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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Vancouver Island
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    1,801

    Review: 4frnt hoji

    Yes, there is a thread about this, but thought I would throw out my take on this piece of hardware. Feel free to agree or disagree, this is merely my opinion. No, it is not a personal attack on you if our opinions vary - though I will likely try to sue you and have you fired from whatever dental office you work at/own.

    Me: 180cm and 80kg (that's 5'-11" and 175# for the 'mericans). Skied since I could drink, so you can take my word for it: I'm the best skier on the mountain. Possibly on par with the GSA for style and flare.

    Skis I've had the pleasure of enjoying: 189L120 (spooned), 186 Renegade, 184 LP105, 188 RC112
    Skis I have not enjoyed: whatever skis I sold in the past for any reason other than $$$ shortage

    The ski: 14/15 187 4frnt Hojis w/ inserts for alpine and tech bindings. The construction seems top notch and the top sheet is absolutely beautiful (not sure what happened to Eric's skis this year, but the topsheets aren't for my taste).

    Conditions: anywhere from chunder, to mank, to cascade concrete, to blower, to groomers, to schmoo to ice. So, in the 4 days I've skied them (3 resort, 1 tour) I've had a fair mix.

    Bottom line: these skis kill it. Incredibly easy to ski - even with early season legs - they seem to be hard-wired to your brain; you think it, they respond. The only thing that could hold them back was ability and, as the best skier on the mountain, I obviously didn't encounter such a thing but imagine someone else could. Though they were, at times, overwhelmed by the 40+cm at Whistler this past weekend, I feel this is to be expected from any ski of this width - that may be why they make wider skis these days. The flex seems spot on - only time I found the tips were too soft was when I tried to drive through some chunder, stuck them under 30 odd pounds of mank and did my best to contort in such a way as to kiss my skis (thankfully, my incredibly tight hamstrings managed to prevent that from happening). Groomers and ice were, again, performed on excellently - this came as no real surprise as I feel the Renegade is a ski that performs really well these too, for its width. On ice, when flexed, I found plenty of grip and never felt at a disadvantage compared to my cambered skis. The tails are stiff (enough) and assist greatly in landing drops - just stay centred for best results.

    Touring, I haven't found any negatives - the weight is not abysmal (yes, weight weenies, they are not sub 500g) and I had no problems with traction (yes, purists, they are fully rockered), but no one should buy these without understanding there are some sacrifices for the outstanding performance on the down.

    Overall, this ski has lived up to its billing and between it and my Renegade, I think I have a huge portion of my quiver covered. I look forward to getting out on it plenty more this season.
    "...if you're not doing a double flip cork something, skiing spines in Haines, or doing double flip cork somethings off spines in Haines, you're pretty much just gaping."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Zurich, Switzerland
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    5,637

    Review: 4frnt hoji

    I get you had a few good days on em but... no disadvantages and nothing to dislike about them??? Nice review, but it'd be useful to get more feedback after the honeymoon period wears off.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island
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    Won't disagree with you that reviews require both sides of the coin, and I'll update as things move forward, but I don't write a diary about these things, so just wanted to put my current thoughts down before they were lost in the clutter of my brain.

    Also, I would point out that I mentioned they don't seem suited to 40+cm of snow, aren't light and likely won't handle blue ice well (due to the reverse camber) - but I will admit that that I have, as of yet, to find a huge flaw in them as I don't expect a ski of this size and shape to excel at these things. Again, though, I will update as things move forward and will likely find both more strengths and weaknesses of the skis.
    "...if you're not doing a double flip cork something, skiing spines in Haines, or doing double flip cork somethings off spines in Haines, you're pretty much just gaping."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rossland BC
    Posts
    1,161
    On the basis of hating the Renegades when I tried them, and finding L138s far too specialized, l'd assumed fully rockered skis weren't my thing. But I've since become stoked on the Synapse 109s for touring, and would love to try the Hojis as an inbounds/motoring through the chop/hopping around in the trees to link up the remaining powder stashes sort of ski.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    seatown
    Posts
    3,270
    my only negative comments on the hoji were:

    -dealing w/ rev camber on refrozen skin tracks (I'm tall and uncoordinated)

    -not the burliest if you like to go straight due to lack of coordination or otherwise

    super intuitive ski that is quite easy going and floats really well for its size. I had the first gen I believe.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Chamonix
    Posts
    946
    I skied a friend's 195 original Hoji on a spring resort day. Didn't get on with them anywhere in the morning but liked them when things softened up. I went in expecting them to suck on hard snow, it was the first time I'd been on a reverse camber ski since trying the original Hellbent, and this probably affected how I skied them. My buddy said later that edging them harder than you'd expect made them ski hard snow well, and I've skied Katanas a lot since then whose reverse camber doesn't bother me at all, so I'd like to give the Hoji another shot given the chance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Tahoe
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    1,413
    I F'N love the hoji, and the only thing I disliked about it was the edgehold on straight ice. They werent as good as the katana on ice or refrozen windpacked pow, but better everywhere else.

