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2013-2014 Fischer Watea 106

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Fischer Watea 106, Blister Gear Review

13/14 Fischer Watea 106

Ski: 2013-2014 Fischer Watea 106, 190cm

Dimensions (mm): 138-106-124

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 189.23 cm

BLISTER’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2,222 grams & 2,238 grams

Sidecut Radius: 26 meters

Test Location: Las Leñas Ski Resort

Days Skied: 5

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Watea 106, which is unchanged for 13/14, except for the graphics.]

In July, I got a phone call from Will Brown about the skis we were taking to Las Leñas. We quickly ran through the list of skis, and when he arrived at the Fischer Watea 106, I hesitated.

I hadn’t heard much about Fischer skis for the past few years other than the experimental tip and tail shapes that they had tried on the recent, wider Wateas.

When we got to Mendoza on the first leg of our trip and started pulling skis out of bags, I was pleased with what I saw. The Watea 106 looks beefy and feels substantial when hand flexed. From the thick vertical sidewalls to the classic tip shape and fully cambered tail, the Watea 106 screams, “traditional.”

In short, this looks like a real ski, made with a nod to the Fischer race room and a more old-school, directional, fall-line-style of skiing.

The Fischer Watea 106 could be viewed as a modern take on a specific class of skis, for a very particular type of skier. These are stiffer skis, with positive camber through the tails that are not playful or particularly easy to ski. They are for skiing hard and fast, period. The former Dynastar Legend Pro XXL and the Kastle MX108 are some other skis in this class.

(For the sake of comparison, throughout this review I will making a number of references to the Atomic Ritual, which I skied in Las Leñas immediately before getting on the Watea. The Ritual is a ski certainly shares some similarities with the Watea 106, but it is ultimately for a different sort of skier.)

Watea 106: Design Component

The flex of the 106 is on the stiffer side, with an even flex from the front contact point through the tail. The rocker profile is subtle with a modest splay in the tip and a rocker line that is about 35 centimeters deep.

Fischer Watea 106 Tip Profile, Blister Gear Review

Fischer Watea 106 – Tip Profile

The tips are traditionally shaped with the widest point about 10 centimeters down the ski. The tails are flat with the camber extending almost all the way to the end, but the very end of the tail is turned up about a half centimeter, and the corners are slightly rounded.

Fischer Watea 106 Tail Profile, Blister Gear Review

Fischer Watea 106 – Tail Profile

If you’re into camber, the 106 has a ton of it—more positive camber than any other ski we brought to Las Leñas. While standing in the lift line, I noticed that when I weighted and unweighted the ski over a depression in the snow, I actually felt the camber rebound. This is a feeling I have not experienced in a long time, and speaks to the more traditional, cambered feel of this ski.

This Watea 106 can, and in many cases must, be skied aggressively in all sorts of conditions, from light, shallow pow, to chalky hardpack chutes and variable crud and groomers. You do not have to be an all-out, FWT beast to ski it, just be sure to you bring your A game.

 

NEXT PAGE: LIGHTER, FRESH SNOW OFF MARTE

7 Comments

  1. stuckathuntermtn @ tgr September 14, 2012 Reply

    If someone were to weight, say, another 40lbs (I’m 6′ and 185lbs in a t-shirt and shorts), do you think that person could make them play a little more, and smear through trees, while still retaining most of the stability? Obviously, it would take a strong pilot, but I’m curious what a heavier skier would think of these guys.

    • Ryan October 4, 2012 Reply

      As I mentioned in the review, I was able to make the Watea 106 smear and pivot a little bit in the lighter, deeper pockets I encountered. The playful turns on this ski required a different skiing style than those I would make on something that is softer, more center mounted and tail rockered, like the Atomic Ritual.

      In deeper, soft snow when the ski is planing I think a strong skier will be able make them smear through trees, but this will not be the effortless smearing that many of us have become used to on wider ski with rockered tips and tails.

      I do not expect any loss of stability for a heavier skier, but I anticipate less effort required to make surfier slashes and pivots, however, this is not the forte of this ski. Due to the very aft mounting point, you cannot make the surf style turns from a neutral stance, a more aggressive, deliberate smearing move has to be made to drive the tails and allow the tips to feather.

      All in all I think a heavier skier will definitely enjoy this ski if they have good base skill set. I can only see this ski being easier to maneuver given the same skill set between a 150 or 200 pounder.

  2. Toadman March 31, 2013 Reply

    I demo’d the Watea106 in teh 182Cm version, and I would say that it’s nothing like the review of the 190cm bigger brother. I had demo’d the Salomon 115’s ealier in the day, and THAT is a hard charging ski in the 188cm version. I found the 182 very easy to ski. I like a ski with some camber. I do have a pair of Rossignol S3’s in the 186, and didn’t feel that the Watea106 in the 182cm was much harder to ski. To me, the Watea106 felt like a slightly stiffer version of the S3 in the tip. No tip flap, and I was surprised by how it railed groomers at 106mm underfoot. No problems in the manky spring moguls. In fact it did very well. FWIW, I’m 167lbs and consider myself to be more of a finesse skier.

    It’s probably a case where the Fischer sizing on the Watea 106 is going to be either a bit too long or a tad to short. For me, the 182 was just the right length.

  3. Ian April 12, 2013 Reply

    I’m curious what mount point you used. I can’t find any info on mount point anywhere. The little triangle on the sidewall is very far back… I know it is a traditional style ski, but I’m hesitating on putting boot centre that far back! I’d be interested to hear what others have done and how they like it.

  4. Shawn September 10, 2013 Reply

    Speaking of the wider Wateas with the hull shovels, what have you heard about those?

  5. Mike June 10, 2016 Reply

    Greetings,
    I know these are older ski reviews, but would you say that the Watea 106 skis like a wider Watea 96? I have the Watea 96 and think that ski rips. I pretty much agreed with your review on it and was wondering about the 106. Other skis I have liked that you reviewed and liked are the cochise and the girish. Some great deals on the 106 right now. Also which did you prefer between the 106 and the Salomon Q-Lab? These would both be the 190cm size.

    Cheers,
    Mike

    • Michael January 24, 2017 Reply

      Hi Mike, Yea, this stuff is kinda old, but the skis are still for sale out there.
      We are looking at the same skis… Did you get the 106s since you posted in June?

      I am looking at the 106’s and some Salomon’s.

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