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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    NM
    Posts
    423

    Review: 12/13 4FRNT Hoji

    We're getting good time in on the Hoji in Japan, and are especially impressed with the ski's soft snow performance. Firmer, bumped up terrain remains a bit of a question mark.

    http://blistergearreview.com/gear-re...013-4frnt-hoji
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Der Town
    Posts
    5,806
    This is a repeat from a thread I posted earlier, but seems like it would be appropriate here. I would love to own a pair of 187 for BC skiing with dynafits, and think the 195 would pretty rad for inbounds skiing. I only skied the 187, so I'm really curious what the 195 feels like. Your review confirms my suspicions of how the ski would perform in the soft stuff. I agree that this could be an awesome daily driver for western resorts.

    Some stats about me:
    Ski 100ish days a year, mostly at Stevens pass.
    5'11, 170ish pounds
    22 years old.
    Head raptor 130 rd plug boots.

    I prefer bigger, longer skis but Stevens has tons of tight spots so I like skis that can pivot and slarve. I tend to drive the tips of my skis and stay forward.

    Current quiver is movement trusts in a 186 and super turbos in a 192. Previously I have owned 4frnt ehps, and loved them except in trees with manky or hard snow where I felt a bit shorter radius would be less work.

    I don't like noodley skis like ep pros. I prefer damp over lively.

    I tried the Hoji at ORWM ski demo event up at Solitude.
    The conditions were a real mixed bag, mostly hard bumps with a bit of wind deposit and soft unskied pockets.

    4frnt Hoji 187: medium flex. Full reverse camber. Tons of sidecut taper. 30ish meter radius. Semi sidewall/cap hybrid. Much lighter the ehp. Wow! What an awesome ski. Very nimble at low speeds, easy to pivot and slide. You simply think what you want the ski to do and it does it. First run I dove right into some choppy bumps and had no trouble making gs turns through them. Super stable, no speed limit I could find. I could break the ski free at any point in a turn, but while on edge it actually CARVED turns, verses the vague feel that ehps have. Put the skis through the paces- straightlining bumps, sl and gs turns on wind deposit, carved down groomers, sliding, slarving and having fun in general. Not really anything on substance to air off of without risking life and coreshots, but I imagine these would be stomp machines. Can be skied from the shins, driving the tips or more centered, from the balls of the feet. Playful and nimble, yet very confidence inspiring. I didn't want to give them back!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,308
    Can you tell us about the recommended mount point - how far from the tail and how far back from true centre?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Wasatch Backside
    Posts
    318
    That's about what I expected to read in the powder. I'm looking to make it my every day driver next season (Utah) so I too am very curious how it handles tracked out bumps/hardpack.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    verbier, milan, isla de pascua
    Posts
    4,818
    I'd like to know more about hoji vs the cochise... Hoji for soft snow and cochise for hard snow, is this the bottom line?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by verbier61 View Post
    I'd like to know more about hoji vs the cochise... Hoji for soft snow and cochise for hard snow, is this the bottom line?
    ^^^this^^^

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,308
    When I first heard about the Hoji, I was convinced it was going to be my ski for next year. However, especially after moving the mount 1 cm forward to -5 on my Renegades, I'm not sure I'd want a softer ski of this shape. Reverse camber IMO makes a good ski for ripping open spaces but lacks energy for bouncing around the trees. I think the Renegade accomplishes open spaces ideally while slarving/shutting down speed on a dime. I'd love a narrower version, but not a softer version in this shape. The Hoji sounds like it might make a good touring ski, but I'm liking the stiffness of the Renegade for what it does.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    423
    Quote Originally Posted by verbier61 View Post
    I'd like to know more about hoji vs the cochise... Hoji for soft snow and cochise for hard snow, is this the bottom line?
    Not sure whether this is the bottom line, but I could certainly understand a Cochise / Hoji combo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    423
    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    Can you tell us about the recommended mount point - how far from the tail and how far back from true centre?
    Sure, D(C), just about to head out the door to ski (shocker: it's snowing here again), but will get you some measurements when we get back.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    423
    [QUOTE=Leavenworth Skier;3547859]I would love to own a pair of 187 for BC skiing with dynafits, and think the 195 would pretty rad for inbounds skiing. I only skied the 187, so I'm really curious what the 195 feels like.[QUOTE]

