Moguls, Trees, and Tight Terrain
The Ranger 108 Ti’s lack of mass becomes a benefit in tighter terrain. The ski is agile and nimble when pivoting or jump turning through tricky terrain. It also has a pretty forgiving tail, so if you get backseat, it won’t take you for a ride. And the flex through the shovel offers good support when moving quickly through mogul fields, which is something that I found a bit lacking on the Liberty Origin 106.
While the light weight of the Ranger 108 Ti didn’t entice me to rage through moguls, the skis do respond well when I wanted to carve at speed through tricky terrain with precision. This dance works well in terrain or mogul fields that are a bit more open, where you can commit to a turn and stay planted on smooth snow in between variations in the terrain.
While the last couple of months haven’t brought large storms, the Ranger 108 Ti has floated well in untracked powder up to a foot deep. I had no problems porpoising in and out of the fresh snow, and I found this could be done without concern of tip dive.
The Ranger 108 Ti has excellent float for a ski of this width, but there are far more “surfy” skis on the market at this width if that is the sensation you’re after. No one’s going to confuse the Ranger 108 Ti with a Liberty Origin 106 or fully rockered (and heavily rockered) Moment Meridian or 4FRNT Devastator. Instead, the Ranger 108 Ti is a ski that likes to carve through powder and requires a bit more input than other skis to break the tails free into a slash.
Like its narrower brother, the Ranger 108 Ti isn’t most at home when making large turns through cut-up powder. The lightweight construction causes it to deflect a bit more than heavier skis. While there is a longer, 188 cm model of the ski, I don’t think that additional length will necessarily make a huge difference; a ski sometimes just needs more mass. So, if you’d prefer to crush soft chop but are still interested in excellent carving characteristics, I think a heavier ski like the Line Supernatural 108 will be a better choice. However, if you prefer to make short and snappy turns through soft chop, I think you’ll find the energy and agility of the the Ranger 108 Ti to be quite compelling.
Firm and Variable Snow
The Ranger 108 Ti is a light ski and, like all light skis I’ve tried, it feels a bit out of place in more firm, variable snow. While it wants to carve hard and has pretty tenacious edge hold, irregularities in the terrain can cause a decent amount of deflection. I couldn’t let the Ranger 108 Ti run with reckless abandon like I can with other heavier skis (like the old metal Katana). The amount of deflection is pretty comparable, I’d say, to the 188 cm Salomon QST 106, though the 182 cm Ranger 108 Ti isn’t quite as damp. (And this is one area where the 188 cm Ranger 108 Ti will almost certainly close the advantage that the longer QST 106 has over the 182 cm Ranger 108 Ti that we’ve reviewed.)
If the firm snow is smooth and consistent, however, I don’t think anyone will be complaining about the ride of the Ranger 108 Ti. It feels locked in through the turn a bit more than the Salomon QST 106, and, in smooth, chalky, firm snow, the Ranger 108 Ti exhibits the same strong carving performance that it has on groomers. I found this strong edge hold to be quite confidence-inspiring on steeper terrain.
Fischer Ranger 98 Ti vs. Fischer Ranger 108 Ti
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the Ranger 108 Ti and the Ranger 98 Ti are extremely similar skis. They both are exciting and nimble skis that love to carve, whether it be on firm snow or in powder. As expected, the Ranger 108 Ti floats better in powder, while the Ranger 98 Ti is quicker edge-to-edge and more agile in moguls (especially when they become Volkswagon-sized).
If you’re looking for a one-ski quiver, I’d personally lean more towards the Ranger 98 Ti. However, if you’re looking for a more powder-specific ski to complement a narrower ski, I’d opt for the Ranger 108 Ti, and, at resorts with more open terrain, would consider sizing up to the longer 188 cm length.
The Fischer Ranger 108 Ti has three stand-out traits: it floats well in powder, it has great energy when carving, and it’s lightweight. While it’s a bit heavier than what I’d normally look for in a touring ski, it’d be a great ski to bang out laps on a powder day, then go for a tour once the resort gets tracked out. It’d also work well for a skier that’s looking for a lighter and more agile resort powder ski, and tends to ski with more finesse than all-out aggression. The excellent carving performance would also be a lot of fun in corn and slush, later in the season, whether in the backcountry or at the resort.
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