2018-2019 Fischer Ranger 102 FR

Luke Koppa reviews the Fischer Ranger FR 102 for Blister
Fischer Ranger 102 FR

Ski: 2018-2019 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm

Available Lengths: 170, 177, 184 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 183.8 cm

Stated Weight per Ski (177 cm): 2000 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (184 cm): 2101 & 2104 grams

Stated Dimensions: 138-103-128 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137.8-102.4-127.7

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 65 mm / 35 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4-5 mm

Core: Beech/Poplar + Titanal + Carbon Fiber Tip + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.9 cm from center; 82 cm from tail

Intro

Back in our coverage of the 2018 OR / SIA tradeshow, I noted that I was particularly excited about one ski at the show — the Fischer Ranger 102 FR.

As the twin-tipped and slightly heavier cousin of the Ranger 108 Ti and Ranger 98 Ti, the Ranger 102 FR immediately caught my attention as a playful-yet-stable all-mountain ski. We now have the 102 FR in hand, and will be getting time on it very soon. But for now, let’s run down why I’m excited about this ski.

What Fischer says about the new Ranger 102 FR:

“Offering an array of technology, the Ranger 102 FR is tough yet playful at the same time. Its stability impresses not just in extreme powder turns but also in less-than-ideal conditions as well as on seemingly impassable routes. Above all, its shape is what really shines. The Freeski Rocker with lightweight Twin Tip makes it agiler, more manoeuvrable, and allows big, beautiful, sweeping turns. The shortened linear contact area of the ski works well on the hard conditions typically found off-piste. That saves energy and makes for phenomenal performance on the descent.

Even when the best runs are on the other side of the mountain, you can rely on the Ranger 102 FR to capably navigate the route up and over. Its easy ride isn’t just a result of the Aeroshape construction. The Air Tec Ti wood core and unique Carbon Nose – a super thin shovel carbon fibre construction – also combine to provide minimal weight, effortless turning, and amazing stability. The Ranger 102 FR impresses in every area of performance, conquers the toughest descents, and makes every single trip an adventure.”

First Things First: How in the world did this marketing copy not win our 2018 SWAGGER award??? This ski should have been called the FR Kanye. And it’s probably worth noting that Kanye has been hanging out in Jackson Hole this spring. Rumor is that he is going to be dropping two albums in June, but we suspect that he’s also been hitting Corbet’s quite a bit on the Ranger 102 FR.

(Note: Our editor-in-chief added in that whole previous paragraph, so please don’t blame me for that.)

Ok, so we’ve got claims of the Ranger 102 FR being “tough yet playful,” statements about both firm-snow and soft-snow performance, and notes about it being agile and allowing for big sweeping turns. In other words, Fischer is talking a huge game about the Ranger 102 FR’s versatility, so that will certainly be one of our main questions for our full review.

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Ranger 102 FR looks quite similar to the Ranger 108 Ti in terms of shape. They both have a moderate amount of taper in the tips, and the Ranger 102 FR has a bit more tail taper than the Ranger 108 Ti.

The rocker profile of the Ranger 102 FR is also very similar to that of the Ranger 108 Ti. Both skis have fairly deep tip rocker lines, but not very dramatic tip splay.

One of the main differences between the Ranger 102 FR and the Ranger 108 Ti and 98 Ti is the 102 FR’s “twinned” tail (it’s not a true twin, but the Ranger 102 FR has noticeably more tail splay than the 108 Ti — 35 mm vs. 17 mm). However, the Ranger 102 FR’s tail rocker line is not very deep, so we don’t expect it to feel drastically surfier / looser than the other Ranger skis, especially when you take into consideration its specs in the next section…

Flex Pattern

Tips: 8-8.5
Shovels: 8.5-9
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece: 9.5-9
Tails: 8.5

While Fischer is emphasizing the Ranger 102 FR’s playfulness, its flex pattern certainly doesn’t suggest that it’ll be some sort of noodly butter stick. This is a pretty stiff ski, and it’s stiff through most of its length. The tips are just slightly softer than the tails, and the tails are pretty stout (they begin ramping up to “9” or “9.5” pretty quickly).

With such a stout flex pattern, we’re very interested to see how demanding / forgiving the Ranger 102 FR feels, and if we’ll be able to access that stiff flex when trying to pop off features or bend the ski into tighter turns.

Dimensions

At around 102 mm underfoot, the Ranger 102 FR occupies an increasingly diverse category of all-mountain skis that aim to provide a nearly equal mix of hard- and soft-snow performance. It’s going up against some tough competition, including the Rossignol Soul 7 HD, Line Sick Day 104, Atomic Bent Chetler 100, and a bunch of other skis. We’ll be A/Bing it against several skis in this class, and since Fischer hypes up the Ranger 102 FR’s ability to handle both pow and firm snow, we’ll be weighing in on where the Ranger 102 FR feels most at home when it comes to snow conditions.

Weight

When I first flexed the Ranger 102 FR, I lost a bit of interest, since I knew the Ranger 108 Ti was a pretty light ski (~1950 g for the 182 cm), and I don’t tend to get along very well with stiff skis that are also very light (I often find them harsh and unforgiving).

