The 2016 4FRNT Gaucho has been updated with a touch more stiffness and slightly less weight. However, we found there really wasn’t a big difference in performance between either year. This was one of our favorite skis for the 2014/2015 season, and with the minor tweaks, the ski was still very impressive all over the mountain. The 4FRNT Gaucho really impressed us with its easy turn initiation and approachable ride, while also being a hard charging all-mountain ripper. The Gaucho is about as close as you get to a quiver of one ski. It’s capable of some serious speed, but also has a relaxed and easy going feeling that anyone can ski.
2016 4FRNT Gaucho On Mountain Video Ski Review
2015 and 2016 4FRNT Gaucho On Mountain Ski Review
Riders: Matt and Brian
Conditions: Soft Snow (5”), Crud, Groomers, Hard Pack, Bumps
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAAttack 13
Ski Personality: The Gaucho is a versatile all-mountain charger
On the Snow Feel: With a damp wood core, and traditional camber underfoot, the 4FRNT Gaucho feels stable when on the groomers and hard pack snow. The Gaucho also has a good amount of tip and tail rocker. This allows for a playful and buttery ride in the soft snow and powder. When on edge, the ski feels very responsive, reacting to your movement with very little input. This can make the ski feel a bit more locked in when on edge. However, the ski is also very forgiving, and allows the rider to skid turns when necessary.
Powder: The 4FRNT Gaucho doesn’t have the float of a dedicated powder ski, but it still offers a good amount of maneuverability and playfulness in the deeper snow. We never felt we had to lean too far back when riding in the powder. Although the ski has a damp wood core, with two sheets of titanal, it doesn’t feel heavy or sluggish. The flex feels fine for riding in the powder, and the tip and tail taper help to keep the ski maneuverable. At 100mm underfoot (102mm in the 186cm), the Gaucho won’t be your go-to powder ski, but it offers enough float and playfulness to be fun in the deep snow.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The 4FRNT Gaucho was one of the most responsive skis we’ve ridden over the last two seasons. The tapered tip and tail work with the rocker profile and side-cut to engage the edge as soon as you lean the ski over. This allows the ski to initiate a turn with a low edge angle and very limited input. Often skis require some speed before you can get them to turn, but as soon as you ski off the lift you’ll notice how responsive the Gaucho is. As you gain speed, and lean into the edges more, you’re treated to a lively, poppy ride. The tapered tail helps to release you from your turn earlier while the camber underfoot helps you to transition to your next turn with power and pop. The 2016 Guacho has been stiffened by about 10%, but I didn’t feel as if it was a super stiff beast of a ski. Most of the stiffness seems to be torsional, and less so longitudinally. This means that the Guacho will give you better edge hold and power, without compromising forgiveness. As with the 2015 Gaucho, we found the ski to be forgiving, while still very lively, and powerful out of turns. We love that the ski is approachable, and yet still capable of railing high speed turns down the mountain.
Speed: If going fast is your thing, the 4FRNT Gaucho won’t disappoint. It’s built with a beefy ash and beech core that offers good dampening properties on its own. Add in several layers of fiberglass, and two layers of titanal, and you have a ski that is built for bombing the frontside. We found them to be very fun in short to medium radius turns, but you can also open them up for a fast and smooth ride down the mountain.
Uneven Terrain: The 4FRNT Gaucho has a beefy construction with a forgiving flex. Combine that with a good amount of tip and tail rocker, and you have a ski that can handle the variable conditions really well. We found we could ski the Gaucho is soft crud with confidence, while still having a ton of fun. The damp properties of the 4FRNT Gaucho help keep you from bouncing all over the place, while the big tip and beefy construction help you to blast through the crud. Finally the tapered and rockered tip helps to keep things maneuverable and easy to turn, allowing you to avoid obstacles or scrub speed when things get too choppy. It’s a fantastic mix of blast through anything attitude, and easy going maneuverability.
Moguls: The Gaucho is responsive and maneuverable. This is a great combination for a mogul ski. I really enjoyed how easy it was to make tight turns. The 4FRNT Guacho was even more fun in the trees. There the ski is maneuverable and nimble, while still being able to handle the crud and chop very well.
Edge Hold: The 4FRNT Gaucho is a torsionally stiff ski. This allows the ski to be forgiving, while still giving great edge hold. In the soft snow, the edge hold was fantastic. It always felt solid underfoot. However, the Gaucho has a pretty significant amount of taper in the tip and tail. This brings the contact points closer to the middle of the ski. This sometimes reduces the overall length of the effective edge, leading to less edge hold. However, the Gaucho still felt solid and predictable on the hard snow. When leaning into the ski and putting them on a high edge angle, the ski felt quite solid and stable.
Flex: The 4FRNT Gaucho has a pretty beefy construction with a dense wood core laminated with fiberglass and titanal, but it still has a surprisingly forgiving flex. I never felt like the ski was too much to handle, but at the same time the ski could withstand a heavier skier with a more aggressive style.
Switch: The Gaucho is a directional twin tip ski that is easy to ride or land switch, but may not be great if that’s all you want to do.
Jumps and Park: The 4FRNT Gaucho had some pretty decent pop and offers some pretty decent dampening, but it’s a pretty stiff ski. I wouldn’t use the Gaucho as a park ski, but if someone mounted it with a good shock absorbing binding, and used a good park boot, I could see this being a fun ski for the occasional lap in the park.
The 4FRNT Gaucho is a really great ski. It’s easy to turn and quite forgiving. At the same time it’s a ski that is maneuverable, lively, and super damp. Beginners will love its forgiving, easy going attitude, while experts will love its responsiveness, liveliness, and dampness. This is a ski that can rip the frontside. It’s capable of a fast, damp, and stable ride, while still being fun, lively, and playful when you want it to be. It doesn’t have the greatest float in the powder, but it’s still playful and fun. This ski is definitely a great quiver of one type of ski, for those who like to do it all. Sure you sacrifice a bit in the powder, or park, but it offers a great option for those who like to go fast in variable conditions, or carve down the frontside groomers. We would definitely recommend the 4FRNT Gaucho for a wide variety of skiers.