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2016-2017 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the 2016-2017 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti for Blister Gear Review.

16/17 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti

2016-2017 Fischer Ranger 98 Ti, 180 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 172, 180, 188

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 178.9 cm

Stated Dimensions (185 cm): 130-95-120

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 131.5-97-121.5

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1833 & 1807 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 18 meters

Recommended Line: 7.45 cm behind true center; 82.0 cm from tail

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60 mm / 25 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4-5 mm

Days Skied:
Brian Lindahl: 5
Jonathan Ellsworth: 5

Test Locations: Breckenridge, Loveland Pass, and Arapahoe Basin, CO; northern New Mexico backcountry

Intro

So, what’s this ski about, and who’s it for? Those have honestly been our primary questions about the Ranger 98 Ti. Why?

Part of that is due to Fischer’s own copy about the ski. They highlight 3 things: the versatility of this ski’s 98 mm width; its maneuverability; and its high-performance build.

Re: its versatility, no argument there — 98 mms is generally a versatile width.

Re: its maneuverability, that makes sense — this ski has a lot of tip rocker; 60 mm of tip splay, plus a deep tip rocker line. Its tail rocker is much more subtle, and looks like it strikes a nice balance: the tails should be easy to release, but the tail splay is mellow enough that it should still carve well, too. I.e., the tail makes sense.

Re: the high-performance build — once again, no argument from us. This does look like a quality build, and Fischer has really thinned out the tips to reduce the overall weight and the swing weight of the ski.

Weight

Something Fischer says less about is the weight of the Ranger 98 Ti. Fischer has a reputation for building strong, solid alpine skis that (as a generalization) deliver a lot of technical performance. But clearly, the aim of their Ranger series was to wring out as much performance from these skis while also doing the very-modern-thing of keeping the weight down.

Given that, the performance-to-weight ratio of this ski becomes a pretty important part of the story. For those looking for low weight and precise performance … is the Ranger 98 Ti the ticket?

Flex Pattern:

Tips: 6

Forebody: 7

Underfoot: 9

Tail: 7/8

This is a solid flex pattern, and we like the consistency of the flex pattern here. It’s not some stiff beast, but it’s a sturdy flex pattern that ought to deliver predictability.

Back to our ‘What is It?’ Question…

This really is Fischer’s do everything, go anywhere ski, and we’ve been putting time on both the Ranger 98 Ti and the Ranger 108 Ti. There was a lot of debate about whether to test the 98 in a 180 cm vs. the 188 cm length, but we’ll say more about that in our full review.

But given this ski’s relatively light weight, the Ranger 98 Ti could legitimately be used:

(1) as a dedicated inbounds ski, paired with an alpine binding

(2) as a dedicated backcountry ski, paired with a good tech binding.

(3) as a  ’50/50′ ski, set up to handle both inbounds and out-of-bounds duties.

In our review, we’ll talk about where we think this ski works best, and also discuss our other, related question, who is the Ranger 98 Ti for?

Til then, take a look…

NEXT: Full Review

16 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Deester September 2, 2016 Reply

    Is this the replacement for Motive 95ti?

  2. GuyAnderson September 8, 2016 Reply

    I think the Motive name is being weaved into their All Mtn line for 16/17 replacing the Motive86 and 95 not sure if any design changes….The fellas at Blister reviewed the 86Ti and gave it high reviews….I bought them and have skied them 2x and they are exactly what the Blister folks say…I don’t think the Blister folks have printed a review on the last years outgoing Motive95 but other sites have and say awesome things and they are available online for a great value.

  3. Blister Member
    Steve December 8, 2016 Reply

    Have you reviewed the Fischer 98 to?

  4. Mark February 11, 2017 Reply

    When will you be giving the full review on the Fischer ranger.

  5. Bruno March 3, 2017 Reply

    “isn’t a particularly surfy or loose ski” – sounds like a Fischer (or at least my experience with the Watea from way back), but surprised given the splay in the tips. I was looking for a 50/50 but backed away from the Rangers as I’m not fond of that much tip rocker for everyday all conditions.

