About me... 175lbs, 5'10", strong athletic skier who skis over 100 days a season at JHMR.
I have been skiing on the 180 Motive 95ti for about 100 days between this season and last season. I have found the Motive to be the best single ski that I have ever had. This season I got a 178 Progressor F-19 and a pair of 188 Ranger 108s to use for the season. Yesterday I went out on the Motive 95s for the morning. There was no work for me and I wound up hard charging all morning with some supervisors and high level instructors. The conditions were fantastic grippy groomers with no ice, packed powder moguls with a bit of wind buff, and mixed light crud. We had 6" of new snow in the last 24 hrs and some wind.
The Motive 95 is my old friend. I was able to carve some trenches on the groomers, blast through the crud, and get nice semi carved round turns with rebound in the bumps. I love the Motive because there is no speed limit and it handles bumps well because of the well designed early rise in the tip. My skis have a solid 100 days on them, but still feel like they give decent rebound at the end of the turn when the tips are being driven at the beginning of the turn. Not too bad for a well used ski with a fairly fresh tune.
After lunch there was still no work for me so I decided to demo a pair of 180 Ranger 98s. I tried to ski a lot of the same terrain at the same intensity to get a decent head to head comparison between the two ski models. I was surprised how small and light the 180 Ranger 98 feels compared to my Motive 95. The weight was very noticeable just picking them up in the shop and I had to double check the length because they didn't seem very long when I held them next to me. The 188 Ranger 108 for example feels huge when I'm standing next to it.
On the snow the Rangers felt good under my feet and were able to make carved turns of a variety of sizes and shapes on the groomers. While the skis hooked up and carved very well for me, They did not feel nearly as solid as the Motives did. I could ski fast on the Rangers, but felt the ski was starting to approach its speed limit at a speed where the Motives still felt rock solid. The Rangers chattered a few times on some of the harder faster turns. I don't think I have had a ski chatter on me in over a year. The last ski that I remember chattering a little was probably the 188 Soul 7. I might prefer the 188 Ranger 98 to the 180 Ranger 98 because I did a few groomer runs on harder snow last week with the 188 Ranger 108 and it didn't chatter at similar speeds and felt more solid at speed than the 180 Ranger 98. The 188 Ranger 108 is not as good on groomers as the 180 Motive 95 and I wouldn't expect it to be.
I really liked the 180 Ranger 98 in the soft bumps I skied with it. The light weight of the ski makes it easy to steer through the bumps. The early rise tip helps to soften the impact a bit when stuffing the ski into a trouph. While I wasn't skiing as fast in the bumps as I was on the groomers, the 180 Ranger 98 didn't provide the solid feel that I am used to with the 180 Motive 95. The trade off for the solid damper feel of the Motives is that I needed to be more accurate in all of my movements to ski a round and smooth line in the bumps than I did on the Rangers. I suspect that this would be more true in harder bumps where the Motive would feel more reactive, but also provide a better edge bite.
The Ranger was really sweet in the powder. The lightness of the ski made it easy to retract both feet change edges and extend into the next turn really smoothly. It felt like butter. The Motive is capable in similar powder conditions, but does not feel nearly as easy and silky as the Ranger. I could see the Ranger being great in tight trees, easier and quicker than the Motive, but not as solid as the snow starts to get funkier and more demanding.
In general I found that I prefer the 180 Motive 95 to the 180 Ranger 98. I could be happy with either ski to fill the one ski quiver spot. Both are very capable in a variety of turn shapes and conditions. I prefer the solid damper feel of the Motive for the majority of conditions that I ski on a daily basis at JH. I am a strong skier and don't have trouble working the extra beef of the Motive and I appreciate that added stability it gives me in harder snow. I also like to ski fast. Many lighter skiers or skiers who don't like to charge as hard as I do might prefer the Ranger as it is lighter and performs very well in a lot of conditions with less effort. I have always felt like most skis are OK for me in soft snow, I like a ski that rules in crud. I think that I will really like the 188 Ranger 108 as my go to for deeper softer days. The extra width should be just the ticket on a ski model that is already biased towards the soft end of conditions.
I had just enough time after demoing the Ranger 98 to get out for a few runs on my 177 Progressor F-19. I hooked up with two very strong instructors and ripped some groomers and soft bumps for the last runs of the day. As expected, the Progressor F-19 was the best on the groomers of the three skis I used that day. It just grabs the top of the turn and arcs out. I have found no speed limit. It's much quicker edge to edge at 76mm than the Motive 95. It weighs about the same as the Motive 95 even though it's a bit shorter and smaller overall. The Progressor F-19 is a ton of fun in soft bumps. It is a bit less forgiving than the Motive in bumps, but provides more rebound out of the turn and is probably more fun because of it, if you can keep up with the ski. I think the Progressor F-19 would be good in harder bumps as well. The Progessor F-19 was not even close to as good in the powder and deeper soft crud as the Ranger 98. It still worked, but I felt like I needed to slow down a little and pay attention. The Ranger 98 was stupid easy in the same spot. The Motive 95 fell somewhere in the middle, competent but not silky smooth and easy Like the Ranger 98 in soft snow.