All-Mountain Skis

After Testing 200 Pairs of Skis, I Keep Coming Back to the 4FRNT MSP CC

Unless the powder's thigh-deep, you'll find me on these all-mountain crushers with the pretty top sheet.

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Hi, my name is Jenny, and I have a skiing problem. I have six pairs of skis hanging on my basement wall. In my defense, each of these serves a specific purpose—not one pair goes unskied during any given season. There is, however, one pair that gets used more than all the others: My 4FRNT MSP CC.

I’ve been skiing for 25 years and test skis for a living, which means I’ve been on hundreds of skis. After discovering the 4FRNT MSP CC for the first time at the 2019 SKI Test, I decided right then and there that this was the ski for me—I had found my new daily driver. I haven’t looked back since. Here’s why.

4FRNT MSP CC Overview

I hadn’t even heard of 4FRNT before I first clicked into the MSP CC at the 2019 SKI Test. This indy ski brand founded by Matt Sterbenz in 2002 and sold to Jason Lenvinthal in 2017 flew under the radar for a couple of years and primarily catered to freestyle and freeride skiers. But in 2018 the brand burst onto the mainstream scene in a big way with the introduction of the MSP 99 and its women’s-specific counterpart, the MSP CC.

These skis cleaned up in the Indy category of SKI’s test that year, winning “Best in Test” and “Best Value.” Unlike most mainstream ski brands, 4FRNT sells direct to consumer, which means its skis retail at $100-$200 less than comparable skis on the market.

The good value is certainly a big reason to seriously consider the 4FRNT MSP CC, but the biggest reason is still the performance.

Related: See How the 4FRNT MSP Scored at the 2021 SKI Test

4FRNT MSP CC Specifications

"The 2021 4FRNT MSP CC Women's All-Mountain Ski"
Photo: Courtesy of 4FRNT
  • Available Lengths (cm): 159, 165, 171
  • Dimensions (mm): 132-99-121 (165)
  • Radius (m): 16 (165)
  • Core: Poplar with Titanal laminates
  • Rocker: Moderate tip rocker, minimal tail rocker
  • Key Technology: Contour Core (CC)
  • Price: $629

Featuring a 99mm-waist, the MSP CC fits squarely into the all-mountain category of skis. This waist width, combined with moderate tip rocker and minimal tail rocker, makes the MSP CC a versatile ski, designed to perform equally well on trail and off-piste. A traditional poplar wood core with Titanal laminates ensures the MSP CC has enough weight and torsional rigidity to respond to hard snow surfaces, yet be playful and quick enough to handle bumps, crud, and tight lines.

4FRNT MSP CC Performance Characteristics and Review

  • Not only holds and edge, but loves to carve
  • Sturdy and dependable at speed
  • Extremely responsive, maneuverable, and quick from edge to edge when driven from the front of the ski
  • Enough tip and tail rocker to make turn initiation and smearing easy
  • Versatile enough to tackle the whole mountain and all snow conditions

Here’s why I love ski: I have a racing background and grew up skiing in Europe, where groomer skiing is the name of the game. As such, I’ve always gravitated towards skis—especially all-mountain skis—that not only hold an edge, but come to life when arcing on edge. Despite the wider waist width, the MSP CC loves to carve.

I’m 5’ 5” and ski the 170cm length, and love how sturdy and dependable the MSP CC feels underfoot. It provides plenty of stability at speed without tip chatter and was made for skiing medium- to large-radius turns down the fall line.

Yet despite the beefier core and longer effective edge, the MSP CC is extremely responsive and lively. My biggest pet peeve is skis that feel like dead planks of wood underfoot—skis that don’t respond to your pressure immediately and with gusto.

This ski isn’t dead, it’s very much alive thanks to the poplar core and 4FRNT’s Contour Core (CC). This CC technology is a women’s specific design feature that shifts the thickest and stiffest part of the ski’s core back, since women tend to generate force and drive skis from their hips as opposed to their torso. This allows women to access and drive the front of the ski better, which translates to quicker edge engagement and turn initiation.

The MSP CC’s mix of liveliness and dependability make it a trusty tool off groomers, too. I spend the majority of my ski days at Mt. Crested Butte in Colorado, a mountain famed for its steep, lift-served extreme terrain. You won’t find many open bowls at Crested Butte, but you will find plenty of tight, technical lines. It’s in this type of terrain that the MSP CC really thrives.

Thanks to its manageable 16-meter turn radius and generous shovel, it’s quick to pivot and smear in tight trees, chutes, and bumps. Need to perform some hop turns around the shrubs on Rambo? No problem. Hauling ass after airing out of a mandatory choke in Spellbound? The MSP CC has your back.

So unless it’s a knee-deep powder day, one where you’ll actually get to ski freshies all day long, you’ll find me on the MSP CC. Thanks to its versatile waist width and wide shovel, it floats well enough on any powder days I’ve experienced at the resort in the past three years; and when that powder gets skied off half an hour after first chair, the MSP CC is what you want underfoot.

Which Type of Skier Is the 4FRNT MSP CC Best For?

Taking its construction into account, the MSP CC is designed for strong intermediate skiers. Expert skiers will find this ski supremely dependable and playful in a variety of snow conditions and terrain. Intermediate skiers still working on really learning to drive a ski from their ankles and knees may struggle to get the MSP CC to perform as effortlessly in bumps, off-piste, or in crud; but they should find it confidence-inspiring on groomers. It’s also a ski that will take a motivated intermediate skier to the next level. East Coasters may automatically discount this ski because of its 99mm waist, but that would be a mistake. It rails on hard snow.

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