Ski: 2020-2021 4FRNT Devastator, 186 cm
Available Lengths: 172, 179, 186 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 183.3 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2030 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1947 & 2011 grams
Stated Dimensions: 137-108-131 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 135.5-107.2-130.6 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (186 cm): 21 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60 mm / 55 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0 mm
Core: aspen + maple underfoot + carbon stringers + fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered 1.3 mm
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -4.75 cm from center; 86.9 cm from tail
The Devastator is one of those skis that has had some very loyal fans for many years, primarily due to its combination of stability and playfulness. With the old versions, the 194 cm length was one of the most stable chargers around, while the 184 cm length was a really maneuverable all-mountain ski.
Over the past couple of years, 4FRNT made some relatively minor changes to the construction of the ski. For 20/21, they fully overhauled it. While the new Devastator maintains some key elements of previous iterations, there are a lot of noteworthy differences. We’ll be skiing the new version this season, but for now, let’s take a closer look at the updated design.
What 4FRNT says about the Devastator
“The Devastator has been completely redesigned this season while preserving the freeride DNA that always made it a team favorite. We worked hard with our athletes and engineers to increase its ability to charge, surf, and stomp in a much larger variety of snow conditions. The new multi radius Reflect Tech™ rocker profile enables your tips to naturally rise to the surface easier than ever before, so you can slash turns, navigate tight trees and ride away from cliff drops like a pro. This shape also provides a stronger grip on edge, so when you roll the ski over the sidecut geometry and pre-bent rocker shape work in unison to carve turns just like a cambered ski. This increased versatility gives you more fun with more control everywhere you take them. We’ve also upgraded to an Aspen core with carbon fiber stringers for a 10% weight savings; reducing swing weight in the air and making it a lighter, nimbler freeride weapon. You’ll experience more energy and pop than ever before, boosting your confidence to ski faster, charge harder, and go bigger. Click into the Devastator and buckle up for the ride of your life!”
We’ll go into each of these changes in more detail below, but long story short, the new Devastator is still supposed to be a versatile, stable, and playful all-mountain ski. And the latest version is designed to both float and carve better than the older iterations, and also be more nimble and energetic. That’s a lot to ask of a ski, so how’d 4FRNT go about doing that?
The original Devastators used a very beefy and very heavy ash and beech wood core that was combined with a pretty traditional fiberglass laminate.
The 20/21 Devastator uses a far lighter aspen / maple wood core. It’s primarily aspen, but with a small block of maple used under the binding area for screw retention.
The result of this is a far lighter weight (more on that below). And to maintain the fairly strong flex pattern of the old Devastators, 4FRNT added carbon stringers at the ends of the new ski.
While the Devastator’s construction was one of the few things that had changed in the past couple of years, its shape was one thing that had remained pretty constant. That changes for 20/21, though the updates do look fairly subtle.
The most notable change here is that the 20/21 Devastator now features a bit of tip and tail taper. The older Devastators were very minimally tapered, particularly compared to most of the current ~108mm-wide skis on the market. Unlike many skis this wide, the older Devastators’ widest points at its tips and tails were very close to the ends of the ski. Those versions basically looked like fat park skis.
The 20/21 Devastator is by no means some ultra-tapered ski like the Dynastar M-Free 108, but the new Dev’s widest points at its tips and tails are slightly closer to the middle of the ski. While doing our measured specs, the 20/21 Devastator’s widest points at both ends of the ski were about 18 cm from the ends, and its tips and tails don’t taper to much of a point.
So, the new Devastator is still far from the most tapered ski out there, but its new, slightly more tapered shape should translate to easier slashes and slarves in softer snow, and we’re curious to see how this new shape interacts with the ski’s new rocker profile on firm snow. Speaking of which…
The 20/21 Devastator is still a reverse-camber ski (as every version has been), but its reverse-camber profile is now a bit different.
Long story short, the new Devastator’s reverse-camber profile looks a bit less dramatic / radical than the previous versions. There’s a slightly longer “flat” spot near the middle of the ski, which should make it easier to engage more of the ski on the snow in firm / shallow conditions.
The new Devastator still reportedly uses 4FRNT’s “Reflect Tech,” which means the curve / shape of its reverse-camber profile matches the sidecut of the ski. The idea behind this is that it lets you engage most of the sidecut on edge once you lay over the ski (as opposed to only carving with a short portion of the ski, like some other reverse-camber skis). The difference with the new ski is that it features a multi-radius design, so rather than having a single radius for the sidecut and reverse-camber profile (like the older versions), it combines multiple radii to form the curve for both the rocker profile and sidecut.
