2019-2020 Fischer Ranger 102 FR

As I noted at SIA / OR and in our First Look of the Ranger 102 FR, I was pretty excited about this ski as soon as I saw it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of products that end up being a bit of a letdown once we actually start testing them.

The Ranger 102 FR has not been one of those products.

I’ve had a blast skiing it in conditions ranging from firm, early-morning groomers to slushy afternoon chop. It never felt terribly out of place in any of the conditions I got it in, and it’s probably one of my favorite skis I’ve been on this year.

Factory Tune

While I’m not usually that picky when it comes to ski tunes, my first turns on the Ranger 102 FR immediately made it apparent that this ski had an extremely sharp factory tune. This was the sharpest tune I’d ever felt on a ski, and the Ranger 102 FR felt very one-dimensional as a result (it only wanted to stay in very precise, carved turns, and particularly GS-size turns).

So, after my first run, I detuned the whole ski, taking a coarse diamond stone to the tips and tails, and then running a soft gummy stone over the whole length of the ski. The ski felt much more versatile and intuitive after this detune, and I ended up further detuning the tails to make them easier to release. But by no means did this render the Ranger 102 FR useless on firm snow — it still carves and holds an edge very well for a ski this wide.

Tune is very personal, so you might get along better than I did with the sharp factory tune on the Ranger 102 FR. But if you’re looking for a slightly looser feel while still maintaining good firm-snow performance, I’d consider detuning the ski (and particularly, the tails).

Playfulness

After detuning it, the Ranger 102 FR felt significantly more willing to break its tails free, but it’s far from the loosest or surfiest ski in this category — it still feels like it prefers to be on edge when heading down the fall line, rather than sliding sideways down it.

When it comes to the flex and pop of the Ranger FR 102, you need a significant amount of effort and / or speed to get this ski to bend. But once you do, it provides a lot of energy. At 5’8”, ~155 lbs, I had to really press hard into the tips and tails to pop off them, and was then rewarded with lots of energy / pop.

Same story in a carved turn. Once I got it up to fairly high speeds and really made an effort to bend the ski, the Ranger 102 FR provided lots of energy out of the turn. I think heavier and / or stronger skiers will have less trouble bending the ski, but for lighter skiers, the Ranger 102 FR requires more effort to bend than the (many) softer options in the all-mountain freestyle class or even the more directional all-mountain category.

In the air, the Ranger 102 FR feels quite light for its actual weight, which I think is due in part to its thin “Carbon Nose.” The 184 cm Ranger 102 FR feels like it has a lower swing weight than I’d expect given that it weighs around 2100 grams.

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

The Ranger 102 FR’s twin tail does its job — you can definitely ski switch on it, just don’t expect it to feel as intuitive when compared to skis with more symmetrical shapes and more centered mounts. And if I had to land or take off switch in deep snow, I’d much prefer a ski with a higher tail — I have to lean forward pretty aggressively to keep the Ranger 102 FR’s tail above deeper snow when skiing switch.

Overall, the Ranger 102 FR feels like a playful, but still directional ski — it feels best when going fast downhill, but it can still be slashed, pressed, and skied switch. However, where exactly it falls in that playful vs. directional spectrum does depend a bit on the mount point, which brings us to the next section:

Mount Point

One of my main questions about the Ranger 102 FR was how sensitive it would feel to moving the mount point of the bindings. I really like skis that I can drive / ski with a forward stance when I want, but that are also able to break free into slashes and feel fairly balanced in the air. So, when I saw the Ranger 102 FR’s fairly traditional mount of -9.9 cm from center, I was eager to try it with the bindings moved forward a bit.

At the recommended line, the Ranger 102 FR feels very traditional, and I could drive it as hard as I wanted without any hint of it folding up on me (again, I’m only around ~155 lbs).

At +2 cm (-7.9 from center), the Ranger 102 FR felt easier to break free and I could ski it with a slightly more centered stance, but I still felt like I wanted a bit more of a balanced feel.

I ended up settling on +4 cm (-5.9 from center) as my favorite mount point. Here, I could ski from a fairly centered stance, flick the ski around easier, and still drive the front of the ski quite hard. Basically, everything I was looking for.

So, if you’re looking for a more playful ride and / or are used to skis with more centered mounts, I would not immediately write off the Ranger 102 FR due to its traditional recommended mount point.

Groomers

On groomers, the Ranger 102 FR feels like a natural carver and provides very good edgehold for its width (again, even after my detune). It prefers medium to large turns, and feels very strong, stable, and precise on consistent groomers.

When the groomers get a little more roughed up, the Ranger 102 FR does get knocked around a bit, but it feels significantly more planted and stable than the other skis I’ve used in this narrower, all-mountain-freestyle category. But if the Ranger 102 FR is not quite as smooth and damp as heavier skis, it’s also poppier and more playful than many of them. The Ranger 102 FR’s stiffer shovels also allowed me to ski with an aggressive stance and pressure the front of the ski to help keep it composed at speed (even with the bindings mounted at -5.9 cm).

