2023 Fischer Ranger Skis - Series Overview: Lead Image

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2023 Fischer Ranger Skis - Series Overview

Today is an exciting day. I suppose we get pretty excited anytime we get to talk about new skis, but this feels different. For us (SkiEssentials), it’s the end of what’s been a much longer journey of ski development and testing than we typically embark. Almost 2 years ago now, Fischer reached out to ask if we would help in developing a new line of Ranger skis. The Ranger 102 in particular had started to gain some strong traction in the industry, and also among our staff, so naturally we jumped on the opportunity.

Our first experience on new Ranger prototypes was in December of 2020 at Stowe. We focused on the 96, 102, and 108. After a morning of testing, we submitted some feedback to Fischer, and had another round of prototype testing in January of 2021. Once again, we submitted feedback, and Fischer went back to work. This past June, Jeff and Marcus travelled to Mt Hood for a final round of testing. At this point, the Ranger 102 was all but complete. Fischer basically just wanted final approval on the performance of that ski, although they likely weren’t going to make any further changes at that point. Luckily, we all loved the final product for the 102. The 96, however, still needed some tweaks, and we had a great team of testers to analyze what could be better. Kyle Smaine, Foreste Peterson, and Deb Armstrong all brought unique skills and perspectives, not to mention the expertise of Mike Hattrup, who although was an integral part of the new Ranger development, has since moved on to a different company. After a fantastic day of testing, we met at the famous Huckleberry Inn in Government Camp for a mid-afternoon breakfast to discuss our notes. What was really cool to see was, despite a multitude of different backgrounds, there was great consensus about the necessary changes to the 96 and I think Fischer left that day with new confidence in additional tweaks to the ski.

Finally, this past December, Jeff traveled to Winter Park to see the final collection of skis. At this point, the testing and prototyping was completely finished and Fischer was proud to show off their new line of skis. Linsey Dyer, Kyle Smaine, Sophia Schwartz, Louise Lintilhac, and other accomplished Fischer athletes were all there to provide their feedback and experience on the new skis, which was really valuable. Linsey Dyer, for instance, had spent the entire previous season on a Ranger 108, and I thoroughly enjoyed picking her brain on that ski’s feel and capabilities in the terrain she likes to ski.

Since then, we’ve had the whole line of skis on snow at our home mountain, Stowe, a handful of times. There’s nothing quite like testing skis at your home mountain. You know the turns, you know the terrain, you know the snow… Any fondness I had for these new Rangers was exaggerated as soon as I got to ski them at Stowe. The 96 and 102 in particular are super fun skis for where we live, with the 90 in that conversation as well. We put them on the feet of skiers like Ryan Daniel and Kristi Brown too, who can both really push a ski and have a plethora of experience testing skis.

And that brings us to today! We’re ready to share these new Rangers with all of you, and we’re thrilled to do so! First, let’s talk about some changes to the skis that cover the entire line, then we’ll touch briefly on each ski in the line. To start, these skis are designed for versatility. They can carve, they can play, they’re trustworthy on steep terrain, yet feel energetic on mellow terrain too. Construction has changed quite a bit compared to the previous Rangers.

Aeroshape and Carbon Nose are both gone and we’ve got what we would describe as more traditional construction. Full wood core made from a blend of beech and poplar runs from tip to tail and the ski has a more traditional sandwich construction, vertical sidewall look than the outgoing Rangers. Fischer then uses what they’re calling Shaped Ti in a .5 mm thickness. This metal is shaped kind of like the H-Shaped metal we’ve discussed in Black Crows’ skis. It does look a little different in the Fischer, however. Almost full width underfoot, then it extends into the tips and tails into what I would describe as wings. On the narrower skis, those wings extend further, and as skis get wider, the metal is progressively shorter. There’s also a little notch cut into the metal on both side of the ski right at the midsole point. Fischer is calling it Flexcut and the idea is it’s giving the ski a more natural longitudinal flex right underfoot, allowing you to flex the ski into shorter radius turns. All of these skis have a rocker/camber/rocker profile with the wider skis using more rocker and the narrower skis less. It also corresponds to the length of metal in each width. Where the metal ends, is basically right where the rocker starts, which makes a lot of sense.

