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Fischer Ranger 108???

post #1 of 100
Thread Starter 

So I am wondering why there has been no reviews on the new Ranger?  Was it not available? Too wide for Epic???  

post #2 of 100

If you are referring to next season's Ranger 108 (new ski, new construction, with Carbon Tip).  I can report my initial thoughts on that ski, but by no means is this a complete review.  I skied it at the industry demo at Snowbasin in February.  The conditions were less than optimum for this width of ski, thin, firm snow, groomed.  

 

However, this ski (and its siblings the narrower Rangers) really surprised me.  It is very light in weight, has a layer of metal in the mounting area, buy otherwise is a wood core, sidewall ski, with carbon fiber extremities.  The Ranger 108 skis much narrower than it's width, it is relatively quick and very easy to get up on edge and carve.  It holds surprisingly well for such a wide,light ski and was stable at high(er) speeds.  There was no soft snow to speak of, so didn't get it out in it's "natural habitat", but would expect it to do well.  This ski compares favorably with the Rossi Soul 7 and similar skis, but feels a little more capable for me (hard snow, speed, etc.).  If people will try this Ranger with an open mind, I think that they will be impressed.

 

More snow time with this ski will help sort it out.  But, the lack of decent snow in the Western U.S., is kind of limiting most folks' experience with this genre of skis (100mm+).  Hope that this helps.

post #3 of 100

Ranger 108Ti? I skied it in Snowbird for magazine testing. Fischer has a lot of confidence in this ski deservedly so. It skis very well for such a light and nimble ski> I love what Fischer does with their tip profile. it allowed very smooth turn in and floats and comes up out of the snow with ease. If it is a ski you are considering, I think it is right in your wheel house and a great choice for Steamboat. 

post #4 of 100
Thread Starter 

ahh, yes, I think it was the 106 this year?  thanks! I was more interested in why it wasn't in some of the reviews.  In speaking to someone who did test it, they loved it. seemed odd that it wasn't reviewed.     

post #5 of 100

Didn't Dawg review this ski, in very positive terms?

 

Fischer is interesting to me. Everyone seems to respect them, everyone raves about their products, everyone talks about how they're underrated, they are reasonably priced, and somehow no one actually pulls the trigger. Except racers; they're everywhere on courses every weekend. 

 

Three theories: 1) It's the connection to racing. Perception is that they're too demanding, too oriented toward carving. Only the ding on the recent crop of Wateas and Big Stix was that they were too soft and easy. Oh never mind...

 

2) It's the graphics. Somehow they manage to have these amazing technologies under top sheets that are neither clown vomit ugly nor shiny white elegant nor stylized bull cool. Year after year, just instantly forgettable patches of color, sometimes hard edged geometry, sometimes water color-ish. The one interesting graphic they ever came up with was the peeling paint Big Stix 110 of a few years ago. Which judging by the number still on sale, didn't help. Oh never mind..

 

3) It's the carbon. Fischer, because of its main industrial concerns (which ain't skiing), has always been in the forefront developing carbon. It may be that many people don't like the feel, without quite realizing it. But then people rave about DPS's, which have a lot more. Oh never mind...

post #6 of 100
Thread Starter 

They don't have the "Hype" :D Ironically, it seems like Scott has more buzz and Fischer is making their ski's. Fischer makes a great ski.  I am interested on trying a pair but my passion for trying lots of different ski's is waning quickly.  I have been gravitating to my FX94's in almost every condition and just want a 103-105 ski for powder.  Going to try the Q 105s as I loved the Qlab but its too stiff for quick tree skiing Otherwise,that ski ripped (in a good way)  The other one I have to try is the BMX105 since I love Kastles.  

post #7 of 100

I agree that Fischer just doesn't have the hype factor.  I honestly don't really understand how the hype machine works, so I don't have a good guess as to why.  It's a shame though, I've been on a variety of Fischer's that I've really, really liked. I still have a pair of 1st gen Watea 94's that I use as my rock skis and still enjoy skiing them (which has happened a lot this year unfortunately).

