2018-2019 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti, 180 cm
Available Lengths (cm): 172, 180, 188
Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 178.9 cm
Stated Dimensions (185 cm): 130-95-120
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 131.5-97-121.5
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1833 & 1807 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius: 18 meters
Recommended Line: 7.45 cm behind true center; 82.0 cm from tail
Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60 mm / 25 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4-5 mm
Brian Lindahl: 5
Jonathan Ellsworth: 5
Test Locations: Breckenridge, Loveland Pass, and Arapahoe Basin, CO; northern New Mexico backcountry
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 Ranger 98 Ti, which was not changed for 17/18 or 18/19, apart from graphics.]
So, what’s this ski about, and who’s it for? Those have honestly been our primary questions about the Ranger 98 Ti. Why?
Part of that is due to Fischer’s own copy about the ski. They highlight 3 things: the versatility of this ski’s 98 mm width; its maneuverability; and its high-performance build.
Re: its versatility, no argument there — 98 mms is generally a versatile width.
Re: its maneuverability, that makes sense — this ski has a lot of tip rocker; 60 mm of tip splay, plus a deep tip rocker line. Its tail rocker is much more subtle, and looks like it strikes a nice balance: the tails should be easy to release, but the tail splay is mellow enough that it should still carve well, too. I.e., the tail makes sense.
Re: the high-performance build — once again, no argument from us. This does look like a quality build, and Fischer has really thinned out the tips to reduce the overall weight and the swing weight of the ski.
Something Fischer says less about is the weight of the Ranger 98 Ti. Fischer has a reputation for building strong, solid alpine skis that (as a generalization) deliver a lot of technical performance. But clearly, the aim of their Ranger series was to wring out as much performance from these skis while also doing the very-modern-thing of keeping the weight down.
Given that, the performance-to-weight ratio of this ski becomes a pretty important part of the story. For those looking for low weight and precise performance … is the Ranger 98 Ti the ticket?
This is a solid flex pattern, and we like the consistency of the flex pattern here. It’s not some stiff beast, but it’s a sturdy flex pattern that ought to deliver predictability.
Back to our ‘What is It?’ Question…
This really is Fischer’s do everything, go anywhere ski, and we’ve been putting time on both the Ranger 98 Ti and the Ranger 108 Ti. There was a lot of debate about whether to test the 98 in a 180 cm vs. the 188 cm length, but we’ll say more about that in our full review.
But given this ski’s relatively light weight, the Ranger 98 Ti could legitimately be used:
(1) as a dedicated inbounds ski, paired with an alpine binding
(2) as a dedicated backcountry ski, paired with a good tech binding.
(3) as a ’50/50′ ski, set up to handle both inbounds and out-of-bounds duties.
In our review, we’ll talk about where we think this ski works best, and also discuss our other, related question, who is the Ranger 98 Ti for?
Til then, take a look…
NEXT: Full Review