Ski: 2021-2022 J Skis Fastforward, 181 cm
Days Skied: 14
Available Lengths: 160, 167, 174, 181 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 178.8 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2100 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2110 & 2124 grams
Stated Dimensions: 124-92-111 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 125.4-91.9-110.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (181 cm): 18.2 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 64 mm / 34 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4 mm
Core: maple/aspen + titanal (2 strips) + fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered “extra thick” (1.8 mm)
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -7.4 cm from center; 82.0 cm from tail
This season J Skis made some changes to their metal-laminate ski collection, opting to tweak the longstanding Masterblaster, bumping it up to 99 mm underfoot, and adding a brand-new ski, the 92mm-wide Fastforward.
Both skis feature two strips of titanal metal and are designed to be stable and versatile all-mountain skis. As the narrower of the two, the Fastforward is meant to handle firmer, lower-tide conditions a bit better, and we’ve been spending a lot of time on both skis this season. Like the original (16/17–20/21) Masterblaster, the Fastforward offers something a bit different than most metal-laminate skis, and it’s something we think certain skiers could really like.
What J Skis says about the Fastforward
“”The Fastforward” is a brand-new ski for this season designed to empower you to carve ice like a knife through hot butter, while maintaining the fun-loving, playful feel J skis are known for. The subtle tip-rocker keeps you floating with ease in fresh snow, yet when rolled over, 100% of the edge is engaged, including the tip for maximum grip. You get a predictable, smooth feel, that inspires confidence no matter the terrain; it’s as happy feasting on firm morning groomers as it is exploring the rest of the mountain. Unlike other skis in this category, “The Fastforward” doesn’t require you to put all your energy into it to get tons of power out. Thanks to its “Light Metal” Titanal laminate & Maple wood core construction, this ski does the work for you! You’ll gain power and precision with far less effort, so your legs don’t get burned out. You’ll be still going strong at the end of the day when they’re calling “last chair!’”
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Fastforward looks a lot like the original 96mm-wide Masterblaster, with pretty minimal tip and tail taper, though its extremities are a bit more tapered than some of the more traditionally shaped ~90mm-wide skis like the Blizzard Brahma 88.
It’s a similar story with the Fastforward’s rocker profile — it has slightly deeper rocker lines than many skis around this width, but its rocker lines aren’t as deep as, say, the Black Crows Serpo.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Fastforward:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-8.5
The Fastforward’s flex pattern feels pretty similar to the original J Skis Masterblaster, but with slightly stiffer tips and shovels. This is a pretty round flex pattern, with similar-feeling tips and tails. It’s not a super burly flex pattern, but it’s pretty strong overall, with tips and tails that are a bit softer than some metal-laminate skis like the Blizzard Brahma 88 and Nordica Enforcer 88.
Nothing out of the ordinary here — the 181 cm Fastforward’s stated sidecut radius is 18.2 meters, which is pretty standard for a ski in this class.
The Fastforward’s recommended mount point is about -7.4 cm back from the true center of the ski, which is similar to the old and new Masterblaster, and a bit closer to center than most directional skis in this class, but not as close to center as most freestyle skis.
Like J’s other metal-laminate skis, the Fastforward is not a super light ski. And the weight of those other skis was a big part of why they all offered very nice suspension on rough snow.
At about 2117 grams per ski for the 181 cm length, the Fastforward is on the heavier end of the spectrum, but it’s not as heavy as, say, the Blizzard Bonafide 97 or Nordica Enforcer 94.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.