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

If your legs are tired at the end of the day and you want to take it easy, the Ranger 102 FR can pretty easily be slid around at slower speeds on groomers thanks to its rocker profile and relatively low swing weight. But you’ll definitely want to detune the ski if you plan on doing a lot of this.

All in all, the Ranger 102 FR is one of my favorite skis to carve in this category. It holds an edge well, feels precise and very energetic when pushed hard, and you can still slarve around on it when you’re tired.

Moguls

This is the only area where I have any real complaints about the Ranger 102 FR. The ski’s tails are pretty stiff, and I definitely noticed that in bumps. I still found the ski to be manageable in more open moguls, but in steep and / or big bumps with deep troughs, I had to concentrate pretty hard on staying forward to avoid being bucked by the tails. The Ranger 102 does not encourage lazy skiing in bumps.

And here it’s important to note that I prefer a more relaxed style in moguls — pivoting and sliding rather than mashing the tips of my skis into troughs. If you like to rage through bumps with an aggressive, forward stance, I think the Ranger 102 FR would probably work significantly better for that style as its shovels are quite supportive. But if you like to slide your way through bumps, there are plenty of easier and more forgiving options out there, most of which are softer and have deeper rocker lines.

Soft Chop

I’ve mostly been skiing the Ranger 102 FR in warm, spring conditions, so by around noon each day, the mountain basically turns into a minefield of soft piles of chopped-up or pushed-around slush. These sort of conditions are where the Ranger 102 FR shines.

This ski offers a really fun combination of quickness and stability. I’ve been able to blast through the softer piles at speed, then gun for a bigger patch and pop off it, easily throwing shifties, spins, and (usually missing) grabs.

There are easier and more playful skis in this class, and then there are more stable, often heavier directional options. But the Ranger 102 FR fits pretty nicely in between those two groups. It’s been stable enough in soft variable snow for me to ski pretty much as fast as I want, but it still feels comfortable slashing, popping off little lips, and skiing switch.

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

In firmer choppy conditions, most of the Ranger 102 FR’s performance in soft chop translates, but its lower weight becomes more apparent. There are several heavier skis in this class that stay more composed, are more damp, and offer more inherent stability than the Ranger 102 FR. The Ranger 102 FR definitely isn’t the most damp or “plush” ski, but for me, its quickness and playfulness make up for that since the Ranger 102 FR is so much easier to flick around than the heavier, more damp skis in this class. As Jonathan Ellsworth and I have stated in our ski-quiver selections, we’re both totally comfortable skiing the Ranger 102 FR everyday at Crested Butte, where conditions range from super firm to chalky to soft.

Who’s It For?

Because of that fairly stout flex pattern and preference for longer turns, I’d recommend the Ranger 102 FR to high-intermediate to expert skiers. And more specifically, I think the Ranger 102 FR could work very well for two groups of skiers:

First, I think directional skiers looking for a slightly more playful and energetic, but still pretty stable all-mountain option will get along quite well with the Ranger 102 FR. This ski definitely rewards a forward stance and good technique (especially at the recommended mount point), but it lets you play around more than most of its flat-tailed competition.

Second, I’d also recommend the Ranger 102 FR to strong, playful skiers that are looking for something that they can trick, but that will also handle high-speed run-outs and in-runs better than some of the softer and / or lighter all-mountain-freestyle skis on the market. The Ranger 102 FR is not the best choice if you love to butter and make lots of small turns at slower speeds. But if you’re a skier that likes to make big, fast turns while seeking out all the side hits the mountain has to offer, then the Ranger 102 FR is worth a look. And to those people, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend bumping the bindings forward a few cm’s in front of the recommended line.

Bottom Line

Unlike many products I’ve used, the new Fischer Ranger 102 FR has actually lived up to, and even exceeded, my expectations. It’s not the easiest, most playful, or most stable all-mountain ski on the market. But it combines some of the playfulness of less stable, freestyle-oriented skis with much of the stability and precision of more traditional options. The result? A ski that I’ve been able to ski quite hard while still taking a playful approach to the mountain.

Deep Dive Comparisons: Fischer Ranger 102 FR

Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber and check out our Deep Dive of the Ranger 102 FR to see how it stacks up against the Line Sick Day 104, Atomic Bentchetler 100, Nordica Enforcer 100, J Skis Masterblaster, ON3P Kartel 108, Faction Candide 3.0, and more…

NEXT: ROCKER PROFILE PICS

45 comments on “2019-2020 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.

    • I was bummed they weren’t making a big guy length too – BUT it looks like a 191 is coming this year. Don’t know when it will be available. Pretty compelling option…

  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!

