Is it is a piste ski, is an off-piste ski? No, it's a super ski. The Ripstick 96 from Slovenian eco-warriors Elan - that incidentally has one of the biggest histories when it comes to ski manufacture - has to be up there as contender for the best all round ski on the market for advanced and expert freeriders.
Obviously at 96mm under foot there are compromises when it comes to perfection, either on piste or in deep powder and where it excels the most is in variable terrain, chopped up snow, bumpy and lumpy crud and seemingly anything else that's thrown at it.
The skis have a Woodcore construction with Elan's Amphibio technology running through them. This is a set of two carbon rods that run along the length of the skis, close to the edges, helping to reinforce them and create extra torsional rigidity. There's also a unique design that has different cambers on each side of the ski, meaning unlike most skis, there is a left and a right version.
The combination of technology in the Ripstick adds up to produce skis that are easy to turn, yet powerful, grippy and super solid at all speeds. Want to carve on the groomers? For a 96mm underfoot ski then really get over onto an edge and short radius turns feel way easier than they should. Take them off the sides of the marked runs and they are in their element - powerful, strong, yet forgiving enough to let you off if things go a little wrong now and again.
They definitely suit a stronger freeride skier though and perform best when they are pushed hard, especially off-piste. For deeper powder snow conditions, expect them to want more from you and perhaps go for a longer version if you really want to use them for big powder days.
The Elan Ripstick's are good enough for Glen Plake, we tested them with him, so we know - but are they good enough for you? You little ripper you.
Buy Elan Ripstick 96 Skis: From $699.99 at Amazon (US)
Buy Elan Ripstick 96 Skis: £599 at Snow & Rock <<Best Deal>>