This post is republished from one of our favourite ski blogs Confessions of a Ski Bum. Original article by Marcus Baranow
Full disclosure, these skis were sent to me for free by Fischer via SkiUphill. This review of the ski was not something Fischer or SkiUphill requested before or after sending me the ski and I am writing it in order to direct people here when they ask my thoughts on the ski. With that out of the way… this ski rules and is quickly becoming my go-to stick regardless of conditions or mission style.
Last season while at Talus Lodge I borrowed a pair of Hannibal 96s from Thomas Grandi on our last day of skiing. Up to that point in the trip I was skiing a pair of 4Frnt Renegades, so a pretty big change to say the least. The ski was light and floated well for a 96 but I did find the flex a little soft, maybe not “snappy” enough? I felt like it was a ski I could use but would fall into the casual use category. A half a year later I got to feel and flex the new Hannibal line and something had changed, these felt much stiffer, especially the 106 model.
I asked Thomas what he thought and he wondered if the 106 was too stiff (which seemed funny coming from an ex-competitive World Cup Giant Slalom skier) but I was looking forward to trying one out. I sent a letter to Fischer to see if I could get my hands on one and soon after I was able to pick up a pair at SkiUphill in Canmore.
Photo By Travis Rousseau
Lightness and Price
The first thing I noticed about the Hannibal 106 was how light it was. The ski comes in at around 1500g per foot, this isn’t all that much more than some of my skis in the 85-95 underfoot range. You can get skis in a 106 coming in around 1300g but it’s going to cost you 50-60% more in most cases. The suggested retail cost for the Hannibal 106 comes in $850.
When I see someone looking at my Hannibal 106s I tell them to pick one up, “wow that’s light”, “ok now feel the flex” – every time I get a look back of near confusion. This ski is stiff for the weight thanks to the wood and carbon construction and the stiffness feels so smooth and perfect when you arc into a turn at high speed. The tail is flat and provides a lot of power out of a turn, jumping over rock bands or even shredding groomers in the resort.
I find people have a problem with stiffer skis in powder, deep backcountry powder even more so, but the early rise on this ski makes this task easy. For me the Hannibal 106 has the perfect amount of early rise. I don’t like skis that “force” or pull you into a turn but with a stiffer ski I do like the nose to float on its own a bit. When cruising around at high speed with the Hannibal 106 I get to enjoy that self floating feeling and when I need to make a fast, sharp turn I can bury the nose a bit to quickly initiate into one. The early rise is precise and predictable, which makes it a weapon I can rely on.
Photo By Travis Rousseau
Speed Is The Key
These skis like to go fast. The first reviews I read said they skied long, fast and that they were “widow makers” in the trees because of it. I first looked at getting the 171cm length as I ski a lot of trees and Rockies trees are what most people call bush. In the end I went with a 178cm length and now disagree with the reviews I read about poor performance in the trees. Do the Hannibal 106s shine at high speed in big open bowls? Yes! Do they suck in tight trees? No, but you do have to be a good tree skier. When used correctly the early rise can create quick, tight turns in the trees. I will admit that my first tree run was a bit of an experiment but now I’m skiing the trees as well as any shorter radius ski that I have.
I sometimes use resort lifts to bump into the backcountry and once and a while I ski inbounds. This season I ended up spending a couple of full days in the resort with visiting friends and decided to take the Hannibal 106. I did not expect this ski to carve like it does, for a backcountry focused ski it’s downright fun on the groomers. When you press into your turn hard the early rise catches and you feel like you could be on a carving ski, (or at least like a backcountry ski bum who forgot what carving skis are like). I’ve skied bumps, chop, groomers and even some mini-park laps with these skis and although there are individual skis that could do each better, this one is pretty solid for everything. If I skied resort more and owned a pair of non-touring bindings, I would consider using a Hannibal for the purpose, but lets get real, who wants to ski resort?
The Ski For Me
I love this ski. Fully opening up on the Hannibal 106, cranking turns at high speed and jumping over small trees is as fun as hell with them. I haven’t touched my other skis since getting them. I’ve skied everything from boiler plate to chest deep backcountry powder and I haven’t had a “ah I wish I was skiing something different” moment yet. If I had to sell all my skis except one pair you would see me on my Hannibal 106s tomorrow with a smile on my face.
Photo By Travis Rousseau
Is This Ski For You?
Do you like to ski fast downhill in the backcountry and are a capable tree skier? Then you’ll love this ski. Are you a solid intermediate to expert skier who likes speed but can only afford 1 setup for backcountry and resort? You can rock this ski and be stoked 99% of the time. Are you a beginner or intermediate skier that gets nervous at high speeds? Then this honestly probably isn’t for you. You can ski the Hannibal at slower speeds but you would be missing the main point of the design and purpose. The Hannibal 106 is a weapon and shines while trying to find the skis limit, to get the most out of them your skiing personality should match. If you would like to know more about the Hannibal 106 please visit https://skiuphill.ca/collections/backcountry-skis-1/products/fischer-hannibal-106 – unfortunately, for some reason, Fischer does not have a page on their website for this ski.