 

I was excited to get on the new Ranger 98's at our annual March demo day out here but I'm assuming that's going to be cancelled due to conditions.


Edited by jaobrien6 - 3/11/15 at 1:28pm
post #8 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

 

Fischer is interesting to me. Everyone seems to respect them, everyone raves about their products, everyone talks about how they're underrated, they are reasonably priced, and somehow no one actually pulls the trigger. 

You are thinking too much, you have your answer right ^^^ there. 

 

People who pay attention to 'what ski to buy', the guys and gals buying Mantras/ Auras or Brahmas/ Black Pearls, don't buy Fischer skis.

Since they don't buy them, shops don't want to stock higher end all-mountain Fischers.

Since shops don't stock the higher end Fischers, but do stock some race and some lower end package skis, folks associate Fischer with skis they don't want.

Since they don't want them shops are less likely to sell them so they don't stock them or go really light on their order, further reinforcing the 'less than desirable' image.

 

It's a positive feedback loop that is pretty negative for Fischer.

 

(they make great skis, people are dumb.)

post #9 of 100

Well, I know at least three Epicsters have purchased the same exact Fischer (180 Motive 95ti) in the past couple of weeks, including me, and another few are pondering. It's true that the graphics are dull. But so are we, I guess. 

post #10 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Well, I know at least three Epicsters have purchased the same exact Fischer (180 Motive 95ti) in the past couple of weeks, including me, and another few are pondering. It's true that the graphics are dull. But so are we, I guess. 

Wow, that changes EVERYTHING*!!! (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that exactly zero of them paid full retail, which is an important part of the feedback loop) 

 

Epicski people are not a normal demographic, they aren't the folks who walk into a shop in October and say "where are your Volkie skis? Everyone says they're the best." Those are the people who drive the industry, not the well informed person who is willing to wait for end of season pricing. The goal for the shop is to not have any skis left for end of season pricing. Some brands make that happen, others don't. 

 

 

 

 

 

* sorry, I'm a jerk... but three pairs of skis sold in March is not a paradigm shift. I think Fischer is on their way up but it'll be a while for the masses to catch on, the masses are what matter.

post #11 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Wow, that changes EVERYTHING*!!! (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that exactly zero of them paid full retail, which is an important part of the feedback loop) 

 

Epicski people are not a normal demographic, they aren't the folks who walk into a shop in October and say "where are your Volkie skis? Everyone says they're the best." Those are the people who drive the industry, not the well informed person who is willing to wait for end of season pricing. The goal for the shop is to not have any skis left for end of season pricing. Some brands make that happen, others don't. 

 

Well, just saying that the trigger was pulled. (Of course no one pays full retail on Epic, ever, so that's not really a consideration anyway, and hopefully no one ever pays full retail in March anywhere.)  Fischer needs to get these skis on people's feet. I never had a chance to demo, until SIA, and then when people did, they loved them. I bought, then I loaned to some people, and they bought, etc. No, it isn't optimal, but it's something. 

post #12 of 100

Absolutely. I really think Fischer turned a big corner with the Vacuum boots, they are gaining momentum and have product in categories that will continue to bring some notoriety (Atomic is also making very interesting and similar moves). They are making lots of good decisions that will help them in three or four years. They are poised to ascend... and as the worlds largest ski producer, they really already are doing just fine.

post #13 of 100

One other quick point, as far as "no one ever pays retail in March..." if it's an 'early release' of next years model of the hot ski that was sold-out by January 1st? Those sell for FFR. It also gives the shop 11 months or so to sell them before paying for them. Magic.

post #14 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

You are thinking too much, you have your answer right ^^^ there. 

 

People who pay attention to 'what ski to buy', the guys and gals buying Mantras/ Auras or Brahmas/ Black Pearls, don't buy Fischer skis.

Since they don't buy them, shops don't want to stock higher end all-mountain Fischers.

