Review: Fischer Ranger 96

Model year: 2022-2023
Sidecut: 129-97-120
Size: 180 cm
Radius: 18 m
Technology: wood core, full sidewall, shaped metal, tip and tail rocker  

About this ski

Fischer has overhauled its freeride lines completely for this year. There used to be a rather unforgivingly stiff Ranger TI and the softer, more playful Ranger FR lines. They have now all been slammed into one new line with widths of 90, 96, 102, 108 and 116 mm underfoot. They all feature a wood core, full sidewalls and generous tip and tail rocker. They also have a sheet of metal, but not full length. The wider the ski, the shorter the metal is.

This 96 is not the narrowest in the line, but certainly the closest you could get to a quiver of one in Europe or the Eastern US. It is a freeride ski though. It’s not – like the Völkl Mantra or Blizzard Bonafide – a wide carving ski. It is a freeride-oeriented ski with surprising edge hold and quickness for a ski this wide. And much more playful too.

Best for bad conditions

The Ranger 96 is the best ski for bad conditions. Whiteout, crud, bumps (soft or hard), skied-out powder, slushy spring snow – this ski loves it and eats it up. The rocker and gentle flex make sure you won’t be punished by things you weren’t expecting. The metal underfoot and the sidewall do their part in generating edge hold. The camber underfoot helps with a nice rebound at the end of the turn.

That doesn’t mean this ski does not perform on perfectly groomed pistes or in fresh untouched powder. I just think in those use cases other, more specialized skis would work out better. But in the diverse snow types that one can find in a ski day, the Ranger 96 is a good choice. Just remember that it’s a versatile freeride ski, and not a wide carving machine.

In conclusion

A true Jack of all trades. And it masters a lot! A great soft snow and crud-oriented easy to ski allrounder that makes crappy conditions fun. When in doubt about the size, size up. The two color options are technically exactly the same, just different length ranges.

Characteristics

PlayfulStable
ForgivingPunishing
LivelyDamp
SkiddingCarving
Low speedHigh speed
Short turnLong turn
Soft snowHard snow

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