Cage Match Comparison 2018 Head Monster 88 vs 2018 Fischer Pro MTN 86 TI

Philpug

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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.
 

Tom K.

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Thanks @Philpug. Two skis on my radar, but with our lack of snow, I'm starting to read about next spring's mtbs already!

Things have to change here in the PNW. We are NOT living up to our derogatory nickname of the Pacific Moist West.
 

Eric W

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Demoed a few skis last weekend in the Catskills. Packed powder, stuck to the groomers. Fischer Pro Mtn was my favorite of the day. Just picked up a pair for a great deal in 175cm. Very lightweight, snappy and lively. Best carver of the day in the skis I demoed 84mm-90 range.
 

Wilhelmson

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I liked the pro mtn a lot, but I'm having trouble finding the sweet spot between the very agile 86s and the heavier wider skis. Haven't tried the monsters yet but I can't hold out forever. I'm tending towards the more off piste oriented but decent on ice - bonafide or fx95hp which are on sale. Thinking that the kastles might be a little quicker.
 

cantunamunch

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I liked the pro mtn a lot, but I'm having trouble finding the sweet spot between the very agile 86s and the heavier wider skis. Haven't tried the monsters yet but I can't hold out forever. I'm tending towards the more off piste oriented but decent on ice - bonafide or fx95hp which are on sale. Thinking that the kastles might be a little quicker.
I'm sorry - I am sure I don't understand - are you looking for a) a ski to bridge the gap or b) are you trying to reconcile the changes your own skiing when you move from one to the other?

I thought it was (a) because of the last two sentences but then there's the bit about the monsters which doesn't seem to follow unless you wanted a ski to use burly moves on??
 

Coach13

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I’m going to own one of these 2 skis real soon and have been reading reviews here and other places. Leaning towards to 86ti as I’m hoping it will have the same smooth, light ski feel with a lot of energy like I’ve experienced with other Fischer skis. Having owned the Head im77 and the im82, I’d expect the Monster 88 to be more of a damp ski with a little less energy than the 86ti but a bulldozer in chopped up snow.

I’d love to hear more opinions of folks familiar with both skis.
 

Kendall slay

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I've owned the Monster 88 a few years back and have done a few demo's on the 19 Monster and I now own the Pro Mtn 86, 182, 5'11 195lbs. IMO the Monsters is very very damp, a little heavier and a little more work, Pro Mtn 86 it's a little quicker, carve performance is great, it will allow you to dance it tight spots and you can ski it at any speed and yes it goes thru the chop and I've had them in a little slush recently and they handled well, jump off to the sides and they don't twitch at all, but this is coming from someone who's daily driver is Motive 95 but I'm putting them to the side for local use, so I kind of have a bias to Fischer, you don't have to be on them all the time.
 

skibob

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I’m going to own one of these 2 skis real soon and have been reading reviews here and other places. Leaning towards to 86ti as I’m hoping it will have the same smooth, light ski feel with a lot of energy like I’ve experienced with other Fischer skis. Having owned the Head im77 and the im82, I’d expect the Monster 88 to be more of a damp ski with a little less energy than the 86ti but a bulldozer in chopped up snow.

I’d love to hear more opinions of folks familiar with both skis.
About right. I think "bulldozer" is an overstatemnet. But you seem to have a very good grasp of the differences.
 
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