Expert Review: Faction Ski Candide 3.0
This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in January 2017.
About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the skis, which I bought with my own money in January 2017.
The Faction Ski Candide 3.0s are for anyone who wants an all-mountain ski that can charge but play as well. Advanced to expert skiers will be able to use this ski to its fullest potential.
About this gear
- Model: Faction Candide 3.0
- Size: 183cm
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 178 lbs
- Experience: 10 years
- When I bought these: January 2017
- Days tested: 100+
- Mount position: Center
- Boots: K2 Pinnacle 130
- Boot Size: 26.5
- Bindings: Salomon Guardian 13
- Where I’ve used it: Monarch Mountain (CO), Bridger Bowl (MT), Mad River Glen (VT)
- Terrain: Moguls, trees, groomers, park, backcountry
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was missing having an everyday ski for softer conditions. I really wanted a versatile ski that would handle all terrain types well while allowing me to stay playful on my skis.
Why I chose this gear
Honestly, I chose to get these skis because Candide Thorvex, the skier, sold this. I watched some videos of him skiing and was like, “Dang, that is how I want to ski.” To sum up Candide’s style, it is fast and massive airs mixed with a lot of freestyle. Just think of pinning through moguls to a natural hit, tossing a big floaty 360, and proceeding to air over a cattrack. This ski handles whatever he tosses at it. Also, the sizing fit me perfectly for the length and the waist width.
I didn’t consider buying any other options, it was the right time, price, and all that. The stars aligned perfectly for me to get these skis. I'm currently considering buying the slightly wider updated version, the 3.0 in the 112mm waist width, for next season.
What I love about it
- Speed: The ski has a very progressive flex pattern, meaning that it's generally stiff but when I press into the ski, it's smooth and consistent throughout. This makes for a smooth ride. If I really get going this ski does have its limits as it isn’t the stiffest ski out there and may get a little bit uncomposed at extremely high speeds.
- Edge hold: I’ve used these on late-season East Coast conditions. Obviously not where they are intended to be used, but they held their own surprisingly well. I believe that this is thanks to a relatively tight 20m turning radius. This lets it carve nice long arching turns but also pivot on edge in tight spots extremely well. However, I find on hardpack that the ski gets a little trickier to handle being slightly on the wider side.
- Turns: Turns are stable and smooth. Quick and snappy through the moguls and locked in on the big GS (giant slalom) turns. Super high speed is not exactly what this ski wants. It can turn at speed, but I better be focused on it.
- Powder: These are my everyday skis for out west. They still provide float in 12 inches of fresh powder. 136mm in the tip and 132mm in the tail still give me plenty of ski to stay towards the top. But when it gets extra deep (more than 15”) I might find that I want a wider ski.
- Trees: Nimble and snappy is how I would quickly sum up the skis. This is thanks to a generous 70mm tip height and 64mm in the tail, which means plenty of rocker. This means the ski can get out of its own way in a tight spot. A little bit of input is needed as it is not an autopilot kind of ski. But if I put in a little work, the skis reward me with a surprising amount of pinpoint accuracy. If the trees get really tight I could find myself having to work the ski to get through them.
- Moguls: The nimble and snappy nature lends itself to performing well in moguls. They pick up speed quickly and I can quickly find my personal speed limit. I just have to stay on top of them, because in tight moguls, I sometimes feel like they are a little too much ski.
- Sidecountry: I like a short sidecountry mission – something short after work. The Salomon Guardians are a touring binding and are not particularly light, but I have them on the skis and love the combo for that short after-work lap.
- Weight: The balsa/flax wood core is pretty light. For a 183cm ski, it comes in at 2100g which is considered medium weight for an all-mountain ski. Again, I got touring bindings on them and they are light enough to be a solid sidecountry setup.
- Durability: I am pretty impressed with the durability. I have had the skis for some time now. I'm not exactly easy on my gear, and I've only noticed slight chipping in the top sheet – just the normal chips, nothing major. No core shots yet _knock on wood_
- Switch riding: Riding switch is a must for me. So it's a full twin tip or bust. They do not disappoint here at all. It is not a true asymmetrical ski so I sometimes notice it skis a little different switch.
- Stability: The flex pattern is the whole reason I got the ski for the most part. They are stable at high speeds and blast through most chunder. When I get going quickly, I will feel it start to chatter, but it's not the worst. When I slow down, I can press these skis and butter to my heart's content.
- Aesthetics: I am a sucker for a clean graphic. The 3.0 has a designated left and right foot but I'm pretty sure it's for the aesthetics of the ski. A matte finish to the skis’ top sheet makes for a clean look.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Groomers: If snow is soft, it’s awesome. However, if it's firming up, these skis will skidder a bit with some tip chatter. There is some chatter at high speed, but nothing that is not manageable.
- Park: The lightweight core makes the skis have a lower swing weight. For a 108mm underfoot ski, they handle boxes and rails just fine. Not what it's meant for, but if I want to spin a lap through the park, I go for it. Not the lowest swing weight out there for spins.
- Backcountry: For longer tours, at 2100g in weight, these skis can be a bit heavy. If I want to go for extended tours with less exertion, there are lighter skis out there below 1600g in weight.
- Weight: If I go hard for a few days in a row I will notice the weight.
Favorite moment with this gear
My overall experience of the skis has sold me on them – not a single moment or place. Anywhere I go with these skis, I know I have a strong reliable ski at my back. Confidence is a huge part of skiing, and these skis inspire me. Thanks to a great flex, a versatile waist width, and a smooth but poppy core, I am taking run-ins through mogul fields to hit natural features that I wouldn't have considered in the past.
Value for money vs. other options
It's a chunk of change, but for the price I am getting a durable ski that hits the sweet spot of playful and hard-charging. For a more freeride ski and less freestyle, I’d check out the Faction Prodigy line. For similar skis to the Candide 3.0 from other brands, I’d look at the Line Sir Frances Bacon or the K2 Reckoner series.
For skiers who want to push themselves or just feel extra confident in what they ski, this light, nimble, hard-charging ski that loves to play is the ticket.
If you want to see the 2021 version of these skis in action, check out the video below by Curated Expert Daryl Morrison.