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Review: 2012 4FRNT Turbo and 2013 4FRNT Cody

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've been keeping an eye out all season for a mid-fattish ski that I could use for soft snow, chopped-up crud, inbounds powder days, and maybe future AT skiing.....if I ever decide to get off my butt and give that a go.  Here's a quick thumbnail take on the ones I've tried so far along with a fuller review of the 2 stand-outs that are the subject of this dual review.

 

I am 5'10, 165 lbs, 47 years old, solid Advanced (High L7/Low L8) who skis 95% of the Mt. comfortably, 4% in "survival" mode, and 1% makes me whimper like a whipped puppy and wet myself.  80% off-piste/20% groomers and so-so aggressive.

Despite different days, conditions were generally 8-16" of fresh, seriously chopped up soft crud, soft groomers, and some very mild crust in places...some mellow bumps here and there.

 

Quick take on others I tried prior to the 2 in the title: 

- Atomic Access, 129.5-100-121.5, 171cm - Mild-mannered, friendly-skiing ski that I liked more than I thought I would.  Did most things pretty well, but nothing that floored me.  It didn't like very thin layers of crust, tho.  Philpug lists it as a "Steal & Deal winner," and I agree.  Good bang for the buck, although it would have to be with the eye-searing lime green!  O-K in powder.  icon14.gif

- Line Prophet 98, 132-98-123, 179cm - Solid ski that felt damp the way I prefer.  Precise.  It felt a weeee bit long for me, so a bit unwieldy in spots.  I probably would have really liked a 174-176 length.  Not quite as nimble as I thought it would be.  

Good in powder.  icon14.gif

- Rossignol S7, 145-115-123, 176cm - Fun, fun, fun!  A tree-slayer!  Great in powder.  Good enough for me in soft crud.  Inspires unwise levels of confidence.  Turns on thought alone!  Still, a bit heavy feeling and "bulky" for my tastes.  A slightly lighter feeling S7 would be perfecto!  Not sure if I liked the tail...  icon14.gif

- Line Influence 105, 141-105-131, 172cm - Me no likey.  It felt damp to the point of being dead.  Unresponsive...for me anyway.  Felt like a tank.  This one was probably too short also.  Floated O-K.  1 run and done.  icon13.gif

- Armada TST, 118-131-102-123, 174cm - Despite the hideous graphics, I fully expected to LOVE this ski!  I Hated it.  Very pronounced Early Rise.  Supposed to have big sweet spot, but I could not find it.  I found it very twitchy, jittery, and nervous skiing.  It certainly made me nervous skiing it!  Each ski wanted to do its own thing.  The only ski I tried that I found confidence-robbing, as opposed to inspiring or neutral.  icon13.gificon13.gif

 

4FRNT Turbo, 129-104-116, 175cm - On impulse, I drove to Whitefish, MT, for 1 day of demoing the TST and the Fat-ypus L-Toro.  Brought the TST back after a mere 3 runs of frustration, and the very cool shop guys at The White Room ski shop in Whitefish suggested I take out the Turbo instead of the L-Toro, which at 182 I thought might be a tad longish for me.  I agreed, but since the Turbo hadn't been on my radar, I was skeptical of it.  I Loved it!  I kept it the rest of the day and never got around to trying the L-Toro, which appears to have a long running length with very mild Early Rise, BTW.  That's just based on a quick look, tho...

The Turbo felt fairly burly and moderately stiff, but I think almost anything would have after just stepping out of the TST!  Early rise is subtle.  It's definitely a smooth and damp ride...like buttah.  It's very comfortable on the groomers and skids without complaint when you need that, but when carving a turn, it prefers 'em mid to long radius.  You can muscle a short-radius turn in, but it'll protest.  I threw in some pivot-slips at one point just to see how it responded, and they were cake.  If I kept to a long-radius arcing turn, they rocketed down groomed runs fairly comfortably.

Most of the afternoon was spent in mildly crusty boot-top-deep very chopped up crud...soft on the inside, firm on the outside.  I found the Turbo to be a crud-crushing machine in these conditions.  It just blasts through it all.  On steeper terrain with variable snow, I have an unfortunate tendency to stem my turn entries just a tad.  It's subtle, and other skis have always ignored it, but the Turbo did NOT like that!  On the plus side, the Turbo forced me to correct it...that day anyway.  Short turns off the groomed are also not its thing.  I wouldn't want to take it into tight trees or long, narrow chutes.  Awesome for more open areas, tho!

The only untracked powder I could find was very low-angle about 12" deep and thus low-speed stuff.  The Turbo floated really well even at very low speeds and whipped turns around here easier than almost anywhere!  Oddly, this was the only place I found it to be truly nimble, where most skis likely wouldn't be.  Had I not been looking for a more nimble ride overall that would be great for the tree-skiing at my local hill, I would have bought a pair on the spot.  Had they had them available at a good price, I might have anyway.  A rock-solid, smooth, powerful-feeling ski.  icon14.gificon14.gif

 

4FRNT Cody, 126-100-122, 179cm - 2013 model - Back home and after a 13" overnight dump, I called a local shop to see what they had.  I told them I liked the Turbo but was looking for something a little more nimble.  The guy said he just got something in but would have to check with the Rep to see if he could send it out.  10 minutes later, he called back and told me to come get the all new 2013 4FRNT Cody.  I would be the 1st non-shop person to demo it!  He referred to it as a "Turbo Lite."

