Photography by : Yasuyuki Shimanuki
The Debut In Japan
During the snowiest months of Japan's notorious winter season, Matt Sterbenz packed up the new MSP 107 prototypes and dove chest deep into product testing for 4FRNT's new all mountain fatty.
The first round of samples for the new MSP 107 arrived in the 4FRNT office with testers eager to get on Matt Sterbenz's newest creation. With a trip to Japan on the horizon for late January, the timing for testing this new fatter version of the classic MSP couldn't have been any more convenient. The fresh prototypes were mounted, bags were packed, and Japan was on Matt's mind.
After arriving in Tokyo, Matt boarded a domestic flight and went north to the island of Hokaido. Hanazono Resort, known for deep snow and consistent refills, was the first stop for the MSP 107's debut test. Let's just say Hanazono lived up to every rumor we had heard, delivering a fresh blanket of Japan's finest. With the recent storm amounting to over six feet, the resort had kept many of their sidecountry zones closed for safety purposes. These closures kept all the goods preserved and dying to be indulged upon. Matt and crew from Black Diamond Shimokitazawa Pro Shop were some of the first to show up at Hanazono that morning, and reeped the benefits of the early morning sidecountry bounty.
The MSP 107 product test went better than most initial tests typically go. Stoke was high, snow was deep, and other tracks were minimal. Cranking out laps, Matt and company dialed in opinions on the new MSP 107 while launching pillows, trenching pow turns, and poping over Japanese birch trees. Although Japan was epic and the ski delivered a heck of a ride, Matt knew there's always room for improvement and the MSP 107 could be even better. At the end of the day, decisions were made to increase the early rise in the tip to provide the ski a bit more float in off-piste fluff. Next, Matt wanted to make the ski a bit less stiff to allow for a more playful feel on the mountain. This years release of the MSP 107 has all of us at 4FRNT, from Japan to Salt Lake City, stoked to get out and shred on this new all-mountain masterpeice!