Rails / Jibs
The Candide 2.0 is a highly surfy, buttery, flat-out fun jib ski. Much akin to the Armada Edollo in this regard, the 2.0 makes Keystone’s rail line feel like a skate park, and as if you’re on a ski that begs you to take advantage of every transition in your path. It loves to slash, tap, and gap. Its soft, rockered tips and tails make butters feel nearly effortless, and yet it still retains the pop of a slightly stiffer ski.
The 2.0 feels light on your feet, too, making the ski feel more like an extension of your body than any ski I’ve used of a similar width (95-105 mm underfoot), which makes quick switch ups and spins on and off of rails almost as easy as a much narrower ski like the Scott Jib TW of old. It feels lighter and more nimble than the J Skis All Play and the Kitten Factory Razor 95 in terms of swing weight — both of those skis have beefier tips than the 2.0, and the 2.0 feels roughly on par with the Armada Edollo, despite having a 4 mm wider waist than the Edollo.
Jumps (and Comparisons)
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: the Candide 2.0 isn’t a competition-ready slopestyle ski. It’s simply too wide and too soft. Its soft, rockered tips tended to rattle when taking impact, and its equally soft, rockered tails tended to flex and wash out when I landed slightly backseat. However, the ski is stiff enough underfoot that if you do land on the balls of your feet, this issue vanishes. Of course, none of this is surprising, given the rocker profile and flex pattern.
Now that we’ve stated the obvious, let’s compare it to similar skis in its class, namely the J Skis AllPlay, Line Blend, and Armada Edollo. The Candide 2.0 is noticeably stiffer and more stable than the Line Blend, which features a rocker profile somewhat similar to the 2.0, only with the flex pattern of a wet noodle. On the other hand, the 2.0 isn’t quite as stiff as the AllPlay, which I would give the edge over the 2.0 in terms of feeling stable and reliable on larger jumps. Where the 2.0’s flex pattern quickly tapers in front of and behind the boot, the AllPlay’s flex tapers much more subtly, and leads to a more user-friendly and predictable jumping feel.
With the Candide 2.0 (and the Blend and AllPlay, for that matter), I found myself longing for the Edollo’s traditional camber tails, which really made landing in the backseat a lot more manageable than these other skis.
Underfoot and through the tip, though, the 2.0 felt reminiscent of the Edollo as far as flex pattern and stability. Both skis felt pretty rock solid underfoot but have flex patterns that tapered significantly, leading to a hinge point roughly 25 cm from the tip; the Edollo’s tip is ever so slightly softer than the 2.0, and flexed out on tip-heavy switch landings a little bit more easily than the Candide 2.0.
I had one surprisingly deep day on the 2.0, and lapped the Palavacini lift at Arapahoe Basin. The 2.0’s tip rocker, coupled with its relatively wide waist (for a park ski, at least) allowed me to flow fairly well in the ~18 inches of wet new snow, while the ski didn’t feel overly cumbersome when skiing bumps and tight trees. Given the 2.0’s tail rocker and generally soft tips and tails, this ski doesn’t lend itself to charging, as I felt a fair amount of chatter at higher speeds and in variable conditions.
I always start this section with the caveat that I’m particularly hard on my equipment. I slide a lot of rails, and I tend to lean toward high-impact rail tricks like disasters and gapping to the flat of down-flat rails.
With that said, I was disappointed to experience the exact same delamination issue on the 2.0 as I did on the Faction Silas, when I reviewed the Silas 3 years ago (that ski has since been discontinued). After five days of skiing on the 2.0, I found that the sidewalls were separating vertically from the base and edge. After 16 days on the ski, there is a roughly 3 millimeter gap between the base/edge and the bottom of the sidewall through which I can see the core of the ski. Consequently, water is able to get into the core of the ski.
To be fair, this isn’t an issue that I’ve experienced solely with Faction products, and it isn’t necessarily a death sentence. I’ve had this occur on two skis from Armada, a 13/14 AR7 and a 15/16 Edollo, and after the delamination began to occur, both skis held up at least 20-30 days after that point. Moreover, I don’t feel any significant difference in performance since I initially noticed the delamination issue. I’ll continue to put more days on the 2.0 to see whether the ski blows up or continues to hang on like those Armadas did.
The Faction Candide 2.0 is a solid one-ski quiver for someone who skis a wide variety of terrain. It’s truly a playful, fun jib ski to cruise the Keystone rail park, yet it still can aptly handle Breckenridge’s 30-40 foot jumps. It’s also a pretty nimble ski for Pali bumps and trees at A-Basin, and has proven to manage fairly well in up to 18 inches of new snow. Though the pair I skied on had its durability issues, I found it to perform well in a broad range of applications and conditions, and I have really enjoyed it as my daily driver.
NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics