2018-2019 Fischer RC4 The Curv

Ski: 2018-2019 Fischer RC4 The Curv, 178 cm

Available Lengths: 164,171,178,185 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 176.6 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2100 g

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (with binding plates): 2489 & 2498 g

Stated Dimensions: 120-74-104 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 119.5-73.5-103 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 18 m

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 43 mm / 4-5 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3-4 mm

Core Construction: Beech + Titanal (2 Layers) + Carbon Fiber Laminate

Base: Fischer’s “World Cup Base”

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -10.9 cm from center; 77.4 cm from tail

Reviewer: 5’10”, 180 lbs

Boots / Bindings: A whole bunch of boots / Fischer RC4 Z13 Freeflex bindings

Test Locations: Crested Butte, CO; Taos Ski Valley, NM; Telluride & A-Basin, CO

Days Skied: ~60-70 total

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 Curv, which was not changed for 17/18 or 18/19, apart from graphics.]

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Fischer RC4 The Curv for Blister
Fischer RC4 The Curv
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Review Navigation:  Specs //  First Look //  Full Review //  Bottom Line

Intro

We’ve been talking about The Curv for several years now, and have awarded it multiple “Best Of” awards. So we’re going to keep this fairly brief, but we wanted to get a full writeup of The Curv up on the site, because we still think that it is one of the best frontside skis out there.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Fischer RC4 The Curv for Blister
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Fischer RC4 The Curv, Crested Butte, CO.

What we said about The Curv in our 18/19 Winter Buyer’s Guide:

For the 3rd straight year, the RC4’s combination of power, smoothness, stability, and quickness makes it one of our favorite carvers for high intermediates to experts. It has a very stiff tail that finishes turns powerfully, but it is not a demanding ski that punishes slight mistakes. It is smooth. And not only does it love to make GS turns, but it is also comfortable making shorter, quicker turns, too. We also didn’t mind it in slushy moguls or on chalky, off-piste terrain — it feels similarly versatile in moguls and off-piste terrain as the Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti. But while both skis are smooth, The Curv gives back a bit more energy, while the Speedzone 12 absorbs a bit more energy. (There is no right or wrong here, it’s just a different feel / matter of personal preference.)

Shape / Rocker Profile

The Curv’s shape and rocker profile are well within the realm of most strong frontside carvers. But to draw out a few comparisons, we’ll make mention of a frontside ski that we reviewed last week, the K2 Super Charger.

Compared to the Super Charger, The Curv has much narrower shovel & tip (6.2 mm narrower). The Super Charger has a stiffer tip, and while the tip splay of the two skis is almost identical, the Super Charger has the deeper tip rocker line. That’s kind of interesting; in theory, I like the idea of a stiffer tip / shovel + deeper tip rocker with extremely subtle splay. That combination should make turn initiation a bit easier. Fischer tries to accomplish something similar by going with a softer tip, since The Curv has hardly any tip rocker. Basically, this is a different way to skin a cat, though these two very good skis have a different on-snow feel.

We’ll be posting full rocker pics of the Curv very soon.

Flex Pattern – RC4 The Curv

Might as well keep this comparison going. Here are the flex patterns of the two skis.

Tips: 7-7.5
Shovels: 8-8.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Underfoot: 9.5/10
Behind Heel Piece: 9
Tails: 9-9.5

Flex Pattern – K2 Super Charger

Tips: 8-8.5
Shovels: 9-9.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5
Underfoot: 9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 9-9.5
Tails: 10

The tails of the Super Charger are a bit (but noticeably) stiffer than The Curv. And the tips of The Curv are very noticeably softer.

Weight

For reference, here are a few of our measured weights (per ski, in grams) for some notable skis. As always, keep in mind the length differences to keep things apples-to-apples.

1647 & 1708 Liberty V76, 179 cm (18/19)
1777 & 1792 Liberty V82, 179 cm (18/19)
1936 & 1942 Head Monster 83 Ti, 177 cm (18/19)
2077 & 2092 K2 Ikonic 84 Ti, 177 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2166 & 2167 Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti, 182 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2279 & 2299 Head Supershape i.Rally, 177 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2317 & 2323 K2 Super Charger, 175 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2320 & 2359 Head Supershape i.Titan, 177 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2336 & 2350 Fischer RC4 The Curv GT, 175 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2414 & 2516 Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed Pro, 180 cm (17/18–18/19)*
2489 & 2498 Fischer RC4 The Curv, 178 cm (16/17–18/19)*

*includes weight of binding plates

On-Snow Performance

I really want to just reiterate and perhaps expand a little bit on what we wrote in our Buyer’s Guide. So here is that copy again, with just a bit more commentary:

For the 3rd straight year, the RC4’s combination of power, smoothness, stability, and quickness makes it one of our favorite carvers for high intermediates to experts.

