Faction Agent 4.0 2020 – 2021 | Review

If it's good enough for Sam Anthamatten, it's good enough for you

Why we chose the Faction Agent 4.0: Relatively lightweight, versatile, charger 

Lengths (cm): 171, 179, 185, 191
Sidecut (mm): 141 / 116 / 131
Radius: 23m (185 cm)
Rocker Profile: Rocker-Camber-Rocker
Weight (per ski): 1800g (185 cm)
Price: £700

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When filming the Backcountry Ski Guide with us in 2019, there was just only one pair of skis Sam Anthamatten was reaching for throughout the whole week (no matter the conditions). These skis were the Faction Agent 4.0. Unreleased at the time, Mr. Anthamatten was singing their praises. After seeing how they performed (albeit on some seriously talented legs), we knew that we needed to include them in our next buyer’s guide.

And here they are. The Agent 4.0 sits at the top of Faction’s touring specific ski range. Just like with the rest of Faction’s line, the ‘4.0’ moniker represents the 116 mm waist width of these boards.

“Sam was happily straightlining exposed couloirs, buttering fresh powder, and switch carving groomers”

The reason for this ski being Sam’s daily driver? Well, that’ll be the emphasis Faction has put on downhill performance while creating this ski. When paired with a Look Pivot 18 binding, Sam was happily straightlining exposed couloirs, buttering fresh powder, and switch carving groomers.

Faction Agent 4.0 Build

We’re always a little dubious when brands claim that they’ve created a ski that can charge resorts just like a regular downhill ski, yet remain light enough that you’ve got juice left in your legs to tear the downhill. But, after reviewing the Faction Agent 2.0 last year, we’ve been left impressed with the downhill – weight radio that Faction has nailed with the Agent range.

This is all thanks to the use of a lightweight Paulownia core, which also has a carbon laminate pressed over the ski (this covers the full length of the ski). All of the above results in a flex that’s not too harsh, yet not too noodly (far from it, in fact). Rest assured that when you are able to open the skis up, the Agent 4.0s will be there to support you from start to finish. 

This was evident when skiing in Zermatt with Sam. When the Swiss maestro dropped into a couloir, he soon discovered that it was in fact wind-packed ice. Instead of slamming on the brakes, Sam opted to point and shoot it out of this pretty substantial couloir. Around ten seconds later, Sam was out of the couloir grinning ear-to-ear. Now of course, this says a lot about Sam’s skiing prowess but it’s also testament to the level of downhill performance this ski manages to maintain.

Faction Agent 4.0 Shaping

In an effort to make the ski forgiving, for when you’re not going into full Anthamatten charge mode, Faction shaped the Agent 4.0 with an ‘elliptical radius’, similar to the ‘3 Radius’ found on the Volkl Katana. This elliptical radius features a tighter radius underfoot, for easy turn initiation at slower speeds, and a larger radius in the tips and tails for when you’re laying the skis over and flexing the full length of the ski.

The Agent 4.0 has a pretty subtle rocker, both in the tips and tails, with some traditional (5 mm) camber underfoot that’ll see you right when you’re caught out by some scoured snow.

Who Is The Faction Agent 4.0 For?

Similar to the versatility of the Agent 2.0, we could see the Agent 4.0 being a great tool for anyone that wants a versatile ski but one with a soft snow bias. If you prefer earning you turns, yet also like charging the downhills, then the 4.0 could be the Agent for you.

“Around ten seconds later, Sam was out of the couloir grinning ear-to-ear”

When the going gets soft, this ski is a tonne of fun to throw around. Just like Sam on his CAST setup, we’d recommend pairing these skis with a downhill-focussed binding, like the Armada Shift MNC 10, or even the Marker Duke P16 for the full throttle experience.

What Is The Faction Agent 4.0 Good At?

Charging: 8/10
Soft Snow: 8/10
Touring: 6/10

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