AT A GLANCE


2023 Fischer Ranger 90 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

156, 163, 170, 177, 184 cm

17 m @ 177 cm

129 / 90 / 114 mm

1850g @ 177 cm



The narrowest ski in the new Ranger collection is the Ranger 90. This thing is a blast to ski in a variety of different terrain. It lays over nice carves on groomers, but is also extremely agile in moguls and trees. I expect a lot of eastern skiers will love its performance. The 90 mm all-mountain category is already pretty darn saturated, but this ski will carve a little niche for itself with its superb versatility. It’s not going to be the most powerful ski in its category by any means, nor will it be the lightest or quickest, but it will be one of the most versatile and it does it with a very fun-loving feel. We were somewhat limited on available lengths for testing, but some of our lighter testers loved the feel of the 170 and 177, with our bigger testers waiting for a crack on the 184. The 90, 96, and 102 all are offered in 2 different colorways. Both of the 90s are a grayish hue, with one getting some bright celeste highlights. The gray/celeste ski does end its length at 170, however.


AT A GLANCE


2023 Fischer Ranger 96 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

159, 166, 173, 180, 187 cm

18 m @ 180 cm

128 / 96 / 119 mm

1950g @ 180 cm



The Ranger 96 and the rest of the Rangers differ from the 90 in the sense that they use a poplar and beech woodcore rather than just poplar. This gives the ski a slightly stronger feel, even though the metal is a little shorter. I had a blast laying this ski over and seeing what it could achieve. Like the 90, it won’t be the most powerful ski in its category, but it’s not far behind either and it does it with a smooth, easy feel that’s lost on stiffer skis. This was a good ski for Ryan Daniel to get on and it certainly didn’t look like he found much limitation when carving. Jeff’s lighter and a little less aggressive than Ryan, and it worked flawlessly for his skiing style when carving. On the other hand, the Ranger 96 is also quite maneuverable. There’s a good amount of tail rocker, especially compared to other skis in its category, which gives it a more playful feel and more freeride-inspired performance. Kristi Brown was getting it to dance around in soft snow, which was a blast to witness, and something that others will certainly enjoy about the 96. In the 96, we have gray and yellow color options. The yellow, however, is available in every length from 159 all the way up to 187.


AT A GLANCE


2023 Fischer Ranger 102 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

155, 162, 169, 176, 183, 190 cm

19 m @ 183 cm

137 / 102 / 127 mm

2050g @ 183 cm



Then, of course, there’s the Ranger 102. This is basically the ski that put Fischer Rangers on the map in recent years. You’ve seen the pink ski at your local resort, you’ve seen people talk about it on social media. There’s some hype there for sure. The fact that Fischer wanted to change this ski did make us a little bit nervous, as the pink ski is great, but they nailed it. If anything, the new ski is just smoother and more supple, without giving up its versatility and fun factor. I will say that the new ski feels more directional to me, so maybe there will be some freestyle-focused skiers that prefer the previous version, but I think that’s going to be a very small percentage of skiers. This thing carves better than the outgoing ski, is quicker and more agile in tight terrain, floats better in soft snow, and if it loses a touch of park performance to gain all of those things, well that’s just fine by me. We also love the celeste color. Admittedly, I was kind of surprised they didn’t just make it pink again, but I can understand wanting to get away from that as a brand. Like the yellow of the 96, the celeste is available in every length from 155 to 190 (that’s a huge range in lengths!)


AT A GLANCE


2023 Fischer Ranger 108 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

171, 178, 185, 192 cm

18 m @ 185 cm

143 / 109 / 134 mm

2120g @ 185 cm



We haven’t had ideal snow conditions for the 108, but we have skied it quite a bit at this point. We like to view the Ranger 108 through the lens of the outgoing Ranger 107 Ti. That ski was very, very strong, but somewhat demanding and unforgiving. Our initial assessment of the 108 is that Fischer has retained plenty of strength and stability, but similar to the rest of the line, has just made performance all that much smoother. There’s more rise in the tail than on the 108 and a slightly softer flex in the tail too. That helps a lot when you need to get the ski to break free, which is a valuable characteristic in a ski that’s going to be used in a lot of soft snow, steep terrain, and technical lines. We can’t wait for an ideal testing day on the 108 and will certainly report back once we can ski it as fast as we want through soft enough snow. Just a matter of time.


AT A GLANCE


2023 Fischer Ranger 116 Skis



AVAILABLE SIZES

TURN RADIUS

SIDECUT

WEIGHT

180, 187, 193 cm

20 m @ 187 cm

147 / 116 / 137 mm

2150g @ 187 cm



Then there’s the 116, which we actually haven’t skied much at all, but are very excited about for similar reasons to the 108. The 115 was a burly ski. Stiff, powerful, but somewhat tiring. This 116 already feels much bouncier, floatier, and more playful than the 115 even though we haven’t really had it in deep snow. I love the amount of tail rocker on this ski, there’s a good amount of rise back there, which gives it a surfy, smeary feel that I think basically any ski this wide should achieve. I expect it’s going to have a superb blend of stability and playfulness, much like the 108, and realistically, much like this entire new Ranger collection.

