Faction is celebrating International Women’s Day by telling the story behind their women’s range: The X Series
Uniquely, Faction’s design research determined that women don’t require softer skis made of cheaper materials… who’d have thought it eh? The choice of ski should be according to weight and ability, not gender.
The X Series has been ridden by Faction’s all-star women’s team to claim gold medals and podiums at the Olympics, FIS World Cups and the X-Games. Every model in the X series is the exact same shape, construction, flex and material as the main range – but with alternative graphic options. And refreshingly, they don’t actually look like tampon boxes. While the Rossignol Spicy, Volkl Confession and Roxy Dreamcatcher skis leave us cringing at the names, Faction’s Prodigy and Dictator range put fire the in bellies of their users, and that’s what we like to see.
The Prodigy 1.0x has been the most successful ski on the women’s slopestyle competition scene in 2018 & 2019. Sarah Hoefflin and Mathilde Gremaud swept gold & silver medals in South Korea last year, and the wins have not stopped since. At the X-Games in Aspen in January, Kelly Sildaru scored an unprecedented 99, and was the first athlete to ever have won three medals in one single X-Games. She insists that it’s important to sport a feminine topsheet. But the fact is, some of the women prefer a more neutral style, reflecting a diversity of opinion among skiers everywhere.
Kelly Sildaru says: “I like the Prodigy 1.0x because the skis are pretty light so it’s easy for doing tricks. The feminine graphics on the Prodigy X Series give women a strong message that these skis are built for them - which I think is really powerful.”
Here she is smashing her slopestyle run at the X games this year.
Alex Hoye, Founder & CEO at Faction said: "We have thought about this a lot and came to the clear conclusion to offer a choice. We’ve had great feedback on our X Series graphics which unapologetically offer strong feminine styles, but not all women want the same thing and that’s great. For those who don’t, the main range is there. Either way, creating the X-Series gives us space to celebrate and be inspired by the Faction women who are changing the face of freeskiing every day they hit the mountain. "
Faction skis have been put through their paces on the Freeride World Tour this year by Swiss skier Elizabeth Gerritzen who is currently sitting in fourth place overall, having reached the podium several times already on the tour.
She said: “I like the Prodigy 4.0 as it pops but is also stable for landing cliffs. I’ve been skiing this for the last two seasons on the Freeride World Tour. I’m just about to switch to the Dictator 3.0 because the new shape looks epic. AND while I like the pink in the CT X Series, I’m not a fan of the pink in the main range of Prodigy’s – is that weird?”
The X-series is Faction’s solution to be inclusive of women without minimising their skills and the performance of skis offered to them. It’s well-known that the athlete’s I’ve mentioned are catalysts of change within freeride and freestyle skiing, but what is less known is that within Faction Skis, the senior management team is led by women. Across both competitive athletes and the industry professionals within Faction Skis, they all make different choices with regards to ski models and graphics. Here are a few thoughts from Faction women on how they chose their tools of escape:
Anna Smoothy, Head of Marketing said: “I’ve always been a big fan of the Dictator lineup - but the updates for 19/20 have made these absolute beasts much more playful. The 3.0 is my pow ski, but for touring and everyday resort shreds - Agent 2.0x is my go-to.”
At Line-S we were lucky enough to test the Dictator range recently and boy were we impressed. You can read our review of the 2.0X here.
Faction’s Chloe Pope said: “As I am leading the finance team, naturally I’m going to gravitate towards the green skis! Aside from colour clichés, I like that it’s stable across the whole mountain and the new sidecut makes the ski turn for you.”
Over on the touring side of things, Head of Operations Olivia Herbert said:"I’m new to ski touring and the Agent 1.0x has been the perfect gateway ski. It’s really lightweight for going up and riding down it handles anything the mountain can throw at it.”
The hotly anticipated female line of Candide Thovex’s skis dropped recently, apparently because he wanted his girlfriend to ski with him. The skis keep exactly the same award-winning construction and flair as the original CT 2.0, but feature new designs inspired by females. We asked you on Instagram what you thought and while some people were head over heels for the designs, calling them the “coolest skis ever” and “super sexy,” a few of you demanded to know “WHY PINK!?”
Despite the decidedly girly hues, one respondent asked, “I’m a guy, can I ride them?”