The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

2017-2018 Faction Candide 3.0

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Faction Candide 3.0 for Blister Gear Review

Faction Candide 3.0

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…

Flex Pattern

It’s nice and strong. I’d sum it up like this:

Tips: 6/7

Shovels: 7/8

Underfoot: 10

Behind the Heel piece: 9/8

Tails: 7

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:

Review of the Faction CT 3.0 by Blister Review

Note how touring-oriented Faction classifies the CT 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.

Camber Underfoot

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.

Some Comparisons

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.

Moment Meridian

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.


Become a Blister Member to read our initial on-snow thoughts on the Candide 3.0.

NEXT: Full Review


  1. Ian January 9, 2017 Reply

    So simply not burly enough for you to consider a true everyday ski, kinda like a the vwerks katana?… which i wonder.. did you ever manage to blow up? Continuing my hunt for a 1 ski out west quiver, and i can’t be terribly picky about conditions in march, when i usually go.

    • Author

      Hmmm, I think the V-Werks Katana is a pretty different story — I always caution against subjecting the V-Werks’ construction to rock hits, so taking it out at least when coverage is good. (And no, we haven’t blown up any of the V-Werks skis — the Katana, BMT 109, and BMT 122. But I did put a pretty significant dent on the base / under the binding area of the Katana. The ski still works fine, but it just underscores the point — it’s dumb to subject that construction to really rocky areas.)

      The Candide 3.0 has a more traditional construction than V-Werks, it’s just a light ski. So I still think it would be dumb to expect a ski like this to have the *same* durability as a similar ski that is ~200-300 g heavier per ski. But for me, it’s a bit less of a durability argument (when it comes to using the 3.0 as an everyday ski — but again, don’t expect this to hold up to hard, repeated rock hits), and a bit more of using a ski this light in all conditions — especially really bad snow — where weight is your friend, and makes it more fun to ski really variable and really messed up conditions. Then again, lots of people ski the Rossi Soul 7 every day — though the 3.0 is even lighter…

  2. Blister Member
    DAVID January 9, 2017 Reply

    One remarkable feature that you didn’t mention is the available 204 cm length, which is extremely rare these days. That used to be the length of my daily drivers “back in the day”. What profile of skier is Faction envisioning for this length? (I’m a big guy (6’5″ 275#) and I understand the economics working against building a mold for such a narrow market niche, but understanding that doesn’t help me suitable rides today.)

    • Good question, David, and I don’t have a great answer. Perhaps a 6’3″ – 6’6″ ~215 lbs skier?

      Because at 275, I’d still caution a bit about the low weight construction. Seems like you’d be an *awfully* good candidate for the old metal Volkl Katana in either a 191 or 198.

  3. Blister Member
    Dan January 9, 2017 Reply

    I’d like to second David’s comment, but with a twist.

    Super excited that you guys are going to review this ski. As a long time Rossi Sickle fan (still have a pair as a daily diver with 200 days on them), the 186 cm CT 3.0 looks a lot like a Sickle but 200 gms lighter.

    At 5’9″ I’ve often wondered what how a longer Sickle would ski. The 192 cm CT 3.0 (straight pull probably 189.8 cm) would probably weight around 2200 gm, just like a 186 cm Sickle (straight pull 183.6 cm).

    Any chance you’ll get to ski a 192 CT 3.0 in addition to the 186 cm? Excited for your take regardless of length tested though. Will you be mounting -6.9 cm back?

    • Author

      Hi, Dan – we don’t have any immediate plans to ski the 192, I’m afraid, but I personally wouldn’t be that tempted to. The 186 3.0 didn’t ski particularly “short” to me — though having said that, I don’t at all suppose that bumping up to the 192 would be a problem.

      Did you get a chance to try the 186?

  4. Some Boot Guy January 10, 2017 Reply

    I’ve been hoping for more info on this ski for a while. I’m on an old, beat to shit Faction 3.Zero right now because I can’t find anything at around 105-115mm underfoot that skis as well in any conditions, with a similar rocker profile and very minor amounts of tip/tail taper. It’s between this and the Black Crows Atris, so looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on the CT 3.0.

  5. Dylan January 10, 2017 Reply

    FINALLY!!!! So stoked to hear you guys are on this thing!

  6. SkiAlex January 14, 2017 Reply

    One look at the sizes and you can conclude that this ski is designed to ski in a longer than usual length. Makes sense because of the light weight.

  7. Chris Pawlitsky January 16, 2017 Reply

    I bought this ski in 192.

    I bought it for my “playful, ski with my wife, slack country” kind of ski.

    I absolutely love it!! Great all around ski.

    My only two (fairly minor) complaints, it has a speed limit, (when I get above 50 mph on variable snow things get floppy) and it doesn’t quite float as good as I would have liked in the real deep.

    Definitely my favorite ski I own, and no desire really to break out my Cochise or XXL’s anymore.

  8. Kyle Bitney January 16, 2017 Reply

    Was the 16/17 CT 3.0 updated from the 15/16 other than graphics (15/16 was purple)?