Since shops don't stock the higher end Fischers, but do stock some race and some lower end package skis, folks associate Fischer with skis they don't want.

Since they don't want them shops are less likely to sell them so they don't stock them or go really light on their order, further reinforcing the 'less than desirable' image.

 

It's a positive feedback loop that is pretty negative for Fischer.

 

(they make great skis, people are dumb.)

Ok, I have been a Fischer dealer for the last 8 years.  It has been a fair amount of work, but they are now the top selling brand in my shop.  Not easy, but most of my customers are pretty open minded, and I have earned their trust over the years.  So, they actually ask my opinion.  Note, that I have a pretty small shop and get to deal with most of the customers.  I sold a ton of Wateas and Koas to my customer base, and for the most part these customers have been satisfied with their choice.  Those skis are getting a little long in the tooth now, and along comes the new Rangers, I'm thinking it will be pretty easy to upgrade them into these.  

 

From the beginning, I have been impressed with the quality and value that Fischer offers.  Products have always been good.  But, Fischer is so typically Austrian... make good stuff, concentrate on Racing, and the European market, the end. Absolutely zero marketing to the North American market, very slow to make skis that are relevant to North Americans (they think that everyone just needs a SL Race ski).    It is not just Fischer, but I think that Atomic, Head, and Elan (not exactly Austrian, but "Baja Austiran"), that suffer from this same issues in the North American market. However, they are slowly coming around and are starting to make more market relevant products.  I think that Fischer's experience with carbon laminates from it's other industrial pursuits has given them a leg up on their ski competitors in next season's "light skiing" theme.  Maybe that will propel them forward into a more significant player on this side of the pond.

 

Their's is not an impossible journey.  Blizzard came out of nowhere and now is the "it" ski for the cool kids.  Kastle came back from the dead, and is definitely relevant with good skiers. How did this happen?  Part was damn good product, but there was also savvy marketing, and for a variety of reasons dealers, jumped on board as well.  I feel a bit of momentum coming from Fischer right now, and with a little bit of help/work from the dealer network, they can also become more important in the North American ski market.  

post #15 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 

Wow, that changes EVERYTHING*!!! (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that exactly zero of them paid full retail, which is an important part of the feedback loop) 

 

Epicski people are not a normal demographic, they aren't the folks who walk into a shop in October and say "where are your Volkie skis? Everyone says they're the best." Those are the people who drive the industry, not the well informed person who is willing to wait for end of season pricing. The goal for the shop is to not have any skis left for end of season pricing. Some brands make that happen, others don't. 

 

 

 

 

 

* sorry, I'm a jerk... but three pairs of skis sold in March is not a paradigm shift. I think Fischer is on their way up but it'll be a while for the masses to catch on, the masses are what matter.

 

Good point.  My Ranger 88 selection was the most well received performance rental we have every had in the shop.  People were blown away how well it skied.  Same with the Motive.  I have been raving about the Motive 95ti for a year now.  Still waiting to sell my first pair near retail.  But had I sold Volkl, I would have had 5 Mantra sales right now.  People coming in the door looking for that ski. I tried to get them on a Motive 95ti, no luck.  Even now, at 33% off, I still have 3 pair of 95ti's on the wall.  And I would say that has been the most well reviewed ski on this site over the past few months.  But it doesn't really translate into sales with the general public.  

 

This is a big bugbear for me. We carry good skis, but as there were 3 other shops in this area when we opened, we got what many shops would consider "leftover" brands, such as Fischer, Head, Elan, with the hot selling brands unavailable to us for the most part (we now have Blizzard, Kastle, Stockli too, all great skis, but all still niche brands).  Very little mainstream buzz there.  And it doesn't matter how good a product skis; it is all about the buzz and marketing.  And I am not a marketing guy; I try to bring in the best performing product, assuming buyers will find their way to it.  That is how I personally operate.  But I get the sense that the general public doesn't have time for that.  Same with bikes: we sell Trek and Cannondale.  I tried selling smaller niche brands, but it didn't work.  Trek literally sells itself. They make a great product, certainly, but so do a lot of other companies.  The difference is that Trek sells through at high margin: when we had Felt and Turner, we ended up liquidating at wholesale much of the time.  And I am very happy for that; I can relate to shops who might carry somewhat mediocre brands, but brands that get a lot of buzz through advertising and whatnot, and sell.  Ideally, a shop like mine has the enthusiast brands that we carry, and the Volkie skis for everyone else who needs "the best". 

post #16 of 100
Thread Starter 

@coolhand I agree the tide is turning for them btw.... 