This entire experience has been very rewarding for us, so big thanks to Fischer for including us in the process. We love testing skis, we love talking about skis, but we don’t often have the opportunity to give our input when it comes to actually developing skis. Personally, I was thrilled, and it makes seeing the final products that much more exciting. We will be releasing full-length reviews of the 90, 96, and 102 in the following weeks and months. Keep your eyes out for those, and in the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly or leave a comment below.

2023 Fischer Ranger Skis - Series Overview: Buy Now Image

Written by Jeff Neagle on 02/01/22

51 thoughts on “2023 Fischer Ranger Skis - Series Overview

  1. Very good summary, and congratulations on your collaboration! Quick question: do they ski to length? Quite a bit of drop from 190 to 183.

    1. HI Joe!
      We've found them to be pretty true to length. I'm not sure I'd go to 190 over 183 even at 6/3 225. Have fun!
      SE

  2. I have been on an Enforcer 100 for the past 4 seasons. It has been fantastic as a 1 quiver ski to do everything in this area. I assume the 102 would be the replacement in the new Fisher line. Not sure I’m ready to part with my Enforcers though. Would the 96 be a good complementary ski? What can it do that the Enforcer can’t?

    1. HI Henry!
      It's quicker for one, the 96 versus the 100, and without metal in the shovel or tail, it's more playful and soft-snow oriented. The Enforcer is heavier and at times, more business-like, and I have not gotten that impression from the Ranger as of yet. I'd rather ski the Ranger 96 in bumps and trees and other tight spots--that's the big advantage. Have fun!
      SE

  3. How does the Ranger 96/102 compare to the Liberty Origin 96/101 line? Mostly east coast skier with a couple trips out west per year. I enjoy the Origin 96 with VMT 1.0 but also looking at something with a little more width and versatility for deeper days and spring skiing. Origin 101 or Ranger 104? At 5'7" 170 lbs Im between the 169 and 176 Ranger 102 sizes. I tend to find my optimum length is low 170s. I love to rail groomers but duck into the bumps and trees as well. Thoughts? Great review as always!! Love to get up to Stowe soon for some demos.

    1. HI Scott!
      102 in the 169 would by my recommendation. It's more directional and stable than the Origin while still having a playful and fun-loving tail. It's a nice ski for the woods here in Stowe while ripping groomers was a ton of fun as well. Just feels like a higher-performance ski than the Origin. Have fun!
      SE

    1. Hi Nick!
      The Ranger is more stable, but not by a whole lot. The rocker profile of the Enforcer 104 is more gradual, so it's a bit less of a running surface. The more directional 102 has a longer effective edge so it feels smoother on the downhills. In terms of energy and snap, I do think the Unlimited with its carbon laminate have an edge over the Ranger. I'd rather ski the Unlimited in tighter trees and spots.
      SE

  4. Great coverage by you guys and really impressive lineup from Fischer! How would you compare Ranger 108 to K2 MB 108 Ti and Enforcer 110 Free?

    1. Thanks, Janis!
      The metal application(s) is the biggest difference. In the Ranger, it's found underfoot mainly. The K2 has nearly a full sheet, and the Enforcer has two full, thin sheets of titanal. As such, the Ranger is the most playful, certainly in the tips and tails. For the K2, the metal combined with the aspen/ash wood core make it pretty darn stiff and heavy. The Enforcers are able to pull off the combination of being maneuverable and stable at the same time, but you certainly pay for it in weight. They're heavy, but they don't feel heavy on your feet. The Rangers, even with their 18-meter turn radius, don't seem to pull into the turn like the Enforcers, and this gives them more of a similar feel to the K2 in that regard. I will say that the Ranger is likely the best and smoothest floater of the group. Have fun!
      SE

  5. Hi, where would you recommend to mount the bindings on the 102 for a person who usually mount true center on other skies?

    1. HI Jonathan!
      They feel pretty directional, and we've had success on the factory line, but if you know something about how you like your skis mounted, then by all means move them up, but I think they work best on the line.
      SE

      1. Thanks for your reply, what length would you recommend for a 6.1, 210 skier as a one quiver ski?
        Also asked the same on the youtube video, sorry for double post

        1. Jonathan,
          Let's see if we give you the same answer on the YT! I think 183 is the way to go. I'm 6/2 225 and I skied it and enjoyed it. I have not tried the 190, but my general philosophy is trending towards the shorter size if I'm in between.
          SE

  6. As of today (2/4/22) the only available size in the yellow or black Ranger 99 is 173. Do you know if you will be receiving more inventory for the 22/23 season?
    Thanks
    Dwight

