Ski: 2019-2020 Faction Candide 4.0, 188 cm
Available Lengths: 176, 182, 188, 194 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 185.7 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2130 & 2213 grams
Stated Dimensions: 140-118-134 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139.0-117.4-132.7 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (188 cm): 25 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 76 mm / 62 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~1 mm
Core: Balsa/Poplar/Pachaco + Titanal Binding Reinforcement + Fiberglass Laminate
Factory Recommended Mount Point:
- “Candide”: -4.75 cm from center; 88.1 cm from tail
- “All-Mountain”: -7.85 cm from center; 85.0 cm from tail
Last year we spent time on one of the widest skis in Faction’s lineup, the Candide 4.0. The ski was designed with input from the man himself, Candide Thovex, so we had high hopes. After skiing the 194 cm length in both Colorado and Alaska, here’s what we said about it in our 18/19 Winter Buyer’s Guide:
“Caveat: we’ve only skied the CT 4.0 in the 194 cm length, and we don’t think it’s safe to assume that the shorter lengths will feel comparable. The 194 was surprisingly demanding, with a stiff flex pattern and a not-particularly-damp ride. Once detuned, it provided good stability for high-speed carving on smooth groomers. But on rougher snow, it got knocked around quite a bit, and required a dynamic skiing style. In pow, its stiff flex and conservative rocker profile provided a bit less float than similarly wide skis, though it did feel pretty stable at high speeds in pow. But it always felt somewhat locked-in to a turn, and the length and weight of the 194 cm version did not make it feel very playful, even for our larger testers. Again, we suspect that the 188 or 182 will feel different, and we hope to test them this season.”
As you can see, we wanted to get on a shorter length of the Candide 4.0 before publishing our full review. Well, Faction is updating the Candide 4.0 for 19/20, and we now have the 188 cm, 19/20 version of the ski in hand.
What Faction says about the Candide 4.0
“At 118mm underfoot, this is a lightweight, big-mountain backcountry ski made for the deep days that also feels responsive in the crud and harder conditions. It floats, drifts, and sails through the fluffy stuff while strong construction materials promise that the CT 4.0 can handle tree taps, deep landings, and gnarly freeride faces with ease.”
Faction is not only talking up the Candide 4.0’s freestyle performance, but also its ability to handle big-mountain lines and less-ideal conditions. It doesn’t sound like Faction designed the CT 4.0 to be some noodly jib stick, and our experience on the 194 cm 18/19 CT 4.0 confirmed that. So where will the 188 cm 19/20 CT 4.0 slot in the playfulness vs. stability spectrum? Is this more of a freeride ski, a freestyle ski, or a bit of both?
New Core Construction
The main difference between the 18/19 Candide 4.0 and the 19/20 version lies in the two skis’ cores. The 19/20 version of the ski uses a new balsa/poplar/pachaco wood core, whereas the 18/19 version used a balsa/poplar one. Pachacho is a hardwood that hasn’t been used in many ski cores in the past, but the addition of this hardwood is aimed to make the new CT 4.0 more durable and stable, without notably increasing the previous version’s low weight.
Shape / Rocker Profile
According to Faction’s specs, no changes were made to the Candide 4.0’s shape and rocker profile. Looking at our pair, that seems pretty accurate. The 194 cm 18/19 and 188 cm 19/20 Candide 4.0 both have very similar measured dimensions (apart from length) and tip and tail splay numbers.
The 19/20 Candide 4.0 still has a pretty traditional shape compared to other playful pow skis, with very subtle tip and tail taper. Examining the ski closely, there are some fairly straight sections in the tips and tails, but they’re pretty short and the tips and tails of the CT 4.0 still don’t taper to much of a point at all. This is in contrast to many other modern playful pow skis like the Volkl Revolt 121, Atomic Bent Chetler 120, and Prior CBC, all of which have more dramatically tapered tips and tails.