    • How do these skis compare to the Soul 7 HD’s? Considering both of them. What are pros and cons of both. I would really appreciate a response :)

  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.

  9. Hi guys,

    Im in between getting the Ranger´s 102 FR 184cm or the 108 188cm.

    Im looking to mount either of this with the salomon shifty´s in orther to have a good pair of resort / backcountry touring skis. Are the 102 FR going to be to heavy for touring?

    I´m a really agressive skier allways looking to push hard on the skis, but also like to get some air, throw shifftys 180´s, 360´s.

    Thanks!

  10. I’m looking to upgrade my s3 168 skis and was thinking about the soul 7 hd 168 and ranger 102 fr 170. I’m 5’6″ 165lbs and ski pretty aggressively. Love the bumps, steeps and powder but also like to hit the groomers fast. I demod the soul 7 at jacksonhole and loved it, but haven’t had a chance to try the fr 102. Do you have a suggestion between the 2 and which would perform better for my style, or even another suggestion? I appreciate any feedback.

    Thanks
    Sean

    • I compared the Soul 7 to the Ranger 102 FR. I liked the softer buttery feel of the Soul 7 in some circumstances but, I went with the Fischer Ranger 102 FR and its everything its hyped up to be, it just takes a lot more efort to use the tails but its reward is great.

      One thing I noticed is the Soul has minimal edges with nothing on the tips/tails while the Ranger has a full 360 degree metal edge which is more useful and groomer or icy friendly.

      I’m 5’7″ and about 158 lbs and a strong, aggressive, playful skier. It took a bit to get used to the stiffer tails than other similar skis but pushing them feels to slingshot you out of turns allowing more sure-footed speed.

  11. Any more thoughts on mount point?

    I’m 6’1 x 180 and pretty trad. I love my Dynastar LPs, and Monster 99s. Fast and forwards.

    Got the 102fr as a travel ski, something that I can hopefully push pretty hard, but also take touring – prob 70/30 resort/touring.

    Shall I just go on the line and forget about the usual obsessing?

  12. Thanks Luke – you had mount 4cm forward… on the 184? I’m considering the 177 and wondering if you have a view on this. Still in 2 minds between 177 & 184, mid 30s 180cm 155lbs, less aggressive than I was and thinking shorter more fun/sensible. Many thanks!!

    • Went with the 177 + pivot 14s, currently mounted 3cm forward of recommended. My other/comparison skis are CMD it stiffs. As the review says, a very good carver when you get up to speed, but find it slashes through moguls pretty nicely. Being on the shorter 177 and having done a morning of braquage may have helped, the transition from precise to loose felt v natural. Overall this ski is insanely fun. Again, as noted, edge sharpness was ridiculous, I haven’t detuned and have let the mountain do its work…. you can get some cheap deals on these now, so highly recommended

  13. Hello! I need your help choosing between the Fischer Ranger 102 FR in 170 cm, the Bent Chetler 100 in 164 cm and K2 Mindbender 106c Alliance in 167 cm, lengths discussable. I am 159 cm tall and weigh aprox 65-70 kg. I’ve been skiing on Head Mya No.10 (2014) in 172 cm as my one ski for the entire mountain since their release and I love them (https://www.skimag.com/gear/head-mya-no-10-2014). I like to ski a lot of edge/carving, but love to surf powder the most so my winters mix soft snow and powder in the alps, with hard icy snow in the Scandinavian mountains. I do not do a lot of jumps and tricks. Which ski and what length should you recommend? Thank you!

  14. I’m very interested in this ski, but it seems like 184(longest offering) might be a little short for me given my height and weight. 6’4″ 220 lbs. Do you think its enough ski for someone my size?

    • Hey John, I’m the same exact size as you. got the 191 this season and it’s hands down the best ski I have ever been on. Can’t recommend it enough. They’ll be more widely available in 191 next season. Was pretty tough to find in that size, but they’re everywhere on Europe sites right now.

  15. Hi guys – I’m 6ft3 215lbs, skiing exclusively inbounds in the Canadian rockies; love a hike to get the goods but I don’t venture too far from the lifts.

    Had been dead set on a pair of 188 qst106s after demoing in great conditions – that was until I skied the Ranger and loved its performance and intuitive feel on-piste – just want to be sure it’ll still be as fun chasing the soft stuff on those good days!

    I’m torn between the 184 and 191 – how does the 191 float for you on deeper days? I demoed the 184 in wind buffed / crusty conditions and wasn’t able to get a good read on their powder performance, so am considering potentially sizing up as insurance.

    Any feedback on performance in powder and how the 191 handles would be much appreciated.