1605 & 1612 Romp Zorro 89, 182 cm (21/22)
1766 & 1785 Head Kore 93, 184 cm (21/22)
1781 & 1795 Atomic Maverick 100 Ti, 180 cm (21/22)
1798 & 1815 DPS Pagoda Piste 94 C2, 178 cm (20/21–21/22)
1801 & 1839 Salomon Stance 90, 176 cm (20/21–21/22)
1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19–21/22)
1810 & 1828 Armada Declivity 92 Ti, 180 cm (20/21–21/22)
1824 & 1835 Black Crows Serpo, 180.1 cm (21/22)
1833 & 1849 Shaggy’s Brockway 90, 180 cm (21/22)
1849 & 1887 DPS Pagoda Piste 90 RP, 184 cm (20/21–21/22)
1863 & 1894 Blizzard Rustler 9, 180 cm (18/19–21/22)
1883 & 1906 Season Aero, 180 cm (20/21)
1900 & 1908 Atomic Maverick 95 Ti, 180 cm (21/22)
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1925 & 1934 Black Crows Camox, 186.5 cm (19/20–21/22)
1925 & 1937 Liberty Helix 98, 186 cm (18/19–21/22)
1936 & 2013 Salomon Stance 96, 182 cm (20/21–21/22)
1937 & 1945 Fischer Ranger 94 FR, 184 cm (19/20–21/22)
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19–20/21)
1976 & 2028 Parlor Cardinal Pro, 182 cm (19/20–20/21)
1985 & 2006 Parlor Cardinal 100, 185 cm (16/17–20/21)
1994 & 2011 Fischer Ranger 99 Ti, 181 cm (19/20–21/22)
1998 & 2044 4FRNT MSP 99, 181 cm (17/18–21/22)
1999 & 2060 Line Blade, 181 cm (20/21–21/22)
2043 & 2089 Volkl M6 Mantra, 177 cm (21/22)
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm (18/19–20/21)
2054 & 2063 Salomon QST 98, 189 cm (21/22)
2055 & 2080 Salomon QST 99, 181 cm (19/20–20/21)
2078 & 2138 Black Crows Justis, 183 cm (20/21–21/22)
2085 & 2096 Dynastar Menace 98, 181 cm (19/20–20/21)
2089 & 2105 Nordica Soul Rider 97, 185 cm (15/16–21/22)
2098 & 2105 Nordica Enforcer 88, 179 cm (20/21–22/23)
2110 & 2124 J Skis Fastforward, 181 cm (21/22)
2115 & 2149 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (16/17–20/21)
2128 & 2186 J Skis Masterblaster, 181 cm (21/22)
2178 & 2195 Volkl M6 Mantra, 184 cm (21/22)
2256 & 2284 Nordica Enforcer 94, 186 cm (20/21–21/22)
2281 & 2284 Blizzard Bonafide 97, 177 cm (20/21–21/22)
2311 & 2342 K2 Mindbender 99Ti, 184 cm (19/20–21/22)
Alright, now onto how the Fastforward actually performs on snow:
Luke Koppa (5’8”, 155 lbs / 173 cm, 70 kg): Dylan Wood, Jonathan Ellsworth, and I have all been skiing the Fastforward since the beginning of this season, so we’ve had it on everything from man-made groomers to soft snow on newly opened terrain. Jonathan was back on the ski yesterday and still has some questions he wants to answer this weekend, so he’ll be reporting back with an update in the future. In the meantime, here are Dylan and my thoughts on it:
Luke: On most groomers, the Fastforward offers a fun, predictable ride.
On relatively “normal” groomers (i.e., not scraped-off or brutally refrozen), I’ve found the Fastforward to offer reliable edge hold. It can make a pretty wide range of turn shapes, from very large ones to fairly tight GS turns.
This ski definitely initiates turns with less tenacity than some of the more traditional, less tapered, and/or less rockered ~92mm-wide skis out there (e.g., Atomic Maverick 95 Ti, Black Crows Serpo). The Fastforward requires more pressure on its shovels and/or a bit more speed than those skis to really get it arcing across the fall line. But the flip side is that I’ve never felt like the Fastforward wanted to turn harder than I did — i.e., it’s not hooky, and I’d say its stated 18.2-meter sidecut radius feels a bit longer on snow than on paper
That said, when the groomers are really firm, smooth, and/or scraped off, the Fastforward requires a greater level of commitment to get its edges to dig in than most skis around this width. At first, I found myself not really trusting this ski when the piste was super firm. But as I got used to the ski, I realized that I could, in fact, carve turns on some of the firmer slopes we get here in Crested Butte — provided that I focused on really driving my downhill ski. And doing this, I did find the Fastforward to be a bit more capable of carving very firm snow than the previous 16/17–20/21 J Skis Masterblaster.
The Fastforward wouldn’t be my top pick around this width if I frequently found myself on borderline icy groomers and wanted to be able to easily carve turns on them. But if I either (A) am committed to focusing on my technique on those sort of slopes or (B) content with just sliding turns when things get icy, the Fastforward has worked fine for me.
