Ski: 2016-2017 Faction Candide 3.0 (aka, “CT 3.0”), 186 cm
Available Lengths: 162, 169, 176, 182, 186, 192, 204 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 183.8 cm
Stated Weight per Ski (182 cm): 1850 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (186 cm): 1912 & 1924 grams
Stated Dimensions: 136-108-132 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 135.0-107.5-130.0 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius: 22 meters
Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): ~69 mm / ~59 mm
Traditional Camber Underfoot: 0-1 mm
Core: Balsa / Flax, with titanal mounting plates
Base: Diecut P-Tex 4000
Factory Recommended Mount Point:
- Candide Line: -2.9 cm from center; 89.0 cm from tail
- All Mountain Line: -6.9 cm from center; 85.0 cm from tail (4 cm behind Candide line)
Days Tested: 12
Test Locations: Ski Santa Fe, Taos Ski Valley, NM
Any time you stamp on a ski the name of one of the greatest skiers of all time (too soon? are we all already in agreement?), there is going to be interest. But the Candide Thovex 3.0 also happens to be an interesting-looking ski, so we’ve been doubly intrigued for a while now — as have many of you, as evinced by the volume of requests we’ve received to review the CT 3.0.
Faction sums the CT 3.0 like this:
“All-mountain, all the time. The VIP of the Candide Thovex series, the multi-award winning Candide 3.0 has been updated to include micro-cap construction and Titanal mounting plates. With a versatile 108mm waist, lightweight balsa/flax hybrid core, slight camber underfoot and rockered tip and tail, the Candide 3.0 takes you from buttering lips to dropping cliffs. The mountain is your playground.”
Welp, that sure sounds like we’re in one-ski quiver territory here — “all-mountain, all the time.” But let’s take a closer look…
It’s nice and strong. I’d sum it up like this:
Behind the Heel piece: 9/8
There are no super-soft butter zones on this ski, and the flex pattern feels solid. In fact, if this ski were heavier, the ski would start creeping into the ‘pretty stout’ category — especially if you’re viewing the CT 3.0 as an all-mountain jib ski.
In the hand, these things feel quite light. And at 1912 & 1924 g, they are. We’ll say a bit more about this when we get to the Comparisons section, but it’s hard to find too many direct comparisons that have this shape + this flex pattern + this low weight.
But one thing worth noting here — check out Faction’s own classification of the 3.0:
The Candide 3.0 gets the highest marks in Freeride and Touring. And I think the latter category has been an underestimated or downplayed component of this ski. Honestly, the 3.0 is so light that I would be a bit nervous about breaking it out for everyday, inbounds use regardless of the conditions. I don’t think you want to go slam around or land on a bunch of rocks on this ski.
But for use as very playful backcountry ski, or as a “50/50” ski, to be broken out in the resort when coverage is good and the conditions aren’t horrible? The 3.0 starts to look more and more interesting.
Faction says the CT 3.0 has 2 mm of traditional camber underfoot, but man, having looked at a whole bunch of production CT 3.0s, I would describe this ski as flat underfoot. See for yourself in our Rocker Pics; you can see a sliver of light under the center of the ski — so we’ll go ahead and say these have about 1 mm of camber — but we’ve reviewed a number of skis that have been described as “flat” … and they’ve basically looked like this.
As we noted above, while there are a ton of skis in the playful all-mountain / all-mountain jib ski category, there are few skis out there that seem to be occupying the exact space of the CT 3.0. But we’ll list some more-or-less direct comparisons, and that will actually help tell the story of what makes the Candide 3.0 unique.
Like the CT 3.0, the Meridian has a solid flex pattern, but it comes in heavier than the CT 3.0, and the CT 3.0 has a much more subtle rocker profile. Still, we’re curious to A/B these two skis, see how similar or different they feel on snow.
Faction Chapter 106
We’ve been getting more time on the Chapter 106 (and have already written about it and all the other skis mentioned below in our Winter Buyer’s Guide). The CT 3.0 and Chapter 106 are comparable in weight, so we’re curious to see how much they differ in terms of playfulness; how hard they can be pushed; and if one ski is clearly the better choice for directional skiers.
Rossignol Soul 7 HD
Both skis are particularly strong underfoot, but the Soul 7 HD is more than 100 g heavier per ski and has a less jibby shape…
ON3P Kartel 108
The Kartel 108 is already one of our favorites in the ‘playful all-mountain skis’ category. Could the CT 3.0 be viewed as a lighter, more touring-oriented version?
Liberty Skis Origin 106
Liberty is also billing the Origin 106 as a one-ski quiver, and it’s another ski that comes in pretty light and could make sense as a 50/50 tool. We’re particularly interested to see how the skis compare in terms of their respective hard-snow and soft-snow performance.
FLASH REVIEW: CANDIDE 3.0
NEXT: Full Review