 

Marketing and Buzz is critical in ski's.  make no mistakes that a big splash in the ski rags or internet will make a ski (regardless if its really good or not, but then again good for who and good at what I digress...?)  . If there's no buzz, shops aren't going to bring them in. I don't know the shop end or if payment terms make a difference, but there are always ways to "encentivize" ??  Getting folks on them is important, but not as important as as creating the customer draw.  people buy what will makes them feel confident about their purchase and what they feel will make them better skiers. So if the ski rags/internet praise a ski, the consumer who never gets a chance to demo a ski (let alone a properly tuned one from a on-mountain shop) will more than likely buy one that they will have confidence in and can tell their friends that they bought the gold medal ski. BUT lets not overlook the importance of brand loyalty, if a person has owned Sali's for the past 10 years, they likelihood of moving them off a Sali is low; and a shop isn't going to strong-arm a customer and risk them not liking the ski and losing a customer.  That said, getting a skier onto a Fischer may be challenging. I think to sell them at this point, I would be saying its like a "poor-mans Kastle" or similar to a Blizzard/volkl or say, here's a demo, take it out for a day.  

 

Getting racers and pro's on them is a good start though.  Question to Fischer, why don't you have them on pro-form for PSIA? Having instructors and other industry folks on them (as @segbrown mentioned) is a good way to build image.  


Edited by Finndog - 3/11/15 at 7:30am
post #17 of 100

It has been a while since Fischer has had a "direction" and with new leadership here in the U.S. I think they are now on the right path. We met at SIA with Willy Booker, the new CEO and we discussed their progression forward not only with the skis but also new boots. I am hoping to have some of the new Rangers to use as long term test skis so I can get some members on them to write reviews because as we see in this thread, they are very good skis and they are definitely "buzz worthy". I should have them available at Mothers Day for us to test & review. I did get on the 108Ti at the Onthesnow ski test in Snowbird and I was one of my favorite skis. A few things I noticed is that Fischer has one of THE BEST tip shapes on the market for balancing soft snow float with hard snow performance and how light and nimble they were without being nervous. If you feel you are in-between sizes, go with the longer one. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
 

@coolhand I agree the tide is turning for them btw.... 

 

Marketing and Buzz is critical in ski's.  make no mistakes that a big splash in the ski rags or internet will make a ski (regardless if its really good or not, but then again good for who and good at what I digress...?)  . If there's no buzz, shops aren't going to bring them in. I don't know the shop end or if payment terms make a difference, but there are always ways to "encentivize" ??  Getting folks on them is important, but not as important as as creating the customer draw.  people buy what will makes them feel confident about their purchase and what they feel will make them better skiers. So if the ski rags/internet praise a ski, the consumer who never gets a chance to demo a ski (let alone a properly tuned one from a on-mountain shop) will more than likely buy one that they will have confidence in and can tell their friends that they bought the gold medal ski. BUT lets not overlook the importance of brand loyalty, if a person has owned Sali's for the past 10 years, they likelihood of moving them off a Sali is low; and a shop isn't going to strong-arm a customer and risk them not liking the ski and losing a customer.  That said, getting a skier onto a Fischer may be challenging. I think to sell them at this point, I would be saying its like a "poor-mans Kastle" or similar to a Blizzard/volkl or say, here's a demo, take it out for a day.  

 

Getting racers and pro's on them is a good start though.  Question to Fischer, why don't you have them on pro-form for PSIA? Having instructors and other industry folks is a good way to build image.  

