Elan Ripstick 86

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Smitty

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Elan Ripstick 86

Postby Smitty » Tue Feb 05, 2019 1:27 am

I'm having a blast trying to learn telemark at my local ski hill! I come from snowboarding on the lift serve, so I picked up a ratty pair of early 2000's Rossignol Carves equipped with a solid set of Hardwires on the cheap. The skis were perfect for getting an initial feel and helped solidify my decision to ditch the snowboard - it's time to embrace all aspects of the free heel!

But the Rossi's had been used and abused. Both skis were headed toward binging pull-out and needed a serious epoxy injection. And there's not a lot of metal left after I filed through all of the rust to get an edge on them. So I'll continue to flail on them while I get my bearings, but I don't think the ol' girls will last through to next season.

So I'm in the market for a new pair of on-piste skis for next winter. I really appreciated Mr. Woods review of the Atomic Vantage 85 and was prepared to go that route. But in the name of supporting local I wanted to see what my hometown sporting goods shop had for sale. In my size, and available flat, he has Elan Ripstick 86. They look like a very nice ski, but I have read that they are more intermediate/advanced. As someone coming from snowboarding and no alpine ski experience, I have trouble putting that into context. Will a novice skier find them terribly unwieldy?

What say you fine folks? Anyone have experience with the Elan Ripstick lineup? I'd like to support local if I can, but if it's going to be too much ski for a beginner then that's the way it goes.

Thanks as always for the input!

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Woodserson

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Re: Elan Ripstick 86

Postby Woodserson » Tue Feb 05, 2019 9:27 am

Dude, if I wasn't attracted by the pricepoint of the Vantage 85, I would be skiing this ski. I'm secretly in love with the Ripstick series, I hear nothing but good things. It's basically the same ski scaled up a little bit. The Amphibio rocker will make it a little user friendly, and I think it may be a little more damp, but it flexed similar and to me handling it on the shop floor seemed like the more sophisticated brother of the Vantage. Remember, they are made in the same factory and borrow many of the same materials and are filling the same niche. If anything you could grow into them instead of out of them.

FYI-- the Elan 178cm = Atomic 173cm. I know this because I put the two of them together in the store.

I would say: Pull that trigger!

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Smitty

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Re: Elan Ripstick 86

Postby Smitty » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:06 am

Thanks for the feedback buddy, that's great to know! And I really appreciate the note on the lengths! I could see the Elans were much shorter than the K2s sitting next to them on the rack but I didn't have a tape with me. The comparison to the Vantages gives great perspective.

I'll go see Ed this weekend and pick up the 177 cm Ripsticks!

Nick BC

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Re: Elan Ripstick 86

Postby Nick BC » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:41 pm

Woods are you sure Atomic and Elan come out of the same factory. My understanding was that Atomics were still made in Austria, following their purchase by Amer Group, who also make Salomon skis (one of their other brands) in the same factory. It would seem that Elan skis are still made in Slovenia according to their website.

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Woodserson

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Re: Elan Ripstick 86

Postby Woodserson » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:28 am

Nick BC wrote:Woods are you sure Atomic and Elan come out of the same factory. My understanding was that Atomics were still made in Austria, following their purchase by Amer Group, who also make Salomon skis (one of their other brands) in the same factory. It would seem that Elan skis are still made in Slovenia according to their website.


This is a great question, thank you for making me check my facts. I made an assumption--- My Black Crows and Atomics that are in my basement and are from the 17/18 model year both are stamped "Made in Bulgaria." I don't have any Elan's. I know they are stamped "Handcrafted in the Alps," but that is meaningless, Fischer says "Austria" on their S-Bound skis but they are made in Ukraine per the actual bar-code label. Asnes doesn't put Czech Republic on any of their skis either.

But here was my assumption: I also know that Black Crows makes skis in the Atomic and Elan factory, but the production is actually split, it appears, between Atomic's factory in Bulgaria and Elan's in Slovenia. I thought I read something stating the same but can't find it anymore, if it even existed.

I think this is the paragraph that threw me:"Each model maintains an "alpine heritage," says Jaccoux, meaning it starts with a tried-and-true wood core, sandwich construction. Jaccoux believes in relying on experts in a given field, then finessing the details, so the skis are produced in the Elan and Atomic factories."

So I assumed they were all lumped together.

Regardless, they are all great skis and ski very well and the construction is pretty bomber and I still really want a pair of Ripstick 86's.

Thanks again, Nick. I'll have to go fix my BC review too

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colinstone

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Re: Elan Ripstick 86

Postby colinstone » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:30 pm

Following the April 2018 Austria ski test and the rave reviews of the Elan Ripstick 96, I bought them and paired with Meidjo 2.1 bindings. One of the testers was my Telemark instructor in 2016, so I asked him what he thought of the Ripstick as a telemark ski. His response was it would be brilliant.
After 5 weeks skiing, the ski is living up to the reviews. As expected it is great in deep powder with the assymetric rocker giving extra lift on the outside leading ski. I am also well impressed with the piste performance with surprising grip on hard pack / polished snow, carving really well. A very secure, confidence building ski.
Telemark. The only reason to go down on one knee.

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Smitty

Rank: XCD Enthusiast
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:37 am
Location: Alberta, Canada
Ski style: Low-Vert Nordic Touring
Favorite Skis: USGI Surplus
Favorite boots: Alfa Perform

Re: Elan Ripstick 86

Postby Smitty » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:55 pm

That's great feedback, thanks for the input Colin!


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