2018 -2019 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti


The Ranger 98 Ti has a significant amount of tip rocker, which allows it to perform very well in powder for such a narrow ski. I don’t think anyone of appropriate height and weight will be complaining about the float of this 180 cm-length ski. However, I want to be very clear that the Ranger 98 Ti isn’t a particularly surfy or loose ski. It skis powder like most narrower skis with minimal tail rocker — i.e., it wants to carve, whether it’s snappier turns or longer, drawn-out arcs.

Brian Lindahl reviews the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti for Blister Gear Review.
Brian Lindahl on the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti. (photo by: Grayson Tamberi)

This isn’t, however, to say that the tails can’t be released in softer snow. The 98 Ti’s softer tail does make it slightly easier to release than skis with stouter tails (like the Salomon QST 99), but it’s not in the same ballpark as wider and heavily tail-rockered skis. This was most noticeable when the troughs of mogul fields were filled with windblown powder. Here, the same quick-turn initiation that I found on groomers made the Ranger 98 feel slightly hooky in untracked, wind-affected powder on an open face. However, if you really like to carve pow rather than smear your way around it, then stronger skiers might actually appreciate this characteristic.

Soft Chop

As the powder becomes heavily tracked, the Ranger 98 Ti’s lightweight construction makes it susceptible to deflection. I wasn’t as comfortable making big, fast turns in cut-up snow as I am on other similar skis. The Ranger 98 Ti was happier making shorter turns and having the tails broken free on steeper terrain. Bumping up to the 188 cm length may improve stability some, but for someone of our size (5’10” and ~175 lbs), neither Jonathan nor I was that tempted to bump up to the 188 cm length. The 180 felt appropriate, it simply isn’t a destroyer of crud and chop, but rather a quick, snappy, light, and energetic ski. On that note…

Firm and Variable Snow

The Ranger 98 Ti is most out of its element in firm and variable snow. It is not especially damp, and its lighter-weight construction makes it susceptible to deflection. While I have been on noticeably damper skis at a similar weight (like the Salomon QST 99), the amount of deflection I experienced was not out of the ordinary for a lighter ski. When encountering firm and variable crud, you’ll want to slow it down and make more rounded or short-radius turns. So if you’re looking for a somewhat similar ski that’s significantly heavier and performs better in variable snow, check out our review of the Nordica Enforcer 100.

As firm surfaces become smoother, the Ranger 98 Ti is more comfortable carving than it is sliding out the tails – the edges can catch and release in a skittish manner. I didn’t notice this skidding much when pivoting through tight terrain where you’re unweighting the tails more, but it was quite noticeable in more open terrain. Playing with the tune may help, though it probably would sacrifice some of its strong edge hold. There is likely a good middle ground here that would be best left to personal preference and experimenting with tuning / detuning.

Fischer Ranger 98 Ti vs. Fischer Ranger 108 Ti

Fischer also makes a Ranger 108 Ti in a 182 cm length, and we’ve also been spending time on the 108. So how do the two skis compare — how similar or different are they?

Turns out, the two skis are extremely similar. They both have the same quick and snappy character (and that quickness / snappiness can sometimes become a bit hooky). The Ranger 98 Ti is a little bit quicker edge-to-edge and easier in moguls, while the Ranger 108 Ti floats and surfs a little bit better (though it is still very carve-biased).

Brian Lindahl reviews the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti for Blister Gear Review.
Brian Lindahl on the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti. (photo by: Grayson Tamberi)

It’s a tough call as to which ski would be a better choice as a one-ski-quiver, so it really comes down to personal preference. I’d personally pick the Ranger 98 Ti for more edge-to-edge quickness, since I think that better complements this ski’s energetic character. Jonathan doesn’t disagree, but he also thinks a strong case can be made for putting a tech binding on the Ranger 108 Ti and using it as a touring ski.

Bottom Line

The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti floats well for its width, and rewards experienced skiers with first-class quickness and energy, while also being approachable and easygoing enough in challenging, tight terrain for less aggressive skiers. However, if quick-turn initiation isn’t a priority of yours and you generally dislike skis with a lot of sidecut, then you might find the Ranger 98 Ti to be a bit hooky.

Anyone looking for a lighter ski that is quick and snappy will enjoy the Ranger 98 Ti quite a bit, whether in the resort or the backcountry. And if you like the sound of a ski like the Nordica Enforcer, but wish it was lighter, then definitely consider the Ranger 98 Ti.



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25 comments on “2018 -2019 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti”

  1. I think the Motive name is being weaved into their All Mtn line for 16/17 replacing the Motive86 and 95 not sure if any design changes….The fellas at Blister reviewed the 86Ti and gave it high reviews….I bought them and have skied them 2x and they are exactly what the Blister folks say…I don’t think the Blister folks have printed a review on the last years outgoing Motive95 but other sites have and say awesome things and they are available online for a great value.

  2. “isn’t a particularly surfy or loose ski” – sounds like a Fischer (or at least my experience with the Watea from way back), but surprised given the splay in the tips. I was looking for a 50/50 but backed away from the Rangers as I’m not fond of that much tip rocker for everyday all conditions.

    I went with Volkl 90Eights which I really like for everything I’ve thrown at them. But they are light so roughed up groomers make you grit your teeth. Started with a pair with G3 Ion 12’s last spring, and liked them enough to buy another pair to mount up with alpine binders.

    • Hi Bruno,

      I would say that looseness and surfiness can often be more of a function of the tail rocker and width of a ski, rather than the amount of splay in the tips. The amount of splay in the tips plays a large role in how well the ski planes and floats in powder, especially deep powder. However, a ski can definitely plane and float well in powder without feeling especially loose and surfy – this is the Ranger 98 Ti (and some of the other narrower skis that I’ve been spending time on lately).