He's absolutely right, and it's a Rock Star!!!  I had it all day and it did whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted, and whenever I wanted it.  It's the funnest ski I have skied EVER!  I just thought about going somewhere, and that's where it would go.  I was skiing super-tight and technical lines through tight trees and rocks that I wouldn't touch on my own skis, yet doing so without hesitation.  They reminded me of a lighter-feeling S7.

It snowed another 7" throughout the day on top of the 13" overnight dump, so I never had a chance to test them out on firm groomers....Drat.  Groomers were coated with a velvety layer of several inches of new snow all day.  I heard them scrape once for a millisecond on the WROD that divides our 2 main bowls, and they handled that split-second of firmness fine....wink.gif.  Very good in the soft cut-up chop.  

It's a semi-cap ski with moderate Early Rise and a 1/2-twin or kick-tail, but I noticed when I picked it up that the bindings appeared to be mounted pretty far forward.  So, I don't guess it was a coincidence that my one and only quibble with the Codys is that they had more tip-dive than I would've expected.  I was riding back a bit to compensate.  When I get them, I'll mount the bindings back a bit to help fix that one issue.  The shop says I can't buy them until September....Drat again!  I'm now on their pre-order list.  Inspires insane confidence!  Best overall ski I've ever skied.  icon14.gificon14.gificon14.gif

 

The funny thing is that 4FRNT wasn't even on my radar 2 weeks ago, and I'm now an unabashed 4FRNT fan....bordering on Fanatic.  

As an aside, if anyone is ever in the Whitefish, MT, area, The White Room ski shop cannot be beat.  The guys there are clearly skiers who just happen to run a shop.  They're very cool, very nice, helpful, and appear to truly want to get you on the gear that's best for you.  Wish they were closer.

Sorry this, my very 1st review, is so long, but I hope somebody finds it somewhat useful... 

  

post #2 of 15

This was an awesome review. I've been looking at almost every ski that you've been able to demo and was leaning toward the Cody for sure. Definitely think this review is pushing me in that direction.

post #3 of 15

To anyone who has skied the Codys i have a chance to get a pair of either Codys or Volkl Mantras pretty cheap. Cannot find to many reviews online for the Codys. Any advice???

 
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm4731 View Post

To anyone who has skied the Codys i have a chance to get a pair of either Codys or Volkl Mantras pretty cheap. Cannot find to many reviews online for the Codys. Any advice???

 

Wow, they're two very, very different skis.

If you want an uber-stiff and burly ski that will crush variable conditions, get the Mantra.

If you want a lighter feeling, easier, and quicker ski with a MUCH softer flex that will be more fun in soft snow, get the Cody.  The new Cody is 10% stiffer than last year's model, but it still won't be nearly the bruiser that the Mantra is.

 

The Mantra will need to be driven more than the Cody.  It just depends on what you want.

post #5 of 15

I was set on the Cody but hearing it was soo soft makes worried on other reviews some said on groomers the tail washes out. It would be the 2012-2013 softer model. I also do like the fact it can turn quick. On the other hand I have heard pretty good things all around about the Mantra but just dont know if im ready for this stiff of a ski. 

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm4731 View Post

I was set on the Cody but hearing it was soo soft makes worried on other reviews some said on groomers the tail washes out. It would be the 2012-2013 softer model. I also do like the fact it can turn quick. On the other hand I have heard pretty good things all around about the Mantra but just dont know if im ready for this stiff of a ski. 

 

The Mantra is definitely going to do better on groomers, but that isn't what I bought the Cody for.

The day I demoed the Cody just happened to be perfect conditions for it - It had snowed a foot 2 nights before, which had settled some and snowed 7" throughout the demo day...so 6-8" of fresh, lightish snow on a really soft base.  That's why I bought 'em on the spot.  In those conditions or similar, the Cody is laugh-out-loud fun...much more so than the Mantra.  It's when the snow gets dense or crusty that the Mantra overtakes the Cody.

 

That said, I've rocketed along groomers at pretty high speed and found the Cody can handle it as long as you're paying attention...but I'm not generally a high-speed skier.  Heavy and dense snow is no friend of the Cody, either.  The soft tips fold up in heavy mank.  The Mantra's won't.

 

Despite that, I skied them about 80% of the time last season and only cursed them a few times.  I'm getting a stiffer powder ski this year...but I'm keeping the Codys.

The Mantra needs to be driven; the Cody can be ridden...The Cody will be more forgiving...The Mantra will be more stable.  The Cody will be more fun in its element, which is not too dense soft snow no more than 8" or so deep.  The Mantra will be more capable in a much wider range of variable conditions.

 

It's all depends on your priorities.

post #7 of 15

Thank you very much for the advice. That is very helpful I like skiing fast and really want a stable ski. I think i will go with the Mantras thanks again for your knowledge of both skis.