Dylan Wood (5’10”, 155 lbs / 178 cm, 70 kg): Luke sums it up nicely. The Fastforward forgoes quick turn initiation for a more forgiving and laid-back ride, and is a pretty versatile carver. I found it really intuitive on groomers, and it responds predictably to a variety of edge angles and turn shapes.
I also found myself struggling to trust the Fastforward on ice, but I too realized that a forward stance and loading up the shovels of this ski will get it to grip on firm groomers. It certainly wouldn’t be my first choice if carving up icy groomers was a priority (I’d opt for something more demanding and precise like the Blizzard Brahma 88), but the Fastforward makes these instances manageable and not-so-scary.
Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain
Luke: The Fastforward wouldn’t be my go-to ~90mm-wide ski for only skiing groomed snow, but it is one of my favorites for skiing off piste.
Unlike many skis around this width, the Fastforward is pretty easy to release and pivot, it’s not super punishing of sloppy technique, and it allows for a variety of skiing stances. The same attributes that hold it back a bit on really firm groomers are a plus when you get off them. It doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to release its tails, unlike many skis that carve better, and its moderate flex pattern means that I don’t have to be on my A-game 100% of the time.
The Fastforward isn’t as loose / easy to pivot as, say, the Blizzard Rustler 9, but it’s easier than pretty much any ~90mm-wide ski I can think of that also offers the same level of suspension and stability as the Fastforward.
On that note, I’ve come to really enjoy the Fastforward when it hasn’t snowed in weeks but I still want to ski some bumps, steeps, and trees. Its combination of fairly easy maneuverability and good suspension is a big plus in that scenario, since it lets me conservatively make my way through the pretty firm conditions without feeling harsh or twitchy. I’m more prone to venture off piste on the Fastforward on those days than I would be on the numerous lighter alternatives.
The Fastforward wouldn’t be my top pick if you want a super quick, super forgiving ski, but I’ve been surprised by both how light it feels in bumps (for how heavy it actually is) and how much it’s let me get away with when I get a little out of control.
Dylan: Skiing moguls on the Fastforward was a highlight of my early season. It isn’t very difficult to ski, doesn’t immediately punish backseat technique, and is pretty easy to pivot and slarve around.
The Fastforward’s stability and dampness will let you get going pretty fast without feeling like you’re nearing the ski’s speed limit, which I struggled to find in moguls. It isn’t as nimble and easy to flick around as lighter options like the Black Crows Serpo, but it offers noticeably better suspension than quicker alternatives.
Skiing the Fastforward in bumps and other tight terrain was a sure way to put a smile on my face, and it stands out among other skis in its class due to its combination of forgiveness and good suspension.
Soft Chop & Powder
Luke: As I just touched on, the Fastforward is both more maneuverable and more damp than many ~90mm-wide skis. As in tight terrain, both of those things are beneficial in soft snow.
Many skis around this width can feel like they easily get bogged down in soft conditions, and/or like they get knocked around a lot when any soft snow gets skied out. The Fastforward is notably better in both regards than many skis in its class.
In soft chop and the occasional untracked pow that was <6 inches, I felt zero need to dial back my speed on the Fastforward. It planed up in the snow fine, and it did not get knocked around much at all. While I didn’t get it into any very deep snow, I feel confident saying it would handle deeper conditions better than most skis around this width.
Dylan: I didn’t get to ski the Fastforward in any pure powder, but I definitely caught some rope drops on new terrain and found myself skiing some soft chop on this ski, and I agree with what Luke has said. The Fastforward holds a line well in choppy snow, and generally allows you to be less attentive to your skis getting knocked and pushed around.
Firm Chop / Crud
Luke: This is a similar story as the Soft Chop section. The Fastforward’s fairly heavy weight is a big help when conditions are both firm and rough, since it absorbs and mutes out harsh snow better than pretty much all lighter skis in its class.
Especially as we’re seeing more skis in this class come in lighter and lighter (e.g., Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Atomic Maverick 95 Ti), the Fastforward’s suspension stands out even more than it may have five years ago. The Fastforward doesn’t have the absolute most “plush” ride quality, but it does a better job of negating the harsh feel of rough snow better than most skis in its class. And since I’m not prone to skiing super fast in really nasty conditions no matter what ski I’m on, I also appreciate that the Fastforward is fairly easy to pivot around at slow speeds and doesn’t immediately punish a slightly backseat turn. Overall, it just makes otherwise uncomfortable conditions more enjoyable to ski than most other skis.
