Fischer Ranger 94 FR Review
Cons: Ski short, chattery
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Fischer is back trying to build on the previous success of their Ranger 102 FR with the all-new Fischer Ranger 94. This ski comes complete with fancy design technology like the aeroshape, a rounded top sheet used to increase torsional stability, and a slim carbon nose for better maneuverability. While our testers did give some credit to these unique features, the performance scores speak for themselves. We feel that the Fischer Ranger 94 FR is a ski confused about itself. The flex and twin tip rocker profile want to be in the powder and landing switch, while the 94mm waist and fairly short turn radius want to be carving up the hardpack. This ski seems to be pulled in two different directions rather than coming together for a seamless all-mountain combination.
Stability at Speed
The Fischer Ranger 94 FR struggled when our testers pushed it into higher speeds. Despite testing it in the longest length offered (185cm), the Ranger 94 FR felt incredibly short, which led to less effective edge on the snow and less control overall.
Our testers also experienced a bit of tip chatter, despite the carbon nose, especially in steep and chalky conditions. All that being said, the ski felt surprisingly damp underfoot. If you find yourself trying to set new speed records, there are better-suited skis in this category.
While our testers did not feel that the Fischer Ranger 94 FR had a ton of backbone or power like some of our award winners, they were still having fun on this ski in the right on-piste conditions. The tip and tail rocker make turn initiation and release a breeze and felt relatively quick edge to edge.
We also found the Ranger 94 FR to have quite a bit of pop and energy when carving on groomers, and the sidecut led us to enjoy short to medium radius turns the most. Again, our testers agreed the ski felt a little short, even when laid over and engaging as much effective edge as possible. A skier who spends his days railing turns on the hardpack would probably be best suited with a different ski.
The Ranger 94 FR's carbon tipped nose was the most distracting feature our testers found on these skis in the crud. They tended to get bounced around a deflected unless the skier riding them was a strong expert on top of his game and really driving and directing the skis.
Again, underfoot, the skis feel fairly damp, and the transmission of chatter from the tip was not brain-rattling for us. We never experienced any hooking from the rockered tail, and if conditions were soft and consistent enough, the large rocker in the front helped plane over some crud. Overall, we would not categorize this ski as a crud buster, but it was not the worst of our lineup.
Powder feels like the application the Fischer Ranger 94 FR was designed for…almost. The large amounts of rocker, softer tip flex, twin tips, and lightweight design all lend to being a ski that lives for pow, BUT at 94mm underfoot, it was slightly underwhelming in any storm that dumped more than a few inches. While super fun and easy to slarve, slash, smear, butter, and bounce through the soft stuff, when conditions got a little deeper our testers found the ski submarining more than others we tested with similar dimensions.
This is one of the most playful skis in our testing line up. The Ranger 94 FR loves to be tip pressed and buttered. The large amounts of rocker in both the tip and tail lead to easy landings in either direction, and the amount of pop our tester experienced was super inspiring. These skis also feel relatively lightweight, and as a result, are easy to maneuver mid-air. Even a few of our testers who would rather not leave direct contact with the snow found themselves headed for both natural and small terrain park features.
The Fischer Ranger 94 FR was surely not designed to be a zipper-line mogul ski, but our testers were still able to navigate their favorite bump runs while on them. Even though the length we tested them in was a bit long, because of the large amounts of rocker, most of our testers felt they were quite nimble and quick, even in tighter moguls. In more firm or truly refrozen moguls, we found ourselves wishing for a bit burlier ski.
These skis tend to retail for slightly less than most other men's all-mountain skis on the market, and given that they perform comparatively well in most categories, we think this ski is a good value.
Our testers enjoyed most of their time spent on the Fischer Ranger 94 FR but felt that Fischer tried to take what was regarded as a huge success in the Ranger 102 FR and slap a 94mm waist on it. It does not handle powder as well as you might expect, and its on-piste carving left a bit to be desired as well. It seems Fischer lost what was so great about the 102mm version and didn't replace it with anything to beef it up for firmer conditions. As we mentioned, the ski also feels short in most conditions, so if you do decide to buy this ski, you may want to go one size up. All in all, it is a decent all-mountain ski, but a little fine-tuning from Fischer could make it an all-star.
— Andrew Pierce