Jason Levinthal has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Salt Lake City-based 4FRNT Skis Inc. The transaction is expected to close in early July.
Levinthal’s acquisition of 4FRNT is an unexpected yet logical step in his two-decade-long mission to rejuvenate skiing. The industry veteran is credited with introducing the first twin tip ski in 1995 while creating the ski brand Line; he later sold Line to K2 Sports, where he masterminded the launch of Full Tilt ski boots. Based in Burlington, VT, he now owns and operates J Skis, a direct-to-consumer ski company.
Regarding 4FRNT, Jason said, “Unlike today, in the late 90s and early 2000s there was only myself and a couple of other small startup ski companies. We were all skiers, focused on pioneering the modern-day freeskiing movement, by developing progressive new products to counteract the stagnant sport of that time. Of those
original brands, 4FRNT is the only one still privately owned. I truly believe it’s in the best interest of the entire industry to keep it that way, to make sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.”
“I have immense respect for the 15 years of hard work and determination Matt Sterbenz, the brand’s founder, and his crew have put into building this great brand. Matt has a great vision for the brand and together we have a combined 37 years worth of proven entrepreneurial ski industry experience to leverage.”
Sterbenz will continue to be responsible for creating the athlete-driven products the brand is known for, keeping 4FRNT’s unique position in the market in line with its freeride and backcountry skiing roots. He will remain in Salt Lake City, operating out of The White Room, 4FRNT’s state-of-the-art R&D facility.
Sterbenz said, “I’ll never forget how influential Jason’s passion was for me early on with 4FRNT. Jason has been and remains to be a positive influence to me, and I’m thrilled to now officially have the opportunity to work with him on growing 4FRNT.”
As a serial entrepreneur in the ski industry, Jason understands the immense challenges that come with growing an independently owned winter sporting goods brand in such a competitive, seasonal, zero-growth industry, most of which is controlled by publicly traded corporate conglomerates. When it comes to 4FRNT’s future, Levinthal intends to ramp up brand awareness and introduce 4FRNT’s products to a far broader audience of skiers. As far as operational efficiencies, Levinthal plans to gain cost and time savings due to the now-larger economies of scale by sharing operational systems between the two companies. All the while, the brands’ identities, products, and directions will remain separate and unique.