BEST OF winners the MSP CC, RAVEN 4-LOCK and HOJI 4-LOCK
The MSP CC is a very versatile all-mountain ski that rarely feels wildly out of place. The standout feature of this ski is its balance of maneuverability and suspension / stability. It's a well-rounded ski that caters to a lot of skiing styles and skill levels, while still being composed enough to be pushed hard in a variety of conditions and terrain. In sum, the MSP CC is supportive and damp enough to provide a high level of confidence at speed, but it's also willing to slow down and ski more conservatively, making it a particularly good pick for skiers looking to progress skills without worrying about "outgrowing" their ski anytime soon.
Although the Raven has already won our "Best Of" award many times in the past, the latest version with 4FRNT's '4-LOCK' Skin System makes it even more appealing. The 4-LOCK system cuts down on weight and bulk while improving functionality, and we also still just really liek the Raven becasue of how well it skis. It can be pushed very hard, yet it is one of the easiest skis in teis section to ski - so everyone from beginners to experts, take note.
Since its update for the 21/22 season, we've really enjoyed using the HOJI for a variety of lift-accessed and human-powdered skiing, especially when the snow is somewhat soft and the terrain is fairly steep. This latest version is notably more versatile than previous iterations and somehow manages to both float a bit better in deep snow while also being more predictable on firm conditions. In terms of its ability to cater to both dynamic, slashy skiing, and bigger, faster turns, the HOJI is really impressive.
The *NEW* MSP 91, the HOJI, the Devastator and the Raven 4-LOCK all took home the hardwear at this seasons 22/23 Freeskier Buyers Guide.
Overall score: 8.48/10
Full Freeskier Review: "4FRNT’s MSP family gained a little sibling for the 2023 season in the all-new MSP 91, one of the best all-mountain skis this season. Featuring the same hard-charging capabilities and intuitive ride of its bigger brothers and sister, the MSP 91 is made for those who live and die by the chairlift. This ski shines on the resorts surrounding 4FRNT’s home in Burlington, VT, and is ideal for crushing in-bounds laps on groomed slopes. The 91-mm waist is paired with an aspen wood core and reinforced with maple stringers while Titanal laminates ensure it’s a carving machine. And, a tighter turn radius makes quick-pivoting your new favorite thing to do. The energy of this ski just cannot be tamed. “One thing’s for sure,” says tester Phil Maslow, “these things rail on hard snow with a very solid hold through the turn.” Welcome to the fam, MSP 91."
Overall score: 8.22/10
FULL REVIEW: IF FREESKIER TESTERS, A NOTABLY DISCERNING BUNCH, describe a ski as “my favorite for five years running” and “the mountain is yours for the taking,” you can bet it’s pretty good. That’s precisely the case for the 4FRNT Devastator, which strikes a fine balance between eagerly playful and all business. It’s rare to find a ski as balanced as the 4FRNT Devastator. Something equally able to rip big turns as it is being surfy and sassy in powder. This season’s Devastator is a great option for someone who wants to show a little style on their way downhill, no matter what that means to you."
FREESKIER REVIEW: LEGENDARY SKIER ERIC ‘HOJI’ HJORLEIFSON HAS WORKED TIRELESSLY OVER SEVERAL YEARS to sculpt the 4FRNT Hoji into his ski of choice. With the help of 4FRNT’s team of astute engineers, the 4FRNT Hoji has become a trusted ski for many who seek big lines and high speeds. As is featured in several of 4FRNT’s masterpieces, the Hoji uses an aspen/maple core with carbon fiber stringers to strategically place strength and stability throughout the ski, without the weight that similar options add. “Unbelievably stable. Incredible responsiveness. Absolute charger of a ski,” said ski tester and mustached gentleman, Ian Doherty. At 112 mm underfoot, this ski is an ideal balance of stability and float. Built with enough rocker to float in the fresh, yet still maneuverable and stable enough to completely hold up under less favorable conditions, this namesake ski is the one Hoji trusts for his most far-out missions.
Price: $959 (with skins)
Weight: 3654g (184cm)
Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191
FULL REVIEW: YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY: IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT. That’s the general consensus from the cult-like followers of the 4FRNT Raven 4-Lock, a freeride backcountry ski that’s remained largely unchanged since 2016. Designed and put to the test by legendary skier and engineer Eric “Hoji” Hjorleifson, the 104-waisted Raven is like a slimmer, slicier version of the 112-mm Hoji ski, with a schmeary, reverse camber construction that allowed testers to pivot their way through soft snow and variable terrain. For a reverse camber ski, it lays into turns remarkably well thanks to the long sidecut, an impressively stable ride for such a playful, creative ski. Sums up one FREESKIER tester: “World class. Light as a feather and stable as an ox.” While the 4FRNT Raven 4-Lock only sees an updated top sheet for the 2022-23 season, all Ravens will come with 4FRNT’s 4-Lock Skin Integration system, featuring the signature “Hoji Hole” for reliable skin retention.
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."