There aren’t many reverse-camber skis in this width these days, but there are a few holdouts, including the Devastator. Compared to the Moment Meridian (another playful, reverse-camber ski), the Devastator’s reverse-camber stays a bit “flatter” for longer, but is pretty similar overall. Compared to the current, reverse-camber Black Crows Corvus, the new Devastator’s rocker lines start deeper / closer to the middle of the ski, and it’s got a much higher, twinned tail.
One of the main complaints with the old Devastator (particularly the 184 cm version) was that it could feel too loose on firm conditions. I suspect that the new version’s rocker profile could help improve its edge hold, while also potentially maintaining the super easy pivoting and loose feel of the older generations.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Devastator:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-8.5
This is one thing that hasn’t changed a whole lot. The new Devsator might be a touch softer at the very ends of its tips and tails compared to the old version, but the new ski is still pretty strong overall — particularly for a freestyle-oriented ski.
This ski’s tips and tails are fairly easy to bend, but it quickly ramps up in stiffness and most of the ski is quite strong. Its flex pattern is also pretty “round” — the front-half feels pretty similar to the back-half. This all seems in line with 4FRNT’s claims about it being both playful and stable. The new Devastator isn’t quite as stiff at the ends of the ski compared to the Moment Meridian, but the two skis feel pretty similar through the rest of their lengths (i.e., the middle of the skis).
The old Devastators had a single, 25-meter stated sidecut radius across all lengths (which, again, was also the radius used for their reverse-camber profiles).
The new, 20/21 Devastators use different radii across different lengths. The 186 cm version we’re reviewing has a stated 21-meter sidecut radius, though it’s also important to note that this is reportedly the average radius from multiple radii used along the length of the ski.
25 meters was fairly long, particularly for a more playful ski, and I suspect that the new Devastator’s slightly shorter average sidecut radius could be another factor that makes it more reliable on firmer conditions and at slower speeds.
(For reference, the 172 cm 20/21 Devastator’s stated sidecut radius is 17.5 meters, while the 179 cm version’s is 19 meters.)
Not a whole lot of change here. Our pair of the 18/19 184 cm Devastator had a mount point around -5.3 cm from true center, and our pair of the 20/21 186 cm version has a recommended mount point that measures around -4.7 cm from true center.
Both of those mount points are fairly close to center, though, on the older Devastators, we still found that we could drive them pretty hard through the shovels. So we’re curious if the same holds true for the new version.
The older Devs were available in 174, 184, and 194 cm lengths. The 20/21 version is available in 172, 179, and 186 cm lengths.
The good news is that I think the new Devastator’s available lengths should work for a wider range of skiers, since there’s not as big of a gap between lengths. The bad news is that bigger skiers who loved the old, 194 cm Devastators no longer have a big-length option.
Your mileage may vary, but selfishly, I’m really psyched on the new 186 cm length since the old, 194 cm Devastator seemed way too long for me, while the 184 cm felt a bit short at times.
The older generations of the Devastator were very heavy skis. The old, 194 cm Devastator was actually one of the heaviest skis we’ve ever weighed.
The 20/21 Devastator is not a heavy ski. In fact, it’s quite light for its size: our pair of the 186 cm version is coming in at an average measured weight of 1979 grams per ski.
This brings up two big questions. First, how damp and smooth will the new Devastator feel on firm and / or rough conditions? Second, how much quicker and more maneuverable will the new ski feel, particularly in the air and in tight terrain?
If I had to guess, I’d say the differences between the original and 20/21 Devastators will be significant in both of those regards, given that the older versions were really damp and could also feel really sluggish to some skiers.
Looking at the broader market, the new Devastator now falls in line with skis like the Moment Wildcat 108, Liberty Origin 106, and Whitedot Altum 104 in terms of weight. While I was never tempted to haul the old, heavy Devastators uphill under my own power, I’m now very curious to see how the new version might perform as a 50/50 ski when paired with a burly, downhill-oriented AT binding.
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.