Their race skis are some of the best offered and have been very successful even when their retail skis were not. The 2016 collection is really sharp looking too and I am confident racers will gravitate towards them. @tetonpwdrjunkie is a Fischer mountain rep at Jackson Hole and I have heard he does a good job promoting the product. 

Personally, I look forward to getting on the new Progressor F19 for some extended time. :popcorn 

post #18 of 100
Thread Starter 

...and I notice they are also sponsors/advertisers here now too.........

post #19 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Well, I know at least three Epicsters have purchased the same exact Fischer (180 Motive 95ti) in the past couple of weeks, including me, and another few are pondering. It's true that the graphics are dull. But so are we, I guess. 


. . . fwiw, make that 4.  I booked an order for the 14-15 Motive 86 during demos last spring.  I loved the feel and it filled a slot for me at a great value relative to the natural competitors.  The more that I ride it, the more pleased I am with the purchase.  I particularly appreciate the way that the ski engages at the top of the turn and the power you get in the finish of the turn out of the tail.  And it is still fun off-piste and in bumps.

 

Fischer definitely could use more buzz, but to the extent that it matters, I think that they are making great product.  Last spring during demos I loved both the Motive 86 and 95.  I also thought that the Ranger 106 was outstanding - probably the best carver at that width I've tried.  For someone looking for a nimble, wider platform that "carves" with the precision of a narrower ski, the Ranger 106  could be the ski (and now it sounds the 108 is even better).

 

Fischer's graphics aren't the worst - nothing special but definitely better than the 3rd year of the Blizzard bull series (the 4th of July Cochise season).

 

I could see Fischer being the next "Blizzard" with a bit of concerted effort on the marketing side.  Strong race heritage, solid product across the board, skis that ride great once you get them on snow.  More people should try them.  

post #20 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

 

 

Fischer is interesting to me. Everyone seems to respect them, everyone raves about their products, everyone talks about how they're underrated, they are reasonably priced, and somehow no one actually pulls the trigger. 

You are thinking too much, you have your answer right ^^^ there. 

 

People who pay attention to 'what ski to buy', the guys and gals buying Mantras/ Auras or Brahmas/ Black Pearls, don't buy Fischer skis.

Since they don't buy them, shops don't want to stock higher end all-mountain Fischers.

Since shops don't stock the higher end Fischers, but do stock some race and some lower end package skis, folks associate Fischer with skis they don't want.

Since they don't want them shops are less likely to sell them so they don't stock them or go really light on their order, further reinforcing the 'less than desirable' image.

 

It's a positive feedback loop that is pretty negative for Fischer.

 

(they make great skis, people are dumb.)

You could replace Fischer with "Head" or even "Blizzard" 3..4..5 years ago. 

post #21 of 100

I've got a pair of Ranger 88s that are so much fun to ski.  Light and nimble, yet they hold an edge very well on the hard snow,.  I'll be trying them out this weekend in soft snow conditions.  Amazing how easy they are to ski.

post #22 of 100

I love Fischer skis. I still have a pair of AMC 79's that i absolutely refuse to part with. Their tech is always cutting edge and I really wish someone here in the states would import the entire line. There are some great choices that we never see here.

post #23 of 100
Thread Starter 

not a bad looking ski

 

 

fischer-ranger108-001.jpg

post #24 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

You could replace Fischer with "Head" or even "Blizzard" 3..4..5 years ago. 

 

Head skis are still rare as hen's teeth here!  Blizzard definitely gaining in popularity though.  The only Fischers I see on the mountain are ones I sold...same with Head.  If I see someone on that ski (or Kastle), I usually go over and say hello, as likely I met them at some point. 

post #25 of 100

Couldn't find Fischers to demo during 2 weeks in Colorado.  Did find Head no problem, bought the Collective 105 on the spot.  Now I own 2 sets of Head skis, will likely sell my Rossis and look for a mid-80s frontsidey all-mountainish Head ski.......maybe the Monster 83 is in my future.

