The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti is a very versatile ski that did well in just about any terrain. It definitely needs to be in the conversation for a “quiver of one” ski, as I could easily see using this as my daily driver in just about any condition I encounter in Colorado . It has this beautiful mix of speed loving dampness, easy going smoothness, and quick turning maneuverability. It’s a ski that is at home on roughed up terrain off piste, and almost as fun on smooth frontside groomers. It’s definitely a capable ski for the advanced or expert skier looking to ski the entire mountain.
Fischer Ranger 98 Ti All-Mountain Ski Review
Conditions: Deep Soft Chop, Soft Groomers, Hard Packed Groomers
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAATTACK 13
On the Snow Feel – The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti has this smooth, easy-going feel to it. At the same time it’s a ski that’s maneuverable, easy to turn, nimble, and yet surprisingly stable and damp when you want to put the pedal to the metal. This semi-stable combination is great for skiers that want to be able to loosen things up on certain terrain, and then lock the ski in when carving up the frontside groomers.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti has an Air Tec Ti Wood Core that reduces overall weight while retaining torsional rigidity and stiffness. The end result is a ski that is light-weight and maneuverable, but also holds up well when carving high speed turns. Swing weight is pretty low, thanks to a thin carbon tip. This gives the ski a maneuverable and nimble feel even at slower speeds. Getting the ski on edge was also relatively easy, but I wouldn’t call the ski overly forgiving. The ski is actually quite responsive, and as soon as you tip it on edge, the ski wants to turn. That doesn’t mean that you can’t break the skis free and play around on softer snow, but rather that it didn’t take a really high edge angle to get the ski to respond. I found that I could vary turn shape pretty easily, and I could make quick shorter radius turns, or open things up and make more powerful long radius turns. Transitions from edge to edge were quick, thanks in part to the light weight, but I didn’t find overly energetic. At high edge angles the ski was more powerful, and I had a lot of fun making longer radius turns. When opening things up the ski was smooth and predictable, and even though I could vary turn shape with ease, I didn’t feel like the ski was twitchy or turny when I didn’t want it to be. It’s a ski that I found light and nimble, but also stable and predictable.
Speed: The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti has a light-weight Air Tec Core and Aeroshape design. This helps to reduce weight while retaining a good amount of torsional rigidity and stiffness. The tip is built with a thin carbon layer that has a good strength to weight ratio, while a titanal layer underfoot helps to increase dampness. The end result is a ski that is light-weight, and yet can hold up to speed really well. The light carbon tip reduces chatter and the titanal layer absorbs negative vibrations. I found that the ride was actually very smooth and predictable at speed, and even though the skis feel moderately light, I never felt like they would be overpowered if skied to fast.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti doesn’t have as wide of a base as the 108 Ti but has the same damp construction that makes the 108 a capable ski in the variable terrain. The wide rockered tip helps to absorb the terrain while the stiff construction underfoot smooths it out. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the Ranger 98 likes to blast through the crud, nor does it totally want to float over the top. The 98 was just smooth and predictable in rough terrain. It never felt like it wanted to deflect, but it also didn’t feel like it was just going to move snow out of the way. I feel like it was perfectly at home on roughed up snow off piste, so long as it never get super deep.
Powder: The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti is the mild child in the ranger series. It has better float than the Ranger 90, but doesn’t hold up as well as the Ranger 108. This ski is all about versatility, and like most super versatile skis, it does everything well, but nothing great. The same can be said for the skis powder performance. It has the rocker nose to keep your tips up, and a tapered tip for easier maneuverability, but at 98mm underfoot, it will only have a moderate amount of float.
Edge Hold: Again, the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti is more of an all-mountain generalist. It won’t have the same edge hold as the narrower Ranger 90, but more than the 108. Still, there is a decent amount of camber and a sandwich sidewall construction. The ski is also torsionally rigid, and holds a perfectly fine edge on harder snow.
Bottom Line: The Fischer Ranger 98 Ti is a super versatile all-mountain ski that really does everything pretty well. It doesn’t stand out in any on area necessarily, but I do love the combination of quick and nimble maneuverability, and speed loving dampness. I found the ski to be really responsive, and I could make turns of just about any shape. It was nimble enough for trees, but stable enough to make high speed long radius turns. The ski wasn’t overly exciting on the groomers, but did feel smooth and predictable. It’s light and maneuverable enough to feel somewhat playful in softer snow. Bottom line is that the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti would make a great daily driver for the skier that wants to ski every kind of terrain and condition, and doesn’t mind sacrificing a bit of top end performance for versatility.