    Thanks for the post, Leavenworth. Jason and I are both curious about the 195, too. Initially, I didn't think I'd have any interest in that length, but I was on the Hoji in deep snow on the first day of the trip here, and I wouldn't have minded more ski in those conditions.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    where the beer flows like wine
    Posts
    2,395
    187 = daily driver

    195 = a little of a powder board

    I can't wait for my 187s to arrive in the fall!
    Big skis from small companies at Backcountry Freeskier

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT USA
    Posts
    368
    Quote Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
    Can you tell us about the recommended mount point - how far from the tail and how far back from true centre?
    Grab our demos, and took some measurements:

    195: Straight pull tip-to-tail is 194cm
    Centerline is 97cm from tail, recommended mount point is 91cm from tail.

    187:: Straight pull tip-to-tail is 185cm
    Centerline is 92.5cm from tail, recommended mount point is 85cm from tail.

    Also, I got out on them for a full day last week, and I have to say that these skis are one of my favorite skis ever. It wasn't even a particularly good day at Alta, but the HOJIs ripped everything in sight, and they fucking rail on groomers once you're up to speed. Almost makes me want to turn in my YLEs for a pair of these.
    Rider driven since '02.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    norcal
    Posts
    1,214
    Surprised you guys aren't putting out 40 pair from the white room with wood sidewalls for sale this year

    Life of a repo man is always intense.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Wasatch Backside
    Posts
    318
    Curious to see if the Blister guys have any updates. We know they killed it in the Ja-Pow, wondering if they've (or anyone else) had a chance to bash em around in the crud yet. Granted I'm sure they again performed beautifully this week since we finally got snow.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    BANFF, at my house
    Posts
    526
    I just had the chance to ski the 187 Hoji for a few runs at SSV yesterday... everything was off for these skis yesterday... 1 cm of dust on crust, super cold temps and my brainiac boyfriend who is supposed to be the best bootfitter in Banff talked me into wearing my foam liners to the hill so I couldn't feel my toes (so you can see I'm all set up for a whiny misery fest!) BUT once I hopped on the Hojis I was happy.

    I had been skiing on a pair of supersoft 186 Lhasapow'z as my daily driver for the past 4-5 years but was informed by my gear manager that they were dead last winter... after an appropriate period of mourning I tested 6 others skis and was unsatisfied with all of them and settled on the Kaslte 108 in a 177 as an adequate quiver killer but not fully happy with them... a bit stiff and still kinda short for deeper snow. I also tested the Rossi S7 in the 179 and while super fun and turny they felt like snowblades for length (and the next size up in that ski feels like a stiff monster). My skiing background is extensive... 20 years in Banff, CSIA level 3 Ski instructor, CSGA level 2 Ski Guide with 6 years working at MWHS in Blue River, retired now and living and working in Banff... I still ski 80 (ish) days a year in Alberta and BC... I consider myself a STRONG (but not always pretty) skier and push my 145 pounds around a bit more aggressively than most 40 year old housewives might.

    Back to the Hoji'z... I was thrilled to feel the same drift control as I had with the Lasapow... the on/off pivot was immediate and super positive (no sense of edge hook up or catchy) with the Hoji. The Hoji turned on a dime but was also happy at speed in somewhat manky conditions... I was able to ski "my" speed and turn size in steeps (where the Kaslte 108 "controlled" my turn size earlier in the because it was unstable and stiff, I didn't feel I could ski as fast as I wanted to without loosing control) where as the Hoji simply stayed stable and solid underfoot and let me ski a larger turn at speed (even in the hard bumpy crap available at the time) (I can see how the larger, taller and more powerful people of the world would need a longer Hoji for a daily driver on hill tho!) I also agree with the comments made previously about being stable at speed on groomers... inevitably there is a groomer at the bottom as you head back to the lift and at SSV below the fun stuff on Standish those groomers are inhabited by plenty of first timers and ski school groups... not a place you want to feel out of control (but also not a place I want to linger in so I tend to zip through as fast as I feel comfortable). The Hojis railed through this zone and felt strong and responsive (in this aspect they exceeded my expectations because the Lhasa supersofts were too soft here and tip flapped enough to alarm me at speed)... the Hojis do not alarm me at all... they just make me giggle!

    SO... the Hoji 187 is definitely on my list for when it comes available for general consumption, The shorter version feels available to smaller strong skiers as a daily driver or as a tight tree ski (tho I feel I would be happy with the 187 at Revi or Fernie in the trees... the pivot is very responsive)... I suspect that this ski will be in high demand for next season in all sizes... the problem in our house will be can we cope with skiing the same ski in different sizes or will Mntlion have to find something else to ride!!!???

