Fischer Watea 96 (2014)


Rating: 2.92 / 5
Price: $750.00
Year: 2014
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 120
Tip/Tail/Waist: 132-96-120
Lengths: 170, 178, 186

Stability at speed: 3.38 / 5
Hard snow performance: 2.95 / 5
Crud performance: 2.98 / 5
Flotation: 2.96 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.74 / 5
Overall: 2.92 / 5

With its quicker, narrower waist width (96 mm), the Watea 96 is built to transition more easily between powder and hardpack than the 106, though still favoring soft snow. As with the 106, its Air Carbon construction features fiberglass/carbon laminates reinforcing its wood core for lightweight power and responsiveness. Fischer's Freeski collection splits into two groups: the surfy, twin-tipped powder specialists of the Big Stix collection (waist widths: 100, 110 and 122 mm) and the flat-tailed "sidecountry"/all-mountain generalists of the Watea collection (84 to 106 mm). The Wateas are built for edgy, directional performance and hard-snow versatility, with moderate tip rocker (2 to 5 mm, more in the wider models, less in the narrower ones) for soft-snow flotation and terrain-smoothing shock absorption. Narrower models (84 and 88) have full camber underfoot for maximum rebound energy; wider models have low camber height underfoot for a looser feel. The 96 and 106 are also built with greater torsional rigidity (ie, they're less prone to twisting when loaded and arcing). The tails of all Wateas (the name means "free" in the Maori language) are notched for secure attachment of climbing skins. All Wateas are wood-core laminate constructions with full-length/height sidewalls. Wood is used for durability and responsiveness; full sidewalls for optimized edge grip and solidity underfoot. (The sidewalls are angled - less edgy than vertical sidewalls and more resistant to damage caused by the opposite ski's edge.) All models are metal free, for light weight and lively performance, and all are sold flat (no binding). Fischer now offers two AT binding options appropriate for use with the Wateas - the sturdy Adrenaline (16 or 13 DIN), and the lightweight Ambition (12 DIN), both developed by Tyrolia and licensed to Fischer. Climbing skins are also offered. Family-owned Fischer Skis is based in Reid, Austria, where all its skis (and many of those of other brands) are built. Fischer says its factory in Reid is the second largest manufacturer of skis in the world.