won their category, so the Elan Ripstick 106 Black Edition came with high expectations. It did not disappoint. It snaked all around the mountain like a fat, black mamba, coiling around a medium-radius turn as if it were alive. The Ripstick 106 on which it’s modeled is already a fairly soft ski; slathering it in carbon didn’t change it compliant nature but complemented it. The carbon coat calms everything down, muffling shocks before they can cause any trouble. If your mind aches to go off-trail but your body aches if you do, the Ripstick 106 Black Edition is a brilliant buffer between heavy snow and balky joints.
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