2023 4FRNT MSP CC Review
Don’t let the pretty top sheet fool you—this all-mountain tool means business, especially in the crud
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This article was first published by SkiMag.com.
The Scores (out of 10)
- Overall Score: 7.66/10
- Rank: #8
- Versatility: 7.6
- Crud Performance: 8.2
- Playfulness: 7
- Responsiveness: 7
- Hard-Snow Integrity: 7.2
- Quickness: 7.8
- Stability at Speed: 8
- Carving: 7.6
- Flotation: 7
- Forgiveness: 6.8
- Price: $729
- Lengths: 159, 165, 171
- Dimensions: 132-99-121
- Radius: 16
- Level: Advanced to Expert
In a Nutshell
- Pros: Crud Performance (#3), Stability at Speed (#4)
- Cons: Forgiveness (#10), Playfulness (#13)
This ski has been around for a number of seasons and is an all-mountain staple at this point. But every year, we have a few testers who have never skied the MSP CC (or any 4FRNT, for that matter) and then go home ready to buy it for themselves. This year, that tester was Avery Pesce, an experienced hardgoods buyer for Boston Ski and Tennis and skier from the East. “I did not expect this ski to be so smooth, balanced, and energetic,” said Pesce. “First glance at flex, sidecut, and profile, I thought this was going to be a twitchy, chattery little whip—but boy, was I wrong. Smooth as butter and fun as hell. This ski blew me away!”
The rest of the test group who’ve had the privilege of skiing the MSP CC in years past continue to love it for its stability and dependability, no matter the snow conditions or the terrain. Thanks to a poplar wood core reinforced with a Titanal laminate, this ski is damp without feeling overly stiff or burly, which makes it one of the best in the all-mountain category for charging crud and manky snow. It also holds an edge nicely on groomers, though testers acknowledge it does this better on softer snow than on true boilerplate.
Most testers describe the MSP CC as smooth, dependable, balanced, and stable, and pointed out that it comes alive at speed and when driven with a firm hand. Not many would call this ski nimble or particularly agile, and testers who gravitate towards a lighter-weight ski for these characteristics found the MSP CC a touch stiff and lifeless.
Therein lies this ski’s one shortcoming: You need some skill and weight to appreciate all of its greatness. Because it is one of the stiffer, wider skis in the category, petite testers didn’t feel like they could tap into the MSP CC’s energy, and found it a little boring as a result. “Hardpack performance is hard to tap into for non-aggressive skiers. It also feels like it lacks energy,” said Ariella Gintzler, an advanced skier and one of our more petite testers.
But the stronger and more aggressive skiers didn’t have this issue and called the ski one of the best all-rounders in the category for hard-charging women. “Whips around trees easily, is fun in the bumps, and holds up on a rail turn,” said Jackson Hole ski patroller Michelle Nicholson. “Outstanding women’s all-mountain ski that charges the terrain top to bottom.” “Floaty and nimble in the trees and responded to my every demand,” added Pesce. “On-piste they hold a turn like a set of Pirelli tires with a smooth release into the next turn. An incredible all-mountain ski I would reach for every time, regardless of the conditions.”
Jenny Wiegand is SKI’s managing editor. Born and raised in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, Jenny grew up exploring the Alps on skis, bikes, and her own two feet. She has since traded in the Alps for the Rockies to seek new trails, new adventures, and write about her favorite sport—skiing—in her new home of Boulder, Colo. Since joining the SKI Magazine editorial team in 2018, Jenny has written and edited stories for SKI’s print and digital outlets. A lifelong skier and former club racer, Jenny is also a self-proclaimed gearhead and puts that knowledge to good use as one of SKI Magazine’s official gear testers.