So I was excited to see that the 184 cm Ranger 102 FR is coming in at a weight of around 2100 grams. That seems like a pretty nice weight for an inbounds ski of this size, and to put it into perspective, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for a few other notable skis:

1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18-18/19)
1941 & 1965 Fischer Ranger 108 Ti, 182 cm (17/18-18/19)
1950 & 1977 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (17/18-18/19)
2080 & 2089 Sego Big Horn 106, 187 cm (17/18-18/19)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm
2133 & 2134 Faction Prodigy 3.0, 183 cm (18/19)
2221 & 2245 ON3P Kartel 108, 186 cm (18/19)
2341 & 2318 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (17/18-18/19)

Mount Point

With a pretty traditional mount point of -9.9 cm from center, the Ranger 102 FR definitely seems like it will prefer a forward stance and not feel particularly freestyle-oriented (at least on paper). However, Fischer did put a twin tip on this ski and they are emphasizing its playfulness, and that makes me extra eager to push the bindings forward of the recommended line to see how the Ranger 102 FR feels. I’m excited to see if it falls in line with skis like the Bent Chetler 100 or Icelantic Nomad 115 that don’t feel very sensitive to mount point, or if people should really just stick with the Ranger 102 FR’s more traditional recommended mount point.

Comparisons?

With its stiff flex pattern, pretty playful shape, traditional mount point, and solid weight, the Ranger 102 FR fits into an interesting space between stiffer and / or heavier directional skis such as the Nordica Enforcer 100, and softer and / or lighter skis like the Atomic Bent Chetler 100 and Line Sick Day 104.

So we’re not exactly sure where it will fall, but we’ll be comparing it to several of the skis listed in the weight section above in order to figure out where exactly it slots in when it comes to playfulness, stability, forgiveness, etc.

And feel free to let us know in the comments if there are any other skis you think would make for good / relevant comparisons.

Bottom Line (For Now)

On paper, the Fischer Ranger 102 FR looks like a very intriguing option for skiers looking for something with a playful rocker profile, but that prefer a much stiffer ski than many of the all-mountain freestyle options currently on the market. It’s not the most obvious ski to locate just based on its specs, so we’re gonna stop typing and start skiing it to see where exactly it falls in the category of 100-105mm-underfoot all-mountain skis.

Stay tuned for updates, and let us know about any questions you’d like to see addressed in the full review.

NEXT: The Full Review

18 thoughts on “2018-2019 Fischer Ranger 102 FR

  1. Wow, that’s a rather heavy ski… 2100gr for a 102! Thought it would be a competitor for the new Icelantic Natural 101, but I think this last one is going to be much lighter.

  2. Will this be an SN108 replacement with a tighter radius? Tip and tail dims are very close, as is the length. These are lighter by 2-300 grams.

  3. Can you compare to some stiffer twin tip skis like the Blizzard Peacemaker or Moment PB&J? I’ve been happy with my Peacemakers (186) but they are beat and this ski looked to be like a good replacement. I’ve skied my brother’s Ranger 108 in 188cm length, and really liked them EXCEPT for the tail which even with significant detuning stayed a little too locked into a turn for my tastes. In general I think a bit more running length in combination with a loose tail suits me and my style best, which is why I think I had a lot of fun on the Peacemakers. I would also say the ability to lean on the nose a bit sounds like a good feature here, I’ve been able to play with the mount point on the Peacemaker with demo tracks and I’ve settled on +2 cm (so -4 cm from true center) as a great tradeoff between skiing hard in a neutral stance and throwing them sideways in slashes, but on an occasional turn through firm snow off piste I would wish for more front support and drive in the tips.

  4. Sounds like this could be a solid replacement for my QLab.Stiffer up front by the sounds of it but potentially more playful. Interesting!

  5. Why can’t I find this on the Fisher website? Checked the US site in case it was US only but couldn’t see it there either?

    • Hi Swisschris,

      The Ranger 102 FR is brand new for the 18/19 season, so it’s not currently available. It will become available this coming Fall.

  6. Hi

    Would like to find a stable 50/50 ski. Raced in youth. Reference ski is Volkl Mantra M4 177cm that i thought was really good but too heavy touring with framebinding. Found this rather intresting video of this ski…. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VUvOcjJ-zVs

    Is this guy telling the truth ? Hi seems to be quite big guy but still talk about this like some supercharger ? Is it really this demanding? Confused…

    • Well, Luke, too, recommended the ski to “high intermediate to advanced skiers”. And the ski has “fairly stout flex pattern and preference for longer turns”. So yeah, I think the case is solved.

      • Yes. Highlights the important fact that you have to know a littlebit who gives the review. This is very good on Blister.

        The skitester in the video clearly prefers softer easier skis and that is very logical when you see other videos where he skis. I stumbeld over the video review and and that was not the picture I had got of 102fr from other reviews. In the video he make it sound like the 102fr is like a worldcup raceski.

  7. Looking at the flex pattern and the rocker profile, this ski looks very much like a “skinnier version” of Scott Scrapper 115 (which I own and like a lot). Is the characteristics (feel) of the ski similar to the Scrapper 115?

  8. Hi Blister Crew,
    I currently ride the Ranger 108ti + Kingpins as my 1 ski quiver, but i’m looking for something a little narrower/burlier for resort only skiing. How would you compare the FR 102 to the 108ti? I love how much pop/energy the 108ti has while laying down some turns, just wish it could hang in the crud better. The other ski that has caught my eye is the Blizzard Bonafide, but that seems like it is pushing the stable side of things even more (maybe too much?). Thanks!

    • We haven’t had a chance to A/B the Ranger 102 and 108, but I’m pretty confident that the Ranger 102 should do significantly better in crud. The 102 is heavier and stiffer, and feels quite stable in fairly rough snow. That said, the 102 does require a decent amount of force / strength to get energy out of it, so I wouldn’t expect it to be quite as energetic as the 108, which is a bit softer and easier to bend into a turn. Heavier skiers or those that really like to drive their skis will definitely be able to get some pop out of it, but you have to be pushing it pretty hard.

      If you want a stable narrower ski that’s still pretty energetic while carving, I’d recommend checking out the Mantra M5 or J Skis Masterblaster. They’re both a bit more damp than the Ranger 102, but provide a bit more pop out of a turn.

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