2018-2019 Faction Dictator 3.0

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Faction Dictator 3.0 for Blister Review
Faction Dictator 3.0

Ski: 2018-2019 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

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 17/18 Dictator 3.0, which was not changed for 18/19, apart from graphics.]


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

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

16 comments on “2018-2019 Faction Dictator 3.0”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. If I’m 6’5″ 190 lbs and I love the 190cm metal Volkl Katana for high speed charging and medium speed carving and pop out of carved turns, but don’t love the 193cm Blizzard Cochise because it doesn’t give any energy out of medium speed turns and it slarves more than carves, where does the 186cm Dictator 3.0 fall? I’m thinking of running it with CAST bindings (or the new Salomon Shift?) as a Colorado backcountry ski.

  5. Just bought 174’s in Revelstoke, BC. Need something to ski the groomers. I am an old lady (born in 1961), who grew up skiing Stowe, VT. I love how these skis hold. Feels like an old fashioned race ski. I am completely comfortable. You can rely on these to be right under foot. Don’t let the young boys and their reviews scare you away. They won’t be my powder ski.

  6. Though I know most of the reviewers on this site are of more modest proportions, have you received any feedback for this ski from any bigger dudes? I’m 6’4″ and usually ride between 220 and 230 lbs and am looking at this as my 1-ski quiver. My current sticks are Kastle XX110 in 190cm which are definitely not enough ski for me.

  7. Hi, I’m going heli skiing in Kamchatka end of April and can choose between a Faction Dictator 186 or a Salomon QLaB190 as a rental. What would you suggest?
    Thanks in advance!

  8. Any chance you guys will try the 2019-2020 version? After reading your review, it looks like the new one is quite a different beast. Spent a week on the 180cm one (I am 1.81 / 86kg) and absolutely loved it, not sure I would even go for the 188. Found it demanding the first couple of days, but once I adjusted to it, it got very manageable in all sorts of snow (except deep and fresh sadly) and found myself having a lot of fun mobbing down all kind of things, very reactive ski with substance. Easy to maneuver for that sort of rigidity, even at lower speed. Great edge hold. The tail is definitely there but in a good way.

    • Re-reading my confusing self: read the “(except deep and fresh sadly)” above as “sadly I didn’t get to try it in deep and fresh”. I imagine that the ski would float decently with a bit of speed, the tip is not that rigid.

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