    I went with Volkl 90Eights which I really like for everything I’ve thrown at them. But they are light so roughed up groomers make you grit your teeth. Started with a pair with G3 Ion 12’s last spring, and liked them enough to buy another pair to mount up with alpine binders.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl March 3, 2017 Reply

      Hi Bruno,

      I would say that looseness and surfiness can often be more of a function of the tail rocker and width of a ski, rather than the amount of splay in the tips. The amount of splay in the tips plays a large role in how well the ski planes and floats in powder, especially deep powder. However, a ski can definitely plane and float well in powder without feeling especially loose and surfy – this is the Ranger 98 Ti (and some of the other narrower skis that I’ve been spending time on lately).

  6. Cameron March 16, 2017 Reply

    Hello!

    Thank you for the review! Very helpful.

    Any thought on how the Ranger 98 Ti compares to the K2 Pinnacle 95? Very interested in both.

    Much appreciated!

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl March 19, 2017 Reply

      Hi Cameron,

      I haven’t skied the K2 Pinnacle 95 before.

      However, Alex Adams in his review of the Pinnacle 95 says:
      “Down in New Zealand, my most direct comparison to the Pinnacle 95 was the Atomic Vantage 100. I skied the Pinnacle 95 one day and the Vantage 100 the next at Craigieburn Valley Ski Area. The Vantage 100 instantly felt more lively to me. It has a more forward recommended mount position and some nice camber underfoot that gave the ski a more energetic, poppy feel. To put it bluntly, I just felt like jumping off of things more when the Vantage 100 was on my feet.”

      He also says:
      “The heavily rockered tips and lack of camber underfoot enable the Pinnacle 95 to stay afloat and pivot easily in soft snow”

      The Ranger 98 Ti is a very lively ski with lots of energy. It also prefers to carve over pivot in soft snow. I’d wager that these are the main ways in which the Ranger 98 Ti will differ from the Pinnacle 95 – the Pinnacle 95 would NOT be as carvy or energetic of a ski. It’s probably a bit more laid back and loose. Again, though, I haven’t skied the Pinnacle 95 before, and Alex Adams hasn’t skied the Ranger 98 Ti (at least to my knowledge).

  7. John November 6, 2017 Reply

    Im 5’11…in between lengths. Which size would you recommend in this ski (Intermediate Skier). Their website says 188…but that seems long?

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl November 28, 2017 Reply

      Hey John,

      For an intermediate skier at 5’11, I’d recommend the 180 length. 188 would feel a bit too long for handling tight spaces and moguls for many intermediate skiers — unless you’re used to that length or only really ski wide-open spaces, with the anticipation of taking lessons to get you to the advanced/expert level.

  8. Blister Member
    tjaard November 30, 2017 Reply

    As a tall skier (6,5”), I feel that I need the longer length of skis for fore aft stability in rougher terrain.
    But, I am also fairly lightweight (175lbs), and an advanced, moderate speed skier, without a racing background, so I like less stiff, more nimble and agile skis.

    So my strategy has been to look for skis whee reviewers suggest to size up, or ones that are notably quick and agile.

    It seems like you are saying this is a quick and agile ski, but at the same time, not recommending sizing up.

    I suspect that 180cm skis are just to short for me in any kind of funky snow or when landing jumps. Do you think the 188 would be a good choice, or should I keep looking for a different, more nimble, ski?

    • Dave December 12, 2017 Reply

      You need to go up to the 188 in my opinion. You will want the edge length of the longer ski for groomed snow (especially with the tip rocker on this ski). For softer snow (pow or chopped up snow) length will help.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl December 13, 2017 Reply

      Hi Tjaard,

      Will you have have a different ski for soft/powder snow?

  9. Mark Ingles December 13, 2017 Reply

    I’ve got the 188s. I didn’t get on with them at 1St, mounting Marker Barron touring bindings centered as suggested far to much tail and hard work. I took them to Colin at the Piest Office Notts UK who after some discussion and comparing with the 180 and similar freeride skis decided to change to Marker Griffon bindings mounted 25mm further back. This has transformed them into a great easy to use All Mountain ski.
    My Fischer Ranger 188s are the 2015/16 model are a bigger ski all round and are actually 100mm underfoot Not 98mm as are 2018.
    Tip 136mm Tail 126mm radios 19m and weight 4080G compared to the 180
    Tip 132 waste 98 Tail 122 Radios 18 and weight 3540.
    Incidental the 172 length is 96mm wide.
    Food for thought, there’s more usable edge on my 177 volkl kendos than the 188 Ranger due to the massive front rocker.

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