    1. HI Dwight!
      Unclear. We got a small assortment of Rangers and are not guaranteed to get any more this winter. Sorry to be non-committal!
      SE

  7. Hey guys thanks for the review!

    I've decided to start looking for a 50/50 set up and wanted to potentially buy a pair of skis this season. My short list included the outgoing fischer 102 fr, Salomon QST 106, and the 104 Unlimited. I'm skiing enforcer 100s right now and love the way they carve despite a wider waist width. Unfortunately they are a little heavy for backcountry use and not extremely playful. Do you guys have a preference out of the skis I mentioned above (including the new fischer ranger 102) for preserving a bit of the enforcers carving ability but being a little more playful and quick?

    1. HI Alex!
      If you like the Enforcer shaping, the 104 Unlimited is a great choice. Both Rangers fit that bill as well, but the lightness of the Enforcer Unlimited is pretty impressive for how energetic the ski is. You are correct, though, that the new 102 does have that Enforcer feel to it underfoot while keeping the shovels and tails playful and fun.
      SE

  8. Hi guys this is great. How would you pair the new rangers with the DPS wailer 100? I’m looking for better firm snow performance while still spending ~50pct+ of the time in the bumps and trees at stowe. Sounds like the 90 will be quite stiff but the 96 may not be much of a gap vs the dps 100

    1. HI Ben!
      It's just a different feel with the dual-carbon of the DPS and the shorter radius of the RP shaping. I'd rather ski the Ranger in bumps and trees, and more of a wash when it comes to groomers, as they both have their own strengths when on-trail. DPS is a bit grippier and turnier, while the Ranger 96 can open it up a bit better. If you're looking for a good groomer ski for Stowe with bump and tree capability, I think the 90 makes a lot of sense. have fun!
      SE

  9. Thanks for the posting the overview!

    Any thoughts on how a beginner would be able to handle the new fischers, particularly the 96 or 102's, compared to something like the Volk Blaze? I started skiing this year, and it's been great! I can go down greens and blues decently, but the technique is still pretty bad 80% of the time. I can't decide if it's better to buy something that's maybe a bit more challenging to learn on, but has more room to grow, or to stay on the lower-cost/beginner end with a QST Spark or the Volkl Revolt. I'm 6'2", 200lbs. I live on the West Coast of Canada, so have been looking in the more 85mm to 100mm range. Thanks again for posting all the video's and reviews! They're super helpful.

    1. HI Justin!
      Beginners are better off on the Blaze, which is still a pretty great ski, not just for beginners. You'll likely make your way out of the Revolt/Spark pretty quickly. Blaze 94 is probably a better option versus Ranger. Have fun!
      SE

  10. Hi SE,

    Interested in how you’d compare the new 102 with a Rustler 10 as a potential eastern softer snow mogul and tree ski/western trip ski (for context, I’ll hit MRG at least once a year after it gets some decent snow and do an annual trip to Utah). I’m a 5’10.5”, 190lbs, advanced skier looking at the 102 in 176 or the Rustler 10 in either 172 or 180. Don’t really ski super aggressively in the trees, but will go fast on mogul runs and in open western terrain.

    1. HI Sam!
      It's a great comparison. Metal underfoot extending to tips and tails in both. The Fischer, in my experience up to this point, feels a bit lighter and more flexible than the Rustler. I'd rather ski it in the trees, bumps, and other tight spots, while I'd rather ski the Rustler in deeper snow or wider spaces. The sizing for you kind of puts you in the 102 in the 176 I think, as that sounds a bit better than Rustler 10 in 180.
      SE

  11. Great reviews here. Also lots of love from your reviewers for Salomon QST 98. Currently skiing Liberty Origin 90 in 179 length. All mountain East coast skier - groomers, trees, bumps, and of course ice, mostly S Vt. Appreciate your counsel.

  12. Hey guys,

    What would you say the benefits of the new 102s are over the old 102s and what areas are the new 102s now weaker in?

    And how do these hold up in both the east coast and on west coast conditions? Currently have Bonafide 98's that can rip but looking for something a bit more playful that is more fun in trees/moguls since the Bonafide's are so stiff/heavy. 6'0" 175 lbs advanced skier. Live east coast but take 1-2 trips out west a year.

