[DEEP DIVE] Faction Agent 4.0 POW Collab Review

[DEEP DIVE] Faction Agent 4.0 POW Collab Review

Featured Image: Matteo Agreiter

Faction Sees the writing on the wall. The Verbier, Switzerland-based brand recognizes that global temperatures are climbing at potentially disastrous rates, likely having a significant impact on skiing if the global industry doesn’t change its behavior. With that in mind, Faction launched a project in 2019 to increase its offering of eco-conscious materials and products and to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change on skiing. The initiative was established in partnership with Protect Our Winters’ Swiss branch. Two years on, the first fruit is borne in the form of the limited-edition, free-touring Faction Agent 4.0 POW Collab.

Most skis are composed of wood cores, fiberglass or carbon fiber laminates, steel edges, ABS sidewalls, polypropylene bases and petroleum-based resins—each component with its own carbon footprint. Molding these elements into premium skis requires large machinery, which in turn requires a lot of energy to operate. The Agent 4.0 POW Collab sets a new standard for lower-carbon-cost ingredients and greener manufacturing.

The wood core of this ski is harvested next door to Faction’s manufacturing center, using certified sustainable forestry practices and the industry’s traditional, petroleum-based epoxy resin—which binds the wood cores, laminates, edges and bases together—is replaced with a plant-based resin. The Faction Agent 4.0 POW Collab also boasts recycled base and sidewall material, and 10 percent of sales of the ski benefit POW Switzerland.

Faction’s full-time Head of Quality and Environmental Social Governance—a Swede and former Volvo engineer by the name of Sara Asmoarp—notes, “On the one hand, the release of this very special ski is the culmination of years of research and prototype development, but it’s important to underscore that the launch of this ski marks the beginning of a journey for Faction, one on which we challenge ourselves every single day to ask: How can we deliver the best-performing products and at the same time do the best we can for our planet?” Note the emphasis on performance.

“The one thing that I want to stress is that we made zero compromises with regards to the downhill performance of this ski,” says Daniel Tanzer, head of hardgoods at Faction. “We have been exploring with recycled materials and bio-based resins for a couple of years, but Faction fans expect the best-possible downhill experience. We would never slap a ‘green’ sticker on the ski and send it to market without having full confidence that the product meets or exceeds expectations.”

Faction says this project represents a significant hurdle cleared on its path to balancing eco-conscious practices with a world-class downhill experience. Skiers can expect similar technology to work its way into the wider Faction collection as early as the 22-23 season.

Faction Agent 4.0 POW Collab