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Fischer Watea 88 vs Watea 98

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I ordered a pair of Watea 88s, a few seasons old model, to be my "do it all" skis. Not that I really needed them, but two instructors recommended them to me, they didn't cost too much and it's very easy to convince me to buy new gear biggrin.gif

What arrived today was a pair of Watea 98s. Still waiting to hear from the web store that sold them how they want to proceed but any insight how differently they ski? I'm thinking while 88 would be the "do it all" ski, 98 would be more off piste ski that can be skied on piste if necessary?
post #2 of 6

I can't speak to the 88, but the 98 is definetely more soft snow orriented. On hard piste they just don't carve very well. I guess I should say I haven't figured out how to get them carving well, yet. Somebody more skilled may have better results. But if you look up reviews, most say the same thing... I'm going to try playing with the tune this year, as I think that may help a little bit (I never detuned the rocker last year). With that said, in soft snow they are a very playful ski, good in bumps, trees and cut up snow. Heavier crud was still fairly good, too, although I'm not a big hard charger. Skied them at AltaBird during a decent storm cycle (boot-deep+) and they were great. I've got a 84mm ski for harder days/no new snow days, so the weakness of the 98 Watea doesn't really bother me.

post #3 of 6

I have been skiing the Watea 101s and 94s for several years and like the feel of Wateas, so I got a pair of Watea 98s last season.  A couple of observations:  they are a full twin tip, so my 186s actually have a contact length and ski like 171s.  I mounted them on the center line and initially they would not carve on hard snow to save my life, but fortunately I used Neox bindings that allowed me to move them forward and back.  After some experimentation I found them to carve best mounted 1.5 cm behind the line. Keep in mind that I am 6'5" and 215 lbs, so your results may vary.


Like all Wateas they are a fairly soft mellow flexing ski and work well in soft snow and bumps, and well enough on the groomers to get me back to the lift still smiling.  Not much pop in the tails, but I am one of the minority who likes that.  The older models (dark wood looking topsheets) had no rocker, just the boat hull tips, but the last model (looks like light wood with plant like stripes across the tips) have boat hull tips and a little early rise in the tips and tails giving them a smeary light forgiving feel.  This year Fischer changed them to the Big Stix, which is basically the BC TT 98 without the boat hull tips.


I got 98s for soft snow and bumps and have skied a lot of both on them.  I would really like these skis if they did not ski so damn short.  I screwed up by failing to consider the full twin would remove a whole lot of effective length.  One reviewer described them as an "anorexic powder ski," which I think is accurate.  They are too wide and soft to be a good hard snow ski, and too narrow to be a great powder ski, but they do a decent job of being a 70/30 soft/hard snow ski.

post #4 of 6

Skise -


I have not demoed the Watea 88, but about 2 or 3 years ago I demoed the Watea 98.  I'm 5'10" 180# and skied the 176cm Watea 98.


General impression: nice ski, nice feel, versatile, really good edge grip.  What I didn't like about the Watea 98 was that it didn't handle the crud (junk snow) that we had that day as well as I would have liked.  Demoed them on Mt Hood in Oregon.  Other skis like the Line Prophet 98 and Nordica Enforcer that I demoed that day handled the crud much better.


I have no idea if you are better off with the Watea 98 than the 88.



post #5 of 6

The Watea 98 will definitely be more of an off-piste ski than the 88. Not a true powder ski (unless you're from the east coast), but somewhere between that and an all-mountain ski. It should make for a good mid-winter one ski quiver.


Somewhat off topic, but has anyone had some laps on the Fischer Maven? I'm looking to pull the trigger on a pair.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Not from east cost, from Finland :D I think our conditions resemble US east cost conditions, definitely not west coast. If we get more than 20 cm new snow it's great and every other skier zooms to our small hills to get their share of the fresh stuff. But if it has happened after grooming the other half skis one run, decides it's impossible and proceeds to spend the day drinking hot chocolate or beer. So I think 98 would be more or less a dedicated off-piste ski (I do have narrower ones for skiing groomers) but I don't know if I'm going to do enough off piste skiing to justify owning one. And then I might still need a ski that can be skied both on and off piste for days when there is something to ski near the groomed runs but most of the skiing is on the groomed runs. I did order two pairs of NTN plates though so I do have an extra one for another pair of skis:cool But I did also decide I would get no new skis this season. Not any. And I have a perfectly good pair of very little skied Polar Bears that I could convert from AT to tele. No rocker though.

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