A FRIENDLIER RANGER
Ski Canada loved the stability, float and power of last year’s Fischer Ranger 98 Ti, so the introduction of a twintip, slightly wider Ranger 102 FR had us intrigued. Beyond the upturned tail, the biggest difference between the 98 Ti and 102 FR is less Titanal. Fischer says that translates to a looser, more playful ski, but not at the expense of much performance. The 102 should still bite into firm snow, carve through crud and slice the mountain in just about any turn shape. ($850; fischersports.com)
FISCHER RANGER 102 FR
$850 * BEST FOR: Transitioning from all-mountain to big-mountain.
LENGTHS: 170, 177, 184 * RADIUS: 18@177 * SIDECUT: 136/102/126
You can ski the Ranger 102 FR on groomers. It performs well, too, holding an edge and finishing turns at high speeds. But that’s not its happy place, said Caitlin Burge: “They want to go play in the woods, the bumps and steeps. Buttery and easy skiing, this Ranger feels forgiving and playful. Perhaps slightly less energetic than its siblings, the 98 and 108, but also less stiff and less work.” That’s exactly what Fischer was going for. With a sheet of Titanal, the existing Ranger asks a lot of its driver, requiring work to stay in control and get the most out of it. With the 102, Fischer ditched the metal to create a more approachable ski. For power and heavier skiers, it may feel lacking. “Skied well everywhere, but was a bit too light and soft for skiing big, open turns in ungroomed, bumpy terrain,” reported Brent Malysh. “Best suited to skiers who are lighter in weight and have a finesse style.” But when the match works: “Responsive, versatile, carves with authority, yet floats well in the chopped-up powder and deeper snow,” swooned George Terwiel.