  3. Hello!

    Thank you for the review! Very helpful.

    Any thought on how the Ranger 98 Ti compares to the K2 Pinnacle 95? Very interested in both.

    Much appreciated!

    • Hi Cameron,

      I haven’t skied the K2 Pinnacle 95 before.

      However, Alex Adams in his review of the Pinnacle 95 says:
      “Down in New Zealand, my most direct comparison to the Pinnacle 95 was the Atomic Vantage 100. I skied the Pinnacle 95 one day and the Vantage 100 the next at Craigieburn Valley Ski Area. The Vantage 100 instantly felt more lively to me. It has a more forward recommended mount position and some nice camber underfoot that gave the ski a more energetic, poppy feel. To put it bluntly, I just felt like jumping off of things more when the Vantage 100 was on my feet.”

      He also says:
      “The heavily rockered tips and lack of camber underfoot enable the Pinnacle 95 to stay afloat and pivot easily in soft snow”

      The Ranger 98 Ti is a very lively ski with lots of energy. It also prefers to carve over pivot in soft snow. I’d wager that these are the main ways in which the Ranger 98 Ti will differ from the Pinnacle 95 – the Pinnacle 95 would NOT be as carvy or energetic of a ski. It’s probably a bit more laid back and loose. Again, though, I haven’t skied the Pinnacle 95 before, and Alex Adams hasn’t skied the Ranger 98 Ti (at least to my knowledge).

  4. Im 5’11…in between lengths. Which size would you recommend in this ski (Intermediate Skier). Their website says 188…but that seems long?

    • Hey John,

      For an intermediate skier at 5’11, I’d recommend the 180 length. 188 would feel a bit too long for handling tight spaces and moguls for many intermediate skiers — unless you’re used to that length or only really ski wide-open spaces, with the anticipation of taking lessons to get you to the advanced/expert level.

  5. As a tall skier (6,5”), I feel that I need the longer length of skis for fore aft stability in rougher terrain.
    But, I am also fairly lightweight (175lbs), and an advanced, moderate speed skier, without a racing background, so I like less stiff, more nimble and agile skis.

    So my strategy has been to look for skis whee reviewers suggest to size up, or ones that are notably quick and agile.

    It seems like you are saying this is a quick and agile ski, but at the same time, not recommending sizing up.

    I suspect that 180cm skis are just to short for me in any kind of funky snow or when landing jumps. Do you think the 188 would be a good choice, or should I keep looking for a different, more nimble, ski?

    • You need to go up to the 188 in my opinion. You will want the edge length of the longer ski for groomed snow (especially with the tip rocker on this ski). For softer snow (pow or chopped up snow) length will help.

      • “Will you have have a different ski for soft/powder snow?”

        Maybe not, I live in MN, so fly out west with a family and luggage space is at a premium.
        Maybe, yes I might keep my (only current) ski, the 184 (185cm measured) K2 Marksman. I bought those because I wanted something nimble and ‘pivoty’ for tight trees and low speed moguls. I love them for that, but wish they made a longer size.

        What I think I need to look for is a longer ski, with a fairly short side cut radius (since the longer sizes always increase that anyway), lightweight and quick. Often the advice for people wanting a quicker, more agile ski is to size down, but I suspect that doesn’t work well for me, due to my height. Anything that throws my weight forward puts my center of mass way out over the tip on shorter skis.

          • Hi Tjaard,

            You’re a pretty tall guy. Since you don’t have a different soft snow ski, I’d consider looking at the 188s instead of the 180s. I think that would be the more appropriate size. Perhaps demo them next time you’re out west? Or perhaps locally?

  6. I’ve got the 188s. I didn’t get on with them at 1St, mounting Marker Barron touring bindings centered as suggested far to much tail and hard work. I took them to Colin at the Piest Office Notts UK who after some discussion and comparing with the 180 and similar freeride skis decided to change to Marker Griffon bindings mounted 25mm further back. This has transformed them into a great easy to use All Mountain ski.
    My Fischer Ranger 188s are the 2015/16 model are a bigger ski all round and are actually 100mm underfoot Not 98mm as are 2018.
    Tip 136mm Tail 126mm radios 19m and weight 4080G compared to the 180
    Tip 132 waste 98 Tail 122 Radios 18 and weight 3540.
    Incidental the 172 length is 96mm wide.
    Food for thought, there’s more usable edge on my 177 volkl kendos than the 188 Ranger due to the massive front rocker.

  7. Hello! I have a Fischer RC4 RC skis, but I find them too stiff (I go out of balance easy) + not usable or fun in non-perfect on-piste conditions (hard, icy is best).
    I am trying to descide what Skis to buy to go along with the RC4s- Ranger 98ti or MTN 95 ti. How would you compare them? I also looked at Head Kore / Nordica Enforcer series

  8. Hi Brian, ordered a pair of the 98’s in 180 (and Look Pivot 14’s) and will be recieving within the week. 6’1”, intermediate-advanced, but really love exploring all parts of mountain and want to improve on moguls, chutes, and glades. Right call with the 180? 188 seemed to be if I wanted to spend most of my time in GS mode. Always love your reviews; thank you!

  9. Hi! Is there any difference between the 2017/2018 model compared to the 2018/2019 one, or is it just graphics upgrade? I seen couple pages claiming the older model being 1700g/180 and the newer one being 1800g/180.

    • From what Fischer has told us, the ski was not changed apart from graphics since the 16/17 model that we reviewed. So the 16/17, 17/18, and 18/19 versions should all have the same construction.

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