  9. Braden March 20, 2017 Reply

    I personally disagree with the comment about these being a daily driver that can be slammed around or driven in less than stellar conditions. I own and haves skied the 192 this season and have 50 plus days on them starting thanksgiving weekend all the way up to yesterday. I have skied the Canadian Rockies the Washington cascades and the Utah Wasatch. These skis are my friend. They do everything will. Wanna stomp cliffs… check. Rail groomers. No problem. Technical tight lines… you bet. Park laps.. sure. Knee deep… yep. You get the point. I have other skis but they have become long lost relatives that I sometimes remember to acknowledge. Durability has not been an issue. For reference, I am 6’3″ 215#s. these are mounted with some sth 16s and still feel light as a feather. These are a dream.

  10. Brett March 22, 2017 Reply

    Any idea how the 204s would compare to the 192 DPS wailer RPCs?

    I am 6’6, 230 lbs, aggressive backcountry skier and my daily drivers are the 196 moment governor, but I tour on 192 DPS wailer RPCs with kingpins. Love the RPC, but sometimes I find myself wanting just a little bit more ski when I want to drive the shovels. But I still really want to retain the quickness edge to edge and float of the RPCs in pow, as well as their ability to rail groomers (although he RPC doesn’t always like to properly finish the turn).

    I’d love to see how the 204 would compare to the 192 RPC

  11. billy March 24, 2017 Reply

    Maybe if faction actually put some real rocker in these skis, they would floater better and loosen up that hooky tail, either add some real rocker and loosen it up and make it real playful, or just follow all the other builders trends and put 5mm of camber in it and make it as boring as all the others, get off the fence.

    • Stein Arntson August 26, 2017 Reply

      I’d like to add a second opinion to your review and maybe give some insight to the bigger guys out there. I ski at Squaw Valley and have had the 192 3.0s(purplish top sheet no titinal mounting plates) for the last two seasons and absolutely love them.

      I’d like to start with this. I am 6’2″-6’3″ about 185, 21 years old, been skiing since I could walk and am an ex racer/sponsored bug mountain skier. I am a very dynamic skier constantly jumping, doing butters, spins, and flips etc. I also like to haul ass and lay trenches from my racing background, so for me every year the battle really is choosing between something I can spin and flip better on vs something that can stomp airs and lay trenches at mach ten while still being relatively air comfortable. The faction 3.0 is a ski made for progressive skiers looking to move their skiing in creative directions. I would not recommend this to an intermediate skier. Not because it is difficult to ski, but because the ski offers more benefit for a more skilled athlete. This is the most fun ski I have ever been on period. Snappy, light, poppy, chargey, and buttery, an overall blast. It is the most well balanced ski Ive ever been on in the air(I actually prefer these to spin over my scott t-wallisch pros). This ski maintains enough stability to make fast long carves out of landing cliffs, but can pivot in a second to shut it down. The places it sucks is moguls, very firm conditions, and short radius turns(it does have a 28m turn radius so not surprising, and a mount point +1.5 form all mountain reccomendation). I would say that they float well up until knee deep pow, but realistically any ski that has more rocker than this will lose its versatility. I love how they have performed in tahoe conditions. SIZING: If I were still competing I would ski these in the 204(my powder skis are the chapter 116 16/17 in the 198) but for a ski meant for jibbing, a size that long would take away from maneuverability and spins. If youre 6 4+ and 200lbs+ the 204 might be a good option.

      • Author

        Great feedback, Stein. Lots of stuff in here that I agree with, and the rest (that I can’t speak to) sure sounds reasonable to me. Thanks.

      • Blister Member
        Brett December 2, 2017 Reply

        “SIZING: If I were still competing I would ski these in the 204(my powder skis are the chapter 116 16/17 in the 198) but for a ski meant for jibbing, a size that long would take away from maneuverability and spins. If youre 6 4+ and 200lbs+ the 204 might be a good option.”

        Hey Stein, thanks for the great info. I’m actually having a mild crisis choosing between these two skis right now….
        How do you think these skis compare to the chapter 116s in 198? Curious about both deep backcountry pow, and the occasional inbounds days? Any comments you have comparing the two would be much appreciated.


        • Blister Member
          Brett December 2, 2017 Reply

          Also, I’m 6″6′ and 230lbs aggressive skier. Not much for tricking, more about charging, however I still enjoy a playful “trickable” ski in the pow.

  12. Andy March 27, 2017 Reply

    This sounds like the jibbier version of the Blizzard Rustler 10, which is also pretty light but handles most conditions well.

    • Author

      Hmmm, I have to confess that I never thought about the 3.0 while skiing the Rustler 10. We’ll be writing about that ski soon, and hopefully it’ll make sense why I didn’t find them to be terribly similar.

  13. Jon R January 8, 2018 Reply

    Any plans to review the CT 4.0? I’m curious to know how that one performs relative to the 3.0 and other 50/50 skis…since it appears to be just a wider version of the 3.0 with more girth and better float, but still really light.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *