Ten years ago, a ragtag bunch of self-described ski bums from Australia, Canada, England and America who had traveled the IFSA circuit together formed The Faction Collective in Verbier, Switzerland. As freeride competitors, they were dissatisfied with the tools at their disposal, deeming the skis of the era too narrow, too stuck on making square-tailed skis with cap constructions meant for on-piste skiing.

So they spent some time making prototypes, familiarizing themselves with modern production technology and quality control measures. Eventually they formed a partnership with family-owned production facilities in eastern Europe that were able to source materials from around the EU. Product design and testing remained, then as now, in Verbier.

Considering its origins, it shouldn’t surprise that the Faction collection is heavily weighted towards wide-bodies, deploying a multiplicity of core constructions with a variety of lightweight components. One of its most innovative concoctions is a balsa-flax laminate found in the surprisingly stout CT 3.0, although most cores in the 2017 and 2018 collections use more conventional poplar/ash, poplar/beech or poplar/Paulownia cores.

Faction has been making a Signature Series for Candide Thovex for a few seasons. This often center-mounted quartet offers different degrees of rocker elevation and soft-snow flotation. We find the CT 3.0 maximizes the versatility and in-resort applicability of Candide’s featherweight, twin-tip design.

In contrast to Candide’s signature series, the baseline and sidecuts of the twin-tip Prodigy series and the square-tailed Dictator series are decisively directional. In terms of snow connection, the Prodigy models lie between the more traditional Dictator Series and the looser CT Signature Series.

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