Featured Image: Robin O’Neill
4FRNT has Experienced great success over the years with Eric Hjorleifson’s namesake ski, the Hoji. As one of its best-selling skis, the Hoji has racked up numerous awards in addition to sales. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Wrong—4FRNT has updated the Hoji for the 21-22 season to make it more stable on-piste while maintaining its powder-focused prowess.
“Historically, fully rockered skis tend to ski somewhat squirrelly on the hardpack thanks to the short contact points,” says 4FRNT Ski Engineer Bob Boice. “We built on the new multi-radius sidecut from the Devastator, where we mellowed out the center part of the rocker to give it more grip on hardpack and adapted it to the Hoji. The Hoji now tracks way better than the older models. We also increased the tip and tail splay by more than five mm over the previous ski so it floats in powder even better.”
Other changes to the Hoji came from moving manufacturing from Europe to the same Quebec factory where the rest of 4FRNT’s Hoji collection is made. With a different layup process at the new facility, 4FRNT adjusted the thickness profiles and types of glass laminates to offer better stability.”
“We took the opportunity to bring the Hoji and Hoji CC production to the same facility where the Raven and Renegade are built,” says Hjorleifson. “With new tooling we could update the lengths to make them more in-line with the other skis which were more modern. The updated lengths are far more versatile.”
While the tip and tail heights and 30-meter sidecut remain the same from previous versions, the new Hoji uses a triaxial-braided fiberglass to add grip on the hard snow without significantly altering the flex pattern. 4FRNT also added rubber to the tip and tail to provide dampness and reduce chatter. Finally, Hoji and the design team implemented a series of four quarter-inch-wide carbon stringers laid into the bottom of the ski to give it a little more pop.
“In the past, the Hoji had been one of my least used skis but I had one of the best runs of my life on the new Hoji back in April,” says Hjorleifson. “Golden Alpine Holidays invited to close down Sentry Lodge, and I got to ski a one thousand meter run of steep terrain full of spines, trees and pillows. It was kind of like dropping into a big wave—you’re in there and committed and have to take it as it comes. I was on the final version of the Hoji and they were perfect. Immediately after that, I called Bob and said ‘Yup, I can sign off on ’em now.’”