I had the great fortune of shadowing a crew of Faction Skis athletes, artists and staff in Verbier, Switzerland, this past week. Said crew is working tirelessly to produce a full-fledged, feature-length film (to be unveiled in the fall of 2017), and my task was to observe the ongoings; I expect to write about the experience in an upcoming issue of FREESKIER. In addition to enjoying a behind the scenes look at the impressive film production (there were approximately 11 cameras documenting the action at any given time), I also happened to be clicked into a pair of Candide Thovex 2.0 skis (2017-18 edition) for five awesome days of skiing at one of Europe’s premier resorts. The testing that ensued was nothing short of extraordinary.
The first thing you should know about Verbier is that the place is a giant f’ing playground for skiers: Gullies, gaps, rollers, wind lips, chutes and steep lines abound. That sort of terrain is absolutely ideal for the CT 2.0. So, if that all sounds like your cup of tea, keep reading. If not, feel free to browse these awesome photos of next year’s skis, as seen at our recent ski test.
Down to brass tacks.
The CT 2.0 is designed for playful skiers who delight over opportunities to pop, press, smear, butter and carve up a storm across ski slopes of all shapes and sizes. And I’m pleased to report the ski excels in all of those aforementioned departments. Chasing the likes of Adam Delorme and Duncan Adams around Verbier kept me on my toes (and in the air) seemingly non-stop, and I felt 100-percent in control, even during quick movements; light on my feet (1880 g @ 178 cm); and comfortable returning to the ground after entering orbit (carbon reinforcement underfoot dampens and spreads the impact of landings). Getting up into the air was a breeze, as well. This ski boasts crazy-good pop—the soft tail acts almost like a diving board as you arrive at the lip of your jump, knuckle, mogul, etc.
A poplar/beech wood core fits squarely in the “fairly rigid” category in my book. The poplar is there to balance weight, dampening and spring while the beech provides serious torsional rigidity, stability and power. Sandwich sidewall construction also ensures rockin’ power transmission to the edge of the ski. Camber underfoot lends itself to hard-charging edge hold, while tip and tail rocker take care of the smeary good times, and a bit of float for when the going gets rough (or awesome, depending on your outlook). A symmetrical sidecut also translates to optimal switch skiing and playful performance.
We skied at mach 10; we built and aired off of jumps at every corner; we ripped through the spring slush; we destroyed mogul fields; we made jump turns down fall-you-break-yourself-real-bad mountain faces; we ripped firm groomers; we slashed, pivoted and buttered; we made tight-as-hell turns through rock fields; and so much more, and this ski held up to the abuse like a champ.
Faction markets this ski as a “freestyle do it all” offering. The ski comes in four models: the park-oriented CT 1.0; the versatile all-mountain CT 2.0; and the lightweight, backcountry freestyle-inspired CT 3.0 and CT 4.0. Thovex himself stamped his seal of approval on this line of skis, and, well, that speaks volumes.
Watching Delorme, Adams, Antti Ollila, Alex Hall, Eirik Sæterøy, Tim McChesney and co. throw down in Verbier on these skis was a true pleasure. Skiing on them was a true pleasure. And rest assured, you’ll feel the same.
Be on the lookout for the CT 2.0 in the fall of 2017. Because it’s never too early to start planning next season’s on-hill domination.
Dimensions: 135-102-135 mm
Radius: 16 m @ 178
Lengths: 166, 172, 178, 184, 188 cm