Yep, getting back on this ski again at Crested Butte reinforced all of this again. The Curv — at least in the 178 cm length we have been skiing over the past few years — doesn’t have a best-in-class top end, but its top end is very, very good.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Fischer RC4 The Curv for Blister
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Fischer RC4 The Curv, Crested Butte, CO.

It has a very stiff tail that finishes turns powerfully, but it is not a demanding ski that punishes slight mistakes.

Yet another notable feature: The Curv is powerful, it is precise, but it is less demanding than we were anticipating.

It is smooth.

And isn’t it interesting that the heaviest frontside ski we’ve reviewed is a ski that (before we ever weighed it) we kept highlighting how “smooth” the ski is? Weird. (Cough.)

And not only does it love to make GS turns, it is comfortable making shorter, quicker turns, too.

This versatility in terms of turn shapes is where The Curv really starts to differentiate itself from other powerful frontside carvers. So whether you are skiing at an area that has pretty short pitches, or whether you frequently get to ski down the longest, widest groomers in the world, The Curv will rarely feel out of place. (Though if you ski at a place with very short runs, sizing down is almost certainly the right call.)

We also didn’t mind it in slushy moguls or on chalky, off-piste terrain — it feels similarly versatile in moguls and off-piste terrain as the Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti.

Last week I was following Blister reviewer Luke Koppa over to Lower Keystone, a groomed run at Crested Butte, but Luke decided to cut down Upper Smith Hill instead, which is a double-fall line, semi-bumped-up run under the Red Lady chairlift instead, and I followed him. If you’ve been reading our reviews for a while, I am no fan of taking frontside skis off-piste. They tend to be skinny enough and heavy enough to punch down into off-piste snow, which is a pretty good way for a ski to get stuck in a turn and then cause you to wrench your knee — which is something I’m not trying to do.

Conditions were firm enough, though, that after a few tentative turns, I had fun carving my way through the moguls and the off-piste terrain. Again, I’m not trying to sell you here on the off-piste capabilities of this or any traditional skinny carver, but if that’s your thing, you can do worse than The Curv. (Or the Dynastar Speedzone 12 Ti.)

But while both skis are smooth, The Curv gives back a bit more energy, while the Speedzone 12 absorbs a bit more energy. (There is no right or wrong here, it’s just a different feel / matter of personal preference.)

The last attribute of The Curv that we’ll highlight is that it is a pretty energetic ski. Its slightly softer shovels make the ski easy to bend and easy to load up the ski. And the harder you bend it, the more energy you will get back out of the turn.

Bottom Line

The Fischer RC4 The Curv is a very high-performance, very well-rounded frontside ski, and there is nothing that we’d change about it. Those who want the fastest, strongest ski out there might want to consider something else. And those who want a ski that carves better at very slow speeds may want something else. But advanced and expert skiers who want a bit more versatility and a beautiful on-piste ride will not be disappointed.

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16 comments on “2018-2019 Fischer RC4 The Curv”

  1. I have the Ranger 102 FR (love it). Looking for an additional narrower ski for when the snow is firm or icy and not new, that will be majority groomers but *can* be taken off piste. Am I looking for a Curv, Brahma, something else, or it doesn’t exist? Live on west coast and expert.

    • I wouldn’t recommend something as narrow as the Curv for ‘some’ off piste. I recommend something in the 80/90mm underfoot range, such as the Brahma for a primary groomer, some off piste. If your coming from a 102 free ride ski, you’ll feel like your a ski racer on something 88mm wide and with a more groomer oriented shape and construction.

    • Hey Jeff, the boys at Blister will probably have a better point of view but I have ridden both and I think you are more Brahma than Curv. It is the “can go off piste” bit …. I wouldn’t personally go for something sub 80mm if I had any real intention of heading off the side. I had a pair of 84mm Dynastars once and they carved pretty hard on piste. Sure, not as quick as a 70mm ski but a LOT better off piste. Something like the sadly departed Salomon X Drive 80 would be a good shout. Just my two cents.

