The Raven is the ultimate blend of uphill efficiency and downhill performance. A smooth rocker profile naturally brings your tips to the surface of fresh snow, so breaking trail on the skin track and floating through fresh powder is easier than ever. When you find yourself in technical terrain, the sidecut and pre-bent rocker shape work in unison to give you maximum effective edge for supreme control. Hoji’s groundbreaking 4-LOCK System guarantees a carefree uphill experience by eliminating frustrating skin failure and excess weight. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and devour untouched terrain, the Raven is the tool for the job!
Graphic by Alexis Marcou.
The 4-Lock™ system consists of an inconspicuous 12x9mm hole through the tail of the ski. By inserting the self-locking skin strap through this hole, the skin becomes locked to the ski, eliminating frustrating skin failure. The calculated placement of the hole reduces the skin length by up to 12% and has zero effect on the downhill performance of the ski. This reduced skin length weighs in at less than 240g per skin and folds up impossibly compact.
Changed the way I ski!
Got these in march after considering them for years. After the first tour I knew I'd only tour on these for rest of the winter and that's what I did. We had an all-time March with a lot of knee-deep days in Lyngen and I chose these over some wider pow skis for those days as well. They stay very maneuverable even inside the snow. Therefore you don't need to be afraid of "tip-dive" with these. In firmer conditions I found the Ravens to have an uncanny characteristic of very smoothly and gradually getting more edge hold when increasing the edge angle. And the edge hold is there, since it's such a straight shape. Some cambered skis develop the edge hold very suddenly, which I don't like, especially in variable conditions. I've skied some traditional and directional skis, but it was very easy to adapt to the more centered style the Ravens prefer. They are very easy to steer, but they don't steer themselves. It is just so easy to manipulate and combine different the turn shapes. Feels like a revelation coming from the traditional wide shovel auto-steering skis. I got these in 190cm, I'm 184cm and around 90kg. I got around 35 days on them and not much wear and tear on them.
Versatile Spring Performer
*Full Disclosure: 4FRNT helped me out big time with a pair of 190cm 4-Lock Ravens after a wildfire destroyed my ski gear, home, and everything else I owned in late 2021. I'm long overdue in providing a review. I've spent ~20 days on these touring primarily in CO spring conditions (shallow pow, hot pow, corn, windpack, etc.). The Ravens are great as an all-arounder or as the shallow snow option in a 2 ski touring quiver. They do well in anything soft/edgeable and are intuitive enough that they've become my go to when I'm not sure what conditions to expect. They'll make any type of turn you want, from GS carves to fall line drifts. Some may prefer a traditionally cambered ski on steep/very firm slopes, but I've found the edge hold to be be adequate there. The long tails are noticeable when conditions get really funky, but no worse, and likely a bit easier to deal with than a cambered ski. I typically ski the longest length available in the Hoji line of skis, but have not found a speed limit on the 190cm, and would go 184cm next time. I'm 6'1 160lb, and spent most days this season on 191 Renegades FWIW. 4-Lock is the best skin system I've used. The skins stay attached even when plunging the tails during kick turns, and the shortened Pomocas are compact and lightweight. Traditional tail clips work just ok in comparison, and I'd prefer 4-Lock on everything going forward. I have to reiterate that the folks at 4FRNT were incredibly generous in helping me get back out skiing during a very difficult time. That's not an especially relevant anecdote for evaluating ski performance, but I can say with confidence that there are rad, kind people behind the scenes at 4FRNT and that's gotta count for something when considering where to spend your money.
The Raven has been a very dependable everyday ski for me. It skis powder surprisingly well for 104 underfoot. I don’t put on bigger skis unless there is more than 8”. The Raven can handle deeper snow just fine, It just needs to be skied very balanced and traditionally then. Trying to slash, air, and make big turns in more than 8” overwhelms it. It is predictable and stable on snow other than powder. I skied two groomer laps on the Raven and it held an edge well and felt stable at speed. Without any camber, you can’t load up the ski and be rocketed into the next turn when you unweight. Turns like that isn’t what the ski is designed for though. The 4-LOCK is rad. I miss it on my other skis. I wish other companies would adopt the 4-LOCK technology. Tail clips rarely ever fall out, when they do it's because I didn’t seat them properly or am doing tail tucks up steep switchbacks. Much more dependable than other skin attachment options. The Raven and 4-Lock have me considering a Hoji or Renegade for deeper days.
Putting the Ravens to work!
These are my daily driver at work. They strike a great balance. Light enough up and super stable and workable in all conditions down. No matter how deep …or janky (photos show the former). Probably 80 days on them so far, but it barely shows. Very well made!
It's my big day ski in Southern MT and the Tetons. Everything aside from bulletproof ice I trust the ravens. Even in bulletproof ice it's duable, just ski with more focus. They're crazy light for how downhill focused they are as well. Size up for a more controlled feel.