Ski: 2020-2021 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm
Available Lengths: 184, 191 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 188.9 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2075 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2173 & 2204 grams
Stated Dimensions: 138-122-131 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136.7-121.2-130.4 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (all lengths): 30 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 89 mm / 35.5 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0 mm
Core: aspen/maple + carbon stringers + fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered 1.3 mm
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -5.35 cm from center; 89.1 cm from tail
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 19/20 Renegade, which was not changed for 20/21, apart from graphics.]
The 4FRNT Renegade is one of the longest-standing ski models currently in production, and it has many loyal fans. This is the ski that Eric Hjorleifson has been skiing for years, which is reason enough to get many people interested. If you’re not familiar with Hoji or what he’s been up to recently, we’d recommend listening to our conversations with him on episode #75 of the Blister Podcast, and episodes #1 and #29 of our GEAR:30 podcast.
The Renegade has undergone some changes over the years, including some tweaks for 19/20. We recently received the 19/20 version and will be getting it on snow ASAP this season, but while we wait for the snow to start stacking up, let’s go over the new Renegade:
What 4FRNT says about the Renegade
“Over a decade ago Eric Hjorleifson clicked into the Renegade for the first time and launched his legendary ski career. Pioneering human powered big mountain ascents and iconic high-speed descents, Eric has reinvented how we look at big mountain lines. It’s a ski you can trust for charging hard with no speed limit and stomping high-impact landings. In the words of Hoji, ‘I just want powder skiing to be easy for everyone.’
Hoji’s signature hard charging pow weapon has returned this year with a vengeance and is more dialed than ever before. It’s innovative shape, paired with the hard charging flex you all have grown to love, and a new and improved rocker profile will have you shredding lines just like Eric Hjorleifson intended!”
There’s a bit of seemingly contradictory language here, in that the Renegade is supposed to let you charge hard with no speed limit and stomp big landings, while also making it easier to ski powder — even if you’re not Hoji.
While that may sound odd when describing one ski (not many skis cater really well to both hard-charging and more conservative styles), it does make sense if you watch Hoji ski. Yes, he skis crazy fast and drops massive cliffs. But Hoji also makes a ton of minute adjustments mid-line and quickly sheds speed when needed, so it makes sense that his go-to ski is designed to do both of those things well.
Now, it’s worth quickly touching on the past few iterations of the Renegade, since there have been a few changes over the past few years.
4FRNT Renegade: 16/17 vs. 17/18 vs. 18/19 vs. 19/20
For the 16/17 season, the main change made to the Renegade was in its core, switching from a heavy, primarily maple core to a lighter, more touring-friendly maple / aspen core with carbon stringers.
That design carried over for 17/18, and then for 18/19, 4FRNT made several changes to the ski. First, they switched from its quite-long 35-meter sidecut radius to a slightly-less-long 30-meter radius. Second, they changed the length options from 186 cm and 196 cm to 184 cm and 191 cm. They also tweaked the flex pattern, which many found to be notably softer than the previous iterations of the ski (many of which were very stiff).
Now, for 19/20, 4FRNT is reportedly reverting the Renegade back to its older forms in some ways. Or to be more accurate, they’re making it as similar as possible to Hoji’s favorite pair of Renegades that he’s reportedly been skiing for the past few years. What this translates to, compared to the 18/19 version, is a stiffer flex pattern and more rocker, but the 19/20 version maintains the 30-meter sidecut radius and length options of the 18/19 version.
To accomplish their goal of really dialing in the newest Renegade, 4FRNT had Hoji’s favorite pair of Renegades tested to measure its flex pattern and rocker profile, with the goal of making the 19/20 version identical to the pair that Hoji himself preferred. So, what does all of that actually translate to when it comes to the production model, and how does the 19/20 Renegade compare to the current market?
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Renegade’s shape is one thing that has not changed much over the years. When it was first released, the Renegade stood out due to its pretty straight and highly tapered shape. It’s not quite a true “reverse-sidecut” ski, but its combination of a long sidecut radius and deep taper lines make for a ski that nearly looks like it has a reverse-sidecut design. Today, the Renegade’s shape still looks pretty different from most pow skis on the market.
