In an ideal world, avid skiers would own a dozen or so pairs of skis. Colorfully lining a dedicated wall in the Garage Mahal. One for high-speed carving on those bluebird groomer days. Another GS ski for the local club or beer league races. A fat pair of skis for those sloppy second days when everything is tracked out. An even fatter pair for that epic Heli-ski trip to British Columbia. Maybe a couple of different lengths of each flavor and so on. In reality, without a ski sponsor, that’s a bit of a pipe dream.
Over the years, I’ve been able to narrow it down to four pairs of skis currently. I say “currently” just in case my wife reads this. And if you don’t race regularly, one could narrow it down to maybe two or three pairs. Finding the holy grail would be a pair of skis that cannot only carve up the front side groomed runs but offer enough float when you find that backside powder stash. Faction Skis offers a full line-up of boards but the Prime Series is the “no compromise” type of ski I was seeking. And the 98mm Prime 2.0 looked to be that holy grail ski for me.
My first impression of the Prime 2.0 was the weight of the skis themselves. Or lack thereof. Featuring TeXtreme carbon composites and Bcomp hybrid balsa/flax lightweight cores, this all-mountain touring ski remains lively and lightweight. A welcome feature of the Prime 2.0 when skinning up the mountain in search of that epic line. Although most of my skiing this season was at home in Michigan plus a trip to Colorado, I found the Prime 2.0 to handle just about everything I threw at it.
The Prime 2.0 measures 126mm wide at the tip, 98mm underfoot and 114mm wide in the tail. And with a turning radius of only 19 meters, this ski can carve like my Giant Slalom skis when needed. 98mm underfoot certainly won’t classify as a powder ski. But living in the midwest, we don’t see a lot of the fluffy white stuff at the local resorts. On occasion, a storm will dump snow faster than the grooming machines can pack it down and the skiers rejoice. Although this was considered an over-all poor winter in my opinion, April brought a fair amount of snow in short order. So I was able to spend some time on the Prime 2.0 skis in powder conditions. And they did very well. The 126mm tip of the ski, along with the lightweight core, kept them high and dry as I sliced through the long-awaited powder.
Faction Prime 2.0 Specs courtesy of factionskis.com
- Natural flax fibers reinforce the strong light balsa, resulting in a lively, yet damp core that outperforms those twice the weight.
- The short radius up front enables you to turn when and where you want, while the longer radii further back ensure stability and power when charging fast. nothing will be holding you back.
- TeXtreme® is based on spreading tows (yarns) to create ultralight and ultrathin woven fabrics which improve impact performance while reducing weight when compared to conventional woven carbon fiber fabrics.
Faction Skis was started 12 years ago by a group of self-proclaimed ski bums. With the mindset that their products needed to be affordable, last 100+ day seasons and survive the winter without servicing them, the Faction Collective was born. It took over a decade of innovation and materials research to create the Prime Series skis. These high-performance lightweight big mountain touring skis excel in all conditions and speeds. Swiss Mountain Guide Sam Anthamatten was pivotal in the development. Creating a perfect balance of precision engineering with state of the art materials and shapes never seen in skiing before.
Faction Prime Series
Faction offers four different widths within the Prime series. Aptly named the 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 and finally…you guessed it, the 4.0. Ranging from 90mm of width underfoot on the Prime 1.0, to a burly 118mm on the 4.0. With that range, there is a Prime Series ski for everyone’s ideal condition. Additionally, Faction offers skis in 5 different Series; Women’s, Prodigy, Prime, Dictator and Candide Thovex. I realize this ski season is all but wrapped up for most of us. But as you’re planning next seasons winter adventure, make sure you take a look at The Faction Collective. And see how their meticulously fabricated skis can help you achieve skiing nirvana.
There are some rumblings within my circle of ski friends eluding to an epic trip in the making for next season. A trip that will require a ski much wider than the Prime 2.0. To an island located on a different continent in a completely different culture. A location that averages daily snowfall of 6-8″ in the month of January. If that trip pans out, I may have to touch base with Faction Skis to see what they have in store for 2019. Stay tuned…
Images courtesy of the author