Editor's Note: We updated this Fischer Ranger 94 FR review on February 23, 2022, and now includes more individualized information, like an honest take on value and thoughtful suggestions for similar products.
Fischer Ranger 94 FR Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
Fischer is back, trying to build on the previous success of their Ranger 102 FR with the newer Fischer Ranger 94. We tested the Ranger 94 FR in a 185-centimeter length, with 127-93-118 (millimeters) dimensions at the Tip-Waist-Tail and an 18-meter turn radius. 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 this ski is confused about its purpose. The flex and twin tip rocker profile want to be in the powder and landing switch, while the 94-millimeter waist and fairly short turn radius want to be carving up the hardpack.
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 (185 centimeters), the Ranger 94 FR felt incredibly short, which led to a less effective edge on the snow and less control overall.
Our testers also experienced a bit of tip chatter, especially in steep and chalky conditions. But then, in other conditions, the ski felt surprisingly damp underfoot. If you find yourself trying to set new speed records, there are better-suited skis in this review.
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 makes turn initiation and release a breeze and feel 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.
Skiing powder feels like the application the 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 only 94 millimeters underfoot, it was slightly underwhelming in any storm that dumped more than a few inches. While super fun and easy to 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.
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 and deflected unless the skier riding them was a strong expert on top of his game and was driving and directing the skis.
Again, the skis feel fairly damp underfoot, 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.
This ski's score doesn't reflect the whole story: this is one of the most playful skis in our testing lineup. 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. More than a few testers found themselves headed for 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, most of our testers felt they were quite nimble and quick, even in tighter moguls because of the large amounts of rocker. In more firm or truly refrozen moguls, we found ourselves wishing for a bit burlier ski.
Should You Buy the Ranger 94 FR?
At a price point lower than most other all-mountain skis we tested, the Fischer Ranger 94 FR presents an intriguing option – for the right skier. Scoring, on average, the lowest marks across the board, this ski is far from an all-mountain powerhouse. But for the retired park skiers out there, the Ranger 94 FR is poppy, buttery, able to land switch in light snow, and is a lightweight pair of skis that is exciting to take to the air.
What Other All-Mountain Skis Should You Consider?
Our testers felt that Fischer tried to capitalize on the huge success of the Ranger 102 FR by simply transforming it into a 94-millimeter ski – resulting in a ski that has no well-defined purpose. It does not handle powder as well as the Blizzard Rustler 10, nor does it handle on-piste carving as well as the Nordica Enforcer 94. A beefier ski like the Black Crows Justis is better suited to powering through crud, and the Faction Dictator 2.0 is even more fun to play around on. With a little fine-tuning from Fischer, this ski could be an all-star – but for now, it is better to spend a little bit more money on a ski like the award-winning Volkl M6 Mantra.
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