 

In Ontario, I see a few Fischers, but exclusively SL skis for kids running gates.

post #26 of 100
I love my Fischer and Head (from dawgcatching) skis but about the only time I see those brands in the Mid-Atlantic is when I look down at my feet.

Mostly K2, Solli and Rossi around here, none of which I favor.

(love my Dynastars too)
post #27 of 100

I first became a Fischer fan when my wife bought a pair of Breeze's about 7 or so years ago.  I watched her zip down an icy run at a local ski areas while I was slipping and sliding all over the place.  Right after that I bought my pair of AMC 79's on the cheap and have loved them.  I just spent my 2nd and 3rd days on my Motive 95s (174 length) and I can honestly say they have made me a better skier.  The surprise was how good they were in the bumps on the run Exhibition at Whitetail, while still being superb at carving big arcs on the blue runs there.  I can't say how they compare to many of the other brands/models typically mentioned for comparison, but these have been a revelation as to how such a wide ski can be so easy to ski  (as long as I don't let my old-school narrow stance creep back in  LOL)

 

And actually, I like the graphics.  Nice subdued colors (shades of grey?  LOL) with a very small touch of neon.

post #28 of 100
To be fair, Finn, true. Not stupendous but not bad either, better than most years. Does anyone have a weight on the 108 or 96/ whatever?
post #29 of 100

This is the exact thread I am interested in!

 

I moved over from snowboarding to skiing in the last three years, mainly because I had a 6 year old at the time who was learning to ski. Long story short, I rented skis for the first year and then demo'd a few skis early last year as I progressed very well...including a Motive 86. Loved the ski, hated the graphics. Was about to pull the trigger on a demo 86 mid season and was sold into a Volkl Mantra(last years). BAD mistake. I couldn't get that ski on an edge and was way to stiff for a newbie like me at the time. I am 240', 6'2 so my size was thought to make the ski a little easier..BUT I had a terrible fall on a diamond at Stratton and lost complete confidence in the ski an my abilities. The shop took the ski back and gave me a Kendo. I liked that ski, but after a year, I was still having trouble carving it. Maybe a lack of trust. I demo'd a RTM84, Rossi 84 Experience and a Kastle MX83 and loved the Rossi 84 so much, I bought one the next day. Perfect ski for everything on the mountain and taking it easy while family skiing without the worries of the Volk of being "on." Don't get me wrong the RTM84 was a great ski, but I felt if you were not fully paying attention to it..it would bite me like the Mantra did. The ski can hold the edge while carving, go fast and is great in all conditions(up to a point with a lot of snow)...so confidence inspiring!

 

Which leaves me to be disappointed that I did not buy the Motive initially..but I am looking for a 95-100 width ski to accompany my Rossi 84 currently, so i demo'd the current Ranger 96 and Rossi 100 experience. I loved the Ranger...but still don't like the graphics. The Rossi had better turn in, but the Ranger once the turn initiated, wouldn't let up until I was ready. AND SO light and easy to maneuver. I could easily get on edge on that ski. Was truly blown away for such a wide ski. 

 

I have been searching all over for the reviews of the new Ranger 98 but only saw a couple (both from members of this thread(thanks guys!)). Have watched the Fischer tease video a few 100 times and pictures of the new version look great. I plan to demo this ski this weekend with the others in consideration: Volkl Mantra(don't know why, but still want to), Nordica Enforcer, and Blizzard Bonafide to be sure. If the new Ranger performed like the one I tried last week, I am sure I will buy it. Only question is what size? 

 

I agree with all the sentiments discussed on this thread as they are all spot on. 

 

FYI - I am global marketer :)

post #30 of 100

The old Fischer Watea 94 had virtually identical dimensions to the Mantra, but was much easier to ski.  Could never figure out why the Mantra was so much more popular.  I've got Watea 101s, BC 98s and old 94s (which I skied today) and enjoy all of them.  I agree that Fischers are highly underrated.

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