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2012-2013 4FRNT Turbo

Ski: 2012-2013 4FRNT Turbo, 189cm 4frnt turbo

Dimensions (mm): 134-108-126

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 186.3cm

Turn Radius: 28 meters

Weight Per Ski: 5.0 lbs.

Boots / Bindings: Nordica Enforcer / 4FRNT Deadbolt / (DIN) 13

Mount Location: Factory Recommended

Test Location: Alta Ski Area

Days Skied: 10

(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 11/12 Turbo, which is unchanged for 12/13, except for the graphics.)

The 4FRNT Turbo is a ski I’d been interested in checking out for some time now. From what I had read on the 4FRNT website, its slight tip and tail rocker, combined with a little camber underfoot and a 108mm waist, seemed like the perfect Alta non-powder day, all-mountain tool.

After lining things up with 4FRNT, I took a cruise down to their SLC headquarters and factory store (if you are in the area, I highly recommend checking it out) and took a pair of the 189s from their demo fleet.

Upon initial inspection, a couple of things jumped out at me: the Turbo had significantly less camber than I had expected, and it was clear that this particular pair of skis had seen some pretty heavy use. Whether or not the minimal camber is related to the fact that these skis haven’t merely been sitting in a window as display items, I can’t really say, but the lack of camber is something to keep in mind as you read this review.

January was still pretty dry (for Utah standards) and windy, but fortunately Mother Nature did grace us with some fresh snow throughout the month, which kept the mountain skiing well most of the time.

My first couple of days on the Turbo were on pretty firm snow—some places may have even been considered icy by many West Coasters. After coming off the 18-meter turning radius of the DPS Wailer 99, the first thing I noticed was the 28-meter radius of the Turbo.

Carving down the groomers as fast as I could off the Collins chair yielded long, smooth GS turns, and the skis felt extremely calm, so calm that they often left me wishing for a little more energy from turn to turn. The Turbos offer enough torsional rigidity to hold a decent edge to carve on the slickest spots as long as you are driving the ski aggressively.

My next move was to get the Turbo into steeper off-piste terrain and trees, which I did, lapping Fred’s Trees and heading out the Mid Traverse to West Rustler, Lone Pine, and High Rustler. Still on very firm snow, I found the skis to be enjoyable, but still at times wished for a bit more energy out of the ski from turn to turn. Flying down through Fred’s, I was able to change turn shapes and sizes as needed, ranging from medium-radius smears to rapid-fire mogul turns.

While the skis felt fairly quick, they did require a little extra work from side to side. If I wanted to take a little break and get a little extra energy out of the ski, I would hunt down a little bump or roll that I could use to load and release the skis a touch more, which would help toss the skis into the next turn with a little more snap.

Jason Hutchins, 4FRNT Turbo, Alta.

Jason Hutchins on the 4FRNT Turbo, Alta Ski Area.

Moving across the mountain and into the more open terrain, I was able to let the Turbo loose and carve down the mixed bag of snow conditions I encountered. At high speeds and variable but firm snow, I began to find comfort in the dampness of the Turbo. Flying down High Rustler smearing long-radius turns through a variety of wind buff was pretty uneventful, which is exactly what you want when a fall could send you tomahawking to the cat track below.

Then, as I tried to set railroad tracks down the wind scoured and bumped up West Rustler, the Turbo offered a calm and predictable ride with no surprises. The skis don’t feel like one constructed with metal, but the combination of a relatively long sidecut, and lack of energy, actually made for a quiet and comfortable ride, even at eye-watering speeds.

2 Comments

  1. Brendan December 18, 2012 Reply

    Nice write up of the Turbo’s. Have you had a chance to ride the Cody’s. I’m out on the East Coast and thinking that the Cody might be a little better suited for an everyday ski for me due to the smaller waist. Mostly doing my skiing in the trees when I can and when it gets iced up I’d just bring out my fully cambered Mantras.

    • Author
      Jason December 24, 2012 Reply

      Brendan,
      I haven’t had a chance to ride the Cody’s yet, but I am looking forward to it. Without riding the ski obviously I can’t say too much. Just looking at the 4FRNT website I noticed the Cody has a shorter effective edge length compared to the Turbo. This looks to be caused by the less traditional sidecut profile, and more tip and tail rocker splay.
      I have found the edge contact length to be more important on firm conditions than a few millimeters underfoot. Having more edge in contact with the snow surface translates to better edge hold, more consitancy, and increased stability. Without riding the Cody I can’t say I’d recommend it over the Turbo, but I would keep effective edge length in mind when choosing any ski for the East Coast.

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