Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
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Dec 21, 2015
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So in my never ending quest for the "best"(completely subjective to my preferences) tree ski for stowe that can be skied in anything from 2 feet of dry powder, to wind slab, to mank, to tracked up, to wind slab, and be able to shuttle around on at least powder groomers I think I have finally found it.

The 4frnt Devastator is a Fully Rockered twin tip, that flexes VERY stiff, has fairly straight sidecut(25m) the dimensions for my 184cm Model are 136-108-131cm. They also use a neoprene layer(aka rubber) and the skis are made in Slovenia elan skis and construction is top notch. I am mounted -1.5 from the line with Look P18

So couple things these skis are FULLY rockered, in fact they arent officially called ReflectTech but the sidecut and rocker are the same profile very much like my Hojis or RenegadesIE the Rocker a 25m sidecut, IE if you place the ski perpendicular to each other edge to base the sidecut and base match perfectly.

How does this translate to on snow feel? a bunch of conflicting ideas, This ski is more nimble in any bit of soft snow than anything else I own inculding my Hojis, its more stable on edge on soft packed than anything else I own except for the my superbros, and floats better than my E100, ro El capos. It actually really doesnt feel like anything else I own and I can see some people not liking the full rocker

A low speeds and a flat ski you are basically just on a contact point and the ski pivots like your boots are on a lunch tray, and can steer though any size turn even in viable conditions. Its actually extremely easy to ski at low speeds on basically any condition, even thick spring time powder. The full rocker means that woods skiing become an exercise in how tight of line you can take as you can slarve you way though any shape you desire. It has decent enough float its not amzing float but the skis balance at my -1 mount point, and ability to just really and steering tipping movements and kinda of forget about pressure control is really nice.

Its really comes alive in the woods when the snow is more variable and or tracked but not tracked out. Where a lot of ski will try to hook on people tracks when you try to take alternate lines in the woods, this ski simply will never feel hooky, since you driving it from underfoot and from the tip and tail, its make it hard to go back to more convential ski like a E100 and ski woods on. Where a E93 or E100 start to shine more is when the woods are getting tracked and packed in, buit with any bit of loose snow this your skis, its slighly less quick in untracked snow than the Hoji, but once things are tracked up this ski is superior, IE its better for more resort powder skis east or west IMO.

Groomers - wow, is all I can say. First they are awful running flat and or straight, straight up scary, if your a tail gunner who likes to straight line get something else, but if you can ski on a high edge and give it tip pressure, this ski rails though powder days groomers with easy, and is even pretty good on eastern hardpack, but starts to fall apart on ice(camber does have its place), it also happy on those chundery powder day groomers just going slow and smearing around and due to the rubber in the ski, its doesnt really deflect at all while on tiniest bit of edge. The 25m sidecut seems large but its fully carved turn is actually smaller than the same turn on an E93....4frnt shape has some voodoo going on for sure.

Crud- again super easy to ski, way better than the E100, El Capo or Hoji, doesnt hook, can basically knife though anything, the remind of a more fun, more exciting Katana crossed with a Rossi Sickle. The dampness is unreal, and unlike the hoji it doesnt get kicked around in crud.

The only downside IMO are I wish they made a narrower verison of the same ski like maybe 95mm underfoot so I could use it more days, and this ski is actually very dead and hard to pop off stuff with. Its pretty minor but kinda of weird that twin tipped freestyle ski is better at smashing though crud, than it is popping off mogul and off lips. It also like I said doesnt like to be run flat, running flat at speed though chop feels like death, but being on edge it feels more stable than many other skis. It also chore like in shark finned packed bumps, I tend to like camber in hardpacked bumps.

I would highly recommend this ski to anyone looking for a resort powder ski east or west. This ski is more livable in the east for powder tree skiing than anything else I have found for myself, and the bonus is it actually really good on trail and in crud, much better than many other skis I have tried. It also in some way more accessible than other 100-110 mm skis because of how not technical it can be skied, it does reward tip ping movement, but if you just want to steer though everything and slow speeds it work really well, in fact the dampness helps it here as well. I imagine its going to be great in spring slush as well.
 
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Josh Matta

Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
Pass Pulled
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Posts
4,125
You know how your patrons can feel catchy in thick wet snow, or wind slab? these dont feel like that ever....
 

James

So much better than a pro
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Dec 2, 2015
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How did you determine your mount point? Demo ski/binding?
 
