Pugski Ski Tester
- Nov 1, 2015
- Reno, eNVy
The Head Monster 88 is considered by many to be THE reference ski in its category. The Fischer Pro MTN 86TI is one of the European skis that is challenging Head’s position. Visually, these skis are dramatically different: the Head is traditional in shape (in fact, it's one of the most traditional shapes offered), and the Fischer is progressive, with a long, gradual tip rise and flared tail. The Head is nicely finished with traditional construction, and the Fischer could have been sculptured and polished by a jeweler.
We get many requests to compare the Monster 88 against other skis; I don’t think we can give a ski a much bigger compliment. What can I say here in different words that I haven’t said in other cage matches? I am running out of accolades and need to consult my thesaurus for ideas. Strong, but not overly demanding. Great grip without being tenacious. The list goes on.
The Fischer Pro MTN 86TI is a different animal. Usually a long-standing company like Fischer stays with tradition and doesn’t waver, but a few years ago Fischer started playing with profiles, specifically tip rise; this is very prevalent in the Pro MTN (and Curv) collection's forebody design. Usually you can get an idea of the way a ski skis by just looking at it and flexing it, but not with the Fischer. It has a long, gradual tip with a sidecut that extends well past the running surface, then goes traditional under the foot to a wide, flared tail that looks like it was stolen from the RC4 race skis. You would think the Pro MTNs would be vague into a turn, then lock in and push their way out of the turn, but this isn't the case. The shape works, and the ski is smooth into a turn. The higher the edge angle, the more the ski gives; the tail just follows and does not push at all.
- Why choose the Monster 88? You don’t like change. (Why would you? Why change what works?) I don’t know of too many skis that are more reliable and predictable than the Monster 88. Smaller skiers should consider the Monster 83, which has the same attributes in a slightly narrower design.
- Why choose the Pro MTN 86TI? Power with finesse. You want to relax on the ski. You like to make short, slalom-like turns. Even being a bit narrower with its gradual tip, it is better off piste and in mixed conditions.