Reviews You Can Rely On

Fischer Ranger 102 - Women's Review

A heavy feel and lack of rebound make this ski a little too much to handle for intermediate skiers
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Fischer Ranger 102 - Women's Review
Credit: Fischer
Price:  $850 List
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Manufacturer:   Fischer
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 15, 2023
58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 15
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 8.0
  • Carving Ability - 20% 5.0
  • Powder Performance - 20% 7.0
  • Crud Performance - 20% 6.0
  • Terrain Playfulness - 15% 3.0
  • Bumps - 5% 2.0

Our Verdict

The Fischer Ranger 102 is a stable ski that offers solid performance in powder, but it isn't as accessible to intermediate skiers as other models we tested in our review of the best skis for women. While it feels strong underfoot at higher speeds, this is a characteristic and sensation often only appreciated by advanced-to-expert skiers. The Ranger 102 is simply a bit too beefy for anyone skiing below an advanced level. While it floats quite well in fresh snow, the combination of a lack of rebound energy and a wider waist width severely diminishes the agility of this ski. However, for stronger skiers who prioritize stability through longer turn radius, the Ranger delivers in most conditions.
REASONS TO BUY
Hearty build
Stable at speed
Floats well in fresh snow
REASONS TO AVOID
Hard for intermediates to handle
Not inherently playful
Too beefy for bumps
Editor's Note: We added the Fischer Ranger 102 to our lineup on December 13, 2023.

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Price $850 List
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Overall Score Sort Icon
58
77
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56
Star Rating
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Bottom Line The combination of spring-back energy and too much heft makes this a tough ski to handle for intermediatesPerfect for those looking for a single ski to rule them allLively and nimble, but also stable and grippyA blast to ski in fresh snow, mogul fields, and popping around on groomersFor intermediate and advanced skiers looking for something that’s easy on the snow and on the wallet
Rating Categories Fischer Ranger 102... Nordica Santa Ana 98 Blizzard Sheeva 9 -... Elan Ripstick 94 W Salomon QST Lumen 98
Stability at Speed (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Carving Ability (20%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Powder Performance (20%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
10.0
5.0
Crud Performance (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Terrain Playfulness (15%)
3.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Bumps (5%)
2.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
6.0
Specs Fischer Ranger 102... Nordica Santa Ana 98 Blizzard Sheeva 9 -... Elan Ripstick 94 W Salomon QST Lumen 98
Waist Width 102 mm 98 mm 96 mm 94 mm 98 mm
Sidecut (Tip-Waist-Tail width) 137-102-127 mm 132-98-120 mm 129-96-118.5 mm 136-94-110 mm 132-98-120 mm
Available Lengths 155, 162, 169, 176, 183, 190 cm 151, 158, 165, 172, 179 cm 150, 156, 162, 168, 174 cm 154, 162, 170, 178 cm 152, 160, 168, 176 cm
Length Tested 176 cm 172 cm 174 cm 178 cm 176 cm
Turn Radius 18 m 16.3 m 16 m 18 m 16 m
Camber Profile Freeski rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot Rocker tip and tail, cambered inside edge, Amphibio tech Rocker tip and tail, camber underfoot
Weight Per Pair 8.4 lbs 8.1 lbs 7.9 lbs 7.4 lbs 8.2 lbs
Construction Type ABS sidewalls, classic sandwich construction Energy Ti W W.S.D. Fluxform Duramax sandwich full sidewall SST sidewall Double sidewall
Core Material Beech and Poplar Performance Wood & Metal W.S.D. Trueblend Free Woodcore; Beech, Poplar and Paulownia Tubelite wood Poplar
Ability Level Advanced-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Expert Intermediate-Advanced

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Ranger 102 is a strong ski capable of charging at higher speeds, as long as you like making larger radius turns. Within these parameters, it works just as well on hardpack as it does in powder.

