2018-2019 4FRNT MSP 99

Blister reviews the 4FRNT MSP 99

4FRNT MSP 99

Ski: 2018-2019 4RNT MSP 99, 181 cm

Available Lengths: 171, 176, 181, 187 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 180.1 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2050 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1998 & 2044 grams

Stated Dimensions: 134-99-122 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 134.1-98.5-121.6 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 18.0 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 56 mm / 18 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~4 mm

Core: Poplar + Titanal (2-layer) + Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Sintered Carbon

Factory Recommended Mount Point: – 8.25 cm from center; 81.7 cm from tail

Intro

When 4FRNT launched as a company in 2003, the MSP (named after 4FRNT founder, Matt Sterbenz) was one of their original models. Then for the 17/18 season, they brought the MSP name back, but updated the ski to reflect the many changes in ski design that have occurred since 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” was topping the charts. (Remember 50 Cent? Anyone?)

And now for 18/19, 4FRNT is expanding the MSP line to two skis — the MSP 99 (which is the same ski as the 17/18 MSP) and the wider, all-new MSP 107.

We spent time on both skis this past season, and today we’re taking a closer look at the MSP 99 to see where it fits into the increasingly-diverse category of ~100mm all-mountain skis.

What 4FRNT says about the MSP 99

“The MSP is a resort ski built for frontside crushing from the East to West coasts. A poplar core, camber with rocker, and Titanal semi-cap construction, these skis are smooth and damp, especially in variable conditions. Countering the smooth, easy feeling tip, the MSP gets significantly stiffer toward the tail.”

4FRNT is labeling the MSP 99 as a frontside ski. And while its waist width and rocker profile seem like they should make it perform pretty well in that arena, the MSP 99 definitely looks like it falls more in line with the many ~100mm all-mountain skis currently on the market. I.e., this doesn’t look like a ski that you should only bring out for ripping corduroy.

They’re also talking about how smooth and damp the MSP 99 is. But this ski is a bit lighter than some of our favorite all-mountain chargers, so the question is “How stable?” And this talk about the MSP 99’s flex pattern getting “significantly stiffer toward the tail” also brings about the question of how demanding vs. forgiving the MSP 99 feels.

Shape / Rocker Profile

There’s nothing particularly unusual going on with the MSP 99’s shape or rocker profile.

The MSP 99’s shape looks a bit like the Nordica Enforcer 100 — a touch of tip and tail taper, but nothing out of the ordinary for a modern, ~100mm all-mountain ski.

The MSP 99’s rocker profile is also pretty average / standard for a ski in this category, though its tip and tail splay are a bit lower than what we’d normally expect out of a 99mm-wide ski from 4FRNT.

In other words, we don’t expect any of the MSP 99’s noteworthy performance characteristics to stem from its rocker profile or shape.

Flex Pattern

Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the MSP 99:

Tips: 6.5
Shovels: 7-8
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5 – 9.5
Underfoot: 9 or 9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 8.5
Tails: 8-9

In line with 4FRNT’s description, the MSP 99 has pretty soft tips, but its flex then ramps up smoothly through the midsection and tail. (The stiffest part of the ski is right under / around the toe piece of the binding, not at the boot center mark.)

The 181 cm MSP 99’s flex pattern reminds us a lot of the 185 cm Nordica Enforcer 100 (a ski that we very much like), though the MSP 99 is a touch stiffer than the Enforcer 100 in the shovels and behind the heel piece. But the Enforcer 100 exhibits more snap / rebound in its shovels compared to the MSP 99.

One of our favorite aspects of the Enforcer 100 is its blend of stability and forgiveness, so given their similar flex patterns, this is definitely something we’re curious about with the MSP 99.

Weight

Lately, it seems like the “Weight” sections of our First Looks start with something like, “Whoa, this ski is so much lighter than anything else in its class!”

And while the MSP 99 is on the lighter side of the ~100mm all-mountain ski category, it’s not crazy light. (Thank you, 4FRNT, for not making us write the same thing again.)

For reference, below are a few of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for a few notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.

1734 & 1750 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm (18/19)
1896 & 1919 Dynastar Legend X96, 186 cm (17/18, 18/19)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 189 cm (18/19)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2007 & 2029 Armada Invictus 99 Ti, 187 cm (18/19)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19)
2053 & 2057 Atomic Vantage 97 Ti, 188 cm (18/19)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (17/18, 18/19)
2373 & 2397 Head Monster 98, 184 cm (17/18)

So the MSP 99 is around 100-200 grams lighter than some of the other dual-metal-laminate skis like the Blizzard Bonafide and Enforcer 100. But the MSP 99 still isn’t some superlight 50/50 ski, and that makes a whole lot of sense since 4FRNT says it’s actually supposed to feel damp and smooth in variable snow.

Bottom Line (For Now)

4FRNT says the MSP 99 is a modern version of one of their original shapes. And based on its specs, we think that’s pretty accurate — this ski looks like a lot of our favorite all-mountain skis. Blister members can check out our Flash Review for our initial on-snow impressions, but while we compile our full review, feel free to add any questions or things you’d like us to address in the comment section below.

Flash Review: 4FRNT MSP 99

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the MSP 99.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

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