1787 & 1793 Fauna Pioneer, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
1800 & 1824 Luke Koppa’s ROMP 100, 183 cm
1806 & 1862 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (19/20–20/21)
1807 & 1840 Atomic Bent Chetler 100, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
1814 & 1845 Elan Ripstick 106, 181 cm (17/18–19/20)
1848 & 1903 Line Sick Day 104, 186 cm (17/18–20/21)
1875 & 1881 Line Sir Francis Bacon, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
1883 & 1898 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender, 178 cm (20/21)
1896 & 1942 K2 Reckoner 102, 184 cm (20/21)
1947 & 2011 4FRNT Devastator, 186 cm (20/21)
1976 & 2028 Parlor Cardinal Pro, 182 cm (19/20–20/21)
1985 & 2006 Parlor Cardinal 100, 185 cm (16/17–20/21)
1999 & 2020 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 180 cm (20/21)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2006 & 2065 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2011 & 2028 Moment Wildcat 108, 184 cm (19/20)
2030 & 2039 Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2046 & 2120 Black Crows Corvus, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
2049 & 2053 Whitedot Altum 104, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2080 & 2089 Sego Big Horn 106, 187 cm (17/18–19/20)
2079 & 2105 Kastle FX106 HP, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2096 & 2100 Salomon QST 106, 181 cm (19/20–20/21)
2097 & 2113 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 C2, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2101 & 2104 Fischer Ranger 102 FR, 184 cm (18/19–20/21)
2110 & 2119 Moment Wildcat 108, 190 cm (19/20)
2113 & 2121 Moment Meridian, 187 cm (16/17–20/21)
2111 & 2125 J Skis Vacation, 186 cm (18/19–20/21)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19–20/21)
2113 & 2140 Armada ARV 106, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2120 & 2134 Blizzard Rustler 10, 188 cm (19/20–20/21)
2131 & 2189 Nordica Enforcer 100, 185 cm (15/16–19/20)
2133 & 2134 Faction Prodigy 3.0, 183 cm (18/19–19/20)
2143 & 2194 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2153 & 2184 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 187 cm (20/21)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2165 & 2219 Icelantic Nomad 105, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2170 & 2180 Dynastar M-Free 108, 182 cm (20/21)
2190 & 2268 Armada ARV 106Ti LTD, 188 cm (18/19–19/20)
2202 & 2209 Shaggy’s Ahmeek 105, 186 cm (19/20)
2218 & 2244 Volkl Mantra 102, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2232 & 2242 Blizzard Cochise 106, 185 cm (20/21)
2232 & 2244 ON3P Woodsman 108, 187 cm (19/20)
2233 & 2255 Nordica Enforcer 104 Free, 186 cm (19/20–20/21)
2241 & 2295 4FRNT Devastator, 184 cm (14/15–18/19)
2283 & 2290 ON3P Wrenegade 108, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2295 & 2344 J Skis Hotshot, 183 cm (20/21)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2318 & 2341 J Skis The Metal, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2321 & 2335 Fischer Ranger 107 Ti, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2325 & 2352 Folsom Blister Pro 104, 186 cm (19/20)
2326 & 2336 Nordica Enforcer 100, 186 cm (20/21)
2353 & 2360 Volkl Katana 108, 184 cm (20/21)
2449 & 2493 J Skis Hotshot, 189 cm (20/21)
2559 & 2567 4FRNT Devastator, 194 cm (14/15–18/19)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) Overall, how similar does the new Devastator feel compared to older versions of the ski?
(2) Given its much lower weight, how damp will the new Devastator feel on rougher snow conditions?
(3) The new Devastator’s rocker profile and sidecut radius make us think that it should carve better on firmer conditions, while its slightly more tapered shape makes us think it could feel more maneuverable in softer snow. So, can it really accomplish both of those things, given that you usually have to compromise one to improve upon the other?
(4) The older Devastators worked quite well both for directional skiers seeking a pretty stable, maneuverable ski and more playful skiers looking for something that’d feel composed at high speeds. Will that hold true for the new version?
(5) Where exactly will the new Devastator slot into the playful, “mid-fat” all-mountain category?
Bottom Line (For Now)
The 20/21 4FRNT Devastator maintains much of what has always made a Devastator a Devastator, but does so while also making several significant updates.
The new Devastator is still a reverse-camber ski with a pretty minimally tapered shape, fairly strong flex pattern, twinned tail, and progressive mount point. But it’s also now a pretty light ski for its size, its rocker profile and sidecut radius seem slightly better suited for firmer conditions, and its slightly more tapered shape makes us optimistic about improved soft-snow performance.
Stay tuned for updates this season as we start spending time on the new ski.