Performance Comparison


fischer ranger 102 for women - if you like going fast and making big swooping turns with lots of...
If you like going fast and making big swooping turns with lots of elevation loss, the Ranger is a riot.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Stability at Speed


Underfoot, the meat of the Ranger 102 feels relatively stiff and very sturdy when pushed to higher speeds. Unfortunately, the tips tend to get a little squirrelly when you push on the throttle. This is likely a function of the rocker and the tapering of the titanium inlay to lighten the swing weight of the tips. And yet, some of our testers were quite impressed – some were even a bit surprised – with how stable the Ranger felt at speed in spite of the wider waist and rockered tips. Fischer's Shape TI 0.5 (the titanium inlay) seems to have added just the right amount of stiffness to give the Ranger 102 a powerful and confidence-inspiring feel at high speeds on hardpack snow.

fischer ranger 102 for women - it has strong edge engagement in a carve, but the ranger always...
It has strong edge engagement in a carve, but the Ranger always feels like it wants to make quite a large turn.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Carving Ability


The Ranger 102 offers decent edge hold to grip through a carved turn. But our testers had to be very patient while waiting for the edge to engage. The 102-millimeter waist and heavier build require perseverance – moving from one set of edges to the other takes longer than other, similar skis we tested. Once rolled over, it still takes a moment (and some speed) for the edge to latch onto the snow in a carved arc. As a result, it feels as though the 18-meter turn radius is an underestimate. A number of our testers commented that the Ranger 102 carves more like a ski with a 20-meter turn radius. Whatever the case, the outside ski tends to run away at the start of the turn, which makes for tricky turn initiation.

fischer ranger 102 for women - if you like to charge hard and make massive high-speed turns, the...
If you like to charge hard and make massive high-speed turns, the Ranger might be the perfect ski for you.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Powder Performance


The prominent shovel tip on the Ranger 102 might bounce around on hardpack, but it is definitely a boon in powder. Its flotation is on par with many of the better-ranking skis in this metric, and our testers enjoyed bouncing and soaring through deep powder fields on this turquoise dream. The length of the turn radius makes the Ranger 102 a great option for big, open bowls in deep snow. But when things get a bit tighter in trees or steep chutes, this ski is less nimble and more difficult to force into a tighter turn.

fischer ranger 102 for women - widely spaced trees like these are great for the larger turn radius...
Widely spaced trees like these are great for the larger turn radius of the Ranger. Even better would be big open bowls.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Crud Performance


The Ranger 102 is a beefy ski, and most of the time, it can throw its heft around to blast through chunky snow conditions. Sometimes, though, our testers felt that the shape of the rockered shovel in the tip created a large deflection area. Depending on the hardness of the snow, you might instead find yourself getting knocked around in the chop.

fischer ranger 102 for women - usually, the bulk of the ranger drives the ski aggressively through...
Usually, the bulk of the Ranger drives the ski aggressively through choppy terrain.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Terrain Playfulness


This ski isn't very playful, at least not in the traditional sense. While one of our testers claims that the self-assurance derived from a very reliable ski makes skiing “fun,” that still doesn't mean that the Ranger 102 has the pop and spring of a conventionally playful ski.

fischer ranger 102 for women - despite the lack of rebound, our testers clearly still had heaps of...
Despite the lack of rebound, our testers clearly still had heaps of fun on the Ranger - especially in the powder.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Bumps


The design of the Ranger 102 – heavy, stiff, with a longer turn radius – means that it is a bit dismal in bumps. It doesn't offer much rebound at the end of a turn, so it hardly ever feels very agile. Unweidly and lumbering in this terrain, we would never pick this as a bumps ski. Rather, the Ranger is notable for its strength and is a bit more capable of eating up bumps than dancing through them.

fischer ranger 102 for women - we were hard-pressed to turn the ranger into the fall line while...
We were hard-pressed to turn the Ranger into the fall line while navigating our way through bump runs.
Credit: Marc Rotse

Should you buy the Fischer Ranger 102 WS?


The Ranger 102 is a solid choice if you're a capable skier who prioritizes stiffness and backbone over agility. If you prefer to make large turns in wide open spaces – in powder or on groomers – you will love the Ranger's capacity to charge. But if you have only just started skiing black runs or have only recently begun dabbling in off-piste terrain, this ski will likely be too much for you to handle.

What Other Women's All-Mountain Skis Should You Consider?


If you're newer to the sport, the Salomon QST Lumen 98 is less stiff, more playful, and overall a much friendlier option for less experienced skiers. For hard chargers that love stability but want something a bit more versatile, consider the Volkl Secret 96. For something more carefree but competent, the Blizzard Sheeva 9 is a much more playful ski.

Renee McCormack