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm4731 View Post

Thank you very much for the advice. That is very helpful I like skiing fast and really want a stable ski. I think i will go with the Mantras thanks again for your knowledge of both skis.
Ah, ya shoulda said you were a fast and aggressive skir!
Yep, you'll be happier with the Mantra.
post #9 of 15

So i went to this event to get the Mantras. They were the 2010 model. I thought they were going to be the 2012-2013... But i scored them for $150 and Rossignol Axial2 140 bindings for $195 all brand new gear. However this was not the exact ski i wanted. Ive heard still a very good ski but it does have a skinnier waist at 96 instead of the 2012-2013 98 waist and also no tip rocker like the newer mantras. Think this will do alright for me i am trying to save money so i couldnt pass up Mantras at $150.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm4731 View Post

Think this will do alright for me i am trying to save money so i couldnt pass up Mantras at $150.

 

If you like to ski hard, you'll like 'em.

The full camber means they won't be nearly as much fun when the snow gets deep...although certainly still more than capable of handling it...but they won't have a speed limit on the groomers, and they'll absolutely slash through crud, which is what most of us ski most of the time anyway.

 

You already got them (for a sweet price), so don't over-think it.  Just go ski the hell out of 'em and have fun!

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skierish View Post

 

I am 5'10, 165 lbs, 47 years old, solid Advanced (High L7/Low L8) who skis 95% of the Mt. comfortably,

 

- Armada TST, 118-131-102-123, 174cm - Despite the hideous graphics, I fully expected to LOVE this ski!  I Hated it.  Very pronounced Early Rise.  Supposed to have big sweet spot, but I could not find it.  I found it very twitchy, jittery, and nervous skiing.  It certainly made me nervous skiing it!  Each ski wanted to do its own thing.  The only ski I tried that I found confidence-robbing, as opposed to inspiring or neutral.  icon13.gificon13.gif

 

4FRNT Turbo, 129-104-116, 175cm -  Brought the TST back after a mere 3 runs of frustration, and the very cool shop guys at The White Room ski shop in Whitefish suggested I take out the Turbo instead

  

For people looking at skiing skis like the TST that have a lot of tip rocker, look at the actual running length of the ski that will be making contact with the snow.  The OP and I are both 5'10".  His first mistake was trying the TST in the 174.  Jeebus, I had the 183 and it was like skiing a 168 ski on hard packed snow (pretty twitchy unless up on an edge) but was great in powder, as then the full 183cm was being used.  I sold my 183's and bought the 192 as a resort, light powder day ski.  The 192 on packed snow is much more do-able, but I would still rather be on a normal camber 179-185 ski on firm snow.  It is a blast in mixed conditions, that start out as powder (up to 12" before I put on the Automatics) but that get tracked out quickly and just leave you soft leftovers.  The OP needed to be on a longer ski from my experience.  YRMVwink.gif

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

His first mistake was trying the TST in the 174. 

 

 

Thanks for the tutorial.

Of course, I demo what the place has available.  IAC, I seriously doubt it would have made a difference.  Not everyone likes the same ski.  Something about YMMV and all....

post #13 of 15

^^^Sorry, I really like what the TST has to offer and don't want anyone looking at a heavily tip rockered ski to make the same error you did.  And ask any girl, size matterswink.gif

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liv2 ski View Post

^^^Sorry, I really like what the TST has to offer and don't want anyone looking at a heavily tip rockered ski to make the same error you did.  And ask any girl, size matterswink.gif

 

How exactly is taking out a demo ski in the only size they had an error?  One can usually extrapolate how another size will perform...usually.  

I guess I could have asked the shop to drill and mount a pair of 183's for just me to demo, but it didn't occur to me.  Drat.

What I thought of that ski is my opinion, not an error.  Also, conditions were very mildly crusty chopped up crud, not hardpack.  The Turbos I tried the same day killed it!

 

We clearly don't like the same kind of skis, as I also hate the Automatic based on a demo of a 186 last season.  I'm not criticizing your ski preferences, though.  It's all good, just different, as in YRMV and all...  I agree that whenever possible, people should try skis for themselves, but reviews are just one person's opinion.  Most skiers love the TST, but a few of us don't.  So what?

 

Yes, I know girls find that size matters.  They've told me so throughout my whole adult life...right before they dumped me.  frown.gif

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm4731 View Post

To anyone who has skied the Codys i have a chance to get a pair of either Codys or Volkl Mantras pretty cheap. Cannot find to many reviews online for the Codys. Any advice???

 

I bought a pair of Codys early last year in 179. It really depends on the type of skiing that you're going to do. I also have a pair of Mantras (2008) before they added the front rocker. I really have to say that once I got on my Cody's I took my Mantras out for a single day (after a thaw with some exposed rock) because I didn't want to ruin my Codys. They really are a very enjoyable ski but definitely less quick edge to edge. They can smear turns better and are better in trees, although I haven't skied the newer Mantras. The Mantras are more of that one ski quiver GS skewed ski whereas the Codys were just more fun IMHO. Although slower edge to edge once up they really railed and I had a hard time finding their speed limit.

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