Individual Review Sneak Peek: 2021 Elan Ripstick RC ProtoType

Philpug

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We are starting to see some of the 2021 gear trickle out either in the consumer graphics or in this case a "prototype" graphic that is supposed to create some buzz. Well, advertiser Elan just sent me one such pair. Elan is sticking to its guns with the Amphibio construction with these new Ripstick RCs, but the sizing is a bit different than the outgoing model. Without having a current Ripstick 96 to compare this ski against, I am assuming it is a new mold. (We might see a correction here if I am wrong). This new RC measures 135-94-110 in a published 180cm length where the current Ripstick 96 is a 181 with dims of 134-96-113. So we are seeing a bit slimmer waist with a touch more taper in the tail. Weight comes in at 1644g, which is within a few grams of the current Ripstick 96. Overall flex feels pretty darn balanced.

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The out-of-the-box tune is pretty darn good, especially for such an early production ski. This really shouldn't surprise me because when go to ski tests, Elan usually has one of the better tunes. These measured a consistent 1-1.5* on the base and a 1.5-2* on the side. That is about as good as we can expect from any ski out of the wrapper.

I am putting a placeholder for the next post so I can report back with my first on-snow impressions.
 
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Philpug

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Mt. Rose in semi-heavy snow.

Well, I have two days out on this black-and-green beauty. First, I will start by saying almost every one of the "proto" or "prototype" graphic'ed skis I have had in the past five years has had graphics better than their retail counterparts: the Enforcer 100 (and 93), the Navigator 85, @Tricia's Santa Ana 88, and even the K2 Mindbender 99Ti. I really hope Elan breaks that trend and releases a killer graphic for this ski when it is released for next year.

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Ok, on the snow. I first took out the new Ripstick this past Sunday in about a foot of fresh snow. This snow was neither Utah-blower light nor full-on Sierra cement; it was somewhere in the middle, erring on the cement side of the scale. It was snow that we know could show the shortcomings of a lightweight ski like the Ripstick. I will say the Ripstick held up to the task and didn't let the heavier snow have its way with the ski. Like a Jack Russell terrier, for being light, this ski has a set of cahones on it. Very little fazed it even when the mountain got tracked out.

Ripstick 1, Mt Rose 0.


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Day 2 on the Ripstick'er was a tail of two prototypes, not so much a Cage Match but a chance to see how the Ripstick would hold up against one of the new reference skis in the segment, the K2 Mindbender 99Ti. The MB99Ti was in need of a tune from last spring, so this past week it spent a day at @smoothrides to get freshened up.

I started this bluebird day on the beefier Mindbender, then after two runs I switched to the lighter and more finesse-like Ripstick. This change was almost like going from a hiking shoe to a trail runner. I felt the light weight for about 20 turns -- well, maybe 23, but who's counting. Then I started stepping on the gas. Maybe it is because I am almost 30 lb down from last year, but I never felt the lightweight Ripstick lacking, and as I said in the initial post, the factory tune is really good. It might not be Smoothrides-perfect, but it is really strong out of the box. This new Ripstick is just damn fun and playful and boy does it like to rail.

Ripstick 1, Mt Rose 0.5
(Running total: Ripstick 2, Mt Rose 0.5)

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Augering the Ripstick and coming out of it.
 
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BS Slarver

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Freshly mounted Ripstick black 96 going out this morning for some laps and will report back later.
Bring em along to JH and we can do some comparisons to the new mold.
 
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Long term test updated.
 

BC.

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We are starting to see some of the 2021 gear trickle out either in the comsumer graphics or in this case a "Prototype" graphic that is supposed to create some buzz. Well, advertiser Elan just sent me one such pair. Elan is sticking to their guns with the Amphibio construction with these new Ripstick RC's but the sizing is a bit different than the outgoing model so without having a current Ripstick 96 to compare this ski against, I am assuming it is a new mold. (We might see a correct here if I am incorrect). This new RC measures 135-94-110 in a published 180cm length where the current Ripstick 96 is a 181 with dims of 134-96-113. So we are seeing a bit slimmer waist with a touch more tape in the tail. Weight comes in at 1644 grams which is in a few grams of the current Ripstick 96. Overall flex feels pretty darn balanced.
I will say the out of the box tune in pretty darn good especially for such an early production ski. This really shouldn't suprise me because when we to to ski tests, Elan usually has one of the better tunes. These measured a consistent 1-1.5* on the base and a 1.5-2* on the side. That is about as good as we can expect from any ski out of the wrapper.

I am putting a place holder for the next post so I can report back with my first on snow impressions.
Phil...what is the name/brand of that base/side edge measuring tool?.....I’ve been wanting to get a “good” one for my home shop and figure you must have the one to get. Thx.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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Phil...what is the name/brand of that base/side edge measuring tool?.....I’ve been wanting to get a “good” one for my home shop and figure you must have the one to get. Thx.
Sun Valley Ski Tool. they just deal directly with ski shops. It is not inexpensive, but it is accurate.
 
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I played around with the Ripstick RCs today at Rose and had a blast on them. The RC is a light and nimble mid-90s all-mountain ripper. It is definitely on the finesse side of the spectrum; its strength was a catlike quickness in the mixed wind buff that we skied today.

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Chris Axebiker

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I too have the Proto Ripstick, as well as the 2019 Green/blue 96 (And the green/orange 2018). I always felt I needed to be lighter on my feet with the Greens than I like to be, but had more confidence in the new Proto. It seemed a hair smoother, and less nervous. I didn’t feel a need to ski nearly as cautious with them. Very quick edge to edge for their width, and felt like they handled speed better. Very much a “set it and forget it” board. Just a joy to ride!
 

BS Slarver

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@Philpug - it appears the 20-21 Elan offerings show the lineup with wingman and Ripsticks without the Black edition or the RC - what gives ? The word on the street is the standard RS gets a carbon stringer and beefed up slightly, perhaps a combination of the standard model and black combined?

Are These Protos being rolled into one of those offerings ?
The love continues here for the RS Black and their cat like quickness - describes them to a T as well
I’m hearing rumors @Ron might have caught the RS bug as well.
 
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Philpug

Philpug

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@Philpug - it appears the 20-21 Elan offerings show the lineup with wingman and Ripsticks without the Black edition or the RC - what gives ? The word on the street is the standard RS gets a carbon stringer and beefed up slightly, perhaps a combination of the standard model and black combined?

Are These Protos being rolled into one of those offerings ?
The love continues here for the RS Black and their cat like quickness - describes them to a T as well
I’m hearing rumors @Ron might have caught the RS bug as well.
The RC pictured here will be the new Ripstick, just an early release graphic. I am hearing we will be seeing another Black Edition sometime in the future, it wasn't one and done.
 

Ron

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after spending 2 days on the black Label including today which was knee deep, I can say I am impressed. :) Review pending. if the RC is even close to as good as this Black label, the RC is a winner.
 

jo3st3

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2021 RS comes with some added carbon on the inside edges of the skis to help stability over previous generation (visible through the top sheet).

The redesigned 2021 model would sit somewhere between the 2020 RS and RSBE in terms of dampening. And sizing is slightly different, going from 181 to 180... but still offering 188.

No official word on a continuation of the black edition, but it appears to be discontinued for now. My hunch is they will push the redesigned RS first, then offer the BE again sometime in the future.

I skied both the 2021 RS and 2020 RSBE back to back and I still preferred the RSBE. It's a damper ride, provided more rebound, and handled speed better that the 2021 RS, but I throughly enjoyed the 2021 RS and found it performed very well. If you liked the 2020 RS, then you'll love the 2021 RS imo.
 
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