    However i only had a problem on ice at 200lbs. The year before when i was 180 lbs, they didnt seem to slip as bad.

    I want to ski the new vibeveil 195..
    Last edited by aevergreene; 12-15-2015 at 12:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    682
    It can't all be sunshine?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    seatown
    Posts
    3,270
    only when I fart

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    vancouver
    Posts
    599
    I've loved my first few days on the ski (187s, 5'10'' 160) Easy to pop off small features, quick to turn, stable when you need to go fast in soft snow. A more playful renegade (my favorite ski ever), where you engage with the snow and mountain instead of just blasting through everything. They feel way lighter on my feet than the rens, quicker edge to edge, etc. I guess that is to be expected, but they still love going fast and come alive at speed. The benefit of the hoji/ren is how little feedback the skis give you when you don't want any and how responsive they are when you do engage. The skis do exactly what you want them to do and nothing more.

    Only complaint, or rather, the only drawback to this design has been edge hold when really hauling on harder variable snow. Normally, you can lay them over and they engage nicely, but when the snow is bouncing the tips around the lack of camber comes into play. It gets a little hard to judge how much grip you'll have in one moment from the next. That is the trade off of full reverse though, and not unexpected. They hold their own most of the time and are not a problem on hard pack.

    It is probably also worthwhile to note that these skis respond well to a neutral stance and light feet. If you like to drive your tips and get out over the front of the skis there are better options out there. Both the ren and hoji could be the perfect ski for one person and perfectly mediocre for another depending on style. I could also see bigger guys overpowering the skis a bit in some situations, but I didn't run into any trouble.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    SW Montana
    Posts
    236
    Hoji pondering:

    Me: 5'10" 145lbs. Ski only backcountry here mostly in MT/WY. Mostly soft snow and everything from trees to mountains. Dynafits or the like on all my skis with TLT6Ps. Currently have 177 Coombacks (104 waist) as my quiver of one. For a wider ski I've been on the 177 Huascaran (112 waist) and like em a lot but its time to move on and the Hoji has my attention. Looking to try these and found a pair of 187 women's '14 Hojis for cheap at $300.

    I've never skied a full rockered ski and I'm just not exactly sure what I'm getting into. I get the notion and have read a ton of reviews but just haven't skied on anything the like. Also not sure if the difference in construction that 4front mentions (loosened flex for lighter skiers and core weight moved back ~5cm for driving from hips) really matters a ton for a lighter guy. Anyone dudes skied the women's Hoji? Thoughts? Pull the trigger and mount some Speed Rads on em?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    SW Montana
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    236
    No advice is good advice they say. I've bit the bullet and will report on the results in due time. You mags are slacking… 3 foot in the last week here. Time to shred. I hope you are!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    2,866
    Haven't been in tech talk lately or I would've kicked some thoughts your way. How are you liking em so far? For $300 it was a no braine to try em out!

  14. #14
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    Dec 2006
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    Agrestic
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindahl View Post
    I get you had a few good days on em but... no disadvantages and nothing to dislike about them??? Nice review, but it'd be useful to get more feedback after the honeymoon period wears off.
    Prefaced by the fact that I'm not 1/16 as awesome as Lindahl.

    They fucking suck side stepping with a 4.5 year old in tow up to the lift.

    I need buy a couple pairs as they are perfect for me at Bridger.
    Last edited by concretejungle; 12-25-2015 at 06:03 PM.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2010
    Location
    Vancouver Island
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle View Post
    They fucking suck side stepping with a 4.5 year old in tow up to the lift.
    QFT. This is how I judge all my skis

    Taking my Hojis into the pass and the Rockies over the next week, will report back. Renegades are still killing it, not that that has anything to do with the Hojis.
    "...if you're not doing a double flip cork something, skiing spines in Haines, or doing double flip cork somethings off spines in Haines, you're pretty much just gaping."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Funland
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    1,253
    My buddies had an edge blow out and he broke a chunk out of the plastic piece on the tails, both in less than two weeks of ownership.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    SW Montana
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    236
    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    Haven't been in tech talk lately or I would've kicked some thoughts your way. How are you liking em so far? For $300 it was a no braine to try em out!
    I would still like to hear your thoughts. And my apologies in advance for asking the ubiquitous "what ski to get/what length" question. It mostly stems from a lack of full rockered experience.

