4FRNT Key 95 2016-17 Review by A Better Ski
The 4FRNT Kye 95 may be designed by the same Kye Petersen as the Kye 120 but there couldn’t be a more different ski out there. The 95 is a cambered lightweight ski with shape and reverse sidecut making this a great option for our uphill oriented crowd.
2016-17 4FRNT Kye 95 Ski Review
Conditions: Hard Pack, Soft Groomers, Soft Chop, Powder
Boots: Scarpa Maestrale RS
Bindings: Dynafit Radical ST 2.0
Ski Personality: The 4FRNT Kye 95 is an all mountain ski, perfect one ski for someone from east of the Mississippi or an uphill oriented westerner.
On the Snow Feel: Characterized by lots of camber underfoot, rocketed tip and tail with reverse sidecut, make this ski feel a little short, if you are in-between sizes, we suggest that you go up rather then down. Poppy, springy turns with lots of vibrance from edge to edge.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The 4FRNT Kye 95 his a solid on piste carver, the skis effective carving edge is shorter then it appears due to the reverse sidecut. Lots of camber over the entire effective edge help with the edge hold and confidence while building energy to release the turn. Quickness on this mid waisted ski is impressive and the release is smooth and easy with the turned up tail. Carving small, medium and large radius turns is easy and intuitive requiring far less effort then the 4FRNT Raven.
Speed: 4FRNT made the Kye 95 pretty lightweight for its size but they did not make the ski overly soft or noodle like. No tip slap was experienced at speed and the confidence was impressive allowing you to push a bit harder then you might normally ski.
Powder: Lets face it, 95mm underfoot would hardly classify as a POW ski, but the Kye 95 was surprisingly fun! It really got you down low on shallow days and allowed you to ride deep in the new snow. The same tail that helped release on groomers was also advantageous in soft snow as well. At 6’ tall, and 200lbs, I would have liked to ski the 187cm Kye 95, and with that a little extra length and 99mm underfoot would have been a welcome addition in deep snow. I really liked the low swing weight as it helped with quick turns skiing the Kye 95 through tight trees
Uneven/Variable Terrain: There was a small amount of deflection when skiing the 4FRNT Kye 95 through chop, it wasn’t unbearable or hard to ski, but was noticeable, as you would expect from a lightweight ski.
Edge Hold: Impressive! The Kye 95 was able to dig deep into hard, and even icy surfaces, giving me the confidence to lay the ski over and trust it will still be there.
Flex: Paulownia cores have been proven to be strong and light. The 4FRNT Kye 95 has a even moderate flex pattern. Expect that if you add a framed touring binding like the Marker F12 or other that you will have a quite a bit less flex underfoot.
Touring: This is a bread and butter touring ski, something that I think that an uphilll oriented traveler would really enjoy in all conditions. Short ski for jump turns and kick turns, large enough tips for powder skiing, and confident edge hold for early morning spring pursuits. At a respectable but not super light 1800g, this wouldn’t leave you hating what’s hanging off your feet while going up. Square tails give plenty of purchase for skins without sliding off of the tails like many rounded twin tips.
Overall: The 4FRNT Kye 95 is the perfect ski for a traditional style skier that still values camber on piste and also enjoys getting in soft snow when it comes. Size up unless you LOVE kick-turning, and you’ll be happy with the little extra float that you receive. Strap on touring bindings and this will be a backcountry ski for everyday, good at everything but lacks at the extreme conditions.
Review by Chris