By Jim Harris
4FRNT premiered their team movie, Loyalty, in a twin-billing with Sherpa Cinema’s U.S. premiere of All.I.Can. at Salt Lake City's historic Tower Theater last Saturday night.
Loyalty, a 30-minute film available for free viewing and downloading, follows skiers Eric Hjorleifson, Wiley Miller, Cody Barnhill, Finn Anderson, Will Berman, Mack Jones, Eirik Finseth, Torgrim Vole, Austin Ramaley, Matt Sterbenz, Niklas Karlstrom and more. 4FRNT's "don't take yourself too seriously" ethos shines through from the start with a worm-turning ode to the ’80s cult classic Hot Dog… The Movie.
Shifting gears, Hoji and Barnhill crush pillow lines while "product testing" their hand-crafted, reverse camber Renegade skis. During the pre-premiere BBQ/skateshesh at the 4FRNT factory, I got a tour of the operation and it's pretty unique to see the passion that Hoji and Barnhill bring to the project. After a few seasons of designing and prototyping the skis, these guys have built every pair of Renegades that now stand in tidy stacks, and 4FRNT's "White Room" is where the fabrication magic happens. While it smells like resin, it’s clean and swept in a way that tells you it's a serious workspace. From the smooth finish on the topsheet edges to the Barnhill-fabricated freakbike out front, it's clear these guys are craftsmen.
Back at the film, I got a kick out of 4FRNT owner Matt Sterbenz sliding rails and chuting Euro lines. It's hard to argue with the street cred of the corporate guy who holds his own both in the park and riding big mountains.
Meanwhile, referring to All.I.Can., Sterbenz, grinning, offered an assessment: "It's like catching a Michael Moore flick when you're not ready for it.” (Find a Powder.com recap from the Whistler world premiere of All.I.Can HERE.)
Loyalty, between the pillow and pow lines, felt like a reintroduction to winter. And it played like a cold Coors tastes: frosty and refreshing without pretense, tail-tapping the Rockies.