The Raven 4-LOCK and HOJI CC 4-LOCK win big at this years 22/23 Backcountry Magazine 'Gear Guide'
Price: $959 (with skins)
Weight: 3654g (184cm)
Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191
Full Review: Universally, testers praised the Raven’s dampness, derived in part from its aspen/maple core with carbon stringers, and ability to make versatile turns, which comes from a raised, rocked tip paired with ample sidecut. One tester, who initially wrote them off as being for “the new school chargers out there” changed his mind in soft snow and crud. “Go fast, question your decisions and come out the other side with smiles and confidence,” he said. Another summed them up as “damp, with great edge hold on long-radius turns” and lauded its “nifty skin clip situation.” This nifty system is 4FRNT’s 4-Lock design, which uses a hole in the tail to tension the skin. While testers complimented the feature on the ascent, none made mention of it on the down.
“The ridiculous dampness and spiffiness make them a blast on hardpack. The big tip helps them cut through stuff phenomenally.” —Maria Riek
HOJI CC 4-LOCK
Price: $959 (with skins)
Weight: 3580g (170cm)
Lengths: 170, 177
Full Review: “I didn’t know what powder skiing was until I spent a few days on these,” a shorter Teton-based tester gushed. The younger sibling of 4FRNT’s infamous Hoji ski, the CC (for ContourCore) targets women who still want 4FRNT’s aggressive-yet-surfy turn style. A multiradius rocker complements a zero-camber midsection designed to allow maximum playfulness and just enough edge hold. Inside, an aspen/maple core adds weight while increasing stability. Carbon fiber stringers reduce poundage a bit, but the CC pushed some testers’ touring weight limits. Still, one weight-weenie admitted she would trade out her ultralight gear for these on the next deep day: “They’re worth their weight in powder turns.” “The Hoji CC might not kill my quiver, but they’ve secured a place in the ranks as my go-to powder ski.” Betsy Manero
Winners and reveiws from the Ski Magazine 22/23 Official Gear Guide. Tested in Sun Valley.
Overall score: 7.66/10
Lengths(cm): 159, 165, 171
Pros: Crud Performance, Stability at Speed
Full Review: "This ski has been around for years and is an all-mountain staple. Every season, though, we have a few testers who have never skied the 4FRNT MSP CC, then go home ready to buy it. This year, that tester was Pesce, an experienced hardgoods buyer and skier from the East: “First glance at flex, sidecut, and profile, I thought this was going to be a twitchy, chattery little whip—but boy, was I wrong! Smooth as butter and fun as hell. This ski blew me away!” Those who’ve had the privilege of skiing the MSP CC in years past continue to love it for its stability and dependability, no matter the conditions or terrain. Thanks to a poplar wood core reinforced with a Titanal laminate, this ski is damp without feeling overly stiff or burly, which makes it one of the best for charging crud and manky snow. It also holds an edge nicely on groomers, though it does this better on softer snow than on true boilerplate. One shortcoming: You need some skill and weight to appreciate its greatness. Because it is one of the stiffer, wider skis in the category, petite testers didn’t feel like they could tap into the MSP CC’s energy, and found it a little boring as a result. But stronger, more athletic skiers called the ski one of the best all-rounders in the category for hard-charging women. “Whips around trees easily, is fun in the bumps, and holds up on a rail turn,” said tester Michelle Nicholson, a Jackson Hole local. “Outstanding women’s all-mountain ski that charges the terrain top to bottom.”"
Overall score: 6.87/10
Lengths (cm): 171, 176, 181, 187
Dimensions (mm): 134-99-122
Radius (m): 18m
Pros: Crud performance, Stability at Speed
Full Review: "The 4FRNT MSP 99 begs you to climb aboard and shred the entire mountain as playfully or aggressively as you’d like. The ample sidecut and slight tip rocker allow the ski to pivot quickly and confidently from edge to edge, whether it’s on groomers or off-piste. The 99mm waist strikes a perfect balance between providing everyday ski-ability and offering enough flotation to handle everything outside of the deepest days. Lighter and shorter testers found the MSP 99 to be on the burly side of the spectrum, but taller and heavier testers felt the opposite and enjoyed the ski’s agile and peppy nature. For those who used to find themselves lapping the park, the MSP 99 is great for expanding your view of the mountain, yet it is also a solid option for strong intermediate to advanced skiers who want a versatile, hard-charging ski. “A go-to for all conditions,” said Brady Newton, a tester who calls Snowbird his home mountain. “Could be skied every day at Western resorts, besides on perhaps the deepest powder days.”"
Overall score: 6.66/10
Lengths (cm): 175, 181, 187
Dimensions (mm): 138-107-128
Radius (m): 20m
Pros: Flotation, Crud Performance
Full Review: "Strong skiers who want to ski anything and everything have a good option in the 4FRNT MSP 107. This ski definitely prefers playing in soft snow, though it allows you to push the speed limit with confidence in all conditions. On firm groomed terrain, the MSP still has enough edge hold to allow you to arc turns, but that’s not why you buy a ski that’s got a 107mm waist. When allowed to explore off-piste, this ski powers through the densest crud and breaks up refrozen mank with ease due to its burly construction, but also lets you slash a turn with confidence. It’s geared towards expert skiers, who will immediately be able to unlock the MSP 107’s full potential; strong intermediates may have to work a little harder to tap into this ski’s ability, but even they will find it an approachable and confidence-inspiring all-mountain tool that will help them venture off the beaten path and work on their skills without punishment. “Great do-it-all option for strong skiers who prioritize skiing off-piste,” noted Sexauer."