The 19/20 Renegade’s rocker profile also looks pretty wild compared to the other skis in its class. It’s a fully rockered ski with no camber, a lot of tip splay, and a moderately splayed out tail.
At 89 mm, the Renegade’s tip splay is very high. Combined with its very deep tip and tail rocker lines and girthy waist of ~122 mm, that high tip should equate to plenty of float. Its tail rocker line is similarly deep (i.e., very deep), but has much lower splay at around 35 mm.
So, in conclusion, the 19/20 Renegade has very deep rocker lines, tons of tip splay, and a very tapered, fairly straight shape. All of that seems like it’d help the Renegade accomplish its goal of being capable of long, high-speed turns while also being easy to pivot and slash in deep snow.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Renegade:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9.5
The Renegade has a fairly round flex pattern with somewhat soft extremities and a strong midsection. Its tips are pretty easy to bend, but they quickly and smoothly ramp up in stiffness as you move toward the middle of the ski. The Renegade is very strong around the bindings, and it stays a bit stiffer a bit longer in the back vs. the front of the ski, which should help on big landings. Its tail finishes slightly stiffer than the tip, but its tail is not crazy stiff.
Compared to the very-good 4FRNT Raven, the 19/20 Renegade’s flex pattern is extremely similar. If anything, the Renegade feels a touch stiffer at the very ends of the ski, but the two skis’ flex patterns are very reminiscent of one another.
Despite its directional shape, rocker profile, and flex pattern, the Renegade has a very progressive mount point of around -5.3 cm from true center. That puts it in line with some freestyle-oriented skis like the J Skis Friend, 4FRNT Inthayne, and Moment Wildcat. But unlike those skis, the Renegade does not have a very high, twinned-up tail and 4FRNT isn’t emphasizing its ability to spin and flip (though Hoji has certainly demonstrated that those things are possible on this ski…).
The Renegade’s mount point isn’t quite as far forward as some more “pure freestyle” skis like the Prior CBC, and based on the past iterations of the Renegade and Hoji’s skiing style, we suspect that you’ll be able to ski it centered or with a forward, driving-the-shovels stance.
The 19/20 191 cm Renegade’s weight is fairly middle-of-the-road for a 191cm-long, 122mm-wide ski.
There are definitely skis that are heavier (e.g., Volkl Confession, Nordica Enforcer Free 115, & DPS Koala F119), and there are skis that are lighter (e.g., Blizzard Rustler 11, Rossignol Super 7 RD, & Head Kore 117).
Hoji is well known for his passion for human-powered skiing, so it makes sense that his signature ski is not super heavy. But he’s also known for his incredible high-speed descents, so it also makes sense that his signature ski is not some absurdly light ski that’ll get tossed around a bunch at speed.
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.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1931 & 1959 Volkl BMT 122, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117 (19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2173 & 2204 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm (19/20)
2174 & 2187 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2130 & 2213 Faction Candide 4.0, 188 cm (19/20)
2133 & 2133 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (16/17–18/19)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Free 115, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2370 & 2382 Volkl Confession, 193 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Jeffrey 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) 4FRNT claims that the current Renegade is capable of high-speed descents and big drops, but Hoji also says that he wants his skis to make skiing easier for everyone. So just how stable will the Renegade be, and just how easy will it be?
(2) How versatile is this big, wide, and fairly straight pow ski? Does it need ultra-deep conditions to be fun? What about shallower soft snow like corn and slush?
(3) Will directional skiers who love to drive the front of their skis get along with the Renegade and its forward mount point?
(4) Conversely, how will more playful skiers who ski with more centered stances like the Renegade?
Bottom Line (For Now)
Several of us at Blister are really excited to get on the new 4FRNT Renegade. Given our experience with its narrower sibling, the 4FRNT Raven, and some of our reviewers’ time on the past generations of the Renegade, we have high hopes for this big pow ski. As always, let us know in the comments about any questions or potential comparisons you’d like us to make, and we’ll do our best to do so. Stay tuned for updates as we get it on snow this season.
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Renegade for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, personalized gear recommendations from us, and much more.