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wasatch
    Posts
    4,843
    Can someone explain to 4frnt that this ski needs to be built in the whiteroom with wood sidewalls?
    I know it's good but can it be better?
    4frnt is killing it, skinier renegade
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

    8, 17, 13, 18, 16, 18, 20, 19, 16

    2018/2019 (2/4)

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,665
    I think that hojis are best NOT in the white room.

    why?
    white room skis are built by skiers, NOT by ski makers. Elan makes lots of GREAT skis, and will continue too. Nothing against Eric and Cody, and they are amazing skiers, but are not machinists, engineers etc. They can talk to the builders, and let the pro skiers ski, and let pro ski builders build skis.

    most white room skis have been delayed by 1-4 months for the 2 years that they have tried to make them. Really guys. you have 5-8 months between ski shop bookings and delivery. to make 200+ skis?

    Elan makes things on time (usually) and can make quantity as well. We are all hoping that this ski will be be versatile enough to sell a bunch (mid width, and 3 sizes = great option) and need to make sure they are made on time, and with the same quality. Rens are cool, but all 6 pairs our store had where different flexes and camber. consistency is key

    white room is should be used for R&D and testing, not for the mass markets. If you want something custom, great place for that, but for a lot of people (most people) the hoji is great. lets make LOTS of them, make them all the same, sell lots, and deliver them on time


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    2,604
    Quote Originally Posted by skibee View Post
    I just had the chance to ski the 187 Hoji for a few runs at SSV yesterday... everything was off for these skis yesterday... 1 cm of dust on crust, super cold temps and my brainiac boyfriend who is supposed to be the best bootfitter in Banff talked me into wearing my foam liners to the hill so I couldn't feel my toes (so you can see I'm all set up for a whiny misery fest!) BUT once I hopped on the Hojis I was happy.

    I had been skiing on a pair of supersoft 186 Lhasapow'z as my daily driver for the past 4-5 years but was informed by my gear manager that they were dead last winter... after an appropriate period of mourning I tested 6 others skis and was unsatisfied with all of them and settled on the Kaslte 108 in a 177 as an adequate quiver killer but not fully happy with them... a bit stiff and still kinda short for deeper snow. I also tested the Rossi S7 in the 179 and while super fun and turny they felt like snowblades for length (and the next size up in that ski feels like a stiff monster). My skiing background is extensive... 20 years in Banff, CSIA level 3 Ski instructor, CSGA level 2 Ski Guide with 6 years working at MWHS in Blue River, retired now and living and working in Banff... I still ski 80 (ish) days a year in Alberta and BC... I consider myself a STRONG (but not always pretty) skier and push my 145 pounds around a bit more aggressively than most 40 year old housewives might.

    Back to the Hoji'z... I was thrilled to feel the same drift control as I had with the Lasapow... the on/off pivot was immediate and super positive (no sense of edge hook up or catchy) with the Hoji. The Hoji turned on a dime but was also happy at speed in somewhat manky conditions... I was able to ski "my" speed and turn size in steeps (where the Kaslte 108 "controlled" my turn size earlier in the because it was unstable and stiff, I didn't feel I could ski as fast as I wanted to without loosing control) where as the Hoji simply stayed stable and solid underfoot and let me ski a larger turn at speed (even in the hard bumpy crap available at the time) (I can see how the larger, taller and more powerful people of the world would need a longer Hoji for a daily driver on hill tho!) I also agree with the comments made previously about being stable at speed on groomers... inevitably there is a groomer at the bottom as you head back to the lift and at SSV below the fun stuff on Standish those groomers are inhabited by plenty of first timers and ski school groups... not a place you want to feel out of control (but also not a place I want to linger in so I tend to zip through as fast as I feel comfortable). The Hojis railed through this zone and felt strong and responsive (in this aspect they exceeded my expectations because the Lhasa supersofts were too soft here and tip flapped enough to alarm me at speed)... the Hojis do not alarm me at all... they just make me giggle!

