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

2017-2018 Faction Dictator 3.0

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Faction Dictator 3.0 for Blister Review

Faction Dictator 3.0

Ski: 2017-2018 Faction Dictator 3.0, 186 cm

Available Lengths: 174, 178, 182, 186, 192 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.5 cm

Stated Weight per Ski (178 cm): 1950 grams

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (186 cm): 2022 & 2047 grams

Stated Dimensions: 132-105-121 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 130.5-105-120

Stated Sidecut Radius: 22/25 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 56 mm / 20.5 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 3.5 mm

Core Construction: Paulownia / Poplar; Dual Titanal layer; Fiberglass Laminate

Base: Die-cut Ptex 3000

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.85 cm from center; 82.4 cm from tail

Boots / Bindings: HEAD Raptor 140 RS / Tyrolia AAAttack 13 AT

Test Location: Arapahoe Basin, CO

Days Skied (so far): 7


According to Faction, the skis in their new “Dictator” series are:

“Your classic freeride flat tail ski, reimagined and rebooted into the 21st century.”

(Kind of like BladeRunner 2049, I suppose. But I digress.)

Faction continues, “Perfect for straightlining that couloir or arcing turns on blue ice, the Dictator series is for those who want to ski at mach 10 everywhere the can. Surprisingly nimble for a performance ski, a lightweight poplar / paulownia core reinforced with dual titanal layers and combined with dual-radius sidecuts and a healthy dose of tip and tail rocker make the range float in the pow, plow through the crud, super stable at speed, yet nimble underfoot.”

It’s also pretty interesting the terms that Faction lists under the Dictator series’ “Product Profile”:

  • Charger
  • High Speed
  • High Performance

And under the Dictator series’ “Consumer Profile”:

  • 25-45 yrs old
  • Weekend Warrior
  • Lunatics / Maniacs
  • Die Hard Skiers (which seems a bit contradictory to “Weekend Warrior”?)
  • Inbound Hikers

So all of you 25-45 year old die-hard, lunatic, weekend-warriors who like to hike inbounds … please meet your (very specific) ski.

In fact, it would be pretty sweet if we could get the Dictator series renamed the “Die-Hard Lunatic/Maniacs Inbounds-Hiking Weekend Warrior Sticks.” Or the DHLIHWWS, for short?

Skis in the Dictator Lineup

Dictator 1.0 – 85 mm underfoot. Stated Flex: 7/10
Dictator 2.0 – 95 mm underfoot. Stated Flex: 7/10
Dictator 3.0 – 105 mm underfoot. Stated Flex: 8/10
Dictator 4.0 – 115 mm underfoot. Stated Flex: 9/10

Dictator 3.0 – Flex Pattern

On their own Stiffness Scale, Faction gives the Dictator 3.0 an “8 out of 10,” and I’d say that seems reasonable, given that they call the Candide 3.0 a “7 out of 10.” And keep in mind, the CT 3.0 is no noodle.

Handflexing the Dictator 3.0, I’d break it down like this:

Tips: 7.5-8
Shovels: 8-9
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 10-9
Tails: 9-8.5

I’ve now got a day on the Dictator 3.0 (blister members can read my Flash Review), but what I’ll say for now is that, while those numbers point to a pretty stiff ski, the ski might feel even stiffer on snow.

Rocker Profile / Shape

The rocker profile is pretty subtle, and this ski is pretty straight — it looks and feels straighter than its stated “dual radius” of 22/25 meters. (Take a look at our rocker profile pics.)

So let’s sum up: we’ve got a quite stiff, pretty straight ski with pretty subtle tip and tail rocker, and a pretty traditional mount point of – 9.85 cm.

Those are all certainly the quintessential ingredients of a directional charger, but there’s just one twist…


2022 & 2047 grams, for the 186 cm Dictator 3.0.

And let’s look at a few comparisons:

188 cm Rossignol Soul 7 (16/17), weighs in at 2042 & 2069 grams. And in case you’re a little groggy today, that’s heavier than the Dictator 3.0. And nobody ever accused the Soul 7 of being a high-speed charger for lunatics and maniacs.

Other “Directional Chargers” (with Blister measured weights):

  • 186 cm Moment Belafonte: 2227 & 2249 g
  • 184 cm ON3P Wrenegade 108: 2230 & 2234 g
  • 185 cm DPS Wailer 105 Hybrid T2: 2267 & 2297 g
  • 186 cm J Skis The Metal: 2318 & 2341 g
  • 186 cm Line Supernatural 108: 2330 & 2395 g
  • 185 cm Blizzard Cochise: 2376 & 2393 g
  • 184 cm HEAD Monster 108 (17/18): 2495 & 2521 g

So the Dictator 3.0 is looking like quite an outlier here, yet Faction only hints at the low weight of the 3.0 (e.g., “Inbounds Hiking”). But we think this is one of the most significant factors of the Dictator design.

Bottom Line (For Now)

We’ve got one full day under our belts on the Dictator 3.0, and blister members can read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Dictator 3.0. But we’ll be getting more days and more reviewers on this ski soon. Stay tuned…

NEXT: Full Review — Faction Dictator 3.0


  1. Blister Member
    David Friedlander September 18, 2017 Reply

    Any ETA on when the full review will be up?

  2. Jason September 27, 2017 Reply

    How does this ski compare to the Head Kore 105 as another lightweight, yet very stiff, ski?

  3. Curt @ the Wrong State September 27, 2017 Reply

    I doubt that this was your intent here, but you’ve written yet another review of a ~105-110 charger that makes me feel like I absolutely, positively have to get on a pair of Monster 108s this season. And maybe buy them before Head decides it’s time to mess with or discontinue a good thing.

  4. Rich September 29, 2017 Reply

    Wow, sounds like the ski for me…if I was younger, stronger, better, and insane!! And not married with kids and had a lot more life insurance. Yeah, perfect.
    Great review, made me cringe for you guys.

    • Author

      Ha, you definitely shouldn’t cringe for us, Rich, because Sam and I both had fun on this ski — it’s fun to jump on a ski that asks you to step your game up, since so many of the skis we review will let you get away with murder. We just think the 3.0 really shines in some pretty specific applications, and it calls for a strong, high-level skier. Hopefully we made that clear.

  5. Trevor October 7, 2017 Reply

    Thanks for the update! Any feelings on how these compare to the DPS Wailer 105 in the metal layup that you reviewed, other than the weight? I’ve got a couple hundred days on the 105s, patrolling and freeskiing. While I think they’re definitely fun (the 105), I’ve often found them to be fairly demanding and “game on”. Looking at the 3.0 as a replacement. Thanks for any insights.

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