4FRNT and Armada will probably never agree on which was the first rider-owned ski brand. Both were founded in 2002. Competitive freeskier Matt Sterbenz, unhappy with the terms and products of his contracts with European manufacturers, started 4FRNT in Truckee and then moved it to Salt Lake City in 2005. Its team athletes design their own skis and share equity in the company. The brand never had a star as big as Armada’s Tanner Hall, but it’s still one of the top-selling indie brands.
Origin: Salt Lake City, Utah
Ski Shown: Bibby
Tip/Waist/Tail: 134-108-126 (at 189 cm)
A one-ski-quiver blend of powder and hardpack performance. Rockered tip and tail, camber underfoot.