20202 Fischer Skis Preview // Ski Industry News
Here on SkiEssentials.com, we’ve already looked at a lot of exciting new 2020 skis. This article continues that theme, and this time the focus is Fischer. Fischer has a lot going on for next season, including two mostly-revamped Ranger lines and a whole new RC One all mountain series. We’ve known about these skis for over two months now and are excited to start sharing some info. Back in early December, we met up with Mike Hattrup and the Fischer crew at Stowe to do some testing. Mike Hattrup, now US Alpine Product Manager for Fischer, has been a hugely influential figure in the ski industry for a long time. From his skiing in Greg Stump films to his more recent product development, it’s safe to say the sport and industry wouldn’t be the same without him. We saw Mike again at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, and asked him to walk us through some of the new skis. Check out the video on this article for Mike’s thoughts on some of the new Fischer skis for 2020. You’ll also get to see some action from our ski day back in December!
We’re going to follow this article and video up with more in-depth review on individual Fischer models, but for now we’ll summarize some of the changes. The Ranger FR collection has been updated and expanded. The widest in the collection, the Ranger 115 FR, had some metal trimmed out of the ski in the underfoot area. This should help the ski be more accessible and a little more forgiving overall. Mike mentioned that, at times, the previous version was a bit much. It was great in wide open terrain, but required a lot of skier input when you needed to make quick movements. The Ranger 102 FR, which you can read a full review of here on Chairlift Chat, is one of the few skis that’s back unchanged for 2020. The 115 and 102 are now joined by a Ranger 94 FR. The 94 feels a lot like the 102, but it’s quicker edge to edge and arguably more versatile, depending on where and what you ski. All of these skis are designed to be more playful than the Ranger Ti collection. Easier to release the tail edge, a little more maneuverable in tight terrain, and a more playful feel overall. The Ranger FR, a “tweener” freeride ski, is also back unchanged for 2020.
The Ranger Ti skis are all completely new for 2020, with the exception of the Ranger 85. These skis are directional and designed to be more powerful and damper than the FR group. There’s now a Ranger 92 Ti, Ranger 99 Ti, and Ranger 107 Ti. These new Ranger Ti skis have more metal than in previous years. The metal is now wider underfoot, and extends further into the tip and tail of the ski. The rocker profile and early taper design is also now more tailored to each model. Out of these 3 new skis, the 92 has the least rocker and early taper, while the 107 has the most. These skis rip, but they’re also not too demanding. In the video, you can see Mike comparing the construction of the Ti and Fr group on skis with clear top sheets. Where the metal is positioned into the skis and how it meets and integrates into their carbon tip gives them a powerful feel, while feeling lighter on your feet and more maneuverable than a lot of skis out there.
The Pro Mountain series has now been replaced by RC One. We get a 78 GT, 82 GT, and an 86 GT. The 86 GT is particularly interesting as it gets the same metal seen in their race skis and it now has a heavier, denser beech and poplar wood core than the ski is replaces. We’ve had multiple chances to test the 86 GT, along with the rest of the skis in this article, and we’re excited to share more details about its performance in a full review soon. All the RC One skis also have a new tip design. By using a material popular in sail construction, Fischer has taken weight out of the tip of the ski, but retained its torsional stiffness. A lighter tip doesn’t develop as much oscillation, and by retaining torsional stiffness, but keeping the ski quitter, it’s increasing edge grip, dampness, and the overall stability of the ski. The RC One skis carve like a dream, but they also don’t feel like totally dedicated carving skis. Considering its power, we found the 86 GT to be surprisingly user-friendly in different snow conditions.
Overall, we’re really impressed with the design and quality of these new skis from Fischer. Keep your eyes out for more in-depth reviews of Fischer Ranger and RC One skis, we’ll be releasing them throughout the remainder of the season. Fischer is our sponsor for the April SkiHappy Photo contest, so you may get a chance to win one of these new skis. We’ll have more information about that down the road. For now, check out the video with Mike Hattrup, and we’ll see you on the slopes!