Dylan: Absolutely. When conditions firm up and the snow is rough, the Fastforward continues to stand out and define itself within its class. The Fastforward has good suspension and smooths out harsh snow, but doesn’t require you to ski super hard to enjoy its damp ride. It is perfectly happy to slide around in crud, and it can be enjoyed at higher speeds than many lighter skis in its class.
Luke: The Fastforward is a fairly playful ski, particularly relative to other <95mm-wide skis. The Fastforward lets you ski fairly centered, it feels more balanced in the air than most skis in its class, and it even skis switch pretty well.
This is certainly not what I’d recommend to someone who spends a ton of time in the park (J has the Allplay for that), but the Fastforward is more playful overall than a lot of ~92mm-wide skis — especially those that offer a similar level of suspension and stability.
Dylan: Definitely. Skiers who are turned off by the more traditional (think -10 cm) mount points and flat tails of other ~92 mm wide skis have good reason to consider the Fastforward, especially if you like to throw the occasional tweak, grab, or spin, and if you like to ski switch occasionally. Don’t mistake it for a park ski, though.
Luke: I’ve spent most of my time skiing the Fastforward with it mounted on its recommended line (-7.4 cm from true center) and I think most people interested in this ski will get along best with it mounted there. It lets you drive it pretty hard but also lay off the shovels a bit and ski it pretty centered.
As someone who has a slight preference for the latter, I spent some time on the Fastforward with it mounted at about -6 cm from true center. I preferred this mount point in most off-piste terrain, since it let me ski more balanced without losing much of any stability or ability to drive the shovels. However, it does lead to a bit less leverage over the shovels on piste, so if carving performance is a priority, I’d probably stick with the recommended line.
Dylan: Luke nailed it. I think the majority of people will be very happy with the Fastforward mounted on the line. I also experimented at -6 cm and found similar results as Luke. Also, remember when we were talking about loading up the shovels of this ski for optimal performance on icy groomers? If that sounds like something you’ll need to do on the Fastforward, I wouldn’t stray much farther forward of the recommended line.
Who’s It For?
Luke: Low-intermediate through expert skiers looking for a 90-100mm-wide ski that they’ll frequently use off piste, and who prioritize suspension and stability.
If you spend the vast majority of your time on piste, you’ve got better options that offer easier turn initiation and better edge hold on very firm slopes. And if you want a super maneuverable, quick ski for off-piste skiing, I’d look to lighter alternatives (like the J Skis Allplay).
But if you prioritize suspension, stability, and maneuverability, the Fastforward does offer a lot to like. It’s easier than many skis in its class when it comes to pivoting and slashing your way through tight off-piste lines (especially when the snow is variable), yet it also handles high speeds and rough conditions quite well. And apart from super firm ones, the Fastforward can still be a lot of fun on groomers.
Dylan: I agree with what Luke said above. If you prefer a more damp ski than a super nimble one and are scoffing at the emerging options of lightweight 90-95 mm all-mountain skis, or if you spend plenty of time off-piste (or would like to) when your mountain has firmed up, definitely consider the Fastforward.
The J Skis Fastforward brings much of what we liked about the original Masterblaster to a narrower, slightly quicker, more precise package. It’s still a maneuverable ski that really stands out in variable snow and off-piste terrain, and offers a rare combination of great suspension and a fairly easy-going ride that many people could appreciate.
Deep Dive Comparisons
Become a Blister Member or Deep Dive subscriber to check out our Deep Dive comparisons of the Fastforward to see how it compares to the J Skis Masterblaster, Black Crows Serpo, Armada Declivity 92 Ti, Atomic Maverick 95 Ti, Volkl M6 Mantra, Blizzard Rustler 9, Nordica Enforcer 94, 4FRNT MSP 99, Salomon Stance 90, DPS Pagoda Piste 94 C2, Shaggy’s Ahmeek 95, DPS Pagoda Piste 90 RP, Blizzard Brahma 88, Folsom Spar 88, Renoun Endurance 88, K2 Mindbender 99Ti, and Fischer Ranger 94 FR.