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Josh Matta

Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
Pass Pulled
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Posts
4,125
What’s the added benefit of the twin tip ski when free-skiing?
skiing forward, none, but the rest of the ski so good at skiing that even if you never go backwards Id still recommend it.

How did you determine your mount point? Demo ski/binding?
I did not have much choice......but TGR confirmed that people who like more directional ski generally alike this ski -1 to -2 back, The ski was used and mounted for a P18 at a boot much larger than mine, so I just reused the rear holes which put me at -1.5 and its seem to ski fine. I dont think id like it on the line.
 
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Josh Matta

Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
Pass Pulled
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Posts
4,125

some short clips skiing the devastators in some sticky spring powder snow, alot of the little half turns are to avoid my head from hitting off things, we have so much snow at stowe we are basically skiing in the canopy in places.
 
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Kbat117

Doing snow dances
Skier
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Posts
130
Location
Utah
Amen! I have a pair of 183cm devastators as my daily driver in Utah. Mine are a prototype model that has a smidge of rocker underneath that makes them a little more enjoyable on the firm but otherwise ski identical.

I absolutely love them
 

Quinn Trumbower

I Ski & Know Stuff
Skier
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Posts
16
Location
Wisconsin
Basic ally nailed it on the head Josh! I picked up a pair of these this season as well and it has been my go to ski. One of the most fun/playful skis I have been on in powder and tree skiing. Also getting them on the groomers was shocking the first time when I went to lay into a carve.

This is a great ski!
 

toddmanley

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Posts
47
Thanks for the review! Been thinking of picking these up given I want a fully rockered ski in a shorter model (currently have 203cm Volkl Shiros which are a blast but something in the 190cm's would be ideal for the trees).
 

pause

Booting up
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Joined
Aug 19, 2017
Posts
35
Bump for an under-the-radar ski. This ski is fun, fast and, although very different than most skis, very intuitive. Josh Matta's original review is spot on.

I bought a used pair for my teenager to use as a powder ski. Haven't had good conditions yet this season, so they haven't been skied. Until today. My son had a commitment but our local Mid Atlantic area had been blowing snow for 24 hours. So I snagged his skis for something different and hit the hill early this morning. First, these skis are the 174s, which are smaller than I like for a free-ride ski. My normal rotation is a 165 SL, a 175 cheater GS, a 181 mid-fat and 191 powder boards. First impression was, "wow, these are fun." Super smooth and damp at high edge angle, rediculously easy to shut it down when your googles get slimed by snowmaking in 31.9 degree temps, and way quicker turning in cut up snow/mini-bumps than a 105mm ski should be.

I am a directional skier who likes to drives the front of my skis. When trying to carve a clean line at high speeds, these skis responded fine to forward pressure, but I found better performance if I was willing to shift pressure between forward, neutral, and dare I say a tiny bit of heal pressure, depending on the desired turn shape, edge angle, snow etc, etc. But to me, this was all intuitive, natural feeling and fun to play around with. Now there is almost no rebound out of these things. Of course high speed carves shouldn't be the measure a 105mm ski. That's what God makes SL and GS skis for. But it's good to know you can have fun carving on them anyway.

As the snow set up in heavy mounds, but not quite proper moguls, with temps hovering around freezing, I started to get tossed around a bit at high speeds. The short length probably is the culprit, but I can't say for sure that the full rocker didn't contribute as well. And I'll admit that style of skiing in those conditions is difficult on many skis unless you have legs and core of steel--I do not. Slowing it down and skiing short-radius turns or standard mogul technique was fine, almost easy. I swapped to my 181s (FX95 HP) to compare and they did feel more solid at high speed, medium radius turns in these conditions, but also weren't as quick in the zipper line.

I think a lot of skiers would enjoy this ski. It's accessible for intermediates and seems to be able to be pushed to a very high level at the same time. Looking forward to see what my son thinks as this particular pair is a better fit for his height and weight. And when he gets to ride terrain and snow they are more suited for...two weeks to Tahoe! Terrain, check. Snow, pray.
 

Dougb

Booting up
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Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Posts
18
Location
Alameda, California
I appreciate this latest review. These skis popped up on sale recently and if I hadn’t just made a purchase I probably would’ve grabbed them. On my last trip to Tahoe I talked to someone who absolutely loved them.
 
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