2013-2014 Fischer Watea 106

Lighter, Fresh Snow off Marte

When I found pockets of untracked, lightly wind-affected snow (about 3 inches on a firm base in Eduardo Variante), the Watea 106 planed well at speed. The wide shovels floated to the surface and were stable and easy to control if I was making fall-line turns. With some speed in this softer snow, I was able to feather the tail, pivoting the ski into more of a slarved turn. If I tried to slarve at lower speed, the Watea felt far less responsive. On the whole, performing these surfier turns did not feel as natural on the 106 as on the Atomic Ritual (a more playful ski with a softer, rockered tail).

Ryan Caspar, Fischer Watea 106, Blister Gear Review
Ryan Caspar, Mercurio Variante, Las Leñas Ski Resort.

I imagine that in deeper, lighter snow, the Watea 106 will be easier to throw into slashes and pivots in order to control speed (I’ll be sure to explore this more in some deeper snow this winter in North America). But for now, it seems that due to the Watea’s stiffer flex and traditional camber through tail, the ski largely prefers more traditional turn styles in powder.

Big-Mountain Chutes off Marte and Cerro Martin (chalk, crud)

At the top of Penélope, and Eduardo Variante, and on some of the bigger lines off Cerro Martin, we encountered some sloughed-off, harder, chalky snow. For one of the lines that I filmed for our edit, I tried to rage down this firmer snow through the steep, narrow entrance to Penélope, and the Watea 106 held up well as long as I was on top of the ski. There was clearly a fine line of control: when I was aggressive with the ski, I could keep it together, but I sensed that were I to get lazy or let down my guard, I could have easily lost control.

Ryan Caspar, Fischer Watea 106, Blister Gear Review
Ryan Caspar, Sombrero, Las Leñas Ski Resort.

In the Tanga and Banana chutes off Cerro Martin, I had a similar experience. On the very steep upper sections, where the snow was consistent, grippy, and soft, the Watea 106 was predictable, exactly what I needed for the exposed 45-degree no-fall zone. Through the middle, the snow again was sloughed off and firm, and the Watea 106 was predictable and maneuverable as I skied cautiously and deliberately through the new terrain. When I got through the choke on The Banana, I yelled out to let the others know that I had made it through as I opened it up on the soft, consistent apron. On the apron, my fitness was the only speed limit; as long as I had the energy to make big, strong turns, the ski could comfortably go as fast as I asked it to.

In light crud on the run-outs below Eduardo and Penélope, the small amount of rocker prevented the tips from deflecting, and the Watea 106 was damp and stable. I comfortably attacked the aprons with an aggressive stance, making GS to Super-G-sized turns through a few inches of lightly tracked-up snow. Again, as long as I had the energy to stand on the ski and was thinking ahead, the Watea 106 could charge. As soon as I got tired and needed to make turns across the fall line, this ski became a ton of work. In the lightest, cut-up snow, it was possible to slash the 106s with significant effort, but, as in powder, there was more resistance from the moderately stiff, non-rockered tail of the Watea 106 than in the tail-rockered Atomic Ritual.

Later in the week, the crud got heavier, and the 106 did well when being skied directionally and powerfully. I found myself shifting my weight slightly back to lighten the tips, while still driving my shins on the front of the boot. This shift in weight was fine for making make big, directional turns at high speeds on the aprons of Penélope and Eduardo. But, again, when I got tired and lazy at the bottom of the Marte chutes, or needed to do unexpected speed control, the Watea 106 was a handful. I could not slash or pivot in thicker and heavier crud without being bucked by the stiff tail. This ski cannot be skied from the backseat.

 

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9 comments on “2013-2014 Fischer Watea 106”

  1. If someone were to weight, say, another 40lbs (I’m 6′ and 185lbs in a t-shirt and shorts), do you think that person could make them play a little more, and smear through trees, while still retaining most of the stability? Obviously, it would take a strong pilot, but I’m curious what a heavier skier would think of these guys.

    • As I mentioned in the review, I was able to make the Watea 106 smear and pivot a little bit in the lighter, deeper pockets I encountered. The playful turns on this ski required a different skiing style than those I would make on something that is softer, more center mounted and tail rockered, like the Atomic Ritual.

      In deeper, soft snow when the ski is planing I think a strong skier will be able make them smear through trees, but this will not be the effortless smearing that many of us have become used to on wider ski with rockered tips and tails.

      I do not expect any loss of stability for a heavier skier, but I anticipate less effort required to make surfier slashes and pivots, however, this is not the forte of this ski. Due to the very aft mounting point, you cannot make the surf style turns from a neutral stance, a more aggressive, deliberate smearing move has to be made to drive the tails and allow the tips to feather.

      All in all I think a heavier skier will definitely enjoy this ski if they have good base skill set. I can only see this ski being easier to maneuver given the same skill set between a 150 or 200 pounder.

  2. I demo’d the Watea106 in teh 182Cm version, and I would say that it’s nothing like the review of the 190cm bigger brother. I had demo’d the Salomon 115’s ealier in the day, and THAT is a hard charging ski in the 188cm version. I found the 182 very easy to ski. I like a ski with some camber. I do have a pair of Rossignol S3’s in the 186, and didn’t feel that the Watea106 in the 182cm was much harder to ski. To me, the Watea106 felt like a slightly stiffer version of the S3 in the tip. No tip flap, and I was surprised by how it railed groomers at 106mm underfoot. No problems in the manky spring moguls. In fact it did very well. FWIW, I’m 167lbs and consider myself to be more of a finesse skier.

    It’s probably a case where the Fischer sizing on the Watea 106 is going to be either a bit too long or a tad to short. For me, the 182 was just the right length.

  3. I’m curious what mount point you used. I can’t find any info on mount point anywhere. The little triangle on the sidewall is very far back… I know it is a traditional style ski, but I’m hesitating on putting boot centre that far back! I’d be interested to hear what others have done and how they like it.

  4. Greetings,
    I know these are older ski reviews, but would you say that the Watea 106 skis like a wider Watea 96? I have the Watea 96 and think that ski rips. I pretty much agreed with your review on it and was wondering about the 106. Other skis I have liked that you reviewed and liked are the cochise and the girish. Some great deals on the 106 right now. Also which did you prefer between the 106 and the Salomon Q-Lab? These would both be the 190cm size.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    • Hi Mike, Yea, this stuff is kinda old, but the skis are still for sale out there.
      We are looking at the same skis… Did you get the 106s since you posted in June?

      I am looking at the 106’s and some Salomon’s.

    • I haven’t been on the Watea 106 in a very long time … but I think the new Ranger 107 Ti should very much be on your radar. (And I wouldn’t be concerned about the tighter sidecut radius of the new 107 Ti vs. the Watea 106.)

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