Price US $659

4FRNT Devastator Ski Review

4FRNT Devastator 2016 Review by A Better Ski

With a name like the 4FRNT Devastator, it’s hard not to imagine a ski that destroys variable terrain and conditions. That’s not too far off from what the Devastator is, but before you start picturing another one-dimensional ski that’s built for just blasting through everything, let me say that the Devastator is that and so much more. The 4FRNT Devastator is one of the best mid-fat all-mountain skis that we’ve tested. It has a hard charging attitude, and blends in an easy going personality. It’s a ski that can do it all, and do it all pretty darn well. It’s a ski that loves speed, likes to charge, but isn’t demanding at all. For those who think the Cochise is a bit too much ski to handle, but love the charger attitude, the Devastator might be your ski.

2016 4FRNT Devastator On Mountain Video Ski Review

2016 4FRNT Devastator On Mountain Ski Review

 

Size: 184cm

Days: 1

Riders: Matt

Conditions: Hard Pack, Soft Groomers, Soft Chop, Wind-blown Crud

Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120

Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13

Ski Personality: The Devastator is a playful and surfy charger

On the Snow Feel:  The 4FRNT Devastator has that semi-stable feel that is damp in a large variety of conditions. At the same time it’s quite maneuverable and easy to pivot. It’s a moderately beefy ski, but never felt like too much. It skis big, but is surprisingly easy to handle.

Powder: The 4FRNT Devastator comes in a 194cm, 184cm, 174cm, and 164cm. Each of which get consecutively skinnier. The 194cm is 111mm at the waist, while the 164cm is quite a bit skinnier at 102mm underfoot. I bring this up because it seems that length (and width) would relate to how well the ski would float in powder. I had the chance to test out the Devastator in the 184cm length. This ski is 108mm underfoot, and I will talk to how well I think that particular ski would do in the deeper snow. At 108mm underfoot, the 184cm Devastator falls into the mid-fat category of skis. When hand flexing the ski it feels moderately stiff with quite a bit of bend in the tip and tail. The Devastator also has a full reverse camber profile with a fairly moderate rise. Overall, the shape is relatively traditional. It doesn’t have an overly dramatic wide taper in tip and tail. While I haven’t had a chance to test the Devastator in snow deeper than a couple inches, I would suspect it would be decent in deeper snow. I didn’t find the ski particularly playful or surfy, but it is surprisingly maneuverable for a beefier ski. It does have a full rocker profile that will also keep it from being catchy or hooky. While it may not be a great ski in deep snow, it would probably offer decent float and maneuverability. It probably wouldn’t replace my powder specific ski. However, if you don’t need or want a powder specific ski in the quiver, it may be a nice compromise.  Those looking for a more surfy powder ski would be better off looking at the 4FRNT Hoji.

Turn Initiation and Carving: The 4FRNT Devastator is 108mm underfoot (184cm). It is definitely not going to be you’re go-to ski on groomers and hard pack. However, it does have some surprisingly good edge hold. I felt very confident speeding down the frontside groomers of Loveland ski area, and didn’t hesitate taking the Devastator on firm to hard snow. I found the ski to be very fun on the groomers. I didn’t find it super lively, but when you get going fast and lean it on edge it can lay some pretty deep trenches. The ski has a large turn radius of 25m and doesn’t necessarily like short or quick turns at speed. However, the ski is actually surprisingly maneuverable and easy to pivot. In steep tight chutes it’s possible to swing the ski around quickly, but it does take a bit of work.  Even at slower speeds, the ski was relatively responsive. It’s definitely happier at speed though. If you like making long radius turns and leaving deep trenches in the snow, the Devastator will be a good ski for you.

Speed: The 4FRNT Devastator is a ski that really likes speed. It hardly mattered what type of terrain I took them on. They just wanted to run. I was slightly worried that the full rocker profile would feel loose or squirrely on flat terrain, but I never got much of that “rocker” feeling. When flat, the ski does feel slightly loose (not overly so). However, as soon as you lean them on edge they feel quite locked in. This allows you to speed down groomers or uneven terrain with confidence. The ski is quite predictable, and never felt hooky. The 2015/2016 model also features 4FRNT’s new VibeVail technology. This “elastic” material helps to absorb negative vibrations, and keep things from chattering or vibrating. This provides an exceptionally smooth ride at speed. The 4FRNT Devastator is a seriously stable ski at speed.

Uneven/Variable Terrain: The 4FRNT Devastator is a relatively beefy ski. It does a great job eating up variable terrain. It has a nice wide and stable base that feels crazy damp when skiing soft chop. It also holds up pretty well when things firm up. The Devastator has a pretty even flex that is predictable. I never really felt surprised by anything I encountered. The VibeVail tech keeps things very damp, and the full reverse camber keeps the ski maneuverable and hook free. They are relatively heavy, so you’re not going to bounce over the piles of crud. Still there’s no need to when a ski blasts through as well as this. The best part is that although these skis are tanks, they don’t feel extremely heavy or demanding. They are still easy to maneuver and break free when needed. This is the perfect combination for lighter or smaller skiers like me. I still want to rip hard in variable terrain, but want a ski that doesn’t need to be muscled around at all times.

Edge Hold:  The 4FRNT Devastator has surprisingly good edge hold for such a wide ski. I wouldn’t call it a carving ski, but when you get it going fast and lay it on edge it has no problem laying some pretty deep trenches. It’s probably not going to be great on ice, but it is much better on firm snow than I expected.

Flex: The 4FRNT Devastator is a pretty beefy ski, but it doesn’t feel too overly stiff. One of the biggest turn-offs for me are skis that are too burly. They often feel sluggish and hard to maneuver. The 4FRNT Devastator is a beefy ski, but it feels relatively easy to ski.

I feel the 4FRNT Devastator is most at home skiing big open terrain. They are so much fun to let run. They are not super lively or quick from edge to edge, but they have surprisingly good edge hold. They are also surprisingly maneuverable for a beefy ski. I wouldn’t call them playful, but they are easy to pivot in tight spots. They are also easy to shut down when you need to. They aren’t great in deep snow, but capable enough to have some fun when the snow piles up. When you encounter crud and chop, you’ll have no problem bashing through. If you’re looking for a ski that is stable at speed, and yet surprisingly maneuverable, definitely check out the 4FRNT Devastator. It’s a beefy and powerful all mountain charger that is surprisingly easy to ski all over the mountain.

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Approx. Weight

Feels Normal

Skier Level

Advanced - Expert

Ski Style

All-Mountain

Ski Width

Wide

Ski Shape

Directional Twin

Camber Profile

Full Rocker

Core Material

Ash, Beech, VibeVeil

Turning Radius

25m

Manufactured in

On Snow Feel

Semi-Stable

Turn Initiation

Moderate

Flex

Medium/Stiff

Edge Hold

Hard Snow

Versatility

High

Playfulness

Moderate

Powder

Great

Carving

Good

Speed

Great

Uneven Terrain

Excellent

Switch

Average

Moguls

Good

Trees

Great

Jumps

Good

Jibbing

Poor

Pipe

Poor