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Ski Collection: Fischer Ranger 18/19 at ISPO 2018

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Today we'll take a look at a very old ski collection. Not necessarily because we want to see how old skis develop further, but because we want to check out the newest ski in this collection. The collection is Fischer Ranger, and the new ski is Fischer Ranger 102FR. The Ranges series is very old but also is subject to almost constant improvements. Each season there is a change. Last season, for instance, Ranger 122 (the successor of Big Stix 122) has been swapped with Ranger 115, and this season Fischer introduced a new ski called Fischer Ranger 102FR. Let's examine both models.

There were no legitimate prerequisites for the introduction of a ski with a waist width of 102mm into the series. The collection was consistent and logically structured - 85 - 90 - 90 Ti - 98 Ti - 108 Ti - 115 XTi - there are no big gaps and everything seems to be in its right place. Besides, there is another ski series that is very similar to Ranger - MTN with its 95Ti ski. This is a typical case of inconsistency in internal competition. Fischer's marketing strategy sometimes seems unpredictable and unsystematic.

Anyway, back to the ski. Its shape is similar to its older brothers - Ranger 115 and Ranger 108. The ski is very soft, much softer than the other skis in the collection. Its shovel is harder than waist and tail; therefore, skiing on old and heterogenous snow can be quite comfortable with this ski. It could also be easy to control the ski at a sideslip on hard snow. The waist area is stiff enough for good control and the tail is soft at the tip but generally also soft which is good for edge changing without really applying much pressure on the tail. This is what makes Fischer Ranger 102FR a good freeride ski. The ski is to be regarded as a competitor with such well-known skis as Atomic Backland 102 (that has also been changed this season), K2 Pinnacle 105Ti, and Head Kore 99 as well as other similar models that provide a skier with both controllability and comfort.

Ranger 115 is a ski for those who like high speed. It features a smooth and long carbon rocker, that makes its shovel unbendable, a very stiff wooden core, and a straight and soft tail. The ski provides control at a high speed, total negation of any kind of snow heterogeneity, and stability at drops. That's the ski for fast big lines with drops where there is a lot of space for decent acceleration.

If Ranger 115 matches with Fischer's image - a fast and powerful ski not for everyone, then Ranger 102FR is something completely new not only for Ranger series but also for Fischer as a brand and an image, that seemingly aims for popularity and mass-market success. But that's in theory. Stay tuned to find out how the ski works in practice.

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