  16. Hi Guys- appreciate/respect all the reviews, buddies and i constantly sharing your feedback :) Question on size/ mounting. I’m 5″11″ – 168lbs. I assume I’d be termed advanced int. – advanced, I ski hard/fast- Ex: groomers consistently 40+mph zone, plenty of 50. My carving form looks great but still far from Expert off piste ;) I own the 102FR in 177, based on your advice bindings mounted forward +3, absolutely LOVE the ski. Note: Prior to the 102FR I owned two iterations of the Ranger 98 in 180 and loved them. The 102FR is stiffer, a better fit. I own but am selling Ranger 99TI in 180- I never became comfortable, probably due to less than perfect form. Its a demanding ski in my estimation, very little sweet spot. So my question- I’m thinking I may appreciate the 184 length in the 102FR, appreciate any feedback and suggestions on mount point.

    • Hmm, tough question. If you love the 177 Ranger 102 FR and very rarely find yourself wishing it felt more stable at high speeds, then I wouldn’t see much reason to bump up to the 184 cm length. But if you’re frequently wishing that the 177 cm Ranger 102 FR didn’t get knocked around as much when skiing fast and/or floated better in soft snow, then the 184 cm could be worth a try. It will obviously be a bit more work in off-piste terrain, but I don’t find the 184 cm Ranger 102 FR as demanding or punishing as the 180 cm Ranger 99 Ti, so I think you’d still find the 184 cm 102 FR easier to ski than the 180 cm 99 Ti. As for mount point, I think I’d just recommend sticking with the same +3 mount point you liked on the 177 cm length.

  17. Hi guys, really LOVE your reviews – highly appreciated! I am mid 30s, 174cm (5‘9“), 74kg (163lbs). Coming from an on-piste always-on-edge carving background, I started playing around, going off-piste, some deeper snow and trying freeride-skies for the last 1-2 years. I enjoy all conditions and wanna improve my freeride-skills so I am thinking about getting the Ranger 102 FR for its versatility.

    Length – Would you recommend the 170 or 177cm?
    Mount point – Given what I am looking for, what mount point would you recommend, +3cm?

    Appreciate your feedback! Thanks, Alex

  18. Hello, what do you think of this ski ( 2020/21 model really, but I think its pretty much the same ski) as a touring ski? Are they too heavy? I’ll use them with shift bindings, 50/50 resort skiing and touring in the backcountry. I’m 179 cm ( little over 5ft 10inch) should I go for the 184cm or 177cm length? Thanks!

  19. I am wondering about size of ski as well. I ski in western Canada, strictly in resort in the interior of BC. I am 176 cm tall(5ft 9inch), weigh 79 kg(175lbs). My current ski is 178 in length, Dynastar Cham which has a long gradual rocker in tip and no rocker in the tail. Originally thought about the 177 length, but wondering if I should go longer given the amount of tail rocker in the Fischer 102. Any thoughts?

    • I’m 5’7 145 expert and the 177cm (mounted +2cm in front of recommended line) are great. I find them very quick relative to other skis this length. They do have very stiff tails which can sometimes get a little tricky in very tight spots when theres new snow, relative to surfier skis with softer and/or more turned up tails. Overall their shape and low swingweight makes them easier than similar skis in these spots tho. I don’t find them demanding anywhere else. I dont think good skiers that are taller/heavier than me should be too afraid of the 184cm. Hope that helps

  20. Jonathan and Luke

    Exactly.
    There is nothing about your review that doesn’t square 100% with how these feel to me. Including Luke’s take that they come from the factory way too sharp… Like Ginsu knife sharp. I had to put a stone to them aggressively tip to tail to get them to feel right (as Luke did).
    If I was forced to describe the 102 FR in as few words as possible (as you guys said): Strong and playful. Yep, they’re not as damp as Nordica E 104 but they mean business more. They’re really good at what they do. Thanks J and L for nailing this review as you guys do.
    Andy F

  21. Hey J and L,

    I recently bought some Ranger 94 FRs and have completely fallen in love with their personality and performance. It seems like those traits carry through to the wider skis. To make a 2-ski quiver would you recommend the 115 or the 102 Ranger FR? The 94s are great for The NE and lighter snow days out West, so these would complement them for more fresh snow / powder days on the backside of the resort. Do the 115s hold an edge well enough on the front to warrant having the extra width in soft snow or is the 102 good enough in soft snow to go that way?

    PS: CB is my “home” mountain so that’s something else to keep in mind, but I’d take them with me other places too.

    Thanks!

  22. Picked these skis up at the end of the season and the Blister review nails it. Fun, Fun, Fun!!

    6ft 180lbs advanced/expert and I had no issues with the 184CM length. Mounted at +2 for a more playful/slashy/slarvy ski style and they are dynamite while also allowing for some serious carving. Not the greatest on ice/roughed up groomers but that is to be expected.

    I have the Moment Wildcat 190CM as my pow ski and they really compliment each other and don’t feel drastically different in terms of how you can use them on the mountain.

    Only regret is getting the blue topsheet over the pink one!

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