The Elan Ripstick 96 is in the vanguard of the Lighter is Better movement. The core combines vertical laminates of two lightweight woods, poplar and Paulownia, sandwiched between sheets of fiberglass. To dampen the ride and add energy out of the turn, two 3mm-diameter carbon rods run the length of the ski near the edge, tracing the path of the sidecut in CNC machined grooves near the base of the core. Inlays made from a synthetic dampening agent, called Vapor Tip inserts, are integrated into the shovel to boost the lightweight chassis’ ability to absorb shock. Another major contributor to the Ripstick 96’s high scores for ease of operation is Elan’s unique asymmetric Amphibio design that abbreviates edge contact on the outside edge – i.e., adds rocker to it – while maximizing snow contact on the inside edge. For practitioners of continuous carving in which two edges are always riding on an unbroken, parallel path, the Amphibio design makes carving feel as natural as walking.
Full Review with test scores available on members’ site.