Maxwrote a review of 4FRNT Skis Renegade Ski on April 9, 2015
Never written a review before but this ski deserves one. I was heading back to AK this year after skiing Haines in 2010. This time it was the Northern Chugach with Silverton Mountain Guides. I grew up in the Alps, so I am more used to ski steep alpine lines but I live and skied in the US/Canada for the past few years. My typical weapon of choice is the JJ. when I hit BC for cat skiing or something I take a Magic J. The latter I brought to AK but I wanted to bring a second ski just in case. Something a little stiffer, more directional, long radius. So my buddy recommended the Renegades. He sells them in his shop (sells JJ etc too).
Initially I was skeptical due to the full rocker profile. I haven't skied a full rockered ski since the Armada ARG which skied like a banana (a fun one though but ski technology definitely moved on since). First thing you notice, the ski is beautiful. Just having it in your hands tells you instantly that this is a piece of craftsmanship. It's stiff for sure but not a plank. It looks and feels heavy but we put it on a scale in the shop and it was actually lighter than the 2014/2015 JJ.
The season started slow for me. No pow on Christmas in the alps. So the only time I could take the Rens out was for two days in Jackson in January with questionable snowpack. First day was sidecountry with high avi risk. They skied fun but couldn't open them up really. But it was instantly clear that the full rocker profile didn't feel odd as I initially feared. Second day was touring the Teton pass (yes I know, heavy setup, I have beasts on them). Avi risk increased to high so again, very mellow runs and not much vert. Again, they felt good, surfy feel, but couldn't tell much other than they seem to work in the trees as well. I like the JJs for tree skiing and woudl probably still prefer tehm at this point but need to spend more time on the Rens to say.
Then I took them to AK. And boy are they good!
The Chugach isn't particularly blessed with snow this year. Snowpack is variable, mostly firm pow with rare deep pow and also occasional hardpack. I skied the Rens on the first day and man were they fun. Then I took the magic Js out the next and instantly regretted. The magic Js where chattery and I got pushed around, skiable but definitely more work. But the rens were just fun. Tight couloirs, check. Dropping the occasional cliff into a 45 degree chute and the need for a quick turn, check. Going Mach 1 on long steep lines, check. Most importantly, they are confidence inspiring. I injured my ankle this year and thus couldn't drop anything big. I don't know how the Renegades would perform in this case but can't wait to find out.
I plan to go again next year and I might just get a second pair of renegades and leave everything else at home.