    SO... the Hoji 187 is definitely on my list for when it comes available for general consumption, The shorter version feels available to smaller strong skiers as a daily driver or as a tight tree ski (tho I feel I would be happy with the 187 at Revi or Fernie in the trees... the pivot is very responsive)... I suspect that this ski will be in high demand for next season in all sizes... the problem in our house will be can we cope with skiing the same ski in different sizes or will Mntlion have to find something else to ride!!!???
    Thanks for posting this, probably one of the best ski reviews ever that I have read on TGR. I have a good sense of how I think the Hoji will feel after reading this (and skiing the EHP and Renegades). Hope to get on a pair next season sometime.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Hayden, ID
    Posts
    11
    Got to ride the Hoji yesterday. Fist off I loved it. I am 5' 9" 170 lbs and like skiing fast and not turning a lot. My everyday ski is the 4frnt 193 EHP. I rode the 187 Hoji. The conditions were good in the morning and got better as the day progressed. It rained on the hill the night before but snowed 1" at the base after the rain. I think up top there was more snow. It snowed and was windy all day. At the end of the day the resort reported 3 more inches during operations. All I know is that in wind blown areas we were boot top to knee deep with a lot of face shots. But other areas were dust on crust so I feel like I got a fair overall opinion of the ski.

    My first thought when I put them on was "these are a lot lighter than what I am used to". They were much easier to spin and backflip than my EHP (no suprise there with length difference). The surprise was they were just as stable at high speed. I could still feel confident charging lines that required not checking speed until I hit the runouts. When I hit the runouts I could slarve a turn and dump speed to pull the control back in. When the snow was minimally tracked up I would say this ski could perform those maneuvers just as well as my EHP's or Renegades. In moderately chopped snow they were still great but not as good as the EHP's or renegades. I think this is due to the stiffness of the EHP and renegade vs the Hoji more than anything else. I like stiff skies so if these were a little stiffer I don't think I would mind.

    I was also suprised at how well they stomped 25 foot drops. Super stable and easy to keep balanced with the more forward mounting point. In the deep soft areas they floated better than my EHP's even though they are shorter and a little less under foot. I suppose that comes from the increased reverse camber. That probably also helped the bigger landings as well.

    Lastly when riding the groomers back to the lift they were far superior to my EHP's, and moderately better then the renegade (I think the renegade does pretty well on the groomers). You could really feel the shorter turn radius. They were more snappy coming out of turns than I expected. Only once did they chatter on me and that was when I was scrubbing speed at the bottom of a groomed run at the end of the day when the snow was pretty cruddy.

    Overall I really enjoyed the ski and think 4frnt has made another great ski. I was planning on getting a pair of renegades next year and putting an AT binding on it. This ski does not loose much in stability for what it gains in weight. I am now on the fence between the two.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    NM
    Posts
    423
    Quote Originally Posted by Ice_Coaster View Post
    Curious to see if the Blister guys have any updates. We know they killed it in the Ja-Pow, wondering if they've (or anyone else) had a chance to bash em around in the crud yet. Granted I'm sure they again performed beautifully this week since we finally got snow.
    Updates are definitely coming, great to read the other reviews here, too.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,665
    just got my pair of the 195, Ya, I'm just a little excited to ski them tomorrow....


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    330
    Going to try and grab a pair of these next year in a 187. This ski is exactly what I have been looking for: a smaller-waisted and more versatile renegade that isn't an EHP (no offense to the EHP, it just needed an update). Would like updates as to how people like them in variable BC conditions as well as how they tour, but might have to wait until next winter to get more insight on this. Also not sure if I would put guardians/dukes on these or tech bindings, but ignore me at this point as I am just thinking out loud

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bravo Delta.
    Posts
    6,170
    Duuude...

    Fit a 25.5? I would like to try...

    So lucky.
    Quote Originally Posted by Socialist View Post
    They have socalized healthcare up in canada. The whole country is 100% full of pot smoking pro-athlete alcoholics.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Banff
    Posts
    19,665
    Quote Originally Posted by iscariot View Post
    Duuude...

    Fit a 25.5? I would like to try...

    So lucky.

    maybe .... 296mm. when are you skiing next?


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bravo Delta.
    Posts
    6,170
    Quote Originally Posted by mntlion View Post
    maybe .... 296mm. when are you skiing next?
    I'm away for a while starting in May, so it has to be this week. Gotta see how the week shakes out.

    I'm on 295 bsl.

    Let us know how they performed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Socialist View Post
    They have socalized healthcare up in canada. The whole country is 100% full of pot smoking pro-athlete alcoholics.

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