    • If only groomers, the Curv or something with a similar waist width would be rad. For mostly skiing groomers, and *some* off-piste I would strongly recommend something wider than the Curv, like the Brahma, between 85-90mm. The 88mm waist width range (like the Brahma) with the firm snow, on-piste construction and shape will rip the groomers, and some firm off-piste, and feel like a very different ski than your Ranger 102 FR.

    • Hi, Jeff – you’re getting some pretty good advice from the collective here — thanks everybody for the perspectives. My own take is that the answer is really going to come down to what compromises you want to make. If you truly want this ski to shine on icy groomers, then I would think about The Curv or the K2 Ikonic 84 Ti. And the more you want your carver to work pretty well off-piste, then I’d go Ikonic 84 Ti.
      But the more you *actually* are going to want your skinnier ski to really truly shine off piste (this is one of those Know Thyself moments) … that’s where the Brahma comes in. It does not carve on very hard snow as well as something like The Curv or the Ikonic 84 Ti, but again, The Curv and Ikonic 84 Ti can’t touch the Brahma’s off-piste versatility and performance.

      • thanks everyone! super helpful. hard to line up demos for any of these never mind all them, especially in the right conditions. But these comments go a long way.

            • Hey Peter
              I’m not sure how helpful ill be about the Ikonic 84ti but ill try.
              I re-read the blister review after skiing it and their line about it being the most all mountain oriented of those narrower carvers is an excellent way to sum it up from my experience.
              I skied about 35 days this season mainly at squaw, utah, banff. I learned this season that personally I really never have a desire to be on a ski narrower than my ranger 102’s, so im going to be selling my ikonics that i only skied 2.5 days. Thats in no way to say its a bad ski tho. I was able to demo the enforcer 88 and brahma (87 waist i think) as a narrower ski reference, and the ikonic clearly carved quite a bit better. On the other hand, those skis were clearly better in softer conditions and off-piste. I didnt get the ikonics on ice so im not sure how theyd perform, certainly better than my rangers and the enforcer 88 and brahma tho.
              I could definitely see how someone whose favorite thing is carving groomers who is willing to sacrifice a little top speed performance to make venturing off trail MUCH more tolerable, would really like the ikonics. There are faster skis, better carvers (allegedly such as the RC4), but I think those you just simply wouldnt ever take off trail, where the ikonics were not bad through trees and such – they’ve got a really good balance of those 3 things.
              For reference im 170cm tall, 145 lbs, expert skier, 31yo, on 170cm ikonics and might have liked longer ikonics more but not sure.

  2. Thanks for the review. What’s the difference between the Curv and the Curv GT? Seems like it might just be shape, GT being the short-turn radius sibling of the Curv. But is there any difference in construction? And at what point would you jump to more of a race ski like the Rebel iSpeed Pro? Lastly, how tall are you guys skiing the 178s?

  3. And I’m looking for a hard charging energetic carver and mogul ski that will not be taken off east coast piste. 6’4 200lbs. Thoughts?

  4. I have been eyeing the curve for several years now as an East coast front side ski that can be taken in Moguls and glades. I think it sounds like it would work well. On the west coast, maybe not so well off piste. I really love my Rossi slant nose salomn ski in Moguls for quick turns, but it’s to stiff. The curve might be just soft enough. I would like more info on length. How does the 185 ski? Can it make short radius turns? Can the 178 handle a 6’4″, 240 lb expert?

    • We haven’t skied the 185, so can’t help you there. And from your comment below, sounds like you are in a better position than me to answer the question of whether the 178 might work for you? But I would say that the primary reason that *you* might consider bumping up to the 185 is if you really wanted to use it primarily as a GS ski. But you are talking about moguls, and you noted that even the 178 certainly required input to make tighter turns. So it kinda sounds to me like the 178 would be the better fit than the 185?

  5. I have skied the curve in the 178 length for a one run demo, and I own a Brahma that I recently bought, 187 cm. I found as an ice ski, the Brahma is lacking. I might need to move my bindings, but the tail does not hold a carve well on ice. It does slarve well. On softer snow, it carves well, no complaints. Back to the curve, I liked the ski a lot, after only one run my impression is it’s not as quick as my 175 cm salomn ski, but it felt powerful. I had to bend it to make short radius turns. I was on hard pack and it’s grip felt good. As a big guy, hard to tell if it was enough ski, but it felt like it was. Couldn’t tell about off piste behavior, but that is what we have Jonathan and Blister for. Please try to include icey snow behavior on all front side skis for us East (ice) Coasters. Looking forward to more frontside reviews, keep up the good work.

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