The Candide 4.0’s rocker profile is less traditional, with very deep tip and tail rocker lines and an extremely subtle ~1 mm of camber underfoot. The 19/20 Candide 4.0’s rocker lines are still pretty slow-rising, rather than jutting up more abruptly like some other skis like the Volkl Revolt 121 or DPS Koala F119. But our pair of the 19/20 Candide 4.0 does look like its tip and tail rocker lines rise a bit quicker than our pair of the 18/19 Candide 4.0. The difference is subtle, but we’re curious to see if it makes the 19/20 CT 4.0 a bit more playful and easier to slash around.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the 19/20 Candide 4.0:
In Front of Toe Piece: 8.5-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5-8.5
Like the 194 cm 18/19 Candide 4.0, the 188 cm 19/20 version of the ski is pretty strong for a playful pow ski. The 19/20 Candide 4.0 is fairly soft at the last ~20 cm of the tips and tails of the ski, but everywhere else, it’s quite strong. The new CT 4.0 is a bit softer at the ends vs. the 194 cm 18/19 version, but the overall flex patterns of the two skis are quite similar.
The 194 cm Candide 4.0 has a stated sidecut radius of 27 meters, which is quite long. The 188 cm version’s stated sidecut radius is a bit mellower at 25 meters, but it’s still longer than many skis in its class.
Our pair of the 194 cm 18/19 CT 4.0 had one recommended mount point of around -3.7 cm from center, which is quite progressive / forward.
Our pair of the 188 cm 19/20 CT 4.0 has two recommended mount points. The “Candide” line is around -4.75 cm from center, and the “All-Mountain” line is -7.85 cm from center.
The new CT 4.0’s “Candide” line is still pretty far forward and in line with other freestyle-oriented skis like the Volkl Revolt 121, Rossignol Black Ops 118, Line Outline, and Moment Wildcat.
The new CT 4.0’s “All-Mountain” line is a bit more traditional and falls more in line with more directional skis like the Rossignol Super 7 HD, Icelantic Nomad 115, J Skis Friend, and Liberty Origin 112.
We’ll be skiing the new CT 4.0 with the bindings moved between these two lines, and are curious to see how moving the bindings back a bit (especially compared to the 18/19 ski’s more forward mount point) affects its playfulness and stability.
The 19/20 Candide 4.0 is still a pretty light ski but, by today’s standards, it’s not super light. The average weight per ski for our pair of the 188 cm 19/20 Candide 4.0 is around 2171 grams, which puts the new CT 4.0 around the middle of the pack when it comes to weight. And compared to the 194 cm 18/19 Candide 4.0, the new version is proportionately a bit heavier, which is probably due to the addition of the pachaco hardwood in the new ski’s core.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1931 & 1959 Volkl BMT 122, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2130 & 2130 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2130 & 2213 Faction Candide 4.0, 188 cm (19/20)
2133 & 2133 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (17/18–18/19)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2267 & 2270 Whitedot Ragnarok 118, 190 cm (16/17–18/19)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Pro, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Kartel 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2429 & 2437 Kingswood SMB, 188 cm (16/17–18/19)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) The 194 cm 18/19 Candide 4.0 slotted into a bit of an odd place as it wasn’t all that playful, and also not all that stable. The new ski is now both a bit heavier for its size, and a touch softer. So could that improve the new ski’s stability and playfulness? One or the other? Neither?
(2) With the new CT 4.0’s two recommended mount points, we’re curious to see how it’ll respond with the bindings moved around, and to the correspondingly different skiing styles that those different mount points may encourage.
(3) We now have the Candide 4.0 in a length that’s more comparable to many of the skis we’ve skied in its class, so we’re excited to compare it to others like the Rossignol Black Ops 118, Volkl Revolt 121, Moment Wildcat, and 4FRNT Inthayne.
Bottom Line (For Now)
The 19/20 Faction Candide 4.0 doesn’t seem to have changed drastically from the previous version, but the updates that have been made have us excited about the new ski. We’ll be getting it on snow soon, and will report back with updates as soon as possible.