Ski: 2018-2019 Fischer RC4 The Curv Curv Booster, 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 and a name change for 19/20 from “RC4 The Curv” to “RC4 The Curv Curv Booster.”]
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.
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.
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 9
Flex Pattern – K2 Super Charger
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5
Behind Heel Piece: 9-9.5
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.
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
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.
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.
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.