    I haven't skied em yet cause, get this, I got em and one ski weighed 170g more than the other(!). 6oz is ridiculous when it comes to mfg's tolerance, so I'm getting an exchange for another pair of 187s. Still haven't got the new pair. Should be here early next week. Also, I may still have the option to get the 179. Although that may defeat the purpose of getting this ski, esp given my current quiver of 177 Coomback 104, and Huascaran 177. My instinct is to go bigger, given that the Hoji W is a softer ski than the OG Hoji. And given the full rocker, is the extra 8cm (3") really that much for my size and bc skiing preference? Again, my thought is no - go big.
    Last edited by truax; 12-26-2015 at 09:03 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    33
    To those thinking about pulling the trigger on these: they may feel very strange to ride your first few days on them, but give it some time and they'll quickly become an all-time favorite. They're one of the only skis I've ridden that have a "learning curve." I've had friends say when they first got on them that it felt kind of like standing on a rocking horse (obviously due to full rocker). The tips also can seem strangely short, especially when landing drops. I've definitely gone over the bars a few times with sloppy airs. That being said, these skis will reward agility like none other. When skied with a centered, balanced, and LATERAL style they’ll bounce back and forth across the fall line, open up to mach speed with predictability, and also shut down on a dime with high speed slarves when the need arises. The best way to figure this ski out is to geek out on Hoji’s style. Watch at 1:40 how laterally he skis (yes I know he’s on the Ren’s) . Since the ski is basically already flexed into its sweet spot (given full rocker & matching sidecut), he bounces laterally back and forth and uses high edge angles to drive the ski, instead of needing to drive the ski heavily from the tip. This doesn’t mean you can tail gun, if you get into the backseat the ski will do nothing help to get you back in the driver’s seat. Light, centered, agile, lateral = magical unicorn ride from the Hoji.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by truax View Post
    I would still like to hear your thoughts. And my apologies in advance for asking the ubiquitous "what ski to get/what length" question. It mostly stems from a lack of full rockered experience.

    I haven't skied em yet cause, get this, I got em and one ski weighed 170g more than the other(!). 6oz is ridiculous when it comes to mfg's tolerance, so I'm getting an exchange for another pair of 187s. Still haven't got the new pair. Should be here early next week. Also, I may still have the option to get the 179. Although that may defeat the purpose of getting this ski, esp given my current quiver of 177 Coomback 104, and Huascaran 177. My instinct is to go bigger, given that the Hoji W is a softer ski than the OG Hoji. And given the full rocker, is the extra 8cm (3") really that much for my size and bc skiing preference? Again, my thought is no - go big.
    Quote Originally Posted by gramboh View Post
    Haven't been in tech talk lately or I would've kicked some thoughts your way. How are you liking em so far? For $300 it was a no braine to try em out!
    So have either of you skied the 187 Hoji W yet? I'm 5'9", 135lbs and also have the 177 Huascarans. Trying to track down a 187 Hoji for cheap; looks like the 14/15 187 Hoji W can be had new for $380 right now. More costly than I'd like but better than $780 for the regular version.
    Last edited by Toddball; 01-05-2017 at 12:45 AM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Vancouver BC
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    2,866
    I haven't sorry, only the 12/13 Hoji 187 with Pilsner graphics.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    363
    My wife has owned the 2015 Hoji and has the 2017 Hoji W. She only notices the reduced weight of the newer Hoji W when skinning. Seems like the downhill performance is similar, although she only uses them for touring so YMMV.

    4Frnt marketing copy says the women's models have the center of the core moved rearward to match a woman's lower center of gravity. Maybe they do, but the rec'd mount point is the same as the men's Hoji.

    4FRNT outlet still has 2015-16 Hojis (mens) in a 179 cm. Use TAKE20 today and they should cost you around $400

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    363
    Hopefully you grabbed the men's 179 cm Hoji at the sub $400 price Toddball. Just checked and they sold them out this evening

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cascades
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    496
    Quote Originally Posted by DGamms View Post
    Hopefully you grabbed the men's 179 cm Hoji at the sub $400 price Toddball. Just checked and they sold them out this evening
    I got the 15/16 men's 187 for $330ish on STP! I snagged the second-to-last pair; looks like they're out of 187s now. Still have 2 179s and 1 195 though for $430 if anyone needs a pair; a 25% off code would bring that down to $330ish.

    Anyone have any feedback on mount point for the 15/16 or 16/17 187 Hojis? The rocker profile is slightly flatter in the tip compared to the 14/15 and earlier. Will probably just mount on the line but would be nice to hear people's thoughts before putting 16 inserts in each ski next week....

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    tetons
    Posts
    6,898
    hello my name is baby bear and I have a problem with buying hoji's

    I tried not to, but I couldn't resist and bought another pair today

    I have all the old school pilsner graphics kind
    plus I wanted to try to ladies version to see if any noticeable differences

    http://giphy.com/gifs/WoYwgrfZP4yw8/html5
    Last edited by b-bear; 01-10-2017 at 03:50 PM.
    skid luxury

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    The Vil
    Posts
    628
    I had my 187 pilsners at +1 and the 195s at plus 2. Im about 400 days deep on the 187s and while they are parn ski soft now and beat to shit i still love the hell outta em and cant yet retire them to wall mounts yet.

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