2016/17 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Faction ski, and what better way to celebrate than with their new line of CT (aka Candide Thovex) skis. If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past decade, then you should know that Candide is a French skier who’s become something of a living legend in the sport of free skiing. If you want proof, check out this recent video segment.
There are four versions of the Faction CT skis:
• CT 1.0 - 90mm underfoot, ideal for freestyle
• CT 2.0 - 102mm underfoot, the All-mountain version
• CT 3.0 - 108mm underfoot, the Freeride model
• CT 4.0 - 118mm width, the backcountry version
We'll look at the Faction Candide CT 3.0 Skis as pictured below.
The Faction CT mantra is “make the mountain your playground”. The CT 3.0 Skis are a strong and playful freeride ski built for all-mountain riding. Their 108mm width underfoot is ideal for soft snow but they also handle hardpack with ease. Their balsa wood core keeps the ski light and lively, while the flax fibres provide reinforcement, strength and pop. Flax is a natural fibre with a very high tensile strength. Combine this with the dampness and light weight of balsa, and you’ve got a lightweight, versatile core. The CT 3.0’s hold an edge in all snow conditions thanks to their torsional stiffness / biaxial and triaxial fibreglass laminates. The updated sandwich/micro-cap construction provides increased durability so your skis won’t look abused after just a few sessions, while adding to their ability to grip and hold an edge.
The Faction Candide CT 3.0’s have rockered tips and tails for float off-piste with slight camber underfoot, and allow for versatile skiing anywhere on the mountain. A titanal plate is added underfoot to secure the binding screws and ensure you never pull out a toe or heel piece, no matter your skiing style. The bottoms are finished with a sintered P-Tex 4000 base, which is porous and holds wax well.
Tips and tails, both with generous early rise.
While I neither “butter lips” or drop cliffs, I can still appreciate the versatility of the Faction Candide CT 3.0 Ski. While they aren’t necessarily aimed at someone my age, they sure are a fun ski to rip around the resort on. The tip and tail rocker make turning a breeze in any kind of snow, and the slight camber underfoot provides the right pop for quick edge-to-edge transitions. The skis medium-stiff flex and torsional rigidity provided great edge hold on the hardpack test days I encountered at Whitewater Ski Resort. When the pow-pow came the CT 3.0’s were fat enough to float, and the early rise tips ensured I stayed on top. Letting the CT 3.0’s run fast was easy as the low camber underfoot made them super stable at speed. The minimal tip chatter provided further reassurance, thanks to their Balsaflax sandwich construction.
With the CT 3.0’s profile you can easily smear your turns or lay down an aggressive carve. While I am not accustomed to terrain park skiing, switch, butters or big tricks, I was having a blast ripping the resort on these skis! They simply made skiing fun again. I was confident in their ability to run fast as they always felt solid and stable no matter the snow conditions, and there was always enough pop in the turns to provide a smile.
I wouldn’t consider the Faction Candide CT 3.0 Skis a light weight ski touring ski, but they aren’t so heavy that I wouldn’t consider them capable of full-day tours. Their beefy construction provides enough mass and power to take on any conditions, and the early rise tip is made for pow days. The tail on the other hand is not ideal for kick turns while touring, given its early rise. The CT 3.0’s are more than suitable for touring and really ideal for freeride and resort skiing. The mountain is your playground, after all.
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