Elan jumps into the ski touring market with their Ripstick Tour line: inspired by Glen Plake, we’re hoping the iconoclast himself adds a splash of fun to these promising skis. Here’s our first look at the Ripstick Tour 94 W.
First Impression – Elan Ripstick Tour 94 W
It is late November, and only a few snow storms have brought the initial layer of snow covering Wyoming’s mountains. Due to the thin coverage, my ski days this season have been limited to a few outings as I patiently wait for Mother Nature to do her thing. (And by the time this is published, know that Mother Nature has come through.) Leaning against the wall, still in plastic, are the Elan Women’s Ripstick Tour 94 skis and their pre-cut skins. Soon enough, I’ll mount the skis with Plum bindings and, after a few more storms, be ready to take this light-to-me ski set up to cover ground and hunt for sweet turns.
The Women’s Ripstick Tour 94 is marketed as a ski for any terrain and conditions with new technology making them both lightweight and high-performance. The core construction combines wood, carbon, and fiberglass, creating a rigid ski with an even flex from tip to tail. The weight of a single 178cm ski is 1490g without a binding.
Even though the ski is relatively light, it still feels like a solid board with performance features like 360-degree side walls. The overall shape of the ski is a traditional-looking shape with a flat tail, which will be ideal for mountain travel when one needs to stab one’s skis in the snow to build anchors or keep them from sliding away.
To learn more about the Ripstick Tour’s DNA, here’s a WildSnow review of the Elan Ripstick 96.
Despite the traditional-looking shape, Elan has defined the ski profile as Amphibio; each ski is integrated with camber and rocker profiles. The skis are labeled left and right with a cambered structure on the inside edge to offer stability and edge control. Then a rockered construction is found on the outside edge keeping it from catching on breakable snow conditions and adding ease in the turn transitions.
I am intrigued to see what happens if I forget and put the skis on the wrong feet. The skis also have carbon bridge technology, where a single carbon rod on the upper part of the ski provides stability by dampening and adding vibration absorption through the ski’s tip.
Accompanying these sweet new boards are light (420g for the pair), packable, pre-cut skins: talk about making it easy on me. The blend of 70 percent mohair and 30 percent nylon will likely be durable and provide good glide. The skins come with a tip-clip designed for the Ripstick Tour skis and an adjustable tail attachment. The Elan skins have a hybrid adhesive technology that makes them easy to remove from the skis, can be folded together, and is supposedly unaffected by temperatures. The one potential downside is that they need to be kept clean, so they come with a sack to store the skins, a special cloth to wipe down ski bases, and two cleaning wipes in case the skins get dirty. You’d be correct if all this sounds like a Contour Hybrid Skin (check out our review of the skins) with an Elan specific attachment system.
At a glance, the Ripstick Tour 94 W looks to combine the classic shape of a traditional ski with the new technology of the Amphibio construction, which kind of makes sense with an ambassador like Glen Plake, an old-school guy who is also pushing the edge of being different. I anticipate these will become my go-to ski for most days except the super deep days when I am grabbing for the fattest ski in my quiver.
Elan Rip Stick Tour 94 W Stats
Size Tested: 178cm
Sizes available: 157cm, 164cm, 171cm, 178cm
Claimed weight: 1490g/ski
Tip Width: 129mm
Waist Width: 94mm
Tail width: 109mm
Construction: Carbon, Fiberglass, Tubelite Woodcore, Carbon Bridge, Technology, 360° Sidewall
Shop for the Elan Ripstick Tour 94 W.
Elan Ripstick Tour 94 Pre-Cut Climbing Skin Stats
Brand: Contour Hybrid with the easy-on, easy-off skin adhesive
Claimed Weight: 420g per pair 177cm
Skin material: 70 % mohair / 30 % nylon mix
Skin attachment system: Elan tip-clip and adjustable tails
Shop for Elan Ripstick Tour 94 W pre-cut skins.
Lisa lives in the Tetons and has been guiding for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and Alaska Mountaineering School since 2009. She has worked as an avalanche forecaster and was part of the first-all female ski descent of the Grand Teton.
Interesting to see how you like these. The regular Ripsticks have been quite successful I think. Last year we handed a pair of the 94w Ripsticks down from our older to our younger daughter, and they have both enjoyed them for inbounds skiing, Being easy to ski, carves well but still fairly floaty and easy to pivot. Seems like a good recipe for an Allround backcountry ski too,
Curious how these ski soft snow too. I noticed the tip width of the 94 is the same as the new Tour 104 which has a very different ski profile than all the other Ripsticks.
Also wondered about the true length of Elans. I have the Ripstick 96’s and the 180 length actually measures 2-3cm shorter depending how you measure. Something to keep in mind if people are wondering to size up or down.