Faction The Agent 100
Seb Fish, January 31, 2012
The Faction Collective have been redefining ski design since 2006, the year when Tony McWilliam and Alex Hoye decided to start building gear that matched the demands of modern riding. Founded and based in Verbier, the company produces a range of handmade high performance skis that are well worth checking out this season. In their commitment to handmade manufacturing, Faction join a number of European and North American ski brands at the boutique end of a flourishing yet competitive ski market.
The Agent 100 is a freeriding and touring specific pair of skis, loaded with a sufficient 102mm width underfoot to allow the ski to glide effortlessly through powder. For icy pistes when you want to bring out the carving turns, an average sidecut radius of 22 meters (depending on the length of the ski) makes piste-time, pleasure-time. These two major features make The Agent an incredibly versatile ski that can be used for different skiing styles based completely on the skier’s preference. In addition to these key features, the ski is made in a traditional camber but at 15% lighter than the previous year’s ski, the Winter 11/12 Agent 100 is an ideal switch if you are unaccustomed to the wider and heavier style of powder skis but still want to float better in powder than piste skis will allow.
The adaptability of these skis to varying conditions shows the commitment to enjoyable skiing, mirrored by Faction in their design commitment:
A ski needs to be a living combination of performance, versatility, durability and beauty. They are something you spend a lot of hard-earned money on, and something that you spend some of the most amazing days of your life on.
It is clear to see how this philosophy has been embedded into the construction of The Agent 100. During my testings in Verbier over three weeks, the skis kept me riding whether I skied in deep powder, on icy pistes or through chopped-up crud.
For those who prefer a stiffer, more responsive ride, Faction created The Agent 100 Pro. Again this represents Faction’s close attention to small but significant details in order to create the perfect ride.
I was refreshed by the company’s approach to ski design, a process that values customers as the greatest critics and number one fans. I hope this innovative and energetic approach to ski manufacturing can rub off on some of their more established competitors, who perhaps focus too much on the high-end, professional aspect of the sport as opposed to the everyday skier.