    1. Hi ET!
      We're getting ready to hit the studio for a 102 review as I type. Our basic takeaway is that there's a lot more similarities in terms of shape and profile with the biggest difference in the build. The new 102 has more flexible tips and tails and a similarly stiff underfoot zone. The old 102 FR's shovel is considerably stiffer due to the carbon, and the underfoot zone has a thicker core profile while tapering thin again in the tail. Performance-wise, we're not seeing a huge difference overall, with the new 102 being a bit easier to engage and exit the turn while removing some of the chatter and deflection that somewhat plagued the 102 FR on firmer and chunkier snow. The new 102 is more supple, but a bit heavier overall and especially in the swing weight. New 102 is more surfy and smeary in the bumps and trees, and I think will make a great pairing for both east/west skiing conditions and terrain.
      SE

  13. I currently ski the Salomon QST 106 and find them very capable on groomers and powder, but not very maneuverable in bumps and trees (heavy swing weight). How do the new Fischer Ranger 102's compare in the bumps and trees to the QST 106?

    1. HI David!
      You can bend the Ranger 102 in the tips and tails easier than those of the QST. The 102 is more maneuverable in the bumps and trees, but not quite as good of a floater.
      SE

  14. Hi

    Have you got any experience of the ranger 85tpr , I found pair that are being sold out but can’t find any good review on them, i will probably mostly ski onpist but will be wanting to go more besides the pistes in the woods and play around a bit but need to learn this, will the ranger 85 tpr do for this?

    1. HI Nicklas!
      No, it looks like that's more of a rental Ranger to me. I'm sure it's a fine all-mountain ski with more performance than a normal rental, but has older Ranger technology like Air Tech and Aeroshape, so my guess is that we won't see too much of this ski moving forward.
      SE

  15. Hi!

    How do you compare this new Ranger 90 with the Ruslter 9 and the old Mindbender 90ti in terms of carving performance and playfulnes? I was in between the Rustler in 180 cm and MB in 177 cm, but was worry that the MB will be not playful enough, but at the same time, worry the Rustler not beeing stable enough at high speeds. Will the Ranger fit in between this 2?

    I´m 5'10'' and 165 lb advanced skier. If that helps!

    (english is not my first language, sorry for the mistakes!)

    1. All good, Martin!
      I think the Rustler falls more on the stable side than Ranger--we've found the Rangers to be a bit more flexible in the tips and tails than they used to be, while the Rustler still has carbon in the ends of the skis. We have felt that the Ranger 90/Rustler 9 comparison is pretty equal, with the K2 being more on-trail and carving oriented. Have fun!
      SE

    1. HI Rick!
      We'll likely be doing the 102 and the 96 before the 90, so I can't say it'll be anytime soon.
      SE

    1. Hi Efthymis!
      I'd go 190. Nice to know you haven't left performance on the table. Have fun!
      SE

  16. Thank you for your fast reply
    Forgot to mention before my ski level is intermediate you advance. More advance on groomers. So I am looking for a freeride ski for powder and few touring (dynafit rotation 12) I bit am confused witch size to select because in other comment for 6/2 (188cm) you prefer 183 ranger.

  17. Thank you for your fast reply forgot to mention that I am intermediate to advance skier. More advance at groomers. So I am looking a ski for powder and few times touring. Thinking dynafit rotation 12 for binding.
    As I saw previous comment you said : 6/2 height (188cm) you preferred 183 ranger.

  18. Hi,
    I'm an intermediate skier and I'm 185cm and 230 lbs (I'm heavy due to weight lifting). I ski groomers and park, but will be getting into more off piste stuff - trees, powder etc. What length would you reccommend for me for the ranger 102?

    1. HI John!
      The Curv GT, at 76 mm underfoot and with a race-like build, is a lot better carver and front side ski than any of the Ranger series of all-mountain and freeride skis. The Ranger 90 is the closest in terms of carving performance.
      SE

    1. HI Matt!
      Serpo has better grip and carving ability. The Ranger's shovel and tail are not as engaging as those of the Serpo, which hooks up cleaner and releases stronger. In softer snow, I'd rather have the more compliant Ranger, but that doesn't mean the Serpo does not operate in this capacity. For a more powerful and aggressive skier, the Serpo offers more performance.
      SE

  19. Hi,
    Thanks for a very thorough review of the new Ranger series. I am curious, how would you compare the new Ranger 102 to the Armada Declivity 102. From looking at them it seems as if the Armada is more tapered in the front, weights a bit less and perhaps is a bit stiffer? But how would you compare the two of them while skiing? Which is the better Carver? Aramada seems a bit stiffer, but the Fischer got less taper and perhaps longer effective edge?
    Cheers,
    Hampus

    1. HI Hampus!
      I find the Armada to be a significantly better carver. First, the ski likes to hook in to the snow a bit more, and having full sheets of metal makes a big difference. The Ranger is nice and grippy underfoot, but the Armada is more consistent from tip to tail--it's a more powerful ski for sure.
      SE

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