At least on paper, there are a lot of skis that look pretty similar to the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti. After all, it’s a mid-fat ski that displays a healthy dose of tip rocker and a modest amount of tail rocker. So what sets it apart?
Fischer calls it “a lightweight ski that knifes through any condition.” We’ve now spent time on the Ranger 98 Ti across a pretty broad range of conditions, and we’d be inclined to agree: yes, this is a light ski, and yes, it does indeed knife through snow quite well.
But as we asked in our First Look, what type of skier is best suited for the Ranger 98 Ti? And how would it perform as a 50/50 ski? Of all the skis I’ve been on recently, the answer hasn’t been clearer than with the Ranger 98 Ti.
The Ranger 98 Ti has a recommended mount point of -7.5 cm, which is right between traditional and progressive. On the line, Jonathan and I both felt that the ski was balanced and responsive, and didn’t see a reason to move it forward or back. The skis felt comfortable both when driving the tips and when skiing with a more centered stance.
The Ranger 98 Ti is lightweight and rockered enough to ski powder well, and it loves to carve. The torsional stiffness is solid for such a light ski, and I think Fischer has turned out an extremely impressive construction in this regard. It has tenacious edge hold while also being quick and snappy.
The Ranger 98 Ti is best described as quick and energetic while offering up a smooth ride on clean groomers. In this regard, the Ranger 98 Ti reminded me a bit of a much heavier ski, the Nordica Enforcer 100. To be clear, the Enforcer 100 is a heavier ski with a higher top end — especially in variable snow. But on clean groomers, the similarities in flex and shape between the two skis was noticeable to me, and this is worth keeping in mind if you’ve felt or worried that the Enforcer 100 was maybe too heavy or too sluggish / not nimble enough for you.
Banging out slalom-esque turns on fresh corduroy in the morning is an absolute blast on the Ranger 98 Ti. Its tip initiates quickly and really pulls you into a turn. Even at slower speeds, high edge angles were achieved quite easily. Fischer and Nordica both have seemingly discovered a formula for an all-conditions ski that offers a pretty remarkable feeling when carving.
On roughed-up / end-of-day groomers, the Ranger 98 Ti diverges from the Nordica Enforcer 100 much more. The lightweight nature of the Ranger 98 Ti gives rise to more deflection than you’d experience on heavier skis. If the snow piles are rather small and navigable, the Ranger 98 is still a blast — stay nimble and light on your feet, and the ski’s blend of quickness and precision makes for some fun skiing. But at high speeds in more chunked-up terrain, you’ll be fighting to keep the ski tracking. But if you are willing to slow down a bit, we found these skis easy to bring back under control.
Moguls, Trees, and Tight Terrain
The same carving prowess exhibited by the Ranger 98 Ti on groomers can also be found when in moguls, trees, and other tighter terrain. Scope your line, commit to it with strong carves, and you will find a high level of precision that is very rewarding. On the other hand, if you ignore the line and attempt to slam your way down the mountain, you’ll falter.
That said, if there is no obvious line (as there often isn’t on steep, moguled runs), the Ranger 98 Ti’s agility lends itself well to quick pivots and smearing maneuvers. And if you get bucked off the front of the ski, its tails won’t punish you. So this isn’t the best ski to smash and bash your way down the mountain, but ski with some control and finesse, and the Ranger 98 Ti can navigate such terrain well, while also being very rewarding for more experienced skiers.
NEXT: Powder, Soft Chop, Etc.